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“ON THE ROAD” WITH KEITH MOTT

 

Spelthorne Open Show

 

The beginning of November marked the start of the 2018 show season and I must say I was looking forward to visiting some of the major shows, this winter. I’ve had to cut back on some of my judging again this season because of my leg problems and just do the jobs where I can get a lift to the venue from a mate. I’m alright walking around for a couple of hours judging, but can’t drive long distances. Although I love long distance racing pigeons, many of my racing friends can’t understand my passion for showing pigeons. I could never turn pigeons off and when racing was finished in September, the Mott loft went into showing mode. I have to have my ‘fix’ twelve months in every year. I suppose I’m a bit of a frustrated show man at heart! I think breeding pigeons for type and winning with them at a Classic show is as much an art as breeding outstanding racers, and winning a National race. I derive as much pleasure out of seeing a Best in Show winner at the National shows, as I do a National race winning pigeon, but I think I’m one of the lucky ones, as I can enjoy both sides of our great sport. Although I’m mostly known for the racing side of the sport, I have a big involvement in the Show Racers scene and have judged at all the Classic and National shows through the years, which I have really enjoyed.

 

For my first outing, it was a nice sunny Sunday morning in November which saw Billy Young and me dive over the River Thames to judge a class of old hens at the Spelthorne Open Show. This club never stands still and have regular activities at the Football club HQ in Sunbury, including the winter Open Shows and the big summer Breeder / Buyer and Open Race. As always the quality of the birds competing in the show was 100% and with 49 birds being entered the result was: 1st Derek Reid, 2nd Freddie Kimpton, 3rd Freddie Kimpton, 4th Gary Essex, 5th Derek Reid, 6th Derek Reid, 7th R. Kemp, 8th Bob Oakey. I gave first to a beautiful dark chequer hen and her owner, Derek Reid, told me she is a Wim Mueller / Jan Aarden and had flown Bordeaux with the British Barcelona Club in the 2018 racing season. She is bred down from a long line of good winners, including Champion ‘Dark Smaragd’, Derek’s BBC Palamos winner in 2005. I picked that one out about right!

 

The Spelthorne South Road is only a small club with maximum twenty flying members, based at Spelthorne Sports and Social Club, Staines Road West, Sunbury on Thames, just one mile off Junction 1 of the M3 Motorway. Small club it might be, but is of the highest quality, having some brilliant success in Three Borders Federation in the 2018 racing season and won six times 1st Federation. The club was runner-up for the Federation ‘Points Trophy’ for the second season on the trot and the 2018 Federation winners were: Richard Kent 1st Federation Blandford (513 birds), Derek Reid 1st Federation Blandford (1,268 birds), Dave Watson & son 1st Federation Falaise (335 birds), Derek Reid 1st Federation Honiton (647 birds), Derek Reid 1st Federation Yeovil (807 birds), Paul Johnson & Partner 1st Federation Newton Abbot (379 birds). Dave Watson & son won four Three Borders Federation trophies in 2018 including, ‘Old Bird Continental Average’ and ‘Best Average Two Old Bird Races’.

  

 

Derek Reid of Weybridge has been one Surrey’s premier pigeon racers since starting up in the sport in 1984, winning top honours in Federation, Combine and National every season.

Derek won the Three Borders Federation three times in the 2018 season and his most outstanding performer was his three year old blue cock, ‘The 67 Cock’ and he was raced on the widowhood system. This handsome cock has a very impressive racing record winning: 2018: 1st club, 1st Federation Blandford: 2017: 1st club, 1st Federation Messac, 1st club Honiton, 2016: 2nd club Exeter and three times 4th club, beat by loft mates for 1st club. The Federation winner’s sire is bred from a Mr. & Mrs Duggins cock when mated to a full sister Derek’s, Champion ‘Ryan’s Express’, winner 1st open NFC St. Nazaire (8,696 birds) in 2005.  His dam is the M. & D. Evans / De Rauw Sablon hen, which has bred many winners and Derek, rates this wonderful breeder as his best hen ever. The ‘67’ Federation winner’s sire has been an exceptional racer winning: 2009: 132nd open NFC Saintes (4.417 birds), 2010: 8th open NFC Saintes, 2011: 91st open NFC Alencon (4,131 birds), 36th open BICC Alencon (3,338 birds) and a full brother to ‘67’ won 14th open NFC Saintes (3,887 birds).

 

Derek Reid’s Three Borders Federation performance in the 2018 racing season was: (Old Bird) 5th, 7th, 8th Federation Blandford (513 birds), 20th Federation Yeovil (752 birds), 1st, 15th, 17th, 18th Federation Blandford (1,268 birds), 22nd Federation Yeovil (969 birds), 3rd, 11th, 14th, 15th Federation Falaise (335 birds), 21st Federation Kingsdown (630 birds), 15th Federation Fougeres (288 birds), 25th Federation Yeovil (737 birds), 1st, 7th, 15th,18th, 22nd Federation Honiton, 16th, 17th Federation Kingsdown (687 birds), 7th,11th, 17th, 19th, 25th Federation Exeter (525 birds), 8th, 10th, 11th, 17th Federation Yelverton (475 birds): (Young Bird) 25th Federation Blandford (687 birds), 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th Federation Yeovil (807 birds), 18th, 19th Federation 681 birds), 9th Federation Newton Abbot (379 birds),13th Federation Yelverton (365 birds). Derek won three trophies in the Three Borders Federation in 2018 including: ‘Old Bird Average’, ‘Best Average Longest OB & YB Races’ and ‘The Fred Mott Memorial Trophy’.

