April 28, 2020
Vaccination Code of Practice
RPRA Rules Page 29
As a result of current social distancing rules the requirement for the vaccinations of pigeons to be witnessed by two association members has been relaxed. Wherever possible vaccination should be witnessed by family members or members of the same household. This will remain in place until the Government lifts the restriction on social distancing.
Ian Evans RPRA CEO
April 14, 2020
Training Pigeons During Coronavirus Restrictions
As you will appreciate the decision taken to prohibit ALL training was taken in line with Government restrictions relating to non-essential travel and was therefore in reality a decision of Government. However, it seems that some members are continuing to train their pigeons while carrying out essential journeys, such as travelling to work. To provide clarity in relation to training we wish to confirm that ALL training is prohibited; even if carried out via an essential journey. Members should consider that training whether as part of an essential journey or not will result in pigeons straying/becoming injured. This may lead to pigeons falling into the care of non-fanciers who are unable to care for the bird. This WILL result in a journey that is totally unavoidable, whether its the owner collecting the bird or the non-fancier delivering the bird to a vet or a nearby fancier; thereby increasing the risk of spreading the virus and placing lives at risk. Anyone training during this period will be dealt with under RPRA rules relating to dishonourable conduct.
Ian Evans CEO
March 25, 2020
RPRA Update - IMPORTANT
The following content has been agreed by members of the Confederation including RPRA, NEHU, SHU, WHU but excluding the IHU. As of 23rd March the UK government brought in further restrictions to limit the spread and impact of the coronavirus. As a direct result pigeon racing will be suspended until at least 23rd May 2020. The RPRA and other Unions will continue to monitor the situation. Updates will be published when available. Furthermore, the following applies to all members: Training of pigeons is classed as non-essential travel and is therefore strictly prohibited.
Ian Evans CEO
March 13, 2020
New RPRA Rule
Dear Secretary I wish to bring to your attention that the following new rule was implemented at the 2020 RPRA AGM When dealing with applications this rule should be considered and adhered - New Rule 159 (b) Any RPRA member who is refused membership of a club in accordance with Rule 159 shall be notified in writing. Such notification shall include a reason for the refusal. The applicant then has 14 days to object the decision to his/her local region. The region shall determine whether the reason is justifiable. If the region find that the refusal for membership was not justifiable then the RPRA member will be granted membership of the club.
Ian Evans CEO
February 29, 2020
Firstly, January came and went with The Show of The Year being the main attraction. Personally, I gave it a miss this year and my only observation is the wallet feels “heavier”! But I’m sure everyone will have enjoyed their yearly jaunt to Blackpool not least when meeting old friends.
At the Sportsman we held our AGM which as usual was well attended. All officials remain as last year. (However, we would welcome an Assistant Secretary for 2020 with a view to taking over the job in 2021 when I step down). We kick of the season with 37 members although new applications are still being accepted. Annual subscriptions remain at £20.
Our main financial concern is around transportation costs from Toft Hill to Sheffield. With the NFC tightening its financial belt we do face ever increasing cost in transferring the birds to meet up with the NFC Transporter (a round trip of 250 miles). For this reason, we will be running another young bird sale which will start Thursday 17th April and end 10 days later (Sunday the 27th) There will be a full advert in the Pigeon Press with details of each lot. The auction will be controlled through “The Compare the Pigeon website”. The sales list is already well in hand and we have again received some generous pledges of young birds from top National UK lofts as well as top class young birds from our club members. So put the date in your dairy and take time to study the sales list you will be impressed by the quality available.
Messac National Show Race
Club member Gary Heslington stepped forward to be run the Club annual Show race on 22/2/20 to be flown in conjunction with the Messac National. In total there were 37 birds in the show pens for the judge Kevin Winter, to sort out. After a diligent selection he awarded BIS & BOS to Craig Thompson with Paul Kitching & Jeff Walton taking second places in the cocks and hens respectively. He also picked up the Deweert Trophy for BIS.
