A report of the British Barcelona Club old hens race from Fougères on 31st August 2014

Fifty two members of the British Barcelona Club sent two hundred old hens to the race from Fougères. After a one day holdover due to inclement weather they were liberated at 07.50am BST into a light west-north-westerly wind. The following is a report on the provisional result of the race based on members' verifications.

Chris Gadsden

In first section D and first open is C Gadsden from Cowbridge Farm in Toddington with a yearling on 1224ypm. Chris timed three birds in the top ten of the provisional result. This is his first ever national win and he was over the moon with the result of his Cooremans hens. Chris' first two on the clock were both lightly raced hens which previously took first and second section, twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth open with the Midlands National Flying Club from Vire against 5,081 birds. That day they were paired together and feeding a ten day old Pouter youngster and they were clocked on the same second. For this race from Fougères they were sent feeding a fantail youngster. Both of these fancy pigeons were supplied by Chris' daughter Zoe. This old hen race winner is a well balanced, medium bodied hen that has been a consistent racer but was a poor trapper as a young bird and as such, lost Chris a few club and federation prizes. Chris' second in the clock which came provisionally seventh open was another of his lightning fast Cooremans family which he obtained direct, when Louis Cooremans had a sale at Blackpool. Chris has crossed something special into this family to produce his first two on the clock. Third section D and ninth open for Chris is a four year old hen with a consistent race record over the years, her best result being twenty-second section, one hundred and fifteenth open with the Midlands National Flying Club.  

Steve Coxell

Steve Coxell of Ongar was second open and first section J with a yearling on 1205ypm. Steve's hen was raced on the natural system and sent feeding a week old squeaker. It has previously flown the channel five times this season and has been very consistent from the distance. It is bred from two pigeons given to Steve from his good friends Mark Bulled and Andrew Wilton. On the sire's side is Mark's family of reds and on the dam's side is D Wilton and Sons old Janssen family.

Mick & Lyn Chaplin

Mick and Lyn Chaplin from West End Village, near Woking, clocked two hens close together to take first and second section G and third and fourth open with a three year old on 1200ypm and a yearling on 1194ypm. They timed two further hens to take third and fourth section G. The Chaplin's winning hen was a three year old of Burgher x Wildemeersch lines, full of winning genes from both sides of the family. On its first race of the season, having previously been a widowhood hen, it was sent sitting sixteen days. In previous old hen races this pigeon has won twelfth open from Vire and seventy-first open from Guernsey. This and Mick and Lyn's second hen behaved oddly on their return, determined to trap back to the young bird section. The young birds had a hard race and the first youngster that came with Mick and Lyn's third hen decided to sit on the house roof for over an hour. Mick and Lyn keep eighteen widowhood cocks and once their season is over, the hens stay with the cocks in preparation for the national old hen races.

Brian & Sue Stone

Brian and Sue Stone from Belper clocked a yearling to take first section E and fifth open on 1170ypm. As a young bird, this hen won inland and then was sixteenth section, sixty-second open with the Midlands National Flying Club. Previously this season she won first section British Barcelona Club from Fougères and then nineteenth section, two hundred and seventeenth open from Vire with the Midlands National Flying Club. This hen is a granddaughter of Peter Van Der Merwes champion cock, Replay and was sent feeding a two day old squeaker. The Stone partnership sent five birds, had three on the day and the other two the next morning.

J & J Brady

J & J Brady of Benfleet took second section J and sixth open with a yearling hen on 1160ypm.

Erik Neilson

Wearn Brothers and Neilson of Ramsdean timed two hens to take first and second section A and eighth and tenth open on 1145ypm and 1134ypm respectively. The section winner is a Van Reet hen that took ninth open in the classic race from Guernsey. Second on the clock was a Dutch pigeon which came from John Gerard and which was sixth open with the classic. The partners clocked three other pigeons to feature in the top twenty five of the provisional result.

Around the sections

Third into section A went to D Wells of Bordon with a yearling hen on 133ypm.

Jane Johns & grandson, Jack Homer

Jane Johns of Weymouth was first section B with a yearling hen on 796ypm, sent sitting ten day eggs. Jane is pictured with her grandson Jack and her yearling blue bar hen. Jane's pigeon was bred from stock she obtained from I Cousins and Sons of Aberdare. The sire is a Belgian pigeon with Herman Van Helmond bloodlines crossed with a stock pigeon bred by Andrew Loveday. The dam contains Jane's original Jan Aarden and Busschaert lines obtained from Ponderosa stud. Sadly this will be Jane's last year racing pigeons as she has been diagnosed with pigeon lung. M Carter of Poole was second section B with a four year old on 686ypm. Mel and Sue King of Blandford Forum were third section B on 658ypm.

Kirk & Dean Williams

Dean Williams from Cleobury Mortimer was first section C with a four year old hen on 1121ypm. The section winner is a Staf Van Reet x Koopman Van Dyke and was sent feeding a day old squeaker. A consistent pigeon, this hen was bred and raced by Dean's brother Kirk, twice winning the federation, before being broken into Dean's loft. A good performer, whatever the wind direction, this hen is always among the first back to the loft from any racepoint. This is Dean's first season racing with the British Barcelona Club and from Messac he took seventh section and twenty first open. M Williams of Hereford was second section C with a three year old on 1096ypm. M Bird of Andover was third section C on 1061ypm.

Mr & Mrs Shore

Second section E was timed by Mr and Mrs Shore of Crewe with a three year old hen on 1056ypm. Alan and Cynthia timed a three year old hen that was last raced as a youngster, but was trained up especially for the old hen's races. The sire of this hen came from John Barnett's Marriott lines whilst the dam was a widowhood hen. T & J Mather of Matlock timed a two year old on 961ypm to take third section E.

Willie Healy

Section H was won by Willie Healy of Jersey with a three year old on 677ypm. Willie timed the same hen that was first section and twelfth open from Bordeaux earlier in the season. This hen contains Joe Letchio of Alloa and Geoff Kirkland bloodlines and it was sent sitting eggs for twelve days.

That concludes the report on the provisional result of the British Barcelona Club race from Fougères.