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Homers Odyssey - 20-04-21

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Homers Odyssey 

Harold Cubitt tops in Rasharkin & District -

Highest prize winner for the first time was club Chairman Harold Cubitt, Harold had a great season winning the following : Old Bird Inland NIPA National from Rosscarbery, old bird yearling national, James McFetridge Memorial Sprint cup, Matt Barkley Memorial old bird average, old bird knockout cup, old bird channel average, old bird of the year, the Tweed Cup for old bird channel national St Malo and the Mamie Simpson Memorial cup for the highest prize winner. High light for Harold was timing from the old bird national from St Malo flying 483 miles winning 1st Club, 1st Mid Antrim Combine, 2nd section B, and 24th open NIPA 2714 birds. A big well done to Harold from club members on a great season. A c & T Tweed won the Penzance cup which after a holdover was flown from Fermoy, the partnership also had a great result from St Malo timing 2 birds, one of these their good blue hen timed from St Malo in France for the second year in a row winning an NIPA Bronze award. In the young bird season Club secretary Jackie Steele racing in the Steele & McNeill partnership raced a small team of young birds to win the following : Fermoy 5 Bird and topping Ahoghill Centre, young bird Talbenny National NIPA,  Young bird average, combined young bird average, young bird of the year. W & J McLean won the young bird knockout cup. Thanks to Secretary Jackie Steele for the seasons report and to Mervyn Eagleson for his review of results.

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Rasharkin Chairman Harold Cubitt with his winnings from last season, top prize-winner for the first time collecting 7 x 1sts.

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Secretary Jackie Steele (l) with a small team topped the Ahoghill Centre and won from Fermoy and Talbenny in the young birds.

Old Birds: 07/06/20 Tullamore H Cubitt vel 1408 9th MA Combine. 13/06/20 Gowran Park H Cubitt 1st & 2nd vel 1219. D Dixon vel 1253 13th & 16th MA Combine. 20/06/20 Corrin (1) J & M Milliken vel 1877 12th MA Combine. The winner was bred down from Jackie Steele good Lambrecht cock, a nest-mate of the winner for Harold Cubitt in last week’s race from Gowran Park. 02/07/20 Corrin (2) H Cubitt vel 1352 Well done to the Chairman Harold Cubitt, he wins for the 3rd time this season with one from club-mate Jackie Steele, a famous Lambrechts. D Dixon vel 1370 5th MA Combine. 06/07/20 Skibbereen Inland National H Cubitt vel 1267. D Dixon vel 1360 2nd & 6th MA Combine. 11/07/20 Talbenny T Whyte 1st & 2nd vel 1225. D Dixon vel 1320 2nd & 3rd MA Combine. 15/07/20 Skibbereen Yearling National H Cubitt 1st & 2nd vel 1222 17th MA Combine. D Dixon vel 1237 11th MA Combine. 19/07/20 Bude A C & T Tweed vel 943. D Dixon vel 1077 1st MA Combine. Bude in Cornwall was the venue for the second channel race of the season. Birds were liberated on Sunday 19th July at 07.45am in little wind but the birds would encounter a strong north westerly wind as the day went on. Best bird in the Mid Antrim Combine was Rasharkin fancier Danny Dixon. He timed his 2 year old black w/f cock at 15.55pm for the 300 miles fly to the village of Dunloy. This cock won Talbenny the previous week and also took 2nd Combine and 2nd Section B. The dam is an inbred sister of "Heartbreaker" and the sire is a son of "Heartbreaker". That's 1st & 2nd Combine and twice x 2nd Section B for this cock in the space of 9 days. 25/07/20 Fermoy Comeback A C & T Tweed vel 1424. D Dixon vel 1457 18th MA Combine

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Trevor Whyte is up and coming winning 2 x 1sts in 2020 season.

