A report on the National Flying Club race from Ancenis on 20th June 2015

For the National Flying Club race from Ancenis, the birds were liberated at 06.00BST into a light northerly wind. The following is a report on the provisional result according to members' verifications.

Eamon Kelly (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

In first section F and first open were Lloyd and Kelly of Abingdon. Eamon timed a yearling on 1323ypm over 294 miles. These days the running of the loft is down to Eamon Kelly, with the senior partner Frank Lloyd having passed away a few years ago. This partnership is well known nationwide and have been ultra successful for the last 35 years at all levels of competition. The winner herself, now named Frankie’s Girl after his old mentor who is still guiding his hand today, is a little bit special. Last year she was one of the kit of young hens that Eamon prepares each year for just two or three classic channel races, and this year showed her form early when she was first section and fourth open from Fougères in the opening national race. Frankie’s Girl was raced on a form of jealousy / roundabout at the start of the season and was one of twelve hens that were paired to six cocks, so most weeks she was racing back for the affections of her mate before the other hens got home. The breeding of Frankies Girl is Denny Phillips' old base family of Logans and Alf Bakers which have served him well over the years including winning a national from Niort. Into this family, Denny has put the Herman Van der Weyers and some Vandenabeeles. It is from this mix that the national winner for Eamon emerged.

The race winner (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

Mark Gilbert (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

First section E and second open was a two year old on 1293ypm over 283 miles for Mark Gilbert of Winkfield. Mark timed a second bird to take fourth section E and eighth open. This was a two year old on 1272ypm. Mark stamped his class all over the race with multiple timings in the top end of the result and when you consider the bloodlines of the birds in the race team you begin to see why. The two birds that finished in the top ten are both grandchildren of the legendary Southfield Supreme, the first international Dax winner for Mark. The section topper is a roundabout hen bred from a daughter of Southfield Supreme paired on to the 2011 NFC Saintes winner, this little lady is packed full of home bred national winners, so it is little wonder that she came so close emulating it herself. The second of the cavalry rush over the pads  to take fourth Section E and eighth open is also a tasty prospect, being from a son of Southfield Supreme paired on to a daughter of Brockamps Perpignan 06.

Paul Kenny (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

Paul Kenny of Wantage had two come together to take second and third section F and third and fourth open. The first on the clock was a yearling on 1286.6ypm over 293 miles. Second to time was another yearling on 1286.5ypm. This is a real team effort with three generations involved in the day to day running of the loft and Paul could not race pigeons to this standard without the help he receives from the family. Both birds are from M & D Evans stock that is serving the loft very well at the moment. The first bird home and over the pad was firstclub from Portland two weeks ago against 416 birds and is from the lines of Gaby701, Carla's girl and Golden Bliksem. Their second bird is from the lines of Pre Olympic, Davina, the Irish cock and Jade. The Kenny team had an excellent race, having sent eight birds and had all of them home on the day in great condition.

Malik & Khan

Malik and Khan from Tolworth were second section E and fifth open with a yearling on 1284ypm over 280 miles. The bird that brought the glory in the Ancenis race is a blue yearling cock flown on the classic widowhood system. This season it has had three inland races at the start of season and six channel races on the trot. The team then decided to rest him for a week and then he was put into Ancenis. He is certainly bred right for classic racing at the highest level, being bred from Tipsey, which is a son of Marike Vinks' Tips when paired to Saffiers Ace, a full sister to Dubble Aske of Leo Hermans which was purchased at Blackpool  in 2013 at the De Duif auction. This section cock was first, fourteenth and fifteenth federation running up to this race.

Mark Gower's pigeon

First section B and sixth open was a two year old on 1279ypm over 250 miles for Mr and Mrs Gower of Fordingbridge. The section topper is a blue cheq hen raced on the double widowhood system. She is a Brian Hawes Van Rijn pigeon from a son of Gloria’s Lad paired to a daughter of North Dakota, both big winners for Brian. She has been a good pigeon for the partnership, winning three x first against 200-300 club birds & first federation against 1,450 birds from the west country as a young bird, then last year she scored from over the channel twice x second club.  This year she has been to Carentan with the club being the second bird back, Exeter second back again, British Barcelona Club Messac third bird, Central Southern Classic Flying Club Messac, winning first section, second open, 2,128 birds then the next week to NFC Messac being the third bird back and then two weeks later she was dropped in to Ancenis with the National Flying Club.

