In 1986, when Shaun was eleven years old, his dad allowed him to have his own loft in the garden of the family home with twelve cocks for him to race. Shaun named one of these cocks Clem and this bird went on to win 13 x 1st prizes, including 2 x 1st federation with over 7,000 birds competing. It was this pigeon called Clem that really got Shaun hooked on pigeon racing and made him determined to stay in the sport when he was older. After a few years as a young man, moving from place to place, 2003 saw him settled into a new house with a young family and so Shaun decided to erect a loft and start racing on his own once more.
Shaun McDonough outside his loft
When he started racing again, Shaun didn't have to look too far for the pigeons he wanted to form the foundation of his family as his father's Vanwildemeersch were what he wanted above all. That said, he also saw the advantage of crossing in other winning lines in order to strengthen his loft. The other lines he crossed in included Marcelis, Jan Huybrechts and an exceptional Felix Powell hen, all of which he obtained from his father. He also obtained a Janssen hen bred by fellow fancier Graham McPherson from a breeder buyer auction which went on to win the breeder buyer race plus three more first prizes that year. She was only raced as a youngster and once placed in the stock loft, she was paired to a top Vanwildesmeersch cock and went on to breed many more winners including Toby and the dark hen named Flo Jo. Shaun also bought six Marijke Vink birds from Gibb and Byrne from Ireland, four of whom turned out to be very good birds and which have done plenty of winning.
2012 was an especially good year for Shaun as he was once again the highest prize winner in the Wolverhampton Federation which is one of the biggest federations in the UK. He was also the premier prize winner in the Super Club which is open to all members of the West Midlands Region of the UK and is probably the strongest and hardest club to win in the area. This club has a five bird limit and ten races each season, five for old birds and five for the youngsters. In 2012, Shaun won 3 x 1st, 5 x 2nd, 1 x 3rd, 1 x 4th and 1 x 6th in the Super Club along with a few thousand pounds in prize money.
Old bird results in 2012:
Frome 4th & 7th federation 3,037 birds Frome 23rd federation 4,681 birds Frome 16th federation 5,096 birds Frome 5th & 6th federation 3,058 birds Kingsdown 7th, 22nd & 24th federation 4,174 birds Wincanton 15th federation 3,278 birds Kingsdown 18th federation 3,875 birds Fougéres 11th federation 1,035 birds Kingsdown 3rd federation 2,604 birds Messac 15th federation 1,408 birds Niort 18th federation 1,050 birds Niort 19th federation 879 birds
Young bird results in 2012:
Frome 5th federation 3,110 birds Frome 3rd & 4th federation 2,843 birds Exeter 7th & 12th federation 3,111 birds Frome 1st to 11th federation 940 birds Frome 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 6th federation 475 birds Frome 11th, 2nd & 23rd federation 4,618 birds Swainswick 24th & 25th federation 3,651 birds Wincanton 4th, 5th & 6th federation 3,030 birds Kingsdown 3rd, 4th & 6th federation 2,733 birds
This is just an indication of Shaun's performances at federation level, as he won many more prize cards in 2012 at club and section level. Indeed, if we wanted to list everything he has won since 2009, it would be an impossible task!
Some of the current stars in Shaun's loft include the previously mentioned cock named Toby, which is the winner of 11 x 1st prizes including 1st against 4,276 birds, 1st against 7,985 birds, 1st against 3,581 birds, 2nd against 6,049 birds, 2nd against 4,268 birds, 2nd against 7,784 birds, 8th against 3,798 birds and 14th against 6,412 birds . Not surprisingly, Toby has now been retired to the stock loft and has already bred further winners for Shaun.
A full sister to Toby is the dark hen named Flo Jo which was also mentioned earlier and which is now at stock after a racing career that included 4 x 1st club prizes including 2nd open federation, having been beaten by a loft mate. In total, this hen had 50 prizes, including 24 federation cards. Since being retired to stock she has become dam to many more recent winners.
The dark hen named Flo Jo
After his achievements in 2012, we would like to wish Shaun all the best for the 2013 season!