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Rish National Flying Club Young Bird National Penzance




Brendan McLoughlin



The Irish National Flying Club Young Bird National was held on Wednesday 7th September with the birds liberated in Penzance at 9.40am in a fresh south easterly wind. The race was once again sponsored by Frazer’s Animal Feeds. The entry was up on last year with 385 members from across Ireland sending 2,174 birds (last year 467 members sent 2,923) and members were racing for total pools and prize money of £18,344.

While the south easterly wind was expected to help the pigeons into Ireland there were some significant fog patches that unfortunately didn’t clear as quickly as they were expected to. Everything seemed pretty much on schedule when an early bird was reported in Gorey at 1.15 but at the end of the first day there were only 160 pigeons timed. The next morning started off dull enough but this didn’t prevent the birds coming through and the positions were filled by early morning and there quite a few more pigeons home throughout the day with many reporting good returns.


1st North Section, 1st Open M Robinson Bondhill , Vel 1631, Flying 301 miles, winning £1285,and the J.M.K McGugan Perpetual Cup

 Malcolm Robinson Bondhill 1st North section 1st Open Penzance Young Bird National

The winner of the Penzance Young Bird National 2016 is one of Ireland’s top fanciers, Malcolm Robinson of the Bondhill club. Malcolm has a prolific record going back a number of years and some of the highlights are 3rd and 5th Open King’s Cup 1996, Winners of the Harkness Rosebowl in 2000 for the best two bird average from King’s Cup, 1st Open NIPA Lamballe Old Bird Derby 2001, 5th Open King’s Cup 2011, Hall of Fame winner in 2011 for a pigeon three times in the prizes from King’s Cup and 6th Open Yearling National 2015.

The pigeon timed here to win the Young Bird Channel National now known as ‘Tilda’, is a darkness young bird reared in January, sent to this race sitting on a squab that Malcolm had given her on the morning of race marking. She had been sitting 3 weeks on eggs but had left them during the night. As Malcolm had no squabs he managed to get a squab from his good friend Willie Capper (winner of the NIPA Young Bird Derby from Talbenny two days previous). The young hen took to the youngster straight away and was tight on the squab when Malcolm picked her up for basketing.  She had five races prior to Penzance and no special training this year, just out in the mornings to fly at will. The sire is a red cock from Mr & Mrs Delaney Dromore, given to Malcolm as a luck penny for sheep sold to Malcolm. Breeding is Osmon Logan x Southwell, off ‘Rose’, the John Wills line mother of ‘Palomas Dream’ bred down from the ‘Blind Hen’. The grandsire is Jim Shepherd’s ‘Tarzan’s Southwell blood. The dam was bred by Malcolm’s ‘mentor ‘Davy Strain, Ballyclare from his Gebr Brugemanns Barcelona lines, through Dave Impett’s gold mine hen ‘Yarna’ and Brugemann’s ’Isora’ blood. Malcolm ended up with two more birds in the result at 178th and 190th Open.

Malcolm asked me to thank Sam Corrigan, Loughgall who cut short his stay in hospital to feed his birds while he was away on holidays.


2nd North section, 2nd Open Adamson & Anderson Gilford, Vel 1520, Flying 295 miles, winning £330

Joe Adamson and Nigel Anderson Gilford 2nd Open Penzance YB National

2nd North section, 2nd Open are Joe Adamson and Nigel Anderson of the Gilford club timing at 3.22pm. Joe was telling me that he will be 91 next week and it’s great that he is still so active in the sport. I just want to take this opportunity to wish him a very happy birthday and say what a pleasure it was to speak to somebody with so much experience in racing pigeons. Joe raced on his own until 2006, when following a period in hospital, when Nigel had looked after the birds, the partnership was formed. The pigeon timed here is a blue cheq cock flying to the perch. The breeding of this one contains the bloodlines of some of Northern Ireland’s best known fanciers, Bertie Fletcher, Stanley Calvert and Jim Nelson. Bertie Fletcher and Jim Nelson were very good friends of Joes while Stanley Calvert was his cousin. The breeding is mainly Van Wildemeersch and is similar to birds that were 3rd Open King’s Cup and twice second from the St Malo Old Bird Derby. The chequer cock himself is a big pigeon and had most races this year, being a steady racer. Training is twice a week with Ron Williamson from Balbriggan weather permitting and as a final preparation Nigel gave them a 35 mile toss on the Sunday before the race from Castlebellingham. They had two more in the result at 69th and 198th Open.

