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BHW Blackpool Show 2020.


After the recent BHW Blackpool Show committee meeting I received this email from David Trippett, the hard-working chairman.


Good afternoon Keith!


We are fast approaching the 2020 show and the planning is progressing a pace, with a number of new features under discussion, of which, hopefully I can report more later. I did however feel that to keep our guests and contributors up to date, I should confirm that all costs, except birdage entry fees will remain the same, we felt that these entry fees had not really kept up with increased prize money and other charges of the show we should increase from £2 per bird to £2.25 per bird, a modest increase reflecting the importance we attach to our exhibitors. The Gala evening acts have been booked and details will appear in the BHW shortly, following the success of last year’s event, it will be held at The Viva Rooms once again. Perhaps you would be good enough to make the fancy aware through your column in the BHW.


Thanks – David.


Thousands of fanciers made the drive up to Blackpool in mid-January 2019 for the main event of the Show Racer calendar, the 47th British Homing World ‘Show of the Year’. Everyone anticipates and looks forward to this wonderful weekend in Blackpool, not only for their annual fill of ‘pigeon fun’, but mostly to meet up with good pigeon friends. This year’s event attacked a show entry of 2,000 birds and ‘Best in Show’ over all at Blackpool was won by a beautiful Show Racer silver blue cock owned by Darren Christie of Dunaghy in Northern Ireland. Darren has named his champion cock, ‘Barney’, and tells me he has had a lot of good wins previously, including ‘Best in Show’ at the INFC Show in Lisburn in 2017 and also won ‘Best in Show’ at an open show the week after the 2019 Blackpool event. He named his silver blue cock after his friend, John Barnes, who gifted him a silver blue hen which was his dam and his sire was blue cock bred through gift pigeons from Jimmy Fitzpatrick of Cambuslang in Scotland. The Scottish racing partnership of John McCord and Terry Turpie won ‘Supreme Champion’ at the BHW Blackpool Show with their super blue racing cock, ‘Moerbreke Blue Boy’ and to say he is very special would be an understatement. Talking to John on the phone he told me, ‘we have called the blue cock ‘Moerbeke Blue Boy’, after our good friend Stefan van Moerbeke, who sadly lost his life in a car crash on 29th April 2017 on the out skirts of Ypres in Belgium, which was his home town. ‘Moerbeke Blue Boy’ was a late bred in 2016 and stood out like a sore thumb from day one, being raced lightly in 2017 and flew the Fife Federation program in 2018’.



Three Borders Federation (Blandford Race 2).


The Three Borders Federation had 481 birds away at Blandford for the third young bird race of the 2019 season, when the birds were liberated at 08.15hrs into a strong south west wind. The Isleworth ‘wizard’, Kenny Wise, had a banger and won the Federation by 120 ypm clear! This was Ken second Federation winner of the season, have won the first five positions from Yeovil with the old birds. ‘The Lone Ranger’, Dom McCoy, has had another great season convoying the Three Borders Federation pigeons and was up at the crack of dawn at Yeovil, when he liberated at 05.45hrs into a light south east wind. Kenny Wise of Isleworth clocked a game three-year-old in on 2 hour 12 minutes, at 106 miles to win the Federation! Close up behind Ken had four more birds on the ETS to win: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Federation and then followed in with 12th, 15th, 17th, 22nd Federation. It was certainly the Isleworth club’s day, with members taking 18 positions on the Federation result. Brilliant pigeon racing!


The first ten in the Blandford (2) Federation result were: 1) Ken Wise 2373: 2) Les Penycate 2252: 3) Les Penycate 2252: 4) A. Gambling 2203: 5) Freddie Ditch 2196: 6) Freddie Ditch 2196: 7) E. Fry 2180: 8) Eustace & Koby Benjamin 2162: 9) Eustace & Koby Benjamin 2160: 10) Suchocki & Protasewicz 2158. This was race number seventeen of the season and at this point the Ashridge club are leading for the ‘Federation Points Trophy’ with 142 points, with the Mitcham & Morden club being R/U on 135 points.


One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in the sport of pigeon racing is Les Penycate and to say he has enjoyed some good racing seasons in recent years would be any understatement! 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. He is from a fence building family and tells me the late great Surbiton pigeon racer, Arthur Coxon, who was a first-class fencer all his life, taught him the trade when he was a young lad. The highlights of recent season for Les was: 2010: 1st club, 1st Three Borders Federation, 1st open SMT Combine St Nazaire (297 miles), 1st club, 3rd Three Borders Federation, 5th open SMT Combine Bergerac ( 450 miles), 1st club, 5th Three Borders Federation, 9th open SMT Combine Messac (255 miles). What fantastic season!



The Three Borders Federation held its last old bird race of the 2012 season from Bergerac at the end of July and were included in the SMT Combine convoy, which was 500 birds strong. The Combine were transported to the race point in the south of France and after a two day hold over the birds were liberated at 06.45hrs in a west / north west wind. Les Penycate won the Federation by a ‘country mile’ with a natural Hartog blue chequer cock, sent sitting eggs. The winning blue chequer cock was one of very few birds clocked on the day of liberation in the Combine and took 12 hours 37 minutes to fly the 454 miles home to West Molesey and won the Federation by 59ypm clear. Les is successful in races from France most seasons and a few years ago won the Three Borders Federation from Nantes (282 miles) with an unpaired Staf Van Reet yearling blue chequer hen.

This game pigeon also won the Messac race in the Hersham Club and was a gift from Les' good friend, the late Rod Wynn. Her full performances in 2002 were outstanding, winning 1st club, 1st Federation, 3rd open SMT Combine Nantes (2,342 birds); 1st club, 9th Federation, 24th open SMT Combine Messac (2,205 birds). A wonderful effort by an unpaired yearling!


