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by John Ghent


Getting The Right Tools For The Job



Fanciers up and down the country know how important it is to start out with the right stock, the right pigeons to tackle your selected target. Never before in the history of our illustrious hobby has specialisation been more important, whether that be sprint, middle distance, marathon racing and one loft racing or even young bird racing. With that in mind, a young Irish chap set out 3/4 years ago with the goal of competing in sprint racing in the massive Irish South Road Federation. Now I know what you are thinking, this is a little off track for me, where are the dreams of long distance glory and where is the link?


Well here we go, this young Irish fancier is named Robert Brennan. Robert has conjured up some devastating performances in 2015 in the Irish South Road Fed and also in the very strong Cabra RPC racing just 7 widowhood cocks and these birds come from a very good friend of mine Mick O'Rourke. Across the Midlands and in sprint circles all over the UK Mick is well known for some truly fantastic performances over the last few years, mainly competing in the Warwickshire South Road Federation. What fewer people know is that a lot of Mick's birds have made it over to Ireland and more than once I have called Mick only to find out he is in the Emerald Isle with friends and family, enjoying the hospitality, discussing racing methods and having a few light beverages!


Only recently Robert and his family invited Mick over to attend the Cabra RPC presentation as a thank you for the help over the last few years to put together this most exceptional team of widowhood cocks. So along with Pud Simons, Mick made the trip over the Irish Sea, got some photographs and had them sent to me by Pud along with an email address for Robert. I got in touch with Robert to see what all the fuss was about and the reply I received highlighting the performances with such a small team means I am sat here at 5:30am, having just fed my 6 month daughter, putting together this piece!

Robert Brennan of the Cabra RPC


I will first show some of Robertss performances this year before handing over to Robert for a brief word. The Irish South Road Fed has around 700 members sending between 8,000-11,000 birds each week and the Cabra club has around 50 members. Cabra won the Club Shield for best club in the Federation in 2014 and finished runner-up in 2015, this is no Mickey Mouse outfit and is a difficult club to win, let alone perform consistently well over a full season. This year Robert's small team of cocks won Robert the Combined Section F Averages, Runner Up in the Old Bird Averages and Best Old Bird in the Federation with two Fed victories to it's name against 11,544 birds and 4,149 birds respectively. Not surprisingly Robert also won Novice Fancier of The Year!


Race 1- Thurles. 3rd, 9th, 10th club 658 birds. 5th, 35th, 40th Fed 11,761 birds

Race 2- Tramore. 1st club 763 birds. 1st Section, 17th Fed 11,078 birds

Race 3- Pilmore Beach. 1st club, 702 birds. 1st Section, 1st Fed 11,544 birds

Race 4- Mallow. 2nd, 6th club 642 birds, beaten by his Dad and brother Keith, 46th, 78th Fed 11,086 birds

Race 5- Skibbereen. 3rd and 10th club 522 birds. 61st Fed 10,012 birds

Race 6- Barley Cove Open. 1st club, 4th Section, 13th Open 5808 birds

Race 7- Pilmore Beach. 8th, 9th club 666 birds. 16th, 19th, 48th Fed 9,407 birds

Race 8- Pilmore Beach. 2nd club 606 birds. 29th Fed 9,801 birds

Race 9- Mallow. 3rd club, 5th Fed 6,494 birds

Race 10- HOLIDAY

Race 11- Skibbereen. 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th club 260 birds. 1st Section, 1st, 14th, 16th, 22nd Fed 4,149 birds


The best young bird result was from Thurles where Roberts team secured 1st, 2nd, 3rd club 480 birds, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Section and 6th, 7th, 8th Fed from 8,913 birds! I'll now hand over to Robert for a brief description of the set-ups of the family.


"Hi John, my loft is a 24 foot wooden apex with four sections. There is one for old birds, one for stock and two for young birds. All of my birds were bred by Mick O'Rourke in Leicester and are mainly Soontjen and Cuelemans. I would not have achieved these results without the help from Mick and him being at the end of the phone twice a day!"

Christy & Keith Brennan of the Cabra RPC


"My Dad and Brother race as C. Brennan in the Cabra Club and were Old Bird and Combined Club Champions and Section F Old Bird Average winners. This was the first time my Dad has been club champion in over 40 years of racing; he is one of the founding members of the club. Every week the main challenge was to get a pigeon before my Dad and Keith, it was close all season and they were second to me on a number of occasions. They won 1 x 1st, 8 x 2nd, 5 x 3rd. Their best race was Pilmore Beach were they won 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th Club, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 15th, 59th, 60th, 63rd, 82nd, 100th Fed from 9,407 birds. Dad's lofts are 70 foot long, flat roofed, with 3 sections each for young and old birds. The old birds are raced on roundabout, hens and cocks, and they send on average 40 each week, we have a 50 bird limit in the Fed."


So there we have it, Robert certainly went to get the right tools from a sprint king and shows once again that it is quality not quantity that counts in the pigeon game, a lesson to all of us!


John Ghent



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