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by New Kid On The Block

This week folks, after repeated requests, I am finally able to give you an in depth view into another of Ireland's top long distance superstars. Having introduced you the fancy to these stars towards the end of last season, I had promised a loft report and finally I have been able to put the finishing touches and give you an inside view of the husband and wife superstars.

This week we travel to the town land, known as Burnside, just outside the village of Doagh in County Antrim to visit the lofts of Mr & Mrs Davie & Francis Suitters. Here you will find one of Irelands top long distance superstars with a long distance C.V. that would be fit to match any long distance lofts in the country and one that fanciers dream to own. This is not a “Mushroom Loft” at the distance that has shot up overnight. No way, here we have one of Irelands true distance stables  and a loft that was previous winners of the highly acclaimed title of National Champions. This award was won by the loft in the 1998 season and believe it or not, over the entire national race programme the loft had entered a total of 12 birds to all of the events. Now do you believe me when I say “ Quality not Quantity”.

Mr & Mrs D. Suitters- Doagh & Dist HPS - Two of Ireland's Top Long Distance Fanciers - proudly display two of their top performers

The past season has been another “good un” with the lofts lifting their second NIPA Bronze Award having previously won their first one in the 2000 season. The following week of the  past French season the lofts had another top result winning 12th Open INFC Kings Cup Vannes, timing two birds from their entry of four.  As I stated earliar this loft has an impeccable French Record and as Davie stated with an entry of no more than four birds to any race. ( Results to follow). Over the years Davie and Francis have had manys a “ good un” but here at Burnside there are no prisoners  and everything must race or at shape up to the task. The present loft is no more than 20 odd feet long with the latest loft extension ( to hold three stock pair, flying out I may add ). The lofts winter no more than 20 pair ( stock and racers ) and rear approx 36 youngsters each season. These lofts main aim is clear - French Racing - and one that they set their stall out for from the previous season. Indeed Davie was quite clear to point out to me that at the end of every season the French candidates are picked out ( approx six ) for the coming season and as long as luck prevails and no predator attacks these will be their French hopefuls.

The one and only loft of Mr & Mrs D. Suitters -Quality not Quantity

All birds are paired on a set date each season and one that Davie sticks to as this suit’s the loft requirements. The date - 18th February. All birds rear their own youngsters with the only exception the French candidates who sit ten days on eggs, then eggs floated, and are left to rear their second round. Where possible the birds are given an open hole from dawn to dusk hopeful of no predator attacks, although in the past some top stock has gone by the wayside. All birds are raced natural. When asked about feeding Davie stated “ I use a good quality channel mix and to this I add a good quality widowhood mix. As long as the feeding is good I am happy enough”. When asked about the pigeons health “Every year I get the droppings tested before the start of the season and if any treatment is needed it is given. I must say that the birdshave had an all clear for the past few seasons and have been given no treatment although I do treat for Canker as a precautionary measure once a month.”. Now for an insight into the present day French family. The present family is based around a 1991 bred hen, bred from stock obtained from the legendary Smyth Bros from Ballymena from their world famous Kenyon family.  Davie mated this hen to a gift bird from a work colleague Robin Herron from Kells and this cock was a g/son of Fred Bloor's famous 1st Pau National winner “ Olympic Gold”. From this pairing three birds were bred to score from france on five occasions only for the predator to take one and the partnership be left with two. These two birds are the base today of top French winners.

As the family was getting a little close Davie looked for a cross and approached the fancier elite “Mr Ken Hine”. An introduction was made with stock from Ken and success was immediate with top French results obtained. Another introduction was a red hen from McDowell Bros from Newtownards. This hen turned out to be another super breeder having bred three red cocks of whom two turned out to be top French racers, scoring five times from france. This is only a short report but one that gives you the basic facts to  top long distance superstars of the sport. You could not meet any nicer people than the Suitters (Davie & Francis) and true ammbassadouers to the sport of “ Irish Long Distance Racing”. Sorry I had not time to take a cuppa but I have no doubt I will be back again in the coming season when I will avail of the offer. Before finishing I would like to personally thank Davie and Francis for sparing me the time to view their stock and compile this report, one I feel privileged to do. Past Three Seasons Results : 2007 : 33rd, 45th, 74th. Open INFC Portsmouth Friendship National( 3 sent ), 7th Open INFC Old Hens National ( 2 sent ) 2008 : 107th Open INFC Yearling National ( 1 sent ). St Malo O/B National 1st, 2nd, 3rd Club. 48th, 50th, 55th Open ( 3 sent ) 4th Open INFC Quimper National, 2nd Open INFC Old Hens National ( 1 sent ) 2009 : St Malo O/B National 1st, 4th Club. 4th, 39th Sect. 43rd, 204th Open ( 4 sent )  also winner of a NIPA Bronze Award, 12th Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup, timed 2, ( 4 sent ) - NIPA Bronze Award winner and 12th Kings Cup both sisters.

