The Royal Palace…
The UK racing loft of Mark Gilbert from Windsor has over the last decade become the royal palace of pigeon racing within the British Isles, there are very few past or present fanciers anywhere in the UK and across Europe that can boast comparable racing performances put up by this living legend of the pigeon sport. Coming into the 2017 racing season the Gilbert loft had won a staggering out right 3 x 1st International on the long distance races and 19 UK nationals.
However the 2017 season was to demonstrate that Mark is not just an expert in conditioning pigeons for the major national and international races, his extensive knowledge of the pigeon racing world and previous significant investment in obtaining the best bloodlines available is now paying dividends not only for Mark but also for those other brave and knowledgeable fanciers that are willing to invest in the bloodlines housed in in Mark's stock loft. Arguably the racing ace is now becoming a master breeder with no less than 7 UK National winners in 2017 originating from Mark's breeding lofts.
Mark's loft - photo courtesy of Chris Sutton
Perpignan International delivers 20th National win for Mark Gilbert
Southfield Hugo - photo courtesy of Chris Sutton
The weekend of the 4th of August and the final international race from Perpignan of the 2017 season saw Mark deliver an outstanding 20th UK national victory with the super Southfield Hugo. The sire of Hugo is the outstanding Golden Barcelona Gold wing winner and 2nd Ace Barcelona pigeon of Europe over three seasons. His dam is a daughter of the New Laureat when paired to a daughter of the old Laureat Barcelona. A clear demonstration of how investment in the best bloodlines in the world of long distance racing will deliver outstanding results for the dedicated fancier.
3 National wins for Dean Childs in 2017
Dean Childs of Basildon in Essex had a dream season during 2017 racing exclusively with the bloodlines of Mark Gilbert, he enjoyed success winning 1st National Mont de Marsan (Pau International), 1st National St Vincent and 1st, 2nd, 3rd National Fougères.
Chalice Darcy - photo courtesy of Chris Sutton
The dam of Chalice Darcey was bred by Mark Gilbert and is a daughter of the prolific racer / breeder Southfield Supreme winner of 1st International Dax. On this occasion Dean combined the blood of Supreme with a Son of Wing Down from Alwyn Hill.
Chalice Sidney - photo courtesy of Chris Sutton
Chalice Sydney was bred as a late young bird during the 2015 season by Mark Gilbert and once again raced by Dean Childs during the 2017 season to win 1st National St Vincent in a race where only three UK birds were recorded on the day of liberation, Mark Gilbert was 2nd National! The sire of Sidney is a son of Southfield Darkie (winner of 2 x 1st National) when Darkie was paired to a daughter of Brockamps George. His mother is a daughter of Southfield Supreme (1st International Dax) when Supreme was paired to the mother of Southfield Melissa (1st International Agen). The mother of Chalice Sidney is already a proven breeder being also the mother of Southfield Jane, Mark's NFC Saintes winner.
Chalice Dream - photo courtesy of Chris Sutton
Racing from Fougeres with the British Barcelona Club, Dean filled the podium with 1st, 2nd and 3rd National from 2,039 birds. Dean’s first pigeon now named Chalice Dream, is a 2 year old bred from two Mark Gilbert pigeons. The sire is a grandson of Drum and the mother is of Kleine Dirk and Figo lines. Dean’s 2nd pigeon now named Chalice Joy, is a yearling full sister to the national winner Chalice Dream. Dean’s third pigeon now named Chalice Supreme, arriving with the first two and is a late bred yearling being bred from a grandson of Southfield Supreme when paired to a granddaughter of Southfield Supreme who in turn is a full sister to Mark’s Saintes NFC winner Southfield Jane.
J & T Davies – 1st National Poitiers
Another fancier who saw fit to invest in the progeny of the quality stock housed in Windsor was Jeremy Davies of Birtsmorton, who when racing with the British International Championship Club from Poitiers at a distance of 404 miles took the 1st national prize.
Greek Wrigler - photo courtesy of Chris Sutton
The parents of The Greek Wrigler were bred by Mark Gilbert of Winkfield. They are both full of top international blood with the lines of Euro Diamond, Champion Ted, Magnus, Ricky, 1st International Barcelona and Red Barcelona.
K & J Zefara – 1st National Fougères
Eastern Angel - photo courtesy of Chris Sutton
Yet another UK national winner from the Gilbert bloodlines came to the loft of K & J Zefara of Portsmouth who recorded their great racer Eastern Angel to win 1st Open National Flying Club Fougères. This super blue hen is yet another National winning descendant of Marks’ 1st International Dax winner Southfield Supreme. Supreme is probably one of the greatest pigeons to race and breed in England.
G L Gurney – 1st Old Hens National Fougères
Jamiele - photo courtesy of Chris Sutton
The National Flying Club Old Hens national saw the third fancier of the 2017 season to win a national with Gilbert bloodlines, namely G L Gurney of Blackwater and once again the national winner is a descendant of the super breeder Southfield Supreme.
Mark Gilbert has consistently invested in the best bloodlines available in the pigeon world and by combining them with his own ultra successful family based around the prolific Southfield Supreme Mark has achieved greatness in the UK pigeon sport. Not a man to rest contented in his own glory Mark will continue to invest, driven by his ambition to continually raise the bar in UK long distance international pigeon racing and it is a fitting to testament to this unique ambition and drive that the super bloodlines of Mark Gilbert can now be found in successful lofts around the British Isles and across the pigeon racing world.