30/07/20 St Malo OB French National H Cubitt vel 1589 1st Mid Antrim Combine. Best bird in the Mid Antrim Combine was timed by Rasharkin fancier Harold Cubitt. Harold's only entry in the race was timed at 15.25pm after flying the 483 miles to the lofts on the Finvoy Road in Rasharkin. The winning 2 year old blue chequer cock was feeding chicks just hatched two days before basketing. The cock had four races as a young bird and three races as a yearling. Before the derby it had Talbenny were it was placed 4th club. The sire was a gift from John McConaghie of Ballymoney and the dam another gift bird from Harry Richmond of Ballymena. The winning bird also wins 2nd Section B and 24th Open NIPA National 2714 birds. Harold a small team racer was winning his 6 x 1st of the season. D Dixon vel 1485 4th, 13th & 17th MA Combine, A C & T Tweed vel 1461 8th, 11th & 20th MA Combine.

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A C & T Tweed had 2 x 1sts and won the Bronze Diploma from St Malo.

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Danny Dixon had a season of top success in the Mid Antrim Combine.

Young Birds: 08/08/20 Mullingar Area Lib (1) W McFetridge 1st & 4th club, 3rd & 6th MA Combine 48/1615 vel 1332. H Cubitt 2nd & 3rd club, 4th & 5th MA Combine vel 1332. T Whyte 5th club 7th MA Combine vel 1324. William McFetridge timed his blue hen a gift bird from clubmate Mark Milliken at 10.48am flying 105 miles. D Dixon vel 1336 1st MA Combine. Mullingar in Co. Meath was the venue for the first young bird ace of the season. Birds were liberated on Saturday 8th August at 08.30am in little or no wind. Rasharkin fancier Danny Dixon has the best two birds in the Mid Antrim Combine with just over 1,600 birds competing. He timed his winning red cock at 10.54am for the 109 miles fly to the village of Dunloy. Sire is a son of "Heartbreaker" when paired to his Gert Heylen Jackpot Hen while the dam is a daughter of "Heartbreaker". Danny's second bird a blue chequer w/f hen timed just seconds behind is from a brother of "Heartbreaker" when paired to a daughter of the "Quiverman" This is the Dixon lofts second Combine win of the season have topped it from the tough Bude. Last week’s St Malo National Combine winner Harold Cubitt is again well placed winning 4th & 5th Combine. 15/08/20 Mullingar Area Lib (2) H Cubitt 1st & 2nd club, 13th, 14th & 15th MA Combine 52/1521 vel 1267. D Dixon vel 1294 1st MA Combine 52/1521.

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William McFetridge had the winner in the opening Area Liberation for the young birds from Mullingar.

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Jim Diamond from the Derry & District holding his winner of 1st Club, 1st City of Derry Federation in the St Malo OB National.

