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Etienne Meirlaen bloodlines show their class for E Reilly and Son (Barnstaple, UK)

Mr Edward O'Reilly and Son from Barnstaple in Devon won the British International Championship Club race from Alençon on 28th May 2016 with more than four hundred and fifty fanciers entering over four and a half thousand birds. The bloodlines of this latest national champion can be traced back to Etienne Meirlaen's superb family of pigeons.

Edward Reilly & Son, Peter (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

Etienne Meirlaen is a true champion in the long distance and the extreme long distance. He has been one of the main contenders in the international long distance competition with a pigeon breed that has proven its worth in many other lofts as well. The latest winner is to be found in the Barnstaple loft of Edward Reilly and Son, Peter, who won the British International Championship Club national race from Alençon on 28th May 2016.

The dam of Red Eyes is a daughter of the super breeding cock known as Luka 07 and owned by the Yorkshire-Devon Syndicate of John Highley and the Reilly Family. Luka 07 is a direct Etienne Meirlaen pigeon purchased from his sale on PIPA. After this purchase a son from him won first national, sixth international from Pau for Etienne and this cock became known as the famous Marco. A full sister of Luka 07 is the syndicate's matriarch hen named Sister Luka. Sister Luka is the dam of Pennine Heights, the National Flying Club record holder at 740 miles, only one sent with all duplications.

The granddam of Red Eyes on the mother's side is from Leach Brothers of Hebden Bridge. The Leach Brothers have the best of the Curtis, Wall and Lunt and Syndicates Lofts bloodlines. These pigeon were brought into the stud to keep the speed in the family and they have certainly achieved this. John Highley always says that if you pair slow pigeons to slow pigeons, you will get really slow pigeons!

Last winter four young birds from the stud, all bred from Luka 07 x Sister Luka, were sold on PIPA. What fantastic purchases these have turned out to be for the new owners.

The sire of Red Eyes is a direct Mark Gilbert pigeon, bred through the lines of Southfield Supreme and Southfield Pau. The granddam of Red Eyes is a red hen which as a two year old won 24th Pau, 24th St Vincent and 44th Perpignan with the British International Championship Club. A super pigeon from a super loft.

Take a look at Red Eyes' pedigree here.

This is the fourth national victory by UK fanciers with pigeons containing the Meirlaen bloodlines:

1st Nat. Tarbes 2013 - Shackleton & Son
1st Nat. Agen/Bordeaux 2014 - Mark Gilbert
1st Nat. St Vincent 2015 - Geoff and Catherine Cooper
1st Nat. Alençon 2016 - Reilly and Son

Etienne Meirlaen

In his own loft Etienne Meirlaen has won

1st Nat. & Int. Narbonne 2011
1st Nat. Cahors 2012
1st & 2nd Nat. Pau 2014

So that is no less than seven national victories in the past five years. Quite an achievement!

Congratulations to Edward and Peter Reilly on their outstanding win.