“ON THE ROAD” WITH KEITH MOTT.
Three Borders Federation (Kingsdown Race).
The weekend of 19th June was a terrible time for pigeon racing all over the UK, with all organization suffering big losses for no apparent reason? It was a very over cast weekend, with easterly winds, but never bad enough to course such heavy losses. I must say, I’m glad I wasn’t convoying that weekend! The Three Borders Federation were at Kingsdown for the eighth old bird race and members sent 485 birds, for what turned out to be a not so good race, being liberated at 08.00hrs in a light south east wind. The very successful partnership of Terry Leonard and his wife, Sue, of the Ashridge club recorded their second Federation winner of the 2021 season, from this 140 mile race.
The 2021 racing season has seen Terry and Sue win so far: 7th, 8th Federation Blandford (864 birds), 23rd Federation Wincanton (927 birds), 12th, 14th Federation Honiton (885 birds), 4th, 8th, 9th, 15th Federation Kingsdown (832 birds), 1st, 2nd, 13th, 20th Federation Okehampton (735 birds), 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 14th, 25th Federation Honiton (682 birds), 2nd, 4th Federation Bodmin (698 birds), 1st , 11th Federation Kingsdown (485 birds). Brilliant pigeon racing! In spite of the problems the Covid 19 virus has put on pigeon racing, the competition in the Three Borders Federation had been strong and hard in the 2020 season, and the mighty Ashridge RPC have come out on top for the third season on the trot, winning the ‘Federation Points’ Trophy’, with 114 points. Terry & Sue Leonard of the Ashridge club won the ‘Individual Points Trophy’, with 73 points and won 1st Federation several times in the 2020 season.
The first ten in the Kingsdown Federation result were: 1) Terry & Sue Leonard 1056: 2) Alan & John Stoner 1046: 3) M/M Burczak 1027: 4) M/M Burczak 1026: 5) Fred Kimpton 1023: 6) M/M Burczak 981: 7) G. Oliver & son 973: 8) Gorge Morris & son 968 9) Suchocki & Protascewicz 965 10) Chris Slight & Mike Charlton 957.
Three Borders Federation (Wincanton Race).
Members of the Three Borders Federation sent 396 birds to Wincanton for the ninth old bird race of the 2021 season and Federation convoy, Dom McCoy, liberated at 08.15hrs in a light east / south east wind situation. The returns were excellent and the membership enjoyed a good steady race. The Esher & Dist. RPC members were back in their winning ways and had a brilliant race from Wincanton, recording: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 12th, 15th, 24th, 25th Federation. Vic and Lou Emberson of Banstead have been ‘knocking at the door’ in several of the early races, but hit the jackpot from Wincanton by recording: 1st and 10th Federation, with the Tolworth partnership of Makil & Khan wiping up with 2nd, 3rd, 12th, 24th, 25th Federation. The premier Isleworth partnership of Mr. & Mrs. Burczak enjoyed a brilliant race, recording 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th Federation. What a great race.
The first ten in the Wincanton Federation result were: 1) Vic & Lou Emberson 1394: 2) Malik & Khan 1392: 3) Malik & Khan 1389: 4) M/M Burczak 1388: 5) M/M Burczak 1388: 6) M/M Burczak 1388: 7) M/M Burczak 1388: 8) M/M Burczak 1388: 9) M/M Burczak 1386: 10) Vic & Lou Emberson 1386.
Vic Emberson had pigeons as a child, but really started racing in 1988 at the Banstead lofts. His late uncle is, Fred Emberson, who has been an outstanding channel racer in the London area for many years and he was a great help in getting Vic started in the sport. The Emberson loft has won the Federation countless times through the years and has recoded 1st open National several times, including 1st open NFC Fougeres (old hens) in 2004. Vic and his wife, Lou have won many major prizes in National racing in their years in the sport, but rated highly their performance in the 2005 season by recording 1st open BICC Alencon National. Vic’s recent account of the Alencon race was; “On the day of the BICC Alencon race the wind was strong westerly and we were expecting the winner to be in the East Section. On arrival, the cock came out of the east, confirming our belief that the winner would be in that section, but what a pleasant surprise we had when we were informed we had the leading pigeon, which was named ‘Valiant Leader’. This cock was half-brother to our 2000: 1st open Alliance of Specialist Clubs Millennium National race and car winner, ‘Alliance Leader’ and was also related to ‘Ellie’, our 2004 NFC Fougeres old hens winner”. A great family of winning pigeons!
