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Homers Odyssey - 31-12-20

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R H Clements best in Harryville 2020 –

Roy Clements in his 85th year has been an Ace Racer for as long as I can remember and for years before that at Invermore in Larne. He has been ever present since I joined the Harryville ranks racing young birds in 1971, Highest Prize-winner on several occasions including at Ballymena & Dist when he raced there when duplication was on the go and over my time in the sport had top success through to the Old Bird Derby from France, a race he has won numerous times. That includes 2020 from St Malo winning with a bird that won 1st Club Penzance the year previous, he has won 1st Nat in the INFC and came very-close in the Kings Cup, finishing 2nd Open the year the race was won by the late Henry Beattie from Rennes.


Harryville HPS Highest Prize-winner Roy Clements holding his winner from St Malo in France, this bird won the race from Penzance the season previous.

No presentation this year due to the restrictions but Roy Clements as usual provided me with the winning list of awards won in 2020, a season when new officials had been installed with Derek Millar Chairman and Daniel Magill Secretary, two lofts that are very capable of listing top performance through to Penzance. 

In 2020 Roy Clements achieved Highest Prize-winner once again worked out on points, under strong pressure from the rising Keith & Ken Kernohan loft at Ballykeel and Jimmy Rock, each loft won 5 x 1st Club.  

Mervyn Eagleson PO for the local Mid Antrim Combine sorted me out the race results and although the Harryville HPS were not members in 2020, quite-a number of members joined in an Associated capacity and one of those Allen McBride was to win the Old Bird Knock-out diploma. Over the years Harryville members topped Mid Antrim on numerous occasions and at one time were the club to beat. They were the first winners of the famous Champions League, it operates something like the football, when four club lofts compete firstly in a League Competition moving to Knock-out on the cross-channel programme with the Grand Final usually flown from Penzance, he penultimate race before France.


Allen McBride won the Old Bird Knock-out in Mid Antrim Combine. 

Champions League Winners

2008 R H Clements Harryville, 2009 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2010 M Graham Ballymena, 2011 S Miller Randalstown, 2012 Reid Bros & McCloy Cullybackey, 2013 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2014 Steele & McNeill Rasharkin, 2015 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2016 J & M Milliken Rasharkin, 2017 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2018 J & M Milliken Rasharkin, 2019 Mr & Mrs Robinson Ahoghill 2019, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

Mid Antrim OB Points Club Shield

1990 Harryville, 1991 Ballymena, 1992 Harryville, 1993 Harryville, 1994 Harryville, 1995 Harryville, 1996 Ballymena, 1997 Harryville, 1998 Harryville, 1999 Harryville, 2000 Harryville, 2001 Harryville, 2002 Cullybackey, 2003 Harryville, 2004 Harryville, 2005 Harryville, 2006 Cullybackey, 2007 Cullybackey, 2008 Cullybackey, 2009 Kells & Dist, 2010 Rasharkin, 2011 Cullybackey, 2012 Cullybackey, 2013 Kells & Dist, 2014 Rasharkin, 2015 Cullybackey, 2016 Rasharkin, 2017 Ballymena, 2018 Rasharkin, 2019 Rasharkin, 2020 Ballymena.

Mid Antrim YB Points Club Shield

1990 Kells & Dist, 1991 Harryville, 1992 Kells & Dist, 1993 Kells & Dist, 1994 Kells & Dist, 1995 Harryville, 1996 Harryville, 1997 Ballymena, 1998 Harryville, 1999 Harryville, 2000 Harryville, 2001 Harryville, 2002 Harryville, 2003 Harryville, 2004 Harryville, 2005 Harryville, 2006 Harryville, 2007 Harryville, 2008 Harryville, 2009 Kells & Dist, 2010 Kells & Dist, 2011 Harryville, 2012 Ballymena, 2013 Rasharkin, 2014 Ballymena, 2015 Rasharkin, 2016 Rasharkin, 2017 Rasharkin, 2018 Rasharkin, 2019 Rasharkin, 2020 Rasharkin.

