Dennis Abbott (Basildon, UK) national winner of St-Vincent in the UK

The British International Championship Club race from St Vincent in France was scheduled for release on Sunday the 15th July (Saturday the 14th being Bastille day), unfortunately inclement weather meant the birds could not be liberated until Monday the 16th.

When the strings were cut at 6.00 hrs UK time 285 plucky UK birds, entered by 65 members, were released to race their way home. At the end of the day, Dennis Abbott of Basildon, Essex was the winner.

Dennis Abbott from Basildon, Essex

Dennis has been a fancier for around fifty years. Not being from a pigeon racing family, he was first introduced to the sport when he met his wife to be Joan, whose father kept and raced pigeons. When Dennis and his young family moved out of London to Basildon and his father-in-law decided to retire from the sport, Dennis took the birds on at the request of his son. So began a lifetime of keeping and racing pigeons and one which has culminated in this fantastic achievement.

The UK winner from St Vincent

The winning bird is a 2 year old blue cock, GB10N44355, the sire of which comes from Eric Cannon lines and was bred by Keith Mott. This was crossed with a hen from Dennis's own family. In preparation for the St Vincent race he was raced at club level inland to the coast and then had a couple of channel races to sharpen him up. Dennis was feeding his other pigeons just before five o'clock and when he came out of the loft he saw the winner sitting on a house roof. Obviously he called him in straight away and clocked him as soon as he had come through the trap. He may have lost a few seconds or maybe even minutes, but when you are first that is irrelevant anyway.

The loft of Dennis Abbott

Dennis does not believe in using any supplements for his pigeons, preferring the more natural method of just clean corn and fresh water daily. He generally uses a widowhood mix but will supplement this with any other corn he can get locally. Prior to this performance his best result was 18th open National Flying Club from Tarbes a few years ago. An aficionado of the extreme long distance races, Dennis is a member of the Estuary Flying Club where he races against some of the best long distance fanciers there are in his area. When I spoke to him he was full of praise for his fellow club members but declined to mention anyone individually in case he left someone out and caused offence.

Having spent half an hour talking to Dennis on the telephone I came away with the impression of a nice, humble fancier who was quick to outline the acheivements of others as well as his own. He certainly made me laugh when he recounted the way the race had panned out for him and his delight at his win was evident. Congratulations to you Dennis on this outstanding win from St Vincent. May it be the first of many!