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From the Barrow Valley 10 - 04-05-21

From the Barrow Valley  

It’s just two days now to marking for our first race of the season. We had club training for about eight days up to this Monday past, which went quite well, just a few short private trainers now for a couple of days to keep them on their toes in preparation for the weekend. Training went smoothly enough, but there was north east in the wind, which I thought accounted for some scattered returns, however overall returns were good and there were no complaints from those training on our little transporter.

I will keep this piece open now until the race is over and hopefully send in the result, first thing on Monday.

Carlow Premier RPC. Held a pipe opener from Clonmel in County Tipperary, with a good turnout of club members, with over three hundred birds sent, convoyed by big Ger Moran with Tommy Bolger on board to assist with the liberation. The birds were liberated at eleven for the fifty mile journey to the Carlow area, and just on the stroke of the hour Des walker had the first bird on his T3 clock, lucky that Des is fairly nimble on his feet, as within a few seconds John Jackson had the next five in the clock for a great team performance, and just like that, it was all over. The Premier boys are up and running now and looking forward to the official opening race, which is due to take place this weekend from Fermoy in Cork, a distance of about seventy two miles to the Carlow town area.

Des Walker winner of the opening race of the season from Clonmel in the Carlow Premier RPC. 04 05 21
Des Walker winner of the opening race of the season from Clonmel in the Carlow Premier RPC. 


Barrow Valley RPC.  Fermoy with the Mid Leinster Fed.
Had a good turnout of fifteen members sending around 250 birds to the first race of the season from Fermoy in Cork. Marking on the Friday evening went very smoothly, the older members and officials were at the club and had their birds marked by the efficient marking team by six o clock, ready for the younger members and those that were working to arrive and have their birds marked by six forty five, with all baskets sealed And ready for loading onto the lorry by seven pm.

Peter Lucas looking forward to the 2021 season. 04 05 21
Peter Lucas, looking forward to the 2021 season.

Saturday morning arrived and the weather that was supposed to be very inclement and that had put a lot of members off sending their full team, had taken a turn for the better, with bright sunshine from early in the morning and which continued for most of the day, although there was some east in the wind it appeared to be changing from north to some south during the race. The birds were liberated  at ten thirty into bright sunshine with the prospect of a good race, and thankfully, that’s how it turned out, with all of our members clocking within minutes of each other for a really tight finish.

As with most races there is always one bird that manages to just get that few yards ahead, and in this instance it was recorded to the loft of Joe Brennan, or no darkness Joe, as we know him around here, a light Cheq cock bred from a Pied that Joe bought at a sale we attended in Doncaster some years ago, conveniently, as usual  Joe has forgotten the breed or the breeder, but I do remember that it was a clearance sale run by Reg Renwick, this particular cock has turned out multiple winners for Joe having been mated to several hens. The cock was raced on the roundabout system and returned a velocity of 1391ypm.

Joe Brennan. 1st 4th in the Barrow Valley RPC. Fermoy Race. 04 05 21
Joe Brennan. 1st & 4th in the Barrow Valley RPC. Fermoy Race. 

Damian Maher had the next two on 1386 & 1373ypm, Joe Brennan was back in at fourth position, a good team performance by JJ Hurley with four in the top ten and not forgetting Donal Begley in there with the rest of them, in sixth position on a velocity of 1356ypm. I was happy enough with our own birds as the times were reasonable and returns were excellent.

Damian Maher 2nd 3rd in the Barrow Valley RPC Fermoy Race. 04 05 21
Damian Maher, 2nd & 3rd in the Barrow Valley RPC, Fermoy Race.

Carlow Premier RPC. Fermoy with the South Central Fed. Slavic Woloszyn  carried out a demolition job in this Fermoy race , taking the first four positions plus another four positions in the top ten of the result, his winning velocity was a very creditable 1419ypm for the first two then 1418 & 1415ypm for 3rd and fourth. Johnny Bolger and Des walker were the only other two to stop a clean sweep by Slavic, Johnny taking 4th on 1410ypm and Des taking 10th on 1396ypm.

Slavic First Four in the Carlow Premier RPC Fermoy Race. 04 05 21
Slavic, First Four in the Carlow Premier RPC, Fermoy Race.

