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My Barcelona Dream - Part 25

My Barcelona Dream Part 25

M Feeney 1 24 08 20

Exciting times…. Last time there was the slow build up to the first of what I hope to be many Irish Fanciers getting involved in BICC racing and International events. It is now a week before basketing for Coutances and our little band or priming their birds for the send. I will be finishing this article after the race has ended and this should be published the week after Coutances with pictures and also a good result.

For me I am still working with the 1 bird I have been getting ready that are left from the 12 I started with. At present the plan is still to send to the race but a final decision will be made closer to the time. The dream really does continue. The bird I am sending are going to their first race being jumped 150 miles after a rigorous private training work. She is at present doing well at 100 miles and will be pushed now 3 or 4 times to 150 before basketing. I have been using lights in the loft on recommendation of a friend in order to get the young birds to moult through. Which I have to say has actually worked well. They have gone through a full body moult and are on their 8th flight on the wing for time of basketing. One thing that was of concern is the tail moult. For the most part fanciers who use lights to push the young moult have to pull tail flights before racing. As I have only been aiming for one race I have not pulled the tail and am happy to say at a week before basketing the birds have completed the tail moult as well. We shall see whether this has been the right decision or not.

M Feeney 2 24 08 20

So the group of us sending are following in the footsteps of Phil Smith. Phil has sent with the BBC races for some years now and has been successful. Phil has been one of a few regular senders to the BICC and BBC respectively. My plans going forward are to help fanciers, as mentioned in the previous article, to send to the BICC National racing and when numbers and desire is there to get a bigger send to the Internationals from Ireland. I would like to see this happen not just on an ad hoc basis but on very regular sends. I feel that in this way we can put Ireland on the International Racing Map. Something I think all in Ireland would like to see regardless of whether they take part themselves or not. I will again make a call for anyone who wants to get involved in racing from all BICC and International Racing into Ireland please get in contact. I would love to have more people onboard. The more we send and the more support we are for each other the more we can succeed in this type of racing. Something never been done before into Ireland regularly because of the costs involved. The massive costs have now been balanced and we are looking forward I believe to an All Island approach to inclusive pigeon racing with a mind to sending to bigger and bigger distances.

M Feeney 3 24 08 20

Tuesday 11th August

Our band of merry flyers from Down to Cork and Dublin to Galway will be gathered today Tuesday the 11th of August in the Donnycarney Racing Pigeon Club. We will be marking on ETS for those who want to and then the birds will be rubbered in the Chirk Marking station in Wales on the 12th for the race on the 15th August in Coutances. I really want to here say a big thank you to both the Donnycarney Racing Pigeon Club and its members for agreeing to allow us scattered from all over Ireland to mark our birds in the one place and also Alan Shinton and the lads in Chirk for helping out.

M Feeney 4 24 08 20

I have to give a special thanks to Alan because on the Wednesday before marking there was a hitch with the sailing return to Ireland and then instead of the planned drive to Chirk to meet Alan and the lads Alan is then meet us at the port to collect our birds and bring for marking. With a bit of luck and a growing involvement this relationship will go from strength to strength.

Thursday 13th August.

So we are now the day after I dropped the birds to Alan in Holyhead and to  say I am excited would be an understatement. A full 9 months of work has now come to fruition. I have done what I said and set out to do. We have now have for the first time a reasonable contingent of Irish birds competing with the BICC. For me this is exactly where I want to be. Not only that but since publishing the run up videos online at my YouTube channel, seen below, the interest has grown more and more. I am really looking forward to next year and the group and birdage growing with more competitive racing at bigger distances for us here in Ireland. A dream I have had for some years now. All I can hope for now after doing my part is that our birds do get home, or at least some of them.

M Feeney 5 24 08 20

Sunday 23rd August

I am sitting here a week after the Coutance race. I was hoping to be giving everyone good news about how many birds had reached home however that is not the case. The race by all accounts was a difficult one for the men in the Uk. For us in Ireland it was near impossible. We had a bad west coast of Wales weather to beat and the weather in Ireland was terrible. When we basked on Tuesday 11th August the weather was to be clear on the channel with westerly winds at the race point and turning east over the channel. We thought that it would be a difficult race for the birds but that some would get over. By the release time on the Saturday it wasn’t only winds that had to be contended with as we all know.


M Feeney 6 24 08 20

In all fairness it is bitter disappointment that not 1 bird got home but it has also given me more determination that it will happen. Plans are already in motion for next year and hopefully number of fanciers involved will grow and we can transport to more races. Hopefully with more stable weather in the normal racing season for old birds will provide a better chance for us in Ireland to succeed where only a few have before. I do hope however and am very optimistic that some of the birds will make it over in the coming weeks as always happen when birds are released in the Uk and have to return to Ireland. At present with the same number of people involved I am planning to transport to 3 races minimum for the 2021 season and with more members I will transport to more where I can. I would like to be in a position ,and have enough fanciers involved, to facilitate 5 races for us to take part in. that will be dependent on the Irish race program and also the BICC race program. I will be doing my best to make sure there is no crossover of channel racing into Ireland from any federations here at the same time meaning the fanciers in Ireland will have more options for French racing into Ireland more than the norm.

So I will leave this article here and put out another call to anyone who wants to take part next year please get in contact. My details are below if you have any questions about what is happening or how it works.

The pictures are firstly the fanciers who sent from Ireland. Myself and the driver on the trip across the water. Meeting Alan in his yellow shirt and also a fancier from Holyhead decided to join us. And you can see the birds in the back of the van after transport.

Until next time


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