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Homer's Odyssey - 17-11-20

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Homer's Odyssey

Although it is very unlikely a presentation will be held for the Mid Antrim Combine awards won in the never to be forgotten 2020 season we will still distribute the cups and trophies won and engraved up to date and on top of that a winning Diploma for the race winners, only the one per loft regardless of the number of wins. I would like to once again thank the MAC President Danny Dixon for looking after the engraving and the production of the various Diplomas, greatly appreciated and keeps the joining fees down to £3 per club which includes all club members that wish to compete. The up to date prize list is published below, and a list of the various race winners.  For up to date information on the MAC see the website, call up the Forum in the Banner at top of Front Page and then scroll down to Mid Antrim Combine.

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Pic 1 - Michelin RPC from the Gala Night in 1974, the officials and cup winners from (l) W Reynolds (Chairman), M Reynolds, L Neill, J Cameron (Secretary), G McDowell, B Rankin, W Scott, G McGarry (Treasurer), and Nelson Corry who presented the prizes.

Pic 2 - A group of fanciers who attended the event in Michelin in 1974, included from (r) Bob Francey, Matt McAdorey and Billy Spence.


Michelin Gala probably 1975 Mr G McDowell (l) being presented his prize by Mr John Patterson then Secretary of the Ulster Federation. Michelin RPC Chairman W Reynolds is centre.

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Back in the day Ballymena & District presentation. From (l) Alwyn Livingstone, the late George Barr, the late Bobby Smyth, Harry Richmond and the late Crawford McClintock.

Prize List & Awards 2020 – Old Bird Inland Average won by J Eagleson & Sons vel 1421, Cross Channel Average won by D Dixon, Old Bird Average won by D Dixon, McIlhagga Cup for 1st MAC St Malo OB Nat won by Harold Cubitt Rasharkin vel 1589, B Eagleson Memorial Cup best average Talbenny (1) & (2), Bude and Penzance (Not won in 2020), T Shanks Memorial Cup Old Bird of the Year won by D Dixon, Les Mairs OB Fancier of the Year won by D Dixon, Herbison Cup Young Bird Ave won by D Dixon, New North Cup best average Bude OB & Talbenny YB won by D Dixon, and Parker Cup Combined Average won by D Dixon. The new Meritorious Award Diploma for Individual Bird Performance from Talbenny & Bude was won by Danny Dixon, velocity 1171.


Danny Dixon holding the winner of Bude, second leg of the RPRA (Irish Region) Meritorious Award.

Club Points Shield for Old Birds, Club Points Shield Young Birds won by Rasharkin & Dist. Champions League Shield & Diploma won by Rasharkin & Dist (D Dixon), INFC Points Cup (Not won in 2020). Old Bird Knock-Out won by Allen McBride (Associate), Young Bird Knock-Out won by D Dixon (Rasharkin), Old Bird Points League won by D Dixon (206 Points) & Young Bird Points League won by D Dixon (404 Points). Only one Diploma per member in 2020 regardless the number of 1sts won. Cup & Trophy list will be finally confirmed later should there be any changes.

Race winners in 20120 included the following: Old Birds - - Tullamore J Rock (Associate) vel 1436, Gowran Park Harry Boyd (Kells & Dist) vel 1301, Corrin (1) Blair & Rankin Ballymena & Dist) vel 1946, Corrin (2) Mr & Mrs Robinson (Ahoghill) vel 1385, Skibbereen OB Inland Nat J Eagleson & Sons (Ballymena & Dist ) vel 1399, Talbenny J Eagleson & Sons (Ballymena & Dist) vel 1348, Skibbereen Yearling Nat Harry Boyd (Kells & Dist) vel 1324, Bude D Dixon (Rasharkin & Dist) vel 1077, Fermoy Houston Bros (Randalstown) vel 1527, Saint Malo OB National (France) Harold Cubitt (Rasharkin & Dist) vel 1589.

Young Birds – Area Lib Mullingar (1) 48/1615 D Dixon (Rasharkin & Dist) 1st & 2nd vel 1336, Blair & Rankin (Ballymena) 1st vel 1337, Area Lib Mullingar (2) 52/1521 D Dixon (Rasharkin & Dist 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th vel 1294, Roscrea 49/1453 C & D Jackson (Kells & Dist) vel 1705, Gowran Park 51/1375 D Dixon (Rasharkin & Dist) 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th vel 1201, Fermoy (1) 42/1008 D Dixon (Rasharkin & Dist) 1st & 2nd vel 1291, Talbenny YB Nat (South Wales) 38/201 Surgenor Bros (Kells & Dist) vel 1384, Tullamore 31/502 – R Service & Son (Ballymena & Dist) vel 1977, Fermoy (2) 32/418 D Dixon (Rasharkin & Dist) 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th vel 1208, Fermoy 5 Bird Championship Sam Crawford (Kells & Dist) vel 1179.

INFC Races – Programme was not flown due to Covid 19.

The RPRA have introduced a new result programme and I would be interested to hear how many local clubs have it set up and are using it, last season the MAC intended to run a pilot to see how it turned out. It never got started but maybe we will be able to have a look at it in 2021, local clubs who were able to set it up and can use it should let me know the name of the race co-ordinator and a contact e-mail address and Mobile number. If this system were to be adopted it would change results for ever, and no reason why we don’t have Centre Results for the major races. All ring numbers and distances are checked automatic and checks are also made I understand when results or timed birds are loaded from the ETS Clocks. Calculations can be done for Best in each Club, Best Club in each Section, Best Club in the Open, Individual Lofts the same, and also, Individual Birds over the whole range. We would have OB Inland Average, Cross Channel Ave, Combined OB Average, Young Bird Ave and Combined OB & YB Average all at the click of a button and available for every single member. I have no doubt this is the programme for the future, just requires administration. Mid Antrim Combine registered early and at the last AGM it was agreed to run a pilot to see how it works out, any local members interested in giving it a go in 2021 for MAC?

