My Barcelona Dream Part 24
A beginning from where I ended, and breeding is in full swing. I have finished 2 rounds of my bull system with less than usual success. I say this because previously using the system I have had a roughly 80 to 100 % hit rate and these 2 occasions have only been 50 to 70 %. Not disheartening although I would have preferred if it was better. I have from the bull system, 1 cock and 8 Hens, 18 youngsters. Added to these are 4 that were given to me and 4 I have bred myself. If I’m right it means a team of about 25ish for the any age Guernsey race I am aiming at in August. I have continued with my breeding plans and we now have to remember that the dreaded COVID hit. I haven’t been as successful as I wanted and have in fact 12 young birds after a bout of sickness for the Guernsey race. We have a new way of life and have had a lock down in place throughout April, May and into the near future. Life with restrictions means the birds have to come second fiddle. We have to look after them as best we can without breaking the lock down rules and restrictions. For me I have to continue as I am.
We have all had to follow that fact that racing this year is completely different from the norm. That being said there may be a lot that can be learned for how thigs are going. Racing has been brought to a halt and only from the start of May with restrictions on movement being lifted is there the light that it might actually happen. Organisations have been busy preparing revised race programs that could take place after notification of lifted restrictions happen. With announcement of a start in southern Ireland from 30th May it is now all go. My plans have been slightly adjusted. I was planning to race Le Mans and Guernsey however now I will only be focusing on the Guernsey race with my 12 youngsters. And then the Guernsey was changed to Coutances and so it is Coutances we are aiming for now. You don’t realise how fast it comes upon you. I have given myself 8 weeks to prepare the birds for the race. Enough time, I hope.
We have in our merry little group 28 men, I think, who all want to have a go at racing with the BICC. I have taken it upon myself to organise transport to the marking station in Chirk in Wales. What this has meant is that all those that want to take part have pooled €60 each to pay for transport. This would have allowed me to organise transport for 2 races mentioned above. What it means now after COVID is that we will simply focus on the Coutances race point and left-over funds will go toward organising transport for an extra race in the 2021 season. I am hoping that the number of fanciers that are involved from Ireland in the BICC will grow and if they work with me, we can have more racing with the BICC nationals and also the Internationals in time. My little project is open to all fanciers NORTH, SOUTH, EAST and WEST in Ireland and no one will be refused access to transportation of birds to marking with the BICC as long as they have pooled in their €60 the same as all others. We will then when clocking has an All Island section result from the BICC to work with. As the numbers grow for every 15 men that wish to take part from Ireland in the races, I can put on transport for another race. In effect the same entrance payment stays the same for transport costs but the more that take part the more races I can cover transport for without extra costs. This I feel is a much better option than a big fee for more racing. If all goes as planned and I can achieve a group of 200 fanciers, then I can facilitate all National BICC racing from Ireland and also the International events when fanciers want to take part.
I know that to Coutances is not as far as even St. Malo but there is nothing to be done about it. We had planned as I said for Le Mans but that has gone by the wayside. So, we carry on as we are and will aim to achieve something this year that only to date one man has done. Phil Smith clocked from Coutances 2 years ago I believe with the BBC so many more of us will now try this year with the BICC.
If anyone out there wants to get involved for next year or has any questions about how it will work, please feel free to get in contact. I can talk to any and all fanciers who would like to take part and as I said all are welcome. With a bit of luck, we will get some clocking’s this year and we have organised 4 Birds as prizes. 2 from Tumley Lofts Stud and 2 from Indurance Breeding Stud. So a big thank you to James and Vicky Cook and Tony Byrne and Co. for supporting the little project here in Ireland. I look forward to the lads receiving their Prizes after a successful race on the 15th August.
At the time of writing this I am now at 3 possible candidates for the race in august myself. I started with 12 as I said. I did lose 5 and 1 was not trained at all. 1 then broke flights and 2 have now become injured from BoP attack that have to be left aside. So, my merry little band will continue their journey to Coutances, and we shall see if they can make it back or not. With my merry 3 I am hoping that between us 25 or so lads we can get up to 150 or 200 birds to have a crack. Closer to the time we will know and then it will be all eyes on the sky’s…. So, watch this space.
As mentioned earlier breeding has gone on well. I have sent out nearly 20 birds from Musgrove Wizard and am now breeding for myself. I am aiming to have about 30 youngsters from him before I am done breeding and am hoping it will be one last round of the Bull System and I am done. I have included a few photos of the birds that have been bred from him. The first is a check that is hopefully going to Coutances, the second is a Blue that I think is a throwback to Nic Harvey’s Blue Cock, Musgrove Magician, responsible for several of Nic’s Barcelona Birds. I will breed from him next year if still here and of to the races he will go. I have also included a pic of 2 of birds still in the nest coming on. So, all in all I am very happy with what is being produced from The Wizard and will continue to do my best to get them to do what they are bred for.
Until next time
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