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A report on the North Road Championship Club 2023 Futurity race from Dunbar

The Dunbar Futurity Liberation
The North Road Championship Club held its futurity race from Dunbar on Saturday 23rd September 2023. At stake was a prize pot of £24,000 split into two sections, east and west, with twelve prizes in each section. The 2023 winners were David Hicks and Roger Hallsworth.
Marking for the birds

The North Road Championship Club sells young bird rings at £5 per ring, with a maximum of five rings per fancier, and it is these rings and only these rings which are allowed to take part the Futurity Race. However, purchasing the rings is not the only criteria by which participation in the race is judged. Those young pigeons rung with the special rings, must also then be sent to auction where fanciers have the choice of either buying their own birds back, or allowing another fancier to purchase and race the bird. These sales take place from February to May, thus accommodating all types of breeding program, and raise the majority of the prize money on offer. Participants in the race must also fly a minimum of 475 miles from Lerwick to be in the North Road Championship Club radius. With such a large amount of prize money on offer, the NRCC Futurity Race is a hotly contested race at the end of every young bird season. 

David Hicks with his Futurity winner

First and thirteenth open and first section for David Hicks was a small blue hen, bred in his stock loft in April. The sire is a Hereman Ceuster, a grandson of Gordono, brother to Man O Chester, bred by the Coils Family from the north-east. The dam came from Tom Burkill's stock loft and is a Gert de Swauf x Alex Doys hen. Tom and Roger work closely together with the pigeons, being partners in all but name. The winning hen has previous prize cards having been 1st club, 19th federation, 112 miles and 13th club, 14th federation 143 miles. It was prepared for the race with a 112 mile race, after which she began to show to a cock bird. She was left with him until the Tuesday prior to the race, when the cock was then removed and not returned until the day before basketing. Cock and hen were both straight in the bowl together and on the Friday morning of basketing, the hen was still sitting tight. 

The wing of David Hicks' winner
The eye of David Hicks' winner
Roger Hallsworth

Roger Hallsworth purchased a nest pair of birds bred by John Wheatcroft to take seventh and thirty-sixth open and first section. Roger's youngsters are flown on the darkness system, exercised daily and have about twenty training tosses before racing starts. They are fed on Versele Laga mixtures plus grit on a daily basis. Apple cider vinegar is given twice weekly. This regime seems to produce the results that Roger requires. 

Congratulations to David and Roger from all at the North Road Championship Club. 

Futurity marking at Wyberton