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Opening the vault to the crown jewels of Great Britain: Crehan and O’Connor of Salford (UK)

Since the birth of their partnership in 2003, Crehan and O’Connor have let nothing stand in their way of achieving top-level results with their team of racing pigeons. Considering the quality of both their breeding and racing lofts, I therefore ask: will a better team of pigeons be offered for sale in 2014?

Always at the top

John Crehan and Andy O’Connor established their partnership in 2003. When sourcing a family of pigeons to race, they had sought the advice of another of Manchester’s ace partnerships in the form of Wall, Lunt and Green. On their advice, John and Andy acquired the best lines from Peter van de Merwe of Dordrecht, the Netherlands. Success was almost instant as they won 1st Altrincham & District federation in their forth young bird race. Since this time, the Crehan and O’Connor partnership has averaged over 25 x 1st prizes and 5 x 1st federations per year. They have topped the combine every single year since 2008 in all racing from 69 miles up to 390 miles with the combine having over 200 members and sending up to 6000 birds. 2014 has been another magical season as the partnership won 18 x 1st club, 5 x 1st federation with the stand-out performance being their 1st club, federation and combine win from 6300 pigeons with their yearling cock, named Bullet.


Vitali. Bred from Clean Slate x Mystique.

Vitali and Vladmir

In 2013, Crehan and O’Connor raced a pair of nest-brothers who between them recorded a series of remarkable results. Vitali and Vladmir achieved the following performances:

1st club 240 birds, 1st fed 1324 birds, 1st combine 2947 birds.
1st club 169 birds, 1st fed 802 birds, 1st combine 1686 birds.
1st club 126 birds, 2nd fed 1026 birds, 6th combine 3708 birds.
1st club 264 birds, 3rd fed 1499 birds, 8th combine 3305 birds.
1st club 151 birds, 4th fed 1024 birds, 7th combine 1960 birds.
1st club 114 birds, 3rd fed 743 birds.
1st club 80 birds, 2nd fed 700 birds.
2nd club 264 birds, 4th fed 1499 birds, 9th combine 3305 birds.
4th club 151 birds, 5th fed 743 birds.
4th club 126 birds, 10th fed 1026 birds, 20th combine 3708 birds.
6th club 240 birds, 14th fed 1324 birds, 16th combine 2947 birds.
9th club 200 birds, 17th fed 1085 birds, 40th combine 2403 birds.

These two racing machines were 1st (Vladmir) and 2nd (Vitali) in the RPRA North West Region sprint category awards with 1800 competing members. Vitali then went on to gain 1st RPRA all-round pigeon in the whole of the U.K (28000 members) with Vladmir achieving 3rd in the RPRA sprint pigeon category. This is the first time that such a performance has been achieved with nest mates.


Vladmir. Bred from Clean Slate x Mystique.

The crown jewels

To find one or even two proven, exceptional racing and breeding pigeons in a sale is rare. However within the sale list of Crehan and O’Connor, you will find a horde! Let us introduce some to you:

GB07L02105 Mystique

2nd National ace sprint RPRA (28,000 members), 2010

Winner in racing of:

1st Cheltenham 4,316 birds 171km
1st Mangotsfield 3,801 birds 219km
1st Cheltenham 1,558 birds 171km
1st Portland 570 birds (3rd 3055 birds) 322km
1st Kempsey 318 birds 147km
1st Cheltenham 45 birds 171km
1st Cheltenham 117 birds 171km

Mother of Vitali: 1st RPRA all-round pigeon U.K (28000 members), 2013.

Mother of 6 x 1st UK in Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race and Algarve Golden one loft races.

NWHU11X4164 Grey lady

Winner in racing of:

1st Messac 1,035 Birds 627km
2nd Kempsey 1337 birds 120km
4th  Portland 2377 birds 323km

Mother of:

1st 136 birds
1st 203 birds
2nd 1435 birds

GB09B23245 Colt 45

Winner in racing of:

RPRA North West Region RPRA Award winner 2011

1st Cheltenham 3143 birds171km
1st Tewkesbury 361 birds 162km
1st Tewkesbury 161 birds 162km
2nd Cheltenham 1151 birds 171km
2nd Tewkesbury 288 birds 162km
6th Portland 5584 birds 323km
28th Cheltenham 3104 birds 171km
38th Mangotsfield 6331 birds 219km

Sire of Ronaldo: 3 x 1st UK Algarve one loft race (5th, 10th, 11th open).

GB07B41341 Clean Slate

Winner in racing of:

1st Lancashire Nantes 2 bird race Portland 80 birds 323km
3rd Bamfords Gold Ring Race Poole 1300 birds 300km

Sire of:

Vitali: 1st National ace pigeon All round Award of the RPRA 28000 members 2013.

Vladmir winner of:

1st 2947 birds Cheltenham 171km
1st 177 birds Cheltenham 171km
1st 151 birds Mangotsfield 219km
1st 264 birds Mangotsfield 219km

Gsire Blue Flash winner of:

1st club Cheltenham 243 birds 171km
1st club Wollaston 209 birds 111km
1st club Cheltenham 125 birds 171km
1st club Mangotsfield 152 birds 219km

Grandsire to GB10B31103, a winner of:

1st club Tewksbury 70 birds 162km
1st club Cheltenham 96 birds 171km
1st club Cheltenham 227 birds 171km
2nd Cheltenham 3143 birds 171km
1st Cheltenham 222 birds 171km

Young Merlin – another star is born from Crehan and O’Connor bloodlines!

Young Merlin was bred  in the lofts of Dave Atkin of Lincoln. Readers from the UK will have seen his advertisements in the British press. Dave Atkin owns a loft of Janssen-based birds that originate from the winning lines of Crehan and O’Connor and Wall, Lunt and Green amongst others. Suffice to say; top quality bloodlines! The sire of Young Merlin is Jester and he was bred by Wall, Lunt & Green. This cock is bred directly from Young Warlock (son of the Merlin Pair) and Henrietta 36. The dam of Young Merlin is Holly, who was purchased by Dave Atkin from Crehan & O'Connor through PIPA. She is a daughter of one of the loft’s star racer/breeders in Colt 45 (son of Rip) when he was paired to User Friendly.


Jester and Holly: the parents of Young Merlin


Rip: great-grandsire of Young Merlin

Raced by Steve Whelan during the 2014 young bird season in the Rhondda Valley Pigeon Federation, Young Merlin achieved the following results:

03.08.14          Swindon         68 miles            club (200 birds):                 1
                                                      federation (4316 birds):          1
10.08.14          Swindon         68 miles            club (240 birds):                 1
                                                      federation (5165 birds):          4
16.08.14          Newbury         89 miles            club (196 birds):                 2
                                                      federation (5078 birds):          19
23.08.14          Epsom           136 miles           club (145 birds):                 1
31.08.14          Maidstone       171 miles           club (111 birds):                 1
                                                      federation (3167 birds)           2

A glittering past, present and future

Crehan and O’Connor have enjoyed a meteoric rise to the very top in the UK pigeon fancy and have most certainly stayed there! Both John, Andy and in later years David Hulmes could only have dreamed about the success they would achieve in the pigeon sport when they began their partnership in 2003. On top of that, their breed is contributing to the excellent performances being put up by other fanciers as Young Merlin illustrated in 2014. I therefore pose the question again: will a better collection of pigeons be available to purchase in 2014?