The second race of the season for the National Flying Club took place on the 1st of June from Messac, France. A total of 5128 pigeons were entered by 602 members from Scotland, Wales and England which were liberated at 7:15am into a clear blue sky and light south east wind.
Recording the fastest velocity on the day were Underhill & Prettejohn in Plymouth with two sibling hens that are raced on the natural system. Both bred from the very best of long distance bloodlines, these hens share the same parents and are being prepared to race the Tarbes Grand National in a few weeks time. Arriving together and clocking just seconds apart, they won both 1st and 2nd Open for the partnership who had previously been 1st Open National Flying Club Fougeres in 2017.
After rearing a youngster the race teams are separated and the partners practice widowhood for the cocks and natural for the hens. They used to race the roundabout system but Mike felt the hens were not happy and moped about a little so they switched over to natural for the hens team. The hens were obviously very well motivated as one was sent sitting a ten day old youngster and the other had been incubating her eggs for fourteen days.
With Tarbes in mind the long distance loft is populated with some of the very best long distance breeding in the UK today, with an emphasis on two day racing. “Wingdown”, “Little Gem”, “True Grit”, “Legacy”, “Rainy Day Boy” and “Incredible” all feature very strongly in the race team, as only direct children will suffice in the select breeding loft. Indeed the sire of the two hens is “Imperial” a direct son of Louellas “Incredible” a 10 times a National / International prize winner from 997km to 1276km
Including 3 x Barcelona 1276km, 46th National Barcelona 8,042b, 48th National
Montauban 8,346b 997km, 115th International Barcelona 27,566b 1276Km
183rd National St Vincent 6,621b 1107Km. When paired to his own daughter with “Amazing Grace” who flew six times Barcelona and Perpignan 698 miles to 798 miles. The dam “National Treasure” is a hen bred by Alwyn Hill direct out of “Wingdown” 1st sect 2nd Open Tarbes 2808b, 1st sect 4th Open Tarbes 3290b, 2nd sect 7th Open Tarbes 3808b from a distance of 676 miles, when paired to a direct daughter of “Isla’s Rainy Day Boy” 1st sect, 1st National and 1st International Pau. He in turn was paired to the “Rozenbrabd Hen“a direct daughter of “Champion 19” 1st Long distance Champion.
So all in all, the two sisters are extremely well bred for the long distance races but failed to get the memo this past weekend. They obviously broke immediately for home, a trait passed down from their illustrious ancestors no doubt, but in doing so they had to cross 120 miles of sea in order to take the direct line to Plymouth, a leap of faith also demonstrated in their pedigree. The winning hen “Rose”, albeit by a few seconds, was entered into a club show in the winter of 2018 which was judged by Andrew Mabin, who himself is a previous winner of the NFC and was given the grand title of “Best in Show” and “Grace” was given second in the Channel Hens Class so “Andrew really can pick ‘em” said Mike.
Mike and Robbie would like to thank everyone for all the many telephone calls of congratulations and Mike’s neighbour John Vincent who will help with the birds if ever needed.
A long but enjoyable trip for myself on the day after the race and I must say the reception for me in Devon was very warm. They are out on a limb for most of the National races and it is easy to forget just how far west they actually fly. Third open were Mr & Mrs John McClements who arrived to congratulate the boys with Terry Lee also giving out hugs and kisses. I managed to dodge those but received a very nice phone call from committee member Paul Pym to point out the hard work the partnership put into the local clubs and their latest National Flying Club win is well deserved.
Beginning with Gordon and Deila Marsh winning section A with “166” a hen bred down from their Tuplin Barker lines, which have always produced reliable channel pigeons, when crossed with a very good cock from Guy Read in the Isle of Wight. She has previously won 1st Brighton & Worthing 5 Bird Club from Alencon, also taking third section in the BICC this season. Their birds are raced on the roundabout system which suits them best as they like to race both cocks and hens. Gordon said his wife Delia is a very important part of the partnership, having spent all her life competing with horses and now agility dogs, she has excellent stock sense and happy to carry out any chores in and around the loft that may be needed. Continuing on from recent successes in 2nd place, Mr & Mrs Brian Wall would like to congratulate Gordon and Delia Marsh on their first section win. Brians first timer was also 4th section in the last NFC race from Fougeres and always excels in National races. He is a gift pigeon from John Gladwin of Formula 1 lofts and could have won the section twice last year, but was beaten by loft mates. I’m sure his time will come. In 3rd place was D & D McFadden with a yearling widowhood cock having his fourth channel crossing this season. He was given half hour with his hen before going which seemed to motivate them both as she won the club from Carentan and luckily turned up just before him, so he wasn’t disappointed when he returned from the race. He is a son of “Graham’s Girl”, one of Darrens best racing “Cannon” hens. A sample of her best results were 1st Club, 3rd Fed Cholet, 1st club Messac, 56th Open Pau etc. He is also a grandson of “Pau Princess” 1st Sect, 2nd Open BICC, 2nd Open International Pau and “Dark Prince” 5th sect 11th Open Pau.
Kevin King timed a little hen to take fourth section and after beginning the season racing widowhood, he decided to go back to his love of natural racing, which gave him the flexibility he needed to move his successful Angling and Pet Supplies business to a new, and bigger premises. Mr & Mrs T & C Welch were fifth with a yearling cock that has been flown twice with the Solent Fed and twice with the NFC. At Fougeres National this pigeon was their second bird to the loft and was the fittest that returned from that race. He’s made a good start to the racing season.
