IRISH NATIONAL FLYING CLUB YOUNG BIRD GRAND NATIONAL PENZANCE -
The Irish National Flying Club Blue Riband Young Bird National was held on Sunday 9th September with the birds liberated at Penzance in Cornwall at 7.45am in a light south westerly wind. The race was once again sponsored by Frazer?s Animal Feeds, and open to all fanciers in Ireland. Race marking was delayed for several days with weather reports forecast strong north to north easterly winds for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Penzance and on the Irish Sea. The major race of the young bird season was due to be flown on Wednesday 5th September. Only 175 gallant birds had been recorded on the first day with the prize list completed on the second day when we had poor conditions. All told in the season which has been most difficult for a number of reasons it was no surprise the entry was well down, 251 members from across Ireland sent 1326 birds and members were racing for total pools and prizemoney of £14,587. Last season the entry was 380 members and 2251 pigeons.
1st North Section, 1st Open Telford Bros & S & J Milligan Downpatrick Premier, Vel 1249 flying 290 miles, winning £613 plus J M K McGugan Perpetual Cup for the winner.
The winning partnership of Telford Bros and Sean & Jennifer Milligan, Downpatrick Premier.
The first pigeon timed at 2.45pm to win 1st Open & 1st North Section from 1326 birds belonging to the partnership of Telford Bros & S & J Milligan from the Downpatrick Premier Club. This was a newly formed club in the area, and the partnership was a new one as well although S Milligan & Daughter also retain that membership. It was sent to the race sitting fourteen days on eggs along with his hen who was 42nd Open & 24th North Section, the third pigeon time 198th Open & 122nd North Section. It was very good return for the loft, in the circumstances, from their small entry of six birds. The winning pigeon is a Busscharet, how well that strain of birds have done over many years, now named ?The New Mr Busscharet? was bred by Dicky Quinn of Shrigley, a small village in County Down from his own inbred family of Busscharets. Very close to Killyleagh, this was the town-land made famous by the late Billy Parkes who had a top quality loft of the famous Busschaert?s. Congratulations Alan, Colin, Sean and Jennifer on your top winning performance.
The 1st Open INFC winner Champion ?New Mr Busschaert?.
2nd North Section, 2nd Open C McArdle & Sons Banbridge, Vel 1248 flying 294 miles, winning £872.
The C McArdle & Son team from Banbridge, 2nd Open YB Nat Penzance.
C McArdle and Sons race in Banbridge County Down, another famous area of long distance racing, the Kings Cup had been won on three occasions before my first visit to the area in 1984 when Russell & Moffatt won from Lerwick and then just a few years later in 1989 when R Carson & Son won the Blue Riband event from Rennes. C McArdle & Sons are consistent racers and I spoke with Brian who sent me the following.
After the death of our dad, July 2000, Stephen moved into the family home and had been involved with the birds since then. Myself Brian, and Stephen over the past few years, have tried to bring in distance birds from Buckley, Donnelly, Mark Ewbanks, W Sawers and J Brush, all fantastic local area lofts. Our second national young bird came direct from Glen Buckley and Sons of Annaghmore. The sire Van De Bulk cock and dam a Soontjen hen, many thanks Glenn. Congrats as well to Telford and Milligan on winning the national.
3rd & 5th North Section, 3rd & 5th Open Ron Williamson Newry & District, Vel 1243.7 and 1242 flying 282 miles, winning £342 plus De Scheemaecker Trophy for Best 2 Bird Average.
Ron Williamson from Newry & Dist, 3rd & 5th YB Penzance and winning De Scheemaecker Trophy.
One of the top lofts in Ireland, has been doing the business in the whole time I have been writing reports, from the early days with the late Bertie Fletched in Portadown, then Bondhill where he set many records and now well settled in Newry. The lofts first bird finishing 3rd Open INFC is the best bloodlines of good friends Gregg Bros & McCandless, these bloodlines have won a whole host of top positions this season.
Sire - Direct Son of Champions ?Ulster?s Dazzler? & ?Helens Something Special?. Ulster Dazzler is a winner of NIPA Champion Old Bird RPRA Region & National Sprint Champion winning 1st, 4th, 6th, 6th, 7th, 9th Open NIPA with up to 28,000+ birds. Helens Something Special was winner of 1st Open INFC Hens National 2009 Penzance.
