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NATIONAL FLYING CLUB

FOUGERES

Report by Les Parkinson & Cameron Stansfield

 

Somerset sets the pace in both the Young Bird and Old Hens' races

 

The National Flying Club's final race of 2005, from Fougeres, got underway when the strings were cut at 7.30am last Saturday. The convoy, which consisted of 5,310 youngsters and 1,178 old hens, were loosed into very little wind, given to turn to a fresh easterly through France and in the Channel, then turning south-easterly in this country. The way the race unfolded suggests that's exactly how it was as the leading positions were taken by birds flying into the west of England on a line from Dorchester through to Bury. However, once the principal positions had been taken there was a good representation of birds from all parts of the country and the race can only be described as a big success. 

 

THE YOUNG BIRD RACE

 

The honour of winning 1st Section G, 1st Open goes to Wes Selway of Wedmore who is no stranger to National success having won the much sought after Langstone Gold Cup back in 1993. Wes took the rubber off a blue chequer cock sent sitting a 7-day-old youngster, which not surprisingly has now been moved under feeders and rung. Wes was keen to tell me that he did not breed his Open winner. He had actually let a few more young birds go than he really should have and was talking to his long time friend Dave Fry, who straight away invited Wes down to pick a few out to take and race. It was one of those youngsters that Wes has won the National with but the story doesn't end there because a few years ago Wes gave a pigeon to Dave that went on to win the CSCFC, so a favour handsomely returned. The pigeon is now called "De Dave" for obvious reasons; after all they have been good friends for many years, in fact they go to most of the major events together such as the Blackpool Show and The Europa Classic. Wes added that exchanging pigeons is not a regular habit, it is more a case of now and again when certain circumstances arise. The winner is from the Birtus Timmis lines but the main pigeons that Wes keeps are from the Barry McNicholas Pouw Bros stock. Wes is a hard taskmaster and the young birds know it as they are worked in conditions when others would leave them locked up in the lofts. This year he started the season with 20 on the darkness and is now down to 6 with two going because of the high standards set; three more were taken out for the future so 9 have not made the programme to date. Wes works 12hr shifts so even though her name is not mentioned in the results, his wife does do a great deal for him, otherwise some things would not get done at all. This is only a small back-garden set up, nothing extravagant just a system to race pigeons as a hobby. Wes is a great thinker in the sport and gave a lot of thought to the ventilation system in the young bird darkness loft, where he believes that he has it right. He put the system in for this season and has not had any health problems whatsoever; this darkness loft is only 5ft x 5ft. He was telling me that he does have an additional team of later youngsters that are not on the darkness but, due to all the effort being put into the darkness team, they have not been either raced or trained. We have few photos of Wes, his wife, the winner and loft and we thank Lynne Duckett for those. One last word from Wes is that "Fanciers need to pull together more for the good of the sport;too many are not willing to help and only going in their own direction".

 

Mr & Mrs Wes Selway, 1st section 1st Open

 

Wes Selway's National winner

Click here for Pedigree's of 1st National winner

Wes Selway and Phillip Duckett

There are plenty of people who work for the sport and none more so than Brian Wall of Havant who has had another good season and here he tops Section A with the same pigeon that was 1st CSCFC. Brian is the man behind Gem Products and I am aware of how much sponsorship he has handed out over the years so this win goes to a worthy fancier. Brian & Viv are far from strangers to winning at any level with their excellent team of pigeons, and it all down to good pigeons and hard work. The winner is now known as "Another Gem", and it was reared and flown on a part-darkness system. The parents are both from Peter Fox of Syndicate lofts with the sire being a son of "Toppo" when paired to a pigeon that Brian bought from the Europa Classic sale. As mentioned, Brian's business is Gem where he is a director and has everything available at his fingertips but he still likes to keep everything as simple as possible. Through Gem Brian has produced a pellet that he has called G10, which has the addition of a very good product called Gemthrapax that is widely used in the UK. They are also given a good solid mix of corn.