Cheq Hen - 47th Open Friendship National and Dam of 2nd Open Old Hens National

Cheq Hen - Winner 12th Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup 2009 & a full sister to the NIPA Bronze Award Winner 2009

Top Racer - Winner 45th Open Friendship National Portsmouth & 4th Open Quimper Friendship National

Star French Pair - Cheq Cock - 204th Open St Malo 2009 & Cheq Hen - NIPA Bronze Award Winner 2009

Cheq Hen - Winner - 7th INFC Old Hens National & 48th Open St Malo OB National


Guarding his young - The Red Ken Hine Cock


Coming Events

Breeder Buyer Charity sales is to be held on Saturday, 10th April, at 8.30 pm in the Glengormley HPS clubrooms  and the next sale on Monday 19th April at 8.30 pm  in Lagan Valley RPC  ( top youngsters already donated, ) plus others TBA ( watch press for details )  It is hoped at the end of these events that the “ Pot Of Gold” that the fancy involved will be racing for will be one of the biggest Breeder Buyer Events in the province this year. The ambition of all  involved is to have a 1st prize of £ 800/£1000 Breeder and £800/£1000 Buyer with further top money prizes for the following 8/10 positions, again depending on the entries. As I said earliar the response has been fantastic. On offer at all sales will be youngsters donated by top fanciers within the pigeon fraternity. If you are interested to donate a bird to the sale feel free to bring it along to any of the sales or give me a shout and we will get it collected if you cannot attend.Grand Charity Sale in aid of Leukaemia to be held on Thursday 8th April at 8 pm with birds on view 7 pm. Venue is Banbridge British Legion, Banbridge. Birds donated by some of the top lofts in the country. For further details Telephone : 07927433470.

Grosvenor HPS are to host a series of Breeder/Buyer sales in their own clubrooms promoted by themselves. The sale date is 09/04/10. All sales start at 8 pm with the birds on view from 7 pm. All birds must be in the pens – No Cards -. Their will be £2,000 up for grabs - £1,000 Breeder £ 1,000 Buyer to be flown from the last race of the season the INFC Skibbereen Y/B National. ( There may be other prizes depending on the entries ). Interested ??? Contact  02890 628796 or 02890 225948 ( after 6pm ).

Chimney Corner Football Club will be hosting a top quality sale of youngsters donated by some of the leading lofts in the country. The sale is to be held on Thursday 8th April  at 8 pm with birds on view from 7 pm and the venue is Chimney Corner Football Club, Randalstown Road, Antrim. Youngsters have already been donated by some of the top lofts in the country with all proceeds to Chimney Corner Football Club to help promote the club within the area.  Andy Milliken (A & R Milliken) has a few youngsters for sale. Soontjen, Maris & Busschaert. Andy has been winning many positions in Ulster Fed, NIPA & INFC 1st North Sect & 2nd Open Skibbereen etc. Interested ?? Contact 07764158942.

Andy Milliken Pigeon Training:  Training comences Sat 27th of March, On both this date andSun 28thof March I will be Picking up from Lagan Valley Pigeon club at 8:30-9:00am and Liberating at the Border. From Tues 30th March onwards Liberations at the border and RD, pick up points Coronation Gardens 7:15am, Lagan Valley Pigeon Club 7:30-8:00am, Dromore carpark 8:15am. For any further information or alternative pick ups contact  on 07764158942.

ANY FURTHER INFO - CONTACT – New Kid On The BlockContact Details Tel: 07737275820Or email : newkidontheblock07@hotmail.co.ukWebsites : www.pigeonportal.com                                                                       www.elimarpigeons.com




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