With up to 8,000 birds in the WDA, they have won 1st, 1st, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 11th, 12th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 33rd, 35th, 41st, 48th, 54th, 57th, 60th – 225-260 miles.
Winners of four times 1st open West Durham Amalgamation and 1st Open North of England Homing Union Folkestone Classic against 28,134 birds into a north east wind winning the BHW Trophy for the best UK Performance up to 300 miles. Cockfield Federation - 2011 highest prize winners with a record number of points, 2010 runners up to highest prize winners. 2009 highest prize winners, 2008 highest prize winners 2007 runners up to highest prize winners. Holders of record number of points in club & federation. Winners of the WDA Sprint Champion in 2011 with Turbo Joe – 625 members. The Sprint Champion is calculated on a 4-race co-efficient from old bird top 10 federation performances. Bob’s top ten old birds (collated weekly by BHW scribe Bob Pinkerton – from a single liberation).
These birds have won in the last 2 and a half seasons:
1st 12,612 b Thoresby Hall 1st 11,213 b Billericay 1st 11,273 b Leicester 1st & 3rd 11,200 b Leicester 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 6,008 b Huntingdon 1st & 2nd 5,000 b Huntingdon 2nd 9,000 b Wakefield 4th 10,546 b Billericay 4th & 5th 9,015 b Leicester 9th 11,024 b Huntingdon
This is purely a racing loft where the only pedigree they want is in the basket, winning pigeons write their own pedigree. Their policy has always been to race them hard, keep the best for stock and introduce what they consider are better pigeons to improve their performances. Of those introduced, the best are incorporated into their own team of pigeons and those not good enough to keep up or beat them fall by the wayside. They are proud that the blood of all their previous WDA winners is still winning for them today when paired with the latest introductions. Their race team consists of a maximum of 35 old birds and 40 young birds flown to wooden lofts without heat/light or running water on an allotment. Everything has to be carried to and from the allotment site whatever the weather, 365 days a year.
West Auckland WMCHS has 25 competing lofts and has a 20 bird limit, excess pigeons compete at federation level & WDA level only. Cockfield federation is situated in the south west corner of County Durham and houses some extremely talented fanciers with several previous multiple WDA winners & other NEHU classic winners competing weekly. The West Durham amalgamation has 625 competing lofts in its ten member Federations and is one of the NEHU’s 4 affiliated racing organisations and its members have an impressive record of wins of the NEHU classic races.
Richard & Martin are only in the radius of a single club & federation and like their fellow competitors in West Auckland H.S. compete in their local club, in the NEHU there is no running from a strong club to a smaller club to massage your ego or sending to 3 or 4 clubs to accumulate large numbers of wins every season. Competition is white hot as anyone who wants to succeed in this part of the country has to put their pigeons in the baskets against the top fanciers in their area every week.
The members of the WDA compete in 9 amalgamation races a season when the entry can reach up to 10,000 pigeons and against the full NEHU Membership in 3 old bird classic races a year (Folkestone, Clermont Queens Cup & Bourges) with birdage as high as 46,000 birds. Another important fact to consider is that unlike in the rest of Great Britain the three NEHU Classic races are part of every club affiliated to the NEHU's 4 racing organisations weekly race programme allowing all members to compete without the need for travel & subscriptions to additional organisations. Within the NEHU and its racing organisations we are fortunate to have inclusive (not exclusive) racing for the full membership.
The WDA consists of 10 Federations which are liberated together weekly with the exception of the first 4 young bird races when Cockfield, Crook & Consett Feds are liberated as a single group. Other than these 4 races a top ten velocities is collated from federation results by former WDA Chairman Bob Pinkerton (hence Bob’s Top Ten).
Such is the demand for their pigeons, Richard & Martin have been unfortunate to have been visited twice by thieves and during both thefts they lost some irreplaceable pigeons. This is one of the deciding factors with regards to the auction taking place due to their concern over a third visit. Personally racing against them at WDA & NEHU classic level I know just how consistent they are and how dedicated they are to achieving success (as are many of their fellow competitors.)