 

Section B is won by one of pigeon racing's best known characters, Tony Cowan of Hamble Southampton who sends the following. "Any pigeon clocked on the day east of Weymouth deserves a lot of credit, for where I live on the mouth of the Solent, and getting the full force of any wind, it was a times force 5/6 gusting almost gale force! My secton winner, now called 'Mr Strawberry Waite' after my close friend, who this year looked after the loft, whilst away several times with my two 'latebreds', is basically De Klak, bloodlines obtained from my two good Friends who supply me with anything I need, namely Brian Long of B & R Long and Cox, and the countries top breeder of race hoses Bruce Mc Allister.Prior to his race he had Guernsey, Exeter and into Fourges tossed at Trowbridge on Wednesday (50 miles) thanks to another good friend and Europe's best 500 mile fancier in the last few years, International Legend Brian Sheppard.   Fed all year round on my 'curry mixture' (with a hand full of Tescos porridge oats) obtained from surely the UKs most generous Sponser in the Sport and this year in particular has been in devastating form, that of course is Brian Wall of Gem Products".

 

Spracklen & Thomas lead the way in Section C with and are also 2nd Open with the sire being bred by Don Pembrooke of Reading. This bird is a pure Borgman De Klak while the dam is from their own De Klak family being a daughter from the big hen, winner of several firsts including 1st Amal and 1st Fed. She is also a pure Borgman De Klak. The same loft was also 2nd Section, 3rd Open with their good little hen Whitethroat, who was having her third Channel race this year. She has also been trained hard three times from the Isle of Wight and they timed her from Guernsey Classic to win 2nd Weydor Specialist Club, 5th South-West Section, 94th Open. On the Bank Holiday Monday she went to the Towers Guernsey Open where she was timed at 7-10pm having had eight hours on the wing when there were only 2 recorded in the clock station on the day. They had planned to leave her at home this week but she looked so good on the day of basketing that they had to send her to the National. Her sire is a pure Wal Zootens cock bred by their good friend Roger Lowe while the dam is a Janssen De Klak bred from the Ponderosa stock whose bloodlines come down from the famous Bartoli and Wonderboy 05.  Both young birds are flown on the darkness system and were trained from the Isle of Wight, where the daughter lives. They received three tosses from there before the young bird Channel races started. The partnership are absolutely thrilled to bits with this performance. The team would like to congratulate Mr Selway. 

Getting fanciers on board around the country to help by visiting section winners is always going to be good for the club and we must thank Andrew Cridland for collecting the report on B & S. Parkhouse with Ringo supplying the information. Section D winners are B&S "Ringo" Parkhouse who are no strangers to NFC, Section and Open success. Nobby and Mike Henley and Paul Pym do Ringo's main racing these days with the Devon and Cornwall Continental FC, which is successfully run, These races are used to tune up the birds for the National flying club races. Ringo has 8/9 section D wins to date. The young bird first section D provisional 6th Open pigeon, bred from stock birds purchased from Clive Lister of York from the Gaby Vandenabeele lines. With good friend Andy Cridland they purchased 12 stock birds from Clive and these stock birds are responsible for 9 out of 16 of Ringo's birds and 4 out of 6 of Andy's. Andy is 2nd and 3rd Section D provisional 12th and 13th Open. Ringo's first 2 pigeons are a nest pair bred from these excellent pigeons both bred by Andy Cridland. Ringo raced the first 2 rounds and Andy had the 3rd round as he has only started back racing this year. Amazingly Ringo timed 16 of his 23 birds, getting 19 on the day. He has also won Section D from Nantes this year and 2nd from Tarbes, this is to add to his 2 section wins last year. Ringo's tough regime with his youngbirds has certainly paid off again this year, this highlighted by his excellent returns. His first 2 pigeons have been named Emerald and Diamond both being hens in recognition of his recent engagement to the lovely Mandy and to reflect the rock she now wears on her finger !! Thanks to the National Flying club and convyers for another excellent race. Andy Cridland

Andy Cridland & Ringo Parkhouse

B & S Parkhouse

B & S Parkinson 2nd section

 

