“ON THE ROAD” WITH KEITH MOTT.
Three Borders Federation (Newton Abbot Race)
The Three Borders Federation were at Newton Abbot for the last race of the 2023 season and it was the first time the young birds had to face up to an east wind, resulting in a few empty perches that night. The Federation convoyer, Dom McCoy, reported good weather conditions at the race point, but had to wait for some dodgy weather mid-rout to clear and had a late morning toss. The birds were liberated with sun on the baskets at 11.00 hrs into a light north east wind. I must say thank you to Dom on behalf of the Federation for all his great work, the racing this season has been excellent. Paul Arnold of the Esher club has done some excellent work as the Federation weatherman this season, as well as taking on the Esher club secretary job jointly with Anthony Besant. Sadly the Club’s wonderful secretary, Mike Charlton, passed away about three weeks before the first race and Paul and Anthony took over so the club could compete this year. Thanks to all these great fanciers for their good work! The Newton Abbot race was won by G. Koritsas of the Mitcham and Merton club, who recorded a brilliant, 1st, 2nd, 5th Federation. A wonderful performance from the longest young bird race by Mr. Koritsas! The Ashridge ‘master’, Terry Goodsell, finished off a great season by winning 3rd, 4th, 20th, 21st, 22nd Federation Newton Abbot and is the Federation champion, by lifting the ‘Individual Point Trophy’. Terry has won the Federation five times this season and this is the third time he has been Federation champion. Well done Terry!
The first ten in the Newton Abbot Federation result were: 1) Mr. G. Koritsas 1171: 2) Mr. G. Koritsas 1170: 3) Terry Goodsell 1168: 4) Terry Goodsell 1154: 5) Mr. G. Koritsas 1154: 6) Paul Arnold 1151: 7) Terry & Sue Leonard 1149: 8) Paul Arnold 1144: 9) Vic Emberson 1143: 10) Paul Arnold 1140. This was the last race of the season and the Ashridge club win the ‘Federation Points Trophy’ with 64 points, with the Esher club being R/U on 63 points.
What a great feeling it was back in April! The summer was just around the corner and pigeon racing had started the new 2023 season. That was first time for a few years that we haven’t mentioned Covid and all we’ve had to worry about was ‘bird flu’. What a crazy world we now live in! At long last the new season had kicked off and we could enjoy racing our pigeons again! The Three Borders Federation held its first Wincanton race in late April and flying 91 miles into Morden, the Ashridge ‘master’, Terry Goodsell, took ‘first blood’ and chalked up his first Federation win of the new campaign! Terry must be describe as a ‘legend’ of the Surrey pigeon racing fraternity, with his countless brilliant performances over many years in the local Federations. Terry Goodsell recorded a brilliant 1st, 2nd , 5th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 25th Federation and Ashridge club members took thirteen positions the first 25 on the Federation result. Brilliant pigeon racing! This was just the start of a fantastic season for Terry winning five times 1st Three Borders Federation and finishing up the Federation champion and winning the Federation ‘Individual Points Trophy’, plus several other premier trophies. This is the third time he has won the Federation championship trophy, previously lifting it in 2018 and 2019. Terry has won it all in the 50 odd years that I’ve known him and is simply the best at Federation racing, and is a ‘legend’ in the Surrey racing fraternity. Terry Goodsell’s performance in the Three Borders Federation in the 2023 season was: (Old Bird) 1st, 2nd, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 25th Federation Wincanton, 10th, 24th Federation Wincanton, 1st, 2nd, 12th, 13th Federation Honiton, 8th Federation Okehampton, 1st Federation Yeovil, 15TH Federation Yeovil, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 12th Federation Honiton, 3rd, 10th, 20th Federation Okehampton, (Young Bird) 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th Federation Wincanton, 6th, 7th, 10th, 12th, 16th, 20th Federation Wincanton, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th Federation Yeovil, 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th Federation Honiton, 3rd, 4th,20th, 21st, 22nd Federation Newton Abbot. Brilliant pigeon racing!
