Mark Gilbert (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)
First open and first centre section once more went to Mark Gilbert of Windsor with a three year old on 1054mpm over 506 miles. Mark's pigeons have always been sourced from the very best lofts in the UK and Europe and having now produced his own unique family of birds, he has an elite team that are able to win at the short, middle, long and extreme distances. Mark's winner this time was Southfield Sebastian, the same pigeon that won first open from Falaise earlier this season. Southfield Sebastian was also first centre section from Alençon last year. The sire is from a son of Brockamp's Perpgnan 06 when paired to Mark's super breeding hen 79333, a daughter of Southfield Supreme and the dam is a double grandaughter of the Koopman's Kleine Dirk.
Southfield Sebastian (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)
D Bullen and Son from Croyden were second open and second centre section with a three year old on 997mpm over 496 miles. Mark and Wicky timed a dark chequer cock flown on what they call their own crazy widowhood system. This year, this cock has two nestboxes of his own but when he came back from Agen he was more interested in fighting with the yearlings in the loft than getting back to his hen. He was bred for the partners by their good friend Dean Garrett from Dean's distance stock.
Simon Knowles & Alan Annis
Third open and first east section went to a two year old on 995mpm over 491 miles for F Knowles and Son of Wingham. Simon timed a dark cock, Big Al, of Southwell x Cyril Wells bloodlines. Big Al is named after Alan Annis who timed him in whilst Simon was at the Barcelona marking. Big Al had four inland and one channel race this season in preparation for Agen.
Bob (l) and Anthony (r) Besant with Les Blacklock (c)
Bob Besant and Son of Worcester Park timed two pigeons to take fourth and seventh open, third and fourth centre section on 992mpm and 971mpm respectively over 499 miles. Both were flown on the widowhood system and were on their fourth channel race of the season. It would have been their fifth channel race but both were sent to Poitiers with the British International Championship Club and due to severe adverse weather conditions were brought home again. The partners think these two pigeons have spent longer on transporters than in the loft over the past three weeks. This didn't prevent them performing though which is a testament to the convoyers taking care of them. First on the clock was Stitch, bred from the Besant's stock cock Diamond Prince, who is a grandson of Indy and Euro Diamond of Brockamp when paired to a grandaughter of Indy, first and eighth NFC Tarbes for Matt Rakes. Second to time was the Scottish Cock, bred from a full brother of Geoff and Catherine Cooper's Farm Boy when paired to a hen bred by Roy Seaton and which is a daughter of his national winner, Mari Mac.
Steve Rhodes & granddaughters
Mr and Mrs S Rhodes of Aylesham timed a yearling cock on 991mpm over 487 miles to take fifth open and second east section. The sire of Steve and Sally's cock was second open from Prepignan, and the dam was twice second open from Marseille. The grandsire of this pigeon was also a winner of twelfth open from Tarbes with the National Flying Club. The bloodlines of this pigeons are down from Joost and Crack Perpignan.
Sixth open and third east section was a yearling cock on 977mpm over 498 miles for Alan Dimes of Orpington. This was a Louella Jan Aarden flown on the natural system and sent sitting eggs. In preparation for Agen it had one inland and one channel race.
Doug Gatland of Reigate was eighth open and fifth centre section with a two year old cock on 929mpm over 488 miles. Doug only flies a small team of pigeons and looks to compete in two or three nationals each year with just a couple of pigeons. He timed a son of Ailla, first section, second open St Vincent in 2013 and containing Van Der Wegen, Jan Aarden and Padfield Wim Muller bloodlines. The sire of Ailla was bred by Doug's good friend Calum Edmiston.
Geoff & Clayton Preece (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)
G M Preece and Son of Dover timed a four year old on 898mpm over 483 miles to take ninth open and fourth east section.
Dave & Vince Padfield
Completing the top ten and in first west section are the Padfield Family from Abertillery with a two year old hen on 760mpm over 551 miles. The sire of this hen is inbred to the Padfield's family and its grandsire is Old 89, one of the loft's foundation pigeons, responsible for a dynasty of winners. Also in this hen's breeding is Iron Lady, a great racing hen before being retired to stock. On the dam's side there is a son of Dave, first Welsh South Road National Flying Club Tarbes and third Central Southern Classic Flying Club national from Tarbes.
Around the sections
Geoff & Catherine Cooper
Geoff and Catherine Cooper of Peasdown St John were second west section and seventeenth open with a two year old cock on 712mpm over 513 miles. Geoff and Catherine timed a grandson of George, first grand national Tarbes. This cock is also a grandson of Eurostar, a top breeding son of Euro Diamond. The partners timed a second pigeon twelve minutes later and should have five featuring on the final section and open result.
Peter Atherton of Portishead was third west section with a three year old hen on 709mpm over 529 miles. Containing Janssen bloodlines this hen was raced on the natural system and sent feeding a ten day old squeaker.
Mr & Mrs Errington (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)
Mr and Mrs Errington from Rushden were first north centre section and fifteenth open with a five year old cock on 718mpm over 563 miles. Raced on the widowhood system earlier in the season, this cock was put back on the natural system and sent driving its hen to nest. It's bloodlines are Huybrecht x Super Crack.
John Black of Hitchin was second north centre section and twenty-second open with a two year old on 693mpm over 543 miles. John timed a second pigeon on 530mpm to also take third section. First in the clock was a grizzle cock flown on the widowhood system and bred by Lee Williams, head gamekeeper on the Pilkington Estate. Lee gifted the grizzle to John's wife as she likes the pretty pigeons.
First north-east section and fifteenth open was a three year old on 733mpm after 553 miles for Joe Mayes of Stowmarket.
Philip Harrod of Lowestoft clocked a five year old, widowhood cock on 619mpm over 573 miles to take second north-east section and thirty-ninth open. This cock was bred by George Bowyer of Congleton and has had four inland races plus Alençon in preparation for Agen. Philip topped the section from Agen last season as well.
That concludes the report on the provisional result of the British International Championship club race from Agen, in conjunction with the international.