The race from Zaragoza proved to be very hard and testing for the birds. The eventual winner was Nigel Loker from Cambridge who clocked a three year old Southwell hen named Zara, to take first open and first section J. Zara is bred down from the older lines from Jimmy Shepherd and is a typical Southwell hen, small to medium, well proportioned and with a bit of a temper. Zara was flown on the roundabout system and was one of a team housed in their own loft, with two sections and eight boxes to each section. This team was prepared with eight or nine inland racing and training around the loft. Twelve birds were selected for the race, a distance of 731 miles. On her return on the fourth day, Zara was in remarkable condition, having lost very little body weight and was still carrying nine and a half flights.
Second open and first section G was won by Calum Edmiston from Horley. Calum timed Blue Monday, a blue cock that arrived back on the Monday afternoon. Calum has been dedicated to the long distance over the past twenty years and his timer from Zaragoza was the culmination of all that hard work. The sire of Blue Monday is a grandson of first national St Vincent, first national Mont-de-Marsan and first national Tarbes. The dam is a daughter of second national Bergerac, which was bred down from from Cretian Vanoppen's first international Barcelona in 1987. This line made Wijnands famous and was largely responsible for Chris and Jaap Van de Veldens eight x first Dutch national success. These latter fanciers bred the parents of Blue Monday.
Steve & Sally Rhodes
Steve and Sally Rhodes of Aylesham timed two pigeons to take third and sixth open and second and fourth section J. The first pigeon to arrive was True Grit, the sire of which is Roger Senicort x Jan Aarden, whilst the dam is a sister to George Bate's Gravesend with AJ Silver Jay and TJ Cannon bloodlines. The sire of their second pigeons to clock was bred by their good friend Trevor Shievals of Ashford, whilst the dam contains Kyper x Coppenolle bloodlines.
Stuart Houghton with Phil Hunt
Stuart Houghton from Pewsey was fourth open and first section C. Stuart timed a Tuplin x Barker cock that has had five previous races this season without scoring. Stuart started racing in the 1970s following on from his father who started with pigeons in 1933.
John Lane with Ted Varley
Fifth open and third section J was won by John Lane of Whitstable with a chequer hen bred by his good friend Ted Varley. This hen contains Brian Denney Tuff Nut bloodlines when paired to a cock from Fear Brother's pigeons. This hen was raced on the celibate system and has never been paired to a cock.
That concludes the report on the provisional result of the British Barcelona Club race from Zaragoza.