The second young bird race of the season was again from Mullingar in Co. Meath. The Birds were liberated on Saturday 15th August at 1.35pm in a light east wind. Rasharkin fancier Danny Dixon had an excellent race winning the first nine positions in the Mid Antrim Combine and 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 19th and 21st Open NIPA area lib 3,876 birds. His winning blue flight hen sitting on eggs was clocked at 16.03pm for the 109 miles fly to the village of Dunloy. The sire is a brother of "Heartbreaker" while the dam a daughter of "Heartbreaker" The second bird clocked is a direct son of "Heartbreaker" paired to one of the last daughters of "Superke" Two Combine wins on the trot for the Dixon loft and his third Combine winner of the season. 23/08/20 Roscrea W & J McLean vel 1570. 29/08/20 Gowran Park J & M Milliken 1st & 2nd club vel 1190, 7th MA Combine 51/1375. D Dixon vel 1201 1st MA Combine. For the fourth young bird race of the season the pigeons were transported to Gowran Park in County Kilkenny. The birds were liberated at 9.00am on Saturday 29th August in a light north wind. Rasharkin fancier Danny Dixon again had an outstanding result winning the top five positions in the Mid Antrim Combine in what turned out to be a pretty tough race. His winning dark chequer cock was timed at 13.05pm for the 167 mile fly to the lofts in Dunloy. The cock is a direct son of "Heartbreaker" paired to one of the last daughters of "Superke" Danny's second bird just decimals behind is out of a daughter of "Denman" Martin Graham's INFC Sennen Cove Yearling National winner in 2018. 06/06/20 Fermoy (1) T Whyte vel 1221. D Dixon vel 1291 1st MA Combine. Fermoy in Co. Cork was the venue for the fifth young bird race of the season. The birds were liberated at 11.00am on Sunday 6th September in a light north wind. Rasharkin fancier Danny Dixon who at present is having a fantastic young bird season again has the best two birds in the Mid Antrim Combine. Danny timed his winners at 15.43pm for the 208 miles fly to Dunloy. The first bird a blue hen is off his good Sticker Dunker cock when pair to a granddaughter of Wonder Boy on loan from Robert McCook of Ballymoney. His second bird a blue chequer cock is full brother to last week’s 1st Combine from Gowran Park. 12/09/20 Talbenny YB National Steele & McNeill vel 1308 7th MA Combine 38/201. D Dixon vel 1360 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th MA Combine. 12/09/20 Tullamore Comeback J & M Milliken 1st & 2nd vel 1873. D Dixon vel 1911 10th MA Combine. 19/09/20 Fermoy (2) Steele & McNeill vel 1139 13th MA Combine 32/418. D Dixon vel 1208 1st MA Combine. The pigeons were in Fermoy in Co. Cork for the penultimate young bird race of the season. The birds were liberated at 9.30am on Saturday 19th September in a north east wind. Danny Dixon was again best in the Mid Antrim Combine for the sixth time this season of which five of these wins have come in this young bird season. Danny who had the top six positions in the Combine timed his winner at 14.33pm for the 208 miles fly to Dunloy. The winning blue hen bred from pigeons Danny purchased directly from Rudy Van Reeth is also placed 2nd Section B and 62nd Open NIPA with 6797 birds. 19/09/20 Fermoy 5 Bird Steele & McNeill vel 1139 5th MA Combine. D Dixon vel 1158 2nd & 3rd MA Combine

Harold Cubitt 7 x 1st, J & M Milliken 3 x 1st, Steele & McNeill 3 x 1st, Trevor Whyte 2 x 1st, A C & T Tweed 2 x 1st, William McFetridge 1 x 1st, W & J McLean 1 x 1st.

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J & M Milliken won 3 x 1sts in the Rasharkin & District.

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Big winners every year Willie McLean and partners looking forward to 2021.

Obituary Billy McCaw – I have had the sad news that one of North Antrim’s top flyers has passed away after a period of illness, Billy McCaw raced with fantastic success in the big Ballymoney HPS, and also duplicated with his home village Club Dervock RPS. Many records were set at his favourite distance racing mostly in the Irish National Flying Club racing in the partnership of W & L McCaw with his brother Leonard and in more recent seasons at a loft by himself. W & L McCaw scored most years, the harder the better. They won 1st Open INFC in the Friendship National from Sartilly in 1993 and in the same season were crowned National Champions. Billy himself won a Kings Cup Merit Diploma presented by the Belgium Nat Champion Freddy van de Heede at the Dundilly Hotel in Antrim in January 2013, his “Greystone Dawn” had won 151st Open Vannes in 2011 and 67th Open Vannes in 2012. Billy will be very sadly missed locally; can I send condolences on behalf of the fancy in Ireland to brother Leonard and the whole McCaw family circle at this sad time. Homer.

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Billy McCaw (l) collects a INFC Kings Cup Merit Diploma from Freddy van de Heede. 

Homers Archive – 1977 Dinard

From my archive let me continue with the 1977 racing season, I have already reported on the first ever Yearling National in the INFC, flown firstly as a race to celebrate the Queens Jubilee year and then the next season adopted as the Yearling National which since has become one of the best races in the INFC programme. It all came about by way of an AGM Resolution put forward by myself and added to by the late L O Barr. Then we had the record-breaking Kings Cup Kings Cup won by a record velocity with winning birds timed in the early afternoon, there have not been too many of those.

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From a few years back the officers and members of Crumlin & District celebrate another big season.