Terry and Sue Leonard of the Ashridge club have been premier pigeon racers in the Surrey area for many years, including winning the Three Borders Federation championship twice in recent seasons. They enjoyed another great year in 2023, winning many trophies, including R/U for the ‘Individual Points Trophy’ and premier positions in the Federation, including twice 1st Federation. Terry and Sue Leonard’s wonderful performances in the Three Borders Federation in the 2023 season were: (Old Bird) 3rd, 8th, 9th.10th Federation Wincanton, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 12th, 15th Federation Wincanton, 11th, 14th, 15th Federation Honiton, 4th, 7th, 16th Federation Okehampton, 22nd Federation Yeovil, 4th, 7th, 8th Federation Honiton, 4th Federation Honiton, (Young Bird) 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Federation Wincanton, 1st Ashridge club Yeovil, 7th, 13th Federation Newton Abbot.
Richard Kent of Walton-on-Thames.
The Three Borders Federation held its second Kingsdown race of 2019 at the beginning of June and what a race it turned out to be! Dom McCoy, the Federation convoyer, liberated the 629 birds at 11.15hrs in to a strong west wind and at the home end the first 14 Federation positions were gone in only ten second. What a ‘banger’ race! Richard Kent of Walton-on-Thames won the first ten positions in the very strong Spelthorne club and 1st, 2nd, 10th, 14th, 17th Federation. Richard’s first two birds on the ETS were his widowhood cocks, ‘Logan’ and ‘Lewis’ and they are both Gaby Vandenabeele bred from the original Brian Trussler stock birds.
After a desperately bad start to 2018 racing season weather wise, the Three Borders Federation sent 513 birds to Blandford (80 miles) for the first old bird race and member of the Spelthorne club were back at the top of the Federation result sheet, with club members recording 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 14th. Richard Kent had three pigeons come from the race together and recorded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th Federation. He had changed his old bird racing system for the new season, coming off widowhood and is racing all completely natural. What a brilliant start on the new natural system! The Blandford Federation winner was the three year old Gaby Vandenabeele blue cock, ‘Richard’s Boy’, bred by Brian Trussler and he was sent driving his hen to nest, and he had previously won a race as a young bird in 2015. Richard’s 2018 positions won in the Three Borders Federation were: (Old Bird): 1st, 2nd, 3rd Federation Blandford (513 birds), 14th, 16th, 22nd Federation Yeovil (752 birds), 10th Federation Kingsdown (855 birds), 8th Federation Kingsdown (630 birds), 12th Federation Yeovil (737 birds), 2nd, 21st Federation Honiton (647 birds), 5th, 6th, 7th Federation Kingsdown (687 birds), 20th Federation Exeter (525 birds). (Young Bird): 17th Federation Yelverton (365 birds). Brilliant pigeon racing!
