The quality of the club is reflected in the result.
There is always a good build up to good races, that is for those interested and the NWCC Young Bird and Gold Ring race came into that category. These are the races that we are always wondering how many there will be because they are open to such a big area. When it comes to young birds racing from across the channel into the North West there is always a lot of indecision as to whether to send or not during the build-up. The question fanciers are asking themselves at such times are, do we have enough young birds to take me through to next year to make our team up. Or should we leave most at home and only send those we can afford to call into another loft on their journey and not come home. Anyway, when I arrived at the club for marking the queue had already started and there were plenty of eager fanciers wanting to get in on the act. When we had started marking I looked down the queue and said to Craig, “When I first joined the club this is how it was for a normal weekly club race” seeing a line of baskets and fanciers waiting for their birds to be marked. As has been the case all season the was plenty of banter and members helped to get the birds marked and though the system most efficiently. One thing is for sure the ETS system has certainly made life a lot easier on marking nights. By the time marking was finished we were pleased with an entry of 387 birds from 42 members so a good send considering the young birds have had a tough season. Total prize and pool money that they were flying also taking into account the Gold Ring race is £6,106.32, so another good pay out for fanciers to think about for next year.
Racing is different depending on where in the country you live and race from and as we know racing is never always easy. A problem with young birds is they are quite easily led on the wrong line through liberations being close together. Young birds will always get mixed up with other’s who are initially racing in the same direction and don’t break when they should do, which results in them being further off line than they need to be and missing their home loft. Two fanciers on the night when the clocks were read off said that they had young birds from this race report on the east side of the country, one I believe being in Grimsby, the other in the North East. No matter whether they are young or old birds they do get dragged off line and that will never change, it is the nature of the beast to go with the numbers when the mind is not focussed on the job in hand.
1st section A 1st Open goes to Brian & Gary Smith from Congleton who collect £405 prizes & pools. The bird that won the race is a blue cock racing to the perch and was purchased off Mitch Denson when he had his clearance sale earlier in the year. The breeding is Vandenabeele through lines of M & D Evans. The Grandsire is a Midland National Section Winner plus has 11 x 1st prizes to his name. The team felt that this bird was just coming into form after been very consistent and getting a 4th Club the week before from Portland in the extremely competitive Maccles?eld Flying Club. He arrived in good nick from the race even taking time out from trapping to sit in the tree before going through the bobs!!! After just missing out on winning this race 2 years ago, where they ?nished 1st Section 2nd Open they are over the moon to go one better win this very good young bird race. All their young birds are fed on Vanrobaeys Nr 37 Young Bird Exclusive, to this they like to add a conditioning seed mixture that they mix themselves and that is fed separate. They are fed twice a day that being after training or loft exercise. They breed between 40-50 Young Birds plus any additional birds they might buy in. This year they had a total of 55 birds which all went onto the darkness system, which they feel is necessary to compete in the longer younger races come mid-September. They feel the best thing about racing pigeons is the enjoyment they get when you see the birds arrive home from a race especially from across the channel when you know the bird has put the work in to get home whether it’s ?rst or last.
Brian & Gary Smith
Brian & Gary Smith winner
2nd section A 2nd open is won by Bill Turnock picking up £637.90p and Bill only sent two with his other entry being 8th section 13th Open when others struggled. Bill is one of those fanciers who has been around for a long time and has never changed since the first day I met him. His first pigeon in this race is a Pencil blue w/f hen who is a mix of Rene Van De Weyer, Van Loon and Janssen. Two weeks prior to this race she was sent to the North Staffs 4B where she collected over £700. She then missed a week before going to this race at which time she was sitting a 10-day old youngster. Bill must had had these young birds right this season because he started with 40 and still has 30 left. As I sent he only sent two with the second being a blue hen was hawked a few weeks earlier, but she looked so well he decided to give her a Portland race and then into this race where she proved that they can come back from a BOP attack and do well. This is a good line with a half-brother winning 3 x 1sts 3 x 2nds 12th section L in the National and 2nd sec MNFC. Bill has 6prs of stock and races about 30 old birds and they are raced on the natural. Bill went on to say that he thinks it’s about time he changed the racing system.