3rd North section, 3rd Open, Donnelly Bros Millvale, Vel 1518, Flying 284 miles, winning £259

Richard Donnelly of Donnelly Bros Millvale, with his daughter Faith, 3rd Open Penzance YB National

3rd North section, 3rd Open are the top lofts of Richard and John Donnelly from the Millvale club in Newry, winners of the Friendship National in 2008, when they had the only bird on the day.  Richard and John have a host of top National positions and it was no surprise to hear that they were once again leading contenders for a National win having timed at 3.10pm. The bird timed here is a blue bar cock sent sitting on a five-day-old youngster. The breeding is impeccable as it’s sire is a son of the Friendship National winner. They have timed grandchildren of the Friendship cock the past two years, which is remarkable considering that last year’s race was an even more difficult race. The dam of the pigeon at 3rd Open here is down from their Tommy Beckett lines, responsible for many prizewinners. The young blue bar timed here at 3rd Open has been a consistent racer and was 28th Section G, 96th Open NIPA from Tullamore. Richard and John train the birds two or three times a week from Ardee (25 miles) with Ivan Mawhinney.

4th North Section, 4th Open G Grant Crumlin, Vel 1516, Flying 309 miles, winning £827

George Grant Crumlin 4th Open Penzance YB National

The Crumlin lofts of George Grant are 4th Open here on a velocity of 1516 for the 309 miles fly into the Co Antrim town from a race entry of only two pigeons. The pigeon timed here is a chequer hen flying to the perch. The parents of the bird timed are Vandenabeeles from Brian Stone’s Econolofts in Ripley.  George timed a pigeon the same way bred as this one in the Yearling National from Sennen Cove back in June to take 236th North section (3113 birds)and 295th Open  (5188 birds). This hen timed here was one of a pair of hens in the nest which George likes to see. Both hens were in every inland race with this one taking a top ten Open position here and the nestmate being timed in Talbenny, in another difficult race. George works the young birds hard and they are privately trained very morning from Sunday to Thursday weather permitting from the shooting range between Banbridge and Newry (25 miles)

5th North section, 5th Open Gillis & Radcliffe Laurelvale, Vel 1505, Flying 295miles, winning £258

Bobby Gillis and Gordon Radcliffe Laurelvale 5th Open Penzance YB National

We go the Laurelvale club for 5th Open to the lofts of Bobby Gillis and Gordon Radcliffe. I have known Bobby for a few years now as he has a caravan on a site about 200 yards from me and he calls now and again for a chat. The pigeon timed here is a blue cheq hen flying to the perch. Bobby and Gordon had a good race here with three out of their four entries home in race time. The sire is from Ronnie Bell & Son Jason from Edgarstown, who were 2nd Open King’s Cup in 2014. Bobby is Jason’s father-in-law so I’m sure they got the best.  The dam is a granddaughter of a hen that was 53rd Open St Malo in 2006, and 42nd Open St Malo in 2007 on one side while the other side is down from pigeons from Cyril Hughes Laurelvale. The pigeon timed here had most inland races, with lots of private training to Newry (15 miles) with a few tosses with Ron Williamson to Balbriggan (45 miles)


6th North section, 6th Open, D Dixon Ballymoney, Vel 1498, Flying 339 miles, winning £125

Danny Dixon Ballymoney, 6th Open Penzance YB National

We move to the Ballymoney club for our 6th North section, 6th Open bird, to the lofts of leading flyer Danny Dixon.  Danny won this race in 2010 on a velocity of 1311 yards per minute and is the longest flying winner of the race.  Danny is also a former winner of the Skibbereen National and has many excellent results at both National and NIPA level. Danny was 10th Open in the race last year so has a formidable record in the Young Bird National. The pigeon at 6th Open here is closely related to ‘Dixie Chick’, winner of this race in 2010. She is a daughter of ‘Dixie Chick’s sire when paired to a granddaughter of ‘Dixie Chick’. Breeding is the original Bertie Fletcher, Van Wildermeersch lines through Shane Langton of South Normanton in England. The pigeon timed here is a blue bar hen sent flying to the perch. A consistent racer she had every inland race, plus training twice a week with Homer to Oxford Island (40 miles)