Les’ 2010 St Nazaire SMT Combine winner was his good yearling hen, ‘Debbie’s Girl’, who is named after his daughter and her parents are a pair of Willy Thas pigeons obtained from Mick Betts of Scawsby, near Doncaster. This game hen was lost training as a young bird in September 2009 and returned to the Penycate loft in perfect condition, in February 2010. She was paired up and sent to the first race of her life, inland, feeding a ten-day old baby and two week later was entered in her second race from St Nazaire, and won 1st open SMT Combine. Incredible! Les’ yearling was in great form last season, as his 5th open Combine Bergerac winner was his yearling blue chequer pied hen, ‘Wynn’s Supremacy’.

Both her parents were obtained from the late Rod Wynn of Shepperton and she was sent to the longest old bird race from Bergerac feeding a ten-day old youngster. Les is a channel racing enthusiast and trained out of Worthing (50 miles) in the 2010 season, before hoping then into a 250-mile channel race, and then into Bergerac. The 9th open Combine Messac blue hen is one of the stars of the Penycate loft, having previously being clocked as a yearling, in 2009, from Tarbes (550 miles) and recording 9th open London & South East Classic Club.

A wonderful performance! Les has named her ‘Messac Lady’ and told me she was bred from Hartog stock birds obtained from Phil & Maria Dunstall of Maidenhead. The 2010 season saw Les change his corn midway through to the Dutch ‘Garvo 7001 Sprint’ mixture and the bird stated to win out of turn two weeks later.


Les recently celebrated his 80th birthday, being born in Kingston in 1939 and his father kept pigeons before the Second World War, in partnership with his three brothers. In 1948, Les was given six youngsters by the premier East Molesey fancier, Joe Stediford, who flew an outstanding pigeon in National races at that time. Prior to owning his own birds, young Les was pigeon mad and fed the streeters in Kingston Market with bread. His father built a loft to house his six young birds and Les joined the Kingston &District Club, flying in the Surrey Federation.

He soon added stock from the great Harry Branch of Mitcham to his Stediford youngsters and says that Joe taught him a lot about general pigeon management in the early days. The late, great, Freddie Ranaboldo of East Molesey was the premier fancier at that time, winning inland every week and he also won 1st open Pau NFC. Les has been in the sport for nearly 55 years and says one of his earliest achievements was in 1952 when he won from Libourne with a red chequer after 14 hours on the wing and won the London Federation by a clear 1 hour 40 minutes.


Les mates his 20 pairs of old birds on February 25th and breeds a good racing team of about 50 young birds each season. He races on the natural system, exercising the birds around the loft twice a day, hopper feeding the old birds. He splits his birds into two teams, with the inland racers being trained from the west and the Channel birds being tossed in single ups off the south coast. He likes to give his birds natural extras, including Epsom salts once a fortnight, garlic once a week, cod liver oil on the corn and honey in the water on race days. He is very keen on Channel racing and is a member of the National Flying Club and very strong Spelthorne RPC.


The main families kept are Van Riel, Barker and Janssen, with the recent introduction of Staf Van Reet. Les maintains that over the years the Van Riel pigeons have been brilliant for him, right through to Pau (556 miles). He says that he loves day birds from the long-distance races. In 1986 the Pau National was a very hard race and he recorded 19th, 35th and 315th open with Van Riel pigeons. He likes his pigeons, old and young, to go to the longest race points and says that he feeds Versele-Laga because it's good, sound corn. His young birds have about 12 training tosses up to Winchester (50 miles) before going into the first Federation race. For the long-distance races, he has found the best nest condition for his racers to be in is a cock sent with a 14-day-old youngster, his hen having just laid, and he favours hens sent sitting overdue eggs or feeding a small youngster.

He considers Khan Brothers of Kingston to be the best local fanciers, as they are on a wave of success racing in the Nationals and Classics at this time. The lads are showing fantastic consistency. He maintains that long distance pigeon racing is a waiting game, with some strains reacting quicker than others, but he says that normally long-distance pigeons take three years to mature and be able to do the job.


Les Penycate likes a bit of young bird racing and says that from his experience, fly a ways are due to overcrowding. He gives his baby’s one third of their feed before they are let out of the loft, which he maintains calms them down. He gives the birds extra Wheat and linseed during the moulting period and likes to breed a few latebreds each season, but says it is very important to train them in the year of their birth, or they are useless. He has never used deep litter in his loft but likes a sprinkling of sharp sand and lime on the floors after cleaning out. He likes a good type of pigeon and when bringing in new stock birds, looks for balance in the hand, with good feather and wing. Well done to Les on his brilliant recent racing seasons!


The first ten in the Blandford (1) young bird Federation result (713 birds) were: 1) Gary Allison 1547: 2) Gary Allison 1546: 3) Gay Allison 1544: 4) Gary Allison 1544: 5) Gary Allison 1544: 6) Gary Allison 1543: 7) Chris Slight & Mike Charlton 1490: 8) Chris Slight & Mike Charlton 1490: 9) Chris Slight & Mike Charlton 1490: 10) E. Fry 1489.


The first ten in the Yeovil (1) young bird Federation result (673 birds) were: 1) Gary Allison 1394: 2) Malik & Khan 1391: 3) Eustace & Koby Benjamin 1371: 4) Paul Johnson & Partners 1363: 5) Mick & Lyn Chaplin 1358: 6) Mick & Lyn Chaplin 1357: 7) Mick & Lyn Chaplin 1355: 8) Mick & Lyn Chaplin 1355: 9) Malik & Khan 1343: 10) Malik & Khan 1343.


That’s our article for this week. Well done to Ken Wise of the Isleworth club on a great result! I can be contacted with any pigeon ‘banter’ on telephone number: 01372 463480 or email me at: keithmott1@virginmedia.com




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