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Mike & Lee Prokopowicz 1st Group 3, Out Of 8,473 Birds

“The Original” Around The Up North Combine

Mike & Lee Prokopowicz 1st Group 3, Out Of 8,473 Birds

By Good Corn


The Up North Combine basketed their birds on Friday 19th June to race from Oakham (1) the following day with the weekend weather forecast being the best we have had since the start of racing, due to the weather being that poor we had to basket the birds on a Sunday for a Monday race the previous 2 weeks. Saturday 20th June brought the best of weather so much so Group 1 were liberated at 7am followed by Group 2 up at 7.20 with Group 3 convoy of 8,473 birds hitting the sky at 7.40 flying into a light South-West wind which was going to push the winning velocity’s to around a mile a minute with them being at a great height.  


First off is Skinningrove H/S where the partnership of Mike Prokopowicz & son Lee timed a trio of birds to win a brilliant 1st and 5th Club out of 416 birds, 1st, 5th and 11th East Cleveland Federation from a 64 members entry of 1,795 birds, 1st, 5th and 19th Group 3 from an entry of 8,473 birds which is a fantastic achievement with vels of 1787, 1775, 1743. With the red card winner being a yearling chequer cock who is the previous scorer of 5th Club, 9th Federation young bird Oakham (2) when there was 1,020 birds competing, The sire of Mike & Lee's pole position winner is a Dirk Van Den Bulck bred by McNally & Son of Wolverhampton while the dam of the winning chequer cock was bred by Brian Clennan who has chalked up a few good turns herself. Second on the clock was a 2019 bred chequer flipey Alan Dungworth x Anthony Thompson Verbreck hen who is the same way bred as Mike & Lee's 5th Club, 11th Federation Bubwith and 4th Club, 5th Federation Newark Show Ground potter. Mike & Lee's third timer was a 2y chequer hen who is full sister to the 5th Club scorer and nestmate to the hen who won 1st Club, 2nd Federation, 27th Up North Combine Burbure in 2019 from a convoy of 8,025 birds.  

The late Gordon “Shang” Peirson MBE & Son's Sack & Jim with the help of Trevor & Bobby McConnell come into the frame after timing three of their entries to score an awesome 2nd and 4th Club, 2nd, 4th and 8th Federation, 2nd, 4th and 16th Group 3 with vels of 1785, 1782, 1746. With Sack, Jim, Trevor & Bobby's blue card scorer being a blue Heremans Ceusters hen while the yellow card was awarded to a chequer Heremans Ceusters cock and third on the clock was a chequer Heremans Ceusters hen with all three timers being through Anthony Thompson of Stockton stock. B & K Simpson are in 3rd spot with the green card going to a yearling chequer Louis Cooreman widowhood hen making 1784 to lift 3rd Federation and 3rd Group 3. The hen who is the previous winner of 1st Club, 4th Federation young bird Wakefield is the daughter of a home-bred cock who is bred out of a direct Louis Cooreman pair while the dam of the green card potter is a direct Louis Cooreman.

Mr & Mrs I & E Purver notched up 14th Federation, 22nd Group 3 on 1743, with Ian & Liz the previous winners of 1st Up North Combine Reims in 2017 with “Dream Girl” from a convoy of 4,193 birds timer being a 2y blue pied Gaby Vandenabeele, with the sire being through James Bond and Bliksem lines, while the dam of the blue pied is a daughter of “Leading Light” 1st National Caranten through the Pre Olympic and New Tours 1st National for Rudi Van Der Saer (all Gaby's). Sayers Bros Dave, the late Kenny, Brian, and his loft helping son Richard had a couple of 2y on the clock to notch up 7th, 20th Federation, 12th, 33rd Group 3 on 1750 and 1737.    

Paul Longstaff, Jeff Moore & Ronnie Mackay are pumping up the volume at Marske & New Marske with the lads topping the charts for the second race on the belt after filling no fewer than three cells to win 1st, 2nd and 3rd Club out of a 6 members entry of 107 birds. With Paul, Jeff & Ronnie's red card winner being a 2019 bred Sablon pied widowhood cock out of a pair from the late Roly Seaton of Guisborough fame. While the blue card was chalked up by a 3y chequer cock from Jeff's son Anth Moore of Guisborough fame with the cock being out of Anth's 2016 1st Up North Combine Gold Medal winning “Cracker Jack” from Reims when there was 3,794 birds competing. Third on the clock for Paul, Jeff & Ronnie was a yearling blue cock from Anth Moore and like the red and blue card scorers he too was on widowhood. Jimmy Reed the Clubs top flyer in 2019 nets 4th Club with the yellow being awarded to a 3y blue Gaby VDB hen sitting 12 days.


Jill out of the loft cloths and looking very smart, with her father Geoff Bavin


Jill caring for the birds at her father's loft.

Geoff Bavin has not being in the best of health for a while now, Geoff who is coming up to his 84th birthday and has being in Pigeons for 60 years suffers from Dialysis and has not had a easy time since the winter months which has also not being easy for his wife Jean. The couple's family have being helping out while Geoff is unable to do the things he has to do with that including Geoff & Jean's daughter Jill seeing to the birds, and by all accounts Jill has being doing a fantastic job at the loft, you cannot beat a lady’s loving care. While Jill was leading loft lady Geoff & Jean's other daughter Gail helped out by taking Geoff to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough for his 4 hours treatment 3 days a week. Gail has now got the equipment needed for Geoff's on-going treatment at her house which has helped immensely for Gail can supply Geoff his treatment 3 days a week in the comfort of her her home, which also means no driving to and from the hospital 3 days a week. Gail still drives her father Geoff to hospital for any routine appointments that comes up. Geoff & Jean's son Ian helps out by doing any jobs that needs doing around the house and garden, and also helps if anything else is needed.

