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Mark Gilbert (UK) also triumphed several times in 2023 marathon races

The 2023 season will forever remain in the collective pigeon sports memory because of the achievement of Southfield History, Mark Gilbert's pigeon that was the first English pigeon ever to arrive back home from Barcelona on release day. But there was more, much more....

The absolute superstar of marathon racing in the United Kingdom is Mark Gilbert. Record holder in terms of national victories at international races in recent years. In 2023, Mark's impressive palmares were again firmly added to. With fresh national wins at both Pau, Barcelona and Perpignan for example, but also a cartload of other (inter)national top prizes was his part. 

Let's review Mark's past marathon season based on the most notable flights. 

International Pau 

At the opener of the 2023 international season, it was an immediate hit for Mark Gilbert. With Southfield Gold, he won the following prizes: 1. Section, 1. National British International Championship Club, 6. International Pau 12,631 p. In addition, Mark also won 4. Section, good for the 6. National BICC. 

In the pedigree of Southfield Gold we find, among others, 2 times the Golden Barcelona (Gouden Vleugelwinnaar 2014, Nouwen-Paesen) as a grandfather. But we also see 2 times the New Laureaat (Also Gouden Vleugelwinnaar in 2013, PEC & Batenburg) and Kleine Jade (Jellema). In short, several true Barcelona legends. 

The wing of Southfield Gold

National Flying Club Tarbes 

The next top result marking the 2023 season was the national flight from Tarbes. Mark put in a great run there at both the section and national levels:

Section: 3,4,5,6,7,11,14,15,20,22,23,24,25,...
National: 7,9,13,18,26,33,46,62,76,89,95,97,101,...

The winner of 1. Section E, 3. Open National Flying Club on this Tarbes is GB22N42237. This cock is also from the lines of Golden Barcelona, which we also find 2 times in the pedigree this time. Other grandparents are Southfield Hugo (winner 1. Nat. Barcelona BICC 2018 and son Golden Barcelona), Miss New Laureaat (Batenburg) and Daughter Romee (Jellema). 

Mark shows the 237, 1. Section & 3. Nat. Tarbes

Barcelona International 

As every year, the international flight from Barcelona was the highlight for Gilbert's heavy long distance team. With the historic stunt of Southfield History, the ultimate dream of getting a pigeon home in the UK on release day was realized. With his exploit, Southfield History was good for it: 1. Section, 1. National British Barcelona Club, 4. International Hens 6,211 p. & 6. International Barcelona 16,569 p. 

So he managed to cover the 1123 km from Barcelona to his loft before nightfall and did it in 15 hours and 51 minutes. 

Father of Southfield History is a grandson of Don Michel (Cor De Heijde). The mother is Barca 2 (Twan Bongers), a hybrid of Aarden, Van Wanroy and Jellema. 

Video Southfield History

Not only Southfield History showed up to give a great performance at Barcelona, quite a few loftmates showed what they are capable of. The following impressive results prove it: 

2nd Sect, 3rd Open BBC Barcelona
3rd Sect, 5th Open BICC Barcelona
3rd Sect, 4th Open BBC Barcelona             
4th Sect, 10th Open BICC Barcelona
4th Sect, 5th Open BBC Barcelona                            
5th Sect, 11th Open BICC Barcelona
5th Sect, 8th Open BBC Barcelona                            
7th Sect, 23rd Open BICC Barcelona
6th Sect, 11th Open BBC Barcelona           
10th Sect, 29th Open BICC Barcelona

It was therefore an unforgettable Barcelona at Gilbert's house. But even on the last international flight of the season, more was yet to come.... 

International Perpignan

Because also at Perpignan, Mark Gilbert took the national victory. This time with Southfield Titan (GB21B07291): 1. Section, 1. National British International Championship Club & Winner of the 2023 TITAN GAMES Long Distance Award. Just after Titan, Mark also won 2. Section, 4. National BICC on this Perpignan. 

Southfield Titan just after his arrival from Perpignan

The father of Southfield Titan is Zoon Rena, aJellema duif from Special Jade x Rena. The father is Daughter Sumerian Fighter (Batenburg) which was bred from Sumerian Fighter, 1. Int. Barcelona in 2017 x Daughter New Laureaat


Ultimate confirmation

2023 thus became for Mark Gilbert once again the confirmation of the dominance he had already shown regularly in the UK in recent years. Once again he produced a number of stunt results, of which the Southfield History performance will of course remain forever engraved in the collective pigeon memory.

A feat that captures the imagination and will inspire many fans in the UK or anywhere else in the world to believe in the impossible. The boundaries of pigeon racing have been redrawn in recent years and Mark Gilbert's Southfield History is certainly an exponent of this!