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Three Borders Federation (Yeovil Race)


The Three Borders Federation sent 1,462 birds to Yeovil (110 miles) for the second old bird race of the 2016 season. The Federation convoyer, Don McCoy, liberated the convoy at 13.00hrs into a light northerly wind and every one had a brilliant race. Bob and Danny Carter of the Esher club not only won the Federation, but took 1st, 2nd and 12th, with the winning pigeon being a two year old widowhood cock. Frank and Sue Carson of the South Downs club are ‘knocking at the door’ and were next on the result sheet, winning 3rd Federation from Yeovil. The week before the Mitcham partnership recorded 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th from the first race, flown from Blandford. Watch out Frank is coming!


The first ten in the Yeovil Federation result were: 1) Bob & Danny Carter 1376: 2) Bob & Danny Carter 1374: 3) Frank & Sue Carson 1370: 4) M/M S. Gasson: 5) Bob & Anthony Besant 1367: 6) Malik & Khan 1366: 7) Malik & Khan 1363: 8) Malik & Khan 1363: 9) Malik & Khan 1362 10) Malik & Khan 1362.


Bobby, Linda and Danny Carter are three of nicest people you will ever meet in the sport of pigeon racing and they enjoyed another great season racing in the Three Borders Federation in 2015. Bobby says he is hard working with his pigeons, but told me recently he owes a lot of his outstanding success in recent seasons to his wife, Linda, his son, Danny and good friend, Ron Keeley, who all also are hard workers for the loft. I have only known Bob Carter a few years, with the first time I met him being when he joined my club the Esher & Dist RPC, with his good friend, Johnny Barrett, and since then they have both set the club on fire with their outstanding performances. The 2008 season saw Bob Carter and partners win the ‘Individual Point Trophy’ in the Three Borders Federation, with Johnny Barrett and his late son, Danny, being third up in the Federation points. Bobby Carter is always the man to look out for in the inland sprint races and one of his best races was in 2010. The Three Borders Federation got that racing season off to a great start when members sent 1,584 birds to Wincanton and liberated in to a light North East wind, on what turned out to be a perfect flying day. The 2009 Federation Points Champions, Esher & District RPC, really started the new campaign in great style with two of their members taking six positions in the Federation result. The Esher club had problems with their ETS marking system on the first night and all the member had to clock their birds on traditional timing clocks, with Bob & Danny Carter recorded 1st, 2nd, 5th Federation on my borrowed T3 clock.


Bob and Danny finely won the Federation in 2015 after ‘knocking at the door’ all season and recorded 1st, 3rd and 15th from Yeovil and at that stage of the season were leading for the Federation ‘Individual Points Trophy’. The father and son partnership have had a wonderful 2015 old birds season, winning: 14th, 17th, 18th Federation Blandford (1,314 birds), 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th Federation Yeovil (1,444 birds), 3rd, 4th, 14th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd Federation Yeovil (1,628 birds), 16th Federation Exeter (1,217 birds), 5th, 19th, 21st Federation Honiton (1,189 birds), 8th, 22nd, 25th Federation Yelverton (887 birds), 1st, 3rd, 15th Federation Yeovil (923 birds), 25th Federation Taunton (874 birds), 3rd, 5th, 17th Federation, 9th, 11th, 35th SMT Combine Truro (1,512 birds). A fantastic performance!


The Carter partner’s race 20 cocks on the widowhood system and all the racers are mated up in December. Bob tells me the widowhood cocks exercise around the loft twice a day and during the racing season are broke down for the first half of the week on Depurative mixture, and then built up with Super Widowhood mixture in the second half of the week. Bob doesn’t show the hens on marking night and the racing cock only get their hen for a short time on their return from the race. The cock are not broke down for the longer race up to 450 miles, being fed on Super Widowhood all week and Bob likes the cocks to be holding 8 to 9 flights for these events. The Carter’s have about 50 young birds to race each year and have raced on the darkness system in recent seasons, with outstanding success and great losses. Bob says, in his opinion the big losses with the babies each year is because of the Federations clashing! He trains the youngsters every day, weather permitting, up to 30 miles and races them natural to the perch, but they are allowed to pair up if they want. They race the full Federation young bird programme from 100 miles through to 180 miles. The Carter partnership race to two lofts, a 20ft x 8ft structure with a tiles apex roof for the old birds and another 20ft x 8ft shed for the young birds. The most important feature of Bob’s lofts is that they are dry and well ventilated. When I asked young Daniel if the partners like deep litter his reply was, ‘Our experience of using Deep litter is the amount of dust it creates and as my dad cleans out 365 days a year, it defeats the object of cleanliness.



