Best of Ireland - a PIPA auction

To those not aware, flying birds in Ireland is one of the hardest routes in the world. The inland programme is covered with mountainous terrain and make no mistake about it each and every race is not a straight run home.

Irish Racing Route

As for the middle and long distance channel events, it is a different story with birds having to master, on some occasions, two hard channels before their inland trip home. The following is a short profile on some of the fanciers offering the absolute cream of their ultra winning, award winning lofts.

Sheldon Leonard – Arklow

Over the past few seasons Sheldon has visited all the top lofts in Europe, sourcing nothing but the absolute cream to, as Sheldon states “ Produce the ultimate racing rachine” . Sheldon's present family of birds are basically the old Hofkens and Lou Wouters family, based on stock obtained from his best friend Mr Andre Roodhooft – The Emperor Of Antwerp. In the familly of pigeons that Sheldon now flies he has also introduced the Janssen Brother's direct & via André Roodhooft, the Aelbrecht family and the world famous  Freddy & Jacque Vandenheede. Sheldon recently won 1st Irish National Flying Club Barleycove young bird. This year's 1st national winner is a Lou Wouters bird via André Roodhooft & also in the same race the 9th open National winner was a Lou Wouter's x Aelbrecht. In this season's INFC Sennon Cove yearling national, the premier event in Ireland for yearlings, Sheldon finished 2nd open. The 2012 2nd open INFC yearling national winner from Sennencove was Janssen Arendonk x Vandenheede. Also this season Sheldon finished highly in the INFC Penzance Old Bird National, finishing 8th open. The 8th open winner was Roodhooft x Vandenheede. As you can see Sheldon has blended the families well to form a good middle distance family of pigeons. Just in case you think these birds have just shot up, well alas you are wrong for only last season in the INFC old bird national event from Barleycove, Sheldon finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th open from a distance of 178 miles. Sheldon always plans ahead and looking to compete in the distance events has now introduced some Daniel Aerens from Drongen Belgium – As they say “keep watching”

Some of Sheldons results (past 3 seasons only)

Dungarven 12 sent 356 B 1st 2nd 3rd 4th club & 1st 2nd 3rd section  B 941 B 78 miles
Pilmore beach 16 sent 452 B 1st 3rd 8th club & 1st & 3rd section B 1233 B 95 miles
Pilmore beach 11 sent 272 B 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th club & 2nd & 3rd 
section B 722 B 95 miles
Pilmore Beach 13 sent 338 B 3,4,5,6,7,8 club 4,5,6,7,8,9 fed 1631B 95 miles
Kinsale 19 sent 401 B 2,3,4,6 club 2,3,4th fed 1931B 124 miles
Roscarbery 19 sent 419 birds 1,2,3,6, club &  3rd section B 1287 B 147 miles
Castletownbere 20 sent 335B 1,2,3,6 club & 4th  5th 9th 20th fed 1393 B 178 miles
Watervile 10 sent 70 B 1st & 3rd club 2nd section B 196 B 179 miles
Skibbereen north ( single entry ) 1st club 213 B & 1st section B 809 birds & 
2nd fed 1272 b 157 miles
Barleycove 13 sent 229 B 1,2,3,4,8,9,10, club 178 miles
Castletownbere 12 sent 214B 1,2,3,7,8,9,10 club 178 miles
Barleycove 15 sent 257B  1,2,5, club 178 miles
Barleycove 12 sent 149B 1,2,3,4,club , 1st 2nd 3rd section B & 3rd 4th 5 th 
6th National 1414B 178 miles
Kinsale 14 sent 277B 1,2,3,4,5,8,9 club & 7,8,9,10,11 fed 1554b 124 miles
Castletownbere 11 sent 107 Birds 1,2,3,4,7,8 club
Talbenny ( single entry ) 1st club  4th fed & 24th national - no birdage to hand - 
83 miles channel race
Skibbereen north 1st 6,7,8,9, club 1st section B & 21st 43rd 44th 45th 
46th national 3037 bird's 157 miles
Pilmore beach 17 sent 471B 2,3,4,5,6,7 club 3rd section B 1227 B 95 miles
Skibbereen north 17 sent 332 B 1st 3rd 10th club 2nd section B 929B 157 miles
Barleycove 14 sent 248 B 1st 3rd 4th 6th club 2nd section B 965B  34th 52nd 53rd 
59th national 1083b 178 miles
Rosscarbery12 sent 187 B 1st & 2nd club 16th 17th fed 1047B
Sennencove I.N.F.C. yearling national 2nd national 4319 birds 188 miles 
1st federation & 1st section .
Sennencove 2nd 4th 8th club 9th 20th 38th national old bird N.F.C.
Dungarven  15 sent 489 birds 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,club 4,5,6,7,8,9,11,14,
16,18, federation 1628B 75 miles
Kinsale 19 sent 477B 1st & 6th club 2nd section B 1168 birds 124 miles
Barleycove 14 sent 292B 1st,5,7,8,9 club 1st section B 656 birds 1st federation 1055B 
& 1st & 9th INFC young bird national

