Bamfords Gold Ring Spectacular

The 7th Bamfords Gold Ring Spectacular Race run by Old Lodge HS was flown on August Bank Holiday Monday 2006 with lofts competing from all areas of the North West of England. The race has become the leading young bird race in the area with a total payout of £28,632.13 in 2006. From the 2361 rings purchased (slightly up on 2005 ring sales) 184 members gathered as 1067 birds were marked at Bamfords Corn Mill on Sunday morning. Expectation and excitement was in the air as competitors munched bacon butties and drank tea and coffee chattering to each other about yesterdays race and tomorrows race “The Big One”. Members of Old Lodge HS aided by Ken Sutton, John Almond and Terry Orritt from Ormskirk Amal and Brian Holland from Abram worked efficiently all morning to ensure the race marking and clock setting passed without a hitch. The birds were transported by Phil Brown from RPTS and were liberated at 8am into a North Westerly wind after a consultation with race controller Gerry Clements. Thanks go to Gerry as he has done the Bamfords Race proud over the years, taking time out to do this job even when not competing in the race himself.

At most racing events the result is not officially known for days and in some cases weeks. There may be speculation as to the winners but it would be virtually impossible for a Fancier to definitely know if he had drawn money in such a large race that was still paying pool monies down to 334th open. This is where Old Lodge HS members lead the way in the Sport by producing a full Bamfords Gold Ring Race Result on the night no matter how late it gets. This is achieved by the tireless work of the Members to get clocks struck, checked and clock sheets completed which is no mean feat when you are talking about the opening of up to 184 clocks. The data provided on the clock sheets is then imputed by Janet Hull and Sandy along with son Simon of Mysoft Computers (thanks to these two for their help over the last 7 races) using three computers which are linked together. A leaderboard is set up which is changed at regular intervals throughout the night until the final result is produced. It is this system that we have developed over the years that ensures there is an electric atmosphere at clock opening and you can hear cries of I’m winning, that is until the next update when things had changed then it was Where have I gone. This year was no different after more refreshments from the sandwich bar and the odd pint or two some members left as they dropped lower and lower most stuck it out to the end waiting to see where they finished on the final result. It ended with 4 fanciers winning a T3 Clock each and 68 competitors winning prize and/or pool money with 34 winning between £100 to £499, 13 winning between £500 to £999, 5 winning between £1000 to £1500 and 3 top prize winners winning £1747.80, £1903.80 and £2120.00 respectively. The one thing about the Bamfords Race is it makes a lot of fanciers happy as the money gets spread around with over 36 percent of competitors receiving a cash pay out, that’s better than 3 to 1 odds.

When requesting details to produce this report on the 2006 Race twenty winning fanciers were contacted for information on their birds that had either finished in the top ten of the open or top six in their respective sections. It is extremely disappointing to have received information from only nine fanciers. I would just like to thank these fanciers that took the time to send me information on their winning birds. Further photographs taken over the Race weekend are now on the new website following the link for BamfordsGRing.

J R Sutton – 1st East Section and 1st Open Bamfords Gold Ring Spectacular 2006 winning £2,120 plus a T3 Clock
Roger Sutton who is no stranger to winning top races added the Bamfords Gold Ring race Spectacular 2006 Open Winner to his portfolio. Roger won the race in fine style with a young chequer cock that had been paired to an old hen one week before the race. This young cock is of medium build with a typical Janssen gravel eye, he was weaned into the darkness loft as are all Rogers youngsters and had thrown three primary flights by time of the race. The winners breeding is Janssen based with an addition of a quarter T Shaw Family from a pair of Roger’s race birds, which had been paired, on 21st of February. Prior to the Bamfords young bird race this cock had flown the full Club programme scoring at Bath when he finished 2nd Club and 10th Fed.
Roger begins training his young bird team as often as possible four weeks prior to the first Club young bird race. The youngsters are trained up to a distance of forty miles, sometimes with a local trainer and sometimes Roger will spend time training the birds by the single up method. Roger feels that single up training is important for youngsters and all the Bamfords Gold Ring birds were single trained prior to the race. The young bird team was hopper fed beans and also receives widowhood mix, conditioning seed and a fat mixture. Routinely the birds are treated for cocci, canker, worms and respiratory and Roger vaccinates his birds against paramyxo, pox and paratyphoid.

