A report on the National Flying Club race from Tarbes on 24th July 2015

The National Flying Club birds were liberated at 14.20BST into a light south-west wind and bright sunshine. The following is a report on the provisional result based on members' verifications.

Eamon Kelly (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

The winner of the 2015 race from Tarbes and in first section F was the partnership of Lloyd and Kelly from Abingdon in Oxfordshire. Eamon timed a yearling chequer hen which was raced on the roundabout system earlier in the season and then paired up ready for Tarbes. Now named Margaret's Angel, this hen was bred from two previous Tarbes section winners, the sire being a summer bred pure Daniel Aerens bred by Roger Lowe. The dam came from one of the direct Aerens pairs that Eamon has in his own stock loft. This hen is only the second yearling to win from Tarbes, the other being Greenacres Florence for Dave Delea back in the late 1980s. Eamon's partner, Frank Lloyd passed away some years ago and he is now helped at the lofts by Mark Jarvis. Graham Mason, who works as a roofer for Eamon, takes the birds training the the south coast on his way home each evening.

Margaret's Angel (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

Mark Gilbert (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

Mark Gilbert of Windsor timed three in quick succession to take second, third and fourth open and first, second and third section E. Mark's first on the clock was a dark chequer cock, a son of Euro Diamond, one of the best long distance racers of all time. The dam of this cock was a Deweerdt, a granddaughter of Magnus and Ted. Second to clock was a chequer pied cock, a son of Mark's superb breeding hen 79333, in turn a daughter of Southfield Supreme, the loft's first international Dax winner. The sire of this cock is a son of Brockamp's Perpignan 06. Mark's third pigeon was a yearling hen, the sire of which is a double grandson of Euro Diamond. The dam is a sister to Rutz and Son's 2008 Barcelona national winner.

Crammond & Langstaff

Crammond and Langstaff of Fontwell timed one of their widowhood cocks to take fifth open and first section A. This was a two year old that the partners purchased as a youngster from Ian Stafford and James Parker. Prior to Tarbes, it had six inland races and three channel crossings, Messac, Ancenis and Saintes. The sire of this cock is a 2003 bred Adrien Verreckt cock, whilst the dam came from a son of Koopman's Lorris and Annalise when paired to Miss World, a daughter of Sumo and Jutta of Jos Thoné.

Joe Raeburn

Joe Raeburn of Melksham took sixth open and first section G with Sir Alex, a six year old, chequer Vandenabeele cock. The sire of this cock came from John Gladwin of Formula One Lofts and contains Nationaal x Carrie x Jester bloodlines. The dam was bred by Mel and Sue King and is a half sister to Eros, first open NFC Nantes. Eros contains Solitaire x Band of Gold x Shadow and Devon bloodlines.

Mr & Mrs Cooper

Mr and Mrs Cooper from Liss timed a blue hen to take seventh open and second section A. The sire of Kevin and Vera's winner was a bird gifted to them by their clubmate Jim Etherington, whilst the dam was one of a kit of youngsters that came from Foxwood Lofts. The bloodlines are Lindelauf x Frans Van Meldert. All the partner's pigeons have an open loft to come and go as they please. Kevin feeds the pigeons on chicken food for four days a week and then upgrades to a proper pigeon corn mix for the three days before basketing.

T & J Bernard from Portsmouth took eighth open and first section B, timing a two year old cock from their old Southwell family. The partners race to a traditional back garden loft with the birds being giving the freedom to come and go as they like. The fammily is based on the Southwell bloodlines with a few crossings of birds from Jimmy Shepherd and Albie Deacon. Prior to Tarbes this cock flew Tours and Ancenis.

Wearn Brothers and Nielson from Ramsdean took ninth open and second section B.

Garry Inkley

Completing the top ten we have Garry Inkley from Uxbridge, who was also fourth section E. Garry clocked a three year old hen that had been flown widowhood earlier in the season and then re-paired for Tarbes and sent feeding a small squeaker. The sire of this hen is Janus, bred by Mick and Beryl Woodyard, being a grandson of Mankepoot of Marjin Van Geel. Of the six Garry timed from Tarbes, five were either children or grandchildren of Janus. The dam was bred by Ko Van Dommelen and is direct from De Mand.

Around the sections

Mr & Mrs Hodges

Mr and Mrs Hodges from Templecombe timed a red pied hen to take first section C. This hen was bred from a cock containing Red Barcelona bloodlines. The dam is a Brockamp hen which the partners had on loan from Mark Dorrington. Raced on the chaos system for most of the season, she was allowed to run with her cock for a day before basketing for Tarbes.

John Halstead

John Halstead of Gillingham took first and fourth section C. John timed two widowhood cocks, both being grandchildren of Nyland Ashley, the loft's foundation breeder. Nyland Ashley is a grandson of the Jim Biss cock, Turban. First on the clock was Nyland Henry, a two year old, chequer cock that last season was ninth section from Tarbes. Five weeks ago Nyland Henry was fifth section and eighteenth open from the Pau international.

Section D was won by Knox and Stewart from Bideford.

