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Homers Odyssey - 02-03-21

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Homers Odyssey

RPRA TPRS Race Management Software 2021 for NIPA/MAC – Easy as Peas!

Dear Secretary, Hope you are keeping well. Just a quick update explaining what is available for 2021.

The RPRA TPRS software has some great advantages for managing all aspects of pigeon racing and is easy to use. It has a dedicated team of people led by Derren Brown based at the RPRA HQ to support your organisation. Video tutorials and written materials are available online. Zoom is another function which is available to do live remote training sessions.

The setup of the software for a secretary is minimal and accurate and takes less than 5-minutes.

o             Installation – Video tutorial

o             Login - Username and Password

o             Synchronise the database.  Click the button. – Video tutorial

o             Add the distances for any RPRA race point for your members instantly. 24/7 access.

o             Add new members by using the member’s RPRA number. Contact details are from the RPRA database. Managing the club’s membership list 
               keeps a club’s records at the RPRA up to date. This will drastically reduce mundane work at HQ and reduce the workload of club secretaries.

o             These tasks 1-4 have full demonstration on the training website at These materials are currently being transferred to                      the new RPRA website.

  • The NIPA Secretary sets up the race programme centrally and uploads to the RPRA cloud. Club secretaries simply press the green sync button to download the race programme. Liberation times are also controlled by the central organisation. This feature greatly reduces the time for the club secretary and increases accuracy of results.

  • Sections. Within the NIPA organisation small cluster of clubs have been grouped together to produce Section results. E.g. Coalisland & Dist, Mid-Antrim Combine, further groups can be generated on request.

Each club produces their result and uploads it to the RPRA Results website. Hard copies of results can be printed locally. Hard copies of results can be saved as .doc, pdf or xls format. Each club is independent and can set all their own pool amounts and have extra races if required. All end of year, averages, prize card production facilities are available. Every function required by a secretary is available. Any ‘special report’ can be added on request.

Compiling the full NIPA/MAC result takes seconds by pressing download from the web. The initial result can be uploaded and if pools and prize money require processing this can be done and then the result uploaded again.

Have a look at the results produced by participating clubs last year. Use the dropdown menu remember to select 2020!  Fanciers can add the page to their favourite’s. A hyperlink can be embedded into the NIPA website, Facebook group or other social media sites.

Link to the RPRA results website All NIPA organisations are grouped together NIPA – Open etc.

Link to the latest software

Link to the training site  ZOOM could be used and hosted by the Ian Evans from the RPRA. I can share my screen and take an organisation through a full race.

Website integration

The MNFC has upgraded their IT infrastructure using the RPRA TPRS program. I was the MNFC Race Secretary of the MNFC for 8 seasons and know that their new system will take pigeon racing administration again forward in the UK.  The training I create for them to manage some trial races will be available through online support using Zoom to NIPA free of charge.

The MNFC has online entry into all their races and this available from their website. The process is fully automatic. Fanciers select the race, add any combination of pools setup by the club in the TPRS software, payment is made through the club’s own Worldpay account. (MNFC has a flat charge per transaction, some card companies want to charge a percentage e.g. 3% to the value of the purchase per transaction.  £1000 on entry £30 charge!! Worldpay 13p per transaction!).

I suggest you have a look at how they can manage the content of their website themselves. Their website has a content management system and they have learned the skills to upload their own content. Incorporating Facebook and links to the RPRA results site are basic functions. The exercise of finding out what they done may save you a lot of time, cost and get a product which would be as good as the MNFC or possibly better!

Race Security

Once you have completed managing a race you will see the built-in race security which the software provides. At a marking station when an ETS clock is passed back to the fancier by the OIC the clock can be synchronized. A marking station requires 1 laptop, the process takes 20 seconds to synchronise the clock and extract the marking data. This records the time the birds were marked, the chip rings used and the clock’s serial number. This information is uploaded to the RPRA cloud when marking is finished.

At clock stations the hard copies produced as normal and when the data is taken from the clock and used for the result, when the result is uploaded the fancier’s clock serial number along with chip ring numbers used are uploaded to the RPRA cloud. A full report can be run to compare the marking data and final result data. Obviously, this report should be empty! A security check on a club’s internal paperwork trail is complete.

Before the season starts the members, full clock details can be uploaded to the cloud. Most ring assignment sheets are nowadays put in the bin! TPRS puts life rings chip rings and serial number it into the RPRA cloud. Duplicate clocks can be uploaded as well. Week by week results are monitored. If a fancier changes a chip ring it will be identified. There is nothing wrong with a chip ring needing replacement. However, if suddenly a full new set appear you may wish to ask some questions! Uploading an administration list for a fancier can be done at anytime i.e. before young bird season starts or if a new clock is required.

