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A report on the British Barcelona Club race from Bordeaux on 2nd August 2015

Eight hundred and thirty two birds were entered into the British Barcelona Club race from Bordeaux. They were liberated at 6.00BST with no wind on site but a south-easterly wind further north in France. The following is a report on the provisional result based on members' verifications.

Mal Hope

First open and first section E was won by Mal Hope of Telford with a two year old, blue hen sent sitting a seven day old youngster. Named Piaf, the breeding of this hen is a mixture of Mal's own family from the late Colin Broughton of Congleton combined with Colin Lloyd Cattrysse, Robert Venus de Barcelona, Marc Pollin's de Perpignan and De Weerdt Jan Aardens. Mal breeds about thirty youngsters each year but due to hawk problems only about ten make it to the old bird races the following year. Mal feeds nothing special, preferring farm corn and ordinary grit and minerals. No antibiotics are administered but occasionally he stews up a few nettles to make a tonic for the birds.

Alan Shore

Second open and second section E went to Cynthia and Alan Shore from Crewe who timed Daisy Doo, a widowhood hen that had been prepared for the longer races. The partners like to try their widowhood hens at the distance to ensure future young birds are bred from the best racers. Prior to Bordeaux, Daisy Doo had a couple of training tosses and was then sent to Carentan with the Midlands National Flying Club followed by Fougères with the British Barcelona Club. She came well from both races so was given a couple of training tosses with the young birds, then sent to Bordeaux. Bred for the distance, Daisy Doo contains the partner's Danny Boy bloodlines along with that of John Barnett and Daughter.

Barry Burton

Barry Burton from Dorchester clocked first section B and third open with a yearling blue cock flying back to a five day old youngster. The sire of this cock is a three year old pigeon from Dave Whitefield and the dam was bred down from N and D Spracklen crossed with a gift bird from Jim Hooper and containing the Kenny Hine bloodlines. Barry flies his small team on the natural system and gives them as much freedom as possible.

Richard Spooner

Third section E and fourth open was a two year old, Jack Roberts Delbar cock timed by Richard Spooner of Stafford. Having its third race of the season, this cock is a son of one of Richard's top stock cocks, Golden Balls. Richard timed a second cock to be provisionally fifth section and eleventh open, this was another Jack Roberts Delbar widowhood cock on its fifth channel race of the season. The next timer for Richard was a six year old, Delbar x Mike Spencer cock that has scored from Bordeaux, Tarbes, Tours and Messac in the past. It will now be retired to the stock loft. Richard's next bird home was a Delbar cross, the sire of which was a full brother to his second bird home and the dam of which was lent to him by Nigel Rigiani and was a daughter of Comanchi and Lady Jane, ten times in the result from Barcelona and Palamos between them. 

Phil Newton

Phil Newton of Weston Super Mare was first section C and fifth open with a cock sent to Bordeaux driving its hen to nest. A 2013 latebred, this cock did not race as a young bird, but was trained up in the close season to about thirty miles. Phil's winner is a double great-grandson of his National Flying Club certificate of merit winner, Springfield Black Bird when she was paired to Springfield Phantom, the winner of first section, third open Palamos in 2003. Preparation for Bordeaux included several inland races from Littlehampton and two channel races, Fougères and Messac.

Mary Ayles & Abbie

Second section B and sixth open went to Mary Ayles from Weymouth with a five year old. blue cock known as 95. The sire of this pigeon is bred down from Mary's old stock going back to when she first started racing in 1996 and the dam was bred from a bird given to her by Babby Ballard of Lychett Matravers. 95 has raced the Dorset Federation programme this year going to Littlehampton, Battle, Carentan, Fougères and Messac and was then sent to Pau with the Central Southern Classic Flying Club when it was second in the local Weydor Specialist Club.

Gordon Hancock

Gordon Hancock from Devizes was seventh open with a yearling chequer hen which won from Seaton three weeks ago and was trained with the young birds. This was a gift bird to Gordon last year from Mike Rawlings of Broadhinton and it arrived home in excellent condition.

Graham Baker's Hen

Graham Baker from Shifnal was eighth open. The dam of Graham's timer was bred by Cameron Stansfield and is a full sister to the grand-dam of Graham Groom's hen, Sweet Pea, the winner of six top positions from Bordeaux with the Midlands National Flying Club. The dam of Graham's winner is the Tusk Hen, which was bred from a chequer cock that on the sire's side is from a son of his National Flying Club certificate of merit winner, Meritman.