Les Mairs Old Bird Points Fancier of The Year Cup

1994 J Eagleson & Sons Harryville, 1995 J Eagleson & Sons Harryville, 1996 J Eagleson & Sons Harryville, 1997 A Darragh Cullybackey, 1998 T Cotter Harryville, 1999 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2000 J Eagleson & Sons Harryville, 2001 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2002 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2003 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2004 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2005 R H Clements Harryville, 2006 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2007 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2008 R H Clements Harryville, 2009 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2010 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2011 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2012 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2013 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2014 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2015 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2016 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2017 Young, McManus & Sons Ahoghill, 2018 J & M Milliken Rasharkin, 2019 J & M Milliken Rasharkin, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

Harryville Old Birds racing

07/06/20 Tullamore J Rock vel 1436 Best bird in the Mid Antrim Combine from this first old bird race of the year from Tullamore was clocked by Jimmy Rock of Harryville HPS. The former Talbenny YB National and Penzance OB Classic winner timed his yearling blue chequer cock at 14.20pm from the 126 mile race to his lofts in Albert Place in the centre of Ballymena town. This cock was sitting 6 days on his first eggs of the season. The sire a Manderlartz cock from club-mate Lexi Mullan was a winner of 3 x 1st. The dam a Soontjen hen from club-mate Allen McBride was a winner of 1st Section B and 3rd Open NIPA Talbenny and also 1st Club Rosscarbery. Another top result from a very popular fancier. 13/06/20 Gowran Park A McBride vel 1264 2nd MA Combine Well done Allen McBride on winning from Gowran Park today, sire Willy Jacob from Gerald Delaney’s while dam from club mate Jimmy Rock off his good racing cock Jacob x Van Loon bloodlines. 20/06/20 Corrin (1) M D C Magill vel 1937 Winner today off the double Penzance winner and Meritorious Award winner and dam Monty’s top stock hen winner of 7 firsts now, dam and g/dam of 25 x 1sts. 02/07/20 Corrin (2) J Rock vel 1371 4th MA Combine Jimmy Rock wins Harryville for the 2nd time with the same pigeon as the first race well done Jimmy. 06/07/20 Skibbereen Inland National J Rock vel 1320 8th MA Combine. 11/07/20 Talbenny J Rock vel 1305 4th MA Combine Jimmy Rock wins again from a favourite point, best Willy Jacob bloodlines from Gerald Delaney of Oroory Hill Stud in Dromore. The bird is a half-brother to his Skibbereen winner earlier in the week. 15/07/20 Skibbereen Yearling National J Rock vel 1318 2nd MA Combine. 19/07/20 Bude J Millar & Son vel 1031 10th MA Combine Well done Derek winning Bude with a Soontjen x Eagleson Busschaert. 25/07/20 Fermoy Comeback R H Clements vel 1487 8th Combine Roy wins with the same way breed as 1st Club & 18th Open YB Nat Talbenny. Sire was Busschaert x Van Heee and the dam Tommy Beckett. 30/07/20 St Malo OB French National R H Clements vel 1518 2nd MA Combine, this bird won 1st Club Penzance in 2019.


Jimmy Rock topped Mid Antrim Combine in the opening race of the year from Mullingar.

Harryville Centre St Malo – R H Clements Harryville 1518, Harry Boyd Kells 1509, Henry Turkington Kells 1483, D Houston & Son Broughshane 1481, Harry Boyd 1321, McFarlane & Agnew Kells 1210, 1163.