Vic Emberson races 20 cocks on the widowhood system and pairs up in mid-January with the Federation sprint races in mind. The racers are put on the widowhood system after the first round of youngsters and are broken down from Saturday until Tuesday morning during the racing season. Vic mixes his own corn and the main family kept is Staf Van Reet because he likes sprint racing. The widowhood cocks are not trained during the racing season, just exercised around the loft twice a day to keep them fit. The partners have two very smart self-built lofts and the stock birds have a nice wire flight, to get out into the weather. The race team are trapped through ETS traps and sputnik traps. Vic’s wife, Lou, and his sons, Carl and Neil, have been great workers with the pigeons through the years and he says a lot of his success years ago were down to their help, but now races on his own.
Vic’s late uncle was the racing ‘ace’, Fred Emberson, who resided near Canterbury in Kent, but prior to that was one of the leading long distance racers in the London area for a great many years. The origin of Fred’s family of racers were, four birds obtained from A. H. Bennett, including a son of Champion ‘Andre’ and Fred told me all his birds could be traced to these original stock birds. Another good introduction was two late breds, gifted to him by his nephew, Vicky Emberson of Banstead, and these were bred from pigeons obtained from Lol Green.
Malik & Khan have been one of the premier lofts in the South of England for several years now and have won many top positions in the Federation, Combine and National. In the 2015 season the Federation ‘Individual Points Trophy’ was won by a country mile by Malik & Khan and then again in the 2017 season. The Three Borders Federation’s young bird racing results in recent seasons have pretty much been dominated by the Esher & District RPC partnership of Malik & Khan, winning 1st Federation many times and numerous other positions. A few years ago I use to write that these young lads were up and coming stars in our sport, but after their recent performances it is safe to say there are now at the very top of the ratings.
The partner’s race cocks on the widowhood system and the old bird’s racers are paired up in January to rear a pair of youngsters and are trained on their second round of eggs, before going on the widowhood. The cocks are trained twice a day for eight day from 25 miles and are only sent to sprint races. Imran only likes short racing and has no interest what so ever in long distance pigeon racing. Whether it be the old bird or young bird widowhood system, the birds are broke down for several days each week and the hens are shown on marking night, but if it looks like being a very easy race, they might only be shown the nest bowls. The cocks get their mates for a couple of hours on their return from the race. The partners loft is a brick structure, which was converted from a brick garden shed already in Imran’s garden. The original floor was concrete, but the partners have fitted a new wooden floor over the concrete and all trapping is through the open window for both young and old birds. The loft has three sections, with an aviary on one end, which houses a few latebreds and the loft is cleaned out every day, with the floor and perches being burnt off. Imran tells me, they keep 12 pairs of stock birds and they are all Janssen, but different lines. The breeders are paired up on Boxing Day and any new introductions into the stock loft are selected on the pedigree, and never type. The youngsters are put on the ‘darkness’ system on the last weekend in March and they come off normally at the back end of June. The loft houses 50 young birds for racing each and they race the whole programme, although Imran says, he wished he had it in him to stop a few and save them for old birds racing, but he is to greedy and want to win everything he can with young birds. He maintains, he just loves young bird racing! Ten cocks are put on the widowhood system and the rest are raced to the perch, although they are allowed to pair up and have eggs and youngsters if they want. Training starts two weeks after they come off the ‘dark’ and this is worked up in stages to 25 miles and they get three 25 mile tosses ever week during the racing season. The widowhood cocks are treated like old birds and are not trained during the racing season.
Malik & Khan only joined the Esher club in the 2012 season and these young lads have been outstanding in the Three Borders Federation for several years, including winning the SMT Combine for the first time with a youngster several years ago. Imran Malik started racing pigeons in the 2004 season with a team of young birds purchased from Louella Pigeon World and in the 2005 season Janssens were introduced from Imran’s uncles, Khan Brothers of Kingston. The 2005 young bird season saw him smash his novice status and recorded 1st, 2nd, 9th, 10th Federation in that season. Malik & Khan finished the 2014 racing season in great style by winning 1st, 2nd Federation from Taunton and then two weeks later they won 1st Federation from the last and longest young bird race from Yelverton. These lads are really outstanding young bird specialists, winning the Federation every season with their babies. The Federation sent 1,471 birds to Taunton and Malik & Khan won the Federation by 9ypm clear. Two weeks later the membership entered 867 birds in to the last race from Yelverton and with the wind being a brisk east / north east, the birds had a hard push over the 180 miles home, with the winners taking over 4 hours 30 minutes to finish. The Tolworth lofts of Malik & Khan were well on the pace again, recorded 1st Federation for the second time in two weeks and this time winning 1st SMT Combine (1,516 birds). A really great performance, with the lads winning a fast short race and then the longest young bird race, which was hard and slow!
TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT (www.keithmott.com).