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A report on the British International Championship Club race from St Philbert on 18th June 2022

113 members sent 2,105 pigeons to St Philbert with the British International Championship Club. They were liberated at 06.45CEST into blue skies and broken cloud. The following is a report on the provisional result based on members' verifications.
The winner

First open and first CS section was a two year old on 1169mpm over 271 miles for Rob Rome of Fleet. The winning pigeon is a 2-year-old mealy hen, a very good racer and winner of many prizes last year as a yearling.  The sire is a 2019 mealy cock bred by Rob's very good friend Frederik Bracke from Waregem, Belgium. He is something special being a direct son of Frederik's 1st international Agen 13,189 birds 2017 when paired with the Black Meirlaen, brother of Best of Belgium, 1st international ace yearling 2017 for Etienne Meirlaen. The international winning hen for Frederik has attracted much attention and has bred in combination with Gino Clicque, Hugo Battenberg and Pipa Breeding. She is responsible for huge winners in a number of big lofts in Belgium and Holland. In fact, she is great grand-dam of Gino Clicque's Silver Olympic 2nd national ace pigeon extreme long distance KBDB 2021.

The dam is a 2019 blue hen bred by another very good friend Wilfried Vandemaele of Kortrijk, Belgium. She is a full sister of a large number of real ace pigeons for Wilfried including the Kleine Prince, 1st national ace yearling of Belgium Pipa ranking 2020. Her sire is a son of Joel Verschoot's Contador, winner of 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th National and her mother is a Chris Hebberecht bred hen of the lines Champion, Kleine Dirk Koopman, Harry of Hooymans and Chipo of Benny Steveninck.

The pigeons of Wilfried Vandemaele are base pigeons for the real top lofts in Belgium, including Gino Clicque, Joel Verschoot, Kurt Platteeuw and Cyril Harchies. The Harchies loft won big in 2021 with their, Patrick, 1st National and 1st National Ace Pigeon KBDB long distance, with an even lower coefficient than the record set by the Armando of Verschoot.

This is Rob's first national win in England (the others being in Scotland) and he has dedicated it to his father, Robert Senior, who passed away just over a year ago. 

Mark Gilbert

Mark Gilbert of Winkfield was second open and second CS section with a two year old on 1141mpm over 281 miles. Mark’s pigeon is a son of Rolex, 1st section 14th open NFC Saintes 2014, and 1st section, 1st open NFC Saintes 2015. He is a sire of 2nd open NFC and now 2nd open BICC. He is a brother to La Belle Etoile, 1st open French young bird derby. Rolex was paired to Nanny (Gebr Leideman A&B) to breed 2nd open BICC. Nanny herself was 1st 114 birds, 10th 2,276 birds, 15th  8,525 birds 19th 5,785 birds. She is a sister to Fabio, 2nd Nat S4 3,647 birds 14th Nat S4 6,086 birds and Also Aura, 3rd Nat S4 6,086 birds.

D & J Staddon

D and J Staddon of Ditcheat timed a four year old on 1129mpm over a distance of 281 miles to take third open and first WS section. First on the clock was a four year old cock, Miracle Maker. Raced on the chaos widowhood system that the partners have perfected, Miracle Maker is one half of a nest pair of brothers known as the The Miracle Brothers. The Miracle Brothers have numerous club, federation, section and open wins to their name, including five times first section, plus a first, second and third national. They are both bred from champion breeder The Real Miracle, a direct son of the Miracle Pair when The Real Miracle was paired to Comet. Miracle Maker was over an hour and a quarter ahead of the Staddon's second pigeon, a yearling containing Barry Winter's Little Gem x Bill Lewis' Freelands Gem bloodlines. This was followed by a two year old cock that is a grandson of Dave and John's two NFC ace pigeons, Evie and G-Force. 

Dennis Baker

Dennis Baker of Maidenhead was fourth open and third CS section with a yearling on 1102mpm over 287 miles. First on the clock was a yearling hen, the four grandparents of which are Southfield Champ (1st NFC Saintes) x daughter Che (2 x 1st NPO) and Rolex (1st NFC Saintes) x The 139 (1st open NFC Messac). 

