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BICC ST VINCENT INTERNATIONAL 2013

Report by Gareth Watkins

The St Vincent International is the fourth International race in the BICC calendar. The town of St Vincent, or to be more accurate St Vincent-de-Tyrosse, is situated in the far south west of France, near the Bay of Biscay coast and between the better known towns of Dax and Bayonne. If there is any hint of east in the wind, then this site gives the British pigeons the best of all opportunities to excel, as it is probably the most westerly location in the International race programme. The 2013 event saw a total of 215 British pigeons competing against an International field of 10,944 birds entered from all over mainland Europe.

 

Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse on the map of France

 

Map of France with St Vincent marked by red spot.

 

                          

 Aerial view of the town of St Vincent

ST VINCENT

MEMBERS

BIRDAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

NORTHAMPTON

0

0

CHESTFIELD

24

102

BATH

6

26

S.OCKENDON

5

22

ASH

9

47

GWENT

5

13

STOWMARKET

4

5

 

53

215

 

The convoy was liberated at 8.00 am BST into clear skies and a light north easterly breeze along the length of the course in France. Could there be another International race winner into the British Isles? Conditions certainly gave the small British contingent a gentle nudge up the west coast of France along the Bay of Biscay.

The question on all participants' lips was "Could there be a UK pigeon clocked on the day?" The distance to the shorter flyers on the south coast would be around 500 miles so a pigeon that was prepared to put in a full 14 hour shift could conceivably get to its home loft on the day.

Unfortunately my crystal ball malfunctioned badly in this race as there were only three birds clocked on the day in mainland Europe and the first birds in the UK didn't arrive until late morning on the second day. First to verify was club President John Tyerman and this brave pigeon was soon to be overtaken in the result by one flying to the Reigate, Surrey loft of Doug Gatland. The Gatland pigeon was at the top of the leader board for a while only to be overtaken by a real battler of a pigeon racing to the by now world famous partnership of Vince and Dave Padfield way out west in the small Welsh mining village of Cwmtillery. Not far behind the Padfield timer was another pigeon to the Cwmtillery partnership of Henry, brother Colin and sons John and Leigh Preece. These two lofts are only 200 yards apart and the competition between the two families is red hot on race days. Both lofts have been in fine form again this season and are rarely absent from the list of prize winners when the race is long and hard.

The Padfield brothers, Dave and Vince, have won I believe SEVEN Nationals here in Wales at distances of 600 miles and this season alone they have won 1st & 2nd Welsh National Tarbes and followed this up two weeks later with 1st, 2nd, 6th & 7th Welsh SRNFC and 27th, 33rd, 52nd & 88th Open NFC Tarbes. Add to these performances 8th Open BICC Barcelona and 3rd Open BICC Tours and you have the evidence of a loft in "red hot" form. The brothers usually race their birds on the roundabout system for the middle part of the season and re-mate the birds in the lead up to the long distance Nationals. However, this season because of the cold spring the birds were a little behind schedule in their preparation and so the brothers decided to leave the birds on the roundabout system for most of the old bird campaign with devastating results.

The multi 600 mile National winning brothers Dave and Vince Padfield - 1st Open BICC St Vincent

The pigeons that have achieved these phenomenal results in marathon races are basically of Jan Aarden origin with a strong influence of the birds of Dutch fancier Wim Muller. The St Vincent winner is a five year old chequer cock which was re-mated a week before basketing for St Vincent. As a result he was sent driving to nest and enjoyed an open loft from dawn to dusk in which to do so. His hen laid the day after basketing so he was ultra keen, as you can imagine, when packed off to race home from south west France. Vince and Dave did not carry out any pre-season training this year and jumped the race team into a 110 mile race in late April as their first taste of the basket this campaign. The St Vincent cock was then sent to Carentan, NFC Cholet and BICC Pau International where he was the second bird home to the loft taking 70th Open BICC. The birds have access to hoppers filled with farm beans at all times and this is supplemented with  a high fat and seed mixture fed individually in the nest boxes as the birds are being prepared for certain target races.

