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KEITH MOTT

Writes about winning fanciers past and present

Congratulations to the Norman Family!

I would like to start this week’s column by saying congratulations to Martin, Clare and Jack Norman of Southampton on their brilliant performance from Barcelona. A well-deserved success for one of the nicest families in the world of pigeon racing and certainly the very best secretary!

 

The family pigeon partnership race as ‘Manor Lofts’ and recently won the British Barcelona Club ‘Blue Riband’ race from Barcelona (680 miles). Their winner, the champion four year old grizzle cock ‘Olympic Ric’, has won a long list of premier long distance positions in the National and Classic on the widowhood system. How does this sound Clare? 1st section A, 1st open BBC Barcelona, provisional 57th open International (25,382 birds). Absolutely fantastic, well done girl! The Norman family are some the hardest working people for our sport I’ve ever met and have won some top positions through the years, including 1st open Central Southern Classic Flying Club Bergerac a few seasons ago. I came out of convoying retirement in 2010 and became the chief convoyer of the Central Southern Classic Flying Club for one very enjoyable season. I certainly enjoyed the experience of doing the CSCFC convoying work and using their wonderful transporter. I have always said how brilliant Clare Norman is at her jobs as secretary of the CSCFC and now I’ve worked with her that year, I now know first-hand just how brilliant she is! The Central Southern Classic Flying Club motto says: pigeon racing at its best. I agree with that, but they do have the best secretary in the sport! Martin Norman and his brother Bill are two very hard workers for the club and I must say it was a pleasure working with them both, they are two great guys. Congratulations to Martin, Clare and son, Jack on their wonderful success!

 

Spelthorne breeder/buyer race

 

Members of the Spelthorne club have enjoyed a good old bird season racing in the Three Borders Federation, with Derek Reid winning most of the inland races in the club, including 1st Federation, 5th SMT Combine Truro (1393 birds). The last old bird race was flown from Bergerac (450 miles) in mid-July and Derek finished off well recording 1st club, 4th Federation, 7th SMT Combine. Great pigeon flying! Generally speaking the Spelthorne had a good race from Bergerac with Les Penycate recording 2nd club, 9th Federation, 12th SMT Combine with the same pigeon that won 1st Three Borders Federation Bergerac in the 2012 season. Les won the Federation by a ‘country mile’ with a natural Hartog blue chequer cock, sent sitting eggs. The Penycate blue chequer cock was one of very few birds clocked on the day of liberation in the Combine and took 12hours 37 minutes to fly the 454 miles home to West Molesey, and won the Federation by 59ypm clear. One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in the sport of pigeon racing is Les Penycate and one of his best ever racing seasons was in 2010 when he recorded several premier positions including 1st SMT Combine St Nazaire. His occupation all his life has been in the fencer building trade and he recently retired from work, which has reflected in his outstanding performances with his pigeons. The first three birds in the Spelthorne club form 2013 Bergerac race were in the Federation result with ‘novice’, Nick Abo, winning 3rd club, 22nd Federation, 29th SMT Combine. Nick only sent one pigeon to the longest old bird race and it turned up at his loft while he was at the club checking Bergerac clocks, so lost time clocking his star birds. Well done to him!

 

I recently met up with my good friend, Terry Smart of the Spelthorne club and just returning from his third holiday this year he looked in good form. Terry runs the big Spelthorne Breeder / Buyer Open Race every season and he told me, ‘Well can you believe it, here we are at the end of the Old Bird programme and it only seems a couple of weeks since the 2013 season began. Guess that's another sign of getting older. With a couple of weeks break the Three Borders Federation young bird programme starts on 3rd August and the next local major event is the Spelthorne South Road Flying Clubs Young Bird Futurity and Open Race. You may have read in Keith Mott’s column back in April, how this small club hosted one of the largest Breeder/Buyer Sales in the Greater London area. On Wednesday 14th August at about 3pm, the strings will be cut at YEOVIL (4176) and the fanciers can then find out if they bought wisely, with just the sale birds racing solely for almost £2500. The Open Race will be paying out 85% of the profits after expenditure split into three prizes 50%, 30%, 20% and birdage will be £2 per bird. Breeder / Buyer birds get free entry. The race is completely open to all fanciers that can attend race marking and checking at Spelthorne Social Club which is just off Junction 1 of the M3 Motorway. For further information contact Terry Smart 07923 014431 look out for the advertisement in the BHW’.

