North West Classic Club
Report by Les J Parkinson
The quality of the club is reflected in the result.
Firstly, I must apologies for the delay in this report, we have been so busy, didn’t know which job to do next. The last race of the season for the club was a sticky one from Carentan for the young birds who have had a mixed season. With it being at the end of the season this is always going to be one of those races that we never know what is likely to happen. As far as the entry’s go it is all down to how many fanciers have taken a knock and how big that knock is during the season. The forecast for the weekend was not brilliant so that will also have turned a few off sending. There were only 28 members sending 196 birds. There was only one pigeon who just about managed to top 1000ypm and that was on just, which meant the result was not as good as was hoped. The winning vel was 1001ypm going down to 356ypm in 28th position, that was a tough race.
1st 7th Section A 1st 9th Open in the club race plus 1st 3rd 5th 7th Gold Ring picking up £1945.17 sees Roger Sutton in Congleton have another good race. Roger is one of the best fanciers in Cheshire and never too far away from the number one spot and in this race from the 28 home he clocked 6, they must have been right, 3 of those drawing in the Gold Ring race. Here is the report from Roger the clubs race advisor. The brisk east north east wind in the channel was always going to be a tough test for young birds. There was plenty of blue sky and lots of sunshine at the liberation site with light winds. All organisations that day had no hesitation in liberating their birds and all cleared Carentan well. The weather in the UK was good with plenty of sun and good visibility all the way. With the east in the wind the birds must have crossed well down in the South West, then with a hard fly into the wind to get back online. Now onto the race winner from Roger. “Most of my young birds these days have gold rings on, i.e. Bamfords, NFC, Mid Nat and NWCC and so most have to cross the channel as young birds. All these races this year have been very testing but with almost two thirds back this will stand them in good stead for their future racing career. My young birds are not early bred and are weaned onto the dark system in early April. The first round from stock birds go to charity sales, breeder exchange or sold. The second round coincides with the youngsters of the race team. This enables me to wean about 100 young birds in a very short space of time they are joined in the young bird cote by about 20 yearling hens from the year before. From day one they have open holes from 10.00am to 16.00p.m. The yearling hens soon teach the youngsters the way out through the traps and the only back in is also through the traps. They soon learn to come in when called with some diet mix. Once all the youngsters are in, they are hopper fed with a widowhood mix with some beans added, the hoppers will then be emptied by midday the next day. I do appreciate that not everyone can use this method because of work commitments etc but we do seem to avoid young bird sickness and fly aways. People, when coming to the shop for corn often bring their own birds for training but with my birds being on open hole they do not seem to be carried away. The young birds stay on the darkness system until the longest day and then at the beginning of July they start training. The first toss being about ten miles and within a few days they are at the twenty-five-mile stage. From then on, they are trained from the south in an arc from Rugeley to Telford. Once racing starts, they compete every week with two further training tosses each week. The team is split in half, one team in the Wrekin Fed and the other in the North Staffs Fed. The following week they are changed round. All this is designed to teach them to be individuals for young bird channel racing and National and Classic racing in later life. Each year after old bird racing is finished the young hens are allowed to pair with the widow cocks and where there is an empty box this is usually taken over by a young cock, this gives the young birds extra motivation for the gold ring races. The dark chequer hen winning the NWCC race from Carentan is very well bred. The dam is a daughter of 'Astbury Freddie' who won 1st section L 28th Open NFC Saintes and was named after my grandson Freddie who was born in the same year. The sire is a Hardy Kruger same way bred as my old Hens NFC Open winner. He had two good section prizes and I was looking forward to racing him this year but was unfortunately killed by a hawk just before racing started. The classic winner laid her second egg on Thursday, then went to the land race on Friday. She was then basketed the following week for Carentan sitting about ten days - the perfect scenario” I am quite impressed with Roger or his typist, he is normally quiet when it comes to publicity which is a shame because he is on of the best in Cheshire.
Roger Sutton with grandson learning the ropes
2nd Section A 2nd Open goes to Steve Maylett over at Ancoats collects £100
3rd Section A 3rd Open goes to B & G Smith another Congleton loft picking up £286.43. “We would first like to start by congratulating Roger Sutton on winning the race and all those that timed in on a very tough race. The bird that got 3rd Place for us is from a family of pigeons that we have cultivated ourselves over the past 6 years but the baseline of the bird originates back to our Number 1 stock pair which are De Rauw Sablon which we purchased off Roger Lowe crossed into our Midland National Section Winner which is a Jan Aarden cross Dordin bred by Stuart Goldstraw. Preparation for the young bird season wasn’t as we had hoped with the restrictions caused by Covid plus a change in shift pattern at work for myself and my Dad (B Smith) self-isolating, the birds didn’t have the best preparation with only have 3 inland races and 3 training chucks at 20 miles but we feed heavy the 2 weeks leading up to the race incorporating a lot of fats and it paid off with the race being very tough.
