Ron Fullbrook (L) pictured with Mason Stephenson (R)
First east section and first open was clocked at the Toddington loft of Ron Fullbrook. This is a one hundred percent Soontjen bred from a stock pair purchased at Blackpool pigeon show. She was sent sitting a ten day old youngster and has now been named Jubilee Sapphire.
First section A was to the Liphook (near Boston) loft of Tony Baughen. Tony's winning hen was bred from a kit of Honeysuckle Janssens that his son bought for him after he suffered a heart attack. This hen has three flights left to drop.
Eric Neilson holding Wearn Brothers winner
Wearn Brothers from Ramsdean in Hampshire were the winners in section B with a John Ayling x Fred Bloor hen that has previously flown Barcelona this season. Jim Wearn is regularly helped with the birds by his good friend Eric Neilson.
Dave Staddon from Crewkerne topped section C with a pigeon known as the Diamond Hen that has won numerous prizes in national racing. She is bred from Dave's own family of distance and middle distance pigeons. Previously in 2012 she was fifth section, thirty fifth open National Flying Club from Messac. Diamond Hen was raced celibate throughout the season until this race when she was racing to a fifteen day old youngster.
The Naum Family Gillian and Paul with granddaughers Keiza (L) and Madison (R)
The husband and wife partnership of Paul and Gillian Naum from Watchet in Somerset won section D with a five year old, gay pied Ko Nipius hen. This is Paul and Gillian's fifth section win from their current racing lofts. This hen particularly performs well in difficult conditions such as the head wind encountered from Fougères and she was sent sitting a four day old squeaker. The sire is a Bob MacDonald Ko Nipius and the dam comes from Paul and Gillian's own stock which originated from George Hilson of Bury.
Section F was won by Leon Hall of Oxford with a Staf Van Reet hen bred from De 49 when paired to a daughter of Jonge Donker Witpen Daniel, himself a winner of second open Nantes with the National Flying Club. This hen had been in the stock loft but when Leon got short of hens he put her in the widowhood loft and trained her three times a week with the young birds. The week prior to Fougères she was sent to Guernsey with the British International Championship Club and she was the sixth pigeon home.
Bill Harris with grandsons Pip (L) and Thomas (R)
Section G was won by Bill Harris of Elton for the second year running. This year's winner is a 2008 grizzle hen bred by John and Jason Groom of West Bromwich. She was trained to twenty miles as a youngster and as a yearling she was only trained with the 2009 young birds. At two years old she had a few inland races and one channel race from Carentan. In 2012 she has been to all the inland federation races in order to prepare her for this race. Her sire is a direct son of Jim Donaldson's Reims Girl and her dam was bred by Brian Sheppard of Trowbridge and is a daughter of Brian's first section Tarbes winner.
Richard Howey from Northampton clocked the winner in section H with a two year old daughter of his pigeon After Time which was second section, thirty third open National Flying Club Tarbes. The sire of the winning hen is a half brother to Champion Rockie who was first section, twenty seventh open National Flying Club Tarbes in 2009. Last year the winner flew all the inland races on the programme and this season she has been to Cholet and Tarbes.
Eddie Froggatt timed the winner of section I at his Rugeley lofts. Sent sitting thirty five days and with a youngster popped underneath her prior to basketing, the sire of Eddie's hen came from Frank Tasker. Her dam is a granddaughter off the young couple of Peter Fox.
Eric Watkins (L) and Craig Gough (R)
Shrewsbury in Shropshire was the location for the winner of section J, timed at the lofts of Eric Watkins. Eric is a life vice-president of the National Flying Club in recognition of all the work he does for the club and the sport in general. Eric doesn't often buy in pigeons but purchased his winner at a charity sale for a new club that was forming. This hen was bred by Arthur Cowley from Halkyn in Wales.
Kevin and Julie Kingston
Winning section K is the lofts of Kevin Kingston and Family who fly in Hull on the east coast of Yorkshire. Their winning bird is named Northmoor Lass and she is a Jan Aarden x Cooremans. This is her sixth channel race this season and she was sent sitting eggs and with a squeaker popped under her prior to basketing. Kevin is helped with the birds by his wife Julie and father-in-law Bill does most of the training.
Finally, section L was won by Graham Mackay from Swinton in Manchester. This hen is a Janssen that has been trained to 28 miles four times a week. Prior to basketing she had a 200 mile toss along with three other hens.
So, that concludes the report of the National Flying Club old hens race from Fougères.