2023 is Matthew's first year racing on the north road, having previously flown the south route. He has certainly made his mark on the sport, as in addition to this win from Dunbar he has dominated club racing, winning all but one of the races and taking numerous cards with the Peterborough Federation. His interest in racing pigeons began when he was seven years old and he found a flown out racer in the street and took it home to care for it. From there he moved on to fantails, before joining forces with his brother at the age of thirteen, to race pigeons in the Sheffield and District Federation. Given the lad's ages, Mr Mason senior took on the training of his sons' birds. An early mentor was Brian Lawton and whilst still in their teens, the two brothers had success in the sport with three federation wins and a first place from Sartilly and two x first from Rennes with the same pigeon, a blue Busschaert x Leen Boers cock bird.
Moving on to the present day, Matthew started competing on the north road earlier this season and remarkably, he flies his young birds to a set of kit boxes of the type more often favoured by roller or tippler fanciers. The Dunbar young bird winner was gifted to a charity sale by well known flyer Bill Foulstone of Woodseats, Sheffield and was bought by Matthew for the princely sum of £15. This small chequer cock has raced all ten races on the programme and already achieved 2 x 1st club, 2 x 2nd club, 4 section positions and 2 federation positions. Adding to that the coveted Dunbar young bird open position and it has already earned its corn for the winter.
Matthew races a small team of young birds, with half on the darkness system and half raced natural. The winner is a darkness pigeon that was paired to two hens, driving one to nest whilst the other was sat.