The incredible Frank Tasker story continues to amaze.
Already a legend in his own life time with performances that have made him one of the best fanciers in the country, at the weekend he achieved another National success that would defy anyone to argue that he is currently the ”Best young bird flier in the United Kingdom.”
In the North Road Championship Club’s young bird National from Dunbar he has been placed first, second, fourth and sixth in the provisional result with many more to follow on the result sheet as he timed in 26 pigeons before some fanciers in his own area had one arrival.
It was no easy blow home, or west-wind assisted victory for Frank & Ann who live on the east side of Lincolnshire at Wainfleet.
The pigeons had a seven-hour battle against a strong head wind and, what’s more it was the second time in successive weeks that the Tasker pigeons had been forced to dig deep in a race from Dunbar. Flying something like 16 hours for a total of 460 miles inside eight days.
The first two pigeons came together, both cock birds.First into the clock because it was the first to come to hand in the sputnik trap was a blue white-flighted cock bird being a quarter Willy Thas and three quarters the famous Tasker’s Filmstar family with their 1995 National winner Jennyanna featuring in the breeding.
Second bird clocked has ancestry from the top Willy Thas pigeons. The "Dommen" and the "Bulte".
The other two likely to be placed fourth and sixth in the final result are again a mixture of "Filmstar" and Willy Thas bloodlines.
Add this latest success to virtually unstoppable performances in previous years and you can see why the Tasker claim to the title of Best Young Bird Flyer in the country is hardly likely to be challenged.
North Road Championship Club National
Highlights of the past 4 years
Whitley Bay 2002 3rd , 4th , 6th, 9th, 10th, 18th, 25th. etc.
Dunbar 2002 2nd , 3rd , 4th, 8th,9th,12th,14th,16th,17th,19th,22nd,23rd. etc.
Berwick 2001 2nd , 4th,28th, 31st,etc.
Berwick 2000 1st, 2nd, 3rd,6th,8th,13th,15th,16th .etc.
Berwick 1999 7th, 10th, 12th ,13th, 19th, 20th, 21st, etc.
Previously they were 2nd Open National Berwick in 1994 and 1st Open National Berwick in 1995.
On Saturday 13th September there were over 2,500 young birds competing at the end of a very tough season for North Road fanciers and only seven birds topped 1,000 yards per minute.
Frank reckons it was the toughest young birds National he has flown with winds of 25-30 miles per hour reported in Scotland and a south, south-east on the nose wind for most of the 230 miles to his loft.
But what makes this latest win stand out in comparison with Frank and Ann’s other successes is what happened the week before.
Frank believes that an essential part in the apprenticeship of young birds is racing every week and so they had been sent to a Peterborough and District Federation race from Dunbar the previous Saturday.
Unfortunately they encountered heavy rain and head winds and out of the 60 he sent 38 were home on the day. Others made their way home the following morning but he dropped three. To put it in Frank’s descriptive language they were “buggered” and it was a supreme test of all his skills to build them up again for the National.
He keeps the sexes in different compartments and lets them out separately, but, whereas their normal exercise starts on a Tuesday, this time they were kept shut up until Wednesday. He says he likes his young birds to eat all they want but, Thursday they wouldn’t stop eating and their crops were bulging on Thursday evening.
He thought his chances had disappeared with this binge eating, but things looked a bit more promising after they had digested this apparent overload of food by the next morning.
What else did he do to get them into condition for their second testing 230-mile race in successive weeks? “A bit of this and a bit of that”, said Frank. But I was amazed at the outcome.
The previous week they had been through a lot of rain and their wattles were all pink on returning home. I did not think I would have time to restore them to the condition to win a National race.
So now the Frank and Ann Tasker partnership has completed a hat trick of NRCC young bird National wins, something rarely achieved at this level of competition. But I don’t think they will be resting on their laurels. They like winning, are dedicated fanciers and will be just as determined to succeed again ….and again.
There is no doubt that their Filmstar family although not always attracting the attention of some more commercially promoted strains, are outstanding pigeons with an increasing number of National successes to their credit, and not just in the skilful hands of Frank Tasker.
Other people are enjoying the benefits of their breeding prowess, and the Tasker know-how that often goes with the Filmstar progeny that has gelled so well with the Willy Thas pigeons.
Frank has built his family around performance pigeons, which have created their own line of inheritance. In his case performance and pedigree go together.