Details of the bird's previous performances are given here:-

GB2008.N.75509 Chequer Cock

2010 55th OPEN 6th Section BICC Pau International winning £100

Also 4th Club GGDCC.and 2nd Open NFC Single Bird National winning £85 

2011 117th Open CSCFC Tarbes  

2012 Flown Barcelona 756 miles

2013 30th Open BICC Pau International

2013 1st Open 1st section BICC St Vincent International

He is bred in the purple from all the best of the  Wim Muller Aardens. Sire is from a son of Padfield's Perfection 1st, 3rd, 23rd & 39th WSRN Pau. He was paired to the T Ring Hen the mother of Ffion the Barcelona Hen and 2012 Emerton Trophy winner at 757 miles. The T ring hen was out of old 89 when paired to G\Mother of Padfield's Invincible 2nd Barcelona BICC International 1st SB NFC, fantastic winning lines. The dam' sire is from a half sister to Albert from the famous Z Ring Cock. Albert was 9th Open WSR National Nantes Centenary race 1997 in the first 200 overall 65,000 birds competing, also 2nd WSRNational Pau 2000 beaten by a loft mate, 31st WSRN Saintes 1999. 2002 13th Open NFC Pau winning £3180. The week prior his son was 3rd CSCFC San Sebastian. Dave tells me he also bred National and section winners for B. Leadbeater and Frampton & Price. The mother of the dam is once again out of Old 89 when paired back to his half sister.

The Padfield loft to which scores of long distance winners have raced

Runner Up after leading the field for so long during the day was Doug Gatland of Reigate in Surrey and this is what Doug has to say of his time in the sport:- "I am 41 and married with two young sons aged 8 and 10 years, and 2013 is my 30th season racing the birds. When I first started I wanted to fly and win every race but these days I prefer to focus on 500 mile day races and being a small team fancier I like to set the birds up for 1 or 2 target races each year; all other races are considered as training. My last 500 mile race was the Tarbes International in 2010 when I sent my single entry with the NFC to be timed on the day to win 20th open. During the winter of 2010 we moved house and I started again with ybs in 2011. The year 2012 saw little racing due to illness so 2013 is my first season proper since moving and I started with 12 cocks and 4 hens to race and have lost just 1 yearling cock in the preparation races leading up to the target weekend of the 12th July. I sent 5 pigeons to the St Vincent International in my first ever race with the BICC (I joined to fly St Vincent!). My first bird is a two year old blue chequer hen containing the bloodlines of Van der Wegen, Jan Aarden and Wim Muller. Her sire is a home bred son of 'Chyavarrian' a winner of 11th and 24th Open BBC San Sebastion and now  sire and grandsire of many distance winners. Dam was bred by Duncan Harvey of St Buryan, Cornwall and is a daughter of 40th Open NFC San Sebastion. She has been a very consistent pigeon and is always in the first few birds to the loft. Preparation for St Vincent was 3 inland races followed by 5 channel races through to Cholet 280 miles. She was then re-paired and left in the loft until she had been sitting 5 days when she was given a couple of tosses with the young birds prior to a 134 mile inland race as a sharpener 9 days before basketing. She was sent feeding a pair of 2 day old babies having been flown on widowhood during her preparation. I had 2 from 5 birds sent on the winning day with my second bird a 2yr old blue cock returning at 18:43 after I had left for clock checking. I would like to thank my two friends Calum Edmiston and Darran McFadden for their help and support this year. How strange that all three of us have now been 2nd Open BICC in international races in 2013. We must be the three ugliest bridesmaids ever!!"

