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racing pigeon

Featured in this issue…
Alan Atkinson
Geoff & Clayton Preece
Pigeon Racing in Australia
Malik & Khan
Tom Williams
Rambling Memories
Andy Miller


No 586
9 770033 740075 £4.95
PigeonPixels DVDs

G & S Verkerk
ENGLISH Reeuwijk
Gerard and Bas Verkerk from
Reeuwijk have belonged to the
absolute world top in the pigeon
sport for years. Together they built a
great collection of racing pigeons
which have achieved unprecedented

By following this father and son

partnership for a year, we gain
insight into which system and
pigeons the successes are achieved.

Gerard Koopman: Marathon Special

In this film of PigeonPixels we visit no
other then Gerard Koopman. ENGLISH
Not too long ago he made his debut on
the marathon races. Especially thanks to SUBTITL
his basic breeder ‘Red Bullens’ he
achieved a provisional highlight in 2016
by winning 1st National NPO not-
nominated Marathon Championship. In
2017 he was 2nd.
In this film the grandmaster from
Ermerveen explains everything about his
system for the heavy marathon races. A
very successful method, given his
national titles and incredible result
listings, among others three victories in
his amalgamation in 2017.


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In this issue…
Racing Pigeon Pictorial
International Page
No 586
4 Alan Atkinson
The Racing Pigeon Co Ltd
PO Box 12760 The ‘Sandycroft Slayer’
Colchester, CO1 9TZ
phone 01206 250880
(international + 44 1206 250880)
10 Geoff & Clayton Preece
Email address: A Mediterranean ‘On the Day’ Loft
Website: 17 Pigeon Racing in Australia
ISSN 0033 7404

Editor: Lee Fribbins

22 Rambling Memories
Production: Stephen Rickett
Advertisement/Subscriptions: Eye Pictures
Carly Huggins
26 Malik & Khan
Front Page Picture
Holding all the Aces
36 Tom Williams
Success with a Small Team of
Twelve Pigeons
44 Andy Miller
1st Open SNFC Gold Cup race
from Burdinne

– Squills 2020 –

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The ‘Sandycroft Slayer’

Alan showing the wing

of his 2015 1st West
Section winner from
Carentan a 300 mile race
point that the Atkinson
birds simple love.

Mike Lakin
4 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586
long time ago it was asked about his birds Alan took Later Alan had great success

Jeff Reynolds the local a ‘good pull’ on a hand rolled with his family of Busschaerts
pigeon scribe that gave cigarette, smiled and said, “Mike which were introduced to him
Alan Atkinson that I’ve been lucky because I always via his good mate Brian
gruesome title because seem to get good pigeons”. He Arathoon and he raced fantastic
the fact is that in the was referring to the many pigeons like ‘Tele Savalas’ and
pigeon circle within the area excellent pigeons that have the ‘Bouncy Castle Cock’. I asked
that is exactly what Alan was raced over the years to his home him on my first visit over to
often found to be doing. Fast in Sandycroft a village which is Sandycroft, where he got his
forward to 2019 and little has situated near to Connors Quay colourful names from and with a
changed because the man from on the Welsh borders of grin he explained, “Well ‘Tele’
Sandycroft is still slaying the Flintshire. Alan was quick to got his name because in his
opposition on a regular basis. heap praise on his wife who has career he won 17x1st prizes with
Whether it is in the local club, always been supportive of him in three Federation wins and no

The young bird loft.

Federation, Amalgamation or his chosen sport and he told me less than three colour
National behind the smile and about the time, shortly after televisions,’’ he laughed out loud
friendly manner Alan is still a they got married when he told as he recalled, “We had
very ultra-competitive fancier. her that he wanted to get some televisions in every room!” ‘The
birds off the great Norfolk Bouncy Castle Cock’ earned his
To gain the kind of successes fancier Jim Biss which would cost name when a fair came to the
that have fell to Alan right up to £300. Heather said, “Well you village and erected a massive
National levels then he must had better go and get them bouncy castle over the hedge
have the right ammunition, birds then” even though it left a behind the loft and I thought
that are more than capable of gaping hole in their £400 savings that’s torn it the birds will never
beating the opposition. When I which was in the Bank. Two trap today but I never took into
first met Alan and his lovely and years later one of the offspring account of ‘Bouncy’ who trapped
equally friendly wife Heather from the purchase won over like a rocket, won the race and
some 15 or so years ago in my £500 in the well-known Chester topped the Federation. They
position of then Press Officer of 2-Bird Club so the investment were grand sprint pigeons which
the Midlands National, when I had paid off with interest! rarely let me down.”

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 5

“I then became aware of the Alan has found that the De Leiven de Ketelair from
excellent middle distance Meester family have crossed unrelated birds acquired from
pigeons belonging to a brilliantly with the base family Achiel Leus and Medart Baute. It
partnership of Jean- Pierre the Gevaerts. With an was only when Jean-Pierre
Gevaert & Carine Van Schoorisse abundance of top performers coupled his base cock to hens
and I attended a sale and coming from this cross. That said from Andre Dierickx containing
bought a cock which I called the Gevaert-Van Schoorisse the bloodlines of his two ‘supers’
‘Salto’ and what a fabulous strain remind me of the ‘De Crack’ and the world famed
purchase he proved to be as he Busschaerts in as much as they ‘Sultan’ that the results at the
filled my loft with superb birds will stand a fair amount of Gevaert-Van Schoorisse loft
including ‘72’ winner of no less inbreeding and still produce exploded.
than 16x1st prizes which Alan pigeons that are well capable of
rates as the best racer breeder winning in strong competition. I I have mentioned this to
he has ever owned and others think that this could be because highlight that the family
like ‘Matthew’ 8x1st and 3x1st these two strains were founded belonging to Jean-Pierre and
Federation; ‘Champ 391’ and on a broad base of unrelated Carine have been founded on a
‘Super Blue’ the sire of umpteen pigeons. I did in fact visit Jean- very wide base so with such a
winners. I coupled some of these Pierre and his wife Carine a few massive gene pool inbreeding has
birds to birds originating from years ago in Ronse and he been able to be achieved without
Remi De Meester (excuse the confided that for many years he any marked decrease in their
possible incorrect spelling) and had kept his family intact and racing performances. Georges
the results simply multiplied.” I won 30-40x1st prizes each year Busschaert also used a very ‘wide
believe that Alan’s ‘National but like most ambitious people net’ to build his lines which
Hen’ which was later coupled to he was after more and fanciers swear by today and
‘72’ and they have bred some introduced a few crosses and which they claim are still winning
fabulous pigeons for Alan guess what? His results crashed. right up to the present time.
including his 2018 2nd Open So it was back to the inbreeding Food for thought here I feel.
MNFC Carentan winner and the method and the super results
‘National Hen’ was once again returned. I later These results with the same base
predominantly of De Meester gleaned that their base cock have continued to this day and
breeding. ‘Zwarte Ketelair’ was bred by show no signs of any

A view of the old bird sections.

6 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

say that today the largest
percentage of Alan’s latest star
performers are of the fairer sex
and it is accurate to say that
Alan has the knack of making
his ‘ladies sing’.

The lofts are all self-built,

functional and now have grill
floors to make life a little easier
for the boss with no need to
continue to be a slave to the
scraper, though it must be said
that scraping the boxes and
perches encourages tamer and
more manageable pigeons.

On the topic of feeding Alan

likes to use a good amount of
Diet food and he strengthens
this mix with more protein and
fat rich seeds as the racing
season comes along. Alan is a
big believer in adding oils to his
corn and particularly likes
peanut and sesame oils. He did
add that “it isn’t just what you
feed but more important is what
you are feeding it too!”

In the breeding section he likes

to strengthen the mixture with a
good percentage of maple peas.
This enables the stock to
produce robust, strong and
Feeding time for the birds. healthy youngsters.

It was asked of how much

deterioration as I have already can rest assured that their importance was placed on the
written in 2018 Alan finished partner is at home on their shape of a pigeon to signify the
2nd National with the MNFC return. I think that it is fair to racing potential? Alan’s reply
from Carentan and this year
2019 despite the setback of a
bout of serious ill health ‘The
Slayer’ once again made the
opposition ‘suffer’ with some
super results especially from over
the Channel where he once
again has won the Channel
Averages in his Federation with
two 1st Federation wins and he
also recently won one of the
prestigious Chester 2-Bird Club’s
races with another one of his
fine hens.

How does he fly his pigeons? I

can almost read people’s
enquiring minds. Well basically
today after many years flying on
Widowerhood it is the
Roundabout system but when a Alan’s 2nd Open Midlands National winner in 2018.
top performer is revealed you

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 7

was “When I handled ‘72’ as a
baby he was the perfect shape
with a solid bone structure a
strong keel with firm vent bones
all padded out with excellent
muscles, silky feathers and a
good tail. I just knew he was
going to be a Champion”. After
a pause to light another roll up
he chuckled and added “I must
say I have handled a few nice
shaped ones since that haven’t
been worth a light”. This
reminded me of a quote from
Alan in an article written a few
years ago by Alan Shinton which
was ‘Handsome is what
handsome does’. In other words
the race basket will be the
ultimate, final decider.