Bob told me he doesn’t keep stock birds and over the last 25 years has purchased a lot of good birds off Barry Hall of Rayleigh in Essex, including pigeons to produce club, Federation and Open race winners. One of the most outstanding Barry Hall pigeons was the mealy cock, Champion ‘Rayleigh’, and he won eight firsts in the club and three firsts in the London Federation. The Carter loft has won about six other Federation races with Barry’s pigeons, including two 1st Federation winners in the 2008 season. Bob first met Barry Hall in 1984 when he sold the Carter butcher shops and when to work at Smithfield meat market in London, and says he has never looked back with his pigeon racing. He advised Bob on the widowhood system and supplied him with the birds to do the job. Another good friend who has advised the Carters with his health theory through the years is David Cook. The main families raced at the Carter’s loft are Lefebre Dhaenens, Janssen and Maurice Verheye. In recent seasons an outstanding family of Gaby Vandenabeele pigeons have been purchased from Dighton & Lister of York and Dave Hawkins of Yorkshire and these birds have started to win premier Federation positions from the outset for Bob Carter.


Bob Carter was born in Battersea, London and obtained his first pigeons at the age of nine, and kept them with his friend, Donald Hawes. Their first birds were from Bill Patterson of Benfield Street and he sold them four pigeons for two shillings. The first was an 8ft x 10ft structure; sited in the back yard of the butcher’s shop and he raced mainly Sam Mayo’s Vandy pigeons. Bob remembers another Battersea fancier, Billy Colston, helped them get started with pigeons and their first winner, a blue cock bird was a gift from Billy. The cock was an Amule pigeon from the stock of the best local fancier in the 1980’s, ‘Scrubber’ Cook of Battersea and in those days they flew as Hawes Bros & Carter in the old Putney RPC. Bob’s uncle, Bob Taylor, was a very successful pigeon racer and years ago he flew in the Old Man’s Institute Club. Bob’s wife, Linda, is very keen on the pigeons and her father, George Atkins of Battersea, was also a very good fancier. From 1981 Bob raced with the help of his wife, Linda, as he worked all day on a Saturday in the butcher’s shop and she clocked in the winners racing on the natural system. In 1990 he started too raced in partnership with Steven Cook and raced the Barry Hall pigeons on the widowhood, with brilliant results. The year 1996 saw Bob become very ill and had to pack up his pigeons, but left his best birds in the care of a friend in the hope that he would return to the sport. In 1998 he had a lung transplant because he had Emphysema and luckily for Bob and his family the operation was successful and it gave him his life back. As he got stronger he wanted to get back into pigeon racing and top fancier and friend, Fred Roberts, said he would help him get back. They flew as Roberts & Carter and started by flying darkness youngsters in 1999, winning five times 1st Federation in seven races with the Barry Hall and Kenny Roberts pigeons. Bringing the story up to date, Bob has two partners now in the form of his son, Daniel, and Ronnie Keeley, and they are the Three Borders Federation Individual Points Champions of 2008. Bob says Ronnie has been a silent partner for about eight years and without his help he could not keep the team of birds they now have and be so successful. Previous to racing with Bob Carter partnership, Ronnie raced with Johnny Barrett and had great success for over 20 years racing together as Barrett& Keeley.


Bob enjoys all racing from 80 through to 450 miles and told me his biggest thrill in recent seasons is to see the great grandchildren of his wonderful Champion ‘Rayleigh’ win the Federation. His most thrilling experience was a few years ago, when he raced with Fred Roberts and they flew their young bird team on the darkness system. On one race they had nine birds drop on the loft together, all nine were clocked to take the first nine positions in the West Middlesex Federation and then went on to take first six and the first three positions in the Federation that same season. Through the years Bob has won the Federation countless times! Bob is not a great lover of showing his racers in the winter months and thinks the eye sign theory is rubbish saying as long as they have two, he is happy. He was a night worker on Smithfield meat market and holds no offices in the pigeon racing sport because of the lack of time. He maintains the system of racing pigeons is very important to gaining success and fancier’s knowledge has improved greatly in recent times due to DVDs, media and internet web sites. His advice to a new comer to the sport is obtain your stock from the very best source you can and keep your loft clean dry and well ventilated. Bob says the London area is the home of many premier pigeon racers, but thinks in the last 25 years Frank and Sue Carson were the best in the Federation. He has also admired his old Battersea friend, Ron Wasey’s, channel and long distance performances, including winning 1st open NFC Pau etc. Bob has never had latebreds and likes tame pigeons as it makes a calm environment in the loft. His opinion of the moult is quite short and sharp, ‘To be successful the birds have to be healthy and have a good moult’. His feeding for the moulting season is a large variety of grains, with lots of small seeds, and plenty of minerals and grit given fresh daily.


There you have it, the recent successes of Bob and Danny Carter of the Esher & Dist RPC!


That’s our article for this week!

I can be contacted with any pigeon ‘banter’

on telephone number: 01372 463480

or email: keithmott1@virginmedia.com



TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT (www.keithmott.com)







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