On release the wind at the race point was a light southerly, changing to north westerly around Nantes and then back to a south westerly over the channel and into the UK.
First open, first section E and flying just over 588 miles, was clocked at the loft of Mark Bulled in Harlow. For many years a north road racer, Mark turned south in 2007 and soon made his mark on the long distance races. The pigeon is a pure Bulled bird, the origins of which Mark can trace back to The Owl, a 1975 Thurso Combine winner for Mark’s dad, Cecil. The sire is Mark's Die Hard cock, himself a winner from Thurso.
The winners of section A and fourth open are D & D McFadden from Cranleigh in Surrey, flying 548 miles. The dam of this winner is Darren’s white hen named Cameron Snow Queen, she is a London and South East Classic Club diploma of merit winner and comes from Kirkpatrick lines. The sire is a Cannon cock that has raced well across the channel. The section winner was raced on the widowhood system.
First section B and fifth open was Andy Parsons from Salisbury in Wiltshire, flying 550 miles. Andy clocked a five year old white flight cock on his fourth trip to Tarbes. The sire is a grandson of George Burgess’ second open Pau winner and the dam was a Cannon x Spencer which came first section, fifth open San Sebastian. This cock was raced celibate and then repaired and sent sitting three day eggs.
Spracklen and Thomas from Dorchester were first section C and eleventh open flying 530 miles. This is the partnerships’ fourteen section win in classic and national racing and the most exciting for them as they have always wanted to do it from Tarbes. The winning pigeon is a two year old widowhood cock and he is a grandson of Mark Gilbert’s Southfield Supreme.
First section D and one hundred and fiftieth open as to the Carhampton loft of Cliff Colwell, flying 572 miles. Cliff’s winning bird is a two year old mealy Theelen x Delbar cock flown on the natural system. Only a small team is kept, starting the season with just twenty old birds and breeding a maximum of thirty five youngsters from a stock loft of ten pairs.
First section F and thirty fourth open, flying 489 miles is the partnership of Lloyd and Kelly from Abingdon. Introduced to the pigeon sport by Frank Lloyd at the age of eight, since Frank’s death in 2008, Eamon has kept the partnership name on in his memory. The first yearling timed from Tarbes, Eamon’s first bird was a hen sent sitting two day old squeakers. The breeding was Stan Dangerfield x Mark Kitby on the sire’s side and a daughter bred for stock from Miss Maurice, first section, fourth open Tarbes 2008 on the dam’s.
First section G and fifteenth open was won by Wilf Reed from Monmouth flying a distance of 605 miles. This three year old, dark chequer cock is a grandson of Endurance, first Palamos British Barcelona Club crossed with Forty Niner. He was sent sitting twelve day eggs.
Barber and Wilkinson from Great Yarmouth took first section H, thirty fifth open flying 649 miles. This three year old widowhood cock is S G Biss Turban crossed with Delta Queen lines from Jan Polder via Roy Etherden.
A Hill from Ilkeston in Derbyshire took the red card in section I and a fantastic second open flying 676 miles. The winning bird, named Wing Down, has good form as he was second section, seventh open Tarbes 2009, first section, fourth open Tarbes 2011 prior to this win. His name reflects that earlier in the season he returned from an inland race with his sixth flight broken off one inch from the base. This was repaired with a needle and superglue and obviously held well enough for this fantastic performance. Alwyn clocked a second arrival to take second section, twenty sixth open.
First section J and eighteenth open were Mr and Mrs Bill Lewis of Worcester flying 624 miles. This chequer white flight 2007 bred cock is a blend of Silvere Toye, Jan Aaarden and Super Crack. His dam was bred by Brian Wall and was purchased in a breeder buyer race in 2006 winning breeder and buyer over £1000 each.
First section K and sixth open, flying 715 miles, went to L Holmes from Barnsley. This was a 2010 bred from stock purchased from Louella. He has had one channel and one inland race prior to Tarbes and was shown his hen before being basketed.
Finally, first section L and third open, flying 761 miles, went to R & M Graystone from Lancaster. This was a four year old blue chequer cock always flown on widowhood. He is a son of Luc Van Coppenalles Perpignan and is bred down from a granddaughter of Raymond Moleveld’s dark chequer Pauline.
In conclusion then, an excellent race for the National Flying Club from Tarbes with all sections clocking in brilliant performances. Congratulations to all the section winners.