Richard Kent is a born racer and in recent years has raced his Ducati motor cycle at a lot of the premier race circuits in the UK, including Brands Hatch in Kent and Oulton Park in Cheshire. He tells me he has been around the race circuit on the Isle of Man on his bike several times. These days he gets his sport by racing his pigeons and has enjoyed some outstanding success in recent seasons. The Three Borders Federation sent 1,211 birds to Blandford (80 miles) for the first old bird race of the 2017 season and Paul and Rube Johnson of the Spelthorne club won the race, beating club mate, Richard Kent, into 2nd Federation on decimal point. After that Richard never looked back and had a brilliant 2017 season, recording many top positions including 1st Three Borders Federation Yeovil (740 birds) with an old bird and 1st Federation Blandford (769 birds) with a youngster. His old bird Federation winner was his yearling blue chequer widowhood cock, ‘Alex’ and he was bred from stock birds obtained from Brian Trussler and Danny Allison. The top racer in the Kent loft is a tiny little blue cock named ‘Champion Roo’ and he might be very small but he can race, winning 2nd Federation Blandford, 7th Federation Yeovil, 10th Federation Exeter, plus 1st club Blandford and 1st club Kingsdown. Richard Kent’s performances in the 2017 season were: (OB): 2nd Federation Blandford (1,211 birds), 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th Federation Exeter (1,018 birds), 3rd Federation Kingsdown (649 birds), 1st, 8th Federation Yeovil (740 birds), 10th, 19th, 20th, 21st Federation Honiton, (YB): 1st, 2nd, 3rd Federation Blandford (769 birds), 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th Federation Yeovil (1,023 birds), 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th Federation Yeovil (918 birds), 19th, 20th, 21st Federation Blandford (1,148 birds), 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th,11th, 14th, 18th 19th, 20th Federation Kingsdown (1,108 birds), plus eight firsts, eleven seconds and nine thirds in the very strong Spelthorne club. He finished up the season by winning 3rd section, 21st open BICC Guernsey (YB) and won the Old Bird Inland Average, Young Bird Average and Combined Inland Average in the Three Borders Federation. Brilliant pigeon racing!
Richard lives in Walton-on-Thames and he enjoyed a wonderful 2016 young bird season racing in the Three Borders Federation. The Federation had 1,207 birds at Yeovil (101 miles) for the second young bird race of the 2016 season and Richard Kent of the Spelthorne club had seven babies hit the ETS in 12 seconds to win 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th Federation. Fantastic pigeon racing! Richard’s winning pigeon was his Koopman blue cock, ‘Jake’, sent racing to the perch and his parents, which were both big race winners before going to stock, were both Brian Trussler bloodlines. ‘Jake’ went on to win 7th Three Borders Federation Exeter in the 2017 racing season. Two weeks after Richard’s Federation win in August 2016, I visited his home and as I expected, his loft and garden was a picture to behold. Like me he worked in the building trade and he is a retired electrician. His very smart 18ft old bird racing loft was self-built, with a pan tile roof and sputnik trapping for his ETS. At the back end of his garage he had a brick built workshop and he has converted this into his magnificent young bird and stock loft. His stock loft, which houses only ten pairs, is a bit special, with really big nest boxes and loads of room for the inmates. He pairs up in late December and all his birds have come from Brian Trussler and Danny Allison. He is racing his old birds on natural, but will be moving over to widowhood shortly and the birds are fed on a top quality widowhood mixture. Richard is a hard trainer and the old birds get tosses mainly off the south coast, with racing from France in mind.
Richard tells me he started the 2016 season with 40 youngsters, 20 bred by himself and 20 bred by Brian Trussler, and has enjoyed one of his best young bird seasons ever, winning several firsts in the strong Spelthorne club. He started by winning the first six positions in the Spelthorne club from the first young bird race, flown from Blandford, then the next week took the first seven in the Three Borders Federation from Yeovil and also recorded 2nd, 3rd, 6th, in the Spelthorne Breeder / Buyer Kingsdown Open Race (396 birds), being beaten on a decimal. He was second in the Spelthorne Open with a beautiful blue chequer pied hen and she was Frank Bristow bloodlines, coming from Brian Trussler. He puts his young birds on the ‘darkness’ system and races to the perch, having no success with paired up babies over the years. Richard is a very hard trainer, with them going down the road on most days and starts them training very early in May. The youngsters are not staved, but kept in line and are fed on a good widowhood mixture. On being weaned they get their PMV jab and are cankered before going on the ‘darkness’ system.
It was good to meet up with Richard again, as I hadn’t seen him since about 1982. At that time we both flew in the now disbanded Molesey and Hersham clubs and soon after Richard left the sport because of his chest problems when he was around the birds. I enjoyed our time together on my visit to his loft and I must say he looked really well! Richard has been back in the sport for about three years, starting with six babies and has now climbed back to top of the result in that time.