Reading's Roger Lowe had a real good race in Section E taking the top 5 positions at time of going to press. Roger had a real good day with the first two arriving together at 12.19 with the first to trap being a blue Walt Zoontjens hen on only her second race. This hen was bred from direct stock being a grand daughter of the Chateauroux 1st national being Walts top stock cock. Next was a red hen also on her second race having scored the previous week in a three bird open race from Guernsey finishing 5th winning pools. She is bread by Roger's good friend from southern Ireland Sheldon Leonard. Her sire is a direct Janssen and the dam a Lou Wouters, Sheldon having some of the best of these strains which was followed in the clock by a Hartog bred from stock bird "Kenny" being  a full brother to the National cock winner of 1 st section (by 25 mins) 4th open from this race in 1996. 4th bird clocked was nest mate two the first bird clocked while 5th being a Belgium bred youngster from the Natural breeding stud also of and is also from the Lou Wouters breeding this being her third race scoring well in each i.e. 9th open Central Southern Classic Guernsey also the three bird open Guernsey the previous weekend. She is well pooled in the open and section. All birds are darkened until June when they are excised twice a day and fed on Versele-Laga

Roger Lowe and Walt Zoontjen

 

A name that I had come across through the Bifs products crops up with Michael Deller who leads them home in Section F. Michael sends the following info: "The Section winner is a Vandenabeele out of Belgian stock that I purchased on my visit to Mark Vandaele in 2004. I gave up the birds in in 1998 due to major hawk attacks. Having got the bug again I restarted in 2004 so this is the first year back racing young birds. This blue hen has been knocking at the door for a couple of weeks now. Last week she was just behind my Combine winner, as a matter of fact she is paired to him, and was sitting dummy eggs for approximately 15 days. Our birds are not exercised round the loft due to ever increasing hawk attacks, and get just a couple of small tosses a week to keep their mind on the job. After all the years of being a member of the National and ringing all the birds with National rings, this was my first attempt of racing in the National - what a result. I must say that when I came back in the sport I looked at products and decided to use those of Bifs from Dr Vandersanden that certainly give our birds what they need."

 

1st Section F for Michael Deller

 

Michael Deller, 1st Section F

 

Colin Crick & Son are 1st section H with a darkness pigeon that was paired up one week before this NFC race. She flew Guernsey 2 weeks prior to this race with the LSECC plus 3 prior inland races. Her breeding is based on their Janssen based family that are made up of 12 pairs of racing birds that they took when they relocated from Stevenage to Stotfold in 2003. The was a winner from Tours and Bergerac at club level while the sire won 3 inland club race

1st Section H for Colin Crick & Son

 

When I spoke to the winners of Section I Mr & Mrs Roy Stretton & Daughter I was very surprised to hear how delighted Roy was to win the Section. I thought that this partnership were too successful to be overjoyed by winning the Section but that was not the case because any win at National level is top class as there are many good fanciers to beat. Roy did add that his good friend Brian Leadbeater had won a blazer in an earlier race so he had one now to go with it; no doubt they will both be wearing them when they go down to the club together. The partnership timed a blue w/f cock on 6hrs 42mins which arrived looking very well. He is bred down from such distance winning lines as "Jackpot", "Cold Cube", "Vale Barcelona", and the Yoris Blomme lines of their own "Beaudicea", a fantastic racer. Roy was saying that he has now retired "Beaudicea" who won 1st Club Messac; 3rd Section, 24th Open Dax; 1st Section, 23rd Open Pau & 9 th Section, 144th Open Tarbes. The dam of the Section winner is grandmother to "Beaudicea". Roy pointed out that he now has a loft manager, his old school pal Brian Gittings who is no stranger to success in his own right. Brian's labours are always for the love of the sport. The first bird timed has been very consistent and always in the first 3 or 4 to the loft. That is until the previous week with the MCC semi-National when he came late but, as the end result proved, he was still very much fancied for the NFC race.