Doug Gatland - 2nd Open BICC St Vincent

Doug's 2nd Open

Preece Brothers & Sons again from the small mining village of Cwmtillery come in next at 2nd & 5th west section 3rd & 17th Open. John Preece writes the following:- "WE TIMED A 3YR BLUE PIED ROUNDABOUT HEN, BRIAN'S GIRL. SHE HAD THREE CLUB RACES THEN WAS SENT TO TWO SHORT  CHANNEL RACES WITH THE BICC THEN INTO PAU WITH THE BICC; SHE WAS OUR SECOND TIMER ARRIVING ON THE SECOND DAY. WE THEN PREPARED HER FOR THIS RACE HAVING 1 HOUR EXERCISE MORNING AND NIGHT WITH THE REST OF THE ROUNDABOUT HENS. THE HENS ARE KEPT ON A LAYER OF PLASTIC BALLS TO TRY AND STOP THEM FROM PAIRING. WE ALSO HAVE A FEW HENS BOXES IN THEIR PARTING. THIS HEN SPENT THE LAST WEEK IN BETWEEN EXERCISE IN ONE OF THESE BOXES AS SHE HAD BECOME AMOROUS WITH OTHER HENS. THEY ARE FED EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE COCKS,  AS MUCH AS THEY WANT MORNING AND NIGHT WITH TWO WIDOWOOD MIXES AND THEN BUILT UP WITH A FEW SUNFLOWER SEEDS BEFORE THEIR BIG RACE. SHE IS THE NEST SISTER TO OUR FIRST BIRD OUT OF TARBES, SIRE BEING CH GWASTED BENONI (PONDEROSA MULLER X ALUN MAULL VAN GEEL), 1ST, 5TH AND 7TH WSR NATIONAL INCLUDING ONLY BIRD ON THE DAY WITH THE WSR NATIONAL FROM BERGERAC. THE DAM WAS LOANED TO US BY OUR GOOD FRIENDS P, W, B HYATT FROM TEWKESBURY. SHE HAD BEEN 3RD CS CLASSIC PAU FOR THE HYATT FAMILY.

The 3rd open hen

OUR SECOND BIRD WAS A GIFT FROM MR DOWELLE OF WILTS WHO HENRY MET AT FROME MARKING STATION A FEW YEARS AGO, BEING A PURE JOSE THONE. SHE IS CALLED GWASTED TEACUP AS WHEN HE GAVE HER TO US HE SAID 'THESE AIN'T NO MUGS'. SHE HAD EXACTLY THE SAME PREPARATION AS THE OTHER HEN ONLY SHE WAS OUR FIRST BIRD FROM PAU WITH THE BICC. BOTH HENS WENT TO TARBES LAST YEAR AND HAVE WON A FEW MINOR PRIZES IN OTHER CHANNEL RACES BEFORE THIS. WE WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE DAVE AND VINCE PADFIELD ON ANOTHER GREAT PERFORMANCE AND THEIR TOTAL DEDICATION TO LONG DISTANCE RACING."

Preece Bros & Sons - 3rd Open BICC St Vincent

The Preece loft

Bill Knox of Tyler's Hill near Canterbury in Kent comes in with one of his Kirkpatricks at 4th Open. Bill's timer is a 2 year old Red Chequer cock that has flown Vire as a young bird with the LSEC followed by four channel races in 2012 and this season Cannappeville, Pithviers plus three more EECC channel races before going to St Vincent sitting 18 day eggs. He is mainly  Kirkpatrick Stanraer Simon bloodlines as his dam was bred by J Murray of Coxhoe, with a cross of Paul Woolliss' Van Wanroys on the sire's side of the pedigree. Bill clocked another two birds for 37th & 47th Open.

Bill Knox's 4th Open St Vincent

Alan Turner prov 11th Open BICC St Vincent and Bill Knox (right) prov 4th Open BICC St Vincent

Lee and Dad Kevin Buddle come in with six birds to take 5th, 9th, 28th, 49th, 51st & 57th Open. This is what Lee has to say about the race:-"Our first bird in the clock (prov 5th Open) is a 2010 cock that has previously flown BICC Pau International 4 weeks previous in which he was our first bird being clocked on the day of liberation winning 16th ES, 30th Open 545 miles. He is now named "Tom" in memory of my wife Amy's grandfather Tom who sadly passed away today the day of the race. He is a very well bred being a direct son of our 1st & 2nd Open BICC Pau International 2009 birds "Amoy" & "BC". Our second birds (prov 9th Open) is a 2009 hen that has previously won 40th Open BICC Agen 2011 481 miles & 77th Open BICC St Vincent 2012 531 miles. She is a grand-daughter of our top breeding and racing hen "Buddy" through her sire's side and her dam is a direct daughter of Mr & Mrs P Fauchon's "Cracknut" winner of 1st Open BICC Barcelona 2005. Our third in the clock is a first timer to International racing as she is a 2011 hen, her sire was bred by GC & CJ Cooper and is a double g.son of their top breeder and racer "Farm Boy". The sire is also a full brother to "Farmer George" 1st International Bordeaux 2011. Her dam is a daughter of M G Mitchell's "Dutch Hen" 1st BICC Saran, 2nd BICC Perpignan, 8th BICC Tarbes etc. Our birds are fed Versele-Laga Superstar Plus with a little Best all rounder added. Sunflower and hemp are also given in moderation in the evenings. All the birds have come back in super condition considering the heat and the north-east head wind they had to battle against. Very well done to the Padfields on a top performance and also to Doug Gatland on 2nd open and all else who clocked in a very testing race."

