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East Down Combine News - 27-11-20

East Down Combine News 

with Clifford Browne


With the uncertainty with regards to the possibility of racing in the 2020 season because of the Covid restrictions many lofts opted to hold off pairing their race team until later than usual and one such fancier to do this was East Down Combine member Jackie Rankin of the Millisle & District club, a club situated on the East Coast of Co. Down.  Having made this decision Jackie then turned his attention to the possibility of entering a team for one of the longer distance races and when it was confirmed that the EDC would be allowed to fly it’s Old Bird Derby from St.Malo at the end of July instead of the normal June date Jackie decided that this was the event he was going to concentrate on.

jackie rankin millisle

Over the years Jackie has an excellent record from the inland and channel races but it was really only this year that he set his stall out to fly France and what a great choice he made for from his team of seven entered he timed in 6 in the Combine Open result also taking the top six places in the club.  The Combine birds were released on the 30th of July at 6.30am into a South South East wind and indications were that the race would see the winning birds back on the first day of this 3 day event and this indeed proved to be the case with the leading birds recording velocities in the 1400’s.

The following are some details of these six birds and their performances. As there is an appeal pending with the IHU with regards to who the overall winner of the Combine is, the Combine positions shown here are those as they stand at present.

Leading Jackie’s arrivals was a 2 year old Blue cheq hen which finished 1st club, 10th open 5th East section East Down Combine was also first Portavogie Centre on a velocity of 1381ypm.  The sire of this hen is C & L Woodside and Brockamp whilst the dam is of Euro Diamond Bloodlines and this hen went to St. Malo feeding her first young of the year which had just hatched.

10th Open

Jackie’s second bird was also a 2yr old blue cheq hen again feeding her first young birds of the year at 6 days old and she finished 2nd club 24th Open 15th East section EDC and just a few weeks before she had won first club Bude . This hen’s bloodlines were van Dyck & Verkerk.

24th open

The 3rd bird to the Rankin loft was a 3yr old Blue cheq cock and he finished 3rd club 46th open St.Malo and this is another bird which had already won this year having been 1st club Talbenny some 3 weeks before the St.Malo Derby.  This cock’s bloodlines are on the Dam’s side from local fancier Drew Caskey with the Sire being from John Halstead ,a grandson of John’s 1st open Palamos.

Jackie’s 4th bird home from St. Malo was another hen a 2yr old Blue Pied again feeding 6 day old youngsters and as well as being 4th club she won 54th open EDC and the bloodlines here on the sire’s side were Jummy O’Hara, M Rakes & J Halstead whilst the dam was from Gerald O’Sullivan.

5th bird home at 5th club was another 2 yr old hen, a red this time, and she finished at 67th open EDC ,her sire was from Sid Collins and the dam was a Jan Arden.

The sixth and final bird times was another 2 year old Blue cheq at 6th club 73rd open and the sire was again John Halstead and is a grand daughter of his 1st Open Palamos with on the Dam’s side the C& L Woodside bloodlines.

What a great result for this Millisle fancier so I asked Jackie about his preparation for this event ,well as I mentioned at the start he paired his team up later than usual around mid February, They were only rearing there first youngsters at the time of the St.Malo race.  Training was done privately with Jackie giving them tosses from Portaferry, Dundrum and Newry releasing them in twos or threes.  The 50 or so Old birds were raced natural and fed on Versele-Laga Superstar plus V.L Energy.

This was a super start to this fanciers distance racing and he will be eagerly looking for the possibility of more distance events in the future. Congratulations Jackie.

I hope to do over the next few months some more of these little pen portraits of other Combine lofts so please contact me with your successes .