 

I am always pleased to interview winners but I was especially pleased to interview Bobby Walton who leads the way in Section J. I have never hidden the fact that in my view Bob is one of the best fanciers in the country but he is one who never seeks publicity. I have known Bob for over 20yrs and he has never stopped winning. For this race Bob clocked a Soontjen/Janssen/Thas chequer hen sent showing to an old cock. The sire is a Soontjen/Janssen while the dam is a Willy Thas hen that Bob purchased at the Rhonfried sales but unfortunately at the time of going to press cannot remember whose pigeon it was. Bob keeps his records at his factory where he can study them when he gets bored! I also think he studies them with his good friend John Groom. Bob was saying that he did not expect the pigeons to do such a good time and what he did add was that the pigeons came back in excellent condition and credit must go to the convoyers. Bob uses the darkness system and to get every bit of interest out of the young birds he has had them on widowhood, paired or even to the perch and they have all won. When I asked about feed he did say that this year he had changed and fed the youngsters more carbohydrates. He feels that this has helped the pigeons to grow on more and when they have had a hard race they are still looking good.

Craig Wilkinson    Bobby Walton   Les J. Parkinson

 

The pigeon for Mr & Mrs Robert Pashley is a b lue cock and was sent 2 days sitting he had just cast his first flight and was showing form, two weeks previous the pigeon was 7th in the Midland South Road Classic club winning £90. The cock was hatched in early February and put straight on to the darkness system until June 20th. The breeding Janssen cross Karel Herman, the sire is a mealy and while the dam is a blue. A cousin Paul Pashley who races his pigeons in the Langold club gave both the sire and dam of the section winner to the team. However the dam of the winner was bred by the team's father Bryan who fly's in the Bircotes club he had previously given the pigeon to my cousin Paul, unfortunately there are no details available on the sire. The youngsters are fed on Gerry plus I.C as soon as they are parted and are fed this mixture all season, the last three weeks before basketing for the national an addition of 50% breeding mixture is mixed into the feed. Robert did add the following, "It is really important to me that we give credit to my father and my cousin Paul because without there part in this I would not had achieved this result".

 

That leaves us with Section L which on this occasion means that I don't have to go far because it is won in my own town here in Middlewich by Mike O'Hare & Ron Woodward. The partnership have flown very well in recent years and are a professional outfit who put all of their spare time into seeing that everything is right with the pigeons. When I called after this latest win to take a photo I was surprised how much room the youngsters had and how content they were in the loft - a good environment which has paid off. The pigeon itself is a blue w/f cock sent sitting and he was also sent to the MCC the previous week where he was their second bird. This pigeon is well bred with his sire being a good stock cock and sire of their good pencil cock who has won at least 7 x 1sts including 1st Open NWCC. The Pencil cock is also the sire of their 5th Section MNFC Guernsey winner as a young bird. This Section winner is from a line-bred brother x sister mating to "The 99 Cock" who was bred by the late Frank Garner. On Frank's advice "99" was put straight to stock from the nest because Frank was sure he would make a good stock cock and he has. "99" is a g.son of the excellent "Blaze" of Mike Fitzhugh of Redcar, a top-class pigeon who has left a good line of winning pigeons.

 

Ron Woodward & Mike O'Hare 1st Section L

 

Racing Lofts of O'Hare & Woodward

1st Section L for O'Hare & Woodward

 

THE OLD HENS' RACE

 

The honour of 1st Section, 1st Open in the Old Hens' race goes to Tony and Sharon Foster of Frome in Somerset. Their timer is in fact a yearling and not a 01 pigeon as shown. She gained 6th Open in the West Of England West Road Combine Messac race, 238 miles, earlier this year and also flew the CSCFC Old Hens' race a fortnight ago. Her sire is a 95 pigeon who won the Fed from Tonbridge in 1996 and he was out of a cock bought from Ernie Goodyear of Barnsley. He is a pure Janssen of Arendonk who has bred many winners including one for Ringo Parkhouse which gained a 2nd Open Classic, winning the car, bred by Brian Foster. The dam of their Fougeres winner was put to stock due to injury, and her sire won the 1993 Y/B Guernsey Classic, also being bred by Brian Foster. Her grandmother is a grandchild of Hannibal which is the James Bond line from Ponderosa.

Tony flies natural for the overseas races and feeds Versele Laga Best All Round, purchased from Gibson and Ruxton supplies. He said he was naturally very happy with his win because it was a goal achieved but that really it hadn't sunk in yet. Tony, who competes with the Frome club, has only been flying for 5 years and won the first race he entered. Sharon is the secretary. Congratulations from the officials of the NFC and your great success.