John Halstead's pigeon

John Halstead of Kington Magna timed a yearling widowhood cock on 1082mpm over 270 miles to take fifth open and second WS section. On only its only his sixth ever race, this cock was missing for three weeks as a young bird but learnt from its mistake and had been exercising well around home in the last fortnight. Up until the last week in May, the loft has experienced regular peregrine visits with the birds reluctant to fly. This cock is bred from a full brother to Nyland Maurice the winner of 1st National Palamos, 682 miles, for John in 2011, mated with a Mark Gilbert bred granddaughter of Tuff Nutt, that has produced some very good birds including 1st section BICC Fougeres in 2019.

Booth & Roper

The Tewkesbury loft of Booth and Roper was sixth open and first NW section with a three year old on 1065mpm over a distance of 333 miles. The section winner was raced on the partners' version of the roundabout system and contains their old family of Van Den Bosche x Dordin bloodlines with a little of their French hen in the mix. It was their fancied bird and it duly came through the storms. The dam, French Magic has cards from Falaise, Carentan, Le Mans and Guernsey, whilst the grandsire, Sportsview TJ, scored from Messac and Ancenis. The partners timed two more pigeons on the day. 

Damian Szpak of Deptford timed a yearling on 1061mpm over 279 miles to take seventh open and fourth CS section. 

Ian and Scott Smith of Eastleigh clocked a three year old on 1057mpm over 255 miles to take eighth open and fifth CS section. 

Joe Raeburn

Joe Raeburn of Wiltshire was ninth open and third WS section with a four year old, red cock on 1027mpm over 290 miles. It is raced on widowhood normally but paired for St Philbert and will go on to the Pau National. It has flown Pau before, winning 283rd Open, 18th Section. This cock is bred from a son of Jimmy Sheppard's Nobel Lad, 1st Open BICC Pau, when paired to a double granddaughter of Champion Gwen, 1st open San Sebastian national. The dam of the red cock is Champion Juile, bred and raced by Joe's good mate Steve Slade, she was the champion pigeon in CSCFC winning 5th open Messac and 13th open Pau 2017 and 69th open Pau in 2016. She flew Pau three times and her breeding is from John Halstead’s Nyland Ashley x Coppenolle x E W Froggatt birds.

Completing the top ten and in Sixth CS section is Garry Inkley of Hillingdon with a three year old on 1024mpm over a distance of 287 miles. 

Around the sections 

Kevin Foster

Kevin Foster of Longfield Hill was first ES section and fourteenth open with a two year old on 977mpm over 276 miles. Kevin's first pigeon was a dark widower cock bred by John Crehan from his Hooymans pigeons. His sire is a grandson of Beauty Harry and the dam is a daughter of Wizard New Harry, a son of New Harry. So, inbred to Harry in both sides of his breeding. He has always been reliable, with NFC and BICC minor positions, often just behind Kevin's leading pigeons.

John Chipperfield's cock

John Chipperfield of Herne Bay was second ES section and fifteenth open with a three year old on 967mpm over 279 miles. John timed a chequer cock, the grand sire being Mark Gilbert’s, Golden Barcelona, and the dam, Lady Teresa. Lady Teresa was 1st open Perpignan and 2nd open Pau. It was flown on the widowhood system with this being its second channel race.

Gladwin, Jarvis & Family

Gladwin, Jarvis and Family were third ES section with a three year old on 908mpm over 291 miles. The partners' pigeon is a Frans Zwols cock, that they are hoping to send to one of the 500 plus mile races this year. It is a direct son of Grandad’s Dream, who won the combine for them from Thurso as a yearling in a very tough race, back in 2015. Since going to stock, Grandad’s Dream has proved a top breeder. Grandad’s Dream is in turn a child of D'Artagain 065 who is also a brilliant breeding Frans Zwols cock. Like the sire this cock has proved he can do well in short races but really excels as the distance increases.  His past performances include 8th open Thames from Exeter 194 miles 2022, 3rd Hullbridge Club, Holmsley 115 miles 2021, 12th open Thames, from Wadebridge 251 miles 2021, 184th open BICC St Philbert 290 miles in 2020.