 

SMT Combine Bergerac

 

The SMT Combine result for Bergerac has just arrived on my PC and it’s nice to see the Surrey Valley partnership of Alan and Gary Young win 1st Surrey Federation, 1st open SMT Combine. The father and son partnership from Croydon have been very success with their pigeons in recent years, winning 1st open NFC Chale in the 2006 season and 1st, 2nd, 3rd open L&SECC Guernsey (2) in 2007.

 

The old sporting saying of, ‘when it’s your day, it really is your day’, applied very strongly to Alan and Gary Young when they sent to the 2006 National Flying Club Chale young bird race and didn’t just have one pigeon come to win 1st open, but had two come together. The first pigeon on the clock to win 1st open National was the partners little blue pied hen, Champion ‘Louisa’, and she was bred from Geoff Kirkland and Dave Hunt bloodlines. She had four club races on her build up to her National win and the L&SECC race from Yelverton, when she recorded 35th open. In my opinion, ‘Louisa’, is a perfect pigeon, small, apple bodied, wonderful feathering and eye, with a brilliant racing record to finish it off! My type of racing pigeon! The second pigeon on the clock from the Chale National was the blue chequer cock, ‘The Huntsman’, and he was a bit slow on the trap but still recorded 5th open National. This game pigeon had previously won 54th open L&SECC Exeter, a couple of weekends before.

 

Alan flew pigeons in the 1960s, with his son, Gary, became a pigeon partner about fifteen years ago and they race in the Surrey Valley Club (Surrey Federation). Alan and Gary have been racing from the present Croydon address for four years and their two section 24ft.x 6ft. racing loft has sputnik trapping. The partners race 20 cocks on the widowhood system and these are paired up on their return from the Blackpool Show in late January. The racers are fed on light mixtures and Gary told me the partners like National and Classic channel racing best. The racers rear a pair of youngsters, with the hens being taken away with the young ones at about 17 days old and the cocks are given about six 30 mile training tosses when they are repaired just before the racing season starts. Gary says his racers are a bit fat at the start of the season, but the first few inland races knock them into shape. Although firsts have been recorded in the Saturday club, Gary says, most of their best positions have been won in the National and Classic clubs, including 8th open L&SECC Bergerac (450 miles). One of the premier racers at the Croydon loft was ‘The Mosaic Hen’ and she has an outstanding racing record, including 1st open Federation (1,328 birds) from Lyndhurst.

 

The Young’s keep ten pairs of stock birds, which are housed in a 7ft.x 5ft loft, with aviary and are mated the same time as the racers so the eggs can be floated. During the breeding season a wood shavings and sand litter is used on the stock loft floor These birds are fed a first class ‘breeding’ mixture and a lot of the stock birds have come from Gary’s good friend, Dave Hunt of Dagenham, in the east end of London. The partners told me, Dave has been a very good friend, giving them some first class stock birds and excellent advice. One of the main stock birds is the blue pied cock, Champion ‘Mack One’, which was bred and raced by the T.B.O. Partnership and he has sired several good winners, but Gary says his grandchildren are outstanding. This wonderful cock was champion young bird of Europe in 1999 and won 1st Open Bosmolen Gold Ring Classic, 1st open Amalgamation (by 30 ypm), four times 1st Federation and was undefeated at Federation level. What pigeon to have in your stock loft! Other bloodlines at the Croydon loft are Geoff Kirkland and M. & D. Evans. The Young’s breed 70 young birds for racing each season and Gary says he likes to go training with them at 4am, and sometimes they go down the road twice a day. Alan and Gary really enjoy young bird racing and start training about five weeks before the first race, working them up to Petersfield (45 miles). During the racing season the babies get a couple of 12 mile tosses each week and the hens race the programme, with a few cock being stopped after a few races and saved for the widowhood system. The young cocks and hens are kept in separate sections during the racing season and run together on the marking day. When picking out new stock birds, Gary says he is only interested in good winning bloodlines and not type. He maintains that if a fancier lives in a club radius and is of good character, he should not be refused entry in a club, regardless if he is a good racer or not. The partners like to show their birds in the winter months, but only at club level and not at National events.