The Hersham RBLFC joined the Three Borders Federation at the commencement of 1981 and what a great season the club enjoyed, winning top positions including two firsts. Les Penycate won the Federation from Plymouth and Richard Kent stormed the Federation and won the Seven Counties Combine from Laval. The Combine sent 7,348 birds to the Laval (2) race and at that time that birdage was a record for this young and up and coming Combine. Richard’s Combine winner, doing 1415ypm, was his yearling blue pied cock, ‘90’, and he had previously won 5th Hersham Weymouth Open at the beginning of the 1981 season. He started up in the sport of pigeon racing in 1965 with birds obtained from Louis Massarella and Richard told me the late, Fred Elliott of Sunningdale was a great help to him in those days. Richard joined his local club, the Molesey & District HS and raced to a 6ft x 4ft loft. His Combine winning loft in 1981 was a more plush 18ft affair, with anti-bolt and open door trapping. Richard told me he tried deep litter, but being asthmatic, it up set him and had to use an inhaler before cleaning out the birds. Richard was only a small team man and paired his 12 pairs of old birds up on 14th February and bred 20 youngsters to race each season. The birds raced on the Natural system and after he had reared a pair of squeakers from each pair of old birds they were trained as much as possible.
Richard raced the Burgers pigeons and his best performances up to winning the Combine were: 1st club, 3rd Federation, 5th SMT Combine (4,268 birds) and 1st club, 6th Federation, 8th SMT Combine (5,498 birds) Rennes. He always fed De Scheemaecker ‘Natural’ corn with a little ‘Red Band’. The old birds started training at ten miles and worked up to 40 miles before the first Federation race, and then got 15 mile tosses twice a week through the racing season. At that time, Richard, rated his good friends, Dick and Brian Trussler of Molesey, the best local fanciers and said they were totally dedicated to the sport. Those were the days and look at those wonderful birdages in the Combine races in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Just brilliant!
Terry & Carole Smart of Walton-on-Thames.
Terry Smart has been the chairman of Spelthorne South Road Flying Club and he organizes and runs their very successful annual Breeder / Buyer sales, which have now become one of the main local pigeon events each year. In the early years of the L&SECC he started their legendary Breeder / Buyer sales which raised a lot of revenue for the club in its infant seasons. My ol’ sparring partner, Terry Smart lives in Walton-upon-Thames and was the breeder of the very first pair of pigeons Phil and I had when coming into pigeons as young boys in the 1950’s. Smarty raced in partnership with the Groombridge family at that time and is from a good pigeon racing family, with his dad being an outstanding pigeon fancier in the Kingston area for many years. Some of my readers may remember Terry as the hard working Secretary of the London & South East Classic from a year or so after its formation and I am sure a lot of you out there have diplomas written by his wife Carole, who was also a major part of the secretarial set up then. Her diplomas were a joy to read written in such a fine script. Terry was one of the pioneers of the L&SECC in the early days and with his wife, Carole, was the Classic secretary and driving force for many years. Terry was very successful racing his pigeons when I first met him in the 1950’s and is still winning pigeon races at the top level today. He only keeps a few pigeon and in his own words, his loft is the size of a sheet of ply wood! After a few years off from the sport, he returned and won 1st Three Borders Federation Blandford (1,688 birds) in the 2014 season. The 2017 racing season has seen him win several premier positions in the Federation, including 1st Three Borders Federation Exeter (1.018 birds) and he clocked one of his good Ray Hammond pigeons to win a top position in the CSCFC Pau (550 miles) open race. It’s a real pleasure to see one of the workers doing well racing his pigeons!
Les Penycate of Hersham.