In total members will be competing for £285 race prize money split 1st £170 and 2nd £115 with an additional £120 Pools in the kitty. Best of luck to everyone competing. And a big thank you to Kevin who did a grand job judging.
Since the AGM I have also had confirmation from Vanrobaey Feeds that for the fifth year in a row they will Sponsor our full National race card with prizes from their range of both pigeon feeds and a quality racing supplements. Many thanks to Tom Demeester and his Agent, Terry Knox for their great support.
2020 Racing Season
We are rapidly approaching March and many fanciers are well advanced with breeding even have babies parted. Those more interested in the long to extreme distance races are less enthusiastic about early breeding nevertheless I suspect many long hours will have been spent wrestling with sorting out pairings. Unfortunately, the elephant in the room, is the fickle weather. It is some years since we experienced heavy and prolonged spells of snow in the North East, just maybe we have seen the last of the 6 feet snow drifts. Indeed, I believe the evidence of Climate Change requires us to review when we start and end the racing season, perhaps it is time to grasp the nettle and introduce mixed old and young bird racing as standard practice in the UK. Strategically leading Pigeon Administration bodies and National Clubs should be driving any reviews as individual members will themselves be unable to bring about change. Hopefully the RPRA will step up to the plate on this score.
Presently the heavy rainfall has caused horrendous flooding demonstrating the impacts of unpredictability brought about by Climate Change. It is for this reason and the lack of national leadership that I suggest fanciers reflect on racing conditions encountered in the last couple of years not least the extreme temperatures. If in 2020 we experience more violent rainstorms or extreme heat perhaps even a combination of both, I suggest fanciers may be challenged to reconsider their own approach to loft management and racing.
Personally, I have already selected the main target races for my team and decided greater discipline on my part is required. Firstly, not putting all one’s eggs in the same basket will be my starter for 10. Advancing the training schedule of the yearlings and adjusting the feeding regimes and arranging a full pre-racing health check in March has also been pencilled in the diary. There remain some 6 weeks before Saturday club racing starts let’s hope for a fair wind and good returns. Before we know it the first Nationals will be just around the corner and it will be time to rock and roll. Best of luck to All.
December 20, 2019
RPRA Organisation Insurance 2020
With ever increasing legislation members are at risk of claims for situations including health and safety. As an unincorporated organisation it would be the members who would be held liable for any claim. To mitigate this risk a number of clubs (approx 300) had taken out policies through the RPRA Insurance broker. The actual number of clubs with such cover would be far greater. The annual cost of such policies was anything between £200 to £400 and in some cases even greater. In 2018/19 the RPRA was approached by a number of clubs requesting help with sourcing Public Liability Insurance. These requests were as a direct result of venues/headquarters stipulating such cover was required to use the services and facilities. In today’s culture of blame and claims this requirement is only likely to increase.
In 2019 the RPRA Council were presented with an insurance policy proposal that would provide all it’s affiliated clubs and organisations with Public Liability , Employers Liability Insurance and cover for equipment owned by affiliated clubs and organisations at a cost of £2 per member. After careful consideration the RPRA council took the decision to procure the policy and fund it from existing financial reserves.
At Octobers meeting the renewal of the policy (due March 2020) was discussed. Taking into consideration the risk and liability to members along with the value for money of a ‘block policy’ when compared to individual club polices it was agreed that the policy should be renewed.
Funding the policy from existing financial reserves was not viable and therefore it was the majority decision of the Council that members should pay a £2 insurance premium in 2020 to finance the policy.
In today’s day and age it may be considered irresponsible for clubs to operate without such cover. Therefore I hope members can see the benefits and reasoning behind the decision of Council. This difficult decision was taken in the best interests of the members.
