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Keith Mott

Writes about winning fanciers past and present

Three Borders Federation News 

The Hare Hill Club have enjoyed some good success racing in the Three Borders Federation in 2009, including it’s member winning five times 1st Federation and finish up third for the Federation Points Trophy. Paul and Rubin Johnson of Chertsey had a wonderful young birds season, winning several premier prizes including 1st, 2nd Federation Wincanton (1,991 birds) and 3rd Federation Yeovil (1,928 birds). The brothers have been good workers for the Federation and were convoyer for many years. The Reg and Richard Maybey partners won the Three Borders Federation four times in the 2009 season and to top off a brilliant season won 1st open SMT Combine (3,174 birds) Messac. The Combine winner was the two year old widowhood blue chequer cock, called quite plainly ‘The Combine Cock’, and previous to his Messac win he recorded several premier positions including 1st club, 5th Federation Yeovil. On the first race of the 2009 season Reg and Richard put up a fantastic performance by recording 1st, 2nd, 3rd Three Borders Federation and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Berkshire Federation on the same day. Brilliant pigeon racing!

Jenkyn, Barrott & Rolfe of Chertsey had a brilliant race from the longest old bird race from Bergerac (450 miles), winning 1st, 2nd club, 2nd, 14th Federation, 2nd open SMT Combine. The Hare Hill partnership produce outstanding performances in the Three Borders Federation every season, but their tally of prizes in recent seasons is a bit special. Dean Jenkyn won the London & South East Classic Club from the young bird Guernsey race in 2000. He is one of the 'nice guys' of pigeon racing and I always enjoy a chat with him. He is an outspoken lad and has a good, honest, fun approach to racing his pigeons. His lofts were sited on farmland in Chertsey, but now tells me he has the luxury of having then in his back garden at home. He says having the lofts out in the fields is great in the summer, but not very nice in winter, when he has to carry freezing water in the back of his van. He had been trying to win the Classic for several years and to win the Guernsey race was a dream come true. He sent five young birds to Guernsey for their first race and got five back. The Jenkyn youngsters are raced to the perch on the darkness system and Dean says his Guernsey team was in perfect feather condition for the race. The winning pigeon was a handsome Van Loon blue chequer cock which originates from stock obtained from Terry Hudson of Bracknell, in Berkshire.


Dean is from a pigeon racing family, flying for many years with his late brother, Bernard, and has been in the sport for over 20 years. His father was a premier fancier, racing a few Staf Van Reet pigeons with outstanding success. Dean and Bernard won the Combine from Nantes doing 944ypm, with a good cock which had previously won the Federation inland. Dean races the Van Reet and Van Loon pigeons on the widowhood system and is mostly interested in inland racing. The birds are paired up in mid-January and the cocks are put on the system after rearing a pair of youngsters and sitting eight days on their second round of eggs. The cocks are never broken down and are exercised morning and evening around the loft. The birds are not let out of the loft in the winter months. The loft set-up is 70ft long, with open door and sputnik trapping and the stock team has a nice wire flight to take a bath in. Whilst at Dean's loft a couple of years ago, he showed me a few of his best birds, including his famous Van Loon blue chequer cock, 'Off The Shovel', which has had a wonderful racing career, winning many 1sts, including three times 1st Open Federation. Dean says this is a once-in-a-lifetime pigeon, never wasting a second on his return from a race and has bred 1st Federation winners.

McGee / Tyerman Barcelona Challenge Lofts (Up Date). 

The Barcelona Challenge Loft entered a team of 70 birds in the 2009 Barcelona International, competing against 27,669 birds entered by eleven European Countries, including Belgium, Holland and the UK. The first bird on the ETS, flying 625 miles, was a wonderful dark pied hen, now named ‘Barcelona Dream Girl’ and she was bred by the very successful Fontwell partnership of Ian Crammond and Nigel Langstaff. This game little hen was the first of eight birds recorded on the winning day at the Hernicourt loft and lifted the £1,000 first prize. She was bred at the Crammond & Langstaff stock loft from the very best Wim Muller bloodlines and recorded 20th Nord Pas De Calais Region Females (593 birds), 131st National France (2542 birds), 438th International Hens (7636 birds), 1459th open International (27,669 birds). A brilliant performance put up by a real class hen! A total of 17 pigeons were clocked from Barcelona and all 8 that were clocked on the winning day, featured in the International result. Thirty five pigeons later  featured in the published ‘Barcelona Challenge one-loft’ result and the partners were delighted to record 50% returns in what has been described as one of the hardest Barcelona races for many years. Two weeks after Barcelona the partners sent 143 yearlings to Limoges, (310 miles) with the Nord Pas De Calais Federation and recorded over 90% returns on the Bricon ETS system, which is excellent flying by any standard and great credit to the McGee's management. Good returns from both races means the partners have a very strong team for Barcelona in 2010.


After several months talking about it, the last weekend in March 2009 saw me take up a long standing invitation to visit the McGee / Tyerman Barcelona Challenge Lofts, sited in the little farming village of Hernicourt, in Northern France. This area of France is a hot bed of pigeon racing, being near the town of St. Pol in the Nord Pas Calais Region, about a one hour drive south of Calais and many premier International positions have been won locally. Peter Taylor and I met up with John and Linda Tyerman early on the Sunday morning at ‘Clackett’ services on the M25 and we arrived at Hernicourt just after lunch time, and must say it was nice to see John and Lou McGee looking so well and enjoying life in rural France.


One of the reasons the lofts were established by John McGee and John Tyerman was the partners believed that it now gives all the UK competitors an equal chance with the rest of Europe to test their pigeons where annually some 24,000 pigeons from eleven different countries compete in the world famous Barcelona International race. The McGee / Tyerman Barcelona Challenge loft has whipped up a lot of interest from fanciers all over Europe and went into the 2009 season with 196 yearlings. The loft has some very good sponsorship and the ETS timing system is sponsored by Bricon. Patrick De Muylder the technical adviser for Beyers pigeon feeds was at the McGee’s home when I stayed there and we had a good chat about his company, which has celebrated its 100th birthday recently. Beyers sponsor the Barcelona lofts for all their feeding and I must say the pigeons look brilliant on it! The two Barcelona Challenge lofts are sited on top of a hill at the rear of the property and over look the rolling hills and wonderful French country side. The loft location is 630 miles from Barcelona and was set up three years ago by John McGee and John Tyerman with sole intention of competing in International races. John McGee’s wife, Lou, is a major worker in the one loft project and as well as looking after their two children, Sophie Louise and Connor, general work around the loft, she dose all the training in the partner’s Geraldy trailer. The birds are raced on the round about system and were given three races up to Angouleme, 350 miles, in preparation for the Barcelona International.

That’s it for this week and our next ‘ON THE ROAD’ is going to feature a full report on the fantastic 2009 season of Reg and Richard Maybey of Virginia Water. I can be contacted with any pigeon comments on telephone number: 01372 463480. See yer!




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