 

Roger Sutton wins Section L and takes a marvellous 2nd Open position with a yearling blue hen. She also flew the Channel as a young bird and, like several other yearling hens who had flown the Channel as youngsters, she was kept in the darkness loft with this year's young birds; they had several Channel races without being paired. This hen, towards the end of the season, was sent on her first round of eggs to the North-West Classic's Picauville event and finished 4th Section, 5th Open. She went back on her eggs for a period of time and then laid again and was sent to Fougeres with a 6-day old baby. She had every training toss with the young birds. Her sire is a 95-pigeon which won 3rd Club Gloucester and 3rd Club Weymouth before becoming an excellent producer of middle-distance Channel birds. He was a son of the Kilshaw Cock, a De Weerdt bred by Les Kilshaw which won 1st Club, 1st Fed Sartilly; 2nd Club, 19 th Fed Rennes; 2nd LSC, 2nd NW Combine Niort and 22nd Gt Northern Angouleme. The dam of Roger's Section winner is a 4y hen with a super racing record having won 4th Club, 13 th Fed Fougeres; 3rd Section, 12 th Open NW Classic Falaise; 22nd Section, 105th Open MNFC Tours; 15th Cheshire 2B Messac; 8 th Section, 138 th Open NFC Dax 03 and 12 th Section, 183rd Open NFC Dax 04. She is down from a pigeon known as the Robertson Cock (a sire of National performers) and also Kellens line.

Roger Sutton's 1st Section, 2nd Open winner

Wing of Roger Sutton's 1st Section, 2nd Open

 

Section A fell to a 4y Van Loon hen raced by Glen Sutton of Bordon in Hampshire. She is bred from a granddaughter of the Wriggler, a Janssen/Van Loon which Glen bought at Dave Woolner's sale. Her sire was from Steve Hale  of  Portsmouth. Glen only keeps birds of the Janssen and Van Loon lines and his e-mail address, the janssenskid@aol.com tells you how much he thinks of them. His winning hen was sent sitting a big youngster (what Glen calls the Matthews System - a system he also employed when winning the Section two years ago), and she has previously won twice 1st Picauville and many other club prizes plus 3rd Fed, 9th Fed, 18th Fed, 43rd Fed, 8 th Combine, 13th Section NFC Guernsey & 20th Section Guernsey. A very reliable hen indeed.

Glen Sutton

 

1st Section B went to Mario Lupo of Eastleigh with the same hen that was 1st Section, 4th Open last year. This season she was 87th Open NFC St Nazaire and arrived at 7.30pm on the second day from NFC Dax having been beaten by two of her brothers. Unfortunately there was a problem with Mario's clock which meant that none of his birds made the published Dax result thus ruling Mario out of a chance of some NFC averages. He was so disappointed that subsequently he didn't send to Saintes, and you can understand this disappointment becasue the National is the only club he races with. His hen looked so good after Dax however, that he started to eye up the Old Hens' race and he got her sitting 7 days, the same as the previous year. She had a full wing with five to go. She is a late bred 2001 hen who carries some lines of the late Ron Michieson lines and she will now be aimed at Nantes next year. Mario still has her dam and she is right out of the top drawer as she also bred the Old Hens' Section B winner in 2000 and 2001. In actual fact, Mario has won the section four times in 6yrs with three different hens who are all full sisters! fantastic.

 

 

Section C sees one of the country's foremost fliers at the helm, namely Mike Staddon of Crewkerne. Mike's timer was a dark pied hen who has previously been 5th Club, 7 th Combine 5,030 birds (Mike couldn't recall the racepoint) and 2nd Section NFC Dax International just a few weeks ago. She is a half-sister to Staddon Bros' 1st Open NFC Old Hens by virtue of the same dam (a 97-hen bought at the Blackpool Show and known simply as the American Hen), and her sire is out of a son of Frank Tasker's Filmstar. After Dax she was allowed to 'lounge around', as Mike put it, before being given a 100-mile trainer from Littlehampton on Bank Holiday Monday. A roundabout hen initially, she was paired fore Dax, sat out her dummy eggs and was basketed for Fougeres on 15-day eggs. Mike said she had five flights to go and her body feather was immaculate. She will more than likely be targeted at the Pau National next year, as winning that race is Mike's overriding ambition.

