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East Down Combine 20-07-18

East Down Combine News

with Clifford Browne

“SHALLAS LASS” wins testing St.Malo OB Derby

Once again the OB St.Malo Derby of 2018 proved to be a very testing event with 8 recorded arrivals in the 3 days of the race but there is one loft in the East Down Combine which has been to the fore in this event in the last 3 years and that is that of the Portavogie Father & son partnership of Ronnie & Jim Young whose record is outstanding over these past 3 years in fact not only these last 3 years but over the last 9 years when they have been in the prizes in 7 of these races but the last 3 have been phenomenal .2016 2nd ,2017 1st (only 2 combine birds in race time ) 2018 1st again and this with a yearling ( only 8 Combine birds in race time )

I caught up with Ronnie & Jim recently and this is a little of their success story The pigeons were liberated in St.Malo at 6.30am into a light NE wind on June 29th and there were no combine birds recorded on the first Day but the Youngs timed their blue cheq W/F hen at 8.39am on the second morning and she has been christened “Shallas Lass” by the partners the name being derived from a nearby row of terrace houses.

Now a bit about this game little hen ,well first of all she is a yearling ,secondly she had never been across the water before going to St Malo in fact she was not even raced as a young bird although she had been trained as a youngster and before St.Malo this year had been in every Inland race except Skibbereen . These Inland races being used as preparation for St Malo where she went sitting eggs 10 to 12 days although she has not as yet reared a youngster .

Now the breeding of this hen is full of the Young’s other successful French bloodlines her uncle being last year’s winner “Jack’s Legacy” and the Grandmother being the hen they were 2nd open St.Malo in 2016 “Bonnie Lass” and just to refresh readers on these two birds

“Jack’s Legacy” is a Dark Chequer Cock and he was sent to St. Malo sitting 7days , prior to going to France he had 5 Inland races but also he was not across the channel the year he went to St.Malo however he was well experienced at the distance having flown Quimper in 2015 arriving on the 2nd Morning just out of the prizes and then in 2016 he was in St. Malo arriving with a broken leg on the 4th evening .

Regarding the breeding of this cock .On the sire’s side he is off a cock whose sire is an Eric Cannon cock and whose dam is from Ronnie’s Brother in Law Jack Hughes (hence the origins of his name ). Ronnie & Jim obtained this hen when Jack had to give up the birds for health reasons after having raced himself very successfully for many years and the bloodlines that Jack raced originated from Jimmy Anderson (Cullybackey) and Frank Cheetham . The Dam of “Jack’s Legacy “is the same way bred as the sire but off a different cock and hen .

I Referred to the Young’s having been 2nd open in this race in 2016 and this was with a 2 year old blue hen “Bonnie Lass” and “Jack’s Legacy” is in fact a Nephew of this hen .“Bonnie Lass” flew the Quimper Friendship National in 2015 just finishing outside the prizes .Then in 2016 she hen had 4 Irish races including the Skibbereen Derby and the Derek Wishart Fermoy race and this was followed by 2 or 3 training tosses per week from Castlewellan and she then went to St. Malo sitting 12days this being only her 3rd time ever across the water. The breeding of this hen is a cross between birds the partnership have from Keith Mott and birds from Jack Hughes.

The sire of “Shallas Lass” is from a cock which clubmate Eddie Agar had on loan from Lawrence Fryers (C &L Fryers ) of Dromara and the dam is of the Young’s birds as mentioned above . . Many congratulations to Jim and Ronnie on what can only be described as another superb result from yet another difficult race .

2nd open and again a yearling was a blue cock flying to the Killyleagh Central club loft of R Watson & son being timed at 8.56am on the 2nd morning .This cock was racing on Roundabout and flew 8 inland races and the 1st Talbenny, prior to being sent to St Malo. He was paired for channel races and on 23rd June was sent to the NIPA Fermoy sitting on 3 day old young bird, He was 1st bird to loft and was19th Sec F, 219th Open NIPA. The following Tuesday was sent to St Malo with EDC

This cock’s Sire Was bred by Pat O’Sullivan, Enfield. He is a grandson of “Braveheart” (1st,9th,15th and 24th LNRC Lerwick 500+ miles), and Grandson of Dream Maker, 1st LNRC Lerwick

His Dam is a Grondelaar Hen bred by Colin Watson’s good friend Tony Smyth. She is a granddaughter of Champion Felix on one side and Champion Terry on the other, both bred and raced by Gerald Delaney.

Colin has asked me through this column to extend congratulations to Ronnie and Jim Young on their remarkable achievement on winning the Old Bird National for the 2nd year running, a stunning performance.

3rd bird in the Combine was to Ballynahinch’s Colin Lavery and who can forget this loft’s performance from the King’s Cup in 2015 with the INFC from St.Allouestre when Colin clocked four birds on the day and three on the second a total of seven out of an entry of ten birds. Finishing 157th,169th,182nd and 229th open. This is another loft which excels at the French events .


The week after the St.Malo Derby it was the Blue Riband King’s Cup race with the INFC and first bird in the East Down Combine was to Harry Fields (L & H Fields) of the Hillfoot club who finished 13th open 10th north section on a velocity of 689 ypm . Congratulations Harry , another fancier who looks forward to the longer races .


Some Channel Winners

With the old bird programme now complete for 2018 some of the Channel winners of specialist awards are ;

3 Bird Channel Championship - Talbenny - BCT Foulis & Gill (Dundonald)

Bude --- M Croskery (Annsborough)

Penzance - S Regan ( Ballywalter )


Meritorious Award winners Talbenny & Fermoy -W & L Robinson (Hillfoot)

Bude & Penzance -----M Croskery (Annsborough)



This weekend sees the start of Young Bird racing with the first race scheduled for Saturday July 21st from Navan and sees the introduction of the new 10 bird nomination and 2 bird members don’t forget the Young Bird Gold ring event where Members will nominate 5 rings of their own at a cost of £10 but nominations will only need to be placed with the 2 bird secretary on or before the dates on the form in early August.