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I N F C Friendship National Lamballe 23-07-18


The final race from France was the INFC Friendship National which was flown from Lamballe due to difficulties with the authorities at the release site in Brest. The birds were race marked in Lisburn last Tuesday and liberation was on Friday 13th July at 6.30am in a Lt Easterly wind. Some 16 birds were timed on the winning day and that number got up to 100 on the second day with helping conditions, it turned out the best of the season?s races from France. Despite the difficult races from France earlier the numbers were slightly up from last year when 201 members sent 875 birds. This time 213 members sent 900 birds and were racing for £5,563 in pools and prizemoney with the Friendship National sponsored once again by H Beattie & Son.

A number of lofts timed more than one arrival, none better that the overall winners N Black & Son with 5 birds in the result. 5 There were 4 for Donnelly Bros of Millvale and 3 birds each for P Rock & Son Skerries former Kings Cup winners, W G Neill Annaghmore, R Duddy Ballyclare, W & L McCaw Ballymoney former Friendship Nat winners just sent 5 birds, Paul Dunlop Edgarstown, and G & C Topley Laurelvale sent six and put 3 yearlings in the result. Many congratulations to all that timed, and what about the National Champion of 2016, John Greenaway from the Bondhill Social. He wins the Triple Award Diploma for 3 times in the result with same bird: 2016 38th Open INFC Quimper, 2017 2nd Open INFC Lamballe, 2018 83rd Open INFC Lamballe. Claims for any Merit Awards, or Triple Diploma awards in writing please to Secretary Trevor Topping.

1st Open N Black & Son Dromara, Vel 1046 Flying 437 miles, winning £379 and the Friendship Cup

Alan and David Black of N Black & Son, Dromara. Alan (l) holding ?Margaret?, 1st Open INFC Friendship National, Lamballe and

David holding ?Jean?, 1st Section, 3rd Open NIPA, St. Malo.

N Black & Son, Dromara are previous Kings Cup winners and double National Champions. The loft has also won three Hall of Fames, a Gold Medal and last year won the French Diploma. The loft has had a dream finish to the old bird season being 3rd Open NIPA St Malo, also 23rd and 31st Open Kings Cup. In the last six French races the loft has been 6th, 7th, 3rd, 23rd and 1st. With father Norman passing away two years ago the name N. Black & Son will never be changed, the partnership consists of brothers Alan, Ian and David. The two year old Blue Cheq hen now named ?Margaret?, after the brother?s late mother who played such a big part with the birds, was timed at 6.46 flying twelve hours and sixteen minutes. The loft timed four other birds to be 36th, 41st, 46th and 57th Open from an entry of 16 birds. ?Margaret? was sent to the race on a one day young bird after sitting six days overdue, she was given three different chipping eggs to make sure she didn?t leave the eggs. A natural young bird she was not raced but was well trained on John Abernethy?s transporter up to sixty miles. As a yearling she had two inland races and the Yearling National, this year she had Corrin 182mls, Tallbenny 187mls and the comeback Fermoy 176mls. Normally we would train the bird three or four times a week but this year because they were exercising so well around the loft they only had a couple of training spins; the hens would fly two hours plus every afternoon even in the very hot temperatures. The loft has been cultivating the same family of pigeons for nearly forty years the base pigeons coming from Russell Bros, Jim Moreland, John McMullan and George Casement. ?Margaret? is from the good pair and is the fifth generation from the base pair of the loft, the sire of the pair is a brother to ?Annie Mary? 4th and 8th King?s Cup while the hen of the pair is a daughter of David?s father-in-law H. Silcock?s ?Pinehill Lass? 29th and 35th King?s Cup. Along with 10th Kings Cup the pair has bred a lot of National prize winners plus a lot of good breeders. It was also a great one two for the family of birds as 2nd North section is David?s father in law Harry Silcock.

?Margaret?, 1st Open INFC Friendship National, Lamballe. Bred and raced by N. Black & Son, Dromara HPS.

Not long after timing from INFC Friendship National, from left John Myles, Roy Clarke holding the winner Margaret, David Black, Alan Black, Rodney Malcolmson (Celebrity Guest), Gareth Black and Bobby Stevenson.

2nd & 10th Open, Josh Hand Skerries Vel 1013 & 953, Flying 381 miles, winning £278, and the British Barcelona Club Trophy, John Millar Logistics Cup 1st member in the Sect not winning the Open and H Beattie & Son Trophy for Best 2 Bird Ave

Josh Hand from Skerries 2nd & 10th Open INFC and Best 2 Bird Ave from Lamballe.

