My Barcelona Dream Part 26
I can tell you since the last article it has been an absolutely roller coaster of things that have happened. I touched on things such as the BICC racing in Ireland and other things as what I would be doing with my young birds this year. In all fairness it has been crazy what has happened over the last few weeks and months. At last count when I mentioned what was happening in the BICC we had approximately 30 members from Ireland. What has happened from there since an official marking station has been announced in Dublin is the fact that we now have 122 members of the BICC in Ireland.
You might ask how this has all happened, well to be honest in a short space of time from roughly October last year 2020 to now end of March 2021 so much has happened. After our first endeavour at racing with the BICC, there was a lot of changes which had to be made. It was back to the drawing board because of such a horrendous race for us here in Ireland. Through no fault of their own and due to weather issues there were no returns from the Coutance race in France to Ireland. After the race was over it was back to the drawing board and having to think of a way to ensure better returns for Irish fanciers wishing to take part in races with the BICC . After a lot of thought and consideration and after discussions with committee members it was decided that should the Irish fanciers have their own transporter and where possible if weather was not optimal for good returns they could hold over independently. From this point and with this in mind I went about sourcing crates to have a small fit for purpose trailer made. After a bit of searching a number of crates we're secured and through another fancier who is a fabricator I had organised to have a small trailer made to transport birds from Irish members of the BICC to French racing. This had all gone according to plan at this point and the numbers that were in the group members of the BICC where is steadily growing from 30 upwards.
After further discussions with the committee members trying to figure out a better way for the Irish fancier to take part with big racing it was decided by them to allow a formal marking station in Dublin to cover Ireland. When this became public knowledge and was announced on social media and in the pigeon magazines the numbers grew from 30 to 60 or 70 within the space of two weeks. This led to another problem, not so much a problem, rather a logistical issue. At this point having a trailer fabricated and made to cater for 30 individuals racing with the BICC, This small trailer would now not be fit for purpose for the numbers especially if they continued growing. It was at this point it's such numbers and for seeing numbers continuing to grow that I decided to go about having a sale of pigeons in order to raise forms to buy a fit for purpose trailers for the number of individuals involved. At this point I contacted numerous BICC multinational winners and international winners and also contacted INFC national winners and multinational winners as well as a couple of studs. I have to say from the outset that without all of these individuals and the stewards donating birds to take part in this sale and raise funds to help Irish fanciers transport birds for French racing with the BICC this would never have happened. The support from all involved has been absolutely fantastic and you will see at the end of this article a thanks to all of those who have donated birds to the sale that went on to be such a success. From the outset this is not something I wanted to do organising a sale was not something I was logistically able to do. From the outset I decided I would involve an auction house in the sale in order to do justice to those who are donating birds and also to provide a bigger platform where boy getting a bigger audience in order to sell the birds at the best prices. It was at this point that I contacted Pigeon Partners in order to facilitate the sale. I can only tell you from the outset they have been absolutely fantastic to do with. After compiling a list of donors myself with contact details it was passed to pigeon partners who then compiled a catalogue with an article about performances on each of the individual donors in order to advertise the sale. Without this I also think the sale would not have been such a success. Again I would like to offer a big thank you to Steve O’Dea and also Jonathan Baile and all the team at PigeonPartners.com for their hard work and dedication to compiling and getting the catalogue to the public which in turn made the sale such a success.
The run up to the sale was about two months and the amount of work put in both by myself and mostly pigeon partners in compiling the catalogue was phenomenal. The magazine format of the catalogue that was produced has been second to none. It was decided to have the sale around the same time as the yearly Blackpool show and it turns out the decision was correct. The idea was that with the money raised from this sale through the generosity of fanciers both in the UK and in Ireland that a transporter fit for porpoise to carry a maximum of 1300 pigeons would be bought further use of getting Irish pigeons to racing with the BICC in France. I am delighted to say that since the closure of the sale at the end of January this has now come to pass. After closing of the sale there was just slightly over £10,000 raised. With advertisement costs subtract it left slightly over £9000. Again at this point in the story, a big thank you must be made to pigeon partners for they waivered their percentage fee to ensure that as much money as possible would be left over for the purchase of a pigeon transport or trailer to assist Irish fanciers. Without this there would have been more to be paid out of my pocket as I always said I would to balance out the costs of said trailer. I have now sourced a trailer from Poland that is newly built to carry a maximum of 1300 pigeons and should be landing in Ireland towards the end of March early April. I would also like to say a big thank you to those individuals who bought the pigeons from the sale because we have to remember without these buyers this money on this fund would not have been raised. So again big thank you to all of you buyers for purchasing these birds to help Irish fanciers get off the ground and running bigger distances races in conjunction with the BICC.