I feel that this famous old saying

sums up the philosophy of Alan
Atkinson very well because he is
a no-nonsense kind of flyer who
is only interested in results. He is Alan with his latest Chester 2-Bird winner.
a man who will greet you with a
broad friendly smile and his
thick scouse accent but believe ‘Bergerac Blue’ has been Cock’ has played with his
me behind this nice man is a introduced very successfully. offspring performing well in the
very fierce competitor who told ‘Bergerac Blue’ which flew so 500 miles plus races. Never
me “When I get beaten, I shake well from 600 miles for Derek in totally satisfied though he is
the man’s hand but it makes me the Midlands National was always on the look out for birds
even more motivated to beat three-quarters Van der Wegen to compete and win from the
him the next week!’’ and quarter Van Loon. Alan is a marathon race points.
big fan of the Van Loon lines
Alan has found that by using his because they are such a great I feel that this is a good place to
base family crossed with other and adaptable family that will end this report on Alan Atkinson
longer distance lines that he can give ‘you a good fly’ from most ‘The Sandycroft Slayer’ a man
breed birds capable of winning distances. This fact is further who is quite rightly proud of his
races from 500 miles and endorsed by the many fanciers many, many achievements but
beyond. One such example is the who have raced this family with who still has the ambition for
blood of his old mate, the late great success. Alan also sets more ‘Slaying’ and I say ‘good
Derek Fenwick from Shotton’s great store of the part his ‘Niort on yer kid’.


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740068 ENNETT
A Mediterranean
‘On the Day’ Loft
Perpignan 2010 – The first ever UK day bird
Perpignan 2014 – The second ever UK day bird
Narbonne 2019 – The second ever UK day bird
(The UK has competed in these International races since 1978)

Geoff & Clayton

10 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586
e started the boxes (20 in each). illuminated loft on selected dates

2019 when the weather and the lunar
International Loft exercise starts late in April in conditions are favourable, this is
season with 21 an attempt to minimise hawk done by adjustments to the
old cocks and attacks. This consists of at least feeding and the exercise
11 old hens, one hour of flying at dawn and at programme prior to the planned
the seven least one hour again in the evening ‘night fly’ as we call it.
International evening. Our family of pigeons
races being our total focus. All our enjoy loft exercise, we do not ‘Nellie’
old birds are raced on need to flag them as they fly one 1st National Narbonne 2019, 34th
Widowhood. 2019 is our second hour happily however when ‘form’ International Hens (5,262 birds)
year in the new loft which we starts to hit they will fly up to three 95th International Old Birds (9,813
constructed using many of the hours off the loft. Our only birds) and 121st of 18,094
continental designs and ideas that concern is when leading up to a pigeons. ‘Nellie’ was the only
we have been privileged to see.
The loft consists of four 3m x 3m
sections with a 1m corridor
running the length of the loft, four
1m x 2m aviaries which the birds
are let out through but then they
all come through a central trap
using interior sliding doors to take
them to the required section. The
new loft was designed with
ventilation being paramount for
the pigeons and ourselves. We
used a dry ridge system on old
second hand Dutch tiles, no felt;
we used mesh for soffits and
eaves. Inside the corridor has a
mesh ceiling and each section
has a 1m x 1m mesh opening. We
also included four 1m x 0.3m
louvered openings beneath the
aviaries to encourage air flow. We
insulated all the walls, floor and
half the ceiling (above the boxes)
again to encourage air flow and a Jeff Horn style of perches.
consistent environment. We have
a grilled floor throughout the loft race this can be too much so we pigeon ‘on the day’ and only 59
which helps keep the dust down. have to be careful. minutes behind the winning
Two sections are fitted out with velocity. As far as we are aware,
‘Jeff Horn’ style of perches and Our yearlings are exercised after ‘Nellie’ is the second UK pigeon to
the other two sections are fitted the old birds and this includes have ever been clocked ‘on the
out with German Widowhood flying into the night to trap into an day’ from Narbonne International.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 11

International hens (3015 birds).

‘The 792’
In his retirement season seem to
be in the best shape of his life to
add 4th National Barcelona and
26th National Perpignan to his
great list of results, taking his tally
up to 12 International races. This
cock is a grandson to ‘Jack Jones’
and a son of our blue ‘156’ cock
another of our family with 12
International races to his name

‘The 792’ ETS ring removed and

retired to stock following a
successful Perpignan 2019.

The Family
We studied the best long distance
lofts under the guidance of our

She is a daughter of our ‘Jack (12,770 birds), 5th National St

Jones’ cock that scored in 13 Vincent 2019, 2,179th
Internationals including 1st International Old Birds (10,623
Perpignan 2010 596 miles (on the birds) – Two Internationals in
day) and the dam is an inbred 2019 and two International prizes
daughter of our ‘Wiggins’ cock a fantastic cock with great
that scored in 12 Internationals potential. As a yearling he flew the
including 1st Perpignan 2012 and Channel 10 times but only up to
1st Perpignan 2014 (on the day). 250 miles and he crossed the
She is the third generation of our Channel twice as a youngbird, so
family to be clocked on the day he has already done 19 Channel
from a Mediterranean crossings. The sire to this cock is
International race point. a direct Bernd Morsnowski and
the dam is a direct Stoffel. The
‘Sunny Jim’ dam to this cock also bred us our
1st National Perpignan 2019, day bird from Mont De Marsan in
1,506th International old birds 2017 10th National, 724th

Herbert Gr Ophoff (right) visiting our

loft, holding ‘Jack Jones’.

friends and mentors the late Bill

Woodall and the late Dr Jeff Horn.
A primary family are Stoffel
pigeons from the well known
German long distance loft of
Stoffel Gr Ophoff.

Herbert Gr Ophoff visiting our loft,

and shared his valuable advice
and experience in International
long distance racing.

Our Stoffel ‘270 Golden

Barcelona’ family is line bred
around this famous performance
and producing cock. This strong
distance family has provided us

12 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

selective blending with line bred
‘270 Golden Barcelona’ pigeons
from the best International lofts.

‘Jack Jones’ DV 08 2772 414

2010 Perpignan winner ‘on the
day’ – 13 National scores 6
International prizes. ‘Wiggins’ GB
10 D 17160 – 2012 Perpignan
winner, 2014 Perpignan winner
‘on the day’ – 12 National Scores
3 International prizes.

One of our most recent additions

is from the loft of the late
Raymund Hermes. The cock is a
son of ‘Jubilar’ 1st National
Narbonne 2013 and grandson to
the famous ‘Barcelona ‘05’ paired
to ‘Miss Barcelona’ 1st National
Barcelona 2012. The Stoffel cock
‘270 Golden Barcelona’ was
with multiple winning pigeons paired to the Braakhuis 2892
which have including four which was to form the famous
National Perpignan and one Hermes National and
National Narbonne – three of International winning strain of
these wins have been the only the ‘Barcelona 05’ and
UK pigeon ‘on the day’ a ‘Jubilar’
phenomenal achievement
from these Mediterranean Raymund acquired the ‘270
race points into the UK. Golden Barcelona’ for his
stock loft and here is a recent
1978 was the first year of UK quote from this International
participation in the Perpignan legend –
International, in 41 years this ‘A superior German Taube
race has still only ever seen has influenced the stock:
two pigeons home into the UK Golden Barcelona 02772-84-
‘on the day’ both to the loft of 270, bred by Heribert Stoffel,
G M Preece & Son – ‘Jack Dorsten. Three top prizes at
Jones’ and ‘Wiggins’. These Barcelona and others and
two are our best performance beyond a sire of world class,
pigeons and naturally have and the generations’.
formed the backbone of our
family, both being used for line ‘The 792’ ETS ring removed and retired to We also studied the results of
breeding, inbreeding and stock following a successful Perpignan 2019. renowned International flyer

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 13

Bernd Morsnowki. This loft also
had a strong Piet de Weerd
influence. Bernd’s well known
consistent International scoring
family is based on such famous
pigeons as the ‘Doffertje 224’
lines. The loft also has an
inclusion of Stoffel blood in some
of the lines.

The Loft
The loft contains four sections
with a large corridor. Each section
has a sliding door across the
corridor to enlarge the flying area
and access the aviary. The
aviaries are used all year and
provide a safe bathing area.
Trapping is provided by one
central Habru trap with iPigeon
electronic system/

The Future
We continue to study the
International performances of the
The ‘270 Golden Barcelona’. multiple scoring International lofts

At the loft of Raymund Hermes.

14 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

Raymund Hermes (seated). Bernd Morsnowski (centre).

The Preece‘s loft.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 15

in an effort to compliment our
family with quality additions of
similar linage that have
consistently gained international
prizes into unfavourable locations
and in hard weather conditions.

With the problems we

experienced at the start of our
racing career we would like to see
more awareness made of the
preventative measures that can
be taken to avoid pigeon
contributed respiratory illness
particularly when young people
get started in the sport.

Well done to everyone who took

part in the 2019 International
Calendar. Thank you to the BICC
for providing another complete
2019 International calendar for all
to participate alongside the best of
the UK and Continental lofts.
Finally thanks to our sponsor’s Otto
& Piet Klaus www.klaus- and iPigeon

16 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

Pigeon Racing
in Australia
by Paul Gibbs

One of the lofts at

Ponderosa Stud Australia
in the nations capital –

igeon racing in and Belgium as well. Many of This was to be a good thing as
Australia can be traced these included Barkers, the Australian Federal
back to the late 1880’s Harrisions, Logans, Osmans, Government banned the
with the majority of Thorougoods, Gits, Grooters and importation of birds, including
pigeons being imported onwards to Sions, Stassarts, pigeons in 1956 leaving
from England on what Jurions and Hansenes along with Australian fanciers to either
must have been a long and several other bloodlines. maintain certain families of
perilous journey by sea. It wasn’t pigeons, or to blend these
long in ensuing years that there So in a very short period of time bloodlines developing their own
were many other families of Australian fanciers had access to unique families. In saying this
pigeons being imported from not some of the best European several well-known Australian
only from England but France bloodlines available at the time. fanciers did develop their own

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 17

families naming them after an effect on the production of quite unique when compared to
themselves as is the case in table birds, this coupled with the many other parts of the world,
mainland Europe, some of them increasing number of birds and mainly due to the large land
include – ‘Appleby’, ‘Wickham’, eggs being smuggled into the mass and small population with
‘Goodger’, ‘Pryor’ and in more country the Federal Government most of the population living
recent times ‘Davison’ and decided to construct a live bird along its coastal fringe. To give
‘Hamilton’ families to name but quarantine station to enable you an idea of the geography,
a few. birds to enter Australia legally, Australia’s coastline is
therefore reducing the biological approximately 25,800km long
Back in those early days, chance of exotic diseases from (16,000 miles). Its length east to
Australian fanciers were lucky to effecting not only the Australian west measures 4,030km (2,500
have had several well-to-do poultry industry, but also miles) and the distance north to
businessmen and socialites that Australia’s natural wild life. south 3,685km (2,290 miles) with
were fanciers that imported a total land mass in square km
many of the early modern day Since the lifting of the of 7.692 million, when compared
bloodlines. importation ban there have been to the total land mass of
many shipments of pigeons from mainland Europe (10.18 million
It was to be some 40 years Europe that have included all the square km) one can see that
before the importation of birds major families that are winning Australia has many sparsely
from overseas was lifted brought throughout the pigeon world populated areas, especially when
about by a lack of new genetic today. you take into account that the
stock being available for the country’s population is only 25
poultry industry that was having Pigeon racing in Australia is million.