For Section B, Bill Edwards has compiled the following; Messac National proved to be a much more testing affair than most expected with the East Wind stronger than predicted across the Channel. Leading the way in Section B is the outstanding loft of Mark Gower from Fordingbridge in the New Forrest and firstly, Mark would like to congratulate all the Section Winners. Mark clocked his very good Yearling cock that recorded 4th Section & 9th Open two weeks earlier from the difficult Fougeres National, two very good results in different conditions. He is bred from Les Green’s best racer, now retired and named “Boonen” when crossed with a Leo Van Rijn hen. The sire paired to a different hen, showed great promise by also producing a 2nd Fed winner three weeks ago. Mark did experience a scare on the day prior to basketing when the section winner was late returning from morning exercise, with two loft mates having recently disappearing believed to be the victims of Raptors. Mark does not train due to the problem with Raptors in the Forrest but has managed a couple training races on the East route thanks to Clive Ret. Mark sent 22 to the race and managed another couple that should feature in the result with 15 home on the day and 2 more the next morning, unfortunately these were both injured. Mark would like to thank his regular “couriers” Andy and Nick.
Taking 2nd position in Section B, is Rob Poole of Romsey. Rob is a relatively new starter to pigeon racing but has produced some outstanding results in the short time that he has been racing. His timer from Messac is a yearling cock flown on the roundabout system and bred by Trevor and Ginny Paine of Bungay in Suffolk. He was previously 11th Solent Fed as a young bird and had been across the Channel from Coutances in preparation for Messac. Rob would like to thank Trevor & Ginny for yet another great pigeon and Mentor Graham May for all the help and wisdom he has given him since introducing him to the sport just 3 years ago. A familiar name in top open positions is Steve Harris of Portchester, he takes 3rd Section B, with a half-sister to his section winner from last year’s Young Bird National. His timer is bred from a son of J & J Meeder’s “Maximus” when paired to a G’daughter of Jan Hoogland’s ”Mirukuru. She is also a half-sister to Luke & Les Cross’s star performer “Yannick” through the Maximus lines. Michael Moon of Portsmouth is 4th Section B but by the time I tracked him down he was sunning himself in Crete. Already celebrating, no doubt
Taking 5th section B is Mick Bunny from Portchester. Mick clocked a yearling dark Pied cock that was gifted to him by his good friend Bill Ahern of Neesdon, being a Jan Arden X Southwell from the best of Bill’s Barcelona pigeons. Mick prefers the longer distance races and has raced widowhood since 1985 but with impending retirement is experimenting with a form of roundabout. Mick who has previously been 1st British section BICC Dax believes that it is the quality of the pigeon rather than the system that matters.
First section C is Mr & Mrs.Hodges, their winner is a blue cock of John Gerard blood lines. Their second pigeon clocked one minute and seven seconds later is a blue cock De-Rauw-Sablon x Gorden brothers of Ireland. Both pigeons are raced on total widowhood and are looked after by Prilly. The birds are exercised for one hour morning and evening and must fly the full hour so the flag is used if needed. All race pigeons are fed on Vanrobaeys Exclusive with Vanrobaeys Turbo Hydrate and red maize add in the build up to the race. They sent 9 and had 8 on the day all of which returned in good condition with some having ten hours plus on the wing. They would like to congratulate all section winners and Underhill & Prettejohn on being 1st, 2nd Open and in the picture is Prilly Hodges with Ronnie Hodges holding 1st & 2nd section C winners, also Lilymay Hodges granddaughter. Third was Mr J P Halstead of Gillingham, with a yearling Blue widowhood cock which has only had 6 races in his life so far but has won major prizes in 4 of them. As a young bird he was 5th in the Upton Breeder Buyer from Guernsey, winning £200, then was 2nd Section in the NFC Coutances. This season he has won 1st Club from Fougeres and now 3rd Section from Messac. He is from a daughter of loft foundation breeder “Nyland Ashley” who was 2nd Open from Barcelona back in 2008, when mated with a superb cock “Impden” purchased on Elimar containing Dave Impett and Brian Denny bloodlines. John’s loft seems to be running into form with 1st and 2nd Dorset Federation on the same day. Fourth was Danny Lanahan, who would like to congratulate the winners Underhill & Prettejohn on taking 1st and 2nd open Messac. He would also like to congratulate Mr and Mrs Hodges on their section win and for taking my birds to the marking station. It’s been a great start to the season for Danny, this being his first year with his yearlings. He has won 1st open CSCFC Coutances 47th open, 8th section NFC Fougeres, plus 2nd 3rd club, 5th 6th Federation Fougeres, 2nd club 4th Federation Carentan, 1st club 8th Federation Carentan. It’s not been an easy year for hinm but he has put a lot of work and early mornings into the birds, and had many loses. He has a couple of more races lined up for his yearlings and will then keep them for next year and concentrate on his young birds. The pigeon he was provisionaly 3rd section with, was also 2nd club 4th Federation Carentan two weeks before. A gift from John Gerard, it is a Van Dyke/ Petrowitz pigeon being raced on his own version of the roundabout system which suits his work Commitments. Fifth was Marg & Lawrence Cowley who timed a two year old Denis Sapin roundabout cock who had also topped the Fed from Yelverton last year and fed Countrywide corn. Neville & Diana Spracklen was up there again and clocked another Daniel Areins hen. She was their first yearling home from Tarbes last year and has been a very consistent bird for them wining several prizes in the specialist club. They will send her to Cholet before going to Tarbes although not all their plans are going to well at the moment, hopefully that will change. They would like to congratulate the winners and Mr And Mrs Hodges their section winners.
