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A report of the British Barcelona Club race from Niort on 14th June 2014

One hundred and eighty two members entered one thousand and five birds into the British Barcelona Club race from Niort. They were liberated at 6am into a light east north easterly wind on a day that proved testing for racing across the UK. The following is a report of the provisional result based on telephone verifications.

Lawrence Cowley

First open and first section B went to Mr and Mrs Cowley from Grimstone near Dorchester on 1191ypm. Lawrence and Marg timed a yearling blue hen flown on the roundabout system and on its third channel race of its career. As a young bird, this hen had three races winning a second, fourth and first club and a first Dorset Federation from Maidstone. Its nestmate has also won second club, second federation from Maidstone this season. The Niort winning hen's breeding is out of IHU12S28980, National Hero which is a Freddy Vandenabeele x Roodhoft which was bred by Sheldon Leonard and was loaned to the partnership by Mike Staddon. This cock was then paired to a blue Vandenabeele hen. Lawrence and Marg have a lot of Mike Staddon bloodlines in their loft combined with some Frank Pearson Busschaert crosses. The partners timed five out of their seven hens sent on the day.

Graham Ayles

Second open and second section B was timed by M, G & M Ayles of Weymouth on 1164ypm. Graham and Mary timed a two year old cock sent driving to the nest and which has always been a consistent flyer to the loft even as a young bird. Its sire is a Herbots based cock bred by Mary's brother, Robin Webb and the dam is a full sister to their Pau hen which came from Bobby Ballard of Lychett Matravers. Graham and Mary started racing in 1996 and have previously won first section with the National Flying Club from Saintes and also first open from Lessay with the Central Southern Classic Flying Club.

Glen Moon

G Moon from St Helier on Jersey was third open and first section H on 1155ypm. Glen clocked a two year old, blue cock which is now named True Grit as he has been a consistent racer to the loft. As a young bird it competed in club races and the British Barcelona Club Fougères young bird national. As a yearling it took cards from the BBC Fougères and Le Mans national races. This pigeon was bred from a blue hen gifted to Glen by his friend Mick De Carteret of Guernsey and which was bred from bloodlines obtained from Mr Venner from Street. The sire was acquired from Lawrence Le Ruez of Jersey.

Bill Pitney

William Pitney of Weymouth was fourth open and third section B on 1144ypm. Bill timed Buckland Billy Boy, a one hundred percent Bert Braspenning and a half brother to his third open Carentan winner with the British Barcelona Club this season. Buckland Billy Boy had three channel races in preparation for Niort and was sent sitting eighteen day eggs.

William Healy

W Healy of Jersey was fifth open and second section H on 1131ypm. This Jersey fancier with a strong Scottish accent timed a chequer, white flight, yearling cock sent sitting sixteen day old eggs. The sire of this pigeon is a Geoff Kirkland x Joe Letchio of Alloa cock when paired to a pure Joe Letchio hen which was unfortunately a victim of a hawk in 2013.

Clive & Jill Rogers & Neil Sales

Sixth open and first section C was timed by Clive and Jill Rogers and Neil Sales from Writhlington, near Radstock on 1129ypm. The partners clocked a chequer cock bred from a pair of Luc Van Den Plas pigeons purchased direct a few years ago when Clive visited Luc's loft with his son Craig. At that time Clive flew with his son and his friend Neil as Rogers, Son and Sales. After Clive and Jill got married they flew as C & J Rogers for a while but now Neil has once again joined them in the partnership. Clive's son Craig no longer has pigeons but grandson Zac is showing an interest. The partners clocked a widowhood cock which had five short training races to the coast this season with Paulton HS and High Littleton FC and was then sent across the channel, first to Alençon and then to Tours, both races with the British International Championship Club and in the latter of these it was their second pigeon home.