18 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

plagued with a large Peregrine
population along with other
birds of prey and their numbers
seem to increase each year while
the number of pigeon fanciers
are in decline with one
compounding the other.

Other than that, what sets

Australia apart from much of the
pigeon world is that Australia is
located in the southern
hemisphere, we therefore race
our pigeons basically during our
Autumn, Winter and Spring
which for us is May through to
October, with our breeding
season commencing around
August through to the end of
January (our summer).
Now in saying that, most of the Federations and/or individual
population lives in the southern clubs located in remote rural Even though many people see
half of the country in the major locations as well that are also Australia as a land of endless
capital cities of Perth in the west, releasing pigeons for their races sunshine we do get a large
Adelaide and Melbourne in the and while every effort is made by variation of weather conditions
south and Sydney in the east all concerned with regards to especially throughout the racing
which leaves Brisbane in the organizing releases to try and season (winter) dependant to
north (sort of). What does this minimise ‘clashes’ this has not some extent as to which capital
mean for pigeon fanciers? Well, always been possible, this also city you reside. Temperatures can
Perth in Western Australia,
Adelaide in South Australia and
Melbourne in Victoria are limited
as to which route/direction they
can race their birds, generally
speaking it is in a northerly
direction due to their close
proximity to the southern
continent coastline.

Sydney in NSW and Brisbane in

Queensland, due to their
location on the east coast have
the option to race from four or
five directions (other than east)
and often do so on a rotating
yearly basis that at times make it
difficult for these fanciers to
develop a specific family of birds
due to the rotating nature of
routes flown, with each route
presenting different weather and
wind conditions during the race
Central Cumberland Federation (in Sydney) transport unit
season. Depending on the
prior to a liberation.
individual year it could mean
that the centre of the state of
NSW can be very congested with being impacted by the fact that fluctuate from -1c or -2c in the
birds from various States and nearly all federations and clubs mornings especially away from
federations flying home in all race on a Saturday. the coast to highs of 24c or 26c
directions (excluding Perth in during the day in the middle of
WA). Losses of pigeons both in races winter and in many parts of
and around the loft here is much Victoria and NSW you can also
One also needs to consider that the same as anywhere else that encounter fog, frost and/or snow.
there are many smaller pigeons are raced, we are also Winds at this time of year are

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 19

10c or lower. This combined with
the Great Dividing Mountain
Range that runs parallel to the
eastern seaboard can also be a
hazard to pigeons returning
from the western routes for
fanciers in Sydney and Brisbane.

Many visiting European fanciers

to Australia are amazed as to
how fanciers here train and race
their birds and what they expect
from their pigeons here. Pigeon
fanciers expect many of their
race birds to fly the complete
race program in their year of
birth, (not meaning every race),
most Australian Federations/clubs
generally race a 20 to 24 race
programme with races
commencing from a distance of
around 100km to 1000km. In
Members of the Bundaberg Pigeon club outside their club saying that, not all fanciers here
house in far north Queensland. compete in the long races
(800km – 1000km) with many
preferring to race only the one
generally from the south or miles). Middle of the day day races (up to 700km), keeping
south west which for Sydney and temperatures at this time of the in mind that Australia does not
Brisbane fanciers that may be year can be as high as 40c even have short, middle or long
flying from a southerly race though the liberation distance specialist Federations or
point offers a tail wind with fast temperatures can be as low as clubs (at least not that I am
velocities. aware of) as is the case in
some parts of Europe.
If they fly a northerly
direction, as encountered It’s not unusual for young
most of the time by the birds that are only 3-4
Federations in Melbourne, months of age to race in
Adelaide and Perth the races from 800 to 1000km
birds will be flying into a and to win not only their
head wind with predicted club but federation as
slower velocities and if well. I knew a fancier a
flying in a westerly few years ago now who
direction as is often the use to breed his long
case for fanciers living in distance birds at the end
Sydney and Brisbane the of the main breeding
birds will encounter side or season, around February,
cross winds. giving these birds only 3-4
race starts to a distance of
As the season progresses around 550km, then put
from Autumn to Spring them aside until the last
the winds tend to shift race always preferring the
from a southerly direction 900km (600 miles) event
to a northerly direction and never missing to clock
bringing with it hot and one of them many times
humid air that can play taking a prize. His theory
havoc with returning birds, being that late bred
especially as this is the youngsters never drop a
time of the year when Current Secretary of the Central flight (always carrying the
most federations and clubs Cumberland Federation John Jeffery (on baby flight feathers), were
are conducting their final the left) and the past President (retired) too young to be bothered
races for the season from John Hubble who are overseeing the pairing up, keeping their
distances of 600km (400 judging of entrants in an open minds on the job and
miles) to 1200km (700 Federation show/race for young birds. happy to fly all day as

20 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

others hopper feed all they
want, others feed to water one
or twice a day and as in Europe
many fanciers here vary the
amount of different grains fed
dependant on the day of the
week and distance to be flown.

Additives given are many and

varied, with many being
imported from Europe as well as
many that are locally made.
When it comes to veterinary
advice and assistance Australian
fanciers are lucky in the fact that
we have two veterinarians that
are competitive pigeon flyers,
Table of CCF members at their last presentation night. one in Sydney – Dr Rob Marshall,
and one in Melbourne Dr Colin
they have not learned any bad for those fanciers in Europe, at Walker. We also have access to
habits. least with the variety of grains another non pigeon fancier
fed, only the amount may vary. veterinarian – Dr Mark White in
Widowhood racing is practice by Some fanciers feed a rationed Sydney that many fanciers
a few fanciers, but mainly due to amount one or twice a day, consult with.
racing in the winter months most
fanciers race a Natural system
with some flying the
Roundabout method while some
others have different motivation
methods, but generally speaking
it’s the love of home and to their
perch that most fanciers race
their birds.

While many fanciers race hens

and cocks together, others prefer
to keep and train the sexes
separate from each other, with
other fanciers disposing of their
cock birds preferring to race hens
Shaun Elliot's race loft in Brisbane, Queensland.
Feeding generally is the same as

With regards to pigeon

transporters, the larger
Federations have ‘state of the
art’ transport units that are
either imported from Geraldy in
Germany or build here in recent
times based on the Geraldy

Well, I hope that for many

readers of this magazine that
have not known much about
pigeon racing in Australia that
this article has shed some light
on the way things are done

Until next time, all the best from

‘Down Under’.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 21

OUR 2019 YOUNGSTERS” gregmcknight92804

his time of year I like to take eye
pictures of our young to compare later
in life as they get older and the colors
begin to change with depth and
intensity. Many of you like these
pictures along with my comments help
with the study of this intriguing part of our
wonderful sport of racing pigeons. Now understand
this is just a partial review for you enthusiast,
because you can’t view the movement and dilation
of the pupil, which is part of the theory also. I’ve
found over my long career that the eyesign theory is
a great tool for selection of breeders for the future,
giving you an edge against your competitors, proven
to me over and over again for many years. I consider
this as one of the big reasons I’m able to maintain a
line bred family that continues to perform at a high

All of these pictures are 2019 youngsters from our

breeding stock.

19 JEDD 736 – Bekaert Hen very nice layers in iris 19 JEDD 770 – Combination of all three of our
with wide circle of correlation (COC) with outside families (Bekaert-Van Reet-Meuleman) just
serration on the leading edge along with that tube spectacular in depth with multi-colors, strong coc,
like look in the pupil, heavier shading of black at the tube like appearance, nice inner iris along with outer
6-9 o’clock area and the colors are wonderfully blotches of black and you can see the inner muscle
contrasting with metallic/blue colors. All in all a top within pupil also notice the heavier shading again at
notch eye for future breeding. Just so you know very 6-9 o’clock of black. Dam is our 2017 Wine Country
intense bred to the famous ‘Frill’ my cornerstone Int Challenge 300 mile race winner with the sire
Bekaert cock. being a Bekaert cock.

