British International Championship Club
Report by Les J. Parkinson & Cameron Stansfield of www.elimarpigeons.com
This race saw an excellent turnout with 249 members sending 2,554 birds. The East Section saw 123 enter 1168, the Centre 119/1345 while the West saw 7 send 41, a low turnout which is perhaps due to the Rugeley marking station being closed. The marking station numbers were: Norwich 23/168, Stowmarket 26/226, Grove 45/435, Horndean 27/203, Ash 25/243, Basildon 42/631, Higham 32/380, Northampton 15/190, Salisbury 11/57, Lowestoft 3/21. Secretary Jan Deacon has asked that when members verify their birds they put the information in as follows: BICC number, name & town, pigeon ring number and the time clocked because this is the way that the system is set up. By doing this you will help the secretary to publish the 1st bird verifications even more quickly.
After a delay due to poor weather at the racepoint the birds were liberated at 12.15pm in a light westerly wind turning south westerly. After the east winds that we have experienced this year the change of direction would have been a light relief for the birds, who don’t like flying in easterly winds.
Gary Daykin of G. S. Daykin, Son & Evans.
1st Centre Section 1st Open goes to G & S Daykin & Evans of Nottingham who have been one of the top National performing lofts in the country for quite some time. However, this is the first time that I (Les) have had the opportunity to talk to Gary Daykin about his pigeons and systems. We had a very long conversation, which I really enjoyed, and during that time I think we covered most things about racing. Anyway, the latest National winner is a Soontjen/Vandenabeele blue cock that also won 1st National as a yearling in 05 so there is now a double 1st National winner in the loft. Gary was saying that fanciers from around the country think that this is a partnership name that sounds like a solicitor’s! The pigeons are now all down to Gary since his father became unable to attend to the lofts so the thoughts that people have on there being a big team around these lofts are not correct. This was Gary’s first race with the BICC and it only came about because of the circumstances surrounding racing this year. However, if he can manage the long round trip to his nearest marking station he will be sending again.
The wing of Gary Daykin’s race winner.
This year the pigeons have not had the work that they should have had because Gary does not race in the weekly clubs and feds, consequently they have only had two inland races with the MNFC prior to this race. For this season the pigeons are being raced on the roundabout with a team of between 60/70 being available. The system is working quite well even though there is more work involved and for this race both hens and cocks were entered, with the cocks coming out on top. Knowing how many good performances Gary has achieved I asked about the best of them all. It didn’t take too long before he told me that it would be a toss up between Picauville and Chale, which were both fantastic results. The next question was what does it take to be a winner? “Good fanciers and good pigeons will always win whether racing on the north or south routes. You need the right tools for the job and the right pigeons for the management system that you have in place.” Gary finished by telling me about the Soontjen family and in his opinion they are something special, particularly if you have the right lines form the originals that came over. They have done a lot of winning since they came into the UK and there is still more to come.
Billy Maples with his son.
1st East Section, 2nd Open is Billy Maples who timed a yearling hen flown natural who was paired at the end of March. Falaise was the first channel race of her life and she has been very consistent in club racing, being 2nd or 3rd to loft every time she's been sent. She was sent sitting a 14-day old youngster with a her cock just starting to drive her to nest again. Billy lives in Saffron Walden and having been absent from the racing scene for a while has been racing again since 2004. He is a member of the Stansted Racing Pigeon Society, which boasts many outstanding performances in National and Classic racing in recent years. The 22 members of the club fly in the Thames North and Eastern Counties Flying Club, Midland National, LSECC, NFC and BICC, so are spoilt for choice! The pigeon in question is bred from a Janssen cock gifted to Billy by Chris Patmore, the origin of which is bred down from Louella and Reg Barker lines. The dam, who is also a Janssen from long distance stock bought from a gentleman in Newcastle, has bred other good birds, indeed all of the birds bred from her are still in the loft. Billy has flown every race with the BICC this season and he says he has hardly lost any and they always come back in first-class condition. From Falaise he had all 12 of his entries home. I asked him how it felt to have come so close to winning and he said: ‘I’m still shaking. I’m a novice and have never won a race in my life. It’s brilliant. You won’t stop me now.’ In the long term he would like to have a go at the Internationals and he has brought in some birds of long distance lines to that end. Billy would like to thank Chris Patmore and his wife Jane for all their help. The phone hasn't stopped ringing from members and friends giving Billy congratulations on his success.
