The British birds entered into the Barcelona race with the international had to negotiate the English Channel and then cope with very bad weather across much of the country. There was especially heavy rain across the south east through much of Saturday night and Sunday morning. Despite these obstacles many plucky birds battled through to their home lofts and there is no doubt that the winners are proud of the achievements of their deserving pigeons.
Tony Stephens - first open from Barcelona with the British Barcelona Club
A Stephens of Poole timed a five year old cock on 835ypm to take first open and first section B. No stranger to timing from Barcelona, Tony was first section and eighth open in 2013 and fifth section, twenty-second open in 2012. This year he clocked Blue Roy, a 2009 latebred which was bred for him by Scott Storie from the 1995 supercrack cock of Roy Seaton of Annan, which was twice bird of the year. The dam is from Mr and Mrs Brian Long's blue GB08N00731 which had seven first prizes in its racing career. This hen was from Elan, the sire of Glazer which was first and third open from Pau. Blue Roy's racing performances include three times from Tarbes in race time, the best being thirtieth section B and one hundred and sixty fourth open with 3,290 birds competing, then twelfth section B and one hundred and thirteenth open Saintes with the National Flying Club with four thousand, one hundred and thirty one birds competing and third section, fifth open with the National Flying Club from Fougères (7,064 birds). This cock was also sixty-first open from Niort with the National Flying Club a few weeks ago.
Gosling & Jarvis
Gosling and Jarvis of Mountnessing clocked a three year old, widowhood cock on 752ypm taking first section J and second open. Keith and Mick's timer contains the bloodlines of Kiro, bred by Jim Biss and is a grandson of Vend (first National Flying Club, Pau) and Salve which is the sire of Turban and which was second National Flying Club from Pau. The dam is a Muller Aarden of Mona Lisa lines crossed with a Jim Cartier and which was from Ponderosa stud in the UK. This cock was one hundred and thirty-fifth section as a yearling with the National Flying Club and last year he was twelfth section and eighty-seventh open with the British Barcelona Club from Niort. Prior to Barcelona it had three inland races and then Messac, Tours and Poitiers.
Tony Cowan of Southampton timed a four year old to take third open, first section A on 739ypm. Tony clocked Shepherd's Delight which contains Brian Shepherd's Lucas bloodlines on the sire's side. Tony's recent performances include second section, provisionally twenty-fifth open from Messac with the National Flying Club, thirteenth open with the Central Southern Classic Flying Club from Bergerac in 2013 and also first and third open from Messac with the Central Southern Classic Flying Club in 2010. A lifelong fancier, Tony has recently decided to concentrate on long distance racing again and is pleased with his performances so far this season.
Bert Shepherd's Shergar
Fourth open and second section A went to Bert Shepherd of Woodmancote who is a Barcelona specialist with his fourth open winner being awarded a Spanish Diploma for being clocked three times in race time from this race point. In 2012 Bert was sixteenth open with the National Flying Club from Tarbes and in 2011 he was eighth open NFC from Tarbes and fifteenth open British Barcelona Club from Palamos. 2010 saw him take fourth, seventh and thirtieth open with the NFC from Tarbes. From Barcelona this year Bert timed Shergar on 672ypm and which has previously been second club from Guernsey, beaten by a loft mate, fifty-eighth section A from Fougères with the National Flying Club and thirty-fifth section A, two hundred and ninety-third open Tarbes with the NFC amongst other performances.
Jim and Hazel Hooper of Cardiff timed fifth open and first section C with their only entry, a six year old cock on 612ypm. Having been involved in the administration of the sport for many years, it is only recently that Jim has decided to take a back seat and concentrate on racing his own pigeons rather than organising everything for others to race theirs. Jim timed a cock that has previously flown Pau (591 miles) on the day and was then sent on to Barcelona (743 miles) where he was timed a couple of hours after the race closed. So this year he was earmarked for Barcelona once again. It was sent sitting eleven day eggs and its breeding is a mixture of Ken Hine, Lol Green and Derek Reid crossed with Jim's old Kirkpatrick long distance family on the cock's side when paired to a hen bred by Tony Leggatt.
Alan Turner of Dover timed first section G and sixth open with a seven year old on 580ypm. This was a blue cock from his old Delbar family and which was sent to the race feeding a big squeaker and with five day old eggs in the nest. lan has previously won thirteenth open from Perpignon and eleventh open St Vincent, both with the British International Championship Club in 2013. In 2012 he was seventeenth open with the BICC from Barcelona and in 2011 he clocked seventh and fifteenth open BICC from Perpignan.
Tony and Carol Welch from Chichester took seventh open and second section G with a five year old blue hen on 548ypm. This hen was bred down from a Martin Mitchell x Janssen pigeon that was gifted to Tony from his good friend Lou Severe. An excellent long distance fancier, in 2014 Tony has already won first section, sixty-third open from Niort with the BBC and first section, one hundred and eighty-third open from Messac, also with the BBC. In 2013 he was twenty-sixth open with the BBC from Tours, eighty-third open with the NFC from Carentan with young birds and thirty-sixth, thirty-eighth, fiftieth and fifty-third open with the BBC from Fougères amongst other performances, many with the Central Southern Classic Flying Club.
Eighth open and second section J was taken by Mr and Mrs Hawkins, whilst ninth open and first section D went to Mr and Mrs Fear.
Bill Knox's tenth open cock
Bill Knox of the SR and WH Knox partnership from Canterbury was tenth open and third section G with a five year old, chequer cock sent sitting ten day old eggs when basketed and timed on 512ypm. Preparation for Barcelona for this cock included Cannapville (140 miles), Saran (234 miles) and Pithivers (223 miles), all with the East of England Continental Club. The sire of this pigeon is a Kirkpatrick x Jim Biss and the dam is a Kirkpatrick x Chris Gordon.
Finally we have Bomber Mellis from Portsmouth with eleventh open and third section A, a six year old blue hen which has been a consistent racer for him and was clocked on 502ypm. Previously it has recorded twenty-ninth open from Barcelona with the BICC in 2012 and twentieth open Poitiers, seventh open Bordeaux both with the BBC in 2010.
That concludes the report on the British Barcelona Club race from Barcelona in conjunction with the international race.