I will move now to the NIPA and the premier race of the year was the Old Bird Derby from France which was won by the very famous loft of W V Troughton of Edgarstown in Portadown. In that season he topped the list of the highest NIPA winners of the Year, a published list we should be thinking about doing in the years ahead now that only one cheque payment is made to the various winners. The 1977 Top 10 Lofts – W V Troughton Edgarstown £3,402.89, Toland & Campbell Queens £1,535.13, Smyth Bros Larne & Dist. £1,158.64, W B Shaw Newcastle £1,118.30, M Breen & Son Portadown £945.08, Wray & McFadden Harryville £784.75, P Delaney & Son Dromore £750.51, L Burns Dromore £689.73, D Hunter Ballyclare £618, M Clarke Lisburn & Dist. £583.81.

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Two big stars of pigeon racing W V Troughton (l) with Kirker Porter from Crumlin, first winner of the INFC Nat Champion award and a past President of the INFC.

The ISN reported Portadown ace scoops £2,206, some money then. After a delayed start the birds at Dinard in France were eventually liberated at 6.00am on Sunday morning. Heavy rain in the late evening spoiled an otherwise perfect Old Bird Derby race and many birds were forced down close to home. Nevertheless a tally of 75 NIPA, eight Ulster Fed and seven East Down Combine birds braved the elements and were recorded on the day of toss. As conditions improved on Monday morning many birds reached home lofts successfully. To many, being placed 1st & 2nd Open in an NIPA Derby is only a pipe dream. However, with fanciers of the calibre of W V Troughton around anything is possible and at approx. 7.00pm on Sunday night the Portadown ace recorded two arrivals to establish this unique record. In fact Billy clocked two more day arrivals and these will take high NIPA Open positions and total winnings add up to £2,206.

The winner, a two year old Blue Delbar hen was basketed sitting 10 days on her first pair of eggs, with her first flight halfway up. Previous to the OB Derby she competed in just four races, Arklow, Wexford, Haverfordwest and the Jubilee National from Weymouth. In addition to 1st & 2nd Open Billy can also boast to have won the YB National Penzance in 1972 and the YB Derby Haverfordwest in 1974.

Third Open NIPA is taken by the Moira partnership of J & J Hunter, Billy Shaw of Newcastle clocked three birds on day of toss the first one taking 4th Open and the top honours in Section C. The Ballywarinah partnership Gibson & Mitchell, a regular in this event clocked the East Down Combine winner at 7.20pm. This bird will also win the highly prized Millar Gold Cup a trophy previously held by the partners in 1968. Last year they were only beaten for the trophy by just one yard! Harry Granville of Ligoniel clocked a total of six birds taking 1st Open Ulster Federation plus four other positions in the first 17, some flying.

NIPA Open Dinard Old Bird Derby 1,343/2,900 – W V Troughton Edgarstown 1004, W V Troughton Gilford 997, J & J Hunter Moira 990, W Shaw Newcastle 975, P Breen & Son Portadown Inv 962, D Toal Millvale 957, W & D McCandless Dromore WE 951, B Snowden Banbridge HPS 948, M Breen & Son Drumcree 945, Smyth Bros Larne 944, J Mulholland Moira 939, J Topley Ashfield 938, E McFadden Banbridge Soc 937, G M Kirkpatrick Ballymacbrennan 932, J Newell Annalong 930, J Livingstone & Son Edgarstown 930, Russell Bros Dromore WE 929, T Kilpatrick Killyleagh & Dist. 928, M Black & Son Dromore 927, L Gates Charlemont 925, McCartney Bros Moira 923, McClintock Bros Ballymena & Dist. 923, W Shaw Newcastle 920, G Wright Doagh 918, Kirkwood Bros Lisburn 918.