 

 

Roy Fox of Exeter is in pole position in Section D with a 3y hen who had actually been a stock pigeon last year. Roy doesn't keep many pigeons, partly due to the attentions of the peregrine, and indeed only has 4 old hens, three of which he sent to this race, with all three being home by teatime on Saturday. His Section winner won inland and from across the water as a yearling, spent last year at stock and this term has had 5 races over the Channel and the only occasion when she showed form was the St Nazaire National (a race in which Roy was 5th Section with a cock). Her final prep race was Saintes in July, then she was given 5 x 50-mile tosses, the last one being 9 days before basketing for Fougeres. Roy is a natural flier and his hen was sent on an 8-day-old youngster. He didn't pool her, however, as she had a big gap in her wing. She is inbred to a cock from Heb Allison of Scotland which won 1st , 5th & 6th Fed Fraserburgh for Roy when he competed on the north road. She may be aimed at the Pau National next year. Roy would like to thank Paul Pym and Nobby and Mike Henley, who look after the pigeons in the Devon & Cornwall club, and he says if it wasn't for them he wouldn't be able to race pigeons. Many congratulations Roy on your success.

 

The NFC's largest Section, E, was won by Dean Noakes of Reading with a little blue yearling hen sent sitting a 6-day old baby. Her sire is a pure Camphuis from a Mr Stone, and the dam is a Van Loon bought from Tony Haynes of Ranmoor Lofts at the Blackpool Show. Dean's Section winner flew the Saintes/Messac National (in which race Dean also won Section E), and also CSCFC Cholet in late May. She was close up on both occasions without actually scoring. I asked Dean when he had earmarked her for Fougeres and he replied, 'Thursday morning!' He had initially primed 12 for the race and she was one of the six that stood out enough to warrant being sent. And how about this, all six hens were basketed for Fougeres on their second primary. How did he manage it? These hens were paired in February, reared a round and then were broken before being re-paired in mid-April. They were allowed to sit for 15 days then split, separated for three weeks, allowed to sit again for 15 days then separated for three weeks and son. When separated, two cocks were allowed into their section once or twice a week. Dean says the feather on his Fougeres hens was perfect with not a blemish on the covers. He also won Section E from Nantes last year which makes it three Section wins in two seasons, all with hens, but he also pointed out that despite his success in the National, he has never won an overseas race at Club level! I asked him what that suggested and he replied: 'That I'm useless at Club racing!' As far as feed goes, these hens were on Gerry Plus until 10 days before basketing, then on 50:50 Gerry Plus and Van Robaeyes Special, then in the last three days they were on 100% Special. This was a team success as Dean is assisted by his wife Sandra and daughter Samantha.

 

Section F was won by Doug House of Stanford-in-the-Vale and it is the same hen which won 1st Section, 4th Open in this race last year. She is a De Croix, which originated from Clwyd Lots many years ago and is an 02 pigeon (old ring). This year she went to the disastrous BICC Tours race when she was the only bird on the day in the clock station, finishing inside the top 40 of the open. After that she went to Saintes/Messac and came from out of the north having gone wrong. She then had a club race from Kingsdown a fortnight ago. She and her cock have a pen to themselves and she was sent sitting a 6-day-old youngster, her first youngster since the spring. She had five to go but her body feather was perfect. Doug said the key is to keep natural pigeons working or they fall to pieces. Having said that, his winning hen has a mind of her own and is the laziest pigeon he has - he's lucky to get 10 minutes' exercise out of her. Doug's ambition is to win the Pau National, and all his best pigeons compete in the Classics and Nationals - in fact Doug says he can't remember the last time he won a club race!