Andrew Mabin (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

Andrew Mabin of Buckfastleigh was second second D with a cock sent covering its first eggs of the season. This cock is a direct son of Mark Brown's 2010 Messac when paired to the loft's best stock hen that bred a second open winner in the Somerset One Loft Race. This cock has now amassed numerous prizes right up to national level.

Sherman & Wells

Second section F was won by Sherman and Wells from Oxford. In fact the partners clocked three birds to take third and fourth section as well. First on the clock was a hen that was paired up to the second arrival, which in turn was the nestmate of the third to clock. The partner's second section winner contains varied bloodlines but includes that of Corkett's good Tarbes hen. The next two were Southwells from Jimmy Shepherd crossed with an inbred Champion Max bird. Champion Max won from Tours and Bergerac with the Midlands National Flying Club.

Geoff & Catherine Cooper (photo courtesy of Chris Sutton)

Geoff and Catherine Cooper from Peasdown St John were second section G with a two year old, widowhood cock. Their cock was a grandson of Farmer George, first international Bordeaux. Farmer George is a key pigeon in the Cooper's family and is certainly leaving a mark on the loft.

Richard Howey

Richard Howey from Northampton dominated the result in section H, taking first, second, third and seventh on the provisional result. All four of Richard's pigeons are related and can be traced back to his original Carmichaels which he obtained from the master's loft way back in 1963. These were kept pure until 1996, as by then John Carmichael had been dead for over ten years. The first cross in was some Van Bruane bloodlines, followed by Southwells and Stichlebauts, Theelans, Marriots and finally some Jan Aardens.

Rob Rome's winner

Rob Rome of Cheltenham was first section I and also won the car sponsored by Eamon Kelly and Mark Gilbert. Rob timed his hen, Fabia, the sire of which is Small Fideel bred by Patrick and Dimitri Houfflijn of Belgium. Small Fideel is a full brother to many top racers including As Fideel, fourth national ace pigeon KDBD and second national ace pigeon Entente Belg amongst other performances. The dam of Fabia is a home bred double granddaughter of Georges Carteus' best breeding hen, Perle, owner by Silvere Toye. Perle is a direct daughter of Millenium Perpinan which was a winner from 65 - 565 miles.

John Fretwell

The runner-up in section I was John Fretwell of Evesham who also won first and second open from Bordeaux with the Midlands National Flying Club on the same day, so he must have been busy clocking the pigeons in. From Tarbes, John timed a 2013 cock that was lightly raced as a yearling and then went over the channel four times the following year. The sire of this cock was bred by Comb van de Berg of Utrecht and the dam was bred by Gerard Van Tuyl, being a full sister of Foppe, first international Pau in 2007.

Williams & Hassall

Williams and Hassall from Quarry Bank were first section J, timing their sole entry at a distance of 646 miles. Jean Williams and Bill Hassall timed a two year old, blue cock that was racing back to its hen. The partner's family of birds are bred around the Busschaert bloodlines that they obtained from Andrew Hall from the north-east. These bloodlines go back to the Newton Pair and have done well for the couple having won the section four times with the NFC.

Graham Clift

Second section J went to Graham Clift of Tirley. Graham clocked two pigeons, both related and bred down from birds obtained from Mark Sparey via Mark Gilbert. The bloodlines include children and grandchildren of Emiel, the dam being a sister of Graham's second bird when crossed with a son of Crowley and Green's Meteor. His second pigeon came from pigeons line bred to Emiel. Of the twelve pigeons he sent, Graham clocked six within race time, despite the race conditions being particularly hard for the west of the UK.

Nick Adshead of Selby was first section K, the winner being a two year old chequer hen named Millie. Millie was second section from Saintes last season, as a yearling in particularly hard race conditions. Raced to week old eggs and flying 730 miles, Millie was motivated by a small youngster being placed under her prior to basketing.

Noel & Adam Gaunt

The runners-up in section K were Noel and Adam Gaunt, who also timed a second pigeon to take third section. The second section winner is a Tavierne - Rigole x Jan Aarden, the sire of wich was bred by Russ Hardcastle of Leeds and it is proving to be a top stock cock for the partners. Being relatively new to national racing, the majority of the partner's race results previously have been at federation level.

Brian Littlewood

Brian Littlewood of Stockport timed a six year old, blue chequer hen to take first section L. Named Moonlight Gambler due to her habit of returning to the loft just before dark, this hen contains the best of the Roger Florizoone bloodlines that were gifted to Brian by his good friend Tony Merrick of Windermere. Tony was the first English fancier to obtain the Florizoone pigeons.

Danny Gobin

Taking second section L is the partnership of Fletcher and Gobin with a blue pied cock bred out of a cock that was a grandson of Mike Spencer's Misty Lady when paired to a hen from Dave Impett of Blackpool, a daughter of Dave's Dutch Bruggeman cock, 239, the sire of Katie's Star. This cock was lost as a young bird and reported in a caravan in North Wales. It made its own way home after two weeks and has been known as the Caravan Cock ever since.

That concludes the report on the provisional result of the National Flying Club race from Tarbes.