The TPRS system does have this facility to monitor the security of races. The RPRA Team would help introduce this facility for your organisation. The week by week monitoring of clocks has increased benefits. A lost clock can be detected when used anywhere where the software is being used. A fancier simply needs to let the RPRA know when it has been lost and it can be identified when used. 

The RPRA central results website

There is a great opportunity to develop awards automatically for Ace Pigeon Awards loft performances. The possibilities are over to what you want to do with the data. I expect the site will evolve once clubs are all using the site. Navigation is fine, but I would like to see NIPA have its own display link. We have responded this year to requests from secretaries using the system. Amending results through typo errors is a good example. The training for the update is on the training site.

I have observed the NIPA results produced in the BHW. Although all result can be exported into Excel, a special result report can be generated to collate all the information and provide the format needed at the BHW. If there is any other information you require, I’ll do my best to help.

Kind regards, Peter Humphries

The information below will enable the NIPA/MAC Secretary to login to a club’s accounts. Please note that the username and password would enable with the software to access contact details. Please share the document appropriately with GDPR in mind. We can send each secretary an individual document with their usernames and password if necessary.

NIPA/MAC – RPRA Results 2021

Dear Secretary and Committee,

I have attached a document which explains what the RPRA TPRS software offers pigeon racing.

If you would like a Zoom presentation demonstrating the role of a secretary producing a result I think you will find how easy it is to use the software. Ideally, Ian could arrange the meeting and chair it and I can demonstrate the role of a secretary. I would expect the demonstration to last 15 minutes with a final open result being compiled. You would then have observed the software performance at first hand. A Q&A can then develop from the demonstration.


During last season we responded to requests from secretaries and during the winter we added some new features which have been added to the training site. Links are in the document. Click the link or copy and paste into your browser if necessary to access the websites.

Having just retired from teaching, I am well aware of the needs of students or staff in learning a new piece of software. My passion during work was Geography and ICT hence the ICT Case Study pdf attachment to give you a bit of background about me! I've kept pigeons since I was 10 and to help fund my children through university my wife and I were the MNFC race secretaries for 8 seasons as well as both teaching. During the time, I designed the software with my good friend Viv, I designed the structure of the website to run the organisation efficiently. The TPRS software will take pigeon racing forward in the UK. My time and effort is free to the pigeon sport and quite happy to help support NIPA should you wish to develop the use of the software. I'm pleased the software is available for all clubs affiliated to the RPRA free of charge to use.

With the RPRA TPRS software managing clubs membership details, distances 24/7 you will also see within the presentation the bigger picture for the potential of managing the RPRA efficiently into the future.

Kind regards Peter Humphries.

BHW/INFC Single Bird Challenge 2021 -

As usual the last day for accepting entries for the single bird challenge will be 17th March. All entries stand from last season, if anyone wants to change their previous entry they can send a new one, with no fee required, to the address below. Any new members wishing to enter the challenge should send all details to me, with a £5/€7 fee payable to INFC, David Black, 11 Drumiller Hill, Dromore, Co. Down, BT25 1EP.

Adair Arms Hotel hosts local Ballymena Dinner.

Like last year the Ballymena & District HPS annual dinner and prize presentation of awards in the 2008 racing season was held just after the end of year holiday rush, for the second year on the trot the members and friends returned to the local Adair Arms Hotel. After another fantastic meal served in the upstairs Kells Room the Secretary Willie Reynolds welcomed the members, friends and guests including Mid Antrim Combine Secretary George McDowell, Keith Kernohan from Ballymena Pigeon Supplies, Brian Herbinson the President of Cullybackey and Jimmy Letters from Harryville HPS.

group 02 03 21
The officials and prize winners at the presentation held in the local Adair Arms Hotel.

ShowVisitorCup 02 03 21
Ballymena President Billy Smyth presents the Visitors Show Trophy to Brian Herbinson, also included, Jimmy Letters from Harryville.

Just like many others the club is a lot smaller than from earlier years, in the last season the members enjoyed a lot of top success and that included 5 x 1st Mid Antrim Combine Diplomas. All members play their part in some way from the race marking to clock checking and then the producing the result each week, plus verification of the race winner. The club had just recently completed a very successful show season, again great work with Billy Smyth and Harry Richmond to the fore and the members were looking forward to the new racing season.