Carlow & District RPC. Fermoy with the South Central Fed, and Shane Stronge started his old bird campaign with a First and Fourth position in this, the oldest club in the town, just ahead of PJ Nangle , he of Carlow Pigeon Supplies who rarely misses the frame, just ahead of Bogdan Stroe, most of the birds clocked in were yearlings, the older birds just taking a little time to readjust to the fast lane of sprint racing. Returns were excellent.

Shane Stronge holding his winner of the Carlow District RPC. Fermoy race. 04 05 21
Shane Stronge, holding his winner of the Carlow & District RPC. Fermoy race.


Carlow & District RPC. Pilmore Beach With the Leinster South road Fed
Reggie Condron in only his first year with old birds showed a clean pair of heels to the opposition, when he took the first two positions from a strong field, his winner, a beautiful Cheq cock bred last year by Steffan Orgzally doing a velocity of 1377ypm with his second timer right behind on 1275ypm Jimmy Kelly was in third, with Anthony Kavanagh taking the next four positions.

Reggie Condrons Pilmore Beach winner in the Carlow District RPC. 04 05 21
Reggie Condron's Pilmore Beach winner in the Carlow & District RPC.


Three Counties RPC. Pilmore Beach With the Leinster South road Fed.
Had Tom & Enda Kelly of Castledermot, take  pole position on 1387ypm, and a great team performance with seven of the top ten positions, all raced on the roundabout system, with equal success with cocks and hens flown on this method, these were all taken with the new Van Vugt Donker pigeons that Enda has been cultivating over the last couple of years, and these are the first yearlings to be raced from them, so although this may be the first we’ve heard of them, I doubt it will be the last, given the quality of the stock housed at these lofts. stopping the clean sweep by the Kelly gang, we had Pat Farrell & Son in second place, with Tom McNally taking the next two for third and fourth positions.

Tom Enda Kelly. 1st in The Three Counties RPC. Pilmore Beach Race. 04 05 21
Tom & Enda Kelly. 1st in The Three Counties RPC. Pilmore Beach Race. 

Tom Enda Kellys winner in the Three Counties RPC
Tom & Enda Kellys winner in the Three Counties RPC. From Pilmore Beach.


Carlow South RPC. Pilmore Beach With the Leinster South road Fed had a good turnout of members and birds, considering the weather prospects and the addition of  east in the wind, it was surprising to see the winners in the Tullow area as it is the most easterly of the local clubs, however that did not stop young Michael Purcell and family from clocking a really good one on a velocity of 1326ypm to take the leading position in this relatively new club, just ahead of Martin Doran who had two quick one‘s, a three year old blue pied and right behind that a yearling blue pied 1325 and 1324ypm, not a lot between these first three pigeons. Joe Merneagh, Tom Gorman and Jim Delaney all had birds in the first ten positions, so a really close race, with good returns which makes a change for the first race of the season. Michael tells me that he is really pleased with this Lambrect hen named “Angel” as she has been a really consistent pigeon over the  last couple of seasons, raced solely on the natural system, in 2019 as a young bird she had three races, taking  2nd club 2nd section from Kinsale, 3rd club 3rd section from Skibbereen. In 2020 she had 1st club 1st section from Skibbereen along with another 5th from Pilmore Beach and a 4th from Skibbereen, and now in 2021 a 1st from Pilmore Beach, certainly a useful hen to have in the team, well done Michael & Family.

Michael Purcell Daughter holding their winner from Pilmore Beach in the Carlow South RPC. 04 05 21
Michael Purcell & Daughter holding their winner from Pilmore Beach in the Carlow South RPC.


It looks like it was a good weekends racing for all organisations in our area, the boys are a bit slow and even a bit shy when it comes to getting information on their winners, hopefully in time they will get used to it and we will have a more detailed account of them and their birds, local fanciers imagine [wrongly] that nobody is interested in them or their winners, but from previous feedback from fanciers as far afield as the continent and the UK, there’s always interest in other people’s ways and methods of racing pigeons, so don’t be shy lads.

Until next time, good luck, & stay safe.

Punch.