It was only a matter of time – Geoff and Catherine Cooper (Peasedown St John, UK) win 1st and 2nd international hens St Vincent 2015

Year upon year, fanciers have looked upon the results achieved by Geoff and Catherine Cooper in wonder. Many thought that the westerly winds that blew across the UK on race days in 2015 would hamper their cause however they still managed 3 x 1st and 1 x 2nd section (provincial) in the early season BICC races.

 Their finest hour was to come on the 10th July when, assisted by an easterly wind direction, they clocked two hens on the day of liberation to be 1st and 2nd international hens. Their fourth international victory in their career!

Geoff and Catherine Cooper: 1st international hens St Vincent 2015

(photograph courtesy of Chris Sutton) click here for the pedigree of Farm Ivy

A Promising Start

The Cooper team displayed excellent early season form which Geoff and Catherine were able to build upon as the season progressed:

10.05   Falaise (194 miles)  4,187 birds      provincial    1,2,4,5,6,7,11,28,29,30.
                                              national      47,82,114,117,153,154,179.
17.05   Alencon (228 miles)  4,657 birds      provincial    2,5,10,15,17,21,25,26.
                                              national      137,249,299,323,371,423.
30.05   Tours (307 miles)    4,315 birds      provincial    1,6,7,8,9,18,19,25,29,32.
                                              national      104,275,311,312,339.
19.06   Pau (561 miles)      538 birds        provincial    1,2,4,7,8,10.
                                              national      7,12,17,24,36,42.

(photograph courtesy of Chris Sutton) click here for Farm Evie's pedigree

Descendants of Farm Boy

These two super racing hens are both granddaughters of the Coopers ace racer and breeder Farm Boy. This quite remarkable racer and breeder has an interesting past as he was nearly lost as a young pigeon. He was of course bred at the Cooper loft in Peasedown St Johnin 2001and contained the best of their original Deweerdt bloodlines. He was immediately identified as something special; being full of character and class. Both Geoff and Catherine were therefore disappointed when he went astray in an early season young bird race. Many months past when, in the winter of that year, they received a telephone call from a gentleman in West Wales informing them that one of their pigeons was living in a barn on his farm. He was duly transported back to his home loft and has become one of their modern foundation birds. He is a winner of 3rd Euro Diamond Dax 2004, 7th Euro Diamond ace bird 2004, 2nd section, 3rd open National Flying Club, 12th international Dax (846 km) 2004, 2nd section, 7th open National Flying Club Dax (846 km), 475th international (19,420 birds), 7th section 49th open National Flying Club Nantes (479 km) 2003, 17th section, 132nd open National Flying Club Pau (896 km) 2004, 56th open National Flying Club Saintes (640 km) 2003 and 190th open National Flying Club Saintes (640 km) 2002. In the breeding loft he has been even more impressive as the following performances demonstrate:

Sire to:

Farmer George

1st international Bordeaux 2011 (22,029 birds), 3rd national section Tours, 135th NFC Saintes (3,484 birds).


2nd Federation Messac (830 birds).


1st Chale (282 birds), 2nd West of England Combine Chale (3,102 birds), 7th club (424 birds) 44th West of England Combine Fareham  (4,165 birds).


1st West Bay (368 birds), 3rd Seaton (2,191 birds), 3rd Seaton (354 birds), 1st club (416 birds) 4th West of England Combine Minstead (4,411 birds)

Grandfather to:

PD GB06N00430  

1 national section Alencon, 2nd national section, 14th open Tarbes (2,833 birds), 61st Classic Messac (2,269 birds), 63rd national Falaise (4,417 birds), 168th national Poitiers (5,954 birds), 191st national Saintes (5,315 birds).

Fleur GB09N02221

2nd club (372 birds) 2nd federation Seaton (2,191 birds), 1st national section Fougeres, 127th national Lamballe (1,549 birds), 348th national Tarbes (2,833 birds).

A desire to fly as individuals

What is remarkable is that these hens are granddaughters of Farm Boy, the sire of Farmer George 1st international Bordeaux.  Farmer George is now becoming one of the star breeders in the loft. Not only is he grandsire to two 1st prize winners and a 2nd national section winner this year from Tarbes 570 mile and Littlehampton 89 miles, but he has also bred two sons to breed 2 x 1st federation winners for Graham Clift. This trait of being able to breed pigeons to win from 50 through to over 700 miles is something rare but the Cooper family excel at winning from all distances. They also have that very special ability to break from the race-point and fly on their own; not going with the drag and this is a very desirable trait in a family as the fastest route is always from liberation to home. Congratulation Geoff and Catherine; I wonder what riches 2016 will bring? Perhaps a fifth international win?

The homeward journey from St Vincent to Peasedown St John