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A report of the British International Championship Club race from Perpignan

One hundred and eighty five UK pigeons were entered along with sixteen thousand, nine hundred and twenty one European birds into the international race from Perpignan. They were liberated at 05.55 hrs UK time with a light north westerly breeze at the liberation site. This was expected to change to south westerly over the later stages of the race.

Geoff and Clayton Preece of Dover

In first place was a two year old widowhood cock raced by the father and son partnership of Geoff and Clayton Preece from Dover. No strangers to success with the BICC the partnership have been third open Pau and twelfth open Marseille in 2012. The bird has now been named Wiggins after Bradley Wiggins the 2012 Tour de France and Olympic gold medalist. In 2011 Wiggins won tenth open BICC Perpignan (yearling) and in 2012 he has been tenth open BICC Pau and thirty ninth open BICC St Vincent. Geoff and Clayton sent four pigeons to Perpignan and clocked them all to take first, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth open.

Chequer cock Wiggins - Ist open BICC Perpignan

Dicy Pearmain with 2nd open BICC Perpignan

The runner up from Perpignan was the Wickford, Essex partnership of Dicky Pearmain and son, Steven. Dicky and Steve clocked a three year old, chequer pied hen closely inbred to Nico Volkens Dutch national winner from Pau. This hen was thirteenth open Pau international and thirtieth open Tarbes/Agen national in 2011. This season she has previously been thirty fourth open BICC Pau on the day and eighteenth open BICC St Vincent.

Mike Mitchell of Dover took third open and clocked a further four pigeons to record eighth, twenty sixth, fifty sixth and seventy ninth open as well. His first bird is a celibate hen containing Van Helmond bloodlines which had previously been one hundred and thirty eighth open from Agen. His second bird has an impressive record including sixteenth BICC Pau in 2009, first BICC Narbonne in 2010, thirty third open Pau and fifteenth open Tarbes/Agen in 2011. Previously this season she was eighty eighth open Pau and now eighth open Perpignan.

Some of Mark Gilbert's impressive loft set up

Fourth open needs no introduction, as once again Mark Gilbert from Winkfield has pulled another fantastic result out of the bag. This fancier is having a season to die for being at, or near the top of practically every national and international race that he has entered. Mark sent twenty seven birds to Perpignan and seventeen will feature on the final result with the best being fourth, sixth, ninth, twelfth, seventeenth etc. Mark's team was made up of his Tarbes and Barcelona birds from earlier this season. The first five in the clock were roundabout cocks. Mark's first in the clock was a direct son of the Treble cock when paired to a double granddaughter of Brian Denney's Tuff Nut.

Ron Dove (C) and friends

Another fancier having an excellent season, Ron Dove of Ashford in Kent clocked three of his six entries to take fifth, fifteenth and fifty fourth open. Over the years, Ron has developed his own family of pigeons based entirely on their performance in long distance racing. His first pigeon was a red hen that was sixty first open BICC Agen earlier this season and is a granddaughter of his fifth open NFC Pau hen. All Ron's pigeons are raced on the natural system.

Don Harvey's four year old cock, Playboy

Seventh open was clocked to the Dover lofts of Don Harvey and is a four year old widowhood cock now named Playboy. Playboy's bloodlines contain a large dose of Eric Cannon mixed with Ian Benstead Shepherds and Eric Fox blood as well. He has raced the full East of England Continental Club programme in 2012 and was placed on the result from Niort and Tarbes. He also flew Tarbes in 2011.

Anna Crowley (L) and Richard Green (C)

Compton Bassett fanciers Anna Crowley and Richard Green took tenth open with a five year old, blue hen named Big Blue. She is one of the partnership's best middle distance hens having previously scored from Saintes as a yearling and Bordeaux (twice), Vire, Bergerac and Fougeres as an old bird. The sire of Big Blue is direct from the triple national winning loft of the Santens Brothers from Oudenarde in Belgium when paired to a Van Loon hen bred from stock from S & P Kulpa.

Joe Raeburn of Melksham

The west section was won by Joe Raeburn of Melksham, Wiltshire. Joe clocked a granddaughter of his San Sebastian King's cup winner, Gwen. She was sent feeding an eight day old squeaker and had flown Tarbes earlier in the season and Palamos in 2011. Her breeding is Vanbruaene (Laureaat Barcelona) crossed with stock from Mark Gilbert.

Wilf Reed (L) with wife Janet (R)

Second west section was clocked to the Monmouth loft of Wilf Reed who is assisted with the pigeons by his wife Janet. His timer was a direct daughter of his Barcelona hen, Barcelona Belle, when paired to a grandson of Red Barcelona. Wilf's hen was raced roundabout earlier in 2012 and then re-paired for the National Flying Club race from Tarbes. She was sent to Perpignan as a widowhood / roundabout hen.

That concludes the last of the old bird races for the British International Championship Club with just two young bird / old hen races to go before the end of the 2012 season.