MACDiplomas 02 03 21
Mid Antrim Combine Secretary George McDowell (r) presents the MAC Diplomas to Ballymena & Dist members.

Competition is very keen and in the last four seasons to 2007 the club has had a different top prize-winner. A Smyth & Son were the top loft in 2003 and 2004 before the Clearance Sale, following that George Barr in 2005, W & J Smyth in 2006 and the Richmond Bros having pride of place in 2007. I suppose 2008 would be regarded as a two-horse race, W & J Smyth won most races and returned to the top of the list followed by the top winners from the season previous Richmond Bros, and the up and coming Martin Graham.

wjtops 02 03 21
Top Prize-winners W & J Smyth collect awards from special guests Keith Kernohan (l) and George McDowell (r).

WJSmythCups 02 03 21
Two happy men Billy & Joe Smyth at the top in Ballymena for the second time in three seasons.

The Ballymena prize structure has been in place for a number of seasons, members compete in every single race flown by both the NIPA and Irish National Flying Club; six prizes are paid out with just two positions allowed in the NIPA Inland racing, not including the Nationals. The payout totalled £643, almost the same as the previous year and the leading lofts were: W & J Smyth, Richmond Bros, Martin Graham, Blair & Rankin, Brian O’Rawe, Joe Devlin, George Barr, Jim Harris, Smyth Bros, and Cecil Quaite. Brian Herbinson presented the cash awards and race diplomas, Keith Kernohan the cups and trophies, and finally George McDowell the Mid Antrim Combine awards.

officials 02 03 21
The officials at the prize night included from (l) Jim Harris Ass Secty, Billy Smyth President, Brian O'Rawe Treasurer, Willie Reynolds Secretary and Joe Devlin Vice Chairman.

Winners2 02 03 21
Ballymena winners from (l) Brian O'Rawe, Joe Devlin, Bertie Blair, Tom McAlonan and George Barr.

The club members topped the Mid Antrim Combine five times starting at the Talbenny (1) and a great result for Vice Chairman Joe Devlin who had a very early bird to take 1st Sect B & 86th Open NIPA with 13,774 birds competing on velocity 1230. W & J Smyth topped Mid Antrim Combine in both the Sennen Cove and the duplicate Old Bird Classic for the second season on the trot. In the main race they finished 1st Sect B & 6th Open NIPA 856/8,740 and a super result in the OB Classic with 1st Sect B & 5th Open NIPA 484/3,216 plus £560. To win this race two seasons on the trot is an outstanding performance indeed. The club again the next week posted another fantastic result, this time in the Premier OB National from St Malo in France. Martin Graham had an early arrival and finished 2nd Combine & Sect and a fantastic 4th Open NIPA 527/1,668, if that was not enough he timed a second bird before going to the Cullybackey Centre and it was placed 4th Comb & Sect and 30th Open NIPA the two birds lifted a grand total of £640. George Barr had the only other arrival, the previous year George had just pipped Martin in a photo finish from Lamballe when only two birds were recorded in the club. George has scored at the distance for many year’s but Martin is starting to establish his loft and looks forward to the long distance events, just a few years back in fact it was 2003, he had 1st Club from Lamballe, 1st Combine, 1st Sect & 2nd Open NIPA just behind Malcolm Robinson from Bondhill.

In the young bird season we waited until Fermoy and the duplicate Fermoy 5 Bird Classic to strike again with another top result for Martin Graham who timed two of his Willy Jacobs imports to take 1st Combine and 7th Sect in the ordinary race and then in the 5 Bird Classic 1st Comb, 5th Sect & 69th Open NIPA followed by W & J Smyth £73 and Brian O’Rawe £20. Martins second bird finished 7th Sect & 76th Open, total winnings were £200. W & J Smyth remained very consistent and unfortunately the Talbenny Nat birds were brought back to Mullingar due to severe weather conditions in South Wales, the loft won the YB Average in Mid Antrim, a super prize for the Highest Prize-winners.

MartinDenis 02 03 21
Martin Graham had a top season winning the NIPA St Malo OB Nat and the INFC Sennen Cove YB Nat with father in law and loft assistant Denis Craig.

