NFC Sennen Cove

Report by Cameron Stansfield & Les.J Parkinson,

Following a one-day holdover the NFC Sennen Cove convoy were liberated at 7.10am last Sunday into a south wind. The first 9 pigeons recorded over 1700ypm and these comprised of 8 birds into Section L and 1 into Section J. Clearly these birds made a beeline for home right from the off and were not tempted to follow the dog leg around the Bristol Channel.

Special mention must go to R & B Smith of Warrington who clocked 3 birds in 29 seconds for 2nd, 3rd & 4th Open, to D. J. Roberts of St Helens who timed 2 in 17 seconds for 5th and 6th Open, and to Pat Frisby of Nuneaton, a world away from where the other leading birds were to be found, who timed 4 in 35 seconds for 10th, 11th, 12th & 13th Open. The other three birds recording over 1700ypm were to the Chirk partnership of Chris Davenport and Darren Roberts, to the ever-present Ted Little of Chorley and to Mr & Mrs Pennington of Colne, these birds finishing 7th, 8th and 9th Open.

Gordon Rigg

The honour of 1st Section L and 1st Open NFC Sennen Cove goes to long distance enthusiast Gordon Rigg of Congleton who clocked at 11.17am for the 258 miles for a velocity of 1836ypm, winning the National by an emphatic 46ypm. The National winner is a Staf Dusarduyn Delbar 4y hen on roundabout. As a yearling she flew Messac and Niort from where she was Gordon’s first bird but she did not score. At 2y she had 2 inland races, then flew MCC Picauville before winning 5th Club Vains; 454th Open NFC Nantes; 22nd Section, 49th Open NWCC Tours, rounded off with 23rd Section NFC Saintes. In 2005 as a 3y she was not raced. This year she has had 7 races on roundabout including Portland a week before the National when she was 3rd bird to the loft, a race Gordon says which did her a lot of good. She was allowed to pair up on her return from Sennen Cove but Gordon’s future plans for her are fluid on account of the uncertainty surrounding the race programme. The Dusarduyn birds have served him well, one, for example, winning 1st Section, 10th Open NFC Dax International. Gordon first came across these birds on a trip to Belgium in 1988. At that time Staf Dusarduyn had won 17 x 1st National (he was to win another National before his death) and he thought the birds were out of this world. An enquiry to buy some met with a rebuttal and it was only when the birds came on the market after Staf’s death that Gordon was able to acquire some. The Dusarduyn bird were based on the Van Wanroys but he was also a big friend of Maurice Delbar and these birds had a big influence. Gordon was saying he actually missed the arrival of his National winner as he was feeding his stock birds. He thought he saw a flash but ignored it and carried on with his feeding, only to find his hen when he went into the racing loft! At 6.30pm Gordon had 7 out of 10 home, with his 2nd and 3rd birds arriving an hour after his winner.

Mr Barton

Chubby, 1st Section A for Mr Barton of Brighton

1st Section A are M & J. Barton of Brighton flying 250 miles who clocked at 12.03 for a velocity of 1502ypm. They sent 8 and had five within the hour but the other three were missing at 4.30pm. Their timer is a yearling widowhood hen who was approx 64th Open BICC Wadebridge a fortnight ago and has just been flying around home since except for a toss on the Tuesday before basketing for this. Her sire comes from Lee & Gary Sullivan of Brighton and is a Van Loon and her dam is a Van Bruane through Graham Moss. Mr Barton restarted in the sport in 2004 following a 14-year break and went for the Van Bruanes as he had previously had success with Albert Bennett birds. When he restarted Lee Sullivan bred him a large team of youngsters and he sent 64 to Guernsey with the L&SECC, but only 7 made it home. He is, therefore, just getting back on his feet. His main aim nowadays is to win from Pau.

