Geoff & Catherine Cooper (Peasedown St John, UK) and their extraordinary hen Wollongong

The amazing hen of Geoff and Catherine Cooper that is Wollongong, was hatched in 2010. As a young bird she was a consistent racer, good from the first young bird race to the last.

Flying to the perch (unpaired) she won 1st club, 2nd Federation Exeter 68 miles, 110km (inland), 10th National section G from St Malo 184 miles 296km (overseas) and 4th National Tours 310 miles 498km (overseas). In total as a young bird she flew three channel races, which considering the prevailing west winds over the  wide part of the English channel where birds flying to the west of England have to cross, is never easy.

As a yearling she was unraced, she was a widow hen for one of the racing cocks. In 2012 the decision was made to race hens and Wollongong was back in the race team. She competed in four channel races of around 350 km then entered into Pau International 562 miles, 904 kms, where she was 3rd section, 35th national. The following year she made history when winning the Pau international by 32 minutes...

Wollongong just after she came home from Pau, after flying 904 kms.

Wollongong never in her racing career had a night out, even when racing in the Internationals,at 904 kms over the sea!

After this amazing achievement she was retired to stock where she spent most of her time paired to Farmer George who had won 1st International Bordeaux.

Wollongong and her eye

In 2018 Geoff and Catherine were in conservation with Hugo Batenburg and it was decided that Wollongong would go to Hugo's for co-breeding, paired to some of the top Barcelona pigeons housed at Klaaswaal NL, After that Wollongong spent a happy few weeks paired to Armando, at the time the most expensive pigeon ever sold on PIPA.

This was very successful and the following year she went back to Hugo for co-breeding with Jeff 1st International Barcelona.

Geoff, Hugo and Catherine with Wollongong.

She now is back home in Peasedown St John, where at 11 years old she still lays in 8 days, a sign of a very good constitution. The story doesn't end here though, she has gone on to be an exceptional breeder, being dam and grand dam to many top national pigeons including 1st national, for other fanciers in the UK as well as the Cooper's.

Now with many of her children, the result of these top pairings, in the stock loft the future looks very good for Geoff and Catherine Cooper...