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A report of the National Flying Club race from Carentan on 25th May 2014

Nine thousand, four hundred birds were entered into the National Flying Club race from Carentan. Due to adverse weather they were heldover on the Saturday and liberated at 9.00am on the Sunday morning. The following is a report on the provisional result obtained from telephone verifications.

Ron (R) & Nigel (L) Dennett (Photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

In first place and first in section K was the Meden Vale partnership of Ron and Nigel Dennett. They timed a five year old cock on 1926ypm over two hundred and seventy miles. The partners' winner is called The Eighty Six cock and has been a consistent performer over the years. Its breeding is direct Peter Van Osch on the sire's side when paired to a hen that was purchased from Cosworth Stud. The same lines are responsible for many of the partners' top performances over the last few season. Ron and Nigel race their cocks on a type of widowhood system with them coming back to a few stock hens, first back gets the pick of the hens. It was sent to Carentan as preparation for Saintes. Ron and Nigel have been flying a consistent pigeon for many years now and are most deserving national winners.

The Eighty Six cock - winner from Carentan (Photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

Fred Ellis

Second section K and second open went to F Ellis of Worksop with a three year old, mealy hen on 1922ypm. Fred's pigeon had two inland races in preparation for Carentan and was sent sitting nine day eggs on the natural system. It is bred from a Staf Van Reet cock gifted to Fred by Steve Marsh when paired to a latebred blue hen. Fred sent ten birds to Carentan and clocked them all on the day.

T & B Graham

T & B Graham from Milton Keynes took first section H and third open with a two year old on 1917ypm. This was a widowhood cock bred from a pair of Walter Docx pigeons that the partners sourced direct from him, having had Walter's bird since 1997. The partner's have a small set-up with only ten cocks raced on widowhood once they are two years old. Prior to this they are raced on the natural system and kept steady as yearlings in preparation for the years ahead.

Cosmin Talas

First section F and fourth open was timed by Cosmin Talas from Oxford on 1911ypm. His first in the clock was a cock bred from a son of one of the best long distance hens in Holland, itself a daughter of a first international winner when paired to a double national winner. A consistent performer as a yearling, this cock was in the top 100 from Messac with the NFC in 2013. Cosmin timed a second pigeon to take third section F and eighth open on 1896ypm. This one was a two year old cock bred from a daughter of a second international winner. This is Cosmin's seventh section win with the National Flying Club. Cosmin nearly parted with all of his pigeons earlier this season due to personal circumstances but kept a few of his race team back.

Fifth open and second section F went to N Finch from Wantage with a yearling on 1904ypm. Nigel's pigeon was bred from a pair selected by Roger Lowe to breed top national pigeons and is the same way bred as Lightning. Raced on a version of roundabout, this cock was fourth club from Exeter the week previously. Nigel exercises his pigeons twice daily around home and they are only given a few training tosses before the first race.

First into section B and sixth open was timed by Wearn Brothers and Neilson from Ramsdean and was a yearling on 1902ypm.

Pearson and Dransfield of Barnsley clocked third section K and seventh open with a four year old on 1901ypm. Frank Pearson started racing in 1959 with his late brother-in-law, Philip Dransfield and the partners cultivated an excellent family of Busschaerts that were phenomenally successful. Since Philip's death a few years ago, Frank keeps on the name as a sign of respect. The section winner is a Busschaert x Marcellis hen that topped the section from Cholet in 2013. According to the provisional result this hen could well be the car winner from Carentan. Frank races a small team of birds on the widowhood system. Up until his partner's death they only raced cocks on widowhood but now both hens and cocks compete. Frank doesn't participate in club racing, prefering to concentrate on classic and national racing

He's The Lad

Ninth open went to Jim Shaw of Worksop. Jim timed a blue chequer cock named He's The lad, bred from a Willy Thas cock that he obtained from Gerry Clements of Manchester. The dam came from Micky Betts of Doncaster and was a daughter of Micky's first Midlands National Flying Club winner from Falaise. This cock was raced to the coast as a young bird and went to Bedhampton prior to being sent across the channel. Another small set-up, Jim only has thirteen old birds to race and eleven of them were sent to Carentan.

Finally, tenth went to Neville Proctor from Stoke on Trent, a loft with a great tradition and reputation for channel racing up into the Staffordshire potteries. Nev clocked a pigeon whose sire is inbred to the Good Blauw of 79 and which traces its lineage back to Harold Hamplets' Good Blue. This line was crossed with a hen with blood from the Old Tournier cock when crossed with the South African hen originating from the lofts of Johan De Jager in Pretoria.

Around the sections

Section A was won by S & L Harris from Havant. The section winner was a blue pied, Janssen x Van Loon bred from their own family which were originally purchased from Ponderosa Stud back in 1997. Until this year, the partners raced their cocks on the widowhood system but this season they decided to change to roundabout so that they could race the hens as well. Second section A went to C T Ayling from Havant.

Robbie Jones

Second into section B was the partnership of Bartlett and Jones from Southampton. Robbie timed a yearling cock that was sent sitting three, ten day old eggs.

G Glaze of Shaftsbury won section C. The runner-up was R Hooper.

The Thresher family

Minehead fancier D Thresher was first section D. David is a fourth generation fancier, being the grandson of Graham and Gwen and ther son of Roland, all excellent show fanciers. David timed a three year old chequer hen that was bred by Robbie Hooper and raced on the natural system back to a pair of five day old squeakers. Rod Wilson of Watchett was second section D with a red grizzle hen of the old Bricoux Sion bloodlines.

Mr & Mrs Thomas

Mr and Mrs Thomas from Chesham were first section E. The partners timed Lucky Star, a one hundred percent Peter Van De Merwe with the sire being a son of Miss Lucky. The dam is a granddaughter to Joy and a brother to Maserati. It is also related to Bolt, the partners' section winner from Fougères in 2011. This cock was sent sitting eleven day old eggs.

Chris Harding

Section G was won by Chris Harding from Bristol. Chris timed a blue, Herman Ceusters based pigeon from a family of sprint and middle distance birds. Second section went to Stuart Wilcox of Bristol with a three year old Frans Zwols x Van Dyck cock.

Andy Smith

Runner-up in section H was Andy Smith from Wellingborough with a Mickey Locke x Matt Rakes van Breman cock.

G & J Jones and Adams from Redditch were first section I. Their section winner was a four year old, blue pied cock named Wife's Choice and bred from Walter Docx lines when paired to Lemans. The grandsire of this pigeon was chosen from the Docx loft by Les Pinfield from Stratford on Avon. Second section went to E N Murray and Sons from Banbury.

Wignall & Barrie

Wignall and Barrie from Manchester timed first section L. The partners' section winner was a two year old widowhood cock on its first channel race of the season. It was the partners' best performer in 2012 being first back four times and taking two first prizes. Second section went to Victor Dace from Stockport.

That concludes the report of the National Flying Club race from Carentan.