Dam - Direct daughter of The Chosen One & Helens Glory. The Chosen One is a winner of 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 22nd Open NIPA with up to 28,000+ birds. Helens Glory is a winner of 1st & 6th Open INFC Old Hens National 2009 & 2010 Penzance and probably the best racing hen we have ever had and now an ace breeder, it's also a winner in the NIPA of 6th, 7th, 14th, 42nd, 56th, 56th, 84th, 118th Open up to 26,000+ birds and out to Penzance, indeed an Ace Racer /Breeder.
The bird in 5th position was bred by Peter Martin of Belfast, a Van Leemputten from a pair of young stock birds, Peter had the best of this family from Wright Bros of Doncaster. Sire is a son of ?Hammers? 1st Club & 3rd Fed and 1st Club & 2nd Fed when paired to the Golden Hen?. The dam was from the Golden Couple and a son of the Gold Medal hen.
4th North Section, 4th Open Dean Grieves Killyleagh & District, Vel 1243.0 flying 296 miles, winning £385.
Dean Grieves of Killyleagh holding ?Robs Lass?, 4th Open INFC.
The loft of Dean Grieves from the big Killyleagh & Dist was on top form at the Penzance weekend winning 1st Sect F in the NIPA premier YB Nat from Talbenny in South Wales, the weekend was complete when he timed ?Robs Lass? to finish 4th Open Penzance. The hen was sent sitting 12 day old eggs. Sire, was obtained from Alwyn Paddy, Doncaster. This cock is responsible for the lofts 23rd YB Nat winner INFC last season and the 30th INFC Yearling National winner in 2018. Dam was from Colin Hayes of Ballyclare, who had a great record in this race, daughter of his 9th Open INFC Penzance YB National which was obtained from Mr Hayes Clearance Sale. The bird now named ?Robs Lass? is called in dedication to his late grandfather who got him involved in pigeons.
6th North Section, 6th Open Jeff Greenaway Dromore HPS, Vel 1237 flying 297 miles, winning £319.
A happy Jeff Greenaway from Dromore, former winner and 6th Open in 2018.
Jeff Greeaway from Dromore, the overall winner last year was well placed again in what is probably his favourite race where he had won numerous positions over the last few years. He won the De Scheemaecker Trophy for Best 2B Ave last year when the loft had five early birds, having previously won it in 2014. This season Cheq hen contains the best bloodlines available at the lofts in Dromore, sire bred by Mark Gilbert, Windsor and dam bred by John Adams, London. Training is most days to Ardee or Clogherhead with Joe Brown. Jeff?s father, Billy is a great help especially with the stock birds. He was curtailed a bit this season after having a fall.
7th North Section, 7th Open Sean McLoughlin Crossgar HPS, Vel 1236 flying 298 miles, winning £256.
In 7th spot we have a very popular fancier Sean McLoughlin of Crossgar who reported one of my birds during the year. His latest top performer is a Blue hen raced on darkness and flying to the perch for most of the season. Now to the breeding sire was a gift bird from good friend Fred McMaster of Kircubbin, the very best of Thompson Bros Maze bloodlines. Dam was Lambrecht bred from stock obtained from Danny Dixon of Dunloy. Sean timed a 2nd bird which was waiting when he returned from the Centre with his T3 clock to win 141st Open & 92nd North Section. Again it was off a pair of birds purchased at the INFC Charity Sales in 2016 & 2017 bred by Danny Dixon to whom Sean is very grateful. He would also like to thank Gerald Adair and Joe McGreevy for their help in getting him back and forward to the Marking Centre in Lisburn. Many congratulations Sean, it was nice speaking to you.
8th North Section, 8th Open Arnold Thompson Ballyclare & Dist, Vel 1233 flying 321 miles, winning ££891.
Sean McLoughlin from Crossgar in Co Down, 7th Open Penzance.
