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Homers Odyssey - 23-03-21

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MAC Ready for the OFF!

Mid Antrim Combine members are looking forward to the race season of 2021, no AGM was possible in both of the last seasons 2020 and 2021 with restrictions regarding Covid 19, officials in office will remain until a proper AGM is possible. President Danny Dixon (Rasharkin), Chairman Robert Service (Ballymena), Secretary Willie Reynolds (Ballymena), Press Officer Mervyn Eagleson (Ballymena).

The Balance Sheet for the AGM in March 2020 was £331.83, with adjustments for Charges, Additional Diplomas, RPRA Fees and Membership fees the Balance Sheet for the AGM in March 2021 is £275.83. Remember the joining fees for 2021 are £3.00 per club which includes all members less those who opt out, and Associate Membership is also £3.00. The Champions League is as usual a competition between member clubs, four lofts represent the club. Associate Members compete in the Knock-Out, League and Champion Bird, plus all the other cups and trophies.

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.

Major winner in the Mid Antrim Combine in season 2020, Danny Dixon of Rasharkin.

Cups and trophies will be engraved as follows for seasons 2019 and 2020.

Old Bird Cross Channel Average - 2019 H Boyd Randalstown, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

Chamions Old Bird GB18B 21095 Danny Dixon
Champion Old Bird in the MAC won by D Dixon, Rasharkin & District.

Old Bird Average - 2019 H Boyd Randalstown, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

Old Bird Inland Average - 2019 G Gibon Associate, 2020 J Eagleson & Sons Ballymena.

The Herbinson Cup Young Bird Average - 2019 Blair & Rankin Ballymena, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

McIlhagga Cup 1st Mid Antrim Combine NIPA Old Bird National - 2019 H Boyd Randalstown, 2020 H Cubitt Rasharkin.

Les Mairs Old Bird Points Fancier of The Year - 2019 J & M Milliken Rasharkin, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

Champions League Winners - 2019 Mr & Mrs Robinson Ahoghill, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

Champions L Rasharkin District Danny Dixon
Diploma for Champions League won by Rasharkin & District HPS

Old Bird Knock-out - 2019 Mr & Mrs Robinson Ahoghill, 2020 A McBride Associate.

OB Knockout A McBride
Old Bird Knock-out Diploma won by Allen McBride, Associate.

Young Bird Knock-out - 2019 No Comp, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

YB Knockout Danny Dixon
MAC Diploma for the Young Bird Knock-out competition.

T Shanks Memorial Cup OB of The Year - 2019 J Eagleson & Sons Ballymena (GB18B-12586), 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin (GB18B21095).

Merit Award Dixon
The new Meritorious Award Diploma single bird performance Talbenny & Bude won by D Dixon.

New North Cup Best Average Bude & Talbenny YB National NIPA - 2019 R H Clements Associate, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

Parker Cup Combined Average - 2019 No Winner, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin.

Adams Cup INFC Average/Points - 2019 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2020 No Comp.

Bryan Eagleson Memorial Cup (Best average Talbenny 1 & 2, Bude & Penzance) - 2019 No winner, 2020 No winner.

Young Bird of The Year - 2019 Joint Winners - Blair & Rankin Ballymena (GB19B-16063), W & J McLean Rasharkin (GB19R-09522), D Dixon Rasharkin (GB19B-22567).

2020 D Dixon Rasharkin GB20B-24296 - Mid Antrim Combine Meritorious Diploma Talbenny & Penzance - 2020 (Talbenny & Bude) D Dixon Rasharkin.

Champions YB GB20B 24296 Danny Dixon
Champion Young Bird in the MAC won by D Dixon of Rasharkin & District

OB Points Club Shield - 2019 Rasharkin, 2020 Ballymena.

Old Bird Points L Danny Dixon 206 points
MAC Diploma for the Old Bird League, D Dixon had 206 Points.

Young Bird Points L Danny Dixon 404 points
MAC Diploma for the Young Bird League, D Dixon had 404 Points.

YB Points Club Shield - 2019 Rasharkin, 2020 Rasharkin.

