Mark Gilbert (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)
Many organisations, and especially race controllers, realised that it was going to be a logistical nightmare trying to find the appropriate time to plan a release. A calculated decision was made and the 1,810 birds were liberated at 5.45am in a mostly NE wind.
Unfortunately, the predicted weather took a turn during the race and it became clear that the convoy would have a difficult journey. However, it is often the case that some birds make it look relatively easy and so did the first pigeon of Mark Gilbert. The bird, GB16-E26230, took the first position and arrived at 14:54:27 with a velocity of 1123.320 y/min (1027,164 m/min).
The name of this very gallant hen is Southfield Iron Lady. Her parents were both purchased on PIPA. The sire of the hen is a son of New Laureaat (1st Int. Barcelona for Luc Wiels) and her dam is a daughter to Starlight (2nd Int. Tarbes for Etienne Meirlaen). This hen is full of winning genes so the saying about the apple and the tree is applicable to this case for sure. Click here for the pedigree of Southfield Iron Lady.
Southfield Iron Lady, winner 1st National BICC Poitiers 2018
Once again Mark Gilbert's birds begin to perform as we approach the longer races. The international season starts 22nd June and no doubt that this passionate pigeon fancier will be looking to add yet another international victory to his list of honours.