As previously reported the Insurance Policy will cover the following:
- Public Liability Insurance for £5 million
- Employers Liability Insurance for £10 million
- Property cover for items such as but not limited to clocks, computers, baskets & trophies
December 14, 2019
Sportsman FC Presentation Night
The club held its annual prize presentation at the Sportsman in Toft Hill on Wednesday 23rd October. Our main guest Peter Virtue made the long journey down from Scotland along with his good friend Duncan Knox to be with us. Both have a long association with the Scottish National Racing Pigeon Club (SNRPC) and are very active in the national racing. Peter has developed a family of birds which excel at the distance and has amassed 13 National wins. Duncan is also a previous National winner and is the Press Officer for the SNRPC. We also had the pleasure of having Mrs Hazel Gaskill and her grandson Liam join us for the evening. This was especially poignant as it was 10 years to the week that her late husband George called the inaugural meeting of the Sportsman club which now has well over 40 members.
Chairman Jeff Walton got the night underway promptly, introducing the guests and offering a warm welcome to everyone. Jeff went through some of the season’s highlights and thanked the many sponsors and supporters of the club including, Paul Stobbs, Vanrobaey Feeds, Terry Knox, Mr and Mrs Harry Crowther. There was also a special mention for our hosts Belle and John who really do look after us during the year making us feel welcome.
The Chairman kicked off the prize presentation by asking Mrs Gaskill and her grandson Liam to present the much coveted George Gaskill Memorial Trophy to Bob Mckie winner of the Cholet National.
Then Peter Virtue came forward and addressed the audience saying how delighted he was to be invited. Describing how he always followed the clubs progress in the pigeon press adding how tough it was to compete in the NFC when flying so far North. Peter was full of praise for the winners and urged Sportsman members to keep going as he was confident that one day an Open winner would emerge from our midst.
First up to the table were Ian & Lyn Carter from Middlesbrough who gained a 4th club & section in a testing Fougeres National where returns were desperately poor. Unfortunately, the rest of their season was a bit patchy because of a pending house move. I understand they are now settled in their new home and a new Eco loft has been erected and everything is being geared to the 2020 season. Best wishes are sent to Lyn who could not make event.
It was then the turn of Brian Hopper and Son from the small village of Greenside to come forward having scored an excellent 2nd club 2nd Section N from Messac. These lads moved their lofts last year and had only a capful of birds to compete with but still achieved some excellent Channel results. So, beware Sportsman members as many years ago I flew against Brian’s grandfather Bill Taylor who scored many fine victories at the distance and they plan to emulate his achievements.
Our hardworking Chairman Jeff Walton & Son from Coxhoe was next up after winning a 2nd and 5th club & 2nd and 7th section Cholet. This has been quiet year for him and his son Matthew who does a great job hosting the club website. However, there is no doubt that blending their Jos Thone/Peter Virtue bloodlines will bring the loft back into future contention and success.
It was then the turn of Allan and Carol Walker from Stockton who in the last few years have quietly acquired some top distance bloodlines. They are big supporters of the National Flying Club and Sportsman and this year they won 3rd club & section from the difficult Fougeres National, following this up with a strong 4th club & 8th section Sigogne and an excellent 2nd club & section Coutances Old hens. There is much more to come from this loft which is improving year on year.
There was then a big applause as Barrie Blackett from Butterknowle stepped up to collect his prizes and the Owen Shaw Trophies cup. An exceptional distance flier Barrie has created his own “chaos” system and exploits it with great effect in both Saturday and National racing especially with his yearlings. He won 1st and 2nd Sportsman & section from Fougeres, winning the sponsorship prize of £50 from Mr & Mrs Harry Crowther. Barrie also won 4th club 5th section Cholet as well as winning £140 for being runner up in the Messac Show Race. I want to say a big thank you to Barrie for his unstinting support to the clock committee where he looks after all our ETS.
Last season’s top prize winners were next to the table, Dave McSween & Jim Sexton from Sunderland. They won 5th club & section Messac, 3rd club & 7th section Sigogne, 3rd club & section Coutances Old Hens and finally another outstanding 1st & 2nd club & section in the Coutances Young bird National. Every year these lads set their young bird team up for this national which is over 400 miles to their lofts. They have consistently hit the mark and I know they will be trying even harder in 2020. Also many lofts are flying well with their birds including the very successful Tom Williams in Orpington, Kent. Tom has achieved many fine performances in both the NFC & BICC in recent years flying no more than 12 cocks on widowhood with their best bloodlines.