Harryville Young Birds racing

08/08/20 Mullingar Area Lib (1) R H Clements vel 1270 Well done Roy winner was of a son of the Vermerburgen pair x g/dtr of Sagan. 15/08/20 Mullingar Area Lib (2) R H Clements 1st & 2nd Vel 1264 16th MA Combine 52/1521 Roy Clements wins 2 in a row with one the same way breed as his 1st Section B winner from Rosscarbery. Top bloodlines Vermeerbergen and Ray Forbes Soontjen family have bred a host of winners. 23/08/20 Roscrea K & K Kernohan vel 1699 Well done Keith & Ken Kernohan, winner was a gift from good friend George McDowell. Sire Mr Shelby, dam Vermerbergen bloodlines which have won all three young bird races. 29/08/20 Gowran Park K & K Kernohan 1st, 2nd & 3rd vel 1202 Two in a row for the loft in form, Keith Kernohan and his dad timed another from their Vermerbergen family of birds, the winner was timed at 12.51pm flying 158 miles into Ballykeel. 06/09/20 Fermoy (1) K & K Kernohan vel 1290 Well done K & K Kernohan winner was a Vermerburgen, timed at 3.34pm flying 201 miles to the lofts at Ballykeel. 12/09/20 Talbenny YB National K & K Kernohan 1st & 2nd vel 1259 Four wins on the trot for K & K Kernohan, the latest winner was a gift from good friend George McDowell Herman x Vermerburgen. 12/09/20 Tullamore Comeback R H Clements 1st & 2nd vel 1969 2nd & 4th MA Combine 31/502. 19/09/20 Fermoy (2) K & K Kernohan 1st, 2nd & 3rd vel 1161 Well done Keith & Ken Kernohan having a fantastic year winner top Vermerbergen lines and they also win the 5 Bird with the same pigeon. 19/09/20 Fermoy 5 Bird K & K Kernohan vel 1161


Big young bird season for Keith & Ken Kernohan winning from Roscrea, Gowran Park, Talbenny and Fermoy.

Harryville Centre Talbenny – Surgenor Bros Kells 1384, Gregg Bros Kells 1285, McFarlane & Agnew Kells 1271, K & K Kernohan Harryville 1259, K & K Kernohan 1257, H Turkington Kells 1252, H Turkington 1252, Surgenor Bros 1237, Mrs V Gage Broughshane 1233, H Turkington 1231.

Harryville Centre Fermoy 5 Bird – S Crawford Kells 1179, K & K Kernohan Harryville 1161, R H Clements Harryville 1139, K & K Kernohan 1114, J Rock Harryville 1113, K & K Kernohan 1113, K & K Kernohan 1092, J Rock 1073, S Crawford 1069, R H Clements 1069.

Jimmy Rock 5 x 1st, K & K Kernohan 5 x 1st, R H Clements 5 x 1st, A McBride 1 x 1st, J Millar & Son 1 x 1st, MDC Magill 1 x 1st

The leading lofts for 2020 were – R H Clements, (Auditor), K & K Kernohan  (Race Secretary), Jimmy Rock, Allen McBride (Treasurer), J Millar & Son (Chairman), Lexi Mullan, Johnston & Richards, M D C Magill (Secretary), George Price, Wesley Jackson (President), Dennis Craig, Wray & McFadden (Ring Secretary). Cups and trophies were presented as follows. R H Clements won – Highest Prize-winner, Old Bird Average, Combined Average, Combined Inland Average, Old Bird Cross Channel Ave, Best Ave OB & YB Derbies, Best Ave 1st OB & YB races, Best Ave First 3 YB races, Most Points Derby Rasces. K & K Kernohan won - Young Bird Average, Best Ave Comeback races, Best Ave Fermoy (1) & (2) YB, Best Individual bird. Allen McBride won – Old Bird Inland Average, Best Ave Talbenny & Bude Old Birds. J Millar & Son won – Lowest Winning Velocity.

All in all, in a very unique year, the club recorded many good positions. All told they have 16 members and I look forward next year to Liam Magill who races in Meadowvale and George McDowell joining the competition, it should be interesting. Thanks again to Roy Clements and Mervyn Eagleson for their assistance with this club report. Any outstanding Loft Feature sheets should be returned and same goes for club reports on any club not already covered.