Jane Johns & grandson Jack

Jane Johns of Weymouth clocked seventh open and fourth section B on 1128ypm. Jane's winning pigeon is a two year old widowhood cock whose hen was taken by a hawk around the loft just before racing started so Jane put a different hen into its box each time it came back from a race. Prior to Niort it had only been trained to Shepton Mallet and then was sent to the Central Southern Classic Flying Club race from Messac. Its sire is a Ponderosa Janssen from stock obtained in 1993 and the dam is a Jan Aarden x Van der Wegen which Jane got from Tony Swain.

Raymond Beaconsfield

Eighth open and second section C went to Raymond Beaconsfield of Marlborough on 1105ypm. Raymond has been flying from this address since the early nineties and now flys with Ram Alley HS in the Wiltshire Federation. His pigeons are mainly Janssens from the Ponderosa Stud and after a few years of club flying, he is now trying to test them out at national level. Given this eighth open from Niort with the British Barcelona Club I would think he has found them to be more than adequate. Ray's second bird home was the nestmate to his first.

Brian Sheppard

Brian Sheppard of Trowbridge clocked ninth open and third section C on 1104ypm. Known in the UK as The Legend as he was the first to win an international race in recent years, Brian clocked a yearling cock bred down through The Sentry and the daughter of his second international winner from Dax. This cock was timed with the BBC from Tours as a young bird taking sixth section and forty second open over 303 miles. As it is only a yearling now, this is one to watch for the future.

Eamon & Jamie Rae Kelly

Completing the top ten and in first section D we have Lloyd and Kelly of Abingdon on 1097ypm. Eamon Kelly timed a yearling, blue bar cock of Alf Baker x Logan bloodlines which was bred by Denny Phillips of Wales. Eamon's friend, George McIntosh from Northern Ireland, recommended Denny's pigeons to him and he was not wrong this time although Eamon says he has been in the past!

Around the sections

Johnny, Michelle & Kacey Leigh Attrill

Johnny 'East Wind' Attrill of Salisbury was first section A on 1076ypm with a son of Nightmare when paired to a Koopman hen from Pieter Kos. This yearling cock was also sixth Yearling Derby with the Central Southern Classic Flying Club a couple of weeks previously. Johnny also timed a second pigeon to take third section on 1028ypm. This was a red cock that is a son of Johnny's fifth section winner and his all pooler, being a double section winner bred by his good friend Dave Day. Second section A went to James Derbyshire from Whitchurch on 1032ypm.

Peter Wells

Second section D was timed on 1040ypm by P J Wells from Dunstable. Peter timed a dark chequer hen flown on the widowhood system. This hen is a granddaughter of the 11 hen on  both sides of her breeding and is also a granddaughter of a Schuman bred by Ray Barrington. His second pigeon was a yearling widowhood hen sired by a mealy cock bred by Guy Barrett OBE when crossed with a Chris Gordon hen. Mark Gilbert of Windsor was third section D on 1040ypm.

Alan Shore

Mr and Mrs Shore of Crewe took first  and second section E on 1043ypm and 995ypm respectively. Their first bird home was Little Sam, a two year old of Ko Nipius x Delbar breeding and the second was Our Ollie. The sire of Our Ollie was bred by Brian Heath and the dam was a John Barnett pigeon when crossed with Alan's own Danny Boy lines. Chris Whittingham of Wheaton Aston near Stafford was second section E on 979ypm. Chris timed a two year old, blue cock of Jean Pauw bloodlines and bred by his brother, John.

Tony Welch

Winning section G on 938ypm we have the husband and wife partnership of T & C Welch from Chichester. This is Tony and Carol's second section win with the British Barcelona Club in 2014. Their first pigeon this time was a blue, yearling Janssen cock flown on widowhood. Crammond and Langstaff timed two pigeons to take second and third section G on 917ypm and 896ypm respectively.

Third into section H was P Davies from Jersey on 846ypm.

That concludes the report of the British Barcelona Club race from Niort on 14th June 2014.