22 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

19 JEDD 704 – Cock bird of the Bekaert/Meuleman circle and notice the serration around the edge of the
linage. Striking eye in colour with a silver/blue coc coc. “This picture doesn’t do her justice” colors are
with great outside serration and notice the waves in great and under the light within the inner muscle
the iris like at the beach, inner circle is somewhat shows you a coke like bottle cap already, very
noticeable and the metallic blotches radiating out of sensitive and nice balance to the eye. Almost bred
the iris, all in all a nice strong eye and easily the same as ‘Top Deck’ same sire and dam a sister to
compensated with many colors for your selected hen. the mother, progeny have won 27x1st place
This male is a half brother of the sire of our San positions.
Diego Holiday Classic Super Bird winner at the 400
mile final race in 2018. 19 JEDD 1312 – Blue W/F Cock Meuleman/Bekaert
another striking eye with somewhat of an oval pupil,
19 JEDD 757 – Recessive Red Hen from our which I’ve found to be a sign of some very good
Meuleman line, again nice tube like with dynamic long distance birds, coc is super strong again with
colors going to the green colors with sun type rays contrasting colors of blue/silver with white outside
jetting in to the iris, inner circle is showing, into the inner iris, nice base color with a tube like
correlation is strong with concentric lines within the appearance again, a very easy eye to compensate

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 23

with any colors. We exported the nest mate of this
bird to Keith Turner of Essex, England and expect
big things when crossed to his super ‘Red Danial’
Van Reets. Sire is ‘Sin City’ great reproducer and
dam is ’Diamond Eyes’ fantastic breeder in OLR’s
and Backyard Combine winners for many across
North America.

19 JEDD 1317 – Blue Bar Hen ‘Red Danial’ Van

Reet very nice orange/yellow iris with a cuts into the
circle of correlation and notice the strong inner
muscle with very strong black shading jetting out at
5-9 o’clock, very good breeding sign, colours of iris
are deceiving to the naked eye, but under the
magnification just super with the blotches and depth,
also notice the small pupil, which is a must in your
family. Sire is the super flyer and breeder from Keith
Turner of England “Bigity’ 11 time winner and
prepotent breeder from a father/daughter mating off
of champion ‘Jimmy’s Boy‘ and ‘Rita’. Dam is
another import from Keith out of his famous ‘Double
Classic’ big multiple winner. year for your review and also if I can be of help to
you, I’m doing a consultation service in all facets of
These eye pictures with descriptions are to help you our sport, for more information please email me.
fanciers with your studies of eye sign and to be used
as a tool for your breeding loft maintaining a high Thank you all for the kind comments and recently
performance level in your stock loft. I’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, so at times
my energy isn’t up to speed as before, so if tardy
I will list some birds on the I-Pigeon site later this getting back to you please forgive me.

24 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586


by Lee Fribbins

by Lee Fribbins by Lee Fribbins

01206 25
i ge o n 0880
rac i n g p
by Lee Fribbins
For Europe and the Rest of the World applicable postage charges apply
The Racing Pigeon Co Ltd, PO Box 12760, Colchester, CO1 9TZ

26 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

The home of real racing cracks, the small back garden lofts of Malik & Kahn.


by Chris Williams
n the modern era of offer, namely the National Flying long been an admirer of the

competitive pigeon Club and the British International small team fanciers and if these
racing the United Champion Club. exceptional results prove one
Kingdom has produced thing, it is that a small back
some of the sport’s most What sets these two remarkable garden loft can compete and win
prolific fanciers such as racing performances above all against the very best in our
the late Brian Sheppard, the rest is the fact that the loft of sport.
Geoff & Catherine Malik & Khan only maintain a
Cooper and of course small team consisting of 24 1st & 6th Alençon BICC 4,759
Mark Gilbert who have racers, 12 cocks and 12 hens. Yes, birds only sending 7 hens, yes 7
all helped put our sport firmly on dear readers for these ace pigeon hens, a truly magnificent
the map. In this article it is an fanciers, quality and not quantity performance which many fanciers
absolute privilege for me to is the order of the day and they can only dream of; 1st, 2nd & 9th
present to the fancy this exclusive cannot be accused of mob flying! Coutances NFC 3,246 birds 169
report on one of the top small miles; 1st Falaise BICC 2,534 birds
team lofts that I and many others The partners have now been in 171 miles; 2nd & 3rd Guernsey
are sure, will go on to attain the sport for approximately 14 BICC 1,904 birds 164 miles; 3rd
legendary status. The loft in years, and within this relatively Alençon BICC 4,797 birds 203
question is that of Malik & Khan short time, have built up an miles; 4th Coutances NFC 3,200
from Tolworth, London. 2019 has impressive résumé of top class birds 169 miles; 5th Ancenis NFC
been a stellar year for ‘Ace Lofts’ racing performances to rival even 5,577 birds 280miles; 7th, 8th &
which has seen them attain not the modern Continental masters. 10th Saintes NFC 3,726 birds only
one, but two wins in the two Following are some of Malik & sending 7 cocks, 389 miles; 8th &
most prestigious racing Khan’s world class racing results 10th Guernsey BICC 2,188 birds
organisations our nation has to from the last five years. I have 164 miles.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 27

which the boys established yet
another Federation record being
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th
Federation for a magical three

Surely results such as these mark

Malik & Khan as being one of the
most formidable forces in world
pigeon racing, for I am struggling

The beautiful ‘National Ace’ 1st NFC Young Bird National 2019.

Just look at these record- then once again flying against

breaking Federation results. If 1,615 pigeons attaining the The racing mixture used at Ace
this loft was on the Continent, following positions, breaking Lofts.
they would be a household name their own Federation record: 1st, to think of any other truly small
and I am willing to wager any 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, team set-up with results to match
sum of money that their 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, these, they are simply
Champion birds would command 15th & 19th. As if that wasn’t outstanding!
the highest sale room prices. enough Ace lofts then went on
Federation Champions twice in again to take 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, The partners have also had the
the last five season and runner 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, honour of winning many other
up twice plus Ace Bird 2017, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 1st Federations so it is quite clear
sending on average to seven 18th, 19th & 20th Federation that they are at the very top of
races a year. First, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, against 955 birds, once again their game and leave no stone
5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th breaking their own Fed record. unturned in their never-ending
flying against 1,116 pigeons This was followed by a quest for success. Now that you
breaking the Fed record! And consecutive three week period in have digested this veritable feast
of fabulous racing results let us
delve a little deeper into the
origin of the racing loft, because
I am certain these boys have
more than a few ‘Aces’ up their
sleeve! They say in pigeon racing,
“racing is silver but breeding is
gold” and this most certainly is
the case for the incredible Malik
& Khan for within their stock loft
you will find examples of some of
the premiere modern day
winning strains as you are likely
to find anywhere in Europe,
within these lofts you will find
the bloodlines of Hooymans,
Koopman’s, Koen Minderhoud,
Rik Hermans, Danny van Dyke,
The Widowhood cock section, this section is 4ft wide and 9ft long with the Dirk Van Dyke, Frans Zwols, Leo
12 boxes running down the side of the section. Hereman, Gust Janssen, Willem

28 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

de Bruijn, all these birds Rik Hermans who he calls
have been sourced direct ‘Engelsman 882’, bred 46th
from the very best lines Bourges National 17,975
which these iconic fanciers birds this year, so looks like
have to offer. Because for a promising pair of pigeons
these two dedicated and from ‘Tipsey’ x ‘Charlene’.
discerning fanciers, who
clearly have a great sense of Our next joint breeding was
allimportant stockman ship done with Koen
only the absolute best is Minderhoud with the world
good enough. With this famous pigeon called
diehard approach is it any ‘Geeloger’, 1st Prov
wonder that Malik & Khan Pithiviers 6,340 birds; 1st
have reached the stars in NPO La Souterraine 3,077
such a short time? I think birds; 1st NPO Chateauroux
not, because as the old 2,227 birds;3rd Prov Gien
saying goes blood will tell. 3,824 birds; 6th Prov
Morlincourt 6,625 birds.
I asked the partners to Again we agreed to pair
elaborate their breeding one of our top hens to him
strategy at Ace Lofts and so we chose ‘Ace Madam’
was extremely excited to who bred the following 1st
learn that they have National BICC Alençon
developed a co-breeding 4,751 birds; 1st Taunton
policy with some of the 1,471 birds; 1st Kingsdown
finest lofts in Europe. Such 649 birds (beaten by loft
a bold move not only mate); 2nd National BICC
displays their absolute Guernsey 1,904 birds. She is
commitment to the sport, also grand dam of three
but also demonstrates how generations of winners
they are held in the highest right up to National level.
regard amongst the elite of
Widowhood hens in their section, one very
the sport. It is thanks to We have two sisters from
interesting idea is the use of footballs on the floor to
fanciers of this calibre that prevent the hens from pairing together. This section the pair above namely
Great Britain is now at the is 5ft wide and 3 ft deep with V-perches on back wall. ‘Sarena’ and ‘Venus’ who
epicenter of racing were 2017 latebreds and
excellence. Here is what Imran birds (beaten by loft mate); 3rd this year was the first year
had to say about the co-breeding Lyndhurst 1,874 birds; 6th Yeovil breeding from ‘Venus’ and she
programme. So, we have carried 1,279 birds (beaten by loft mate); bred 46th Coutances National
out shared breeding with some 9th Coutances National 3,246 3,246 birds.
of Europe’s top lofts and pigeons, birds; 10th Guernsey National
firstly Rik Heremans where we 2,212 birds. It is a nestmate for We will be doing more joint
agreed to pair our number one
breeder ‘Tipsey’ to one of Rik’s
top racing hens ‘Charlene’ who
achieved 1st Ace Pigeon KFC
2011, 3rd National Ace Pigeon,
5th Argenton National 1,001
birds, 6th Chateauroux National
22,718 birds, 27th Argenton
National 4,782 birds, 121st
Montauban National 17,865