Doug House, and his lofts below

 

 

Stuart Wisken & Geoff Gardner of Walgrave in Northamptonsire won Section H with a 2y Janssen x Felix Pauwels, the Jannssen part coming via Alan Maull of South Wales and the Pauwels lines through Albert Witty of Yorkshire, lines which have served the partnership very well for many years. This was her first time across the water and she has not done a great deal before, though Stuart always felt she had it in her. He didn't expect her to be their first bird on this occasion, yet she was their only one home out of 5 sent by tea-time Saturday. All five hens had had a long time off from racing but had been kept in training, though Stuart said they hadn't had the amount of training they would normally give pigeons. The winner was a roundabout hen before being paired in the last week of July, and she was allowed to rear to retard the moult. She had a big youngster in the nest and Stuart was concerned she might come into egg so he took her cock away on the Sunday before marking and only re-introduced him on Wednesday night. I asked how she had been fed and Stuart said that to be quite honest his feeding system had gone out of the window since the end of old bird racing and that they were on half moulting mix and half barley. Their Section winner may be sent back to the MNFC race this weekend.

 

1st Section H for Wisken & Gardner

 

Section I sees the continuation of a remarkable success story for Jeremy Wright of Lutterworth who has now won the Section in this race four years running, each time with a yearling hen, and he won the race outright in 2002 for good measure. There can't be many fanciers who have won the Section in the same race four years on the trot. The method on all four occasions has been the same. The hens are raced as widowers during the old bird campaign and are then re-paired and give plenty of open loft, then they are parted and kept celibate before being re-paired. They are given a couple of club trainers whilst sitting but once they hatch out they have no further basket work. During this time they are fed a relatively light mix and that's it.

With the east in the wind Jeremy didn't feel he had a prayer and his hen's velocity of nearly 1200ypm was tremendous under the circumstances. She was on her fourth primary and Jeremy only tends to become concerned if either a) they drop two together on being re-paired or b) they are on their fifth as then the covers start to go. In either instance, racing then becomes a no-no for him. For the record, his 2002 winner never raced again, his 2003 winner won 5th Open MNFC 6,000 birds a year later, and his 2004 winner came out this year and won 30 th Open MNFC Tours. Jeremy is going to forward photographs of each of his four hens and these will appear on www.elimarpigeons.com in due course.

 

Martin Williams of Tarrington, near Hereford, was 1st Section J with a 2y Jan Huybregt hen bred out of a pair which came direct from Herman Beverdam. The same hen was 2nd Section in this race last year. She had been a confined widowhood hen during the old bird season and then was brought out and trained four times down to the coast with the Gloucester Fed youngsters - the same as last year. She had been trained hard to retard the moult and was sent in very good feather condition. In recent weeks she has enjoyed plenty of open loft and been hopper fed. Martin also timed a youngster 15 minutes later which will take a good position. The Huybregts see Martin through to 400 miles and for further on he has his old reliable Imbrechts which have scored through to Pau; he notes that they are two totally different types of pigeon. Martin is hoping to extend his loft and build his numbers so that he can have a go at more of the National and Classic races and his ultimate goal is to win the Nantes National at 337 miles. Incidentally, three years ago a brother to his winning hen bred the winner of the one-loft race organised by John Gerard.

Martin Williams

1st Section J

 

1st & 2nd Section K was won by Stuart and Richard Lynch of Upton near Pontefract who have a brilliant record in this race. Their winner, flying 365 miles, was 2nd Section in this race last year, and their runner up won the Section two years ago. The winner is bred from a son of the sister to their great racing cock, The Machine, winner of an RPRA award, and their second bird, who has won 6 x 1st but actually broke her keel earlier in the years, is off a sister to The Machine. Both hens were raced on roundabout through the old bird campaign then were left to pair and were sent to Fougeres having been sat a week and still feeding youngsters which were just about ready to come away. They have only been trained in the last three weeks and, as is Stuart and Richard's favoured method, they were raced the weekend before Fougeres. They were in perfect feather, one having thrown three flights and the other four. The Section winner was pooled in the £5 Section and Open Noms. Feed here is mainly Tasmanian maples, to which Beyers' Red Turbo is added in the last 2 or 3 days, as much as anything as a means of getting them to eat more. This loft is bang on form, having won all bar one of the young bird races in their local club, and their future aim is to achieve as much in the Young Bird National as they have been doing at the Old Hens' level. Their two hens will now be aimed at the MNFC Picauville event this weekend.

 

A big thankyou to all the clock station and marking station officials who have helped to make this such a successful season for the NFC. Your efforts are appreciated.

 

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