2020 N.I.P.A. Diploma’s – All the 2020 Diplomas have now been printed and delivered to the NIPA Office in Dromore. If you have won an NIPA Open Diploma or Average Award your Diploma is automatically framed for you. If you have won any NIPA Section Diploma these awards are nor framed and if you wish to receive them framed please forward a cheque made payable to the NIPA for £8.00 for each Diploma. Regards F C Russell, Secretary of NIPA.

Meritorious Awards 2020 -

RPRA (Irish Region) Awards 2020 – Single Bird performance Talbenny & Bude

Sect A – Brendan Morgan Coalisland & District Vel 1148, 


The winner for Brendan Morgan in the NIPA Sect A, bred from a daughter of his Kings Cup runner-up in 2015.


Brendan Morgan of Coalisland & District holding the Sect A Meritorious Award winner.

Sect B – Danny Dixon Ballymoney HPS Vel 1171, Sect C- Rea & Magill Larne & District Vel 1180, Sect D – P & J Boal Dromore Vel 1145,


P & J Boal of Dromore HPS were winners of the Meritorious Award in Section D.

Sect E – Ron Williamson Bondhill Soc Vel 1138,

ron williamson

Ron Williamson won the Sect E award in Bondhill and Sect G award in Newry & District.

Sect F – Burns & Coates Ards HPS Vel 908, Sect G - R Williamson Newry & Dist Vel 1085, Sect H – No Claim. Overall Winner – Rea & Magill Larne & District HPS Vel 1180.


Stevie Burns holding the Dark Cheq Busschaert hen of Burns & Coates, their RPRA Sec F winner.

RPRA (Irish Region) - Mileage Awards 2020

0-250 Miles Ron Williamson Newry & District, 251-450 Miles R Carson & Son Banbridge, 450 + Miles Ron Williamson Bondhill Social.

Best YB Performance 2020 – Sands & Rice, Ballyholland HPS

Best OB Performance 2020- Ron Williamson, Newry & District

RPRA (Irish Region) Young Fancier Mileage Awards 2020

0-250 Miles Keelie Wright Lurgan Social, 251-450 Miles Keelie Wright Lurgan Social, 450 + Miles No Claim.

RPRA (Irish Region) Young Fancier of the Year 2020 – 1st Miss Keelie Wright, Lurgan Social

Winning lofts should send me bird details, breeding/racing and results and a photo of the bird and/or fancier if possible, to arrange press coverage. In this report I have listed the ones already returned.  Regards Homer.

The Meritorious Awards are always looked forward to covering individual bird performance over two cross channel races that usually include Penzance, because of restrictions and poor weather this year the races had to be Talbenny and Bude which were flown in successive weeks, quite a task. Rea & Magill ace racers in East Antrim and members in the big Larne & District were best in Section C and recorded the best velocity overall. Their bird “The King” is really something special, this Cheq cock had only five races this season. Tullamore 4th Club (beat by loft-mates), 12th Sect & 73rd Open NIPA 695/22,369 velocity 1482; Gowran Park 3rd Club & 37th Sect C 134/4,161 velocity 1263; Corrin 5th Club, 25th Sect & 229th Open NIPA 775/24,284 velocity 1854; Talbenny 1st Club, 3rd Sect & 10th Open NIPA 712/14,232 velocity 1357; Bude 1st Club, 1st Sect & 26th Open NIPA velocity 1075. Got better as the season and distance progressed and excelled on the cross-channel points. Bred from the absolute very-best of my own family of Van Hercks /van Boal that have produced numerous winners over many years.


“The King” best in the East Antrim Sect C and the overall winner of the (Irish Region) Meritorious Award for Rea & Magill of Larne & District HPS.

The Sect A was won by Brendan Morgan of Coalisland & District who enjoyed a very-good racing season. His Blue Cheq hen won 34th Section A Talbenny 57/1,112 velocity 1258 and 3rd Section A & 15th Open NIPA Bude 571/8,658 velocity 1084. Father of bird a pigeon purchased off the late Sam Mitchell of Cookstown HPS, the mother of bird is the daughter of the loft’s own 1st North Section & 2nd Open winner in the INFC St Allouestre Kings Cup race in 2015.

Sect B winner was Danny Dixon of Dunloy who had another top season in Ballymoney HPS also dominating the results in the Mid Antrim Combine, 6 x 1sts in total, and also winner in MAC of the new Meritorious Award Diploma. His bird a Black w/f cock is a nephew of his “Champion Heartbreaker” and he wins the Bird of the Year in Ballymoney in 2020 and the Champion Old Bird in the MAC. Positions won were 1st Club, 2nd Sect B, 2nd MAC & 95th Open NIPA Talbenny 712/14,232 velocity 1320 and 2nd Club, 2nd Sect B, 1st MAC & 22nd Open NIPA Bude 571/8,658 velocity 1077. As “Champion Heartbreaker” is stopped filling his eggs this year it is hoped this young cock takes over where he left off, a whole line of top winners were produced for Danny and others.


“New Heartbreaker” was the winner in Section B for Danny Dixon of Ballymoney HPS.

HOMER. Willie Reynolds

Tel/Fax: (028) 256 44683

Mobile: 07538 238364

Twitter: willie reynolds@homerbhw>

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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