First and Second section D were the overall winners Mike Underhill and Robbie Prettejohn from Plymouth. They timed their two very well bred, long distance siblings to win 1st & 2nd in the National Flying Club, whilst having a preparation race for the Tarbes Grand National later this month. The dilemma for them now is…to send them or not? time will tell but I am sure the partners will monitor the weather conditions very closely up to basketing day. Mr & Mrs J McClements were third Sect and third Open with a hen named “New Park Lily”, she was also 3rd sect, 6th Open NFC Messac 2018. She is raced on roundabout, with chaos on the day of basketing and in preparation for Messac National, she had a 65 mile trainer up the coast, a Salisbury trainer with the club and the week prior to the race she was taken to Portsmouth and went to Coutances with the Premier 100 club. Fed on Gerry Plus her sire is a German cock bred by Karl Heinz Wichert, bought at Blackpool and the dam was on loan from Lee & Dyer, which they bought from Tumley lofts. Fourth section was John Priscott who said “Well done to the NFC, I sent 4, got 4 in good time”. His blue cock is a Karel Franken X, originating from the late Lenny Watts. Raced as a young bird he went right through the programme with the Devon South Road Fed and the Kingsteignton D.H.S. He was raced on natural system and sent sitting 14 days on eggs. Many thanks to Mark and Sara Beavis for all their work at the club. Fifth section went to Chris Williams with a chequer cock which is one of a draft of young birds gifted by fellow clubmate, Les Jane, when Chris lost most of his darkness YBs 2 years ago. This bird has been raced hard, is consistent and was 15th Section from NFC Sigogne last year. He was raced natural, sitting 2 days. Chris would like to thank Keith Burt for all his help and training.
In section E, first place went to John Haynes in Maidenhead, his pigeon won as a baby and has been consistent since flying across the water this year. The sire was a gift bird bred by Mark Gilbert and is of “Golden Gaby” “Lover Boy” crossed with “Evergreen Hope” of Koopmans. The mother is “Golden Gaby” cross “Lady Bond”. Gary Inkley was 2nd section with a yearling widowhood cock whoose sire is a grandson of Syndicate lofts “Granger” and “Foxy Lady” via Tim Atkin of Rugby and his dam is a gift from John Crehan of Salford from “RIP” and “SPITFIRE”, which is full sister to the dam of his NFC Saintes winner 2008. This yearling has plenty of previous, as a young bird he was 3rd Fed Blandford, 4th Fed Yeovil, 478th NFC Coutances and 25th open BICC Guernsey. This year he has 2nd Fed Honiton 2521 birds, 20th Fed Honiton (2) 3159 birds and last week was 4th club Falaise. Gary would like to congratulate the winners and section winners. Third and fourth place was Mark Gilbert with a hen whose the father was bred by Jella from his “Silvie” when she was paired to a son of “Kliene Jade” and “New Laureatt” both having won 1st International Barcelona. The Mother was from “Goldern Barcelona” the 2nd ace bird of Europe 3 years running from Barcelona. The second bird was from a son of “New Laureatt” 1st International Barcelona and and a daughter of “Goldern Barcelona”. Stuart Sheffield of Windsor timed a two year old dark chequre hen to take fifth section. The sire being from Patrick Janseen in Belgium and the dam from James Parker, Stuart had 75% returns on day.
Once again and for the second race this season, Committee member Cosmin Talas topped section F with the same pigeon he timed from Fougeres. He has called him “Sparky” and has been raced on the widowhood system. “He likes the hard races and he is always there” said Cosmin and he is bred from a cock called “Smurf” which had only raced two Nationals as a yearling but came 21st Open from 3.997 birds and 83rd Open from 6,495 birds. He sent 3 pigeons to the race and I clocked all 3 and would like to thank Alan and Jill Webber and the team for running the marking station at Steventon, “they are doing a fantastic job”. Second spot went to Anton & Segesdy a partnership consisting of Ven Segesdy and Lonut Anton with the birds being raced from Ven's house. Their pigeon is a blue hen bred from parents imported from Romania by Anton and was raced on the natural system. Third was W & D Ward, from Reading and fourth section were Mr & Mrs Paul Kenny & Family, they clocked a yearling red cheq cock bred by Roger Lowe which is raced on the widowhood system. In fifth position was Steven Stokes with a blue chequer cock after driving his hen for six days. It was bred from birds gifted to him by a well known local fancier.
Winning section G was Richard Whiteside in Bristol and he wrote; Firstly, I would like to congratulate the winner and all the section winners on a great achievement. The hen that topped the section for me is a Heremans-Ceuster, from a direct son of “Rossi” paired to a direct Daugther of “Lichte Blauwe”. I had decided to invest in these pigeons after calling to see my friend Les Green and is lovely wife Ruth, Les is the best pigeon fancier I know and also a first class Auctioneer and a great friend. Myself and Alan Keepin, who sadly died suddenly over a year ago and whom I deeply miss, decided to visit Les a few years ago. We were greeted with some lovely bacon & egg bap’s from Ruth and Les showed us his fantastic team of pigeons, what stood out the most for us was two fantastic children from “Rossi”. When Les informed us how many winners they have bred, we were amazed and he also told us that in his role as auctioneer he writes hundreds of pedigrees, and the name “Rossi” kept coming up in a lot of top pigeons. So my late friend Alan and I decided to visit Eijerkamp in Holland, to buy some Hereman Ceuster pigeons from their very best.
