The old bird lofts of John Fretwell
First open went to the Evesham loft of John Fretwell, who won the north section in the race from Guernsey two week previously. His winner this time was the same pigeon that recorded fourth section in the earlier race, beaten on the day by her full sister. These two hens are bred from Marcel Sangers pigeons that John obtained direct. They were used as widowhood hens earlier in the season and then placed into a separate section when their mates were lost. Just prior to basketing John popped some cocks into their section to motivate them further and this seems to have done the trick.
Second open was to Gary Carter of Childwickham. Gary clocked a 2010 late bred hen of Van den Bosch lines. She was racing back to a ten day old squeaker and it was her second channel race of the 2012 season.
The Oxford loft of Leon Hall was third open with a two year old blue hen on her third outing across the channel this season. She is bred down from Norman Sibley's multi federation winning cock of Ceulemans bloodlines and was sent feeding a fourteen day youngster.
Mr and Mrs Crathorne
On top of their succcess in the Guernsey young bird race, Mr and Mrs Crathorne of Manchester clocked fourth open with a blue hen named Kiln Radha, the sire of which comes from Martin Greetham (Essex) bloodlines when crossed with Kiln Razor.
Cosmin Talas of Kidlington (Oxfordshire) clocked fifth open. The sire of Cosmin's hen is a direct son of the ace one day long distance bird, winner of national (7,256 birds) and second national (8,300 bird) in Holland as a yearling. The dam of this hen was bred by Mark Gilbert of Winkfield.
J & J Brady
J & J Brady from Benfleet in Essex clocked sixth open with a hen having her fifth channel race in as many weeks, having been to Le Mans, Vire, Guernsey, Fougères and then Guernsey again. She is bred from the partners' direct Jos Thoné pigeons and her sire was seventh open National Flying Club from Carentan in 2010.
Nigel and John Taylor
Seventh open went to the Bristol partnership of R E Taylor and Sons. This was a chequer, white flight yearling who had previously only had one race as a young bird from Carentan. She was bred from the partners' race team and was sent celibate.
Mick and Lyn Chaplin
Mr and Mrs Chaplin of Woking clocked eighth open and this was a three year old hen of Soontjen bloodlines. Two weeks previously the same hen was fifty eighth open from Guernsey with the BICC. This hen was used as a widowhood hen earlier in the season and then re-paired and sent sitting ten day eggs.
Ninth open went to the Lowestoft partnership of Thompson and May Brothers. Trevor and Graham clocked a yearling blue hen which they purchased from Evans and Cuthbert. She was raced celibate, being kept in the young bird section and trained with them.
Finally, tenth open went to Meg Murray of Burnham on Crouch. Following her success in the young bird race, Meg clocked a blood red two year old with a varied pedigree. She was sent to Guernsey two weeks previously but arrived a little late, this time she was sent feeding a large squeaker, which was obviously the motivation required.
That concludes the report of the British International Championship club old hens race from Guernsey and indeed, the 2012 racing season for the club.