Brian Wall and grandson - photo courtesy of Chris Sutton
Mr and Mrs Brian Wall of Havant in Hampshire were the worthy winners on the day with first centre section and first open on a velocity of 1424ypm. Their winner is a yearling Kees Boshua cock bred from pigeons Brian obtained from Ed Sittner when he was flying in Belgium. This cock has had six races this year including two nationals and two classics. Brian sent eight yearlings to the race and timed seven of them on the day. Due to having a broken leg, Brian has not been able to care for his birds so wife Viv stepped in and has been doing all the chores for the last five weeks. In recognition of all the hard work she has put in Brian has named his winner Viv's Gem.
Roger Lowe of Caversham was second centre section and second open with a yearling on 1418ypm. Roger had two hens drop together and the first in the clock was a full sister to Fast As Lightning which won the BICC from Fougeres in 2011. Her breeding is Janssen (Lou Wouters) both parents having been bred by Sheldon Leonard in Ireland. Roger's second hen was a granddaughter of My Little Diamond, a NFC winner in her only ever race and since retired to the stock loft. It is also a granddaughter of Mark Gilbert's Southfield Supreme and Peter Fox's Drum.
Topping the west section and in third open on 1417ypm was the Devizes loft of R T Brown. Robert clocked a pigeon bred from a cock he had from his good friend Eric Higginbottom and which was of Syndicate Lofts bloodlines. The grandfather was Hannibal and the granddam Gerrie. The dam is out of Roberts old Janssen strain and won first section, seventh open from Guernsey in 2009. This section winner has already bred a first section, fourteenth open winner from Niort in 2012. Robert flies his pigeons on the traditional widowhood system.
Provisionally second west section and fourth open is the loft of R E Taylor and Sons from Bristol. Brothers John and Nigel race the birds in their late father's name out of respect for what he taught them about the birds and they timed a three year old, blue pied cock which was sent feeding a five day old youngster. This cock is a favourite of their mothers. The brothers race all the birds on the natural system and rarely train, preferring to let them exercise around the loft during the day so they can peck around the garden picking up what they fancy.
Paul Ayling of Gosport was third centre second and fifth open on a velocity of 1408.24ypm. Paul clocked a three year old, chequer cock which was gifted to him by Jimmy Wearn. The dam was an M & D Evans Vandenabeele which scored first open from Messac and the sire was bred by Bert Shepherd. Earlier in the season it was flown on the roundabout system but when his hen returned from the NFC Tarbes race on the Monday prior to basketing for Alençon the pair were left together.
Sixth open and fourth centre section was clocked by K Bakes of Havant on 1408.20ypm. Kevin timed a yearling widowhood cock with De Klak bloodlines. It was bred off Bartoli / Little Diamond lines he obtained from Spracklen and Thomas. These bloodlines have bred many winners for Kevin. This cock was not raced as a youngster, but this season has been to Guernsey and Messac twice.
Les Nicholls with Nigel and John Taylor
Third west section and seventh open went to Les Nicholls of Bedminster near Bristol on 1407.9ypm with the same pigeon that was fourth section, fourth open from Tours earlier in the season. A three year old cock, it is bred down from Les's Nantes national winning family. It was sent sitting five day old eggs. Les works nights so his pigeons have the freedom of an open loft all day. They are hopper fed on beans, peas and maize.
Eighth open and fifth centre section was clocked by the Bartlett and Jones partnership of Southampton on 1407.8ypm. Rob timed his all pooler cock named the Million Dollar cock and expects to pick up some hefty pool monies. It was sent driving two hens to nest in different boxes, a system Rob describes as natural-hood. Rob feeds his own mixes and trains twice a week to forty miles, always with a headwind.
Wearn Brothers pigeon
The Wearn Brothers of Ramsdean timed sixth centre section and ninth open on a velocity of 1407.5ypm with a blue Verkerk hen with M & D Evans Vandenabeele lines crossed in. The brothers had excellent returns and timed three within a minute.
Preece Brothers and Son pigeon
Completing the top ten we have Preece Brothers and Son of Abertillery in Wales on a velocity of 1381ypm. The partners timed a two year old, blue, roundabout cock which was fourth open from the same race last year. Some time was lost clocking as he arrived with a stray hen in tow and was more interested in chasing her then trapping back to the loft. In preparation it had thee inland races and then across the water in all the BICC races so far this season. It contains the best LeFebre Dhaenen / Van Loon / Morgan and Cook / Burgham bloodlines which form the basis of the partnership's channel family.
Around the sections...
The north section winner and provisionally twelfth open went to Gary Bentley in Leighton Buzzard. Gary timed a two year old widowhood cock with Janssen x Van Reet bloodlines, being out of his number one stock hen. Gary is a consistent performer at the distance. Rodney Oakes of Kettering took second north section. John Rumney of Houghton le Spring timed in to take third north section with a dark, white flight cock sent sitting a seven day old youngster. This was John's first race with the BICC and given his position in the north east, his pigeons have to cover the last ninety miles or so of every race on their own.
The east section was won by Fred Ager from Grays in Essex with one of a kit of Van Avondt pigeons Fred purchased from Foxwood Lofts of York, it was raced on the roundabout system. Earlier this season the same pigeon was sixth section from Tours. D Wilton and Son from Chadwell St Mary were second east section. Third in the east section went to David Coward-Talbott with a hen named Lulu Elizabeth. The sire is from a family of Van De Flares owned by Paul Russell and the dam was bred by Brian Long.
That concludes the report of the British International Championship Club race from Alençon.