I formed a great relationship with Henk Jurriens their loft manager and after a lot of persuasion Henk said I could have two from “Rossi”. We also purchased a lot of direct children from all their very best Heremans-Ceuster at the time and our results have been fantastic with these pigeons, especially across the channel. Les Green was right about the children from “Rossi” they are something special, and a Daughter of “Rossi” paired to a direct son of “New Euro” is another good line for me. Last year I had a hen to win 1st section G, 5th open NFC which also topped the federation against 1683b, won two first club, two joint first and many more prize cards whilst still only a yearling. Eijerkamp purchased “New Euro” for a big sum of money a few years ago, and we were lucky enough to be the first persons to buy one from him. I was so impressed with them as they began breeding winners from the first nest, I decided to buy five more direct children from “New Euro”. I would like to thank my partner Julie, who helps me with the birds every day and keeps me motivated making me lots of cups of tea. I would also like to thank Roger Keepin, Alan’s brother, who been coming to help with the pigeons for many years. It will never be the same without Alan but me and Roger do have a laugh about the good times the three of us had (God bless Alan) and a special thank you to my great mentor for many years who I talk to everyday Derek Pedley.
In second place and provisionally 9th Open were S Luff & Walker Bros of Dursley. They wrote;
“Following on from our section win from Messac in the CSCFC we timed our good four year old blue chequer Cock “Stan The Man”. This cock has always been a consistent racer having been 30th Sect, 114th Open TNFC Fougeres 2017, 25th Sect, 46th Open CSCFC Coutances and 3rd Sect 43rd Open NFC Ancenis 2018. “Stan” is raced on the true widowhood system. During the week leading up to basketing he was bouncing around the loft absolutely full of himself, this combined with the forecast predicting race conditions that he likes, prompted the partners to choose him as the pooled bird. When basketing we tried something a bit different with his hen which has paid off, nothing would have stopped him getting in the loft to see her. His sire was bred and gifted to the partners by good friend and club mate Stan Dangerfield. His breeding being from Stans old bloodline Desmet Mathys x “Judes Boy” Stan’s San Sebastian classic winner. This bloodline runs through the loft in abundance being responsible for two Tarbes section winners and numerous other prize winners. His Dam was bred by another good friend Guy Read from Isle of Wight from his good DeWeerdt family, being a grand-daughter of “Nietje” when paired to a grand-daughter of Geoff & Catherine Coopers “George”. Having spoken to Guy just after the race to give him the good news, he told of his recent heart attack, we hope this gives you a boost and your back to top form very soon. Having a great start to the season is Stuart Wilcox in Bristol. His third section G 13th Open NFC Messac is a two year old cock flown on traditional widowhood. This pigeon has won as a youngster and was 1st Club 20th WoESRC Chale as a yearling along with other prizes. He was actually bred by mistake and is the only Long Distance x Short Distance bred bird in the loft. His sire was a latebred g-son of Tarbes National Winners Legacy and Little Gem, being a full brother to 1st WoESRC Coutances 2017 from 2010 birds. The dam is called "Blauwe Dirk" and is bred by Dirk Van Dyck and was purchased at the Blackpool "Golden Duif" auction and this hen has now bred two good winning pigeons. He would just like to congratulate Mike Underhill and Robbie Prettejohn on a fantastic race, Robbie's smile will light up the Prom at Blackpool again this year. Fourth were R E Taylor & Sons in ,Bristol, and fifth section G was Daniel Hocking whose first bird was “Rocket Princess” previously 4th open in this race a year ago. Dropping on the landing board in great form, she is bred from Derek flowers Giessen lines crossed the Premier Stud Herman Ceusters.
First Section H was John Searle, with his two year old widowhood hen, bred from a grandson of “Euro Diamond” when paired to a daughter of “George” which came from Brian Long. Dam
of this winning hen is Kevin Foster's double granddaughter of “Southfield Supreme”. This excellent stock hen has bred some very good racers and breeders for Kevin and Tim Rodwell.
Second was Richard Holmes who has recently retired as East Midland Region Secretary. His blue pied cock is raced on the widowhood system and was basketed on the Wednesday evening, being lifted straight from the perch, no bowl and no hen was shown. He has raced each week in the club programme and this was his first channel race this year. He is bred in the stock loft from a son of my 1st National BICC Le Mans paired to a Jan Aarden and the dam Is a daughter of 2nd National BICC Le Mans paired to a John Ellis pigeon. A double grandson of national winners.
Congratulations to all the winners and my thanks to Graham Pugsley for transporting the birds to the marking station. Hubert Walker followed up from his section win in the Fougeres race to take third section. His bird is bred from a combination of our own old Sootjen blood line, and pigeons gifted from Keith Morgan of Warsop. Hubert said that silent partner ‘Les Rodgers’ is in charge of all of the breeding, where as he does all of the racing. They timed in three birds on the day, with two more coming home the next morning, so are well pleased with that result.
In fourth place Mr & Mrs.Russ Skinner timed a two year old blue white flight cock which is a son from “Tenkay” one of their best racing hens. She has won Perth twice on the North Road and is a daughter of “Diamond Geezer” 1st open NRCC Thurso and “Charity” 1st open NRCC Perth. His sire is a double grandson of Ko Van Dommelens, “Paarsborst” twice national winner for Ko , this pigeon was purchased from the House of Aarden. All birds are flown on double widowhood. Fifth section was C Crick & Son of Stotfold.