7th & 8th North section, 7th and 8th Open, S Clarke Doagh & Dist, Vels 1495.25, 1495.19, flying 319 miles, winning £265 and the De-Scheemaecker Trophy for Best Two Bird Average

Sam Clarke Doagh and Dist, 7th and 8th Open Penzance YB National

Sam Clarke Doagh & District timed two birds together to take 7th and 8th Open and is the winner of the best two bird average in the Young Bird Channel National. While Sam is ending the season on a high, it unfortunately is also the end of a life time in the pigeon sport as he has developed pigeon lung and has to part with the pigeons on doctor’s orders. Sam’s father was 11th Open King’s Cup in 1980 from Les Sables flying 597 miles into Ballyclare, so it’s fair to say that pigeons are definitely in Sam’s blood. Due to the onset of Pigeon Lung his young birds had only the two area liberation races from Mullingar and Tullamore.  They were then flown at home and trained two weeks before the National with Rosie and Jim’s Training Services.

The first pigeon timed is a blue hen sent sitting seven days on eggs. The sire is a from Arnold Thompson Ballyclare and Jim McGrugan Doagh’s distance stock, while the dam is a Brian Tuplin Barker. The second bird timed on the same yard is another blue hen, again sent sitting seven days on eggs, The dam of the first one is the grand dam of the second one, and it also contains the distance bloodlines from Arnold Thompson and Jim McGrugan.  The sire is Chris Gordon of Pontefract’s 725 mile Open winner from Tarbes in 2005 crossed with the Jim McGrugan pigeons.  Sam remarked that both hens timed are small in stature. Sam rounded off a good days racing when he timed a third bird to take 115th Open in this race.

9th North Section, 9th Open D & B Lyness Lurgan Social,  Vel 1488, Flying 301 miles, winning £118

 Denis Lyness of D and B Lyness Lurgan Social 9th Open Penzance YB National

9th Open in the Young Bird National goes to the Lurgan Social lofts of D & B Lyness.  Nowadays it’s just Denis as Benny unfortunately passed away a few years ago but like many lofts in the same circumstance Denis decided to retain the name. Denis has had a fair degree of success in National races over the years. Having been 2nd Open Skibbereen Young Birds in 1977, he has also been 6th  Open in the Yearling National and 6th Open in the King’s Cup, in a race that also saw him take 40th Open. The pigeon timed here is a blue pied hen flying to the perch. The sire, a Willy Jacobs x Grondelaar from Mr & Mrs G Delaney, Dromore was 17th section, 70th Open Yearling National Cocks race with the NIPA in 2013. The dam is again from  Willy Jacobs x Grondelaar stock from Delaney’s Oroory Hill Lofts. Her dam was 1st Open NIPA Roscrea 2013 and 3rd section, 87th Open Tullamore. The parents are both now at stock. Denis trains privately  three or four times per week, weather permitting. He has one toss from Annagassan and the others from the border at Killeen.


10th North Section, 10th Open J Greenaway Dromore, Vel 1487, Flying 297miles, winning £75

Jeff Greenaway Dromore 10th Open Penzance YB National

We move to the Dromore club in Co Down for our 10th Open bird to the lofts of leading flyer Jeff Greenaway. Jeff has had phenomenal success in recent years and told me that this was the third time he was 10th Open in a National race this year having been 10th Open with the NIPA in both their Old Bird and Young Bird races from Roscarberry. The pigeon timed here is a pencil tipped cock which had just started to show to a hen. The breeding is Van Reet x Soontjens and is the same lines as Wesley Sawyers’ Friendship National winner this year and Ivan Parkes and Son’s Skibbereen National winner you can’t get much better than that. The young cock timed here had every young bird race this year except Talbenny. Jeff trains the pigeons Tuesday to Thursday to the border (20 miles) while the Schrooder and Tollison products are used throughout the year.

Thanks again to our race sponsors, Frazers Animal Feeds. I’d also like to thank all those who helped with photographs. We are always grateful to those who help at the Marking Station and Clock Centres.


Brendan McLoughlin

Irish National Flying Club Press Officer