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A report of the British International Championship Club race from Alençon

The British International Championship Club race from Alençon saw members send 4,791 birds which were liberated on Saturday 25th May at 9.40am BST into sunshine and a light north easterly wind. The provisional result is as follows.

BBC Alençon winner for Williams Brothers and Son 

The winner of the race was clocked at the Tredegar lofts of Williams Brothers and Son on 1252ypm. Their pigeon was a yearling hen raced on the widowhood system. Her sire is 100% Boscheind Flyers bloodlines, a grandson of the 499 cock which has bred previous top national pigeons. Her dam is a red hen bred from a mealy cock which won first Irish yearling national for Walker and Watson. This cock was loaned to the Williams partnership by John Wheatcroft of Pinxton and was mated to their Eastbourne national winner to produce the dam. This is the partnerships fifth national victory as they also have scored from Thurso in 1977, Eastbourne in 2006, Folkestone in 2010 and Lilliers in 2012.

Williams Brothers and Son (Photo courtesy of Chris Sutton) 

The Ashton Family

In second open with a two year old, dark chequer, widowhood cock is the Port Talbot partnership of G & SR Ashton, which is Selwyn and son, Steven. This pigeon was of Staf Van Reet bloodlines and had had every inland race, bar one, before going to Alençon. As well as top class fanciers the Ashtons have always been tireless workers for the sport of pigeon racing in the UK. The partnership exercise their pigeons twice a day for 45 to 60 minutes at a time and the cocks are locked out to do what they want. 

Malik and Khan

The Tolworth, Kingston upon Thames partnership of Malik and Khan took first centre section and third open with a hen now named Ace Rigby. The sire is a direct son of Tips, bred by Hans Eijerkamp and the dam is a full sister to Eagle Boy, bred by Frans Zwolls and she was raced on the widowhood system. In a touching gesture, the partnership dedicated their section win and the name of their winner to to the memory of Drummer Lee Rigby who died so tragically in Woolwich, London the previous week. Thank you to Malik and Khan for making me cry at their magnanimity! 

Tony Coombes with granddaughter Keah

It is back to Wales for fourth open and this was clocked at the Pontypridd loft of Tony Coombes. Tony timed a Staf Van reet, widowhood cock containing the best bloodlines of Adrian Ware's national winning family. A two year old latebred, it had had three races as a young bird, the third of which was Carentan. As a yearling, it flew the channel seven times and this year it had flown the inland programme plus Carentan with the National Flying Club.

Mark and Karen Gilbert

The Winkfield wizard, Mark Gilbert, looks set to be fifth open and second centre section. His first bird was a yearling widowhood cock being a son of Southfield ED. This sire is a grandson of Tips and was a good racing cock prior to being retired to stock. He was paired to a double granddaughter of Koopman's Kleine Dirk to breed this winner. Mark clocked a second pigeon, four minutes later and this one was a roundabout hen bred direct from Southfield Champ.

Geoff and Catherine Cooper and friend, Tony Miessner

Again, no strangers to the winners enclosure, Geoff and Catherine Cooper of Peasdown St John were sixth open and fourth west section. The partnership timed a two year old widowhood cock named Wriggleson as his sire is Wriggle which was first BICC Falaise and Fifth National Dax. Wriggleson's dam is a daughter of George which was first national from Tarbes and the sire and grandsire of many top national and international pigeons. Geoff and Catherine clocked two other pigeons within a couple of minutes so they too, will feature high up on the final result.

Derek Packer and Brian Clarke

Seventh open and first east section was clocked by the partnership of Packer and Clarke. A yearling, blue hen flown on the roundabout system, their timer had had just three races prior to this one from Alençon. Steeped in M & D Evans bloodlines she is a granddaughter to McLaren, Saffron and Miss Eisen. Derek and Brian had another pigeon very shortly afterwards and may well end up first and second east section.

Peter Atherton

Peter Atherton from Portishead  clocked eight open, fifth west section with three year old Janssen hen flown on the natural system and sent sitting ten day old eggs. She was paired in early January for breeding, seperated and then re-paired in time for racing.

Ninth open, sixth west section for John and Pat Webber

John and Pat Webber of Six Bells in the Gwent Valleys timed in ninth open, sixth west section with a pigeon purchased from John and Bas Nicol in an internet sale. This bird raced the full programme as a young bird and her sire and dam have bred mulitple federation and combine winners. Her bloodlines are from the best of Wall, Lunt and Green via Tame 21 x Skylark and Shadow x Lowikie of De Pasch.

Dave and Jimmy Cook

To complete the top ten we have the Wandsworth partnership of Dave and Jimmy Cook who clocked a three year old Vandenabeele hen with the bloodlines of Clive Lister. Raced on the natural system she is mated to a fantail cock and was sent sitting seven day eggs. At 208 miles to the loft, Alençon was her first race of the seaon although she had been trained to fifty miles. Previously she has won from Carentan and she has scored on four occasions from Saintes.

Michael Sault

Michael Sault of Norwich was first north section with the same cock that was sixth section, thirteen open with the BICC two weeks previously from Falaise. This is a four year old widowhood cock of Page Brothers Janssen x Jim Mills De Klak bloodlines, which has now had four x firsts from over the channel.

Peter Atherton

Second north section went to Peter Atherton of Bury St Edmunds. Peter timed a three year old, widowhood cock which was third section BICC Pau in 2012. His nestmate has also scored from over the channel being first BICC Agen/Bordeaux. The nestmates are a mixture of William Geerts and Robert Venus Supercrack bloodlines that have flown well for Peter over the years.

Dudley Holmes

Dudley Holmes from Spalding was third north section with a three year old, latebred, widowhood cock of Janssen x Van Reet bloodlines. A consistent performer inland, this is only its second channel race, his first being from Falaise with the BICC a fortnight earlier.

Mark Bulled

Second in the east section went to Mark Bulled from Harlow. He timed a two year old, blue, widowhood hen bred from his own family. The sire was previously seventh BICC Poitiers and the dam was fifth London and South East Classic Club from Bergerac. This is the third channel race on consecutive weeks for this hen.

Dick and Neil Steptoe

Finally, Dick and Neil Steptoe from Oxted take third east section. This was a yearling widowhood cock that was mated in January and then seperated and re-paired in March before being put on widowhood. Bred by the partner's brother Wayne, he has Alfins Bauwens bloodlines from Hartsway Lofts.

That concludes the provisional report of the British International Championship Club race from Alençon.