3rd & 5th Open 1st & 3rd section B sees Mick Stockton from Sandbach continue in what has been a very good season. Mick’s first though the trap is a chequer w/f out of his Vandermer stock birds. He then saw a blue cock close up and drop in, this bird was off his good friend Tommy Hulme. The preparation for this race was to introduce some old hens a few days before the race and it worked. This was not a case of sending a batch from the loft because both birds have raced the full season and prized before so they are looking good for the future. These last few years Mick’s pigeons have flown really well so I am going to spend a bit of time on a loft report, it is well deserved.
4th Open 2nd section B goes to another fancier who has had a great season, Dave Pritchard from Northwich and we have added a photo that shows his first three home they were11th 4th 15th. First of all, Dave said he would like to congratulate B&G Smith on his win from this very difficult young bird NWCC Carentan race. Plus, all the members who timed in on this very trying race and a very big thank you to Less and Kim and the team at the NWCC for their great work and commitment for this great Classic Club. This young blue cock “47” has been showing promise all season and never far behind the winning group and was marked up to fly this NWCC Carentan 2018. “47” had no interest in any hen all season until the Wednesday before basketing and Dave said he spotted him in the corner with a second-round youngster which must have motivated him to come in first to the loft winning 2nd section 4th NWCC. His sire was one that Dave had purchased from John (farm) Roberts and is a brother to his famous "90 Cock" which is of the Syndicate Lofts famous “Drum” lines and the world-famous Mike Ganus "Rocket". The dam is a granddaughter to the "Creator Cock" also from the famous Mike Ganus lines and granddaughter to the famous "Drum" of Syndicate lofts. The sire of the “47” cock was also placed in the Messac race 2018 and was the 5th pigeon to the loft that day and finished a respectful 19th NWCC behind “Welsh Blue” plus "BAZ" was 1st open NWCC Messac on that day. The chequer cock who was second to the loft has also consistent to the loft this season is from the Geoff & Catherine Cooper lines which should have been put into the stock loft BUT not at this loft. All birds have to be tested to be proven racers before going into Dave’s stock loft through advice that had stuck with him for years and came from one of the best and great pigeon men "Barry Pritchard" yes, Dave’s dad who sadly passed away in March 1992. The boys in North Wales new all about hm, LOL. This young chequer cock was one of Dave’s fancied ones and was pooled to £5.00. The second blue cock in the photo was also fancied and pooled to £5.00 which the week before was 2nd club Portland 7th fed South West Cheshire beaten by a loft mate. His sister last year was 3rd section 16th NWCC last season also from Carentan, his sire and dam are the Flor Engles from the great Derick Jones Wrexham.
Dave Pritchards 3 top entries
6th Open 4th section B are Burtonwood’s ace team Bob & Brian Smith a partnership who have been competing and winning against the best in the country for as long as I can remember. Their family of pigeons have been cultivated over nearly 50 years, the criteria for selection is purely on merit. They introduce new birds on a regular basis when doing so look for fanciers/lofts that have performed consistently with top results in National and specialist clubs, these are then tested the same as their own, if they conform they stay. Like most top winning fancier’s, they learnt from early on that good sound quality corn is required to raise youngsters that will race on and win. When racing they do compliment a good young bird mixture with a fat mix added for the longer races this is fed to appetite and they never measure corn especially with young birds. The young birds have been raced darkness for about 20 years, around 70 young birds are put into their 16 x 8 Y/B loft, this is usually at the begging of April we fill this loft in 2 weeks’, so all Y/B are around the same age. The loft has an aviary on the front that can be closed off with a roller shutter, when closed the loft is still well ventilated with louvers all around the back and sides also an extractor fan on a timer coming on 20 minutes per hour from the lofts being darkened. They are on darkness until about 2 weeks before the first race; from then on they have access to the aviary 24 hours a day. When starting training they give them 4 or 5 short tosses then they use the M6 and train from all the exits down to Stafford and they keep them at this point training twice a week. All the early training is only done after they have had a couple of hours loft freedom. This loft also has a training basket attached to the front and this has a full drinker on at all times (see photo) this, they feel helps them when they start racing.
