“The Original” Around The Up North Combine
By Good Corn
I will start off with the Stockton West End Oakham (2) previous weeks result sent in by Mark Bousfield, where F Birch timed a 4y blue cock and a yearling chequer hen recording vels of 1283 and 1268.9 to win a top-notch 1st and 2nd Club, 7th and 9th Tees Valley Federation out of an entry of 722 birds. Stephen Bousfield & sons Mark & Stephen also had a couple of birds in the frame to chalk up 3rd and 4th Club with the green card scoring 3y blue cock achieving a vel of 1267.7 to net 10th Fed; one second later in the yellow card position came a 4y blue hen doing 1267.7 for 11th Fed.
The May Bank-Holiday weekend race was scheduled for Chelmsford (1) which was forecasted for strong north-west winds with scattered showers, which was going to be a tough race for the birds. The Up North Combine weather committee put their votes in on the morning of Friday 3rd May which produced a vote of 14 Federations voting to basket that night, with 7 Federations voting to put back basketing for 24 hours, so it was a normal Friday night basketing. On Saturday 4th May Chief convoyer Peter Maw liberated Sections 1 and 4 including Hartlepool and South East Durham Federations from Chelmsford (1) at 07.30 flying into a north-west wind. Sections 2 and 5 were up and away at 07.50, with Section 6 heading for home at 08.10. Once again it was good to see Peter getting the birds up early on the Saturday morning for the very hard race ahead of them, not everyone will have agreed with the birds going Friday night but like any other week it's up to the individual fancier if they want to send or not. The racing season is now five weeks old and we have had north-east, variable and north-west winds but this race is the biggest test so far with the birds hitting the 200 miles mark for the bottom end of the Combine and a gruelling 286 miles for the Border birds which is going to be a very testing day for them birds.
The race turned out harder than some first thought with a number of heavy showers throughout the morning, we saw a few early batches going over Skinningrove and through both Loftus & Liverton Mines at the bottom end of the Combine with the biggest flocks having around 15 birds in them and the remaining batches been three, four, five and sixes. Their first birds we saw seemed to be coping with the wind which had increased as the morning wore on with the wind being a lot colder than first thing. The later birds we saw were flying very low to keep out of the getting stronger wind and the quick showers, a few of the kits coming through were heading more to the coast which we don’t always see on a north-west wind. The work lads on the Skinningrove British Steel oil site were letting the cannons off to stop any birds landing in the oil. We had four strays in, they were rested and fed up before being fresh enough to liberate.
Stafford & Wilson won 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Club, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 13th, 14th and 17th East Cleveland Federation at Skinningrove. White Bros Malc & Stuart timed a 3y doing 1169 for 10th Fed; while Mike Prokopowicz & son Lee clocked a couple of yearlings in the space of two seconds to net 18th and 19th Fed on 1163.
The Brotton H/S loft of Reg Wilson, Ray Mole & Partners returned to their winning ways after timing no less than three of their entries to win a notable 1st, 3rd and 5th Club, 4th, 8th and 20th Fed with vels of 1186, 1175 and 1162. The loft of Mr & Mrs Golly “Graham” & Linda Peirson Tubby “Graham” Purver, Evo “Ian” Everington & Frankie Rolands are in 2nd spot with the gangs blue card scoring home-bred yearling blue cock bred through Don Gudgeon lines knocking out a vel of 1177 for a useful 6th Fed. Mick Smithies had a couple of yearlings in the frame to lift 4th and 6th Club with Mick's yellow card potter achieving a vel of 1166 for 16th Fed.
Boss Bowden (with his lucky mascot Hayden) of Bowden Bros Skelton Green winners of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th Club, 7th East Cleveland Federation Chelmsford (1).
