A BIT OF A CRAIC
by New Kid On The Block
Awards galore won by the Croskerys
This week I paid a visit to the heart of the Mournes to visit one of the top racing families racing within the East Down Combine who have the title “Channel Champions”. The fanciers in question are none other than the Croskery family, Mickey & Dolen, from Annsborough in County Down. Dolen races in the partnership name of D. Croskery & Son. This partnership is made up of Dolen, father Dominic and mother Josie, who to be honest is the biggest part of the partnership. Father Dominic has taken a back seat in the partnership as of latter years and the day to day running of the lofts is left solely in the hands of Dolen and Josie. Lately Dolen's time has been limited with the birds as his sons are playing football all around the country so this is where Josie plays a major part. Mickey was one of the partnership up until getting married in 1988 and since then has been racing on his own.
The Croskerys race in the local Annsborough club (22 members) and the South Down Federation, a Federation where they have been nine times Fancier Of The Year. Their birds have to fly with both eyes wide open, flying to one of the hardest and most unfavourable racing positions within the East Down Combine and within the island of Ireland, flying right into the back of the famous Mourne mountains. Many major awards have been won over the years too many to mention but I will cover the main awards later in the column.
The main strains kept are the De Klaks and Bolden Janssens obtained from John Joby, of Up North Combine fame, which would make up about 70% of the loft and have proved goldmines at stock. John is a personal friend of the Croskery family and only the best has left this Up North Combine ace winning loft. John is a recent winner of the Queen's Cup and his bloodlines are winning all around the UK and N.I. They also own the cream of the Willy Thas and Soontjen families obtained from their good friends Moffet & Scott also of Up North Combine fame. The Croskery family also have the absolute cream from double national winner Rodney Walker (Walker & Watson) This family has done very well producing birds to win 3rd Open Portsmouth National INFC and 1st Open Joe Ringland Skibbereen Classic EDC. It has taken the Croskery family approx 15 years to cultivate this family of pigeons, a family of birds that has no problem winning from 50 to 500 miles as their results prove. This family of birds cultivated by the Croskerys have scored many times from France inc. in recent years winning 6th open, timing a yearling, in the 2006 INFC Kings Cup from Redon .
Many awards have been won over the years inc. 18 x 1st East Down Combine Opens, 32 x 1st East Sections, Twice East Section Fancier Of The Year, 3 x 1st East Section O/B & Y/B Champions, 3 x 1st East Section O/B Channel Champions, EDC Combined Channel Averages, Twice winner best average 4 channel races EDC etc. 3 x 1st Opens in consecutive weeks on the channel – EDC record on the channel - (All EDC Awards). South Down Federation - Nine times winner Fancier Of The Year, 48 x 1st Federations ( last 5 years ). Annsborough HPS - 69 x 1st clubs, 13 times Fanciers Of The Year, Multiple winners of Y/B, O/B, Inland, Channel, Combined Averages.
Recent results within the INFC - 3rd Open Portsmouth National, 6th Open Kings Cup, 11th Open Friendship National, 13th Open Wadebridge National, 42nd Open Sennen Cove Yearling National, 13th, 22nd Open Skibbereen National, 11th, 18th & 60th Open Penzance Y/B National 2009 (only 4 sent) Super Result. There are many more positions too numerous to mention. Only listed the main ones from the past few seasons.
Many thanks to the Croskery family for sparing me the time to compile this report. I must say it is no wonder you are at the top of the class for having viewed the stock housed the quality was absolutely awesome and is a dream to own. Thanks again lads and may you have many more winners in the coming season. (That I have no doubt).
Moving on: Remember if there are any clubs out there wanting their annual prize night covered, feel free to give me a shout. Also if you are looking a bit of publicity feel free also to give me a shout and I will do my very best to oblige where possible. I have been amazed at the amount of calls I have had recently looking a bit of coverage. I have a lot to cover in the coming weeks so keep your eyes on the column as I try to introduce you to fanciers who are winning out of their skins and you never hear tell of them.
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New Kid On The Block
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