Alan Nixon – 2nd East Section and 2nd Open winning a total of £1,495
Alan’s first bird to be clocked in the Bamfords Race was a crossbred, blue white flight cock. He was weaned in February and flown on the darkness system. Alan does not give his Bamford Ring pigeons any special training they are treated the same as all his youngsters. Training begins with a two-mile toss and is gradually increased to twenty-five miles. The team is fed twice a day on a mixture Alan mixes himself which is supplemented with glucose and occasionally garlic.

Crehan and O’Connor - 3rd East Section & 3rd Open winning a total of £1,445
The Crehan and O’Connor partnership timed in their most consistent young bird of the 2006 Season to finish 3rd East Section and 3rd Open in this Prestigious Race. Prior to the Bamfords race he was 2nd Club & 3rd Fed kempsey 1874 birds, he arrived home with his hen who topped the Fed that week and at Cheltenham he finished 4th Club and 4th Fed only beaten by three of his loft mates. He was clocked again after the Bamfords Race at Portland where competing against 2132 birds he finished 2nd Club, 3rd Fed & 3rd Central Lancs Combine again beaten by a loftmate. Had he not been such a reluctant trapper the partners are confident he would have topped the fed on three occasions. The youngster in question was a Janssen, chequer cock of medium size that was gifted to the Partnership as an egg by Wall, Lunt, Green & Galley. Crehan and O’Connor would like to thank the Wall, Lunt, Green and Galley partnership for this Grandson of Kannibal that has raced so successfully for them.

Having been flown on the darkness system this special young cock was in perfect body feather on the day of basketing for the Bamfords race and was half way up on his second flight. He was also keen as mustard being sent driving his hen to the nest. He had been trained along with the rest of the young bird team nineteen miles twice a day every day. The young birds are fed twice a day with a light feed in the morning then at night to appetite and no supplements were given this year at all except for grit and minerals. No canker treatments were administered during the entire season nor did they receive anything other than plain water on return from any race. Every year since the partnership started in the sport in 2003 their young bird team has suffered from young bird sickness and they think that young birds are getting weaker every year. They treat this problem with a light diet and Gemthepax in the water and the youngsters recovered quickly this year.
Footnote from the Crehan and O’Conner partnership; Well done on organising the best race of the year, its the best organised race I have ever seen and is a credit to you and
Your family.

Brian Holland – 1st Central Section and 4th Open winning a total of £1,903.80 plus a T3 Clock
Brain had an excellent Bamfords race with three pigeons on the result drawing money and his first pigeon pooled through open and section winning him £1,210.00 and a T3 Clock. This pencil blue pied now named Silver Dollar is an apple bodied pearl-eyed hen that was flown on the darkness system and was sent to the race on her third flight. Her breeding is Pollin x Vandenabeele X Staf Van Reet (John Hankey lines) and she was reared from a pair of stock birds that were paired on 7th January 2006. Prior to the Bamfords race Silver Dollar was 1st Club & 5th Amalgamation Cheltenham then after winning 1st Central Section & 4th Open in the Bamfords Race she was retired for the year. Brian trained his young bird team in batches of 10 to 15 three times a week to a distance of 15 to 25 miles and motivated them by keeping the sexes apart then sliding the door open to allow them to mix and pair presumably on the day of basketing.
Brian feeds his pigeons twice a day on Bucktons mixtures, breeding mixture for the breeders, weaning onto V.I.P. and then racing on Red Widow. Added supplements include Gary Spavin’s herbal teas and tinctures and Gervit W. Brian does not use any routine medication, he has his birds screened regularly by Gary Spavin and treats individual birds according to the findings using herbal products where possible. Brian’s good friend John Hankey gave him good advice on dealing with young bird sickness and Brian uses bicarbonate of soda and cider vinegar if necessary.