Geoff lives for his Pigeons and it is fair to say he never gets down if he is not in the clock but I have found that with all the Marske & New Marske lads over the years, with them always congratulating the winner or anyone who has flown well no matter which Club they fly in. When Geoff is in better health he can often be seen peddling his push-bike to and from the loft, despite his age and health Geoff has always looked after himself the best he can, but the times Geoff needs help Jean, Jill, Gail & Ian are always on hand to help, what a great caring family they are through these very worrying times. I wish Geoff the very best of health in the hope he can get back full time at the loft.

The new formed partnership of Andrew & Gavin Doe, John “Dillon” Swales, the late Sandy Sanderson & Tinkler of the Brotton 6 Bird Club timed a couple of their Martha Van Geel family to win 1st and 3rd Club out of a 7 members entry of 42 birds, with the green card potter being a previous scorer. John Newton & Family who started up in 2019 racing the young birds where they won a 1st Club chalk up 2nd Club with a blue cock gift bird. Kevin & Merv Brown & Sacka Cole pocket 4th Club with their yellow card potter being a previous scoring 4y chequer hen. Frank & Brenda Reilly & son Wayne timed the same cock that took 6th Club the previous race out of Newark Show Ground to notch up 5th Club this time around.

Ian “Knocker” Brown records a hat-trick of wins at Boosbeck H/S after timing three of his entries to win 1st, 2nd, 3rd Club out of an entry of 150 birds. With top spot being won by a 3y Rudi Diels hen, the blue card was netted by a Scammell & Peploe x Rudi De Saer widowhood cock while the green was taken by a Lambrechts x Heremans Ceusters widowhood cock.  

Its win number three on the belt for Ali “Mac” McLeod of Billingham T U H/S after timing three birds to win 1st, 3rd, 5th Club out of 116 birds, 1st, 10th, 17th Teesside Federation from an entry of 488 birds. With Mac's winner being a yearling chequer cock bred by his friends Paul Astbury & son Dan of the Midlands through their “Cow Girl” birds, Mac sends his thanks to Paul & Dan for breeding the Federation winning cock who went onto score a very nice 13th Group 3 with a vel of 1749. Second on the clock for Mac came the green card scoring 2y blue Vandenabeele hen making 1719 with the sire of the hen being one of Mac's old Koen Minderhoud while the dam who is proving to be a very good breeder and carrying the old Minderhoud jeans is from his old no1 Vandenabeele stock cock when paired to the mother of his good cocks “82” & “29” which were Teesside Federation Bird Of The Years. The well-fancied blue hen takes all pools including 1st Federation Nomination, she also wins the side-bets nomination off Skunky & Lewie for the second week running. Get yer self over to Skunky's Mac he is well stocked up with coffee & biscuits and he will appreciate the company at the moment. Third on the clock on 1701 was the 2y blue hen that won 1st Club, 5th Federation Bubwith on the opening day of the new season with the hen who is out of a grandson of “Harry” paired to Mac's double daughter of the famous Bliksem.          

Brian Atkinson & Keith Perkins chalk up 2nd Club for the third race running after timing a yearling chequer hen doing 1732 to go onto lift a nice 3rd Federation and 49th Group 3, with the sire of the duo's timer being out of Trevor Taylor of Great Ayton fame lines. Button Bell & Weedall return to the frame after Butto timed a 2y blue Ali McLeod Gaby Vandenabeele cock making 1693 to pocket 5th Club, 20th Federation.

Next stop is Haverton Hill where a Rooster was strutting his stuff along the allotments walk-ways minutes after the clocks had being opened to the relieve the boys were back in town for Andrew “Jappa” Appleton & Paul “The Rooster” Longstaff's birds produced a top-drawer performance after timing three yearlings in 7 seconds to win a belting 1st, 2nd and 3rd Club out of 90 birds, 6th, 7th and 8th Federation recording vels of 1727.7 (2) and 1726.2. With top spot being won by a blue Gabby Vandenabeele of Ali McLeod lines with the sire being a race cock out of Ali's Koen Minderhoud stock while the dam of Jappa & Rooster Longstaff's winner is the sister to the mother that bred Ali's 1st Up North Combine Gold Medal winning “Gaby Lou” from Burbure in 2015 from a convoy of 10,617 birds. Both blue and green card potters were nestmate dark cocks who are full brother to Jappa & Skunky's outstanding chequer cock out of a top Ali McLeod cock, the chequer cock more than earned his place in Jappa & Skunky's stock loft after a number of top-drawer performances including winning 1st Club, 1st Federation, 36th Up North Combine Reims 4,193 birds, 1st Club, 1st Federation, 1st Section, 6th Up North Combine Eastbourne (1) National 7,474 birds and 1st Club, 2nd Federation, 65th Up North Combine Burbure (2) 9,331 birds. It's being a very good week for Paul getting back to their winning ways and having a full biscuit barrel and coffee jar due to no callers at the loft for a brew, I cannot believe Lewie has turned down a chance of a free cuppa and biscuits.

Paul Gatley, Graham Harrod & son Dale clock up 4th Club, 11th Federation on 1716 with their yellow card potter being a 2y blue cock that has a number of positions under his belt. A later fancied bird was timed to win the Club pools pocketing £19.40. Nathan Bonar & John Pledger who had flown a notable bird from the first 2 races timed a 2018 bred blue cock to notch up 5th Club.  

Any news to Good Corn 6 Boulby Drive Loftus Saltburn Cleveland TS13 4JN. Tel: 01287 643624 or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.