Tony Porter

Ninth open went to Tony Porter from Portland who entered ten birds and had five back on the day and two the next morning. Tony and his wife were sat in their garden watching the swifts when his little grizzle cock, Jacko, came down across the field like a rocket. Jacko was sent feeding a big youngster and its sire was a gift bird from Kevin and Caroline White, down from their own family of winning birds crossed with Martin and Clare Norman's grizzle family. The dam of this pigeon was from the best of Pite Boyen from Nuth in the south of Holland. The other four pigeons which came for Tony on the day were from his tried and tested old family containing Geoff Hunt x Wilf Reed x Boyen bloodlines.

Completing the top ten we have Bill Townley and Son from Cheltenham. Bill has been around pigeons since he was a young child but first started keeping his own in 1957. In 1965 he started racing on the widowhood system but stopped that in 1972 due to the time it took. Bill started this season with twenty-eight old birds and as the Bordeaux race came around he still had twenty-three left. He bred nineteen youngsters, of which five have been entered into one loft races, leaving him fourteen to race himself. Bill's timer from Bordeaux was a two year old, chequer hen sent sitting eggs and from his old family that goes way back.

Around the sections

Glen Moon

First section H was won by Glen Moon from Jersey with a three year old, blue cock that has been outstanding for him as until a few weeks ago he was the only old bird Glen had in his loft after dropping most of his yearlings from Fougères. Named True Grit, this cock flew Palamos this year, but unfortunately arrived one yard out of race time. True Grit has also won from La Roche two years running.

Paul Davies

Second section H went to Paul Davis from Jersey with his consistent five year old Jan Aarden x Janssen chequer cock which had been raced on the widowhood system all season, but was sent to Bordeaux driving his hen to nest.

Trevor Green

Trevor and Sue Green from Ashurst were first section A with a four year old, blue Ganus cock bred for them by Kevin Dipper of Southampton. A very consistent cock, this pigeon is at his best at races over 400 miles.

Stuart Sheffield

Stuart Sheffield from Windsor was first section D with  a two year old, blue chequer cock which came into him as a stray young bird. Flown on the widowhood system this cock is very protective of his nestbox and has always been a consistent performer for Stuart.

Eddie & Freya Rann

Eddie Rann from Chillerton on the Isle of Wight was second section A with a hen bred by Roger Merrin who also lives on the island but doesn't race anymore, only keeping a few stock birds to share with his friends. Dark 004 is from a son of the original De Weerdt known as the Box Two Pair and which were grandchildren of De Weerdt's Spiritus and Lisbet crossed with an Andy Gregson De Weerdt hen. Dark 004 has scored previously in National Flying Club Races.

David Hughes

David Hughes from Windsor timed a two year old, Van Elsacker-Jepsen, hen the sire of which was gifted to him by Mark Gilbert to take second section D. This was its second channel race, the first being Le Mans two weeks earlier and it was sent sitting eggs.

J & J Brady

Father and son, John and John Brady from Belnfleet timed 798, a dark chequer cock that has previously been third section from Fougères with the BBC this season. Their second pigeon was a mealy cock, 867 was less than a minute behind. This pigeon was bred for them by Ken Hine of Middlesex from his Eric Cannon pigeons and is a year younger than the 798 so may well be a good prospect for the future.

Joe Langbridge

Joe and Vera Langbridge from Sidlesham were first and second section G. Their first bird was a five year old hen named Birthday Girl as it was Joe's birthday when he clocked her. She was bred from Joe's number one stock hen from A E Shepherd crossed with a Val Helmond cock, this pair have been responsible for many good racers for the Langbridge Loft. 

Gosling & Jarvis

Gosling and Jarvis from Mountnessing were third section J with a two year old, widowhood hen named Young Astra, competing in her third channel race of the season. With many good performances to her name she was prepared for Bordeaux by being excercised twice daily before being confined to her box to prevent her to pairing to other hens.

Mick & Lyn Chaplin

Third section G went to Mick and Lyn Chaplin from Woking. They clocked a two year old Burgher x Wildermeersch cock that has flown consistently on the widowhood system. After flying from Saintes, all the Chaplin's cocks were paired up to get the hens prepared for the old hens races in September. Their timer from Bordeaux was sent to the Le Mans race two week's ago sitting eight day eggs and it was third section and sixteenth open.

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