Martin Norman

1st Section B were Mannor Lofts of Southampton who clocked at 11.04 flying 196 miles at 1477ypm. The name Mannor lofts is an anagram of the surname of Martin and Clare Norman and they chose it to avoid confusion with Martin’s brother who lives just a few hundred yards away and races as Mr & Mrs Norman. Martin and Clare’s timer is a 2y cheq pied widowhood cock of Stan Dangerfield blood, with him being half Stan’s old distance lines and half Stan’s Van den Bosche. Two years ago they had all their stock birds stolen and when Stan heard about this he invited them up to his place to pick themselves some replacement pigeons, and it was a pair of these which has bred their Section winner. The partners set out to try and win their Section in the NFC and in the CSCFC. This is the first time they have done so in the National, but in the Classic they have twice been successful – from Cholet and Sennen Cove, the latter in 2001 and, curiously enough, that was also with a Stan Dangerfield Van den Bosche. By 3pm, they had 9 of their 24 entries home.

2nd Section B were Moody & Mitchell Loft 1 of Portsmouth who clocked at 11.29 and recorded 1426ypm for the 210-mile trip. The partners fly 100 per cent natural and had 20 cocks away with the NFC and 14 hens at Sennen Cove with the BICC, their natural timer doing the trip 4 minutes faster than their BICC timer. The 2nd Section winner is a Maurice Mattheeuws cock who has taken a number of cards in his career, always being consistent, but that said, they didn’t expect him to be their first bird. The partners have had a great year so far, having done particularly well in the BICC, and indeed they now plan to send a team of 20 to Mallow, Southern Ireland with the BICC. Mr Moody actually won 1st, 2nd & 3rd Open CSCFC Sennen Cove in 2001 with 3 natural hens seven minutes clear. Their ambition now is to win the St Nazaire National.

1st Section C is Nicholas Edward Carter of Weymouth flying 147 miles, clocking at 10.33 for a velocity of 1275ypm. Nicholas clocked a 3y dark chequer natural cock sent sitting 8-day eggs. He has always been there or thereabouts in his racing career and as prep for this he flew two north road races up to Stafford and then encountered a very bad Eastbourne race with the Dorset South Road Fed two weeks ago. He was allowed to rest before being given a toss from Bridport then into the National. He was bred by Eric Higginbottom of Camberley and is a Van Loon, which Nicholas assumes is of Planet Bros origin. When I spoke to Nicholas at 11.45am he had 5 of his team of 10 home. Asked what the plan for the cock is now, he replied: ‘To let his eggs hatch out!’

Pam & Maurice Elliott

1st Section D are Mr & Mrs Elliott of Barnstaple flying 99 miles. They timed at 8.55am for a velocity of 1667ypm. Maurice and Pam have flown pigeons for thirty years and race to a neat rear garden loft, with a flying team of 12 widowhood cocks. They allow their birds an open aspect from the loft at all times, the front remaining open to light all day, being closed only at nightfall. Their winner is a yearling widowhood cock having its fourth race, the preparation for which was racing from Kingsdown and Portland with the Bideford Club, followed by the Isle of Wight with the Devon and Cornwall Continental Flying Club. The bird is a Janssen (Ponderosa) x Busschaert (Steve Williams, Derbyshire). Maurice was reluctant to send it as it had suffered a broken flight prior to basketing, but it was in peak fitness, so went. It has now earned the name 'Broken Flight'. They enjoyed an excellent race, sending four and clocking four, a brilliant result. Maurice does all the physical chores with the birds, training, exercising, feeding etc, and Pam does all Secretarial duties. Teamwork! This is a first Section win for Maurice and Pam, and it was a pleasure to meet with them for a few hours on a hot sunny afternoon race day. They were buzzing with excitement and I feel they are sure to be noticed in the NFC Section results in the future. Report by Section D committee member Paul Naum.

Eddie & Joyce Kulpa

1st Section E looks too close to call as half a yard splits David Lee and Joyce and Eddie Kulpa, who live just a couple of streets away from each other in Reading. David clocked a natural blue cock sent sitting chipping eggs. His sire won 1st and 3rd BBO Fed Exeter and is a Roger Lowe Hartog and his dam is a Hartog who originated from Bert Kent. David has been racing for 38 years and has a simple philosophy which is, if fit they go, and to prove the point his timer will be racing from Wadebridge this coming weekend. He has a team of 40 old bird racers and really enjoys his weekly club races. In this event he had 1 of his 6 entries home at 2.30pm, one of those missing being his NFC Saintes Section winner of 2 years ago.