R Carson & Son complete OB Nat & Kings Cup double -

Congratulations to - R.Carson & Son Banbridge Hps on a great achievement collected the NIPA 1st open , 1st section G trophy from the N I P A St Malo National 2020.

Diamond has named the winning pigeon champion Lily Penny and was bred and Raced by R. Carson & Son Banbridge.


Diamond Carson holding his Old Bird Nat winner at the lofts in Banbridge.

The trophies they won this year are the News of the world Cup & The McComb Cup -  ST MALO NATIONAL 2020


Diamond with his cup display of trophies and diplomas won with the NIPA.

1st st malo20

Winner of 1st Open NIPA St Malo for R Carson & Son, Banbridge

The Norman Girvan Cup - 1st Section G NIPA ST MALO NATIONAL 2020. The Brendan Fox cup - for the Highest position obtained by any N.I.P.A. official, committee member or club delegate in Old Bird National race. Harper Cup – Best average Old Bird and Young Bird channel Nationals 2020. Devine Memorial Trophy - Best two bird average Old Bird National 2020.

Will Done to R Carson & Son on a great season they had David West PO.

Obituary Mairs, Bernard -

Very sad to report the passing of my Cousin Bernard D B Mairs on 29th December.

Bernard raced in the Ballyclare & District Club with great success during the 70s and 80s topping Section C from the St Malo National on one occasion. He also finished 8th Open from INFC Rennes King's Cup with his great Blue Cock ''Lemond'' named after the Tour de France winner Greg Lemond.  Racing to a great double decker flying loft on the Hillhead Road he was always there or there abouts from races of all distances . His first pigeons came from my Father his Uncle Sandy Mairs who ironically, also topped the Section C from the NIPA National being Dinard that year , and also finished 8th in the King's Cup.  Bernard thus equalled the achievements of his mentor.

Bernard had been out of pigeons for a good number of years but as a past President of the Ballyclare Club always took an interest in current activities.

Campbell McGrugan who won the NIPA St Malo National a few years ago recalls walking down Ballyclare Main Street a week or so later hearing his name being called from the other side of the street, looking across he saw Bernard running towards him and throwing his arms around Campbell in congratulations for such a good win in the top NIPA race. This was typical of the man, a keen competitor but always one of the first to congratulate the winner.

Bernard and my father once went to a pigeon auction in Muckamore where Dad took a fancy to a pigeon, not wanting to be seen bidding for it he arranged to sit directly behind Bernard and let him do the bidding.  The plan was that Dad would tap Bernard's shoe with his foot under the seating when he wanted to bid, this went ok as the bidding started but as the price went up Sandy reached a point when he stopped bidding and pulled his foot away from Bernard's heels.  With the bids getting ever higher Bernard was still bidding away whereupon Sandy leaned forward and asked Bernard if he was bidding for himself. When he replied no Sandy looked down to see the feet of the man sitting beside him up against Bernard's heels in a very crowded sale room. Fortunately, the pair of them managed not to buy a pigeon they couldn’t afford.

Bernard hadn’t been in the best of health for some time, but it was a shock to hear the sad news of his passing. Condolences to Florence and the Family. Milne Mairs PO East Antrim.

D B Mairs – I had heard that Bernard was having a few health problems, but it was still a shock to hear he had passed away in late December. A fantastic racer in his time racing in the hot-bed of long distance racing in East Antrim at the big Ballyclare & District. It was an area I had covered for many years and had a column in the local Times and Advertiser newspapers, the name D B Mairs was featured many times, Bernard also gave us great support in the magazines and books we published over the years and you were always sure to get a visit to the home at Christmas Santa time. Although he has not raced for a long time, he was a past President of Ballyclare & District, his achievements are still talked about locally till the present day. He won many shows in his time and had many prize-winning cattle, he was a great character. Sincere condolences to the family, at this very-sad time. Homer.

HOMER. Willie Reynolds

Tel/Fax: (028) 256 44683

Mobile: 07538 238364

Twitter: williereynolds@homerbhw>

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