However, over the past couple of years in particular, the town is fast becoming known as the home of this father and son pigeon racing team, not only for their results locally but also and more importantly in the classic and national events. In 2011 this amazing team of pigeons won their section (provincial) on no less than three occasions. With 1st north west section 2nd open Carentan with the Midlands National Flying Club 300 miles beating nearly 7,000 birds. Then 1st section L 80th open in the National Flying Club from Messac 401 miles and finally 1st north west section 5th open Midlands National Flying Club from Vire when all the birds that beat their hen Our Gem were flying at least 70 miles shorter than she was into a north west wind.
What is so amazing about this partnership, you could be forgiven for asking? Well when I tell you that their section begins approximately 50 miles shorter than the distances that the Hughes birds must fly. Anyone who understands pigeon lore knows that distance kills but the A & S Hughes pigeons seem to actually thrive on the challenge of the extra distances that they must fly. The birds are a cocktail of Janssen based birds which have been added with some Gaby Vandenabeele, Andre Verbesselt. Danny Van Dyke and De Rauw Sablon and Marcel Aelbrecht lines. These are forming a colony of birds that in 2012 destroyed races from 80(130 km) to 548 miles(880 km) in the strongest competition that England has to offer, often in inclement weather with strong nosewinds.
I will just highlight two races this season in the country’s two premier racing clubs the National & Midlands National Flying clubs.
4th section L, 28th National Flying Club Saintes 548 miles 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 18th, 19th, 21st. NW section 5th, 14th, 16th, 19th, 28th, 36th, 60th, 99th, 104th open Vire 4,756 birds
That is 9 birds in the first 104 pigeons with an entry of just 17 pigeons. Perhaps now readers will agree that I haven’t exaggerated in my heading, truely Anthony & Simon Hughes do own phenomenal pigeons that excel in all conditions.
Just look at the 2012 full result list below for further endorsement.
STOP PRESS: In their first two young birds races they finished 1 to 23 in the club and federation and the first 15 amalgamation 2,796 birds, 117 miles,
1 to 12 club and federation, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 20th, 2,975 birds, 117 miles.
Also in the Royal Pigeon Racing Association one loft race, a bird bred by the partners has just won the first hotspot race ...It seems that when it starts raining results in Rochdale it pours.
The Golden Hen
07/04/2012 Wollaston 80 miles 1,6,7,8 club 168b. 1,9,10,11 Fed 488b. 1,16,17,19 amal 1,877b. 14/04/2012 Worcester 97 miles 1,2 club 214b. 1,2 fed 561b. 7,9 amal 2,281b. 21/04/2012 Cheltenham 117 miles 1,2,9 club 286b. 1,2,9 fed 815b. 1,2,10 amal 2,885b. 28/04/2012 Worcester 97 miles 2 club 268b. 2 fed 768b. 2 amal 2,977b. 05/05/2012 Swainswick 152 miles 1,4,6 club 233b. 1,4,6,8,10,11,14,15,16,17,20 fed 484b. 1,11,13 amal 2,374b. 12/05/2012 Portland 212 miles 1,2,4 184b. 1,2,4 fed 471b.6,10,12 amal 2,264b. 02/06/2012 Stafford 55 miles 1,2,3,8 club. 1,2,3,8 fed 375b. 5,6,9,16 amal 1,653b. 09/06/2012 Fourgeres 368 miles 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,10 club. 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,10 fed 270b. 1,2,3,4,7,9,10,15 amal 908b. 1,2,3,4,7,10,11,16 Lancs Combine 1,146b. 1,2,3,4,8,12,13,20 Three Counties Combine 2,878b. 23/06/2012 Messac 401 miles 1,2,3,4,9 club. 1,2,3,4,11 fed. 2,3,7,8,20 amal 757b. 2,3,8,9,22,24,32 Lancs Combine 945b. 2.3,10,11,28,30,44 Three Counties Combine 2,835b. 23/06/2012 Messac 401 miles Lancashire Nantes 2 bird club, 1&6 = £1500. 4th section L, 28th NFC Saintes 548 miles. 1st Lancs/Yorks 4 Bird, Saintes 548 miles. 1st Lancs/Yorks 4 Bird Fourgeres 368 miles. 21/07/2012 MNFC Vire 2,3,4,5,7,9,11,18,19,21,34 NW Section. 5,14,16,19,28,36,60,99,101,104,211 Open. 04/08/2012 Cheltenham 117 miles 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17, 18,19,20,21,22,23 club approx 270 birds 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,17, 18,19,20 fed. Approx 700 birds 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,18,19 Amal 2,796b. 11/08/12 Cheltenham 117 miles 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15,16,17,19,20,club 311 birds & fed 773 birds 3,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15,16,17,20 amal 2975b.