Racing with the Irish Nat FC the opening race from Skibbereen North was won by Richmond Bros and this was followed by the Yearling Nat flown from Sennen Cove. The best club bird was timed by W & J Smyth to finish 34th North Sect & 46th Open plus £300, doing velocity 876 and just over 4,000 birds competing. Other arrivals were recorded by Jim Harris, Smyth Bros, Martin Graham, George Barr and Richmond Bros. We missed out on the Kings Cup, for the second season on the trot the race was cancelled due to poor weather. Sennen Cove for the YB Nat was another difficult race Martin Graham timed two birds to finish 158th & 182nd Open plus £60, the first bird was doing velocity 671. The Old Hens Nat was flown at the same time and Richmond Bros had the early bird here, the only club arrival recording velocity 831 and finishing 23rd Open INFC. Martin Graham completed the season with an early arrival in the Skibbereen North YB Nat on a fast day doing velocity 1544 he finished a good 34th Open INFC and collected £200, he also lifts the INFC Points Cup in Ballymena.

Winners1 02 03 21
Ballymena winners including W & J Smyth, Richmond Bros and Martin Graham.

Having retrieved all the major snips of information and reports plus results over the major races of 1976 season I will now check up on the meetings that took place prior to racing in 1977, one of the big events was the annual meeting of the Mighty NIPA and I am pleased to again feature the words of the late James Martin in his weekly column in the Ballymena Guardian, some memories, and more to follow.

OldGroup 02 03 21
Dinner group photo, Ballymena & District from a number of years back.

Tommy Harper elected President of the NIPA –

The thirty-second annual general meeting of the NIPA was held on Saturday 22nd January, in Glenavy. In his opening remarks the chairman Mr L Boyle (Dromore) said how very-pleased he was to see such a large turn-out of club delegates. He asked if the members would stand as a mark of respect for the clubs late President Mr W McCluggage and he also included all deceased NIPA members.

The secretary Mr S Halliday (Banbridge) then read out the minutes of the last AGM. These were passed without question. Item 2 on the agenda was the passing of accounts and under this quite a number of queries were raised. Each was given a satisfactory answer by the secretary and the accounts were passed. I quite agree with a suggestion put from the floor that clubs that have questions to ask on accounts should firstly notify the secretary. This would enable him to give a more detailed answer.

Under any other 1976 business the secretary read out two notices of resignation from Cookstown & District HPS and Cushendall & District. Both clubs were clear in the books and the resignations were accepted. Fanciers not seeking re-election to general committee were J Patience (Lurgan) and W McCluggage jun. (Larne). Mr S Quigley from the floor paid a tribute for the work these men had carried out on behalf of the fancy. The chairman then went on to discuss the situation regarding the office of President. Prior to Mr W McCluggage taking over after his long service as secretary the post was held for one year only. Mr Boyle felt that we now had an opportunity to revery to the old system. He suggested that we also elect a Vice President, also for one year and he should succeed as President the following year. As we now had 5 Sections it was his suggestion that the office should rotate. The meeting agreed.

Before the election of official’s the chairman spoke in glowing terms of the great work carried out for the club by the late Mr W McCluggage. He was one of the founder members and it was mainly through him that the club had grown to be one of the largest in Great Britain. The chairman then thanked everyone for their help during the year and called on T Harper to conduct the election.

For the first office of President there were two nominations. T Harper (Ballymena) for Sect B and J McAllister (Carrickfergus) for Sect C. In the vote Tommy Harper carried 91 votes to 32. This is a great honour brought to the town of Ballymena and is richly deserved. The following list of offices were elected without opposition. Vice President J McAllister, Chairman L Boyle, Vice Chairman D Campbell (Harryville), Financial Secretary S Halliday (Banbridge), Ass Secretary J Vage (Dromore), Race Controller A M Brown (Crumlin), Race Committee A McDonnell (Coleraine) and S Halliday, Auditors Robinson  & Co (Portadown).   

The General Committee was re-elected and reads as last year. H A Montgomery (Coleraine), J Vage (Dromore), H McVeigh (Killyleagh), G A Willis (Portadown), J Savage (Crumlin), R McCracken (Banbridge), B Fox (Lisburn), V Thom (Cookstown), T Harper (Ballymena). The two vacant positions were filled by M Donnelly (Larne) and R Surples (Lurgan).

The Transport Committee was re-elected and reads. T Harper, G Gibson (Comber), F Russell (Dromore), N Girvan (Newry), S Halliday, B McCandless (Dromore), S Quigley (Londonderry). Elected to take the positions of W McCluggage sen and J Patience were F O’Reilly (Glengormley) and S Patterson (Dromore).

