A&S Hughes (Rochdale, UK): "Never a bad race season"

In what other way could one describe the fantastic National performances put up this year by Anthony (Tony) & Simon Hughes of Rochdale? This father and son partnership really had ‘the feathers flying’ in 2011.

So much so that it would have been a crime not to highlight the results put up by their team of channel birds, competing against the strongest of company year in, year out. I may add that this was achieved against strong National competition racing into Rochdale. If anyone argues this is an easy task I would suggest that they are looking at their map upside down!


A & S Hughes receiving RPRA best middle distance award 2011(28 000 members)
21st January 2012


Illustration of the line of flight the Rochdale birds have to hold in inclement weather
to win top prizes in Nationals and Combines from Messac 401 Miles( 645 KM).

Apart from their 2011 treble section wins in UK Nationals here is a quick list of some of their best performances over the past few seasons:

NWCC, Portland, 212 miles. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10,11,12 Section 
and 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10,11,12 Open
Denton Gold Ring, Portland,212 miles. 35 members sent 326b, 1,2,3.
Bamfords Gold Ring, Poole, 201 miles, 1, 3,18 winning £3665 
with over 1100 birds competing.
Midlands National Flying Club, Carentan,300 miles, 1,4,6,7,11,
NW Section, 2,14,16,17,34 Open, 6523b
Midlands National Flying Club, Vire,335 miles, 1 NW Section, 5 Open
National Flying Club, Messac,401 miles, 1 Section L, 80th Open
3-Counties Combine, Falaise 337 miles, 3,50, 6628b
3-Counties Combine, Lessay 305 miles, 1,4,7,12,13, 4976b
Border Amal, Lessay,305 miles, 1,4,5,10,13,18,19,20, 617b 
Winner is “Headwind Boy” later be auctioned online 4th Feb 2012.
" Lessay " 1,3,4,5, - 1323b
" Lessay " 1,4,5,13,19 - 777b
" Lessay " 1,2,12,13,14,16,17 -  1652b
" Portland 212miles(341KM) 1,2,3,4,5,9,13,15,16,18 - 1733b
" " " 1,2,10,11,12,14 - 1562b
" " " 1,3,4,13,14,16 - 2982b
" Cheltenham 117miles 1,4,13 - 2545b
" Swainswick 152m 1,8,13 - 2237b
" Cheltenham 117m 1,9,15 - 3211b
Lancs Combine, Lessay,305miles(490KM), 1,4,5,10,14,19,20,21,
23,28,32,41,43,60,75,76,82,83,85,95, 96 members 775b
" Carentan 1,45. 88 members sent 809b
" Fourgeres 368miles(592KM) 3,4,62 171 members sent 1481b

" Lessay 305miles (490 KM) 1,4,5,6 etc
" Picauville 295m 4,5,7,8
Border Amal Fourgeres 368m 3,4,5,7,9,10,14,18, - 1634b
" Messac 401m 3,8,12,13, - 1011b
" Picauville 295m 4,5,7,8,16 - 692b
" Swainswick 152m 2,4,5,6 - 2904b
" Wollaston 80m 2,3,4,5,6 - 2405b
" " " 3,4,6,7,11,15 - 3738b
" Fourgeres 368m 3,9,12 - 1298b

Other National Ace and regional awards won in past two years :

1st North West Region RPRA award Young bird over flying 350 miles 2010
1st North West Region Middle distance RPRA award 2011
1st North West Region ANY distance award 2011
United Kingdom best middle distance award 2011(28 000 members)

Before I tell you about the three special current race birds though, I would like to if I could about their first day’s National racing on the 21st May. In the MNFC 18 birds were sent and they won 1st section and 2nd Open from Carentan with a total of 5 birds finishing in the first 34 Open positions!. From the NFC they sent 10 cocks and won 7th section L and 8th Open. The partners must have felt that they were in dream land and in truth the dream went on and on. A couple of weeks later the loft clocked to win 1st Section L and 80th Open from Messac with the NFC and a short time later record what Simon and his Dad thinks was their best result from Vire with the MNFC when 1st NW Section and 5th Open was won when a North West wind was blowing and all the birds that beat them were flying up to 80 miles shorter than their game hen.

Let’s now take a closer look at the birds responsible:

First of all ‘Claire’ she is a 2 year old widowhood hen of Brasspenning/Van Loon & De Klak breeding. Her record is very impressive 1st club, 1st fed and 1st Amal from Portland 212 miles(341 KM). Then 3rd club and 3rd fed and 4th Amal from Lessay 305 miles(490KM) and 2nd club 3rd fed 4th Amal and 4th Lancashire Combine also from Lessay prior to 1st NW section 2nd Open MNFC Caretan 300 miles(482KM).

Next comes ‘Our Gem’ who is a full sister to ‘Claire’ and she has won the following prizes.1st club and Federation from Swainswick 152 miles and 1st club and Federation and 5th Amal Combine from Cheltenham 117 miles. Then she was 11th NW section and 34th Open MNFC Caretan with the MNFC. Then she won 1st NW Section 5th Open MNFC from Vire a distance of 337 miles. A full brother to these 2 hens is “Headwind Boy” a winner of the Lancashire Combine Lessey race young birds 305 miles.

Two fantastic sisters that needs mention :

Then there is ‘John’s Choice’ he won 3rd club and fed and 5th Amal from Portland before winning 1st Section L and 80th Open with the NFC 401 miles. This pigeon is a cocktail of Piet Valk x Brasspenning/Van Loon.

I have deliberately added the distances to emphasis the fact of just how much further the Hughes’ pigeons must travel to reach home. I am quite sure that no birds flying a greater distance than theirs have beaten them this year in National racing a real testimony to their performances.

The Hughes’ birds are formidable from 80 miles right up to 500 miles, In fact several fanciers flying their birds have recorded good results at this distance. Proving what an adaptable family of pigeons they have.

It has been my pleasure to highlight the achievement of A & S Hughes in 2011 and will be watching closely for their names on the National results in the future.