Roger Lowe

Third section E and seventh open was a two year old on 1273ypm over 284 miles for Roger Lowe of Reading. Roger timed a second pigeon to take fifth section E and ninth open with a yearling on 1270ypm. Roger is definitely no stranger to the top end of the results in classic and national racing. He sent a strong team of thirty widowhood cocks to Ancenis and on the afternoon of the race he had four land on the loft together, three being strays, his first bird is already a winner of first section, third open British International Championship Club national from Le Mans last season.  He is of the De Rawbe Sablon blood, both parents being bred by F and J Vandenheede from a son of Trigger Finger x grand daughter of Limoges inbred to the dream pair, a half brother was 2nd fed the previous week . Second bird over the  pad is a yearling bred from The 02, winner of first BICC national Guernsey 2013, being a double grand daughter of Roger's Little Diamond’ x Million Dollar Man, bred by Andre Roodhooft from his top stock pair.

Completing the top ten we have a three year old on 1267ypm over 269 miles for Colin Puddicombe of Dorking.

Around the sections

First section A and eleventh open went to L Severe of Chichester with a three year old on 1266ypm over 241 miles. Lou clocked Van Lint cock raced on the natural system. The cock himself has been reliable bird, having won the Solent Federation as a yearling. Lou is one of the old school, pairing up on the fourteenth of February and racing the birds dry on dummy eggs and having them on an open hole for the majority of the day. The team are now on their third round of eggs and the cock that came to win the section was sitting on twenty-four day old eggs.

Crammond & Langstaff

Crammond and Langstaff of Fontwell were second section A with a two year old on 1263ypm over 243 miles. This widowhood cock is a Bosua x Van Osch and is a cousin to second section, seventh open BICC Poitiers last week. The Sire, a Van Osch, was first open BICC.  The dam is a Bosua who herself was second section BBC as a young bird and she is a full sister to first open NFC Messac. The partnership clocked another pigeon four minutes later which will be probable third section, eighteenth open, this pigeon is a full brother to the first pigeon they clocked.

Second section B was won by D E Johnson of Southampton with a three year old on 1264ypm over 245 miles.

Mr and Mrs Hodges of Templecombe were first section C with a yearling on 1173ypm over 259 miles. The pigeon timed is a dark chequer hen and she was raced on a hen jealousy system (two hens to one cock), it must work because the previous week from Messac she was first club and fifth open in the West of England Combine where there was 2,339 birds competing. In her breeding is the very best of Sheldon Leonard, the sire being a son of Universal Showman (Janssen) x Lady Sisqo from F & J Vanedenheede.The dam is a Daniel Aeren's from Dirty Harry cross x Dalinea.

P J Holland of Poole clocked second section C with a five year old on 1153ypm over 239 miles.

Luscombe & Allen

Section D was won by Luscombe and Allen from Plymouth with a yearling on 1187ypm over 251 miles. The lads have named their first section D winner Richy's Gift, after being given her by good friend Richy Elliott of Plymouth, who sadly decided to call it a day in 2014. Richy was also gifted this hen by Gareth Williams of Fishguard in Wales as a baby she is Wildermeerch (Desert Strike ) x Kannibaal lines direct from Van Dyck. She was sent to her first ever channel race sitting sixteen days and flown on the natural system.

Kenneth Ware

Second section D went to Kenneth Ware of Exeter with a three year old on 1170ypm over 254 miles. Ken flies natural from a small back yard loft and keeps about thirty-five old birds and breeds about forty youngsters to meet his requirements each year. Management is kept simple as possible, but he trains regularly. The pigeon was bred by his very good friend, Chris Stevens of Tipton St. John, Sidmouth, and is a de Klak, dark chequer cock sent sitting twelve day pot eggs.

Nigel Templar

Nigel Templar of Bristol was first and second section G 1132ypm after 287 miles. From this race Nigel had two drop together to take the first two spots. The first bird timed is a yearling Mandelartz cock, whose parents were purchased from Nigel’s good friend John Gerrard and bred from last year. This cock was also second club against 345 birds earlier this season when beaten by a loft mate. Nigel usually sends his yearlings on to the Saintes national, but with this one he sees a lot of promise and potential for the future so he will probably show caution. The second bird that dropped with his loftmate is a two year old, the sire is from a brother to Rambo, bred by Dirk van Dyck and purchased from R Whiteside of Bristol and the dam is of the Gerrit Lahuis van Dyck lines and is sister to two section winners in the NFC and half sister to another

C Crick and Son of Stotfold timed a four year old on 1230ypm over 324 miles to take first section H. The section topper is a red cheq, Janssen widowhood cock that has been consistent at club, federation and combine level. This is the first time he has chosen to put his head above the parapet at national level and he has done it in style. The cock is bred down from some Herman Beaverdam birds that Colin bought at The Old Comrades Show a few years back and these have been blended in to the existing Janssen based family they have been cultivating for quite a few years.

