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Rose of Sharon Wins Edc Derby & Millar Gold Cup



Reports by Clifford Browne


The East Down Combine were in St Malo on June 28th along with the other Irish organisations for the 2013 Old Bird Derby. Again the weather was to prove unsuitable for a liberation on not only the Friday but also the Saturday and Sunday when the decision was made to move the birds back into England to Portland with the prospects of a race on Monday the 1st of July and the birds got away on Monday morning into a westerly wind. Top velocity of the day was to the Dundonald partnership of Stephen Brown & Sons, the current holders of the Combine Fanciers of the Year title, who timed their 2yo blue hen “Rose of Sharon” at 4.42pm to win not only the East Down Combine but also the highly sought after “Millar Gold Cup” for the best bird in the IHU from this event.

The Derby was to prove a difficult race with just 32 birds home in the 3 days in the Combine. “Rose of Sharon” was one of a kit of young birds that Stephen bought in 2011from Mamwell Bros of Louth in Lincolnshire who have a very impressive racing record with the NRCC. She is quite a small pigeon which as a yearling flew Penzance for Stephen and always was a steady racer having won a number of minor prizes. She was selected at the start of the 2013 season for the Old Bird Derby and went to the race on a semi-widowhood roundabout system as she was sharing a cock with another hen. Congratulations to the Browns on another outstanding performance.

Runners up were the Hillfoot partnership of L & H Fields who were one of only two lofts to record two birds home at 2nd and 9th places and both were both hens. The first of these at 2nd open is a 3 year old hen, “Anne”. The breeding of this hen is Sam Duke of Crossgar and she has a very impressive racing record having as a yearling in 2011 been 23rd Open 15th West Section in the EDC St Malo Derby, and as a 2year old she was clocked in on the 2nd morning from St Malo and now she wins 2nd open Portland. She went to the Derby just noticing a cock. Harry likes to race his candidates sparingly and this season their first race was Fermoy. They then got the 2nd Fermoy and in between were trained from Dundrum 3 times. This was slightly different from the three preceding seasons when they had one Fermoy and a Talbenny with a Newcastle training toss the Saturday before going to the Derby. Harry’s second pigeon at 9th is a 4 year old hen, “Iris’s Joy” and again the breeding is Sam Duke. She went to Portland feeding a 6 day old youngster and again she has an impressive record for back as a yearling in 2010 she was 16th Open EDC St Malo Derby, 2011 she was 7th open, in 2012 she arrived on the 2nd day and this year she finishes 9th Open.

In 3rd open was Joe McGreevy of Crossgar who just the week previous to the Old Bird Derby had won the Penzance Classic, 2nd open EDC in the same race with a blue 3 year old hen on roundabout. Again Sam Duke’s bloodlines appear in the pedigree being ½ Sam Duke and ½ Derek Parr and Joe classes this hen as one of his top racers. The hen that wins 3rd in the Derby is a yearling black cheq and again both the parents came from Sam Duke the breeding being van de Weyer. This was a late 2012 youngster and only had two races that year but earlier this year had been Joe’s first bird from the Derek Wishart Fermoy race and although racing roundabout at the early part of the season she and another hen were shown to two cocks every day for several days before going to Portland.

Portland proved to be a difficult race and all those home in race time deserve many congratulations. The full result is:

East Down Combine

01/07/2013 Portland OB Derby

82 Members 296 Birds in Wind Westerly

1 W1 S.Brown & Sons Dundonald HPS 1190.736 £0.00 £128.38

2 W2 L & H Fields Hillfoot HPS 1128.314 £0.00 £82.71

3 W3 J. McGreevy Crossgar HPS 1121.676 C £56.40 £123.43

4 E1 L Young Portavogie 1049.224 abc n ABCD £280.06 £346.01

5 E2 J & I Moore Bangor RPC 1035.413 £0.00 £50.76

6 E3 Kirkwood Bros Killyleagh Central HPS 1004.717 n ABCD N £197.38 £237.95

7 W4 G & J O'Hare Crossgar HPS 997.863 £0.00 £36.35

8 E4 W & N Cully Portavogie 965.198 ab AB £53.65 £89.03

9 W5 L & H Fields Hillfoot HPS 943.433 £0.00 £34.46

10 E5 R.Strain & Son Millisle & District HPS 938.896 bc BCD N £164.95 £198.60

11 E6 T & S Phillips Bangor RPC 929.122 abc A £52.91 £79.56

12 E7 Pritchard Bros Annsborough HPS 836.524 N £24.00 £50.65

13 W6 W Catherwood & Son Ballynahinch HPS 833.979 abc ABCD £138.26 £165.72

14 E8 R.J.Keown Annsborough HPS 757.484 abc ABCD £82.80 £107.72

15 E9 Benson Bros Annsborough HPS 701.874 abc ABCD £72.71 £97.63

16 E10 B Young Portavogie 688.107 £0.00 £23.92

17 E11 C Murray & Ptnr Cloughey HPS 537.919 £0.00 £23.92

18 E12 G Hawthorne Millisle & District HPS 513.919 £0.00 £23.92

19 E13 Gallagher Bros Annsborough HPS 500.781 abc ABC £46.15 £68.34

20 E14 J.McNally & Son Annsborough HPS 465.748 ab ABC £29.96 £52.15

21 E15 N.T.J. McMaster Portavogie 432.933 £0.00 £15.19

22 E16 S Killen & Sons Cloughey HPS 423.455 D £19.80 £34.99

23 W7 J.Abernethy Ballynahinch HPS 387.441 abc n ABCD £111.83 £131.29

24 E17 McLoughlin Bros Annalong HPS 355.966 abc ABCD £56.80 £71.99

25 E18 N Sharpe Portavogie 354.879 c C £22.28 £37.47

26 W8 J.Abernethy Ballynahinch HPS 340.094 abc n ABCD £94.20 £111.77

27 E19 B Jennings Annsborough HPS 337.074 £0.00 £14.33

28 W9 T. Horner & Sons Crossgar HPS 241.917 £0.00 £17.57

29 E20 K.Rooney,Son & Dtr Annalong HPS 233.061 abc ABC £40.96 £55.29

30 L McCavery Annalong HPS 226.568 C £11.28 £21.28

31 McCormick & Muckle Donaghadee RPC 216.416 abc AB D £45.52 £55.52

32 S Killen & Sons Cloughey HPS 208.438 D £15.84 £25.84

East Down2bird News

The Portland Derby saw only 3 two birds timed with Stephen Brown’s race winner being the first of these. R J Keown of Annsborough was 14th open and Rodney McCormick & Harold Muckle were 31st Open. Congratulations to all three lofts on their success.

1st S Brown & son 1190.736

2nd R J Keown 757.484

3rd McCormick& Muckle 216.416

Sam Regan reports from Around the Ards Peninsula

Burnside Lofts best from Penzance

The final club old bird race saw the pigeons return to channel racing following the previous week's inland race from Mt Charles which was flown instead of Bude due to very poor weather conditions in Devon and over the Irish Sea. The venue was Penzance close to Lands End in Cornwall and with all the Irish organisations racing from the same race point the East Down Combine were the first to cut the strings at 08.00 into the North West wind which was at its freshest early in the morning, which meant a stiff challenge for the birds to fly home across the Irish Sea. Winning pigeon came from my own club Ballywalter and also 1st Open E.D.C., a four year old blue w/f hen clocked into its loft in Ballyhalbert close to the most easterly point of all Ireland, Burr Point. This hen was flown on roundabout by the father and son team of Winston and Hugh McMaster and her breeding was on the sire's side a black cock direct from the double King's Cup winning loft of McDowell Bros of Newtownards, top National fliers and on the dam’s side Jos Thone via Ian Stafford. This hen had been a steady racer for the McMaster family. The pigeon covered the 300 miles into a head wind in just under 7½ hours and many congratulations to all concerned on their success. The family would like to thank all those who called to wish them congratulations for their open win.

Runner up in the Amalgamation were the Gordon Bros and Sons team who return to winning ways in their Cloughey club timing a fancied bird which also wins the three bird club as well and their second pigeon was clocked for 14th place in the Amalgamation, again very well done.

Top loft in the Millisle club goes to Raymond and Michael Strain getting their arrival home to its Ballyhay loft for 3rd position into the peninsula. This father and son team won the St Malo Derby last season and by the looks of this result have their birds in good form for next week's Derby.

Runner up in the Ballywalter club, Adam Palmer clocked a two year old Blue cock for 4th Amalgamation. This pigeon flying natural into his Greyabbey lofts also takes second place in the three bird club while his second bird a five year old blue cock lifts 10th spot. Another Ballywalter member takes the next two places in the Amalgamation being 5th and 6th with two birds arriving together into the Shoreline Lofts of Sam Regan both Cattrysse crosses and flown on roundabout. The first of these also lifts third in the three bird club.

Portavogie club winner sees Leslie Young, who is having a very good year, time for 7th place into the Peninsula. It's back to Millisle for our next bird with Jackie Rankin clocking the 8th placed pigeon into his Ballybuttle lofts. Jim Keenan and Sons of Portavogie get their first Amalgamation ticket of the season in 9th and hopefully this will give Jim a boost following his recent stay in hospital and best wishes.

Top loft in Donaghadee sees Sean Duffy get his second channel win of the old bird year and very well done Sean. Cloughey club runner's up Drew Harper and Martin Young continue to add to their excellent 2013 by being 12th and are having a great season - well done gentlemen. It's back to Donaghadee for 13th with Rodney McCormick and Harold Muckle clocking into their lofts.

Full Result 25/253

1st W.McMaster & son 1190.

2nd & 14th Gordon Bros & sons 1103,1019.

3rd R.Strain & son 1076.

4th 10th Palmer & McKay 1072,1039.

5th & 6th Sam Regan 1071x2.

7th L.Young 1059.

8yh J.Rankin. 1051.

9th J.Keenan & sons. 1039.

11th S.Duffy. 1031.

12th Harper & Young 1026.

13th McCormick & Muckle 1020.

3 Bird Club 18/54

1st Gordon Bros & sons A.B.C. 1103

2nd Palmer & McKay A.B.C. 1072.

3rd Sam Regan A.B.C. NOM. 1071.

This was the first part of the show money payments of the annual show; four cuts to those members who showed.

1st  W.McMaster & son.

2nd Gordon Bros & sons.

3rd Palmer & McKay.

4th Sam Regan.


The final two races in the Old Bird Calendar were both with the INFC, The King’s Cup and the Friendship National and more details on the best Combine birds from these next time, this along with a full round up of the 1st young Bird race from Navan scheduled for Sat July 20th but I can tell you that the winner of the East Down Combine Cup in the INFC from this year’s King’s Cup race flown from St Allouestre wereTyrella’s S Milligan & Dtr at 13th open 12th North Section. Thanks to all who supplied photos and details of their performance from the Derby etc.