David Lee

Joyce and Eddie Kulpa’s timer is a 2y blue roundabout/celibate hen who has won several times previously. Her sire is a blue Van Loon cock down from stock from their son and grandson S & P. Kulpa. He won races for Joyce and Eddie but after being hawked at home he never raced with enthusiasm thereafter and is now in the stock loft. The dam of their timer is a cheq Van Loon, bred for stock, being a daughter of S & P. Kulpa’s number one Van Loon stock cock Moonlight.

Paul Kendal

Photo by Bryan Siggers

1st Section F is former Pau National winner Paul Kendal of Wantage, one of the UK’s top National performers, who was in at 11am flying 211 miles for a velocity of 1616ypm. Paul clocked a 5y widowhood cock who has always been consistent without actually putting up a first-class performance. He was, for example, Paul’s first pigeon out of the Pau International in 2005, and in 2004 he was Paul’s 3rd pigeon from BBC Nantes when Paul was 1st and 2nd Section. He returned with an injured leg from that race which prematurely ended his campaign as a 3y. In preparation for Sennen Cove, he raced from the north with the CSCFC and the plan had been to send him to Palamos. Paul was saying how frustrated he is with not knowing whether the big races will come along, as his birds are in top form and he wants, as he put it, ‘To let them go’, in other words come into super form. What is remarkable about the performances of this loft is that it is a small-team affair. Currently the race team numbers 12, made up of 4 yearlings and 8 older birds. Paul says the yearlings haven’t got the knack of racing as yet, so it was just the 8 older birds that went to this race, and by 1pm 6 of the 8 were home. The Section winner is part Clerebaut and part Geoff Cooper. He was bred by Nigel Finch with the sire believed to be a half-brother to Paul’s Pau National winner Holloway Boy and the dam is believed to be a daughter of Geoff Cooper’s Bulldog.

1st Section G is Barry Slocombe who clocked a yearling Wildemeersch x Germain Imbrecht yearling widowhood cock at 10.03am, flying 163 miles for a velocity of 1655ypm. This pigeon had been 2nd in a club race from Sennen Cove a fortnight previous, and a week before the National Barry fancied him so strongly that he was going to put him in the yearling open nom, however he was then put off his chances because the cock didn’t exercise that well around home in the last few days before basketing. He will now go to the next National race, from wherever that may be. Barry, who won the car with a Janssen from Guernsey with the Central Southern back in 1993, told me that the Wildy x Imbrechts are the mainstay of his loft today, the Wildemeersch having originated from Ken Hillier of Peasedown and the Imbrechts from Louella Pigeon World in 1984. They are now a family of all-rounders that have won out to Pau, with a 16th Open CSCFC Pau to their name. I spoke to Barry at 12.30pm on the day of toss and he had 8 of his 10 birds home.

Des Owens

1st Section H is Des Owens of Newport Pagnell who clocked at 12.15pm flying 256 miles for a velocity of 1478ypm. Des races 9 widowhood cocks and sent 6 to this race, with 3 of the 6 being home when I called him at 4pm. His timer is 100% Jackson & Andrew of Goole lines which he brought in 2 years ago and it had had 4 or 5 local club races in the Mid Shires Fed in preparation for this. Des has only really got back into pigeons in the last couple of years. He flew with some success out to Pau some years back when he favoured natural and his birds were Dennis Dall based but his job took him to Germany most weeks and he had little time for pigeons. Now retired, he favours widowhood because it cuts down on the need for much training. He has been following the advice of Paul Kendal on how to feed and admits he is still learning the widowhood system. With his eyes set on greater distance he recently brought in some youngsters from Paul.