R & B Smith – 2nd & 6th Central Section and 5th & 28th Open winning in total £1,747.80
This partnership put up a fantastic performance in this year’s race clocking in five birds which all drew prize and pool money. In fact their winnings last year in the 2005 Bamfords Race were remarkably similar when their total cheque pay out of £1,747.68 was just twelve pence less than this years. They are certainly one of the most consistent lofts to compete in the Bamfords Gold Ring Spectacular races in recent years. The pair have only sent in details of the first pigeon they clocked which finished 2nd Central Section and 5th Open winning then £605.00. He is a medium to large blue cock that had been single reared from their Dearns Cock and a R & B Smith Family hen. His parents had been coupled in late January 2006 and he was placed on the darkness system on weaning. At the time of the race he had still retained a full wing and was unpaired flying to the perch. He had along with the teams other youngsters been trained twice a week to a distance of 50 miles and had been entered into three races prior to Bamfords basketing. The partnership weaned their youngsters using Bamfords Breed and Wean mixture and raced them on Bamfords Young Bird and Widowhood mixed together. No routine medications or supplements were given to the team of pigeons.

Peter Heywood 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th North Section and 24th 60th 61st & 82nd Open winning a total of £1,352.80 plus a T3 Clock
Another fancier to have a superb race in the 2006 Bamfords Gold Ring Race was Peter Heywood who also clocked in five birds each drawing money. Peter’s first bird was a Dark Cheque Hen of medium build with an orange eye bred from his M & D Evans Vandenabeeles, the grandparents being ‘Shadow-Ebony’ and ‘Logan-Band of Gold. This stock pair has bred Peter numerous 1st PrizeWinners up to and including 1st Fed and 1st Combine Level. She was a January bred youngster that was weaned onto the Darkness System and on the day of the race she was on her first flight. She had been well trained, up to 30 miles, and she had already competed in three races up to 136 miles. Peter keeps all his young birds together and if they choose to pair up then he leaves them to it. She was sitting 12 days at basketing and was among my first birds each week prior to the race and after she was 4th open NWCC Portland. Peter then clocked his hen’s nestmate, which finished 2nd North Section and 60th Open. This pigeon, a Blue Hen of medium build with an orange eye was also on her first flight and was sitting for seven days prior to the race. She had also participated in three races up to 170 miles and she had been 16th Open Old Lodge YB Ticket Race Swainswick. She finished the season on a high note coming in the last Club race finishing1st Club, 1st Fed & 54th Combine when competing against 2126 birds in the Combine. Peter’s next bird was a Slate Hen with a pearl eye from his Janssen stock birds, also bred in January and on her first flight at the time of basketing. She was sent to the Bamfords Race showing to a cock for four days prior to the race. She also had competed in three races before the Gold Ring and was 4th Club and 13th Fed when Peter had four birds drop together from Shrewsbury. Peter then timed his fourth bird, a nice Blue Chequer Hen from his Jan Loot Janssen stock birds. Bred once again in January and on her first flight, she had a pearl eye and was flying to the perch, she also had three races previous to the Gold Ring. Successful winning 1st Club 3rd Fed at Shrewsbury and later in the season achieving 3rd Open NWCC Portland.
Peter feeds his young bird team on Bamfords Young Bird Mix and uses conditioning seed for trapping. He treats for cocci and canker every four weeks during the racing season and uses Nyfuramician for Young Bird Sickness. Peter also believes Nyfuramician is an excellent product to use to prevent the occurrence of Ecoli, Salmonellose and Paratyphus.

Peter Fleming 3rd West Section & 46th Open winning £410.00
Peter has raced pigeons for thirty years and winning is a bonus for Peter who participates in this great sport purely for the enjoyment of it. Peter keeps only five pairs of stock birds, in the 2006 Season he raced twenty widowhood cocks and twenty-four youngsters. Most of his team are Janssen based pigeons and the young hen that won 3rd West Section & 46th Open was no exception. She is a dark chequer with a pearl eye that was flown on the darkness system and on her third flight at the time of basketing for the Bamfords Race. Flying the full young bird programme she also won cards for Peter at Mangotsfield where she was 5th Club & 24th Fed, Portland when finishing 6th Club and in the NWCC Portland race she came a respectable 4th Section C and 24th Open. Peter trains his young bird team together three days a week giving them twenty mile tosses and leaves the sexes together allowing them to pair if they wish to. He feeds them Bamfords Young Bird Mix plus Red Band Conditioner twice a day and uses cider vinegar in the water. His routine medication includes the use of Oregan Sim.