One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in the sport of pigeon racing is Les Penycate and to say he has enjoyed some good racing seasons in recent years would be any understatement! His occupation all his life has been in the fencer building trade and he recently retired from work, which has reflected in his outstanding performances with his pigeons. He is from a fence building family and tells me the late great Surbiton pigeon racer, Arthur Coxon, who was a first class fencer all his life, taught him the trade when he was a young lad. The highlights of recent season for Les was: 2010: 1st club, 1st Three Borders Federation, 1st open SMT Combine St Nazaire (297 miles), 1st club, 3rd Three Borders Federation, 5th open SMT Combine Bergerac ( 450 miles), 1st club, 5th Three Borders Federation, 9th open SMT Combine Messac (255 miles). What fantastic season! The Three Borders Federation held its last old bird race of the 2012 season from Bergerac at the end of July and were included in the SMT Combine convoy, which was 500 birds strong. The Combine were transported to the race point in the south of France and after a two day hold over the birds were liberated at 06.45hrs in a west / north west wind. Les Penycate won the Federation by a ‘country mile’ with a natural Hartog blue chequer cock, sent sitting eggs. The winning blue chequer cock was one of very few birds clocked on the day of liberation in the Combine and took 12 hours 37 minutes to fly the 454 miles home to West Molesey, and won the Federation by 59ypm clear. Les is successful in races from France most seasons and a few years ago won the Three Borders Federation from Nantes (282 miles) with an unpaired Staf Van Reet yearling blue chequer hen. This game pigeon also won the Messac race in the Hersham Club and was a gift from Les' good friend, the late Rod Wynn. Her full performances in 2002 were outstanding, winning 1st club, 1st Federation, 3rd open SMT Combine Nantes (2,342 birds); 1st club, 9th Federation, 24th open SMT Combine Messac (2,205 birds). A wonderful effort by an unpaired yearling!
Les’ 2010 St Nazaire SMT Combine winner was his good yearling hen, ‘Debbie’s Girl’, who is named after his daughter and her parents are a pair of Willy Thas pigeons obtained from Mick Betts of Scawsby, near Doncaster. This game hen was lost training as a young bird in September 2009 and returned to the Penycate loft in perfect condition, in February 2010. She was paired up and sent to the first race of her life, inland, feeding a ten day old baby and two week later was entered in her second race from St Nazaire, and won 1st open SMT Combine. Incredible! Les’ yearling were in great form last season, as his 5th open Combine Bergerac winner was his yearling blue chequer pied hen, ‘Wynn’s Supremacy’. Both her parents were obtained from the late Rod Wynn of Shepperton and she was sent to the longest old bird race from Bergerac feeding a ten day old youngster. Les is a channel racing enthusiast and trained out of Worthing (50 miles) in the 2010 season, before hoping then into a 250 mile channel race, and then into Bergerac. The 9th open Combine Messac blue hen is one of the stars of the Penycate loft, having previously being clocked as a yearling, in 2009, from Tarbes (550 miles) and recording 9th open London & South East Classic Club. A wonderful performance! Les has named her ‘Messac Lady’ and told me she was bred from Hartog stock birds obtained from Phil & Maria Dunstall of Maidenhead. The 2010 season saw Les change his corn midway through to the Dutch ‘Garvo 7001 Sprint’ mixture and the bird stated to win out of turn two weeks later.
Les was born in Kingston in 1939 and his father kept pigeons before the Second World War, in partnership with his three brothers. In 1948, Les was given six youngsters by the premier East Molesey fancier, Joe Stediford, who flew an outstanding pigeon in National races at that time. Prior to owning his own birds, young Les was pigeon mad and fed the streeters in Kingston Market with bread. His father built a loft to house his six young birds and Les joined the Kingston &District Club, flying in the Surrey Federation. He soon added stock from the great Harry Branch of Mitcham to his Stediford youngsters and says that Joe taught him a lot about general pigeon management in the early days. The late, great, Freddie Ranaboldo of East Molesey was the premier fancier at that time, winning inland every week and he also won 1st open Pau NFC. Les has been in the sport for nearly 55 years and says one of his earliest achievements was in 1952 when he won from Libourne with a red chequer after 14 hours on the wing and won the London Federation by a clear 1 hour 40 minutes.