One particular hen from this pair

we believe will be our future top
hen who we call ‘Zarella’ she is a
2016 late bred but wasn’t used
until 2018 and has bred the
following 1st Yeovil 1,279 birds;
1st Blandford 719 birds; 2nd
Blandford 938 birds (beaten by
loft mate); 3rd Blandford 938 On the ball with the hens, see text.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 29

eight miles and race back to the
cocks where they will be allowed
to enter and spend time with
their cocks before going off to
racing. On returning from a race
the original Widowhood hens
will be waiting for their partners,
also when the race hen returns
there will be another hen in her
box and the widow hen will be
removed. We have had a lot of
success on this system, we have
tried many different things with
the hens and found this works
the best. The hens must be raced
every week on this system and
we have found sending them
nine weeks on the bounce up to
300 miles with no problems and
still performing to a national
winning status. It is the perfect
The stunning ‘Zarella’. this hen is already producing the goods and is system for someone that doesn’t
destined for future glory in the breeding loft. have enough time to let out both
breeding with other top lofts and hens begin their training
around Europe in the near regime, I will now let Imran Malik “As for the cocks we let them out
future. and Atif Kahn explain their Ace morning and night twice a day
system. and they exercise between one
As we can see by the results this hour and one and half hours
co-breeding initiative has already “So now we have the cocks and morning and evening. As mid-
seen the partners gain their just hens trapping to one section season approaches we find the
rewards, offering conclusive (where the cocks live) the hens cocks won’t exercise as much
proof that in pigeon racing you will be in their own section on V- which is fine as fitness levels are
only get out what you put in. perches with a pot next to them quite high, also the cocks will be
Having now established the where they are Fed, they will not raced about five or six times on
origin of this fine colony let’s be exercised again around the the bounce over the water if
move on and look at the race or house until Friday, they will be weather and wind is good we
should I say ‘Ace system’ that has taken to a short toss of around won’t send in easterly winds as
helped this truly magnificent duo
in their meteoric rise to success.

The 12 pairs of stock birds are

paired in early or mid- December
along with the race birds which
enables eggs from the stock
pigeons to be floated under the
race birds. The Widowhood cocks
are always paired to hens which
remain at home, they rear the
youngsters together until the
feathers start coming through
the hen is then removed and the
cock is then left to finish the
rearing process alone if any are
found to be struggling with this
process they and the youngsters
are removed from the loft.

In March the Widowhood cocks

are re-paired this time to the
racing hens and will sit eggs for
five to eight days. After their
second day together the cocks The amazing ‘Ati’s Boy’.

30 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

part Widowhood mixture two
part Breeding and one part Red
Maize and one part Popcorn
Maize. During the winter months
and the moult there on 25% Sll-
rounder and 75% Barley, again
they can eat once a day as much
as they want, we do introduce
fats as the distance increases
using peanuts and oils on the

In 21st century pigeon sport

young bird racing has become a
serious business, what is the
training regime for the Ace Lofts
young bird team? Imran & Atif
explain, “We start our youngsters
off at a distance of 22 miles (by
air) in batches of 10 and keep
them there until they come home
‘Tip Top Ace’. in straight lines a couple of times,
which normally takes about six
we find the pigeons take too feed again in the afternoon on a tosses, then we move them to 38
long to recover from it and it Friday so if the bird makes a miles and again keep them there
ruins them for the following mistake it will have plenty in the until there going in straight lines
week’s race.” tank to come home. We don’t which again is about 5-6 tosses
really believe in breaking down from there, and then we take
The birds are never re-paired for or feeding a measured amount, them to 50 miles which is
the longer races as they require we feed quite heavy and the normally two weeks prior to first
too much training with the car mixture is made as follow, four race and give them as many as
which is something the partners
don’t like doing.

The feeding system at the lofts

consists of the following. The
Widowhood cocks are Fed in the
mornings as much as they can eat
after exercise and then the food
will be removed then in the
evening after exercise they can
again eat as much as they want.
The hens are fed once a day with
the same Widowhood mixture as
the cocks again eating as much as
they want once a day. The
youngsters are fed breeding
mixture from weaning until June
once a day and then are
introduced into the Widowhood
mixture from mid-June until the
end of racing, When the
Widowhood mixture is
introduced to the young ones the
programme for exercising twice a
day is also introduced and the
young birds will then get fed
twice a day as much as they can
eat. We also believe feeding
them early Friday morning and
again around 3pm making sure Imran Malik and Atif Kahn at their loft with the legendary Koen
they have fuel in the tank for the Minderhoud, you know an English loft is doing something right when one
race ahead. The reason why we of the most respected European fanciers pays a visit.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 31

something, we have been to
many of the top famous lofts
around Europe and we are yet to
find a man who knows what he is
looking for in a pigeon, there are
loads that think they know but
take it from us they don’t!
There’s only one way to find out
if a pigeon is any good and that
is a basket. So what we do is
when introducing new stock is
check the youngster is healthy
first check the pedigree to make
sure that is parent is a Champion
to the level we would like or
have bred pigeons to the level
that we want and buy it and take
a chance, if it breeds pigeons of
our calibre then it stays if not it
will be removed from the

we can from there, then the

week of the first race we bring
them back to 22 miles and take
them 2-3 times in the week. We
tend to race our young bird team
inland for the first three races
and when the National races start
we tend to concentrate more on
them than inland races.”

How about the all-important

selection, what is it that these
fanciers do? As I am sure you will
understand space within this fine
racing establishment is at
premium and as such selection is
strict here is what Imran & Atif
had to say, “We used to try and
select pigeons when we bring
them in, but let me tell you

breeding team no matter what

the cost.”

The pairings are switched every

year and as with everything in
this game the boys know you
need that bit of luck. If I may
give my opinion here, when
you’re as dedicated and hard
working in sport as these two
then ‘luck’ has very little to do
with success, believe me when I
say that there is not enough
pages in this journal for me to
extol the qualities of both
pigeons and fanciers. Ladies and
gentlemen I give you Malik &
Kahn, pigeon fanciers par
excellence! My thanks to you
both for allowing me to write
this article. Best wishes for 2020.

32 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

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Over the past two and week out. First
decades, Bob Fenech has National Champion
experienced some KBDB Heavy
fantastic success racing Middle Distance
Probably one of the
The most important best middle-long
factor of darkening is distance lofts in
the timing, as Bob Belgium today.
discusses in detail in
this DVD.


In this D s his
COOREMAN – Information on…The Man…The complet em
Birds…The Feeding…The Awards and much feeding


AALST – In this DVD Louis explains his
breeding methods, how he feeds his pigeons
throughout the year and goes into detail about
pre and post race feeding to keep the birds on
top form for a whole season. Presented by
Tony Cowan. This DVD also includes an in-
depth interview with one of Belgium’s top
avian veterinarians Johan Van Der

UK £22.50 each including p&p

To order phone 01206 250880 with your credit/debit card details or post cheque/PO made
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Tom Williams in
a relaxed mood.


Terry Peart
36 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586
hen it comes this toss so it was left to just pigeons for any of these training

to small back seven pigeons to be sent to the races the results are more than
garden lofts first race from Falaise where they satisfactory. Building up to the
obtaining top recorded 26th Open. More main event the NFC Tarbes race
positions from importantly it was these seven for the 2019 season the pigeons
long distance pigeons that completed the were entered into four races
races its season right up to the NFC with the BICC. The first race from
fanciers such Tarbes race. As you can see in Falaise a distance of 171 miles
as Tom Williams of Orpington in this a little later in this report the pigeons recorded 10th East
Kent that immediately springs to they did fantastically well. With Section 26th Open from 2,546
mind. just this small team of pigeons birds. From Alencon 203 miles
it’s quite remarkable that Tom’s 26th East Section 33rd Open
When I say small team loft then season revolves around getting a from 4,658 birds. From Cholet
Tom is a prime example. Tom few pigeons in tip top condition 300 miles 7th East Section 14th
starts each season with a to compete in his favourite race, Open 3,410 birds, with the next
maximum of 12 Widowhood the National Flying Club’s race being once again flown
cocks, I say maximum as this is all Tarbes/Pau, a distance of 562 from Cholet Tom recorded 1st
the race section of his loft is able miles. East Section 33rd Open from
to house, some seasons as with 2,859 birds. These were the
the 2019 season he started with When it comes to the Tarbes race preparation races for his
just 10 Widowhood cocks. When Tom has schooled his team of Tarbes/Pau pigeons, with results
it came to the first Channel race cocks with a few Channel races such as this you would think that
with the BICC the 10 Widowhood competing with the BICC. With these are the races that matter
cocks had been reduced down to these races in the BICC being to Tom. As he say’s good results
eight following two hawk mainly for training purposes for such as these are a real bonus
attacks, one of these being in the big one but it’s amazing just and not to be sniffed at, it
front of the loft on their return how many top positions are proves that his preparation for
from a training toss. These eight gained from these races. the longer races are going in the
pigeons were sent to a 100-mile right direction.
trainer prior to the first BICC Take for example, with an
race. One did not return from average entry of up to six Tom’s first arrival from the

Tom‘s complete loft set up.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 37

Falaise race was a two year old P 3rd Open National Flying Club
cock, a son of his top breeder Tarbes. Tom clocked two more of
‘Mr Reliable’ when paired to ‘The his nine bird entry to take 116th
Tuffty Hen’ a hen of ‘Tuff Nutt’ & 129th Open. Tom’s Section
breeding being a double winner was his good pied cock
granddaughter bred by Keith ‘Son of Seagull’. As you see he is
Mott. The second pigeon from a son of ‘Seagull’ when paired to
this race recording 55th Section a chequer hen ‘Don’s Choice’
130th Open was a yearling cock bred by Don Pickard of Barnsley.
bred from the lofts top breeding
pair ‘Seagull’ and ‘Don’s Choice’. It was ten years ago that Tom
Seven pigeons were entered to decided to have a go at long
this race with six being home on distance racing, being used to
the day. only racing a few pigeons Tom
studied fanciers and their
The Alencon first timer was yet pigeons for some time before
another two year old son of ‘Mr making up his mind of the
Reliable’ when paired to ‘The Bred and raced by Williams pigeons that he hoped would
Machine Hen’ which is a double Brothers. Winner of 11x1st suit his management. The main
granddaughter of ‘The Machine’, Clubs, 2x1st Federations. criteria here was quality rather
this stock hen was an investment than quantity. After a lot of
purchased at the Epsom pigeon home work Tom made the
show. Second pigeon clocked the lofts of the competing decision to approach the UNC
recording 127th Section 268th fanciers it was very disappointing partnership of McSween &
Open was the lofts top race cock that only 70 pigeons made it Sexton. The introduction of these
‘The 80 Cock’ more on this home on the winning day. Even pigeons was by means of three
wonderful pigeon a little later more disappointing was the fact young birds that were to be the
on. Once again only six pigeons that only 179 pigeons made it foundation of the loft’s success
entered and all home. home in race time.