Best in the Muckamore Centre was the ever consistent Arnold Thompson of Ballyclare in County Antrim, another hot-bed of long distance racing and Arnold is usually there, this time he put four birds in the result when there was only a handful between East and Mid Antrim. Arnold's first arrival was a blue cock raced on the Darkness and sent to the race with his hen had just laid her first egg. The sire of the cock was 11th Open Penzance, 36th Open Sennen Cove and 72nd Open St Malo. The dam was 13th Open Yearling National and a grand Dam 10th Open King's Cup. The Cock had every race prior to going to the National. Both Sire and dam best of long distance bloodlines via Pros Roosens & Peter Van De Eijden The cock was bred for the job and another great result for Arnold.
Arnold Thompson Ballyclare & Dist, best in the Muckamore Centre and 8th Open INFC.
1st South Section, 9th Open Mr & Mrs J McMahon Balbriggan, Vel 1231 flying 242 miles, winning £110 plus William Erwin Memorial Cup for Sect Winner not winning 1st Open.
Mr & Mrs McMahon with the winning bird at their lofts in Balbriggan, 1st South Sect.
Winners of the South Sect and Best in the Balbriggan Centre winning William Erwin Memorial Cup Jackie & Moyra McMahon who acted as Secretary of East Coast Fed when I started covering the area many years ago. How things have moved on from that time. The Penzance National bird is a Blue cheq cock which was raced to the perch, he had 3 races from Cork before he was entered in this race. His Bloodlines are on his dam side the Gerry O`Mara 692 who is on loan to the team, she is a super hen and responsible for most of their winners including 2nd Open Y/B National in 2015. The sire is Gerry`s Rocket Ronnie lines crossed with Joe Dohenys gift hen, she is off Joe`s Friendship National Cock, they would like to thank these two great fanciers for their birds and their friendship.
To finish with our congratulations to the winning loft of Telford Bros & Son & S & J Milligan and thanks to Balbriggan station manager Michael Gorman for all the hard work he puts in when our National`s are on. They would also like to thank friends and fanciers who phoned to congratulate them on their success. With a small team of pigeons they have enjoyed a great season 3 x 1st Federation, 2 x 2nd Federation, and now 1st South Sect Penzance for of the best lofts in the country this year.
9th North Section, 10th Open A McAteer & Sons Ballyholland, Vel 1220.7 flying 281 miles, winning £107.
Aiden McAteer of Ballyholland in Newry City, 10th Open INFC Penzance.
This is another top racing loft, flying in the Ballyholland HPS on the outskirts of Newry City. They came very close to winning the race last season finishing 2nd North Sect & 2nd Open INFC and earlier in the seasons Kings Cup won the coveted Hall of Fame Diploma from St Allouestre, and have a great long distance record. In 2012 they won the INFC Friendship Nat from Quimper, in a year which saw them 2nd Open NIPA from St Malo, two weeks previously. This latest winner is steeped in the very best of long distance bloodlines available, no surprise. Sire - Davy Blacks ?Rocky? winner of 5th and 8th Open in the Kings Cup paired to ?Drumcove Olympic Gold? his own 1st Open Quimper 2012. Dam ?Drumcove Allen?, 2nd Section & 22nd Open St Malo, 2011 and 1st Sect & 2nd Open St Malo, 2012 paired to his ?15 Hen?, the lofts Number 1 stock hen, best of Alan Darragh Cullybackey and Mick Conlon Banbridge. I have just had it confirmed that the loft can add a Gold Medal to their CV, ?Drumcove Cheeky Boy? was timed four years on the trot in the Kings Cup St Allouestre, 2015 107th Open 2016 27th Open, 2017 162nd Open and 2018 47th Open.
The INFC Committee are grateful once again for all the help at the race marking, and also all those involved in the various Clock Centres across Ireland over the days of the race, every little bit of help is appreciated. On a personal note thanks to all those who supplied text and photos for this report, some at short notice, or helped in any other way. The more info we get the better job can be done, any little snips, details of the bird itself plus info on the sire and dam. Any awards won previous, how long in the birds etc. This report is the Top 10, results from Clubs, Feds, Combine, etc. to follow.
Willie Reynolds - INFC Press Officer
Tel/Fax: (028) 256 44683 - Mobile: 07538 238364
Twitter: willie reynolds@homerbhw