This sale was all done with 70 fanciers in mind, in actual fact to this point in mid-March we now have 110 paid members of the BICC in Ireland as mentioned. It is absolutely phenomenal to think that from a starting point of 30 fanciers involved with the BICC last year, that there are now so many willing to take a chance on bigger distances into Ireland. The race is chosen this year for Irish Fanciers to take part in our Potiers, Le Mann, Nor-Sur-Edre and Guernsey any age race. I can only tell you with this in mind the excitement of those involved looking to take part is palpable, you can feel it.
Added to these races I have decided to lay on a private race for those involved in this group. This race will take place from around the Melton Mowbray area in the UK. This again is causing a lot of excitement and will be a young bird only race. It seems there is a growing want for something like this for fanciers in Ireland and as I have already started I am looking forward to making this a success. I am under no illusions this can only be a success because of the individuals willing to take part. I will do my best to make sure it becomes a success for everyone involved. We will have more on this as it unfolds but for now that's an update on what has happened since October with fanciers in Ireland wishing to take part in BICC racing.
In all fairness so much has happened I have said very little about the goings on at safe haven lofts. The German birds that I mentioned have arrived from Dandilofts in Germany, David Reynolds has been a pleasure to deal with and to work with. Through him we have sold several kits of 6 to fanciers in Ireland that wanted to buy his pigeons. Unto death those that have received them are extremely happy. For myself my breeding endeavours have been slow. I do not need or want a loft full of youngsters at the present time because I do not have the space and it is about understanding how much space you have to suit your own needs. For me because I have such a large team of untested yearlings and two year olds I am prepared to wait to breed my team of youngsters early April to May. I have however bred 8 youngsters that will be prepared for the Guernsey any age race with a BICC. Added to these I have selected five other late bred yearlings that will make up a team of approximately 10 birds to be sent should they be fit and ready. These birds were hatched at the end of January and are now flying well around the house, they will be placed on darkness shortly which will be run to the end of July.
As it is now early March I paired my race team of 24 pairs the last week of February in order to breed young birds from both the dandy lofts pigeons and also to produce some double grandchildren of Musgrove wizard. As stated in the previous paragraph I had no intention of breeding early youngsters however with the now young bird race from Melton Mowbray I have decided to breed approximately 15 to 20 youngsters which will be aimed at this race. Like I mentioned this will be either double grandchildren of Moscow wizard or they will be from the birds of David Reynolds Dandilofts. Further to that I have also adapted the feed methods of David. David has been showing everyone how he feeds his birds and raises his birds through his videos on his YouTube channel. After several conversations with David and with my goal in mind of getting birds out of 500 plus miles from France I decided to adopt his methods. With this in mind I went along and purchased supplements such that I have never used before. David’s theory is to cover all the bases of the pigeons needs in the hope that you don't miss anything, and that they have everything they need. While never having trying tried this before I thought I would give it a go. To be quite honest at the start I wasn't sure how it would go I have now been giving the birds supplements on a regular basis since October-November 2020. I can honestly say the race birds do gleam as they showed as there is no stress on them however to tell you that the stock birds are in fantastic order I would not be lying. In fact I do feel the youngsters being bred in the nest are in fact benefiting from the supplements. That is only my opinion judging on how I have bred birds in the past. I am looking forward to the racing season this year with a lot of excitement. Not only to take part in my local Federation racing which I love to use as training for the bigger races out of France. But to take part in French racing with the BICC and further to that having an independent race for the group which hopefully will be a massive success.
Again I would like to say a big thanks to the following fanciers for their donations. Mark Gilbert, Bob & Anthony Besant, Lee & Kevin Buddle, Dave Stadden, Geoff & Clayton Preece, Terry Hayley (Watford Wizard), John Chipperfield, Mark Bulled, Endurance Breeding Stud (Tony Byrne), David Reynolds Germany, Dean Childs, Duncan Goodchild, John Halstead, Tumley Lofts Stud, K and J Zerafa, Nick Adshed, John Angwin, Angwin Family Lofts, David Delae, John Abernathy (Harmony Lofts), Alan Darragh, Jim Armstrong, Jeffery Douglas, Sid Collins, Bobby Coyle, Danny Dixon, Jeff Greenaway, Geoff Dickey (Farmview Lofts), Malachy Maguire, Mark Maguire, Wesley Sawyers, Gerry O'Rielly & Sons, P Rock & Sons. Further to this I would like to offer a thanks to Steve O’Dea in PigeonPartners for all their hard work to make this sale happen. I have also put in some photos of the trailer being built because of the generosity of both the donors and the buyers of these birds.
Until next time
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