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The National Flying Club young bird race from Fougeres - a report on the winners

Four hundred and ninety three members of the National Flying Club entered four thousand, three hundred and forty two birds into the final race of the season for 2012, the young bird national from Fougères. The birds were liberated at 11.45 am UK time into bright sunshine with no wind.

Roger Lowe

In first open, first section E is well known fancier Roger Lowe from Reading. Roger had three birds drop together, an old hen, a young bird and a stray which proceeded to drive the youngster on the top of the loft which delayed it trapping for minute and a half. Now named Nemesis this young bird is bred direct from Roger's My Little Diamond when paired to Wonder Boy, a Lou Walters bred by André Roodhooft. Wonder Boy has bred many winners and he and his brother (another proven racer) will be for sale shortly on PIPA. Roger's second young bird in the clock was named Gold Lightning and is bred from Fast as Lightning, De Raw Sablon bloodlines. Interestingly, Roger caught the rogue stray and on telephoning the owners was told it was in the same race so he liberated it and it went on to win second section, thirty second open.

Dave Wells

Section A was won by Dave Wells from Bordon in Hampshire. This was a hen flown on the darkness system and sent feeding a two week old youngster. She was eightieth open from Carentan with the Central Southern Classic Flying Club, previously this season. Her breeding is Shei's Vanderwegan x Busschaert and her mother was clocked from the National Flying Club race from Tarbes earlier this season.

Ken (L) and Lee Cleife (R) with Lee's daughter Jessica (Ken's granddaughter)

Section B was won by Ken and Lee Cleife from Portsmouth. This father and son partnership has been racing for over twenty five years, mainly in the Solent Federation. Up until now their best achievement was during last year's young bird season when they won the federation four times. The winning bird, Bet's Delight, was bred by Mr and Mrs Moody and is a pure Braspenning. It was only her second race this season, previously she went to Guernsey with the British International Championship Club.

Mel (R) and Sue (L) King

Section C was won by Mel and Sue King from Blandford Forum. The partnership clocked three young birds, the first of which was a Vandenabeele hen bred from Stourcrest Mordred, a grandson of Stourcrest Centaur which was first section, fourth open National Flying Club Messac. Centaur is also a half brother to Stourcrest Eros who was first open National Flying Club Nantes. This line is directly responsible for breeding four different national open winners.

S & L Luscombe

The Plymouth loft of S & L Luscombe clocked the winner of section D. Due to problems with peregrines the partnership haven't trained very hard this year to reduce the number of losses and they feel this meant the birds were well rested prior to the race. Their first section was a blue hen bred from Eric Cannon lines. They also clocked a chequer, Jan Aarden cock to take fourth section.

James (L), Lauren (C) and Aidan Kenny (R)

Section F was won by the partnership of Kenny and Segesdy from Wantage in Oxfordshire. This was a blue chequer cock who was sent driving his hen to nest. His breeding is M & D Evans Gaby Vandenabeele x Van Trieste Janssen which the partners obtained from their good friend, the late Mark Kidby. The partnership race their young birds on the darkness system and train twice weekly up to fifty miles.

Stan Dangerfield

A well deserved win in section G went to Stan Dangerfield of Kings Stanley. A fantastic fancier, Stan is also a member of the National Flying Club committee. Stan's winner this time was a blue hen sent sitting fourteen day eggs. She has had three previous races, Newton Abbot, Exeter and Yelverton. She is bred from Stan's Desmet Matthijs family. Her sire was 94 which won six firsts and also bred 007 who won five firsts. The dam is a half sister to Jude's Boy which won first open Central Southern Classic Club from San Sebastian. Stan introduced the Desmet family in the 1970s and he thinks it is one of the most consistent families he has raced.

Andy Smith from Wellingborough in Northants was the winner in section H with a John McNeill (Broxburn) pigeon that Andy obtained via Simon Shearsy. Andy races his young birds on the darkness system.

T R Lowndes with grandson Harley

Section I was won by T R Lowndes from Fenny Bentley, near Doncaster. This is the fourth time he has won the section with the National Flying Club. The sire of this pigeon comes from old E Newcombe lines and the dam is from Dennis Dall from Ladybank in Scotland via Dougy Spittel of Glasgow. All young birds are flown on the natural system.

Mark Williams

The Hereford loft of Mark Williams was the winner in section J; his third section win this season. Mark's bird was a Jan Huybreght cock, the dam of which has bred twenty three first prize winners. The sire is a retired widowhood cock which scored consistently in his racing career. The previous week this young bird was second north west section from Carentan with the Central Southern Classic Flying Club, beaten only by a loft mate.

Chris Gordon

Over to Pontefract for the winner of section K, Chris Gordon, with a white flight hen flown on the darkness system. She is a second round youngster bred in early February and put on the darkness from 1st April until 6th July. Chris rears his youngsters on farm peas and then barley before putting them onto a commercial mix once the long training tosses commence. Chris had five in the clock to take first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth section.

Finally, section L's winner was G E Appleton from Denton in Manchester. George has been in the sport for over sixty years and has has numerous successes over that time including four times first in the Lancashire combine. George's bird was a dark chequer hen named Daleside Summers after his granddaughter Summer Lily. Daleside Summers had just thrown her second flight and was feeding a youngster along with two other hens.

Roger Lowe's old bird racing loft

So that concludes the report on the National Flying Club young bird race from Fougères.