From Cholet six birds were Tom sent four pigeons to Tarbes,
entered and all six were in the his first arrival clocked at 16-24
clock. The first arrival was the for a velocity of 841ypm was his
same two year old cock that was good pigeon ‘The 80 Cock’ to
his first pigeon from Alencon, record 7th Section P 189 birds,
this was followed once again by 26th Open from 1,879 birds, an
‘The 80 Cock’ recording 60th excellent performance from a
Section 107th Open. Race four very good pigeon. Over the past
was from Cholet having been few seasons Tom with his very
brought back from Poitiers. All small team of pigeons has very
six pigeons sent to this race were rarely been out of the results in
all in the clock on the day. Tom’s National and Classic racing with
first pigeon now named some particularly good result
‘Invincible’ as it’s the same coming from the NFC Pau/Tarbes
pigeon that was the first arrival races.
from Cholet and Falaise, this
time he scores 1st East Section In the 2016 Tarbes National race
33rd Open. Next arrival was the Tom was so near yet so far from New introduction from Joe
same yearling that was Tom’s his 1st Open National. There Murphy.
second pigeon from Falaise. were only six pigeons recorded
on the day, at nightfall it was from then up until now. Of the
The next race for the Orpington Tom who was at the top of the three young birds a blue cock
loft was the race that all these leader board so it was a restless was to be the sire of ‘Mr
races were building up to the night as the thought of longer Reliable’ a fantastic racer and
National Flying Club race from flying pigeons clocked the next breeder. Another one is the now
Tarbes. The pigeons for this 562 day were still in with a chance of very well known ‘Seagull’.
mile race were liberated at 14-00 gaining the top spot. Amongst ‘Seagull’s’ offspring was
in a no wind at liberation site. a nest pair of cocks, one was the
The race itself turned out to be a Suffice to say the outcome the ‘Son of Seagull’ 3rd Open NFC
lot more difficult than first next day was that two gallant Tarbes, his nest mate is ‘The 71
expected.1,879 birds were pigeons manage to take the top Cock’ flown the NFC Tarbes four
liberated at Tarbes, with these two positions but affording Tom times, three times in race time
being the very best pigeons from with a very respectful 1st Section with his several positions

38 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

including 4th Section P 19th the UNC flyer Bob Donaldson, two youngsters were purchased
Open in 2018. Prior to this Tarbes she is a granddaughter of Bob’s from a sister to ‘The Proof’. ‘The
performance he also scored 20th UNC Bourges winner. They do say Proof’ has won 1st Section twice
Section P 305th Open NFC that the best pigeons are always plus 2nd and 3rd Open Tarbes. As
Saintes from 3,302 birds. There is swaps or gifts, this goes to prove Tom only has room for a
also another brother to these that this theory correct with all maximum of eight pairs of stock
two that has recorded 76th Open of these six pigeons turning out birds all pigeons have to produce
NFC Tarbes. It doesn’t stop there to be good racers or top stock the goods or they are disposed
as the third youngster of these pigeons, Tom would like to of.
three new introductions sired a thank all these fanciers who have
pigeon to score 35th Section supplied him with some Tom has now passed 80 years of
85th Open NFC Tarbes. Tom was wonderful pigeons. Suffice to say age, he says that all the time he
keen to point out to me that that over the years there has has the energy and passion he
these three fantastic young birds been mutual swapping of young will continue to set his sights on
were given to him as gifts from birds between Tom and the three a few more Tarbes races in the
the partnership. fanciers mentioned. future. It will only be when
either the enjoyment fades or his
‘Don’s Choice’ the main breeding Because of the lack of room Tom health does not allow him to do
hen is a daughter of ‘Finley’ usually only brings in one cock or what he wants then he will
raced by Don Pickard. ‘Finley’ hen per season to enhance his continue to race his beloved
won 1st & 2nd Northern Classic breeding programme. Last birds. It was around ten years
Saintes at 544 miles. Once again season he purchased a red cock ago that Tom was on the verge
this was a gift pigeon to Tom as from Joe Murphy, low and of packing up as he was very
was the dam of his 85th Open behold Joe sent down two extra poorly with bowel cancer. While
Tarbes pigeon that was bred by birds free of charge. This year in hospital receiving his
treatment, he met fellow fancier
Andrew Marney who was in the
opposite bed to Tom. Since that
first meeting the two of them
have become very good friends.
It was from Andrew that Tom
said one of his best Channel
pigeons ‘28’ was acquired, this
pigeon not only topped the
Federation at 150 miles he flew
Bergerac twice on the day at 452
miles, also he scored in the top
50 from Tarbes.

I have known Tom for over forty

years way back when I used to
race myself in the Surrey Valley
Pigeon Club and Tom used to
race in the Coulsdon & Caterham
club. All those years ago Tom still
only raced 12 Widowhood cocks
with great success. At this time
Tom was only ever interested in
sprint racing which he got down
to a fine art, that was when the
completion was very much
stronger than it is today.

I remember in the early 80s I did

a loft report in The Racing
Pigeon on Tom who then was
racing as Williams Brothers.
From 1977 to 1983 inclusive Tom
with his dozen Widowhood
cocks were winners of the Old
3x2nd Section in L&SECC from Tours, Bergerac, Tarbes, 16th, Bird Averages. In one particular
18th, 70th Open, also 21st Open Alencon 1,380 birds. season Tom’s Widowhood cocks
won 12x1sts from the 14 races

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 39

more attention to what you
have in the loft which was a very
sound piece of advice for the

Tom has now been racing

pigeons for over seventy years
having started as a ten year old.
Tom was born in Anglesey North
Wales in a village called
Gwalchmai. With his father
being in the Scots Guards he was
sent to Caterham Barracks to
train the recruits so Tom has
been living in Surrey and Kent
from the age of two. Tom’s mum
brought his first pair of pigeons
for 25p each and these were
soon flying out to a section of
his fathers garden shed. These
first few birds were trained from
that he competed in with 2x2nds section for a couple of pair of five miles by Tom taking them
from the other two races. This stock pigeons. All these years on his bike in any weather. At
sprint family of pigeons were later the lofts at Orpington are the age of 19 Tom did his
based on the lines of ‘Champion still built to the same design National Service. Once this had
Breakaway’ and some Delbars being of all wood construction, been completed Tom at the age
from Harry Rowley of West overall slightly bigger with a of 25 got married and started up
Midlands, these were blended total length of around 36ft. The once again with the pigeons.
with some of Tom’s original
Logan family. At the time I did
this loft report one of Tom’s top
race birds was a blue pied cock
‘Rowley’ who had a formidable
racing career winning a total of
11x1sts in the club plus 2x1st
Federations. The two Federation
wins were from Blandford with
2,607 birds competing then from
Seaton from 2,863 birds. Some
of the other Federation positions
to go with the club wins include
9th Exmouth 2,688 birds,10th
Blandford 3,044 birds, 16th
Seaton 2,885 birds, 19th
Exmouth 1,707 birds. Another
top pigeon was a blue chequer
cock ‘52’, he won 6x1sts, 5x2nds
at club level, his several
Federation positions included
2nd Federation from Weymouth main racing loft is divided into The first pigeons that were
with 3,820 birds competing, he three sections,10ft x 8ft for the introduced were from Ron Green
also scored 22nd Open SMT Widowhood cocks fitted with 12 of ‘Breakaway’ fame, also Jimmy
Combine Wadebridge 6,503 boxes, the middle section 8x6ft is Gibbon and Bob Donaldson. It
birds. for young birds with an 8x6ft was over a one weekend stay
right hand section for the stock with Ron Green that Tom was
Tom’s loft way back then was birds, this has a small aviary on taught how to race pigeons in
still not very large as there was the front. There is another loft sprint races. With the very strong
just one loft that measured 20ft at right angle to the main loft, competition around in those
x 8ft with a 10ft section for the this is for the widow hens and a days Tom was a great admirer of
12 Widowhood cocks with open small section for individual Terry Goodsell who was one of
window trapping, a smaller pairings. With such modest lofts the very first young fanciers to
section for young birds with Tom took some advice from crack the Widowhood system,
drop hole trapping then another Geoff Kirkland which was, pay Terry is still winning races today.

