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Coutances Yearling Derby 2017

“If It’s Kudos You Are After Come & Join Us”

The 2016 Season will get under way for the Beeston Castle Two bird Specialist Club on May 27th with the annual yearling race from Coutances. The club has seen a slight increase in numbers this year as the committee are have reacted to requests to open the radius (Which was passed at the AGM). With more people joining and entering their pigeons into these prestigious races the Kudos and along with the cash prizes and pools available are increasing.

With the first race competing from Coutances (5112) flying a distance of some 270 to 300 plus miles into the clubs radius and with a lot of the clubs members dreaming of winning just one of the two old bird races on offer which is a realistic goal, unlike last year’s winner Anthony Oates (Runcorn) who managed for the first time in the clubs history did one loft win both old bird race. Anthony managed to win the yearling Derby and the Messac Classic race which has raised his own personal profile along with granting him the “bragging rights” within the locality for the year.

Although Anthony Oates was the first loft to record the winning of both old bird races (2017), the loft of John & Ben Oakley (J & B Oakley, Whitchurch) have previously (in 2014) won an old bird race and a young bird race which in 2014 was the first time this has ever been achieved. This is now setting a challenge to all our members. With records falling who could be the first ever fancier to win all three Beeston Two Bird Specialist Club Races and take possession of the extremely coveted Robbie Houghton Trophy (Winner all averages).

The yearling derby is from Coutances (5112) which is a new race point for the Beeston Two Bird Specialist Club. The race point lies approximately some twenty mile south west of Carentan within the Manche Department of Normandy to the south of the Contentin Peninsular, 27 miles north of Monti-Saint Michel and 40 mile south of Cherbourg.

Capital of the Unelli, a Gaulish tribe, the town was given the name of Constantia in 298 during the reign of Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus. The surrounding region, called in Latin the pagus Constantinus subsequently became known as the Cotentin Peninsula.


The town was destroyed by invading Normans in 866, who later established settlements and incorporated the whole peninsula into the Duchy of Normandy in 933. On July 17, 1944, during the Battle for Normandy in World War II, the city was bombed during the Allied offensive against the occupying Germans.

American armoured and infantry forces pass through the battered town of Coutances, France, in the new offensive against the Nazis. July 1944

With a population of 10,000 souls the town suffered severe damage during the Second World War, but has recovered remarkably well and is an interesting town to explore. While the cathedral is the principal attraction in Coutances the tourist can discover the other attractions.

The Cathedral is the one principal attraction that has dominated the town for more than 1000 years – the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Towering above both Coutances town and the surrounding countryside, the original cathedral was built in the 11th century in the roman style - although the current cathedral is predominantly a 13th century rebuild in the gothic style In design, the cathedral has elaborately decorated facade with two substantial towers to the front, a separate lantern tower above the transept, and the sides of the cathedral feature extensive buttresses - typical of the gothic style, these buttresses are structural elements that allowed the walls to be much higher than in earlier churches, and also enabled the side walls to include windows.

Inside Coutances Cathedral the highlight is the view into the inside of the lantern tower, with a dome above the octagonal structure that features 16 decorative stone arches. There are also some notable stained glass windows, dating from as early as the 13th century. If you ever get the chance to visit the cathedral during summer evenings a sound and light show makes the most of this dramatic building.

There are various small towns and villages along the coast to the west of Coutances, including Donville-les-Bains and the popular resort at Granville to the south-west towards Mont-Saint-Michel and Blainville-sur-Mer, Gouville and Agon-Coutainville to the west of here.


the Cathedral of Notre Dame at Coutances from the air and during the dramatic light show

With new liberation point further south the birds will have a longer run at the coast prior to meeting the channel, this in some people’s minds enhances the chances of getting them to cross the open water which some find so difficult to undertake.

Coutances in relation to Carentan and the Cherbourg peninsular.

With new race point come’s the new Beeston Two Bird Specialist Club radius. The radius has been “tweaked” slightly at both the west and the east sides and now enables the application of new members. It has been a commitment by the clubs committee to keep this progressive club moving forward and as such thought it time to enable people close to the boundaries to apply. The change has moved the Western Boundary has changed to a line of Longitude 2’ 58’’.00’ from the southern boundary up to the southern bank of the river Dee.

The Eastern Boundary has also changed to a line of longitude of 2’ 34’ 00’’ from the southern boundary up to the southern bank of the river Mersey. For any people who are interested in joining this old established, well founded but forward thinking club please apply to Jeff Churchill (Club Secretary) at jeffchurchill1947@gmail.com for an application form or by phone on 01606 882464.

For your information the club flies three races annually Coutances Yearling Derby, the Ansensis Classic and the Coutances (young bird race which is subject to change and could be a land race). The annual fees are £20 per loft. The annual presentation is held first or second weekend in February at the Cheshire View and is an absolute brilliant night out for family and friends.

First race is from Coutances (5112) on May 27th marking May 25th and the second is from Ancenis (5106) on July 8th marking on July 5th.


Anthony Oates being presented with his Yearling Derby and Messac Classic winning trophies in 2016 by Barry Maidment, the first fancier to win both the Yearling Derby and the Messac Classic in the same season. 


Jeff Churchill (Club Secretary) receiving the coveted Robbie Houghton Trophy for the best average all races 2016. Who’s name will be on this Trophy come September.


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Beeston Castle Two Bird Club Head Quarters Duddon & Clotton Hoofield Village hall.

Marking for this year’s yearling race will take place at the club headquarters  Duddon & Clotton Hoofield Village hall on Thursday may 25th 2017 commence at 3pm with baskets closing at 5pm.






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