There are 4 photos showing the Bob & Brian smith of Burtonwood's young bird loft and the system they have.
7th Open 3rd section A go to F & M Hough the specialist minded fanciers from Macclesfield, a loft that is keen on top class racing. This pigeon is a small to medium blue hen which was raced on darkness and hatched on 2nd April. She only had 4 races prior to the NWCC due to the dreaded young bird sickness. She was sitting 10 days on basketing previously being trained twice per week from 10 miles and being fed a high fats mixture for the 2 weeks prior to race. She has raced consistently and seemed to improve with the distance. In this Carentan race she finished and trapped like a rocket on her return and was in very good condition. Martin went on to say it is a shame it was the last race of the season, they are really looking well. Her breeding is from the stock loft both parents being winners. The sire a winner to fed level being from the old family of Busschaert/Staf Van Reets x Janssen. The dam was a winner as a y.b and was bred by Chris Knowles of Stockport being a Willy Thas Snake lines x Maurice Mattheeuws plus a granddaughter of Tom Shaw`s "Newhayes Rambo" a winner of 21 x 1sts. This pair seem to breed good young birds breeding winners each year since being at stock, this year they bred 6 young birds and 5 are still in the loft having raced the programme.
Martin Hough prize winner
8th open 4th section A are Mark & George Greenwood another Macclesfield team. Their birds consist of Lambrecht’s that they have had for several years and these won from the first year they brought them. More recently they have had a few gift birds from the highly successful lofts of Curtis-Wall-Lunt which have bred winners right from the start and are proving hard to beat in the loft. The bird that scored in this NWCC Carentan race was a blue hen, which is a Leo Heremans off gift birds from Curtis-Wall-Lunt that raced the complete programme in the Staffs & Moorlands Fed so has proven its worth to the loft. Their young birds are fed a fifty/fifty mix in the morning of Versela Laga diet and depurative and in the evening they have as much as they want of the Vanrobaeys number 37 mix with clear water every day nothing is ever added to the water. They rear about 30 young birds to race and they are put on the darkness at weaning. Although being competitive at racing is important both George and Mark consider the social side of the sport just as important and they are big lovers of club and Federation competition and having the banter that goes with it because these races are the backbone of the sport. I have to say when the Macclesfield members head our way there is always some good banter going on, having said that there has been at all the classic races down at Middlewich.
George & Mark Greenwood
George & Mark Greenwood prize winner
9th & 10th go to Robert Murphy from Macclesfield but I have had no response from emails sent.
The Gold ring was won by Steve Maylett of Ancoats. Steve is a real top young bird specialist and has had a good run with them in the last few races of the season and this was the first race the first race for this cock, goes to show if they are bred right and good enough they will do it. On marking night Steve promised his wife that if he won anything she could have it, nice pay day for the boss well done. I have to thank Mark Anderson for helping to get me this information because Steve went on holiday after the race but is now back. The winner is bred from Steve’s direct Johan Donckers. Steve said he has to be happy after a bad start to the season which was nearly a write of before it started. Steve’s wife having to go through a major operation loosing half her pancreas a bit of her liver and a bit of her kidney they say family comes first and in this case it certainly did. Steve said he was going to call it a day before the season even started but his wife insisted, even after her operation when she was bed bound that I carry on with the bird's. Even though half-heartedly he did carry only to be hit with the worst bout of whatever you want to call it, young bird sickness, Ecoli, ECT. ETC which wiped out nearly half the team. The season was nearly over before Steve finally got the birds the way he likes to have them. He said just like the boxers on fight night, super fit and raring to go. Steve did say he has got to be happy with the results he has achieved in the last couple of races of the season. He finished 4th open in the North West Grand National. Then the week after finishing 1st & 2nd in the North West Grand National and on the same day finishing 2nd section in the Midlands National. Then on my final race of the season scooping the £1000 first prize in the North West Classic Club. Credit must go to Steve and the birds because most of these races were won with birds having their first race of the season. Steve was over the moon to say the least seeing them put up there best performances, Through, all the problems Steve said he would like to say thanks to all the help he has had. The lads who bred him a few babies to help build his young bird team up as he thought he wasn't going to race till the last minute. He sends thanks to Steve Gough for the training and Mark Anderson and is looking forward to next year when he hopes he has a better run. He went on to say that he has learnt a lot this year and if all is well next season with his family etc he will be raring to go. At the time of letting me have this info Steve was on holiday with his wife chilling out. The info was gained after his good friend Mark Anderson asked him to add a few note’s, so he has. Steve went on, “He also asked me to say how I win and what do I feed so here goes, the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you will win if you follow this routine oh sorry must go the wife's calling” Thanks for the effort Steve and I hope you both enjoyed your holiday.