First Section I were Mr & Mrs.J.Passey & Family who have named their winner “Jaxon’s girl”, after the birth of our newest grandson who was born the week before the race, my congratulations John and Kim. She is a yearling chequer hen, raced on the widowhood system and as a youngster was a consistent performer gaining two minor cards. Her Breeding is a little sketchy as both parents were gifted to us from our good friend Pat Frisby of Hinckley when he ceased racing in 2017, both parents being consistent performers in his race team. Pat is one of a number of people I must express gratitude to, as well as Geoff & Barbara Kirkland without their birds, help and advice, we would not have achieved the success that we have had over the years. Last but not least my family for putting up with all my hours up the garden, especially my wife Kim, for all her help and support. Clive Yates who still races M Yates & Son timed a two year old hen, raced on total widhowhood, to take second section which was not raced as young bird, and having her first time over the channel. Clive and his wife did not send to first national race as was away on holiday at start of season so was a couple of weeks behind in preparation.
The sire of his hen is bred by Shaun McDonough he is a direct son of “Ultimate”, described by Shaun as a once in a life time bird. Very few from “Ultimate” have left his loft. This was crossed with a Daughter of my RPRA rose bowl winner for best performance over 450mls a winner of 1st section Saintes NFC twice, 12th open MNFC Boudaux and many more prizes, full of his MNFC winning “Wildes”. He would like to say that John Passey"s section winner was a great bird on the day.
Another loft that is always at the top is that of the Prince Brothers. They had two birds arrive together to take third and fourth positions. A blue yearling hen raced on roundabout which is 3/4 Rene nauwelaert 1/4 vandenabeele and their second bird, also a yearling roundabout hen is De Meyer crossed Vandebrande bloodlines. The previous week with the MNFC these two birds also arrived together to be provisionally 4th, 5th NW Sect and 19th, 20th Open. They must like each other's company. The Brothers timed six of their six entries.
Winning section J Neil Greatwich wrote “Firstly I would congratulate the open winner and all the other section winners. My two year old widowhood cock had flown quite consistently in the Heart of England Federation who’s committee and convoyers I’d like to thank for coming out of their way to pick our pigeons up from our headquarters. My section winner was sent to the BBC Fougeres race which turned out a long fly for him being my third pigeon home out of four but was not affected in anyway. He was switched the week before the Messac race into the Shropshire Federations first channel race and was showing great fitness. Also I’d like to show my appreciation to members of Ludlow HS for loading our Shropshire pigeons week in week out. The dam of this pigeon is a direct daughter of the “Turbo Hen” from Rutzs and son. On the sires side has an extra special meaning as it’s a son of my late grandad Don Weaver Tarbes hen who scored first section J Tarbes (I said it wasn’t a fluke Don). Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who rang and messaged to congratulate me. By the way, the pigeon flew the 316 mile faster than it took me to get the family photo for this report.”
Trevor and John racing as Booth & Roper came in second and clocked their three year old blue checker widowhood hen to take provisionally 2nd section J, 20th open. They have been here before with this hen taking 2nd section J to Martin Williams of Hereford, and 13th open in the final result in this race last year. She is bred from their good stock hen from the lines of Brian Sheppard of Trowbridge and a Jan Aarden cock from Louella Pigeon World, and this was her second channel race this year. To finish in the top 20 of the National two years running is some performance, and they hope to encourage a slight improvement next year. They would like to congratulate the open winners Underhill and Prettejohn taking 1st and 2nd and Neil Greatwich on winning section J. They would also like to congratulate our friends Luff & Walker on taking 2nd section G, 9th open. It was also a good weekends racing for the partners, also winning 2nd section A and 5th open Fougeres in the Midlands Continental Classic. Jonathan Hamplett from Stafford was third section with Arthur Jones in fourth place. Arthurs bird was 47th Section and 273rd Open in the previous Fougeres NFC race and the sire is a son of his Tarbes pigeon flying 646 miles on the day who is now seventeen years old and still filling his eggs, when mated to a
sister of Colin Lloyds “King Arthur” 1st NFC Saintes, his dam is from a son of “King Arthur” mated to a daughter of “Hazel” 5th Open NFC Saintes. In fifth position was M Williams from Hereford.
Taking first section K was Alex Finley who still races under his fathers name. His first pigeon is a two-year old widowhood cock, the father of which is a Jan Polder cock, when crossed with a Louella De Smaragd hen. It is the first time this cock has been over the Channel this year, but Alex could not remember whether he had sent it over the Channel last year as a yearling. Alex is 72 years old and he says that topping Section K has made his season for him. Second and fourth section were Heeley, Allen & Lambert. When Kevin and Dave started this loft approximately 4 years ago it was with one sole purpose in mind, and that was to do well in the NFC, with Tarbes being the main target. They set about the task by purchasing families of pigeons with distance racing in their blood, Desbuquos from Belgium, Twan Bongers from Holland, plus some individual purchases including a Van Coppenole cock with a string of long distance wins behind him. In addition there have been others, notably a good hen from Mark Sherwood which had won over £1,500 racing. Today's first pigeon comes down from her when crossed with the Van Coppenole lines. The Partnership's next two birds which finished well in the result are Twan Bongers crossed J & K Heeley lines. Third section was the very consistand and well respected loft of Pearson & Dransfield. Frank's first pigeon is the result of a special pairing when Dave Impett paired his best stock cock to “Katie Star” to produce the sire of this pigeon. The Dam was bred by Ron and Nigel Dennett out of their super pigeon “Dark Gem” who won many prizes for this partnership right up to Tarbes. This two-year old widowhood cock was Frank's second pigeon from this year's Fougeres race and last year was the 700-Mile Club's first yearling from Saintes. Frank is not in the best of health and would like to say how much he appreciates his two helpers, Margaret and Jane. Fifth section K were J Wood & Son and John's pigeon is a two-year old hen flown on the roundabout system. Her breeding is Harthog Van Der Belee. In great form, John's section winner from the previous race was his second pigeon home.