Troy Hobbs with his two daughters.
Barry Hobbs and son Troy of Wellingborough in Northants were 2nd Centre Section, 3rd Open with a 2y Van Reet cock bred by Nigel and Amanda Marlow of Desborough, bred down from Bert Hession lines. This pigeon has been to several BICC races and has won two or three times at club level. The partners turned to south road racing two years ago in search of a fresh challenge. They joined the BICC to fly the Channel and in the long term would like to have a go at the Internationals. Their timer won’t race again this year but they plan to have a go at Bergerac in the BICC with other birds. They only fly a dozen or so widowhood cocks and their team is a mixture of Van Reets, Busschaerts and Vandenbosche. They had two out of two home from this race. They would like to thank Russell and Clare Bradford, Mel Errington and all those people at the Northampton marking station for making it easy to fly in the BICC without having to travel too far. The photo of Troy and his daughters which accompanies this report was taken by Russell and when he e-mailed it through to us he wrote: ‘When Jan Deacon e-mailed through the result last evening, Barry was on his way from Northampton clock station with me to my house to pick up his car, and then return to Raunds and Burton Latimer club to pick-up Troy. I’d phoned Troy and told him the good news and when Barry got there the poor bloke was a trembling wreck!’
Trevor ‘White Feather’ Harris of Colchester takes 2nd East Section, 4th Open and he e-mailed us the following information: ‘What a day! I have been saying I would do well in a National and the time has come. I sent 14 birds and I must admit I did have high hopes of doing well but the surprise was the pigeon that I saw circling the loft at 16.20 was ayearling. She is a Jan Aarden blue hen bred off one of my original stock pairs of Jan Aardens brought from Louella Pigeon World. I timed her in at 16.24 as she went into my young bird loft and I shall now be sending her to Saintes with the NFC. I got all 14 back on the day so had an excellent race. It’s a pity that due to DEFRA they can’t go next week. My team of pigeons consist of Jan Aardens, Willy Van Houttes & Ebony Ardens brought in this year. It may surprise a lot of people but the mostI have spent on a pigeon is £90.00,not a lot in this day and age - I wish I could spend more.I race both cocks and hens on widowhood and it’s not easy as getting the hens in can be a problem. Apart from 9 stock pairs every pigeon has to race, which at the present time is 48 pigeons. I feed Versele Laga Plus food and strongly believe in the Travipharma racing system, which I follow and I have started to use a new product called Vital Power. Check out www.travipharma.com I hope to win a national this year and if you read my notes in the press underNorfolk & Suffolk CC News, you will know that I have always stated this. I race in a partnership of George, Rita and myselffrom our lofts in a small village called Polstead in Suffolk, famous for The Red Barn Murders and one famous ex-resident, Ruth Rendell.’
Bruce McAllister, left, with Les.
Bruce McAllister of Buntingford wins 3rd Centre Section, 5th Open.Bruce was telling me how surprised he was with the result because all his pigeons came back out of the north. We were at Bruce’s home a few months ago when we saw the lofts for the first time; we had visited his previous home on a couple of occasions but this was out first trip to Buntingford. There are many good pigeons housed so it is no surprise to see Bruce getting amongst the prize-winners in such elite competition. He took the rubber off a blue widowhood cock collecting its first prize on the road but the breeding is good so who knows what lies ahead. The sire was purchased from the Europa Classic sale and was bred by Nigel Templer. Bruce had noticed this pigeon doing well in the averages and although it failed to make the top positions in the final race, its nestmate was well up, and their consistency prompted Bruce to buy the pair. The dam is a Vandenabeele that was 4th in the Europa one-loft race, which hails from the lofts of Warner & Granger. Bruce is pleased with the channel racing being on and is aiming to get the best out of his team in the remainder of the season.
L-R. Andrew Meades, Oskar the dog and Peter Meades.
3rd East Section, 6th Open goes to Peter Meades and his son Andrew of Lowestoft who timed a 2y chequer Janssen hen who won Tours in the club a fortnight ago. Inland she has won a couple of 2nds and a 4th and a 6th. She is bred out of a pair bought from the German fancier Gerard Schlepphorst. Andrew says they have been breeding out of this pair for three or four years and all bar two of their offspring have scored. They moved house at the end of December 2005 and all of their racers are broken pigeons. This is their first year with the BICC, which they have joined because their local club HQ is a marking station. They have flown every BICC race so far, and at local level have been 3rd and 4th at Exeter, 1st at Yelverton, behind at Wadebridge, had 1 out of 6 home on the day from Sennen Cove and been 1st from Tours. This will probably be their last old bird race as the plan now is to concentrate on their youngsters. Their hen, who flew 263 miles, was on roundabout.