 

Derek Reid has a fantastic racing record over many years some of his best pigeons are: the blue cock, Champion ‘Ryan’s Express’: 1st section E, 1st open NFC St. Nazaire in 2005, Champion ‘Dark Smaragd’: 1st section G, 1st open BBC Palamos (675 miles) in 2005, Champion ‘Wim’: 1st section G, 1st open BBC Bordeaux (450 miles) in 2006, ‘Black Jack’: 2nd section, 2nd open BBC Bordeaux in 2006 ( beaten by ‘Wim’) and ‘The Tours Cock’: 2009: 1st Three Borders Federation, 2nd SMT Combine Tours (280 miles).

 

I visited Derek’s home in Weybridge just after his Federation win in July 2015 and what a fantastic garden and loft set up he has there in Surrey. He lives about a mile or so from where my daughter, Caroline, lives, so I was familiar with the area and we could not have picked a better day weather wise for the loft visit. Derek has several smart lofts at the bottom end of his massive lawn and all had pan tiled roofs. He races the widowhood system and uses tradional widowhood nest boxes. The lofts are all closed in and the main widowhood racing loft is fitted with a big trapping station for ETS clocking, and has a corridor, with grill floors for easy cleaning out. The stock birds have a very spacious loft, fitted with a wire flight so the inmates can get out in the weather. Derek’s young birds have their own loft and when I visited; his wife was out giving the youngsters a training toss. Talking to Derek after he won the Three Borders Federation from Taunton in 2015, he said, ‘I don’t know how I won the Federation from 117 miles with one of my long distance Jan Aarden cocks. The winning pigeon, ‘Louis’, is a son of my champion cock, ‘Dark Smaragd’, winner of 1st section G, 1st open BBC Palamos (675 miles) in the 2005 season and his gran dam was a daughter of Champion ‘Incredible’, winner of ten premier prizes from 620 to 793 miles, including three times Barcelona’. The Three Borders Federation sent 1,441 birds to Blandford (80 miles) for the first old bird race of the 2016 season and Derek was back at the top of the Federation result sheet, with a good two year old widowhood cock. Derek’s game cock won the Federation by 4ypm clear! Derek Reid wins and puts up top performance every season in the Three Borders Federation.

 

After a desperately bad start to 2018 racing season weather wise, the Three Borders Federation sent 513 birds to Blandford (80 miles) for the first old bird race and member of the Spelthorne club were back at the top of the Federation result sheet, with club members recording 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 14th. Richard Kent had three pigeons come from the race together and recorded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th Federation. He had changed his old bird racing system for the new season, coming off widowhood and is racing all completely natural. What a brilliant start on the new natural system! The Blandford Federation winner was the three year old Gaby Vandenabeele blue cock, ‘Richard’s Boy’, bred by Brian Trussler and he was sent driving his hen to nest, and he had previously won a race as a young bird in 2015. Richard’s 2018 positions won in the Three Borders Federation were: (Old Bird): 1st, 2nd, 3rd Federation Blandford (513 birds), 14th, 16th, 22nd Federation Yeovil (752 birds), 10th Federation Kingsdown (855 birds), 8th Federation Kingsdown (630 birds), 12th Federation Yeovil (737 birds), 2nd, 21st Federation Honiton (647 birds), 5th, 6th, 7th Federation Kingsdown (687 birds), 20th Federation Exeter (525 birds). (Young Bird): 17th Federation Yelverton (365 birds). Brilliant pigeon racing! Richard Kent is a born racer and in recent years has raced his Ducati motor cycle at a lot of the premier race circuits in the UK, including Brands Hatch in Kent and Oulton Park in Cheshire. He tells me he has been around the race circuit on the Isle of Man on his bike several times. These days he gets his sport by racing his pigeons and has enjoyed some outstanding success in recent seasons.

 

My good mate, Billy Young, stewarded for me at the Spelthorne Open Show and of course he is famed for being the pigeon racing ‘biker’. Our ‘Wullie’ loves his pigeons and drives over ten miles every day to his loft, which is sited on the allotments in Witley. He was born in Scotland and likes the old red chequer pigeons of the John Kirkpatrick strain. Not many people know that Wullie is a poet and spends many enjoyable hours writing poems. This is one of latest writings:

 

My Life

 

In the fifties we had drainpipes and the Teddy boy

Elvis Presley, rock and roll, TV that filled us all with joy

Film stars like Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and James Dean

Playing in the streets and acting out films we had seen

 

Then came the sixties, the Beatles, Stones and other great bands

Ban the bomb, Harold Wilson, flower power and people holding hands

We had the first man in space, Martin Luther King, and I had a dream

We used to sit in cafes listening to music, and trains that ran on steam

 

The seventies next, with flares and platform shoes, Nixon and Watergate

High inflation, the jumbo jet, joined the arm, something I won’t forget

I got married and live down south, lots of strikes and power cuts

Then we had a recession, caused by oil prices, a hard time, no ifs or buts

 

The eighties then came next, Maggie Thatcher, could it get any worse

Yuppies, the poll tax and the Miners’ strike, that woman was a curse

But on a happier note my two children were born and that was the best

The music was terrible, the time bad, the joy of my children, forget the rest

 

In rolled the nineties, got a labour government, but wait, we got Tony Blair

He gave us hope of a better future, but took us to war and didn’t care

This was the start of some horrible decisions, war in Iraq and Afghanistan

All the trouble and all the lies, all the death, I lay at the feet of just one man

 

In rolled the millennium and nothing has changed, in fact has got worse

The music is crap, we have ISIS and killing and bombs, is this a curse

But it’s not all bad, I had the birth of my grandchildren – love them so much

I hope it gets better, and all can get on, politicians don’t spoil all that they touch

 

That’s our article for this week! I can be contacted with any pigeon ‘banter’ on telephone number: 01372 463480 or email me on : keithmott1@virginmedia.com

 

TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT

 (www.keithmott.com)

 

 

 

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