The Reserve Committee were elected en-bloc with the exception of W McClure (Kells) who stood down, W Reynolds (Harryville) was elected to fill the vacancy. The rest of the committee reads. B Goudy (Muckamore), A McDonnell, C Savage (Castledawson), G Galway (Portadown), J Mercer (Lurgan), B McCandless, W Bell (Banbridge), W Parkes (Killyleagh), C Kennedy (Lisburn), J Hunter (Larne). Mr Boyle then returned to the chair and thanked the members for his re-election.

The next item was number five – passing of rules as submitted to clubs. Fanciers have been pressing for some time now to have a new Rule Book to replace the old 1948 one. The committee spent some time during the past year going through the minute book and drawing up a list of the up-dated club rules. Copies of these were sent out to all clubs for approval. After several questions from the floor the delegates passed the rules and new books will be issued in the coming year.

First Resolutions on the agenda were from the Ahoghill Flying Club – 6 (1) That the secretary submits to each club secretary minutes of all NIPA Committee meetings. The chairman spoke on some length on this and well understood what the club were getting at i.e. lack of information. After consideration he found he had no alternative but to withdraw the motion as it was out of order. This was strongly opposed by J Martin of the Ahoghill FC who went on to state his clubs point of view on the subject. It was finally agreed the item be discussed under any other business.

6 (2) also submitted by Ahoghill – That the NIPA Ladies Night rotate through the Derby Marking Centres of Banbridge, Moira, Muckamore, Ballymena and Coleraine. The motion carried by 64 votes to 49. Three Resolutions from Dromore West End followed.

7 (1) – the open pool money be divided into 40 cuts in all pools to and including £2. 7 (2) – That section pool money have 20 cuts to and including £2. Both these were carried unanimously. 7 (3) – That the Nomination in the open in all derby races be for a Colour TV was defeated 100 votes to 11. I myself can see no reason why we cannot have a separate TV Nom initiation in the derby races. Perhaps next year.

The last two Resolutions were from Dromore HPS. 8 (1) That the individual membership fee be increased by 50p, same to be used to increase the salary of secretary and assistant secretary. It was pointed out from the floor that that under last year’s membership this would have raised an extra £1,360 . A suggestion that the chairman withdraw the motion as out of order was rejected. The increase proposed would have been over 100% . On a vote the motion was defeated 96 votes to 24. Under 8 (2) Road Transport to Dinard (France) the motion was again defeated 102 votes to 20. I would like to point out that all the resolutions are in an edited form.

As there were no further points the AGM was closed and a Delegate Meeting was opened. This was to deal mainly with application of clubs. Under (1) to confirm the committees provisional application the following clubs were elected. Dromara HPS, Ballylinney HPS and Ballyholme SRPC. Under (2) on an appeal Maiden City RPS was accepted 62 votes to 26. The chairman pointed out to the meeting that in the future they should be careful about appointing clubs through internal disputes. It was not in the best interest of the NIPA to have small clubs springing up all over the Province when one considered the extra work for the secretary and the need for new transporter routes. He was not against any new club provided they were catering for new members.

The point was then raised on Motion 6 (1). A final suggestion from the chair that the secretary issue a News Release when appropriate was accepted. A suggestion from the floor that the committee award the secretary and assistant secretary a reasonable salary increase was agreed. The chairman pointed out the role played by the late Mr McCluggage on the finance side  of the transport of birds and that the secretary would now have this extra function to cover. It was agreed that this be taken into consideration with the salary increase.

A new trophy donated by Diamond Bros on behalf of their late father will be up for competition next year. It’s for Best Average over two Young Bird Derbies. The chairman commented that with such an array of trophies that the NIPA had, the winners should make an attempt to attend Ladies Night for the distribution. He also mentioned a complaint from the RPRA (Irish Region) that some birds which have been reported missing are not being claimed. He said failure to claim a bird could result in a member being suspended.

The secretary stated that Ladies Night 1977 will be held in Ballymena and he read out the years racing programme. Starting on 16th April and going two Arklow’s, two Wexford’s, two Dungarvan’s, two Haverfordwest’s, Okehampton, Weymouth and the Dinard OB Derby of 25th June. They will have a free weekend 1st July for the OB National Kings Cup. Young birds start 9th July and go two Dublin’s, two Arklow’s, two Wexford’s, Haverfordwest Derby, Dungarvan and Skibbereen Derby. No free week has been allocated for the YB National Penzance. The secretary stated that the liberation point at Dungarvan has had to be moved something like three miles. He apologised for members having to be re-measured. The meeting closed at around 5.30pm.

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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