T Callaghan 4th West Section & 51st Open winning £355.00
A blue De Klak hen that was hatched in March and flown on the darkness system won this fancier a nice cheque for £355.00. She was basketed for the race in excellent feather holding a full wing and in a keen condition sitting eggs. Prior to the race this hen had had two or three thirty five-mile training tosses and two or three club races. Along with the rest of the young bird team she had vaccinations over a fourteen-day period against paramyxo, pox and paratyphoid. The bird’s droppings were tested and medication would have been administered if a problem had been detected. The young bird team are fed only once a day with a basic young bird mixture.

A & E Bamford 5th West Section & 52nd Open
Alan and Eric scored in the Bamfords race with a small to medium, apple-bodied chequer hen that is a lovely example of the Wildermeersch strain that has been successful in their loft for 25 years. The parents of this particular hen are also responsible for 1st U.K. Gran Canaria Classic 2004 ( 10th Open ), 1st Section NWCC and many others. The sire is out of Jim Duttons Young Gun, whose own ancestry goes back to such Midlands immortals as Birthday Boy and PC49, stretching further back to Frank Faulkner lines of Poot, Bonten and Dokus Dot. The dam is from the Bamford lofts own Wildie family, which originated from a gift pair from good friend Tommy Kenmare of Lancaster (who race as Parry & Son); these were of Beer and Bliksem lines, which have been successful for many fanciers over the years. Grandsire to this hen had 3x1st Feds, while the sire scored over 20 x 1st prizes in his racing career, and was a great producer as well (2nd NWGN; 3rd Section L, Herstal, NFC e.t.c.). The youngster in question had shown her good form by winning a club race in a head wind, and in the Gold Ring race itself proved she was up for a battle by achieving a good position despite the elements being unfavourable. She later went on to be a prizewinner at the end of season in the NorthWest Nantes 2 Bird race.
All the Gold Ring birds are reared on the Darkness System, with feeding being, would you believe it, Bamfords Top Flight Breed & Wean, to get them through the body moult, then progressing onto Cool Racer for exercising/ training/ racing. As race distance increases, Extreme Energy is added to the feed, which builds up the fat content, and helps the birds to arrive home in better condition, and recover more quickly from arduous races. The youngsters aren't specifically encouraged to pair, although the sexes are allowed to run together. This particular hen had just taken a fancy to a fellow Gold Ring cock, whose hormones unfortunately caused a reverse effect, as he hasn't returned to this day! The Father and Son team try to keep the birds healthy using natural methods, and to that end mix yoghurt with the youngster’s feed, and this year had used Orego Stim, together with Johnson's Tonic.

Presentation of Trophy and Clocks
The presentation will take place at 12.30pm on the Sunday of the BHW Show of the Year at the Bamfords Top Flight Stand. Roger Sutton will be presented with the new Vic Harrison Memorial Trophy and memento of his achievement as winner of the Bamfords Gold Ring Spectacular Race 2006. It is hoped that all previous race winners 2000 – 2006 will also be in attendance for winners photographs. All 2006 T3 Clock winners will also be presented with their brand new T3 Clocks.

A few details
The race is open to any member loft of the RPRA flying 165 miles or over from Poole whose loft is situated within Cumbria, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire or Cheshire. There are four sections in the race East, Central, West and North each with its own T3 clock nomination, which is guaranteed by Bamfords. Each loft can purchase up to 15 rings at a cost of £10 each.

New for 2007
Keep up to the minute with all aspects of the three Bamfords Races on their new website at following the links for BamfordsGRing. Race reports, photographs, ring sales updates, liberation time, results will all appear here as they happen throughout the year.