Andy Smith of Wellingborough timed a yearling on 1038ypm over 344 miles to take second section H. Andy keeps things very simple although he is a very complicated man himself. All birds are there to compete in national competitions and to this end he is a member of three national clubs, so there is no shortage of competition for them. The birds compete on a variety of widowhood methods and this year Andy is trialling a new feeding  system that he saw when he was on  a camping holiday around Poland last year. All he will say is that a big part of the energy loading in the final feeds involves mashed potatoes and bacon fat. The first bird over the pad this week is a Paul Kendall x Breeman.

John Hambidge

Section I was won by J Hambidge of Chipping Norton with a three year old on 1157ypm over 319 miles. Being a farmer has brought with it an inate sense of stockmanship and this is reflected in the quality and condition of the birds he houses. John has had many families of birds through his hands in his time in the sport and they don’t get long to prove their value, if they don’t win they don’t stay -  a simple but effective approach. A few years ago John bought in a team of Brian Denney based birds and it is from one of these pairs that the section winner was bred. John has found these to be a very good pair of stock birds with quite a few sons being in the race team and making their presence felt.

Second section I went to Thomas Reilly of Birmingham with a three year old on 1143ypm over 351 miles.

Dean Hill

Dean Hill of Wolverhampton was first section J with a two year old on 1230ypm after 361 miles. Pigeon racing is a real family affair with Dean’s son, David being the fourth generation to race pigeons. The family have been racing pigeons for approximately sixty years.  Dean’s grandad, Dave Hill, started the sport/hobby and passed his love of pigeons to Dean’s father John Hill who is now seventy years old.  Over the last fifteen years they have predominantly flown the Wildermeersh breed of pigeon, focussing on water races 200-400 miles, doing well in club, fed and open races.

Second section J went to Booth and Roper of Tewkesbury with a two year old on 1217ypm over 324 miles. John and Trevor are constantly competing for top honours in the national and classic races and have put together a team of birds that are not letting them down. It was wonderful for the partnership to see that their first bird from Ancenis was TJ who has provisionally taken second section J for the second time after his performance in the Fougères race, when he was second section, twenty-seventh open, this time thirty-fourth open. Both races he did not have the wind in his favour so has done well to attain these good open positions. This was his last race for the season and has now been paired to his hen.

R and N Dennett of Meden Vale took first section K with a three year old on 1160ypm after 405 miles. The Dennett boys have carved out a bit of a reputation for racing a cracking team of hens and on a day when they had to dig deep the girls did not let them down. They had two birds very close together and the second will figure very high up in the section. The topper herself is a half sister of their Sparrow Hen that has been a phenomenal bird for them. This chequer w/f hen also carries a distinctive white tail feather which helps them to identify her as she is bombing in to land.

P Curtis and Son from York were second section K with a two year old on 1141 over 451 miles. The bird they timed is a late bred, blue chequer hen flown on roundabout. As a yearling she had a few inland races and then this year she had Carentan with the Northern Classic and then a fortnight later went to Messac with the NFC, hopefully gaining a bit of experience along the way. She is bred from a cock from Mark Gilbert, a grandson of Southfield Supreme and Perpignan 06 when paired with a daughter of Paul Kendal’s Litton Glory, first NFC Tarbes when paired to a daughter of Morning Glory, twice x second NFC Pau.

Section L was won by Green and Hilson from Bury with a two year old on 1152ypm over 434 miles. The sire is bred down from a very good Tony Merrick cock that has been very good to the loft over the years and has left a dynasty of winners behind. The dam is a hen called Sylvia’s girl, a top racer for George and his former partner Ken Barber and won amongst others the Eccles two bird club. Sylvia’s Girl is in turn bred from a pair of Staf Dusardyn birds that originated from Gordon Rigg who flies a good distance bird in Congleton. This pair became known as The Golden Pair and were prolific at producing section and open performers at the distance, with George estimating that they are responsible for at least eight section winners at national level into Lancashire.

Second section L went to G Bowyer of Congleton with a three year old on 1147ypm after 403 miles.

That concludes the report on the provisional result of the National Flying Club race from Ancenis.