The Irish National Flying Club grand national race from Penzance - a report on the winners

The Irish National Flying Club raced marked the pigeons on Monday 3rd September for the Penzance Young Bird Grand National race on Wednesday 5th. However Wednesday morning dawned very cold with a strong northeasterly wind in Penzance so the birds weren't liberated until 08.15 am on Thursday 6th September.

1st south section, 1st open, Cullen & Burke from Arklow

The winners of the Young Bird National this year are the partnership of Cullen and Burke from Arklow. The partnership is made of Darren Cullen and Eleanor Burke who have been racing together since 2006. The sire of the winner now known as The Gussett Boy, was bred by Sheldon Leonard from his 860 lines, while the dam was bred by Michael & Joe O’Reilly and is from the Popeye lines of Woodroofe Bros in Sunderland. The Gussett Boy was raced in the darkness system and had been in all the races except the first one from Dungarvan.

2nd south section, 2nd open, E Barnes & Son from Ballybrack

The partnership of Eddie Barnes & Son are establishing themselves as leading national fliers having been 6th and 11th open in the yearling national in June. The sire of the Barnes’ pigeon is a Joop Koch, which was a gift bird from Fleming Keery of Newtownbreda, while the dam is a Janssen from Ponderosa Lofts and is down from the James Bond lines. Timed at 12:28 pm this young cock was the first of three birds home out of an entry of four. The cock had been sitting on eggs for a week but when his hen was late home from an earlier race he had left the eggs and he had just started taking an interest in her again before going to the national.

3rd south Section, 3rd open, R Fewings of Rathnew

At 3rd open is Rathnew’s Ron Fewings who is a relative newcomer to the sport, this being only his 3rd season racing. He enjoyed a great race from Penzance with a second bird in the prizes at 51st south section, 187th open. Another darkness youngster, Ron's timer was a blue hen with Van Loon Silver Shadow lines on the dam's side. The sire was a Busschaert x Staf Van Reet.  

4th south section, 4th open, Owen Kirwan of Gorey

In 4th south section, 4th open is a loft that has enjoyed a considerable success with the Irish National Flying club, that of Owen Kirwan of Gorey. A previous yearling national winner in 2008 he was also 6th in 2007 and 10th in 2009. Owen timed a dark grizzle hen at 11.57 am, racing on darkness and sitting 10 days. She had seven or eight inland races before going to the national. The dam is a Tourner, while the sire is Houben x Janssen.

5th south section, 5th open, Breada Deegan of Dublin North County

Breada Deegan is the only lady fancier racing on her own in Southern Ireland, Breada is a top racer with many wins to her credit including 1st Open from Sennen Cove last year where she won two ETS systems on the one day. Breada's timer was a grizzle hen of Thanis breeding through Tommy Nelson from Malahide. Breada had another bird in the result taking 23rd south section, 66th open.

6th south section, 6th open, D Cummins & Son from Finglas

Derek Cummins and Son had a super race here with three in the result altogether with the next two birds taking 10th and 21st south section, 23rd and 64th open. They are the probable winners of the De Scheemaecker Trophy for best two bird average. Their first bird is a Koopman via Galaxy lofts.

7th south section, 7th open, Bodie & Dobson

The partnership of Bodie and Dobson was formed in the 1960s and is made up of Richard Bodie and Ned Dobson. The pigeon timed was reared by Gerry McCourt and is Soontjens x Grondelaar on the sire’s side and Janssen on the dam’s side. This bird contains Rocky lines, a champion racer in the South Road Federation. The hen was raised on the darkness system and was racing to the perch.

1st north section, 8th open, P Byrne of Banbridge

Pat Byrne is farmer and a good stockman with a string of good performances over the years. The north section winner is a lovely black hen with a grey head. A darkened young bird she had every young bird race prior to the national except for the first two races and was flying to the perch. The sire is a Delbar, which also contains the blood of R Carson & Son’s Dinard cock. The dam was a Marcel Albrect gifted from Colin Gibson of Dromara.

Pat Byrne

8th south section, 9th open, J Prenter from Sallynoggin

John Prenter from Sallynoggin was last year's yearling national winner, having only started racin in 2010. The pigeon timed here is from pigeons obtained from Russell Alcock of Burton on Trent. The sire is a Gaby Vandenabeele while the dam is a Janssen. A hen, she was sent sitting on a single 12-day-old youngster.

J Prenter

2nd north section, 10th open, A Darragh of Cullybackey

Alan Darragh of Cullybackey has a national record of success going back over many years. Alan’s latest success is with a blue cheq cock and this pigeon is by all accounts quite a character. First of all he is a somewhat later young bird than Alan’s main darkened team so although in the loft with the them he was only on the system for 2 or 3 weeks. Secondly although younger he rose to be one of the most dominant cocks in the loft. This chequer cock was bred by John McGettigan for Alan from a pigeon which John had from Alan and is down from Alan’s three times France (King’s Cup) pigeon. Alan Darragh is another fancier to have more than one bird in the prizes from Penzance with a second bird at 68th north section, 102nd open.

Alan Darragh


Congratulations to our friend Allan Darragh!