To try to encourage more Fanciers in the smaller sections to participate in the Bamfords Gold Ring Spectacular Race the prize money will be split 40% open – 60% section for the 2007 Race. Section prize money will be split pro rata section entries as previously.

New for 2007 rings



Old Lodge HS already organise The Bamfords Old Bird Channel Challenge (see below for details of the 2007 race) an Old Bird race for previous years Bamford Gold Ring pigeons that is large, open to the whole of the North West (as per rules) and financially rewarding. But after talking to numerous Fanciers that compete in the Bamfords Gold Ring Races the general consensus was that there was a need to develop the Old Bird Race further in a similar vein as the Young Bird Spectacular. Therefore the idea was looked at by Old Lodge HS and they are proud to now give Fanciers not one but three bites at the cherry. Entry into the Bamfords Platinum Yearling Race is priced at £10 with a maximum entry of two per loft. The entry fee of £10 or £20 is payable when ordering your 2007 Bamford Rings. Prize money generated will be split 40% Open and 60% Section with again section prize money being split pro rata entries in the respective sections. Bamford ring numbers of the yearlings to be entered only need to be declared on the marking night of the 2008 race giving you every opportunity to compete. These yearlings can be double banked into the Bamfords Old Bird Channel Challenge 2008 by paying that race entry fee if the Fancier wishes. It is hoped that this race will encourage Fanciers who do not particularly concentrate on young bird racing to take the plunge in now having Bamfords 2007 rings safe in the knowledge that they can compete in the old bird races. As ring orders are being received for the 2007 race it is clear to see that this initiative has been received well by the Fancy with many competitors entering the Platinum Yearling Race.

What do you have to do?
Look out for the Bamfords Gold Ring Spectacular order forms in the fancy press, go online at follow the link for BamfordsGRing to get an order form by e-mail or contact The Gold Ring Secretary Beryl Harrison on 01772 467882 for details of obtaining rings via the post. The Secretary will be on the Bamfords Top Flight Stand at the Blackpool Show selling Gold rings 11am till 3pm on Saturday and 11am till 2pm on Sunday. Gold rings can also be purchased at Bamfords Globe Mill, Midge Hall, Preston on the following Sundays – 11th February, 25th February and 11th March between 10am and 12 noon.

Bamfords Old Bird Channel Challenge 2007
Guaranteed prize money in 2007 is a fantastic £1,200.00
Bamfords Old Bird channel Challenge race organised by Old Lodge HS is growing steadily in popularity as members get a second chance to compete against other Gold Ring birds only for a second bite at the cherry. Old Lodge HS has guaranteed prize money in the past and this year is no exception. Guaranteed prize money for the 2007 Race now stands at £1,200.00. The race will be held from a channel racepoint such as Fougeres or Messac dependant upon transport availability. Entries are unlimited and all Bamford Gold rings from years 2000 to 2006 are eligible. There will be four sections as per the young bird race and the prize money will be split 40% Open and 60% Section with the Section prize money being split pro rata section entries. There will be both Section and Open Pools. Further details will be published in the Fancy Press as they are known or keep updated on the new website following the link for BamfordsGRing. Due to the problems experienced in 2006 with the bird flu no race was organised. However, in the three previous races its was won in the East by George Appleton 2003, in the West by Harrison & Hull 2004 and in the South by Derek Woodward 2005, so, you can’t say fairer than that.

The Future
Due to the large radius of the Bamfords Gold Ring Races and the catchment of Fanciers within that radius we have an opportunity and potential to make all three races the largest in the UK. Each year ring sales have increased albeit only slightly last year, which was disappointing, we have put this down to all the doom and gloom that was around early last year regarding bird flu. Just remember that over 36% of competitors in the Bamfords Gold Ring Race 2006 won either prize / pool monies irrespective of where their lofts were situated. Each section has its own prize and pool money to compete for so whilst the weather conditions on the day may play a part in the final open result every member of every section has the opportunity to receive a substantial cheque. You need to be in it to win it and you too could take part in the Premier Race in the North West of England.