Billy Harris - Dublin

Billy currently flys in the Dublin North East pigeon club with a membership of 26 members, sending anything up to 600 birds weekly. It is one of the strongest clubs within the Irish South Road Federation that has over 700 members with the majority of them located in the Dublin region with some of the most competitive fanciers you could find anywhere in the world. At present 95% of Billy's family of birds are of the Willy Van Herck origin from Retie in Belgium. Billy first purchased two Van Herck hens that Philip Boal had given to the Dublin show in 2007. Soon after Billy made contact in the hope of doing a loft visit, thankfully he agreed and a friendship began. On seeing them and knowing what a small base of top winning pigeons they were Billy knew they were the pigeons for him. Over the next few years Philip made sure Billy had all the best lines from his stock loft and also let him have some of his direct Van Herck birds. In 2010 Billy put together a system and made a conscious decision to give the Van Hercks a real go. That year he was runner up old bird average winner in the club by three points. 2011 was to be even better, winning the old bird average, young bird average, combined average in club, runner up ISRF old bird average and 3rd ISRF combined average winner. 2012 Billy is again old bird average winner in his club and has just been confirmed ISRF old bird average winner, needless to say Billy is over the moon. The Van Hercks via Philip Boal are a real all round family of pigeons that seem to win at any distance from 83 miles to 381 miles and with any velocity. In a very short period of time Billy is starting to put his own 1st prize winners back into the stock loft, pigeons such as Wee Man 1st club, 1st open ISRF 200 miles, Prince 18 club cards 4 federation cards, full brother to Wee Man, Blue Retie 1st club, 6th open 230 miles & 1st club, 10th open 381 miles flew the channel 7 times only a 2 year old hen, Portly Prince 10 club cards, 6 fed cards, Sid 5 club cards, 5 fed cards, Bilcoboy 7 club cards, 6 fed cards, Christy 6 club cards, 6 fed cards to name but a few. Top winning bloodlines

P & J Boal - Dromore

Philip & brother Joe currently fly in the Dromore Homing Pigeon Society, a club sending up to 600 birds per week and racing in Section D of the mighty Northern Iireland Provincial Amalgamation. The section can send up to 4,000 birds per week. Philip & Joe's main racing family is based on the Willy Van Herck, Retie, Belgium. Having travelled many times to Belgium the best was brought back to Ireland. Just lately 12 pairs of Heremans Ceusters have been introduced. Over the years many awards have been won, numerous club positions plus 36 x 1st section D awards, 1st north section INFC and 6 x Royal Pigeon Racing Association awards.

Hennie & Annette Kallmeyer - Dublin

In 2008 Hennie and Anette Kallmeyer moved from South Africa to Dublin and after a long absence from pigeon racing decided to start again. Currently they own the best collection of direct David Clausing pigeons (Million Dollar world record family) in Europe. This family of pigeons is based on the Houbens from Belgium and need no introduction as David Clausing has dominated the one loft racing scene in the USA for decades and still holds the world record of top 5 placings in the Million Dollar Race in South Africa. In 2010 Hennie and Annette started breeding their first youngsters and in the very first year won 1st open in the Emerald Classic International one loft race with their famous pigeon Baby Bear. That same year they won 3 x 1st Irish pigeon from 4 international one loft races entered, including 1st Ireland, 23rd Open in the Million Dollar Country Challenge Race with ‘Dubz’ (on a 38 bird first drop). In 2011 good results continued by winning 1st Irish bred pigeon and 10th Open in the North Coast Classic OLR and 1st Ireland, 11th Open in the French Young Bird Derby ending also with 12th and 6th ace pigeons in these races respectively. Another good performance came by co-winning (first drop – 2nd Ireland, 4th Open) in the Emerald Classic 2011 and scoring with the same pigeon in the final a week later to end as 18th ace pigeon. So far 2012 has been a very consistent year with their pigeons scoring top honours in most of the hot spot races flown to date in one loft races entered (most finals will be flown in September), some examples include:
Open Co-winner (1. Ireland/UK / 13. Open) 2012 Fauna Orheiului OLR(Moldova) 
HS1 against an original entry of 475+ birds
Open Co-winner (1. Ireland/UK / 15. Open) 2012 Fauna Orheiului OLR (Moldova) 
HS2 against an original entry of 475+ birds
Open Co-winner (2 + 3. Ireland/UK / 6. + 11.) Open 2012 Fauna Orheiului OLR (Moldova) 
HS3 against an original entry of 475+ birds
Open Co-winner (1. Ireland / 1. Open) 2012 North Coast Classic OLR (UK) 
HS2 against an original entry of 733 birds
Open Co-winner (1 Ireland / 2nd Open) 2012 Emerald Classic OLR (UK) 
HS1 against and original entry of 658 birds
Open Co-winner (1 Ireland / 4th Open) 2012 Emerald Classic OLR (UK) 
HS2 against and original entry of 658 birds
1st UK and Ireland and 20th Open in the 2012 Balcanic Fairplay OLR, 
Romania (original entry of 950+ pigeons).

Hennie and Anette only compete in one loft races around the world and do not race a home team’ as only stock pigeons are kept. Only small teams are sent to one loft races which are bred from a stock team that consists of 9 old cocks and 3 yearlings. Around 20 hens are kept which are rotated on different cocks to find the best matings. From the start in 2010 the kingpin of the loft has been AU 2006 Clausing 115 or the famous Bear’. This potent cock breeds winners with different hens and is used in the early winter and late summer months as a polygamous stallion breeder. His children win with great consistency but 2011 and 2012 has shown that 80% of his children that were put to stock have bred winners already in their first year. Hennie and Annette are particularly excited over their new 2012 breeding sensation MJ – a son of Bear and Baby Blue – i.e. brother to Baby Bear, as all of his children bred with 2 different hens have already won hot spot races in July and August of 2012. Certainly this yearling cock has a great future ahead of him and will certainly be the successor of Bear to ensure Bear’s winning genes are passed onto future generations.

Billy Cullimore - Wexford

Billy Cullimore is the Irish wizard in sprint to middle distance racing. In the last 5 years he has won 8 x 1st open nationals. In the last 10 years he has won 42 x 1st open federations. With average up to 2,500 birds in the federations and anything up to 4,000 in the INFC nationals. This is truly a remarkable record in Irish racing