Legge & Legge of Salisbury, who keep popping up in the big races, clocked a Verheye to take 1st West Section. The Verheye strain of pigeons sadly seem to be unfashionable these days. Winning, however, is always in vogue and these fantastic pigeons continue to produce top-class performers generation upon generation for these lofts. These are not fair weather flock followers. Theyparticularly excel when the going gets tough and independent navigation is required. The first timed bird on this occasion is a full sister to champion Kimberly (1st Section, 1st Open B.I.C.C. Falaise, 2005)and they are bothdaughters of Grandees Boy (1st Section 12th Open B.I.C.C. Falaise 2004).Their dam is a daughter of Maverick Mission (1st Section 4th Open B.B.C. Bordeaux 2002). This probable Section winner, therefore, is a granddaughter of one prolific breeder of winners (The Grandee) and a great granddaughter of another (The Maverick). As regards methods, their birds are trained frequently but raced sparingly. A higher than usual protein ratio is mixed to sustain the team in the event of a hard race. Indeed most races are hard races in the West Section of the B.I.C.C. This is due to the prevailing wind generally being westerly, requiring any windblown deviation crossing the channel to be corrected against the wind at the homeward end of the race. Birds are sent to race in all nest conditions, except hens at the point of laying. This weekend’s first arrival was sent feeding 4-day old youngsters. The Legges had this to say: ‘Satisfaction at this probable Section win, the loft’s 6th in three seasons, is tempered by disappointment at the brief window of opportunity for channel racing this year. It is not intended to denigrate the sterling efforts of the R.P.R.A in generaland Peter Bryant in particular. However, it is our contention that a more robust defence of the interests of the fancy is required at this time. In our experience of bureaucracy, waiting to see what an organisation, such as DEFRA, are prepared to allow will encourage refusal. Furthermore,we believe that legal representation should have been engaged at an early stage torepresent the pigeon racing fraternity and if necessarylegally challenge the ludicrous restraints placed upon us by DEFRA.’
2nd West section was won by George & Wendy Owers of Bere Bridge who were very pleased with the performance of their 5y Busschaert blue cock who is raced on the natural system and was sent sitting 4-day old eggs. Prior to this race this pigeon has won 7th Section, 53rd Open Saintes and 11th Section, 70th Open Saintes. Altogether he is a winner of 12 x 1sts so being in the clock is nothing new to what has become a champion racer and breeder. George was saying that the pigeons have been on widowhood until this year but with the confusion over the programme modifications have been made. The hens have been raced on the north route while the cocks were not hacking it on the north so were stopped. However, with the introduction of channel racing they were put back on the south route and have come good. This is not a big team loft as the season started with 9 pairs so careful selection of races matters a great deal. Other pigeons housed are a team of 7 pairs of stock that rear the best part of the 30 young birds with this winning cock also putting a couple into the team. They are fed on Versele-Laga w/h mix plus Gerry Plus mixed together.
Les Nicholls of Bristol has come up trumps again in the B.I.C.C, timing a 2y blue cock to be probable 3rd West Section. This cock was also 5th Section in the B.I.C.C. Tours race when Les won the open. It’s a Soonjtens bred by himself from his stock loft and he was sent feeding a big youngster. Les is hoping to send him a fortnight from now to the next B.I.C.C. race driving his hen. He said if it wasn’t for the Defra ruling the cock would go next week. If he scores in the next open he’s thinking of calling him Mr Consistent. The bird was there before Les knew because he was up the club with his clock for the club race and when the bird turned up his wife Lynn let it in but forgot to phone Les up. Lynn says the time was about 7pm so he wasted over an hour and a half. Since coming off widowhood Les trains 3 times a week but because of his business commitments with his haulage company he finds it very hard to find the time to train. The only medicines he gives his birds are the Deweerd products which he gets from his good mate NigelTemplar. He says these are the best on the market at the moment.
Congratulations to all who timed good pigeons in this race. First bird verifications appear on www.elimarpigeons.com on the day of each race and a full report including photos appears within 48 hours of the finish of each BICC race.