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My Barcelona Dream Part 26 - 13-10-20

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My Barcelona Dream Part 26

Exciting times…. Started my last article. Well the excitement died by the end of the article and disappointment set in.

Well like any pigeon fancier we dust ourselves off of the disappointments and plan for the next success. With that in mind I have been in discussion with the BICC about the release of Irish birds competing with the BICC races and how we can prevent such situations as happened at the Coutance release are prevented if possible. I will have more on this in coming articles when plans are confirmed. Suffice to say that there is growing interest from Irish Fanciers from all corners of the country in taking part in races with the BICC. I would like to see this interest grow in the coming years. I have a very selfish reason for this. My main aim has always to compete at International Level and to be able to get birds home to Dublin from them. This is something that as we all know has never been done on a regular basis but has been done ad hoc. With a growing number of fanciers joining my group I know that with pushing distances for Irish pigeons we will produce birds capable of doing what birds of yesteryear did on the regular basis. I know that taking part in BICC racing is a stepping stone to growing the number of fanciers with a want to compete at this level. So I say again and make a CALL OUT to ANY and ALL Fanciers reading this article in Ireland to get in touch. I can be contacted at all the details below should there be any questions.

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Also to add tis call out I would like to say I am extremely excited about a specific thing that has come up in the last weeks of September. I was lucky enough to get contact from a fancier in the local Dublin Area to myself. John Thompson of the Eastwall Club. John had in his possession a Pigeon Cup that is 100 years old. First presented in 1920 this cup if from the then Dublin City Flying Club from the Ballybough Area. What I believe became the Dublin Homing Club, I am going to get more details around this for a coming article. This cup found its way to John through the owners grandchildren. The fanciers name was John Kearns. Through 2 of his granddaughters I have found out that John won this prestigious Cup on 3 occasions. As was the case, and still is in some clubs, in those days if a fancier was lucky enough to win a cup or trophy 3 times  they got to keep the cup. John did such in the years from 1920 to 1937. As he won it that year the Cup became his permanently. So how did it find its way to me? Well John Thompson contacted me with a view to getting involved in the BICC racing through me.

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through this conversation the cup came up and john asked if I would like it for one of the longer French races for the Irish Section of the BICC. I can tell you I only jumped at such an opportunity. We decided that this would be put on offer for the Poitiers National Race, at first, with the BICC. It will be offered to the fancier who clocks out of Poitiers into Ireland from this race and is the one to win the Irish Section of the BICC. At present I am having a new base made for the Cup so as not to ruin the original and will have names inscribed for the winning fancier on a yearly basis. So exciting I can tell you. Again don’t forget to get in contact if you would like to have a go. You can see the photos inserted of the cup as it is now.

In the lofts I am almost finishing breeding and that has gone well for the most part with few hiccups. The last of the eggs I want are due to hatch in the coming days mid Sept. I am very happy with the young birds have come on. The hiccup I have mentioned has passed an all is well again. I will have mostly late breds for next year and will be planning around them for racing. Musgrove Wizard has been a very potent cock after my initial mistakes getting fertility this year. I was having trouble getting fertilisation in a couple of the hens he was paired to. I fixed this  by changing tac a little and instead of running the 7 hens with him on The Bull System at the same time I did switch and did only 3 and then 4 hens on a rotation. This then greatly improved the hit rate. He has produced some cracking youngsters I have to say.

I know that this year has been a difficult racing year for Nic Harvey having no candidates for Barcelona but he is also planning for next year with birds coming through for next year. It is all about perspective. Some years the birds don’t miss and others it can be disastrous I know it has happened to me in the past. One other gentlemen of the sport sent to Barcelona is Frank Kay of Bolton flying a mere 870miles from Barcelona. Frank had a hen that has been at stock for 2 having been raced through her young bird program then to stock as I said for 2 years.

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This hen is out of 2 other of Frank’s Barcelona birds. This is why she was put to stock. This year, she is 4yr old now, Frank decided to put her on the road again to see if she could do the ultimate like her parents. After a 3 build up races, 2  land then to Carentan, she was on her merry way to Barcelona for the ultimate test. Unlucky for Frank she did not get in in race time but I can tell you he was absolutely delighted to have her home after 6 weeks. Interestingly enough Frank always called the Barcelona Hen, even though she had never done it, well now she truly is his Barcelona Hen. This year’s Barcelona International was a very difficult one to say the least with birds in the UK having difficulty due to the extremely hot weather not helping any of our feathered friends. Such a daunting task and not for the fainthearted fancier at such distances. So to all you who got birds home from the ultimate of ultimate races CONGRATULATIONS. Inserted you can see a Pic of Frank’s Hen that I had in my possession after my visit in 2020 Blackpool.

Plans are already in motion for next year and racing that I am going to take part in. I will be aiming as always at longer racing after build up to hopefully get the birds home from BICC racing. As most of my birds will be yearlings the plan is to club race and only send some on to bigger races. The reason will be to get some maturity on the team to 2 yr. olds and thereby hoping to improve on racing ability. The idea being that, as most feel and I agree, long distance and marathon birds need a little time to mature before pushing them on to bigger distances. I do have some yearlings that will be 2 year olds and also older birds, all in all about 20. These are the birds that have matured and will be pushed to a minimum of 565 miles to me from Potiers. That is something that is already in the planning process. With that in mind I have been in conversation with a fancier that is very successful at these distances and more in order to refine what I do and give the birds an better chance of getting home. It is all go for 2021 after a very unusual 2020 for us all, never mind the pigeons.

On a very good note I have been doing a couple if online interviews with David Reynolds from Grimmen in Germany. David has been marathon racing pigeons from his home in Germany over the past few years. With birds competing at the highest national level against fanciers flying approx. 180mls or more shorter than him. On the national stage he is the furthest flying member in his Zone giving stiff competition when you consider the extra distance his birds have to travel further than his competition, and have to do it solo with no drag. David has built a team of birds that have been exceling at the extreme distance racing. His birds are at the highest level of competition in Germany Nationally with distances regularly at 500 to 600 miles and then on to 800 miles and then the ultimate in The Barcelona International at 1000miles to him. He has competed at Barcelona and had birds return in 6 days. Not satisfied with this he is aiming to improve on this time and get his birds to do it in much better time in order to get into the results Internationally. I can only say that I and, I am sure all, other fanciers wish the man the very best in his attempts. I am sure he will improve year on year.

Until next time

Michael

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