B & G Smith
1st Section B 4th Open sees new member Marcus Rigney from Winsford finish off what has been a good start for him winning £192.56. This is what Marcus had to say. “Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mr Sutton on another 1st open win, and all the other prize winner's, well done to all who sent. The pigeon that came for me in the race is a little dark pied Lambrecht hen, she was bred by my father, Terry Rigney from a Lambrecht hen that topped the combine and a good dark pied cock ,who was gifted to my dad from his good friend Stuart Inett. The dark pied Inett cock is sire and g-sire to fed winner's inland. This little hen has prized consistently throughout the young bird season. This is my first-year racing, I have had some success at club and fed level inland and this was my first ever channel race. This hen was just racing to the V perch. I've only started racing pigeons this year, but if I had to give any advice it would be to keep things simple”
Marcus Rigney's p/winner
2nd Section B 5th Open is J A Roberts of Lymm with £38.27. “My young bird racing was going very well, after topping the fed twice out of the last three races. I was speaking to a friend who persuaded me to join the North West Classic who had the young bird race left to go. The training was increased in preparation for the race. The bird that came on the day was a Gaby Vandenabeele a blue hen. Bred off a hen I bought when I purchased my pigeon loft early last year when I started the sport, this was paired with a cock I bought from C J Lofts. The hen was pairing to a blue chequer cock which was my second pigeon home, a Leo Hereman one of four youngsters bred by Tom Howarth, out of Indiana x Cindy. The result really pleased me with it being my first attempt over the channel with young birds. I would like to thank all my friends in the pigeon world for support and advice in my first full season”
4th Section A 6th Open are Rick & Simon Geary from Macclesfield winning £339.47 plus £15 for their second in 11th position, their first being the big pooler on the result and also win £775 in the gold Ring race. What a strange year it has been, the pigeon that has got second North West Classic in the Gold Ring is the 13 hen, she was 1st club a few weeks before the Classic she was sent just showing to a cock. Her breed is through the best pigeons we have ever had which are down from the best pigeon we ever owned. He was known as Why Boy with the breeding on one side being from John Albutt. While on the other side the line of these pigeon’s run’s through a lot of the pigeons that always do well for us. Going back to race itself it ended up being a really tough race so well done to everyone who clocked on the day.
Rick Geary with his new pet
5th Section A 7th Open is another good position for Billy Turnock in Congleton winning £65. Blue cock was sitting a 14day youngster only on his 3rd race of the season due to one reason or another. The hen was also in the race but filed to return, Bill did say it was a hard race and quite a few struggling to make their home loft. He is a grandson of Malc Tweates blue cock who won 6 x 1srs 3rd 5th 8th 11th in the North Staffs Fed when they would be sending 5/6000 birds. The dam is a yearling hen a g-d of a blue chequer cock who as a young bird won 1st NW Section 5th Open Midland National Falaise. Granddam is a pencil w/f hen winner of 1st North Staffs 4-B Classic Carentan, £725. Two weeks later was 2nd North West Classic Carentan £637. Truly little training has been done this year, in fact Bill say saying they only had 6 tosses but also added that they do need more work than he has given them to win. They are fed on Vanrobaeys No 3 mixed with No 37 with diet mix added. When they are going to the channel Bill likes to add honey, also likes to give them chopped peanuts and sunflower seed. Bill said he has to admit that his good lady has been working with the pigeon while he has been under the weather, looking after pigeons when you are on crutches is not the best of things to do.
6th Section A 8th Open goes to Geoff Pike whose birds are now raced by son Ian in Wilmslow. They clocked a blue Hen from the Van De Wouwer lines with this being the first time she has come. She is off two direct VDW stock birds when the Ponderosa closed down. She was raced to the perch so no extra motivation. The birds have three training tosses on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday then rested on the day of basketing. Ian was saying that he likes to win every race he enters but knows that is what he aims for but like the rest of the pigeon fanciers we live in hope, having said that who knows what’s in store for us when the season stars. Ian was saying that he sent 7 but only had the one back which is much the same as most fanciers, this has been a terrible season for losses. Ian was saying that he is going to race the pigeons from now on and has started with a change of pigeons from SVR to Janssens having bought a good team out of the Ponderosa stock loft. Ian went on to say that his father Geoff will take a back seat but will still be taking an interest in what Ian does with the pigeons.
3rd Section B 10th Open is another good result for Nigel & Wendy Shaw from Shavington collecting £160.28. The pigeon they clocked in the young bird race from Carentan was a schalie hen flying to a young bird. She was bred out of a full sister to their exceptionally good Batenburgh cock when paired to a son of the Batenburgh cock. The parents to these were 2005 pigeons bought from a Hugo Batenburgh sale In Manchester. The Schalie must be a throwback from years ago, but these pigeons are starting to throw some decent pigeons like a yearling daughter of the Batenburgh cock that was timed from Pau this time at 681miles being 2nd sect 20th open. The season has been brilliant, and Nigel could not have asked anymore of these yearlings topping feds, topping sections in Nationals, winning classics and so on so we are looking forward to racing these pigeons as two-year olds. As for new starters my advice would be buy the best pigeons you can afford, find the best flyer in your area and listen to them and see what they can let you have.
1st & 2nd Section C 15th & 18th Open goes to A Jones & Son up in Preston £24.65 a good result for the partnership on a hard day flying 311mls. First in the clock is from Micky Betts whose grandparents include, “Bordeaux Boy” “Paula” “Headwind” “Mr Vire” he was paired to a gift bird from A S Thompson & Son of Port Seaton, Taylor Bros stock. Next in the clock is a full Sister to the partnerships 6th Midland National last year. The sire coming down from “John boy” of Freddie Hannon when paired to their top hen which is Bill Smith of Birkdale stock.
Other winners in the Gold Ring Race are RJ Davies & Son £125. Jones Bros & K Jones £50. Bob Humphries £35. Brian Lee £25. Total prizes, pools and GR comes to £4276.76, not a bad end to the season.