I have a mandate from the Ballymena & Dist HPS to put forward some changes and adjustments, I will get the opinion of local delegates of MAC and changes will be able to be made if necessary, to operate in 2021. These will be subject to change, either modified and/or confirmed, at the next official AGM of the Combine.

1st Proposal - The Bryan Eagleson Memorial Cup be changed to best average all Old Bird cross channel races excluding the OB Derby.

2nd Proposal - Old Bird of the Year cup. No double points awarded in the cross  channel races.

3rd Proposal - Young bird of the Year. No double points in the Talbenny YB Nat. PS a bird could win 3 inland races and get 45 points and another bird could win 2 x 4th in the channel and beat the 3 x 1st winner. It wouldn’t be fair.

4th Proposal - Les Mairs OB Fancier of year, no double points on channel.

5th proposal - Former members of MAC moving to clubs that are not MAC members and a suggestion that the lofts that have changed clubs, provided they have not moved address, could compete as Associate Members, if a request was made.

6th proposal – Add the following new competitions and award a winning diploma. Meritorious Award as RPRA (Irish Region), Old Bird Knock-out, YB Knock-out, Champion OB, Champion YB, Old Bird Points League, YB Points League.

Could I ask the local Club Delegates to send voting to ne either by Email to homerbhw@gmail,com or text Tel 07538 238364.

Brian Swann with a new addition to the lofts on the Steeple Road in Kells.

Best in Monaghan -

A big congratulations to Keith Allister, Monaghan HPS, top prize winner and fancier of the year for 2020. Keith had a fantastic season winning the old bird inland averages, the young bird averages, the combined old and young averages, club fancier of the year. Well done to Keith from all the club members.

Keith Allister the ace racer in Monaghan HPS in the 2020 season.

Cullybackey Flying Club 1978 -

With this week’s notes I have included two new trophy presentations made to the club officials by the families of Russell Bros and Harkness Bros, since then I have attended numerous presentations at Cullybackey when the cups were presented to the happy winners. The Russell Bros Family Cup is won by the seasons Highest Prize-winner and Alan Darragh has won it many times.

Mrs W Russell handing over the Russell Family Cup to the Secretary of Cullybackey pigeon club Mr John Blaney for use next season. Included are Mr A Greenwood, Mr S Herbinson assistant secretary, Mr W Russell and Mr S Smyth.

Mr J Harkness handing over the Harkness Brothers Trophy to Mr John Blaney secretary of Cullybackey for use next season. Included are from (l) Mr R Harkness, Mr S Herbinson assistant secretary, Mr S Smyth, Mr L Russell chairman and Mr A Greenwood treasurer.

Ballymena Prize Night 2009 - W & J Smyth Tops Again

Ballymena & Dist delayed the annual presentation until the New Year, for the last few years the event has been held in the local Adair Arms Hotel just a short distance from the clubrooms at Fountain Place. Most of the winning lofts were represented and the visitors and guests from other clubs included Danny Dixon who had another great season racing into Dunloy, Brian Herbinson from Cullybackey and Monty Magill. The W & J Smyth team who race to the Carniny Road took the Highest Prize-winner for the second season on the trot under strong pressure this time from the emerging star Martin Graham who had a best ever season racing with a team of birds that includes the very best from the Oroory Hill Stud of Gerald Delaney.

The two top lofts featured in the results of the main organizations, each had a 1st Mid Antrim Combine Diploma, with Martin Graham adding the Mid Antrim Young Bird Average while W & J Smyth took the Old Bird Average and the Bird of the Year. At the recent NIPA Ladies Night W & J Smyth won the RPRA Award for Sect B, best individual bird performance in two cross channel races Talbenny (2) & Penzance. Martin Graham was to win the Brendan Fox Trophy for the OB Nat having the best position of any Official or Delegate and he added the Dickson Cup for Best Ave Bude OB and Fermoy YB. Back in Mid Antrim the Champions League has been a great introduction giving fantastic competition in the member clubs, all nine nominate their top four racing lofts working a bit like the football with a league competition at the start and then moving on to the knock-out stage. W & J Smyth got knocked in a tight semi-final by Hugh Boyd of Randalstown who contested the final with the overall winner Danny Dixon who had knocked out J & N Simpson in the semi-final from Bude. The Champions League Final was flown from Penzance, one of the best races of the season.