Lee & Kevin Buddle with some of their BICC Trophies

Geoff and Catherine Cooper clocked "Wriggleson" a three year old widowhood cock to win 3rd sect. 6th National St Vincent. His preparation for this race was a couple of inland races then in May BICC Alencon where he was 6th National. Next race for him was BICC Tours where he was 69th Open followed by Saintes with the WESRC, then two weekends off and basketed for St Vincent on the Monday. His sire is "Wriggler" who won 1st National Falaise, 5th National Dax plus many prizes in the top 1% of National races. His dam is a daughter of their top breeder George, who won 1st Grand National Tarbes and is sire and grandsire to many top birds including 1st and 2nd International Bordeaux. Geoff and Catherine's other timers finished at 18th, 20th, 26th & 30th Open.

Geoff Cooper and his granddaughter Fleur and Rob Brooks who finished at 10th Open

Wriggleson

Club President John Tyerman clocked the first bird into the UK and this gallant pigeon eventually finished at 7th Open. This is what John has to say about his pigeon:- "My 7 year old hen blue chequer hen  is from my old Carmichael/Kirkpatrick based family that I have cultivated for over 30 years. She has flown the channel many times winning several previous BICC positions in distance racing. Normally she would have been retired but was looking so well I thought she could have a go at Barcelona but she did not lay in time so I sent her to St Vincent instead and she was sitting around 12 days at the time of basketing. This year she had around 6 hours' flying time from Alencon with the BICC and then a similar time on the wing from the NFC Messac race a few weeks previously. She also had a 60 mile toss from Kent a few days before being sent to St Vincent. She is a grand daughter from my 'Dorking Supreme' hen who won 20th NFC Pau and 22nd LSECC Pau and she also contains the bloodlines of my 'Barcelona Cock' who won 5th BICC Barcelona, 7th BICC Barcelona and 15th BICC Perpignan. She has also bred me some good pigeons and out of interest she is also the dam of my Blue Ch Hen that won 1st prize and £800 in the recent "Barcelona Challenge" race flying 625 miles to John McGee's International lofts at Hernicourt in France. My birds are mainly kept natural but sometimes I do split them up and fly them celibate for a a few weeks during the season. I feed mainly Gem Royal corn and this year it was supplemented by a lighter Marriman's mix. I would like to say well done to my good friends Vince and  Dave Padfield who are having a dream season and nice to see Doug Gatland back in the fold. My thanks to Albi Deacon who always take my birds to the Ash marking."

John Tyerman and grandson Jimmy with 7th Open BICC St Vincent

In 8th Open is chequer cock racing to the Petersfield Hampshire loft of Mr & Mrs Maurice Newman. Morrie and wife Jean also clocked a second pigeon, a red cock, to take provisionally 13th Open, both cocks being raced on the natural system sitting eggs and feeding a big youngster. The Newman pigeons live a semi wild life as they enjoy an open loft from dawn to dusk coming and going as they please. The food is GEM Irish mixture fed in a  hopper so the birds can take what they like when they like. Water is provided in an 8 litre reservoir drinker which is changed once weekly. The main bloodlines are Jimmy Shepherd Southwells supplemented with George Stubbs' Barcelona Family, Jock Reid's Scottish long distance racers and the ever reliable Spangles. The sire of the first in the clock has won 2nd sect 6th Open BICC from Narbonne and amongst Morrie's top performances over the years has been 2 x 1st Barcelona, 2 x 2nd Palamos/Barcelona and 2 x 2nd BBC Rennes. It was a real pleasure speaking with Maurice - a fancier of the old school and a bit of a character as well.

