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By Jim Emerton

Jim Emerton “Please tell us all about you and where you live.” 

Simon Shearsby “Frank McBride and Simon Shearsby we both live in Corby Northamptonshire Frank being a retired bricklayer I have my own window cleaning business.”

Jim Emerton “How did the sport of racing pigeons evolve in your psyche?” 

Simon Shearsby “Frank has kept pigeons from the early 80s racing in his own right achieving good results on the north road at all distances but the distance races have always been his forte winning many times from Lerwick in the club federation and the north road championship in early 2000 frank turned to the south route if my memory serves me correct the first national race he sent to was 12th open 12000+ pigeons and has many top results from the south another result that springs to mind having 3 on the night from Bordeaux being very high up in the results in the midland national flying club and there weren’t many timed on the night.

Myself I started in partnership in 1990 doing well for 2 seasons we split amicably and I decided to carry on in the sport from home I read as many books and watched every video I could get my hands on the trouble Is got brain fog as one told you to do this and another told you to do that the first couple of years I had fair results but never really stuck to a system I was confused so god knows what the birds were thinking in the winter of 94 I sat down and wrote out a system keep things as simple as possible and nailed it to the shed door and stuck to it the 95 season was the turning point for me gaining more results the best of that season was winning the first 5 places from Perth the following week the same bird that won the week previously came to win 1st section 23rd open midlands 2b championship over the next 4/5 years winning many top positions in the NRCC my last race on the north sending 4 pigeons to Thurso I won 1st 2nd 3rd and 5th club having the only 3 on the night frank was 4th I then turned my pigeons to the south taking a couple of seasons to get myself a team together in my second national race from tours on a really hard day 30 degrees heat I won the section I have also had some top performances from all distances up to Bordeaux.

I met Frank in 1992, he has been my mentor in life and pigeons, We have been like father and son from then until present.

Such as life and the curve balls it throws at you I had a relationship breakdown so the birds had to go I was out of the sport for a while about 4/5 years ago frank had a heart scare so I took full control of his birds until he was on his feet and up to attending to the birds again anyway frank suggested we do it on an official capacity so we joined together.

To be fair my heart hasn’t been in the pigeons for a while and we had another of life’s curve balls thrown at us when frank lost his wife frank will never get over the loss but learning to cope day by day and Margaret will always be missed but always in our hearts.

This year we decided to have a go at pau 630 miles I got it wrong stopping the birds to soon before the race and we sent 10 and only one arrived home just out of race time this gave me the kick in the teeth I’ve needed for a long time as I don’t like failing at anything.”

Jim Emerton “What is the current origin of your birds?” 

Simon Shearsby “We currently house a few different families of pigeons nearly cock lines Sootjens and Steven van Bremen the Bremen’s and my old north road family has been instrumental in my mate Andy smith from Harrowden who has won 17 x 1st section in different nationals including 2nd open Bordeaux national I have 7 children from this cock at stock.”

Jim Emerton “You have a famous link with the great David Reynolds, who I rate, how did this start?” 

Simon Shearsby “My introduction to David Reynolds Dandilofts, Germany happened earlier this year on joining Facebook I joined many of the pigeon groups I joined the extreme distance site and started to follow David having decided that marathon races was going to be our next venture I contacted David and asked him if he was in the UK who would he go to for marathon pigeons and he suggested Jim Emerton and house of Aardens and also his own blood but also stated he didn’t think we could get a courier to collect from where he was so the first challenge was to find one but I was that determined to get David’s birds I did say if I couldn’t find one I would drive there and collect myself but as luck had it I managed to find one I really wasn’t looking forward to that drive but I would have done it as the year progressed I was speaking to David on most days following him on his progress through the season David would send me the live link they have there you can see when the fanciers clock and the joy when he was timing in was great and he had another great season at the marathon races as the year was going by we would talk for more than an hour at time on a regular basis and we get on so well the birds arrived in September and there a credit to him and the courier looked after them well David asking me to be his official UK loft partner is an honour.”

Jim Emerton “What are your distance and marathon aspirations?” 

Simon Shearsby “Our aim for the future is to achieve top results from 600+ miles but the ultimate has to be Barcelona.”

Jim Emerton “Have you read my book series yet, like David?” 

Simon Shearsby “I currently haven’t read your books.”

Jim Emerton “How do you reflect on the BICC or other great clubs?” 

Simon Shearsby “Having the likes of the BICC and the NFC gives fanciers the chance to compete at all distances but for us ultimately the marathon races.”

Jim Emerton “What is the essence of your breeding and racing systems?” 

Simon Shearsby “Breeding for me is gold every pigeon must get the best start in life I pay a lot of attention to rearing quality YBS I refuse to wean anything that doesn’t make the grade regardless of what it’s from I have made excuses in the past because of what there from but it’s a waste of time they will fail I pair best to best and I’m not frightened to mix things up in the stock loft.

Racing is silver. I have tried most race systems on the north,  mainly the widowhood system with cocks only the south mainly roundabout has tried natural a couple of times but not for me most importantly you must have the right tools for the job and top health is a must.”

Jim Emerton “Who do you admire in the sport?” 

Simon Shearsby “I admire all fanciers the good and the not so good as it takes both these types to keep our great sport going.”

Jim Emerton “Are you turned on by commerce, money and power?” 

Simon Shearsby “Not turned on by the commerce money and power in the sport if I raced pigeons for the money I'd have given up years ago.”

Jim Emerton “How do pigeons navigate?” 

Simon Shearsby “I’m not sure how pigeons navigate but I do remember reading years ago about the sun and the moon in the sky at the same time affects pigeons homing ability and it’s true when they do appear at the same time the races are definitely sticky more so with YBS so maybe something to do with magnetic fields from the son.”

Jim Emerton “Are you up on the psychology, science and physiology of race condition?” 

Simon Shearsby “I know nothing about any of these.”

Jim Emerton “Know how marathon condition achieved Sir?” 

Simon Shearsby “I’m new to this kind of racing so can’t really comment on it.”

Jim Emerton “What is your ambition for the future?” 

Simon Shearsby “My ambition for the future is to achieve top results at marathon races and of course win Barcelona.”

Jim Emerton “What are the mental traits of a great fancier?” 

Simon Shearsby “Not sure what the mental traits of a good fancier is but personally I believe leave nothing for tomorrow that can be done today you will only get out of this hobby what you put in it you can race pigeons in bed or from your armchair.”

Jim Emerton “Final comments and pics please to me Jim Emerton for the media.”

Simon Shearsby “Firstly i'd like to thank David for such a great opportunity becoming his UK loft partner such an honour.

Secondly I'd like to thank Frank(dad) . He has guided me over the last nearly 30 years allowing me to become the person I am today.”

Jim Emerton “Thanks for your honesty.”

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