Steve Maylet's Gold Ring race winner
2nd in the Gold Ring race is Brian Lee who likes to compete in this type of competition, on this occasion picking up £600. Brian clocked a red cock whose sire is a JL Roberts red Delbar stock cock with the dam being a Hagland stock hen owned by my good friend, Steve Harrison who reared 989 and others, with his old lines blended with mine. Steve’s disability and advancing years prevent him from racing, but he gets great enjoyment rearing and monitoring the development of his prodigy when passed to myself. Steve and his wife Ingrid were at mine for the bird’s arrival on the day and was delighted to share the spoils with me. I must add that the red Delbar cock, sire of 989 was bred for me by Bramhalls Jeff Worthington, a friend of mine for the neck end of 60 years.
3rd in the Gold Ring does to Peter & Dawn Latham who were also 7th 9th 10th making it a good race for them, with £700 in total. First in the clock is a blue pied hen who was sent sitting 14days. This is not her first prize of the season having had a club prize and on the same day as this race with the same lib she was duplicated into the Cheshire 2B where she topped the list. She is a Gaby bred off a cock from Spencer Howarth and a hen brought back from Holland where they had had a few trips over the years. The pigeons are fed on corn from Astbury Pigeon Supplies. We can always change and just before the NFC young bird race Peter was advised by Roger Sutton to change the feed to number 8 which he did with the light mix. Another change Peter & Dawn made as the young bird season was under way was to put them on a few of the Bifs products. This change was made through a casual conversation and they think they have helped because since they have been on them the pigeons have flown well. There are a couple of problems that they have to overcome, firstly Peter is on shift work days and nights so cannot get any consistency with the pigeons. The other being he has had a few taken by BOP which might be because there are tree’s behind the loft.
Others getting in amongst the prize money are, 4th are DJ&CJ Wilkinson of Middlewich £300. 5th is Chris Knowles over at Stockport £150. 6th Tommy Carr of Stockport £150. 8th Graham Mackay from Swinton £100. This was a good race and one that we can build on for another year.
Now the last race of the season is over and done with I would like to thank all those who have helped during the season. We have had 5 races that have gone well and to achieve that we need the workers and those members entering their birds. We did have a blip in the last old bird race of the season when the result did not come out as it should have done and sent out. Mistakes were made when Kim did the result which was not down to her it was down to me taking my eye off the ball through pressure of work, having said that it was no excuse I should have checked. However, there are always blips along the way, some hide them better than others.
As joint secretary, what do I think of the way 2018 has gone. Well, I think things have gone well and over 5 races from across the channel into the North West we have paid out £16,702.29p so we have to be pleased. The club has plenty of room for an increase in membership because there are a lot of fanciers in the North West so if they want good competition the NWCC have it. It’s never too late to join a good club and will we improve on this next year, I don’t know but I hope so because this is one of, if not the most prestige’s club in the North West, a club that top fanciers want to win.
Footnote; We must be doing something right because we have just received our first subs and order for Gold Rings for the 2019 season, thanks GA.