John Black

John Black of Hitchin timed a yearling on 926mpm over 320 miles to take first NC section and twentieth open. John’s pigeon, JC, was bred by Johnny Chipperfield and was sent on the chaos system. It was its fourth water race this year, three from Guernsey and now St Philbert. The sire is a grandson of A P Overwaters, De Dure cock. The dam was 4th Pau and 12th St Vincent, and the grand dam is Lady Teresa, 2nd international Pau and 1st international Perpignan.

Terry Bennett

T Bennett of Westville was second NC section and twenty-first open with a yearling on 922mpm over 391 miles. Terry’s hen was sent sitting on 4-day old chicks and is a Jelle Jellema, bred by PJ lofts. It was the longest flying pigeon on the day.

Kevin Johnson

K Johnson of Kings Bromley clocked a three year old, chequer white flight hen named Kessie on 652mpm over 378 miles to take third NC section. It was sent sitting for 12 days. It gets its name from when it was a youngster flying around the loft kamikaze style and collided with a hovering kestrel. She was out for the count and struggled with breathing for a few weeks but eventually made a full recovery. Last year Kessie flew north road with the BICC achieving 51st open from a hard Elgin. It is of Jan Aarden breeding from stock purchased from Louella lofts, based around the True Grit and Incredible bloodlines.

Chapman & Eastoe

Chapman and Eastoe of Great Yarmouth were first NE section and twenty-fourth open with a four year old on 886mpm over 372 miles. This blue hen is the same hen that won 3rd section from the first Guernsey this season and she was still racing back to her old nest box as she still hasn’t been paired up, due to having to the partners having too many hens at the start of the year.

Simmons & Sparkes' pigeon

Simmons and Sparkes of Ipswich timed a three year old on 817mpm over 327 miles to take second NE section and fortieth open. Thier pigeon is a Raoul & Xavier Verstraete, bred out of their son of Xtra, who in turn is a son of the renowned racer and breeder Topstar, who features in the pedigrees of several Belgian top breeders. On the dam's side is 233, The Special One, and she is another Verstraete and is only the second pigeon bred the same way that Xavier allowed out of the Verstraete loft, as the sire is the brother of Diva, 2nd International Dax 2005. On the dam’s side there is also Major and Admiral, just two of Verstraete's best racers. Even though 233 is a 2011 hen she has raised six youngsters this year. The partners' sons of both Topstar and Xtra are also still producing.

Jonathan Palmer

Jonathan Palmer of Ipswich timed a three year old on 808mpm over 335 miles to take third NE section. Jonathan's cock was sent just starting to look at its hen again and has flown to three different locations now, as he was gifted to him at the clearance sale of Paul Hacker, of Essex, as a mature youngster and had been trained but not raced. It then flew to Jonathan's old address before moving with him earlier this year to his present loft. It has come on well since and has been the first pigeon back to Jonathan's loft on three occasions, from four different national races now. The bloodlines goes back to the old Scottish long distance blood.

Lionel Brewer of Worcester was second NW section and fifty-fourth open with a three year old on 729mpm over 343 miles. 

Third NW section were Team Wicker & Wright of Astley Bridge on 585mpm. Alan timed the longest flying bird at 441 miles on the second day, the first time in forty years that he hasn’t clocked on the day from this distance. Alan feels that the weather had a major impact on the race and he is missing some good pigeons that have flown 600-700 miles previously. The sire of his first pigeon was a direct grandson of Iron Lady and on the dam’s side a grand-daughter of Padfield’s Old 89. 

Abi Rakes

4th SW section, 12th open was Abi Rakes of Paulton on 1093 over 292 miles. Although this report usually only contains the first three in each section, Abi Rakes deserves a mention on this occasion. Abi has just turned sixteen and enjoys racing her small team of birds as a part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. She is being encouraged by her Midsomer Norton clubmates. She was disappointed not to be at the marking due to doing her French GCSE exam. Abi timed a two year old natural hen that has only been lightly raced and came well from the last BICC Guernsey race, with a yearling cock in the clock close behind her. Well done Abi and keep up the good work and remember, the sport needs young people like you.

That concludes the report on the provisional result of the British International Championship Club race from St Philbert.