Winning Section L was Joseph Dorning who wrote; “On the Saturday morning the local club was racing from Cheltenham and I had clocked 6 birds in approx 3 minutes doing approx 59 mph. I was contacted by Jim Kenyon asking what speed were the birds doing, as he was flying from Portland and wondered what time I was expecting the NFC birds from Messac. I told him that I couldn't get on the NFC website to find anything out apart from the liberation time.
With the speed they were doing from Cheltenham we both agreed that a good pigeon would be just before the hour. Luckily I was sat inside the corridor of the loft having a brew waiting for the last club birds to arrive, whilst taking on my mobile I heard the bobwire go clink. Thinking it was a late club bird, I said “ones just come Jim” but on second glance I realised it was a Messac bird from the NFC and I shouted “I'VE GOT ONE AND IT'S MY POOLER AND NOMMER” That's when your heart starts to beat out of your chest which was the same feeling when my “Coronation Queen” won Cholet. Although I missed seeing it arrive or hearing it drop she could not have been on the loft for long. After it was confirmed that she was 1st Section L & 8th Open I have now called her “Leading Lady No2” She is related to all my top pigeons one way or another, “The Chief Constable”, “More than Just Lucky”, “Postal Strike Cock”, ”Jethroe”, “Leading Lady” and numerous other great pigeons all which can be seen on my website. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the fanciers that have congratulated me and my birds performance”. In second place was Crehan & O'Connor who would like to congratulate Robbie Prettejohn and Mike Underwood on a fantastic achievement winning the NFC and section winner Joe Dorning. Johns pigeon for Team Hooymans UK was “Cease Fire” a two year old blue cock bred by Jan Hooymans in the Netherlands. His CV is littered with top performances and prior to this result he also won 1st NW region Carentan 2018 in a north east wind winning the race by over 20 minutes against almost 4500 pigeons. On that day I believe he had the fastest velocity in the UK from any French racepoint. Inland or channel racing this cock is never far away from the top of the result and he is beign prepared for the next NFC race from Cholet. Third were Bateman Brothers with a blue yearling cock raced on the roundabout system. He was well pooled and fancied by Eddie because he has had three 1st prizes in the club and a 2nd this season also being 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th Fed. His sire is “Old General” the base sire of the loft and his dam is “Ged Unsworth” through T.Kirman “Gay boy lines” and has had 3 x 1st Amal’s, 1st Ormskirk Continental Club and 8th open MNFC. In fourth section was Earnest Sellers with a two year old cock bred by P&D stud of West Brom, and raced on the roundabout system, which was racing his first time over the channel and has been very consistent to the loft. Ernest races a small team and impressed with the condition of birds that returned. Brian + Gary Smith & son were fifth with a chequer pied widowhood cock, bred from pigeons purchased off the Padfield Family and sent driving his hen.
Jeff Walton kindly assisted me once again by putting this section N report together; In section N Brian Wiemer & Son of Hartlepool had a really good day with his celibate team winning 1st 3rd & 4th Section. All three birds are from Brian's own family strain the “Van Wiemers”. He put this recent success totally down to the 'education' his birds get from flying the central route with the North East Central Route Flying Club (NECRFC). Brian Hopper & Son of Ryton were 2nd Section with their three year old Busschaert hen flying to a week old youngster. They too value the importance in flying in the NECRFC for the education of their birds for the NFC nationals. Dave McSween & Jim Sexton, renouned for their success with youngbirds winning at 400 miles plus, were 5th Section with a two year old cock bred down through their “Wearside Lass” & Nick Adshead's “Millie” birds, flying to chipping eggs. Barrie Blackett & Son of Butterknowle continued with his Fougeres success by winning 6th Section with a well fancied yearling hen through his well established Scottish strain.
Robert Hodgson also helped out by sending in the following report for section O; For the second race in a row Bruce Blamire takes 1st and 2nd Section O. This is another fantastic performance from Bruce, however when you find out that the two birds are the same two birds that won 1st and 2nd section O from Fougeres two weeks previous you begin to realise that Bruce is a special fancier with a couple of very special pigeons. Once again Bruces’ five year old Deweerdt cock takes 1st section O, making it two section wins this year and three in total. The bird in 2nd position is only 2 years old and is another Deweerdt pigeon. This one hopefully has a bright future ahead with two 2nd section positions to its credit. Another Kendal fancier, Dave Travis, takes 3rd, 5th and 6th section O with a very good team performance. Dave sent thirteen birds to the race and had five back on the night and another seven the following day. Most of Daves birds are Southwell/ Crowder based and flown natural. His first bird has not done anything of note in the past, however his second bird has scored from Ancenis and Messac last year and his third pigeon was 2nd section from Signone last year. Kris Czaplinski was the other fancier to clock a bird on the day of liberation when timing his five year old bird from Bruce Blamire and Roy Davies origins to take 4th section.
