From The Barrow Valley.
I am fifty six years in the pigeon game, ever since I was nine years old boy, and I am not easily put off sending to any race that is organised by our Club, Fed, or National, I try to enjoy them all, win lose or draw, but this week has been my worst week with pigeons in a long, long time, it got so bad that after seeing the decimation of my team from a thirty mile toss on Wednesday that I could not face the thought of entering them in our rescheduled race which was to take place from Fermoy on Friday the 7th. Bad enough losing three handy pigeons from this toss, as losses are to be expected with racing pigeons, it was the six wounded birds that were in the loft that really done it for me, thinking of the ordeal that one of my yearling cocks had gone through, escaping from the clutches of a raptor, with its neck near enough eaten through, as this is the typical means of killing a pigeon by a raptor, I followed the trail of blood around the loft until I found the actual bird, I thought it was the dark cock with its leg broken but his was a clean break with no blood, the three year old Cheq cock had all of his inner wing flights missing, this is the second time he has escaped, having been recovered from the clutches of a sparrow hawk on a farm laneway in county cork last year, brought back to health and returned to us by a kind benefactor. The grizzle hen had most of her tail missing and the Cheq hen, again had most of her inner wing missing, with the black cock who has a hole in his chest, it’s hard to describe this injury as I don’t know if it was struck directly by a raptor or injured with an impact in its efforts to escape, so in an instant nine birds missing from the race team and the work of stitching, splintering and cleaning up these birds has taken away the urge to race, at least for this week anyway.
I don’t mind saying that I have done my bit over the years with this problem, but unfortunately it appears to be getting the better of everyone, what with do gooder’s and wildlife camera’s everywhere it’s gone impossible to protect our birds from these things, I’ll finish this part by saying that in my opinion DDT was withdrawn off the market way too soon, as it appears it was the only thing that was keeping these things at bay.
Barrow Valley RPC. Fermoy 2 with the Mid Leinster Fed.
The birds were released in Fermoy for the second time in less than a week, having been marked a day early so as to have a race on the Friday whilst there was some decent weather around, as the prospects for the Saturday and Sunday were quite bleak. Marking as usual went off well, with all members adhering to covid 19 rules, whereby there were only three officials inside the club, with members entering one by one with their birds.
Liberation took place on the Friday at eleven thirty, into a south, south east breeze with bright sunshine for most of the journey. The winner on a velocity of 1520ypm also taking seventh position was Joe Brennan banking his second win of the season with a dark Cheq yearling cock, John Hammond was in next with a yearling blue cock bred by Alpine Lofts from a Page Bros Janssen cock supplied by the late Derek Sales and a hen purchased at the Hagan & Rooney sale two years ago which was of Luc Cuelemans breeding. JJ and Jimmy Hurley had the next three followed by Damien Maher in sixth, the Hurley’s filled the remaining club positions with a good overall team performance.
The Dark Cock that won 1st Barrow Valley RPC race from Fermoy 2 for Joe Brennan.
John Hammond, 2nd Barrow Valley RPC from the Fermoy 2 race.
Carlow Premier RPC. Fermoy 2 with the South Central Fed.
Well speaking of team performances, you won’t get better than that of Slawomir Woloszyn who took the first five positions in a tight finish on a velocity of 1547ypm, his first bird a blue cock. Pa Holohan had the next three on the result for 6th,7th, & 8th and Johnny Bolger claiming tenth position in a very competitive club where no quarter is given.
Slavic, holding the winner of this weeks Fermoy 2 race in the Carlow Premier RPC.
Carlow & District RPC. Fermoy 2 with the South Central Fed, and as predicted pre-season and with a bit of east in the wind, it was Brennan that came out on top plus second and fourth, for good measure, Roly’s winner on a velocity 0f 1529ypm was one of his Herman Ceusters, a beautiful blue hen, taking the second win of her career, and who is a daughter of the “Barron” who in turn is a gdtr of the “003 Olympiad” which was bought in Holland off of the Ruttier Bros. in third was Shane Stronge keeping them ticking over for the future, as Shane is a hard taskmaster. Taking fourth, PJ Nangle, he of Carlow Pigeon Supplies just ahead of Paul Byrne with the top team performance in this club, taking positions 6th right through to 13th, well done Paul.
Roly Brennan. 1st & 2nd in the Carlow & Dist RPC race from Fermoy 2.
Roly Brennans Blue hen, 1st in the Carlow & Dist RPC race from Fermoy 2.
Carlow & District RPC. Pilmore Beach 2 With the Leinster South Road Fed and Colin [Skinny ] Nolan has first and third positions on vel’s of 1526, 1524ypm with Jimmy Kelly sandwiched in the middle for a good second place on 1524ypm. Team performance of the day in this club goes to Anthony Kavanagh who annexes 4th to 11th positions all within a drop of just nine yards per minute, some clocking that Anto, well done.
Colin Nolan, 1st & 3rd in the Carlow & Dist RPC race from Pilmore Beach 2.
Three Counties RPC. Pilmore Beach 2 With the Leinster South road Fed. Again another great team performance, this time from Tom & Enda and again with their Herman Cuesters family of pigeons, with a drop of twenty two pigeons in less than two minutes, I’m afraid it was good night Charlie as far as this result was concerned, Pat Farrell and also Tom & Shane McNally were trying, but against this type of competition, the odds were definitely stacked against them, well done to all concerned.
The winner for Tom & Enda Kelly in this weeks Pilmore Beach 2 race in the Three Counties RPC.
Carlow South RPC. Pilmore Beach 2 With the Leinster South road Fed. Dwyane Brennan clocked a fine team of mostly and three year old pigeons and just two yearlings to take the top eight positions in this event with a drop in velocity of just 2ypm it is obvious that Dwayne has his team in top condition, and with that type of experience in the team, he will deffo be the man to watch for the rest of the season. Tom Gorman in 9th and last weeks winner Michael Purcell in 10th were there to make sure that Dwayne did not make a clean sweep of the top ten positions.
Dwyane Brennan, winner of the first eight positions in the Carlow South RPC.
I started off this piece a bit despondent with pigeon racing, but looking at all the great team performances put up in this week’s racing, I’ve figured out that pigeon racing has changed so much over the last few years, bigger teams, better conditioned pigeons, that are raced on the most up to date systems, are now the norm, add to that the foodstuffs and supplements, that are available to all, it just means that if you stand still you go backwards, is a fact of life, however for those with a bit of patience, a different outlook and a different objective, we will still have plenty to look forward to during the rest of the season, especially when it comes to channel racing. Live horse and you’ll get grass. I hope.
That’s it for this week. Keep well and stay safe.