Runner-up Josh Hand from the Skerries north of Dublin was just having his third race from France and first time sending to the Friendship Nat, what a result best in the East Coast Fed, 1st South Sect and for good measure the 2 Bird Average. The first pigeon timed at 17.32hrs was a 2 year old Cheq hen sent sitting on newly hatched youngsters was a gift bird bred by good friends Gerry O?Reilly and sons of Malahide. She had a couple of races this year and was trained well weekly by James Boland and Eric Kennedy in local transporters. Josh says, ?Thanks very much to Gerry & the lads and well done to them this year clocking as they always do out of France in style?. The 2nd bird for the loft timed at 18.13hrs on the day was a 2 year old Blue hen bred from stock obtained from N. Black & Sons of Dromara, she was sent sitting eggs and the same training went into her as well. Also the health and welfare of birds were being looked after by Donal Barry, another person who needs thanked for his help. Josh says ?Many thanks again for giving me a chance to obtain these birds Davy and Alan, your help is greatly appreciated. I would like to congratulate the winners N Black and sons on winning the Friendship National and their other performances from the French races, also thanks to everyone who rang and texted to say well done and thanks to all the fliers I torment with questions relating to racing pigeons, they know who they are. Mainly thanks to the Missis and kids for putting up with my madness in the back garden. This is my first year sending to France so I am over the moon especially after sending to the other two French races and there being no joy?. Feeding is Versele Laga from Sandyhill and Natural from Herbie Thorpe, well done Josh what a result.

3rd Open G O?Reilly Malahide & District, Vel 1009, Flying 381 miles, winning £108

Gerry O?Reilly from Malahide & District with his sons Niall and Derek, winners of 3rd Open INFC.

Gerry O?Reilly assisted by sons Niall and Derek races in the Malahide & Dist again north of Dublin, they take 3rd Open INFC and this is another loft regarded among the best in Irish long-distance racing that have already won almost everything available. Blue Riband Kings Cup in 2012 with ?Champion Riverview Red?, Millar Gold Cup from St Malo in 2015, 1st East Coast Fed St Malo, Harkness Rose Bowl in 2009 and 2012, 5 x Merit Awards and in the Friendship Nat a Triple Award Diploma. This Blue Cheq hen scored in 2011 36th Open St Malo, 2012 93rd Open Quimper and 2013 62nd Open Quimper. The lofts latest winner a 2 year old Blue Cheq cock was timed at 17.36hrs on the day, he was previously a winner of 9th Club & 96th East Coast Federation in 2017. He was privately trained and sent to two inland races before being sent to the race. He did not race as a young bird but flew the channel as a yearling. Now the breeding it?s the very best of the old Cheetham bloodlines from James Anderson of Cullybackey who himself won the Friendship Nat from Beauvais in 1980, for many years the O?Reilly Family would call with James and they still keep in touch.

4th Open H Silcock Dromara, Vel 1007, Flying 436 miles, winning £299

Harry Silcock holding 4th Open INFC Friendship National Lamballe with daughter Janice and grandson Andrew.

4th Open is Harry Silcock, Dromara the loft was also 10th Open in this race two years ago. Although Harry is the front man daughter Janice does all the work with his grandson Andrew doing all the planning, there is also a great rivalry with the N. Black & Son team. The loft timed a two year old Blue Cheq hen at 7.11pm flying 12hrs 41 mins. She was sent sitting on a day old young bird having been sitting seven days overdue, she was given a new chipping egg three times to keep her sitting. A darkness young bird she had one race from Gowran Park 129 mls. As a yearling she had two inland races Corrin 182 mls and Skibbereen 236 mls. This year she had Corrin, Tallbenny 186 mls and the comeback Fermoy 175 mls, she also had a few 60 ml training spins and was flew with the young birds every day. Bred by N. Black & Son she is a granddaughter of ?Rocky? 5th and 8th King?s Cup, ?Big Darren? Gold Medal winner and the ?44? hen winner of 6th King?s Cup.

5th Open Mark Maguire & Son Millvale, Vel 1005, Flying 427 miles, winning £576

Mark Maguire (l) holding ?Wee Dolly? winner of 5th Open Lamballe while Malachy holds her dam, "Newry Queen", a previous winner of the Friendship National.

Another loft that has enjoyed an outstanding season racing from France Mal Maguire & Son were placed in both the NIPA St Malo and INFC Kings Cup St Allouestre, this time it?s Mark Maguire & Son who have the early arrival timing their bird at 18.57hrs flying 427 miles into Newry County Down. The 2 year old Dark Cheq hen contains the best of the long list of Champions raced to the Yew Tree lofts in the City of Newry, she has been named ?Wee Dolly? after Mark?s late grandmother. Breeding of "Wee Dolly" is Walkingshaw, Van Geel and the Black Brothers of Dromara. She was privately trained and previously raced in the two Talbenny?s and Penzance. Malachy said ?Wee Dolly" was sent on the 'short sit' as we feel this is equally as good as 17 or 18 days. Another pure Maguire, earlier the family scored 5th Open NIPA St Malo OB Nat and then one week later 7th Open in the INFC Kings Cup St Allouestre.