The inform Skelton Green loft of Bowden Bros Mick & Boss and Trevor Mitchell record their fourth straight win after timing no fewer than five of their team to win 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th Club. Leading the way was a yearling Van Loon hen achieving a top vel of 1176 to score 7th Fed from a 64 members entry of 1,536 birds. The blue card was netted by the 3y Van Loon hen who won 1st Club, 5th Fed the previous week out of Oakham (2). The hen who is half-sister to Mick & Boss' 1st Up North Combine Ypres Gold Medal winner “Brexit” (same sire) in 2018 from a convoy of 8,775 birds is a previous Club Bird Of The Year winner and also a previous Runners-Up Club Bird Of The Year. Their third and fourth timers were 3y widowhood hens and they were followed by a yearling widowhood hen to round off another winning performance. Bill Chapman, sons Steve & Colin and the late Tommy Swinburne are in 4th position with Bill, Colin & Steve's yellow card potter being a 3y blue cock who is the previous scorer of 2nd Club, 3rd Fed, 17th UNC Ypres last season.
Ian “Knocker” Brown achieves a hat-trick of wins at Boosbeck after timing three birds to win 1st, 2nd and 3rd Club with pole position being won by a yearling knocking out a top vel of 1169.6 which was enough to net a useful 11th Fed. The blue card was taken by a 2y making 1157 for 27th Fed while the green card was claimed by a yearling. The late George Skidmore & grand/sons Michael & Liam Jackson timed a 2y and then a yearling to win 1st and 2nd Club at Lingdale.
The partnership of W & S Ward returned to their winning ways at the Brotton 6 Bird Club with Bill and grand/son Shaun's red card winner being a 4y Leo Heremans x Van Reet doing 1160 for 22nd Fed; this is Bill & Shaun's third Brotton 6 Bird Club win of the season. Mr & Mrs Bob & Babs Moore chalk up 2nd Club for the second race running with the duo's blue card scorer being a yearling Syndicate Lofts through Dave Drinkhall of Guisborough. Dave enjoyed a good race the previous week from Oakham (2) where he won a belting 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Club. Ricky Cush is in 3rd spot with a 2y blue Soontjen cock, and he is followed by Mr & Mrs Golly “Graham” & Linda Peirson Tubby “Graham” Purver, Evo “Ian” Everington & Frankie Rolands who lift 4th Club with one of Evo's blue Rietvink Janssen hens that have been a very consistent family for Evo over the years flying at both Marske & New Marske and Skelton Green. Vic Garbutt, the late Brian “Rusty” Stone & Brian “Mac” McCormick clocked a yearling chequer cock to take 5th Club while the partnership of Kevin & Merv Brown & Sacker “Bill” Cole took 6th Club with a 2y blue Marina van De Velde cock.
Onto Marske & New Marske where the inform Jimmy Reed holds on to his 100% winning run to record win number five of the season after timing three of his roundabout squad to win a cracking 1st, 2nd and 3rd Club. With top spot being won by a home-bred yearling blue hen of David Reid stock doing 1159.8 to scoop 24th Fed; this is the chart-topping hens third chalk of the season after scoring 2nd Club New Show Ground and 3rd Club Oakham (1). The blue card was awarded to a 2018 bred chequer hen from Geoff Kirkland doing 1152.5 for 34th Fed and in cell three came the green card potting 1y dark chequer cock from Graham Jones of Guisborough. Tony Hunt is doing his best to hit the number one spot with the lad taking 4th Club this week with a 2y blue Dirk Seppers/Van Gompel widowhood cock.
Next stop is the Teesside Federation starting at Middlesbrough H/S where Mr & Mrs Stephen & Jeanann Wheatley timed a couple of birds to win 1st and 3rd Club, 1st and 8th Fed on 1226 and 1187 to win 1st and 3rd Club out of 210 birds, 1st and 8th Fed out of an entry of 427 birds. With Stephen & Jeanann's chart-topper being the same 4y blue hen who won 1st Club, 1st Fed out of the Newark Show Ground race three weeks previous. While the duo's green card potter was a 2016 bred blue hen. The late Les Wellburn & sons Les & Derek clocked a 2y chequer hen, a 2y blue hen and a 3y chequer cock to lift 2nd Club, 4th, 14th and 19th Fed on 1192, 1179 and 1172. The late Wyn Cole, Steve Wheatley & grand/son Conner notched up 4th Club, 10th, 16th and 17th Fed with three blue hens on 1183, 1176 and 1175.