I should also mention a new venture by Ballymena & Dist in the last season a Ring Nomination Race which was flown from Fermoy, it was open to all lofts in the Mid Antrim Combine and Danny Dixon was to take 1st & 2nd with two birds almost together winning over £300. This new venture like the Champions League was the brainchild of James Harris and the Ballymena Ass Secretary also does all the admin, a fantastic member is Jim. The total payout by the club was raised to just over £1,000, something to be very proud of.

The leading lofts were – W & J Smyth, M Graham, J Devlin, Blair & Rankin, Richmond Bros, G Barr, B O’Rawe, McAlonan Bros, J Harris, Smyth Bros, Sempey & McGowan. The cups and trophies were presented as follows:-

Martin Graham won - G Barr Perpetual Challenge Cup (NIPA Old Bird France Nat), S J McDowell Challenge Cup (St Malo OB Nat), Kings Cup Trophy, William McIlhagga Memorial Cup (Best Ave INFC Kings Cup & YB Nat), O’Rourke Cup (NIPA France & Kings Cup Ave), Vintage Cup (Talbenny YB Nat), Ruddle Cup (YB Nat), YB Inland National, Skibbereen YB Nat, YB Inland Average, Best Individual Young Bird, Victory Cup (YB Ave), Best Ave NIPA Talbenny & Rosscarbery YB, Maternaghan Challenge Cup Best Ave NIPA OB Nat (France) & YB Nat (Cross Channel), Flamingo Cup (Best Ave YB Derbies), Law Family Memorial Cup (INFC Points Ave).

W & J Smyth won – Harper Cup (Highest Prize-winner), OB Inland Ave Shield, Yearling Cocks Inland Nat, Talbenny (2), Simon McCrory Cup (Best Ave OB 2nd, 4th, Talbenny & Penzance), Old Bird Knock-Out, Bill Carney Rose Bowl (Lowest Winning Vel Old Bird), Mooney Cup (Best Individual Old Bird).

Blair & Rankin won – Yearling Hens Inland Nat, Bobby Law Memorial (1st Yearling Penzance), Carnvale Cup (Penzance), Best Ave Bude & Penzance, Roger King Memorial (6th YB Race), Smyth Bros Perpetual Trophy (Ave OB Classic & YB Nat).

McAlonan Bros won – A S Hughes Cup (Cross Channel Ave), Best Ave Kings Cup & 2nd Talbenny, Joe Devlin won – Rosscarbery OB Inl Nat, Mallow 5 Bird, Richmond Bros won – Carnvale Cup (INFC Yearling Nat), Livingstone Cup (2 Bird Ave Yearling Nat), James Harris won – Talbenny (1), Sempey & McGowan – Novice Cup.

When the rings for 2009 arrived last year with the Ballymena & Dist there were some concerns that they were the Letter K and not the usual Letter B, some thought they should have been returned. I said at the time maybe, just maybe we would have something big to report with the young bird racing, thinking Penzance National where the club have a long record of success. News was in fact made but not in the most expected place, Martin Graham was asked to breed two youngsters for entry in the Galway One Loft Race and the rest in now history and will be talked about for years to come. One of the pair now named “Cool Lass” bred from his Gerald Delaney family won the final Galway Plate flown from the Giants Causeway and a cool 50,000 Euro top prize shared between Adie McCormick and Martin Graham. I collected the birds from the loft and Adie and myself delivered them to Galway. A full report on the Galway Race is available at

Secretary Willie Reynolds congratulated all the seasons top winners, a season of great success on many fronts, and 2010 might be even better. He also thanked all those involved in the week to week running of the club, all the members had a role to play and that included the show season which just recently finished with Bertie Blair winning the Show Cup for the first time and Brian Herbinson collecting the Visitors Trophy. The help received from Assist Secretary James Harris was invaluable and also Treasurer Brian O’Rawe. The club AGM will be held in the local Clubrooms at Fountain Place on Monday 15th February at 8.00pm, Resolutions in writing must be with the Secretary Willie Reynolds no later than Saturday 30th January.

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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