40 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

It was Dave Allen’s book The into Channel racing really started while the cocks are driving, they
Widowhood Year that gave Tom by winning all five Channel races are given a few five mile trainers
his first real insight as to fly the that were flown in the club that in any weather. Once the cocks
Widowhood system as it was and season. The following season are sitting then they are given
still is a very simple way to fly Tom joined the London & South more training starting at ten
the system. East Classic Club. In his first miles in stages up to 35 miles.
attempt in the Classic Clubs After 15 days sitting the hens
From Tom’s years of successful Bergerac race he sent six pigeons are removed with the cocks
sprint racing he decided to have and clocked two on the day of being kept in the loft until they
a break from racing, this break liberation. First arrival was ‘Mr desert the eggs, they are then
turned out to be for thirty years. Reliable’ to record 2nd Section on Widowhood. Once on
When Tom returned to racing 18th Open from 854 birds. Over Widowhood they are given a

some ten years ago, he was the next few seasons many top few transporter trainers up to 45
looking for a challenge which positions were won in the miles with the local club.
was to race his pigeons at the L&SECC from the shortest to the
distance Channel races. With his longest race. Positions won Once racing starts the cocks are
previous racing being sprint include 1st & 2nd Section 45th & fed Versele Laga Widowhood
racing he was used to having 70th Open Tours 850 birds 277 mix with one tablespoon in the
pigeons home on the day of miles, 2nd Section 16th Open morning after exercise and two
liberation, that was the reason Tarbes 562 miles. It was ‘Mr tablespoons after the evening
for contacting the previously Reliable’ who was 2nd Section exercise, if any food is left after
mentioned fanciers as Tom was and he went on to record 3x2nd 15 minutes then it is removed.
of the opinion that these fanciers Section in the L&SECC, 21st Spen Leading up to the races the
could supply pigeons to fly 500 Alencon 1,380 birds, 2nd section Widowhood hens are fed for
miles plus on the day of 18th Open Bergerac 451 miles on three days on barley then
liberation, which they certainly the day from 854 birds. That’s leading up to basketing they are
have. just a small sample of what these fed as much as they want on
pigeons achieved in the Classic Versele Laga energy mix, they
In 2010 Tom was a member of Club. also get an additive of hemp as
the Orpington & Footscray Flying Tom say’s this makes the hens
Club. This is where Tom’s journey Tom pairs his birds up in January, more amorous towards the hens.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 41

Before they go into the basket as when they are two year olds an element of luck in buying the
the cocks have access to their the are candidates for Tarbes at right one’s.”
bowl for half an hour without 562 miles.
the hens being shown. On return Although Tom focuses on the
from a race the hens are let in to When asked what advice he distance races it’s surprising how
the cocks for a minimum of 15 would give to a new starter his many excellent Channel pigeons
minutes but this can be extended response was. “The advice I have acquired some good results
depending on what sort of race would give is this. If you want to from the shorter races that they
it has been. sprint get the best sprint pigeons have been entered into for
that you can afford. The same training purposes. For instance, a
Tom breds 30 young birds each goes for middle and long blue pied cock ‘Tarbes
year and they are weaned and distance. To find you have got Pathfinder’ won several positions
reared completely Natural. the right ones, race them, the that included 1st Club Poole at
Young birds are never raced but basket does not tell lies. Must 100 miles then from his Channel
races recorded 76th Open NFC
Tarbes 2,769 birds, 20th Open
L&SECC Bergerac, a very versatile
pigeon, as are several of Tom`s
top National performers.

Tom has cultivated this family of

pigeons for the past ten years
with the initial base pigeons via
the loft of the UNC winning
partnership of McSween &
Sexton. The first introductions
were pigeons bred down from
‘Wearside Lass’ 1st, 24th, 40th,
78th Open along with
‘Lionheart’ 2nd, 47th, 73rd,
156th Open in the mighty UNC.
It’s by adding just one or two
introductions each year, that
with Tom’s natural breeding
prowess, he has been able to
produce a family of pigeons, not
only to win short and middle
distance races but more
importantly to achieve his aim at
scoring at the longer races that
require pigeons to fly up to
fifteen hours to make it home
on the day from the longer
channel races. This has been
proven over the past few
seasons where his entry of just
three or four pigeons in the
longer NFC Tarbes race at 562
miles has recorded 3rd, 19th,
Flown NFC Tarbes, 562 miles, four times, 19th & 256th Open. 26th, 63rd, 85th, 187th Open.

they get two weeks of intensive confess I study horse racing and Having read through this loft
training from all points of the the Derby to see what I can report you can see for
compass in any weather. learn about breeding. If there yourselves the super results of
Education is the name of the was a magic way to produce the 2019 season when Tom
game with his youngsters, with winners these horse people started the race season with just
training like this he always gets would have found it. Google seven Widowhood cocks,
the odd late arrival from Northern Dancer and read all particularly his excellent results
training which he feels is about him. Nobody wanted to from four races in the BICC
another learning curve for them. buy him when he went up for when his lowest position was
As yearling these pigeons are sale. Just look at the line of 33rd Open, this leading up to
expected to compete in at least Derby winners he is respocible his final race the NFC Tarbes
two or three short Channel races for. It’s the same with pigeons, with 26th Open.

42 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

the Belgian Superstar

incl p&p

Without doubt one of the best middle distance

fanciers in the world. Michel since returning
back to his native Belgium in 2003 has taken
the country by storm. In 2004 he won…
1st National La Souterraine Yearlings 3,150
birds, 1st & 2nd National Vichy 2,460 birds, 1st
Semi National Argenton Yearlings 6,924 birds.
In 2005 he won 1st National Bourges 32,724
birds, 1st National Bourges Yearlings 21,769
birds, 1st National Bourges Hens 5,759 birds.
On this DVD Michel reveals all, you will find
it ‘mind boggling’. The making of this film was
shot over a period of time and everything
within is featured in fine detail…
Racing System, Medicinal Aspects, Training,
Motivation, Tricho & Paratyphoid, Ornithose,
Eyes & Drops, Hand Bathing. Nothing is left
out, knowledge in abundance.

*This English dubbed version is exclusive to

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Running time: 102 Minutes Approx

To order phone: 01206 250880 with your credit/debit card details or post cheque/PO
made payable to ‘The Racing Pigeon’, PO Box 12760, Colchester, CO1 9TZ or visit
our website
View of lofts from
Andy's house.

of Edinburgh
1st Open SNFC Gold Cup race from Burdinne

he ‘biggest’ and ‘greatest’ race into Scotland is

the SNFC Gold Cup race which every member of

the club wishes to win. This year the race was
from Burdinne in Belgium (which is near Liege)
with the convoy of 1,251 birds sent by 358
members liberated at 05-30 hours into a light east
to south east wind with the convoy leaving the site in one
batch in a north west direction. Once again this turned out
to be a ‘fantastic’ race with the winner timed into the
Edinburgh area under the 10 hour mark for the 505 miles
recording a velocity of 1525 and the last open position of
126th open pigeon was doing a velocity of 1253. So the race
was all over in the space of under 300 yards velocity. The
furthest flying pigeon in the result was to John Thompson of
Spay Bay flying a distance of 590 miles and was timed at
08-45 the next morning. So congratulations to the race
control team and to the convoyers on a wonderful race.

44 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

The outright winner of the race
is the Pentland Hills Federation
and New Lothian press officer
who has supplied me his weekly
results for quite a number of
years. None other than Andy
Miller of Sighthill who won the
Gold Cup with a three year old
blue hen named ‘Festival Legacy’.
Andy was a great pal with the
famous Eddie Newcombe as well
as Dennis Dall of Ladybank, Dave
Smith from Dunning and former
club mate and family friend Jock
Wallace (who later in life guided
Andy about Widowhood racing).
All the above were part of the
legacy he has experienced in the
pigeon sport.

Back to the Gold Cup winning

hen who recorded a velocity of
1525ypm for the 505 miles home.
She has had an exceptional
season as she previously won
137th Open from the inland
National from Buckingham, two
weeks later she then won 18th
Open from Maidstone flying a
distance of 363 miles recording a
velocity of 1681 and now wins
1st Section B 1st East Section 1st Andy & Liz Miller with Gold Cup.
Open Burdinne flown on Friday
28th June. Last year she won winning from an entry of 3,876 season during a breeding
130th Open Maidstone for Andy. birds winning 137th Open. She programme/swap deal. Sire of
then went straight back into the ‘Festival Legacy’ was a 2011 cock
‘Festival Legacy’ was flown on Maidstone race being Andy’s bred by Dave Barron and the late
Widowhood system all season second bird to the loft flying 363 Dennis Blakey from the North
from the third race from miles and won 7th Section B 18th East for England, from stock
Sedgefield 112 miles through to Open. The winner was actually obtained from Peter Fox of
Buckingham, then fortnightly bred in the loft of W Pryde & Son Syndicate Lofts. Breeding being
thereafter, being Andy’s first bird from Gorebridge as they had the from a son of the top old
from Buckingham National pair on loan from Andy for one breeder ‘Zidane’ (brother to

2nd Open SNFC Roye cock. 3rd Open with youngster and cock.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 45

12th Open Gold Cup see text. 32nd Open Gold Cup race.

‘Kannibaal’) crossed ‘Schone Miller’, she was doing a velocity ‘Lady Miller’ was bred by
Blauwe’ when he was mated to a of 1506. This Irish rung blue hen Sheldon Leonard from Arklow
daughter of the renowned won 322nd Open from the she was added to a batch of six
‘Outlaw’ x ‘Rowen’, going back Buckingham race prior to going youngsters that Andy ordered
to the ‘Young Couple’, the super to the Gold Cup race. As a young from Sheldon. He informed Andy
breeding pair. Dam of ‘Festival bird she flew the full race he had put in an extra baby for
Legacy’ is from the programme with the Pentland him but wanted him to race it
Vandenabeele bloodlines from a Hills Federation. As a yearling out and let him know how she
gift to Andy from his good mate she again had every Federation did. Needless to say Sheldon is as
Davie Brown of Brown & Black race and won 8th Open from happy as Andy that she has won
partnership from Woodburn club Maidstone and looked a picture 3rd Open in the Scottish
in Dalkeith. She was a direct and his initial instinct was to National. Sire is a brother to
daughter of their 1st national earmark her for the Gold Cup Belgium Masters winner of
hen winner, from SNFC Newbury race in 2019 (which proved Daniel Aerens the Long Distance
in 2009. Her sire was a grandson correct). This year ‘Lady Miller’ Champion and Barcelona
of ‘Bliksem’ and the dam is a was also flown on Widowhood Specialist, he won 1st Barcelona
granddaughter of ‘Benetton’ x having five races from Sedgefield Masters in 2016 and 1st
‘Golden Boy’ via stock from Mark 112 miles and as I said earlier International Barcelona Hens 5th
& Dicky Evans. went to Buckingham National, Open Belgium National 10,542
she then had the Federation birds and 5th International from
Andy also won 2nd Section B 2nd comeback race from Ripon 143 an entry of 25,382 birds in 2013.
East Region 3rd Open Burdinne miles prior to going to Burdinne This was Daniel’s fourth
and named this winner ‘Lady Gold Cup race. international victory in his career.

