“ON THE ROAD” WITH KEITH MOTT.
Three Borders Federation.
After the sport of pigeon racing rose out of the gloom of the Covid 19 ‘lock down’, the Three Borders Federation held its first Blandford race in mid-June and Dom McCoy, the Federation convoyer, liberated the 1,003 birds nice and early at 07.15hrs in to a southerly wind situation; to beat heat that hit the UK that weekend. The very successful Mitcham partnership of Mr. & Mrs. S. & P. Gasson won the Federation in great style, clocking their yearling in a very fast time of 1 hour 39 minutes. The Three Borders Federation is a very forward-thinking organization and is always keen to try something new. Dom McCoy started a Three Borders group on WhatsApp and while on the liberation site he sent back weather photos and updates prior to the liberation, which the members really enjoyed. Every bodies Mobile phones were ‘red hot’ when the lads were clocking in, with then recording their returns on the group chat. Great fun!
The first ten in the Blandford Federation result were: 1) Mr. & Mrs. S. & P. Gasson 1637: 2) M. Burczak 1633: 3) M. Burczak 1633: 4) Ken Wise 1630: 5) Peter Clements 1630: 6) Ken Wise 1629: 7) Ken Wise 1928: 8) Ken Wise 1627: 9) Ken Wise 1627: 10) Ken Wise 1627.
The following week the Three Borders Federation members sent 975 birds to Wincanton and as always Dom McCoy produced a good race, liberating at 11.45 hrs into a south west wind. Peter Clements of the Isleworth club had a brilliant race, recording 1st, 3rd and 25th Federation. Peter is a regular feature in the Federation results and his Wincanton winner was his two-year-old blue chequer cock, ‘Peter’s Choice’. He was a latebred in 2018 and had 13 races as a yearling to educate him. He is bred from Peter’s old Jimmy Carpenter family and was raced on the roundabout system. Although Peter has always liked and fancied this handsome cock, ‘Peter’s Choice’ went missing for two weeks from the first training toss of the 2020 season. He was late on all his other trainers and then came out and won the Federation from Wincanton!
The first ten in the Wincanton Federation result were: 1) Peter Clements 2049: 2) B. Tidman 2040: 3) Peter Clements 2033: 4) A. Gamblin 2021: 5) Fred Kimpton 2017: 6) Fred Kimpton 2016: 7) Fred Kimpton 2015: 8) T. McCoy & son 2015: 9) Fred Kimpton 2015: 10) Fred Kimpton 2014.
Peter Clements is a name you see regularly on the Three Borders Federation race results and he won the Federation from Honiton in the 2019 season with 633 birds competing. Peter won the Federation with a Jim Carpenter yearling blue cock, which was raced on the roundabout system. Peter has named this game pigeon ‘Lost’, as he was lost from a Bodmin race earlier in the season and spent a week in someone’s back in Camberley. On his return home, Peter got him right and sent him to Yeovil; where he recorded 6th Federation and then went on to win 1st Federation from Honiton the following weekend. What a pigeon! Peter rounded off an excellent 2018 racing season when he won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Federation from Exeter. The Federation winner was a yearling Janssen hen racing her first season on the roundabout system and was killing by Hawk attack two weeks after winning the race. The next four pigeons on the Federation result were all roundabout hens and daughters of Peter’s good stock hen, ‘Woodstock Producer’. The second bird on the ETS from Exeter was the yearling red chequer hen, ‘Woodstock Princess’, and she won several other positions in her first year racing. One of the loft’s old stagers, ‘Woodstock Leggy’, recorded 4th Federation on the day and previously won: 1st club Yeovil, 1st club Blandford, 1st club Kingsdown, 2nd club Yeovil, 2nd club Kingsdown, plus other positions in inland racing. Peter races in the Isleworth club and enjoyed a wonderful 2018 season winning: 1st club Yeovil, 1st, 2nd club, 17th, 25th Federation Kingsdown (855 birds), 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th club,16th, 18th, 19th, 20th Federation Kingsdown (630 birds), 1st club,17th Federation Yeovil (737 birds), 1st club, 10th Federation Honiton (647 birds), 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th club, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Federation Exeter (525 birds), 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th club, 14th, 15th, 21st, 25th Federation Yelverton (475 birds). Pigeon racing out of the top draw!
Peter’s present racing loft is 20ft long, with open door trapping, three sections, two for the roundabout cocks and hen, and one for the young birds. He maintains the most important factor in good loft design is good light and ventilation. The lofts are cleaned out every day and he has never used deep litter on the loft floors. Like most other fanciers, Peter, used to race on the natural system, but now races on either widowhood or roundabout so as to race the good hens. He normal only keeps 12 pairs of racers and says he has had good results with hens and cocks at all distances. The racers are paired up on 8th January and they are trained according to their fitness, there is no set rule about this, it depends on their performance on the daily exercise around the loft. He used to break down in the racing season, but maintains this is not necessary, as their performances are as good, if not better, if they don’t go on the depurative mixture during the week. There is no real feeding system at the Isleworth loft with the racers being fed on a good ‘widowhood’ mixture, but Peter says, the most important factor is not to over feed. He likes to race every Saturday and enjoys short and long-distance racing.
Peter Clements was born in Isleworth in 1950 and says on one else in the family was interested in pigeons at that time. He played around with and liked pigeons from a very young age and enjoyed catching and keeping stray racers. He took up the sport seriously at the age of 30 and his first pigeon came from Tubby Tate of Chiswick and then several Dordins from the Isleworth ‘ace’, Johnny Wills. Two local fanciers who helped Peter out in the early days were Mick and Ron Sotheron, both outstanding pigeon racers in the Isleworth area and Peter’s first club was the Bedfont SR club, where he began to win race prizes from the outset. Peter told me, ‘my first little loft was pretty basic, and I raced on the natural system, with good success. Like most fanciers I made some mistakes, including over feeding and training, but managed to win plenty of positions from the inland and channel races’.