Kevin Foster put together this report for his section; Leading section P in a challenging race for the east side of the country is Bruce McAllister in Hertforshire. Bruce timed a two year old hen raced on the roundabout system. She is Heremans Cuesters bred from stock via Derek Nichols in Barry Island. She had been very consistent up to now but without any previous major prizes. Bruce doesn’t have any specific plans for the rest of the year for her but probably won’t send her much further and keep her back for similar distances. He entered 15 and has 13 back and with previous form in winning the local fed a couple of times plus winning the section from an earlier BBC race, he is hoping the form holds as he also has a couple more which will be well up in the section result. In at 2nd section is the ultra consistent partnership of Keith Gosling and Mick Jarvis. The partnership timed a two year old mealy cock flown on widowhood and after five inland training races, this was his second Chanel race of the year having also flown Falaise last weekend. His sire is a red cock bred for stock and a son of champion racer and breeder “Matt”. Matt is responsible for many prize winners for themselves and other fanciers including their section winner at NFC Fougeres two weeks ago and “Chantel”, last years 3rd NFC Tarbes winner, when paired to a chequer hen winner of 30th National Fougeres 103rd National Le Mans, 168th National Fougeres, a full sister to the partnerships “Barca 46” 1st section 2nd National Barcelona and 4th section 6th National Barcelona. His dam was Mealy hen “Champion Black Eyes” she was raced north as a young bird winning 1st club 5th fed Market Rasen, 1st club 9th Fed Ripon, then as an old bird she was turned South winning 2nd National Coutances, 48th National Guernsey, 87th National Poitiers. Black Eyes is a daughter of “Champion Matt” paired to “Champion Astra” 4th National Bordeaux, 15th National Bordeaux, 18th National Saintes, 19th National Guernsey, 50th Fougeres, 69th National Fougeres, 129th National Bordeaux and 153rd National Falaise. The partnership entered 18 birds with 14 arriving back to the loft on the day. Mick said it was like being in a different race this side of the country, they had six hens flying between 12 and 13 hours to get home on the night, with the last arrival being at 20:45. The partnerships next NFC race will be Tarbes. At 3rd section P is Mick Sontag and son from Harlow. Mick timed a yearling dark cheqer cock which has had 4 races this year where he has been consistent throughout without showing previously. Bred from his friend Mark Bulled’s stock, he is set to go to the next NFC race. Mick is being patient this year as having taken a holiday at the start of the season he feels that he has been a couple of weeks behind with finding form so hopes this could be the start of a good run, Mick sent 6 and had 5 return in good time. At 4th section is Trevor and Adrian Wilson from Manuden in Hertfordshire who had two yearlings out of three sent, on the day. Their first bird was a little blue yearling hen called “Nice Surprise”. As a baby she won 3rd Blandford, 2nd Yeovil, 1st Yeovil, 6th section, in the National Flying club Coutances and 226th open B.I.C.C Gurnsey 2. Her sire is their Grizzle Jean Willems stock cock “First Blood”, so called as he was lot one in Jeans first ever sale. Jean only raced 12 cocks and this family of birds have been closely inbred for about 100 years, as this family was his fathers inbred birds. The dam of “Nice Surprise” is a Koopman, daughter of top stock cock “Verious” bred and raced by C & G Koopman. A winner of 9th section 10,171 birds, 31st 12,389 birds, 28th 10,811 birds, 94th 18,543 birds, 79th 13,008 birds. He’s half brother to “Magic Man” the bird that beat over 10,000 birds. He is sire and grandsire of birds to win for then right up to 9th open B.I.C.C Falaise etc, they only breed one or two rounds from him each year and he still filled his eggs this year at 15 years old. Fifth section is Pat Newell of Billericay in Essex. Pat timed a yearling hen which was sent sitting around 8 days. She is bred from a cock via John Searle and a hen of Pat’s own family, established from years of exchanging pigeons with other successful fanciers. She had previously been a consistent young bird and this year dropped from Alencon at around 7pm in the evening, none the worse after flying all day. On her return from Messac she looked really well so Pat has her pencilled in for the next NFC race. He sent 5 and had 3 up to Sunday evening.
