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John & Spencer Nicholson's Appreciation of Their Great Racer Cornelius







Hello Les and Cameron,

We thought we’d drop you a line to let you know that one of our old favourites, Cornelius, sadly passed away today, a few months short of 19 years old. He was a fantastic racing pigeon but more importantly a lovely natured bird, always on your shoulder looking for a peanut or something and we feel privileged that he spent his days in our loft.

Some history of Cornelius - starting from the beginning. He was bred from a pair of yearlings (and carries a quarter Geoff Hunt & Son of Westmarsh blood), not something that we normally practice but the reason being that the cock of the pair had a strong violet eye, which is not often seen, not in our loft anyway. As a young bird he would fly for hours on his own; you would see him come back from one direction only to disappear and come back later from another direction. He only ever made 2 mistakes in his racing career: the first one was from his first and only young bird race from NFC Sartilly where he went missing for approximately 3 weeks and his second was as a yearling from Montlucon when he went missing for a fortnight. His first visit to the NFC Grand National event was as a 2 year old and he flew the event every year, finishing as a 9 year old when he was clocked on the day of liberation, flying 15 and half hours, to win the coveted NFC Certificate of Merit, and we believe him to this day to be the only pigeon in the 'E' section to win this. He had over 5,000 clocked miles in NFC races.

He is definitely the best Pau/Tarbes pigeon we have ever had, and he flew from Perpignan well and we often wonder how he would have done from Barcelona.

Clocking him on the day to win the Merit Award is probably our biggest highlight in our time in pigeons.

He had been infertile for several years but there is one dark velvet cock out of him, when he was paired to Sarah, our Barcelona hen, that has never raced, and we treasure the young birds from him dearly.

We’ve attached a picture and details of his achievements for your info.

Best regards

Spence & John



National Flying Club Certificate of Merit Winner

1998 - 16th Open NFC Pau, 555 miles

2000 - 56th Open NFC Pau

2005 - 92nd Open NFC Tarbes, clocked on day of liberation, 562 miles.

Other performances over 500 miles include:

107th Open NFC Dax

364th Open NFC Pau

526th Open NFC Pau

536th Open NFC Pau/Saintes

567th Open NFC San Sebastian, 568 miles

8th BICC Perpignan International, 610 miles

22nd BICC Perpignan International

Also flew NFC Pau 1999, back in race time but not clocked.

'Cornelius' flew the channel 33 times, a total distance of 11,500 miles and he flew over 500 miles 10 times.


Elimar - January 2015