Section A  127/258 – L Gates Charlemont 925, J Crawford Limavady 776, Nevin Bros Coleraine 755, B Smyth Coleraine 750. Section B 221/493 – McClintock Bros Ballymena & Dist. 923, A McCartney Crumlin 914, Wray & McFadden Harryville 912, W M Thompson Muckamore 901, A Barkley Kells 901, Wray & McFadden Harryville 894, G McGonagle Randalstown 884, Wray & McFadden Harryville 869, Reynolds Bros & Todd Harryville 868, Bell & McDowell Randalstown 863. Section C 279/612 – Smyth Bros Larne 944, G Wright Doagh 918, F McDowell Carrick Social 892, R McIlroy & Son Carrick & Dist. 826, A Agnew Ballyclare 811. Section D 302/605 – W Shaw Newcastle 975, W D McCandless Dromore WE 951, G M Kirkpatrick Ballymacbrennan 932, J Newell Annalong 930, Russell Bros Dromore WE 929. Sect E 414/932 – W V Troughton Edgarstown 1004, W V Troughton Gilford 997, J & J Hunter Moira 990, P Breen & Son Portadown Inv 962, D Toal Millvale 957.

James Martin “Provincial” of the BHW had this column in the Ballymena Guardian covering the race. The first of the French Old Bird classic races took place at the weekend when, after a one day hold over the NIPA birds were liberated at Dinard on Sunday at 6.00am in a strong north west wind. As visibility was good and the weather report favourable early pigeons were expected to do the approximately 470 miles journey between 13 and 14 hours but from inquiries to fanciers in different local clubs, I soon found out that such was not the case and only a few very gallant and game pigeons made their lofts on the first day of the two day race.

As conditions deteriorated rapidly from 8.00pm onwards with local rain and dark skies only the birds nearest home were timed. With just 10 clocks being checked up until mid-night at the Ballymena Centre. Many clubs had no first day birds at all, so fanciers were up and about early on the second day, as yet many prizes and a fair amount of cash was still to be won. With most clubs continuing their Old Bird Average right through to Dinard a real shake up takes place, and until noon on the second day returns were not good. Many fanciers think that the long journey by boat and road transport plus the 80 hours and more in the crates would be detrimental to the birds chances on such a hard day.

In spite of the gloom, and despondency at some lofts where no birds were seen, several outstanding performances were recorded, and for the second successive week I make no apologies in highlighting Wray & McFadden who after clocking four good birds from Weymouth when only 9 were home in their club Harryville in race time again clocked another three pigeons. The above partnership dedicated to win at the distance are to be congratulated on this really fine performance.

McClintock Bros previous winners of 1st Open Dinard were the best at the Ballymena Centre clocking a well fancied pigeon, and Crawford, don’t forget the promise!! Alan Barkley kept Kells & Dist. in the limelight and George McGonigle and Bell & McDowell have two really good birds, the same two pigeons as their respective owners timed in the same race as last year, only in reverse order, as the Bell & McDowell candidate won the Randalstown Club in 1976.

The other Ballymena District members to clock was Sam Maternaghan. Reynolds Bros & Todd and R H Clements are also to be congratulated on timing good pigeons. How this bird of Roy’s managed to finish at such a late hour is unbelievable. Early times of the first day arrivals were McClintock Bros Ballymena & District 8.56pm, Alan Barkley Kells HPS 9.09pm, Wray & McFadden Harryville 9.00pm, 9.24pm and 9.50pm, Reynolds Bros & Todd Harryville 9.48pm, R H Clements Harryville 10.59pm, George McGonigal Randalstown 9.23pm, bell & McDowell Randalstown 9.42pm Sam Maternaghan Ballymena & Dist. 10.14pm. Early times on the second day included – W & J Smyth Ballymena & Dist. 5.06am, J Scott & Son Kells 7.02am, Stewart Herbinson Cullybackey 6.02am, Sammy Smyth Cullybackey 5.41am, 6.19am, and 6.37am, E G Leckey Cullybackey 5.26am, Marshall Bros Cullybackey 6.18am and George Glenholmes Cullybackey 5.51am.

Owing to the race closing at mid-night on the second day many clubs have not their result made out yet, but same will appear in future issues.

HOMER. Willie Reynolds

Tel/Fax: (028) 256 44683

Mobile: 07538 238364

Twitter: willie reynolds@homerbhw>

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