Perry Liddle has put together this comprehensive report for section Q; “After a very difficult opening race from Fougeres, entries plummeted from the section with only 17 fanciers sending 75 birds to Messac, but leading the way and timing an absolute beauty for 1st Section, Provisional 5th Open, was Chris Boyce of Perranporth, who timed his yearling blue chequer pied hen, flying to 9 day eggs, at 11:13 to record 1696.96ypm. This hen, having her first trip across the water, is a Jan Aarden bred from stock obtained from the House of Aarden. Her sire, is an inbred son of Black Rico, the full brother of Rodico 1st International Barcelona 2006, when paired to his own daughter, when he was paired to Nellie’s Lelly, the fabulous daughter the 2009 International Barcelona winner Nellie. Her dam, is from a son of Magic Man, bred by Jan Polder from Black Magic Woman, 1st. International Ace Pigeon Pau over the years 2004 to 2008 (5 years ranking), when paired to a daughter of Maximus, the son of Julio, 3rd National St Vincent when paired Maxima, 1st National St Vincent. Chris told me that although he was expecting a fast race, he had only just set up the ETS and was inside doing some loft chores when he heard the trap close in the next section and suddenly a bird landed on the loft floor. She looked an absolute picture and had made light work of her 230 mile journey. Chris explained that he had pigeons when he was a boy until other interests got in the way. After a long career in the Royal Air Force, he retired four years ago and decided that he would start keeping racing pigeons once again. With distance racing in mind he has obtained some of the finest long distance stock available and so the fun began. This year, he is experimenting with getting his pigeons fit around home and jumping them into their chosen race. He has decided that everything in the loft must have at least one race from France and in preparation, his winner had previously been to Frome when she was third to the loft, before being sent to Messac to win the Section. Well done Chris, congratulations from the boys in Cornwall on a wonderful performance. Second Section Q, 12th Open was Lee Luscombe and Mr and Mrs Steve Wright, flying to Lee’s address in Roche. They timed their good three year old blue chequer celibate hen known as “Q Queen”, at 11:14 to record 1652.81ypm. Q Queen was timed from Tarbes last year to win 1st Section Q, 99th Open when she received her name for her efforts. I actually shared a cup of tea with Lee in his garden between 10:30 and 11:00 and when I left said if you stay a bit longer she will be here in a minute. I had literally just arrived home when my phone rang at 11:20 and Lee said “I’ve got her, Q Queen at 11:14”. She is absolutely bred for the job, being a granddaughter of the fabulous “Cracker” (the winner of 1st and 3rd Open BICC for the Luscombe’s) when crossed to a hen of De Rauw Sablon lines obtained from Roger Phillips of Guernsey. This hen has always been brilliantly consistent, having previously scored 5th Section Fougeres, 6th Section Messac as well as 1st Section Tarbes last year. Lee explained that he had not planned on sending his Tarbes pigeons to Messac, but as with the weather forecast of a touch of south east in the wind, he saw it as the ideal opportunity to get another sharpener into his Tarbes team. After this great performance it will be interesting to see how Q Queen does from Tarbes this year. Third section was the ever present Keith Frost of St Austell who timed his 2yo blue bar, roundabout cock, at 12:07 to record 1327.30ypm. Keith is having his usual top season and he has won the last five races on the bounce in our local St Austell Club. Normally his team of Frans Zwols pigeons hold all before them, but on this occasion, his timer is from Ian Camron of Lincolnshire bloodlines. However, the profile of Keith’s pigeon is very typical of his widower and roundabout teams, lots of previous form and the winner of 2 x 3rd Club as well as 1st Club and Federation. Now taking a good position from the Channel as well simply proves what a good dual purpose family Keith has developed.
In fourth position was Jake Waldock of St Austell, who timed his yearling dark bar cock, calling his hen to nest, at 12:10 to record 1317.91ypm. Jake describes his family has good all-rounders being based around the blood of good multi performance channel birds. His timer, which was the same cock bird as Jake timed from Fougeres, contains an eclectic blend of blood including the lines from David Vowles, “Untouchable” from John Halstead, “Silvia” a Spanish Diploma of Merit Award winner from Bill Stribling as well as the Southwell lines of “Lady Jane” a Double Spanish Diploma of Merit Award winner and Jimmy Shepherd. Considering that this was a yearling, 319th Open Fougeres and now 303rd Open Messac, Jake certainly has a real good one for the future. Fifth section was Peter Remphry of St Austell, who timed his 2yo blue bar cock, flying to 8 day eggs, at 12:25 to record 1244.74ypm. This chap was unraced as a youngster and yearling and he was only having his third race of the year having been to Honiton and Yeovil in preparation for Messac. Peter, who is one of the gentlemen of our sport, describes his birds as a bit of a Pick “N” Mix, being a Van Bruaene base with a little Kirkpatrick and Dordin crossed in for good measure.
Winning section W was K Lloyd & S Bagnall, with a 5 year old hen flown on roundabout of Buschaert bloodlines, and has previously won 3rd Carentan 11th Federation, 2nd Wrexham Two bird Messac, 3rd section Fougeres 560th open NFC, 3rd section 67th open NFC Messac, and 20th section 96th open Tours MNFC, she has two sisters that have both topped also the section. Second place were Howells & Johnson from Risca. They timed a two year old blue hen that had previously been 80th Messac in 2018. She is 100% Geoff kirkland from a grandson of “the Snake” when paired with a pigeon down through the "The Streeter", bred and raced by Frank Bristow in Horbling, which had won twenty first prizes in the club and topped the Federation five times. The dam was first section J 9th Open NFC against 8,635 birds which was also from Geoff Kirkland “Snake” lines. In third was Mark Sparey who timed a very good blue cock which has won 1st, 2nd, and now 3rd section NFC being six times in the top ten of the NFC section, he was a gift bird from his good friend Steve Bennet of Bristol. Fourht were W Collier & P Edwards, with a two year old dark cock having only its second ever channel race and is raced on the roundabout system. The bird was bred by Phil Silverthorne, a fellow Six Bells club member out of his 1st Open federation Bergerac winner. Fifth section W was Andrew McFenton, from all the way over in Swansea, West Glamorgan. Well done Andrew.
Lastly, one or two I had spoken to did not think their timings held enough merit to deserve a few sentences in this report, which is a shame. To compare a section time against the open winners or winners of a neighbouring section completely diminishes the very reason we have section prizes. Any member who times a bird in the top of their section should be proud as National competition is as difficult as Pigeon Racing can get in the UK. It has been said to me many times that todays news is tomorrows Chip Paper, the time your pigeon arrived will soon be forgotten but the section positions it has won will not. Be proud of your birds achievements, they will have given you the best performance they could on the day. Any news or views to me Chris Sutton at or 01530 242548 07792356330