6th Open N Grant & Sons Balbriggan RPC, Vel 972, Flying 388 miles, winning £237

Adrian Grant (N Grant & Son) from Balbriggan holding his 6th Open INFC Lamballe winner.

We move to the Balbriggan club, just north of Dublin for our 6th Open bird, to the lofts of N Grant & Son. Noel Grant was a stalwart of the Irish National Flying club and served on the committee for many years. When he passed away in 2010 his son Adrian decided to retain the partnership?s name and in his first year racing on his own Adrian was 9th Open in the Yearling National and 10th Open in the same race in 2013. Just a couple of weeks back the loft had a dream result to win 1st Open in the ECF St Malo and the highly prized Millar Gold Cup. From Lamballe the loft timed at 18.13hrs on the day of liberation flying 388 miles, the 2 year old Blue cock was sent on 3 day old youngsters. He had 5 inland races and private training before going to France. Sire of this cock is a g/son of Noel Gaffney?s good hen, 3 times France, was best of the late Henry Beattie stock and the dam is a hen purchased from James Cleland of Annsborough, and contains the very best of his long distance bloodlines.

7th Open T McClean Annaghmore, Vel 961, Flying 447 miles, winning £376

Tom McClean of Annaghmore holding his yearling Black Pied hen, 7th Open INFC Lamballe.

Tom McClean from the Annaghmore HPS is another loft with a very good distance record in a club full of top racers, just the previous weekend he finished runner-up with a bird early on the second morning from Saint Allouestre. In the Friendship Nat his yearling Black Pied hen was timed on the day at 20.09hrs flying 447 miles. She was racing Roundabout and before France had 3 or 4 races in Ireland and was the 3rd bird home to the loft in the INFC Yearling Nat from Sennen Cove. Both the sire and dam were bred by Ken Hines and contain the very best of his long distance bloodlines.

8th & 9th Open Smyth Family Loft Kircubbin, Vel 960 & 960, Flying 433 miles, winning £62

Bernard Smyth (Smyth Family Lofts) holding his two birds timed from Lamballe.

Smyth Family Lofts from Kircubbin had the joy of two birds at the same time clocked at 19.45hrs and flying 433 miles. 1st bird has been named ?Maddie? 2 year old Mealy hen. Sire Red Cheq bred by Paul Swindell of Newry from a Son of ?RJ? (Dave Goddard) & Dtr of ?Portavogie Lass? (Ken Ambrose). Dam is ?Gaby? Blue bred by Smyth Family Loft themselves from Son ?Open Hen? & ?Golden Gaby? (Gordon Bros) & Dtr of ?Tom? (Andre Roodhooft). ?Maddie? was sent to Lamballe on her first eggs of the year sitting the 7 day eggs - All Alone.

?Maddie? 2 year old Mealy hen, first bird timed by Smyth Family Lofts in Kircubbin.

2nd bird has been named ?Penny? 2 year old Dark Velvet. Sire Dark Cheq was bred by Paul Swindell from his Infamous ?Red Bull? & ?Dutch Hen??(Barcelona Duivin Lines) making this cock a half-brother to ?Extreme Heat? 4th Open Quimper 2013 for Paul Swindell. Dam the ?Show Hen? bred by Paul Swindell from ?Black Velvet? Golden Boy / Black Supreme & Best of Tom Marshall.

?Penny? 2 year old Dark Velvet finished 6th North Sect & 10th Open INFC for Smyth Family Lofts.

Penny?s first eggs of the season were due on the day of basketing the 10/7/18, but Bernard introduced chipping eggs on Sun 8/7/18 early and then put a well fed 5/6 day old youngster on the morning of basketing to which she was very smitten with!

Both hens were flown for their first race of the Year from Fermoy Comeback on the 16/6/18. After that both birds were privately trained from 40/50 Miles on alternate days up until Friday 6/7/18. They are fed Natural Mixtures All Round and Finesse Wizard plus Depurative from my good friend Tom Marshall (Marshall Animal Feeds). Usual treatments prior to basketing Respiratory, Canker & Worms and usual Supplements in their water; including ROPA B, Impact & Aviform 11 in 1! Natural Grit and Pink Vita Mineral available 365 Days of the Year. Bernard would like to thank everyone for their phone calls and messages of Congratulations! ?Your support was very much appreciated?!
I would like to thank all who helped with photographs for this report, all those fanciers who supplied text and info on their birds and some details of preparation for the race. Thanks also to all who helped at the Marking Centre and the various Clock Stations, and all those involved at the Clock Checking, and thanks again to H Beattie & Son for their sponsorship of this race.

Willie Reynolds - INFC Press Officer
Tel/Fax: (028) 256 44683 - Mobile: 07538 238364
Twitter: willie reynolds@homerbhw
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