IRISH NATIONAL FLYING CLUB
Skibbereen YB Inland National
The Irish National Flying Club held their final race of the 2011 season with the Young Bird Inland National flown from Skibbereen on Sunday 18th September after a one day hold over. The birds were released at 10.30am in a light northwest wind with 350 members sending 3037 birds, which was well down from the 3,927 birds that were sent last year. With the northwest wind the Wexford lofts were strong favourites to win another Skibbereen National, but the northern members still had plenty to race for with 252 members having 2215 birds in the race.
As it was, the top ten in the Open was shared between club mates Billy Cullimore and Dempsey Bros from Wexford North and South, with Billy Cullimore having the first two in the race for the second year in a row. This is actually the third time in the last four Skibbereen Nationals that Billy has been first and second Open having also taken the top two spots from the Old Bird National in 2010.
1st South section, 1st Open B Cullimore SLF Wexford North and South, Vel 1561.51, flying 130 miles winning £265 and the Tom Marshall Cup
This name has become synonymous with this race in recent years and with four birds in the top ten here again including first and second for the second consecutive year this really is top class racing. Billy also took the top four in the IHU National Flying Club National from Skibbereen this year as well to prove that this really is a loft on form. Looking at last year’s report the birds timed here are for the most part along the exact same lines. All the birds are Staf Van Reets, as was the case last year and you will see from the report that it’s a very close knit family. Billy had a great race here with 12 birds in the top 40 of the Open result.
The winning pigeon ‘West Point Star’ is a darkened young bird flying to the nest sitting on eggs. The sire of this year’s YB National winner is ‘Shergar’, winner of 5 x 1sts when racing and he has now turned into a top class breeding cock. He has produced five individual Federation winners including this one with five different hens. ‘Shergar’ was a gift bird from club mate Robbie Smith, the 2004 Young Bird National winner. The dam is ‘Davy’s Girl’, winner of 1st Open Malin Head in the Irish North Road National in 2008 (219 miles). She was also the dam of the bird that was 5th Open in this race last year.
West Point Star
2nd South section, 2nd Open B Cullimore SLF Wexford North and South, vel 1561.33, flying 130 miles, winning £200
Billy’s second bird is another darkened cock flying to the nest. This one is a son of last year’s Old Bird National winner ‘The Special One’. Not only did ‘The Special One’ win last year’s Old Bird National it also won 1st Open South Leinster Fed from the Old Bird Derby. The ‘Special One’ is a direct son of ‘Stitch’, winner of Bird of the Year in the Wexford North & South Road Invitation club in 2005, 2006 and 2007, and runner up in 2008. The dam is a half sister to ‘The Specialist’, winner of the Young Bird National last year. The sire of ‘The Specialist’ is a 2006 blue cock that was 2nd Open South Leinster Fed Derby and its grand sire was 3rd Open INFC Yearling National in 2002. The dam of ‘The Specialist’ is a daughter of ‘Stitch’.
3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th South section, 3rd 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th Open Dempsey Bros SLF Wexford North and South, vel 1557.16, 1557.16, 1556.93, 1556.82, 1556.82. 1554.23, flying 132 miles, winning £580
Dempsey Bros was another loft to have a super race here, with six in the top ten of the Open result and with 15 of their 18 entries figuring in the top 76. Whilst racing as Dempsey Bros it's just Francis these days. The Dempseys always had pigeons about them and have been racing since the mid 80s. They won their first race and have just kept going. The loft is situated 3 miles north of Wexford town, which sometimes can work to Francis’ advantage but at other times it goes against him.
Francis trains his young birds hard for the first 6 weeks when they are on the road every day, but then he eases off to twice a week. After this the birds are flown an hour morning and evening. Francis is a firm believer in feeding the youngsters well during the week as they work hard.
The loft has a good record at National level, having been 3rd Open Penzance Young Bird National five years ago, plus several top ten finishes from Skibbereen. Francis has won the Valentia Derby three years in a row in the club and twice in the South Leinster Federation.
The young birds are darkened and raced natural. They are allowed to pair if they want to so we have a mixture of cocks and hens in the result here.
Lets have a look at the birds timed here, which were separated by only three yards per minute.
Their first pigeon is a Vandenabeele cock from good friend’s Dave and Cheryl Hills, originally from London but now living and racing successfully in Wexford.
The pigeons at 4th and 5th Open are nest mates. Both are cocks and are Staf Van Reets from ‘The Sultan’ lines.
The fourth pigeon taking 6th Open is another Staf Van Reet down from ‘The Sultan’ and this one is a hen.
The pigeons at 7th and 8th Open are Van den Bosche from Francis’ own breeding, which he has had for many years.
9th South section, 9th Open B Cullimore SLF Wexford North and South vel 1550, flying 130 miles, winning £65
We go back to Billy Cullimore for 9th Open. This bird is another darkened youngster racing to an 8-day-old young bird. This young cock is a full brother of the bird that was last year’s Champion Young Bird in the South Leinster Fed. The grandsire is ‘Clonard Lad’, the 2007 INFC Old Bird National winner from Skibbereen. He was also 3rd Open INFC Old Bird National Skibbereen in 2004. The grand dam is ‘Davy’s Girl’ winner of 1st Open Malin Head in the North Road National in 2008. ‘Clonard Lad’ and ‘Davy’s Girl’ were the parents of the bird that was 5th Open last year in the Skibbereen Young Bird National.
10th South section, 10th Open B Cullimore SLF Wexford North and South, vel 1546, flying 130 miles, winning £491
The top ten of the Open result is completed by the winner Billy Cullimore. The pigeon at 10th Open was Billy’s fancied bird on the day and picks up £491 in pools and prizemoney. This youngster has had seven cards in the top ten this year and has been the most consistent young bird in the loft. He was sent to this race driving his hen to the nest.
The sire is ‘Stitch’ which has been responsible for most of Billy’s National winners. He was the grand sire of last year’s winner. The dam is ‘Finglas Lady’, winner of 1st Open IHU National Skibbereen in 2009. ‘Finglas Lady’ was a gift pigeon from good friend Derek Cummings Finglas.
Billy would like to thank Eamonn O’Brien, Derek Cummings and Maurice O’Donald, Dungarvan for all their help throughout the year. Billy is really looking forward to trying the new pigeons he got from Maurice next year. In closing Billy sends his congratulations to Francis Dempsey on a great performance here and on a terrific young bird season.
I will cover the top 10 in the North section next week.
All tickets for the Annual dinner and prize night have now been sold.
INFC Press Officer