Andy showing me his winners. New avairies on front of lofts.

46 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

His impressive list of
achievements are as follows: 1st
International Barcelona Hens
6,642 hens 2013; 1st National
Orange 6,751 pigeons in 2005;
1st International St Vincent
1,666 hens in 2007; 1st National
Montélimar 616 hens in 2004.

Dam is a sister to Jos Van Olmen

National winner from
Montauban from an entry of
6,809 pigeons. Jos clocked the
winning pigeon named
‘Geschelpte (means in English
Scalloped) Montauban’ he is
rung Belge 10-6082156 and
covered the distance of
832.503km reaching a speed of
1292.24 millimeters a minute.
This winning two year old cock
has successes prior to his
National win; being 274th
Vierzon from an entry of 1,892
birds; 61st Limoges from 1,014
pigeons; 1,364th Argenton from
6,803 pigeons and 566th
Chateauroux from an entry of
2,806 birds. The previous day Jos
won 1st Provincial from Pau. He
has been close to winning a 1st
prize for instance he won 2nd
International from Bordeaux in
1999; 2nd National Perpignan in
2001 (when his pigeon was ‘Festival Legacy’ Gold Cup winner.
found in the sputnik therefore
missing the 1st prize). He has think you will agree a truly top sire is from Andy’s original old
already won numerous provincial middle distance champion. Janssen bloodlines, while her
wins in the past including 1st dam is half Kevin Lawson paired
provincial Pau 2008, 1st Andy’s third pigeon winning 4th to Andy’s own SVR/Janssen
provincial Cahors 2009, 1st Section B 12th Open is a two bloodlines. She went to the bad
provincial Cahors 2010 and 1st year old chequer white flight Young Bird National and
provincial Narbonne in 2011. So I hen doing a 1432 velocity. Her returned in mid-October and had

Store room. Trap door for letting hen through to the cocks.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 47

‘Pole Position’ winner of 1st SNFC Ypres for Sister to Gold Cup winner, she won 39th O0pen
Andy Miller Ypres

a bad moult, so it was decided to Gorebridge. The dam of the 2nd won the King George V Cup
leave her out of the race team as Open Roye winner is a mixture of presented by his late Majesty
a yearling. This year she was Kevin Lawson x Old Janssen x King George and awarded to the
entered into the second race of ‘Dennis the Menace’. winner of the race. The British
the new season from Whitley Bay Homing World trophy presented
and was the last bird home at Trophies won 2019 by F W Marriot and competed
night, thereafter she was never Andy trophies won at SNFC for annually and confined to
late and improved as the season presentation were the Gold Cup, readers of the BHW. The E T R D
progressed. presented to the winner of the Newcombe trophy (The Flying
race from Burdinne in 2019 Festival Trophy) presented by
His fourth pigeon winning 14th where 358 members sent 1,251 Eddie Newcombe to the winner
Section B 32nd Open is a three birds with Andy’s hen ‘Festival of the East Region. The H A
year old blue chequer hen doing Legacy’ recording a velocity of French ‘Jubilee’ Challenge trophy
1374 velocity. She was Andy’s 1525 for the 505 miles. He also presented by Mr French to the
best yearling hen a very winner of the Gold Cup
consistent pigeon race; The Mrs H A French
winning many prizes. ‘Challenge’ Rosebowl
This season flying presented by Mrs French
Buckingham and timed to the wives or lady
just out of race time, friends of a competing
then back to Maidstone male member (two birds
winning 131st Open. She can be nominated for
is bred from Andy’s old this trophy). First Section
Janssen bloodlines. B trophy to the winner of
this Section from the
From the last old bird Burdinne racel the T Buck
race of the season from Trophy presented in
Roye with a convoy of memory of Dr & Mrs
935 birds liberated at 06- William Anderson for the
00 hours and Andy timed best average from
in his chequer cock at 18- Burdinne and Roye (Andy
07 to win 1st Section B was 1st Open Burdinne
2nd Open doing a and 2nd Open Roye) and
velocity of 1206. The sire the Owen McIvor
is bred down from his Memorial Trophy for 1st
old Janssen lines crossed Section B from the Roye
with a mixture of ‘Dennis race.
the Menace‘ (2nd Open
Reims) and a sister of Introduction to the
‘Prydie’ a multiple sport
winner for Willie Kinnear Andy started in pigeons
& Son Barry, bred by Andy and trophies won at SNFC Dinner with with his dad in 1975 and
President Bill Smith.
Willie & John Pryde of went on his own in 1998,

48 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

Widowhood section. Wing of Gold Cup winner.

prior to this his mother was also pigeons and went to Eddie for evening. Andy started off with
a great help with the birds while advice and some birds, and Andy pigeons from the loft he shared
he was at school/work. His dad as an eight year old got hooked with his dad taking some
Joe had a garage and there were from day one. The partnership breeders; he also obtained some
lofts kept within the garage carried on into the late 90s which gift pigeons from friends, Dave
surroundings, although they flew included a few house moves over Allen & Dave Brown from
theirs to their own house, the years. Woodburn & Tam McLeod which
however the rapport and banter have all been influential in the
with the other fanciers was Present Address creation of the winning pigeons
great, something Andy feels is Thereafter Andy purchased a over the years. Andy also
lacking in some areas nowadays. house with a garden and decided purchased quite a few Janssen
When Joe was a schoolboy, he to move the birds and fly on his and SVR based pigeons from
obtained a weekend job with own. Andy and Liz moved to other sources which with one or
Eddie Newcombe at his small their own house in 1998 and two additions every year this
holding in Wester Hailes area of over the years he has built up a forms the basis of today’s loft.
Edinburgh, looking after the reputation of being a top quality
pigs, with a couple of other fancier. He is also a very sociable Beliefs
school lad’s and they all got to person and enjoys the company He loves to feel the balance and
watch the birds racing after of other fanciers and attends impression of a pigeon as soon as
work, which was the highlight of many quiz and social nights. He he handles it and nine times out
the weekend. When he married was always a great supporter of of ten he is not wrong. The
his wife Sheila, a few years later my Sporting Challenge and loved bloodlines have to be close to
he decided to start up with the to attend the presentation the principal pigeons and direct

Young bird section. Young cock section.

Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586 49

from a top pigeon or if inbred to year to Gem Feeds and added Five Pieces of Advice
them the happier he is. 10% beans to this mixture. He 1. A dry well ventilated loft is
Motivation is also important to always has some feeding/malting the number one item.
Andy and he flies Widowhood barley down in the hoppers 2. Buy the best birds you can
with great success. His 2nd Open during the daytime, so the birds afford or eggs from the top
SNFC Reims winner ‘Dennis the are never short of food. I asked birds and rear them yourself.
Menace’ flying 556 miles and his him if this was an important item 3. Do not be afraid to ask
1st Open SNFC Ypres winner in his management to which he fanciers questions that you wish
‘Pole Position’ flying 434 miles. said, ‘make of feeding is not that to know the answer.
Another multiple winner ’Novak’ important it is the quality and 4. Do not be a slave to your
named after the famous tennis the amount you feed and does pigeons, although Liz is a
star who was runner up the same not leave fat mixtures down as tremendous help around the
year at Wimbledon, hence the these are only fed after the main loft and is very capable of
name won 2nd Open SNFC Ypres meal towards the end of the carrying out chores in Andy’s
they were all raced on week’. absence.
Widowhood. 5. Don’t think that once you win
Exercise a race that you have ‘cracked’ it
He treats his birds for Canker, His cock birds get three quarters as the pigeon sport is one of the
Worms and Respiratory of an hour morning and night best leveler there is.
treatment at the beginning of round the loft for the first month
the season, stating ‘The less he which is increased to an hour. I asked Andy if he had any more
needs to treat his birds during The hens are out for one hour ambitions now that he had won
the season, the better season he afternoon only. As the light the top award in the SNFC
will usually have’. He does put mornings improve the cocks and winning the Gold Cup. Yes Joe
multivitamins in the drinker hens are flown twice a day for to win it again!
usually once a week. He has tried the three quarters of an hour.
most products that has come on Occasionally he will give them Once again I send my
the market over the years and three or four 25 miles training congratulations to Andy Miller
believes the above simplicity is tosses but only if they are not on his ‘dream come true’ and for
the best method for him and his exercising round the loft. As the the help and assistance he has
birds. National races approached this given me over the years keeping
season, he gave his birds six or my column going and lastly for
Feeding seven training flights from the pigeons of his winning Gold
Andy has mainly always fed Dunbar which is 28 miles, Cup team. Believe me it could
Bosmolen/Versele Laga feeding alternating cocks/hens each day, not have gone to a harder
over the years but changed it this but always at first light. working deserving fancier.


Volume 3 – Featuring
£22.50 including P&P
For Europe and Rest of the World applicable postage charges added

Available from The Racing Pigeon,

PO Box 12760, Colchester, CO1 9TZ
Phone 01206 250880

50 Racing Pigeon Pictorial International — No 586

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