Paul Longstaff & Andrew Appleton of Haverton Hill the winners of 1st, 3rd and 6th Club, 2nd, 11th and 18th Teesside Federation Chelmsford (1).
The inform partnership and last season’s highest prize-winners Andrew “Jappa” Appleton & Paul Longstaff racked up a hat-trick of wins at Haverton Hill H/S after the duo timed three of their entries to win 1st, 3rd and 6th Club out of 124 birds, 2nd, 11th and 18th Fed with vels of 1199, 1183.5 and 1173. Leading the way was a out in front yearling blue Ali McLeod bred Vandenabeele cock and he was followed by the green card scoring 2y chequer Vandenabeele cock also bred by Ali McLeod. Stuart Lewis, Amber & Coby McCabe had a couple of birds on the clock to lift 2nd and 4th Club with the blue card going to a yearling Ali McLeod bred blue Vandenabeele hen making 1183.9 to pocket 9th Fed. Lewie, Amber & Coby's yellow card potter was a home-bred 2y blue Dirk Van Dyck hen on 1179.2 for 13th Fed. Nathan Bonar who flew a excellent young bird in his first season last year takes 15th Fed with a yearling chequer cock on 1177.
Onto Billingham T U H/S where we see Brian Atkinson & Keith Perkins zoom into the winners' enclosure with Brian & Keith's pole position winning well-fancied yearling blue hen recording a top vel of 1199 which was enough to score 2nd Fed and win the Fed Nom. The chart-topping hen is bred down from a full sister of Ali McLeod’s 1st UNC Gold Medal winning “Gaby Lou” which Ali gifted to Brian & Keith. Ali “Mac” McLeod timed four blue hens to lift 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Club, 5th, 6th, 7th and 12th Fed on 1191.7, 1191.5, 1190.3 and 1180 with the blue card going to a 2y Vandenabeele who scored 2nd Club, 5th Fed young bird Rivenhall and followed that up a week later by winning 1st Club, 1st Fed and 5th UNC Maidstone National out of 11,055 birds. The hen netted a few times as a yearling including a 2nd Club, 2nd Fed Huntingdon when beaten by a loftmate, she was in the frame last week when she took 3rd Club, 5th Fed when beaten by two loftmates that won 1st and 2nd Club, 1st and 3rd Federation. She was Ali's fancy bird this week but was beaten in the pools by Brian Atkinson & Keith Perkins winner who won the £5 down pools and the Fed Nom. The green card was chalked up by a yearling Vandenabeele who is off one of Mac's best stock cocks who was 9th UNC Lillers and 51st UNC Lillers, he is from a daughter of the famous “Jester” & “Carrie” of M & D Evans paired to Mac's number one cock the sire, grand/sire and great/grand/sire to all of Ali's big winners. The dam to the green card potter is off his number one Koen Minderhoud hen, mother to his loft. The yellow card was awarded to the up and coming yearling Koen Minderhoud hen out of a sire that was bred for stock while her dam is from Mac's number one Vandenabeele cock when paired to the same mother as Mac's good racing cock “82” making the mother half-sister to “82”. The yellow card claiming hen, has beenm in good form this season with her opening her account by notching up10th Fed Bubwith when beaten by six loft mates and two weeks later she won 1st Club, 2nd Fed Newark Show Ground and then won 1st Club, 1st Fed Oakham (2) last week. Fourth on the clock came a 3y who is out of a cock who is the son of the famous “Harry” of Jan Hooymans and Gabby Vandenabeele's “Ruddy” paired to a good inbred double grand/daughter of the famous “Bliksem” Ali has. Steve Wilson comes into the frame after timing a 3y blue cock doing 1170 for 20th Fed; the cock netted 5th Club, 7th Fed Chelmsford (2) last season.