F & M McMAHON
1st Open East Coast Federation Truro 2014
by Greg Mc
Francis & Jackie McMahon
The second ECF Open of the 2014 season was from Truro, a new racepoint on the programme this year. Leading the field home was the loft of Francis & Maureen Mc Mahon of Balbriggan, racing as F & M Mc Mahon.
They race a team of about 24 old birds and 40 young birds and keep a dozen stock birds, all of which fly out. Francis will start off with the old birds paired up and as soon as he starts them training he will switch them to roundabout. Training is done in the evenings with Tony Mc Aleer who brings the birds to Leopardstown Racecourse. This starts from around mid March about a month before the first race.
Feeding for old birds is a basic all round 4 seasons mix from Joe Corcoran, with the birds having grit and Matrix in pots. He also firmly believes in adding cider vinegar to the water. Drinkers are changed at least twice daily. He also uses the Harkers 3 in 1 as a treatment.
This year they started with 18 old birds and still had 10 at the end of the season after racing the programme. Young birds have been flown on the darkness system the last 4 years, which has worked out very well for them.
All young birds will be fed the same mix as old birds. Feeding is done by hand and stops as the first few head for the drinker. All young birds are expected to fly up as far as the longest land race from Owenahincha.
The Truro & Pilmore winners
This year the old birds had been coming very well and the shed started to come into form the week before Truro, winning the Balbriggan club race from Pilmore with an all pooler yearling hen. This hen had been 2nd club in 2013 as a young bird from Owenahincha. This hen was bred down from a Gerry & Bill O Mara Busschaert cock when paired to a hen he purchased at the Balbriggan Charity Christmas auction a few years ago. This hen was donated by Jackie’s good friend Leslie Woodside, one of his super Kenyon lines.
Now on to the partnership’s big winner the following week in the Truro Open. Their winner, again a yearling hen, had been a darkness young bird flying the full land programme. She also flew the YB Talbenny Open and INFC YB Penzance finishing just outside the prizes in both. Her breeding on the sire’s side was again a Gerry & Bill O Mara bird, a Soontjen cock. The O Mara birds were sourced by Francis’ brother Jackie, who is great friends with the lads and speaks very highly of them and their birds. The dam of the Open winner is a black hen given to him by Brendan (Budgie) Richardson when he was giving up a few years back. The hen had actually been bred for Budgie by Tommy Hartford. The sire was actually down from Budgie’s 2005 INFC Yearling National winner The Jay when paired to a Paul Byrne (Ballybrack) Busschaert hen.
Francis and Maureen would like to thank Jackie for his help getting the O Mara birds, which are really starting to show for them. Also they would like to thank all the others who had a hand in their Truro Open winner and all who wished them well on their success.
My own thanks to Francis and Maureen for their hospitality on the day and my driver Jackie for bringing me to the lofts.
Inside the smart set-up
Francis holding the Truro Open winner
A 2yo Mealy Pied hen that has scored several times
Elimar - October 2014