North of England Homing Union Folkestone Classic 2010

Monday the 10th of May 2010 saw approximately 26,550 pigeons belonging to members of the North of England Homing Union liberated at Folkestone in Kent to race back to lofts competing in the four racing organisations affiliated to the North of England Homing Union.

Wade Brothers of West Auckland strike Gold!

1.  Wade Bros – West Auckland WCHS (WDA)           1316 YPM
2.  Linsley & Watson – Cockfield HS (WDA)          1299 YPM
3.  Myers Bros – Great Ayton HS (UNC)              1295 YPM
4.  B Long Middlestone Moor HS (DC)                1294 YPM
5.  Morton, Son & Hodgeson – Hamilton & Dist (WDA) 1293 YPM

The membership of the Durham Combine, New North Amalgamation, Up North Combine and the West Durham Amalgamation were also competing for an array of prizes & specials including the R Patterson Trophy for 1st Open, as well as the Trophies up for competition in the four individual racing organisations, Federations and Club’s along with prize money and pools and a £50 Special for the first FUT rung yearling on the result. In addition the race was Sponsored by UNIKON (Deister Electronics), GARVO Corns, The Racing Pigeon and Tauris UK.

Following an inclement forecast which pointed to a delayed liberation the birdage was significantly reduced on 2009 with a drop of 10,000 pigeons. This can in part be explained due to members of the WDA, NNA & DC basketting on the Thursday and a number of members sending a reduced team or missing the race as there was little chance of a race until the Sunday at the earliest. The UNC postponed race marking until the Saturday, however the testing Rivenhall the previous Monday also reduced the send from the UNC as members in some cases only sent part of their teams back to Folkestone.

However the race itself was a resounding success with early pigeons being timed throughout the boundaries of the NEHU but none could touch the Yearling Blue Pied Widowhood Hen owned and raced by Martin & Richard Wade of West Auckland WCHS, Cockfield Federation and the West Durham Amalgamation.
The morning after the race I had the pleasure of going to visit Richard and Martin to verify their winning Yearling Hen, now named “Jean” in honour of their Mother and as a reference to the help from Fred & Jean Gray of Newbiggin who loaned one of the Grand Dam’s of the winner to the lads.

Jean is a Widowed hen and is bred from a Half Brother & Sister mating, with both parents being bred in Martin & Richard’s stock loft from a Son of 36 Cock of Andre Roodhoft when paired to a top racing hen on loan from Fred & Jean Gray through their Andre Roodhoft lines to produce a Chequer Cock and to a Dtr of the lads own “Skull” Cock to produce the Dam.
Jean raced consistently as a Youngster and for the first 5 races of the season before claiming the big prize,  but she is not resting on her laurels as she has already raced since the open win and is now being aimed at the WDA Maidstone race at the end of May.
A half Sister to Jean already has 2 x 1st Feds, 2 x 2nd Feds and 30th WDA Billericay YB’s and 5th WDA Arras.
Another youngster of the Sire to Jean won £1000 in the Cockerton Breeder Buyer for the lads.
The only 2 youngsters to leave the loft of the parents to Jean went to Young Bros & Dowson of New Brancepeth and both are 1st prizewinners and one was responsible for the Best Youngster in the Club in 2009.

Martin & Richard are currently enjoying a rich vein of form in a big competitive club with up to 600 pigeons away a week they have won 4 x 1sts Club and 3 x 1sts Feds from 7 races. In fact the lads were 2nd & 3rd Fed the weekend after Folkestone.

Martin and Richard fly to the garden their father kept pigeon on and in fact Martin is celebrating his Golden Jubilee on the site having started helping his Dad while in short trousers! Martin at 56 is retired and Richard a youthful 47.
A third Brother Russell also competes in West Auckland in the partnership of Wade & Hogg.
The lads have a L Shaped set up consisting of a tiled roof widowhood & YB loft facing South and a easterly facing pent roof hens loft facing East separated by a sitting cabin/corn store.
Following a cowardly theft a few years back the stock pigeons are now located elsewhere.
The team is now predominately 90% Andre Roodhoft, with the odd Van Reet, Vand De Rhee & Van De Heuvel Brothers contributing to the success.
A team of 20 Widowhood cocks and 14 Widowhood Hens is raced with Richard being in charge of the Cocks and Martin concentrating on the hens due to Richard’s work commitments, but each can cover the others team as necessary and both partners discuss what is happening with each team. The partners to both teams are at home to greet their mates at all times.
A team of approximately 45 youngsters is reared to be selected down to 40 for the race team. It is worth pointing out West Auckland has a 20 bird limit and can still send 600+ pigeons week!

The lads do train but not as heavily as they used to as they usually manage to whittle the team down themselves with injuries from training as the pigeons go wherever Richard is working from. Be it North, East, South or West!

Feeding is certainly different in that the whole team has a hopper in front early week containing a mixture of Beans/Barley & Breed & Wean. The last 3 to 4 feeds is made up of Widow Mix blended from 3 different widow mixtures the lads select from the local suppliers, choosing the best available within their budget. £5 Beans make up the bulk of the corn purchased.

The old bird team are treached for Canker every 3 weeks and if necessary treated if not felt to be performing correctly.