Les mates his 20 pairs of old birds on February 25th and breeds a good racing team of about 50 young birds each season. He races on the natural system, exercising the birds around the loft twice a day, hopper feeding the old birds. He splits his birds into two teams, with the inland racers being trained from the west and the Channel birds being tossed in single-ups off the south coast. He likes to give his birds natural extras, including Epsom salts once a fortnight, garlic once a week, cod liver oil on the corn and honey in the water on race days. He is very keen on Channel racing and is a member of the National Flying Club and very strong Spelthorne RPC.
The main families kept are Van Riel, Barker and Janssen, with the recent introduction of Staf Van Reet. Les maintains that over the years the Van Riel pigeons have been brilliant for him, right through to Pau (556 miles). He says that he loves day birds from the long-distance races. In 1986 the Pau National was a very hard race and he recorded 19th, 35th and 315th open with Van Riel pigeons. He likes his pigeons, old and young, to go to the longest race points and says that he feeds Versele-Laga because it's good, sound corn. His young birds have about 12 training tosses up to Winchester (50 miles) before going into the first Federation race. For the long distance races he has found the best nest condition for his racers to be in is a cock sent with a 14-day-old youngster, his hen having just laid and he favours hens sent sitting overdue eggs or feeding a small youngster. He considers Khan Brothers of Kingston to be the best local fanciers, as they are on a wave of success racing in the Nationals and Classics at this time. The lads are showing fantastic consistency. He maintains that long distance pigeon racing is a waiting game, with some strains reacting quicker than others, but he says that normally long distance pigeons take three years to mature and be able to do the job.
Les Penycate likes a bit of young bird racing and says that from his experience, fly aways are due to overcrowding. He gives his baby’s one third of their feed before they are let out of the loft, which he maintains calms them down. He gives the birds extra Wheat and linseed during the moulting period and likes to breed a few latebreds each season, but says it is very important to train them in the year of their birth, or they are useless. He has never used deep litter in his loft but likes a sprinkling of sharp sand and lime on the floors after cleaning out. He likes a good type of pigeon and when bringing in new stock birds, looks for balance in the hand, with good feather and wing. Well done to Les on his brilliant recent racing seasons!
Derek Reid of Weybridge.
The Spelthorne South Road is only a small club with maximum twenty flying members, based at Spelthorne Sports and Social Club, Staines Road West, Sunbury on Thames, just one mile off Junction 1 of the M3 Motorway. Small club it might be, but is of the highest quality, having some brilliant success in Three Borders Federation in the 2018 racing season and won six times 1st Federation. The club was runner-up for the Federation ‘Points Trophy’ for the second season on the trot and the 2018 Federation winners were: Richard Kent 1st Federation Blandford (513 birds), Derek Reid 1st Federation Blandford (1,268 birds), Dave Watson & son 1st Federation Falaise (335 birds), Derek Reid 1st Federation Honiton (647 birds), Derek Reid 1st Federation Yeovil (807 birds), Paul Johnson & Partner 1st Federation Newton Abbot (379 birds).
Derek Reid of Weybridge has been one Surrey’s premier pigeon racers since starting up in the sport in 1984, winning top honours in Federation, Combine and National every season.
Derek won the Three Borders Federation three times in the 2018 season and his most outstanding performer was his three year old blue cock, ‘The 67 Cock’ and he was raced on the widowhood system. This handsome cock has a very impressive racing record winning: 2018: 1st club, 1st Federation Blandford: 2017: 1st club, 1st Federation Messac, 1st club Honiton, 2016: 2nd club Exeter and three times 4th club, beat by loft mates for 1st club. The Federation winner’s sire is bred from a Mr. & Mrs Duggins cock when mated to a full sister Derek’s, Champion ‘Ryan’s Express’, winner 1st open NFC St. Nazaire (8,696 birds) in 2005. His dam is the M. & D. Evans / De Rauw Sablon hen, which has bred many winners and Derek, rates this wonderful breeder as his best hen ever. The ‘67’ Federation winner’s sire has been an exceptional racer winning: 2009: 132nd open NFC Saintes (4.417 birds), 2010: 8th open NFC Saintes, 2011: 91st open NFC Alencon (4,131 birds), 36th open BICC Alencon (3,338 birds) and a full brother to ‘67’ won 14th open NFC Saintes (3,887 birds).