All Peter’s pigeons are bred down from some original stock birds obtained from his good friend Jimmy Carpenter, who now lives in St Austell in Cornwall. The premier breeder in the Clements loft is one of the original Jimmy Carpenter pigeons; ‘Woodstock Producer’ and she has bred several outstanding winners. I’ve known Jim Carpenter since the early 1970’s when he lived in Chessington and we all raced the now disbanded Surbiton Flying Club. The month of November 2010 saw Peter Taylor and myself make the 240 mile drive down to Bodmin in Cornwall to judge the South West Show Racer Societies annual Duchy Open Show and one surprise we got on our arrival at Luxulyan Village Hall was seeing Surrey exile, Jimmy Carpenter there. Looking back over all those years, I remember Jimmy was a hard-working painter and decorator and his family were his life but enjoyed some good success with his pigeons. The SMT Combine sent 3,364 birds to Nantes in 1982 and the clear winner were Jim and Shirley Carpenter, who were racing in the Surbiton Flying Club at that time. Their winner, which lifted ‘The Checkers Cup’ in the Combine, was their good two-year-old red chequer hen, ‘Guinevere’ and she was bred from Hansenne and Cattrysse gift birds from his friend Ted Goodger of Staines. At that time Jimmy told me he had spent over seven years building up his loft of pigeons which had excelled from 1980 onwards. His loft was based on pigeons obtained from his father, Dick Brooker of Claygate, Ted Goodger of Staines and H. Ledbury of Wiltshire. The Goodger pigeons were Hansenne and Cattrysse, and the Ledbury pigeons were good honest birds blended by this great fancier over 50 years in the fancy. Jim recorded several outstanding positions from the longest old bird race, but in 1980 he recorded his best by winning 3rd SMT Combine Bergerac, the Combine’s Blue Riband event. Jim and Shirley’s Bergerac winner was a five year old blue cock named ‘Miggi’, which was bred from pigeons obtained from Jim’s dad and H. Ledbury. Here we are all those years later and Peter Clements is still winning the Federation with Jim’s pigeons! Peter says he doesn’t have any stock birds as such and likes everything to race, but during the breeding season the corn is changed to a ‘breeding’ mixture. He told me, at this time he has no need to bring in new bloodlines, but when has brought in new stock in the past he has gone for good racing performance bloodlines. When it comes to breeding, he aways pairs the best to the best and that has aways worked for him. He tries not to breed to close and like his birds to be quite tame. Peter told me, ‘I always feed heavy corn during the moult period and I’m always looking for any problems with the moult, because this could be an indication of the bird’s health’. Peter normally breeds 20 youngsters ever year, which he used to race to the perch, but these days he doesn’t race his babies and maintains this is the only way to try to keep them healthy. Although he adopted this unusual approach with his youngsters, they still come out and win as yearlings, as his racing results verify.
Premier racers in the Clements loft are: ‘Mick’s Choice’ winner of 1st club Blandford, 1st club Yelverton, 1st club Honiton, 1st club Blandford, 1st club Exeter, 2nd club Yeovil, 2nd club Honiton, plus other position including 12th Three Borders Federation: ‘Woodstock Expected’ winner of 1st club, 5th Three Borders Federation Kingsdown, 2nd club Yeovil, plus other positions: ‘Woodstock Lady’ winner of 1st club Yelverton, 1st club Yeovil, 2nd club Kingsdown, 2nd club Blandford, 2nd club Honiton, 4th club Kingsdown: ‘Woodstock Princess’ winner of 2018: 2nd club, 2nd Three Borders Federation Exeter (beaten by a loft mate), 3rd club Yeovil, 4th club Blandford: ‘Woodstock Leggy’ winner of 4th club, 4th Three Borders Federation Exeter (beaten by three loft mates), 1st club Yeovil, 1st club Blandford, 1st club Kingsdown, 2nd club Yeovil, 2nd club Kingsdown.
Peter is now retired from work and says he is lucky enough to have a wife who is great with the loft scraper! He used to love long distance pigeon racing, but now he likes racing up to 250 miles best and still has go at the longer events. He says there are no real secrets behind successful pigeon racing, just hard work and common sense. Keep the birds fit and health and if they are good pigeon, the rest will take care of itself! His proudest performances have been from Bergerac (458 miles), which he has won six times and on one occasion he recorded: 1st club, 1st Federation, 3rd SMT Combine (3,333 birds). He is also very happy about winning the first five positions in the Three Borders Federation from Exeter in the 2018 season. His most thrilling experience in his time in the sport was being nominated and winning an RPRA Award in 1994. Peter was nominated without his knowledge by the late Beat and Ernie Penn, secretary of the Isleworth club at that time and won the award. My aunty Beat was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in the sport of pigeon racing and devoted her life to doing good for other pigeon fanciers! His advice to new starters in the sport is take your time and take heed of the advice from the best pigeon racers. Make sure your loft is dry and well ventilated. Peter says there are many premier fancier who live in the Isleworth area, including Brian Goodwin, Clarke Brothers and Ken Wise, but he thinks Bellchambers Brothers are the best, winning out of time for many years, including 1st open National Flying Club. He has no really interest in the eye sign theory and he likes to show his birds locally in the winter mouth, with some good success, including this year.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT (www.keithmott.com)