Pat Frisby

1st Section I was Pat Frisby of Nuneaton who clocked 4 birds in 35 seconds to take the first four in the Section and 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th Open. They were flying 253 miles and arrived at 11.36, the first bird recording 1673ypm. The four dropped together and included 2 Roger Maris sprinters and two distance-bred birds, one a Ken Hine and one which is a secret! Pat, who was over the moon with how the birds came, sent his entire team of 37 widowhood cocks to this race and had 14 home by 3pm. He said that on basketing they handled lovely and he thought he might time a good one if the wind gave him a chance. As it happened, his birds performed despite the wind if one looks at how the actual race panned out. Pat has had plenty of success since starting in the sport a decade ago and now he is setting his sights more and more on National races. His normal policy is to send the lot every week from the start of the season but to give them a week off prior to each National. Prior to this race his team were on Gemthepax for five days and they also had it on their return. The birds also have Electro-B regularly. Pat says he is self-taught with pigeons and that when he first started he used to give them so many things that it got to the stage that he couldn’t remember what it was he was meant to be giving them. His feed is made up of super diet and 3 different widowhood mixes mixed together. They are fed am and pm and exercise for 1 hour am and pm, which they do freely. In the 3 or 4 days before a big race they are allowed to come and go for half an hour once they have done their hour’s exercise, the idea being to break the routine. Pat plans to send through to Tarbes this season and doesn’t think he will be tweaking his system too much, perhaps just a bit more maize for, as he says, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

1st Section J were Chris Davenport and Darren Roberts of Chirk near Wrexham, who were 178ypm clear in their Section. They timed a yearling cock flying 228 miles at 10.56 for a velocity of 1773ypm. This pigeon, known as Big Al, topped the Combine by 38ypm from Picauville young birds, which turned out a very difficult race when few birds got home. In his first race this year, flying from Cheptsow, 90 miles, he landed with two loftmates to take 1st, 2nd & 3rd Club, Section and Fed. He has also taken other prizes. He was paired on January 3rd and allowed to rear a single youngster, then was put on roundabout. He had two 10 mile tosses and thereafter has been worked morning and night for one hour. Three weeks prior to his National success, he came back from a Saturday race with feathers missing from his chest. He was allowed to rest up for such time as he was ready to join in exercising with his loftmates. He therefore didn’t race for three weeks but he showed such great form around the loft that he had to go to the National and the rest, as they say, is history. He is bred from a son of their Number One stock cock, namely the Twisted Beak Cock who is a Huybrecht, and the dam was bred by Alan Incledon and Harry Apps of Oak Villa Lofts. Chris and Darren would like to take this opportunity to thank Alan and Harry for the wonderful stock they have given them, and would also like to wish Harry a speedy recovery as he is in hospital at the moment. They hope this news acts as a tonic and helps Harry to get back on his feet. Big Al is named after Alan, and his nestmate is named Dirty Harry, in recognition of Harry. Dirty Hary won the Western Region Gold Ring (Section) 2005. Big Al was racing on the jealousy system which entails three nestboxes, the boxes on either side holding a cock each and the middle box containing a nestbowl. For a fortnight before this race, the other cock was allowed to stand on the bowl in the middle section, then the night before basketing for the National Big Al was let into the box with the bowl and the other cock was locked back in his own box. When they came to basket Big Al, he was down in the bowl with his hen stood on top of him!

Big Al, winner of 1st Section J for Davenport & Roberts of Chirk

Darren Roberts and Chris Davenport.

1st Section J were Chris Davenport and Darren Roberts of Chirk near Wrexham, who were 178ypm clear in their section. They timed a yearling cock flying 228 miles at 10.56 for a velocity of 1773ypm.

1st & 2nd Section K was John Booth of Castleford flying 313 miles who clocked two hens in 12 seconds at 12.56pm for velocities of approx 1592ypm. One of the birds is a self-bred Karel Herman from stock John first brought in in 1985, and the other is a Soontjen bred by Geoff Chapman. John’s hens live with his youngsters and have been racing inland with his local club then they had Northern Classic Yelverton a fortnight ago. He doesn’t motivate them for races when they are two days at least in the basket and says it is fitness which counts. He races 24 cocks and 12 hens and it is the hens that tend to do better, particular in the longer races. Feed is half barley and half 50:50 All Round and beans until Wednesday (if basketing Thursday). The hens were trained every day in the week before basketing, from Lincoln, 40 miles. John has previously been 18th Open NFC Pau 717 miles with a Busschaert x Jan Aarden and says his ambition is to win the longest National race. He clocked a yearling half an hour after his first two but his other 3 entries were still away when I spoke to him at teatime.

Finally, a quick word to explain that the new transporter was late picking up from some marking stations, this being the result of the interest shown in it by members at the stations en route. Apologies to those who were kept waiting.

A full report plus photos will appear on within 48 hours of each National race being flown. If you have put up a good performance and would like to see your bird given due credit, contact Les or Cameron at