Derek Reid’s Three Borders Federation performance in the 2018 racing season was: (Old Bird) 5th, 7th, 8th Federation Blandford (513 birds), 20th Federation Yeovil (752 birds), 1st, 15th, 17th, 18th Federation Blandford (1,268 birds), 22nd Federation Yeovil (969 birds), 3rd, 11th, 14th, 15th Federation Falaise (335 birds), 21st Federation Kingsdown (630 birds), 15th Federation Fougeres (288 birds), 25th Federation Yeovil (737 birds), 1st, 7th, 15th,18th, 22nd Federation Honiton, 16th, 17th Federation Kingsdown (687 birds), 7th,11th, 17th, 19th, 25th Federation Exeter (525 birds), 8th, 10th, 11th, 17th Federation Yelverton (475 birds): (Young Bird) 25th Federation Blandford (687 birds), 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th Federation Yeovil (807 birds), 18th, 19th Federation 681 birds), 9th Federation Newton Abbot (379 birds),13th Federation Yelverton (365 birds). Derek won three trophies in the Three Borders Federation in 2018 including: ‘Old Bird Average’, ‘Best Average Longest OB & YB Races’ and ‘The Fred Mott Memorial Trophy’.
Derek Reid has a fantastic racing record over many years some of his best pigeons are: the blue cock, Champion ‘Ryan’s Express’: 1st section E, 1st open NFC St. Nazaire in 2005, Champion ‘Dark Smaragd’: 1st section G, 1st open BBC Palamos (675 miles) in 2005, Champion ‘Wim’: 1st section G, 1st open BBC Bordeaux (450 miles) in 2006, ‘Black Jack’: 2nd section, 2nd open BBC Bordeaux in 2006 ( beaten by ‘Wim’) and ‘The Tours Cock’: 2009: 1st Three Borders Federation, 2nd SMT Combine Tours (280 miles).
I visited Derek’s home in Weybridge just after his Federation win in July 2015 and what a fantastic garden and loft set up he has there in Surrey. He lives about a mile or so from where my daughter, Caroline, lives, so I was familiar with the area and we could not have picked a better day weather wise for the loft visit. Derek has several smart lofts at the bottom end of his massive lawn and all had pan tiled roofs. He races the widowhood system and uses tradional widowhood nest boxes. The lofts are all closed in and the main widowhood racing loft is fitted with a big trapping station for ETS clocking, and has a corridor, with grill floors for easy cleaning out. The stock birds have a very spacious loft, fitted with a wire flight so the inmates can get out in the weather. Derek’s young birds have their own loft and when I visited; his wife was out giving the youngsters a training toss. Talking to Derek after he won the Three Borders Federation from Taunton in 2015, he said, ‘I don’t know how I won the Federation from 117 miles with one of my long distance Jan Aarden cocks. The winning pigeon, ‘Louis’, is a son of my champion cock, ‘Dark Smaragd’, winner of 1st section G, 1st open BBC Palamos (675 miles) in the 2005 season and his gran dam was a daughter of Champion ‘Incredible’, winner of ten premier prizes from 620 to 793 miles, including three times Barcelona’. The Three Borders Federation sent 1,441 birds to Blandford (80 miles) for the first old bird race of the 2016 season and Derek was back at the top of the Federation result sheet, with a good two year old widowhood cock. Derek’s game cock won the Federation by 4ypm clear! Derek Reid wins and has put up top performance every season in the Three Borders Federation.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT (www.keithmott.com)