 

Alan and Gary Young had three pigeon come together from the second L&SECC young bird Guernsey Classic race in 2007 and produced a fantastic result by recording 1st, 2nd and 3rd open. The first pigeon too hand and to win the Classic was the blue chequer cock, ‘Anto’, and he had previously won 4th open Federation (1,495 birds) Portland. His sire was bred from the T.B.O. Partnership’s champion racer, ‘Mack-One’, winner of four times 1st Federation, when mated to, ‘Shore Bet’, also winner of four times 1st Federation. The dam of ‘Anto’ is a M. & D. Evans hen bred down from their champion ‘Hillcroft Fantasy’. This game cock was a ‘darkness’ youngster, flying his fourth race when he won the Guernsey Classic and was sent sitting seven day old eggs. In fact he was mated to the 3rd open Guernsey Classic winner, ‘Amelia’, which had previously won 3rd Federation (1,495 birds) Portland, 13th Federation (1,667 birds) Blandford. When Gary came around to my house after the event to have his birds photographed, we had a good chat about the race and he said, the three birds were in the loft together and it was just a matter of which one came to hand first would be the Classic winner. The 2nd open blue chequer cock, ‘Danny Boy’, was bred from a Geoff Kirkland pigeon, the same one that bred the Young’s 2006 N.F.C. Chale winner, Champion ‘Louisa’, making then half-brother, half-sister. Gary says, it was a shame he didn’t clock ‘Danny Boy’ first from Guernsey, as it would have meant the Kirkland pigeon would have bred a National winner in 2006 and a Classic winner in 2007. Mind boggling! ‘Danny Boy’ was the Young’s first bird clocked from the first Guernsey Classic two weeks previous, to record 33rd open and I think he must be a good contender to win the ‘Wally Dann Memorial Cup’ for best young bird of the year. This young racing machine was sent to Guernsey sitting eggs and had previously won 5th Federation (1,696 birds) Blandford. The weekend before the Guernsey Classic, Alan and Gary sent a team of 17 youngsters to the N.F.C. Guernsey National (5,408 birds) and recorded 5th, 7th, 11th, 23rd, 99th, 176th open, lifting 2nd Gold Ring National. The partners got two pigeons together from the National and first one on the clock to record 5th open, was the Belgium rung blue chequer cock ‘Willy’, and he was obtained from a fancier up country named Steve Hole. This cock was raced to the perch and previously recorded 3rd Federation (1,692 birds) Blandford.

 

The 2007 young bird team were set up for the London & South East Classic Club and National Flying Club races and were trained off the south coast, from Bognor and Portsmouth. Gary told me that they were trained on the Winchester line for a while with the ‘foot and mouth’ ban, but once this was lifted he turned them back to the coast. They also got additional ‘four up’ tosses from 10 miles in the evenings and came home from the Federation races in batches. The youngsters were fed on ‘Gerry Plus’ and were given regular exercise around the loft. The young birds were split in to two teams because of the ‘bird flu’ seven day rule and both performed brilliantly. The youngsters were put on the ‘darkness’ system on weaning and taken off  two week earlier than usual, in early June, because Alan went on holiday. They were darkened from 5pm until 8am and the sexes were kept separated for the first three races, then they were allowed to run together for the rest of the racing season, with fantastic success. In the 2007 season training started about six weeks before the first race, with short tosses then went in big jumps down to the south coast. My good friend, Bobby Besant, had been giving the partners one or two pointers with their pigeon management that season and Gary says he would like to thank him for his advice. Well there you have it, the 2013 SMT Combine Bergerac winners, Alan and Gary Young. Well done lads, on a brilliant performance!

 

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

 

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