Jean and Maurie Newman's lofts

 

Jean and Maurice Newman's 8th Open BICC St Vincent

Jean and Maurice's 13th Open BICC St Vincent

Brooks Brothers of High Littleton come in at 10th Open. This partnership have been famous for long distance racing in the west of England for many years.  The original partnership consisted of two brothers, Trosky and Harry. When Harry died suddenly Trosky's son Rob became a partner. Since then they have achieved many impressive results at 500+ miles, including 1st, 3rd and 4th Classic Pau and in Trosky's last year of racing they won the beautiful Oliver Dix trophy in the National Flying Club. Since Trosky passed away Rob has carried on racing the pigeons. This is his first year of seriously competing in the Internationals with the BICC and he was 8th section 37th National from Barcelona and now is 4th section and 10th National from St Vincent. Rob timed a four year old widowhood chequer cock named "Journey Man". He is called "Journey Man" as he has raced and scored from most French race points with the National and Classic clubs. He is from Geoff Cooper bloodlines. Geoff gifted Rob a half brother to Farm Boy and this has bred Rob many successful pigeons.

Rob Brooks with his late father Trosky holding the Oliver Dix Trophy won with the NFC

Alan"Wally" Turner from Dover, an ever present in BICC International race results, got one of his reliable long distance team for 11th Open. 

Mark Gilbert is in at 12th Open to maintain the Gilbert loft's terrific form again this season. Mark clocked further birds to take 22nd, 23rd, 27th & 31st Open to record a fine team performance. Mark's first bird is 100 percent Brockamp and is a granddaughter of Euro Diamond. The second bird is a grand daughter of Euro Diamond and Southfield Supreme and the third pigeon is grand daughter of George the father of Euro Diamond and again 100 percent Brockamp.

Pearmain & Son enjoyed an excellent season with the BICC in 2012 and here at St Vincent they finish at 14th Open with their first in the clock and followed this up with further birds to take 29th, 47th& 52nd Open. The partners sent their 2year olds for their first BICC International - a  baptism of fire to be sure. The first bird timed has had 3 channel races with EECC in 2013 taking 9 hours + in each of them. She arrived home at 3 18 in the heat of the day, very thirsty but ok. Steve Pearmain commented that in his opinion  "all the birds timed today in the BICC are a credit to the fanciers who conditioned them". Too true Steve.

Dickie Pearmain with prov 14th Open BICC St Vincent

Mike Mitchell is there once again with a timer at 15th Open and what a record this celibate blue hen has. Just look at this list of performances:-

All the results are for BICC International races.    

2009 Perpignan 16th Open

2010 Narbonne 1st Open

2011 Pau 33rd Open

2011 Tarbes/Agen 15th Open

2012 Pau  88th Open

2012 St Vincent 55th Open

2012 Perpignan 8th Open

2013 Pau 17th Open.     

 

Geoff and Clayton Preece take 16th Open with a really terrific long distance racer named "Wiggins". This three year old widowhood cock is another pigeon with a lot of previous:-

2011 10th Open BICC Pau as a yearling.

2012 10th Open BICC Pau; 39th Open BICC St Vincent and topped the season off with 1st Open BICC Perpignan.

2013 31st Open BICC Pau and now 16th Open BICC St Vincent.

Wiggins is bred from a pair of birds obtained from Bill Woodall of Stoffel Hermes and Marseille Star lines going back to Bill's Dragon's Boy 1st Open BICC Barcelona winner.

At the time of compiling this report there is only one bird home in the North section to the Stowmarket loft of Joe Mayes whose parents Sheila and Richard topped the North section of the BICC in this year's Pau International race. Joe clocked a blue hen bred by his parents closely related to their 1st North section winner in the Pau International this year. She was sent sitting a week old eggs. Joe asked me to thank Chris Laster of Marlborough for all his help and advice and would like to dedicate his section win to the late Arthur Claxton who died a short time ago and whose funeral took place on 15th July.

Joe Mayes - 1st North Section

That's another International race done and dusted and a really stern test it proved to be. However, the leading birds can be found right accross the width of the club's radius from Cwmtillery in the west through Avon, Somerset, Surrey and Hampshire to Dover in Kent in the East. You can't get a fairer dispersal of leading pigeons than that with the winners of the west, centre and east sections all featuring in the top four of the result. Cometh the hour cometh the man/men and pigeon. Congratulations to Vince and Dave Padfield on another outstanding display of long distance pigeon racing. You also win the House of Aarden youngster kindly sponsored by Steve and Lesley Wright.

Congratulations also to all the other fanciers who took up the challenge of International racing and prevailed. Next race Marseille. Good luck to all who compete.