Next up, our hardworking Secretary/Treasurer Bob Mckie from Blackhall Mill, who was Joint winner of the Averages by taking 1st and 3rd Club & section Cholet, scooping the Paul Stobbs £100 sponsorship prize. Then 1st 2nd and 5thClub, 4th, 6th & 9th section Sigogne. Timba a 5 year old Cheq Cock who won Cholet race was runner up Bird of the Year.
Finally, it was the turn of Brian Wiemer & Son from Hartlepool to step forward. Joint winners of the Averages winning 1st, 3rd & 4th club & section Messac and picking up £210 for winning the club Show Race. In the Coutances Old Hens race they were back on top winning 1st, 4th & 5th club & section from Coutances Old Hens. Their winner achieved the highest open position of the season in the club when taking 94th Open. Their 3 year old Mealy hen winner from Messac was also unanimously voted Bird of the Year.
Bouquets of flowers were presented to Mrs Gaskill and Belle before everyone enjoyed another great buffet provided by our hosts.
I must make a special mention and offer our thanks to Kevin Winter who was also with us for the evening. Kevin was the judge of our Messac Show race back in February and what an excellent job he did. Kevin kindly donated a basket full of Pigeon products/supplements which were raffled during the evening and the lucky winner was Tom Cuthbertson. This was a popular results as Tom is a hardworking member of the club who timed out of the difficult Tarbes race but just out of time. Thanks again Kevin your generosity is much appreciated.
As usual the crack was good and during the evening Garry Heslington auctioned a small number of lots presented by this year’s club winners. Thanks to those members who pledged the auction lots and best wishes to all the buyers.
Although the turnout this year was a tad disappointing, everyone I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed the evening and were already thinking about next season.
October 2, 2019
NFC Coutances Old Hens/Young Bird Nationals flown 7th September
After a very mixed racing season which is fast becoming the norm in our Sport, we arrived at the final National race from Coutances with the Old Hens event flown in conjuncture with the Young Birds. In the last few seasons Sportsman members have put up some excellent performances in both categories and whilst we were expecting a decent turnout of old hens the young bird entries were thought to be problematical. This was because of heavy losses experienced across the North East both in training and early races. Plenty of, so called experts have vocalised their opinions for these losses which is not simply a UK phenomenon but Europe wide. I will refrain from adding fuel to the fire except to say “start looking outside the box at your approach to young bird racing” otherwise get used to more of the same probably worse. Climate Change will only bring further erratic weather conditions and the Peregrine issue is not going away.
As usual the Section N birds were race marked on the Wednesday night at Toft Hill with everyone happy to play their part and get the job done quickly and smoothly. Next morning myself and Tom Cuthbertson left North East at 5.30am and drove the 120 miles down to Sheffield where the crates were transferred to the NFC Transporter.
8 members who would be flying between 350 and 410 miles entered 35 birds in the race. Despite the lateness of the race the birds were all in good feather and expectations were high for a decent show.
As anticipated the turnout was low with 3 lofts mustering 30 youngsters between them. They were all in excellent fettle as you would expect for this very challenging race.
When Saturday morning came we expected an early liberation albeit the north westerly winds forecast would make it a testing challenge. As the day progressed and the early times appeared on the NFC website our members were encouraged by some of the brave performances being achieved by Yorkshire lofts. However, it was not until early evening when word filtered through that Brian Wiemer & Son at Hartlepool had timed their 6year old Grizzle hen at 19.31 pm recording a velocity of 914 ypm to take 1st Sportsman and Section N for their second Section win of the season. This bird eventually ended up 94th Open a very brave effort given the race conditions and having spent an extra night in the basket compared to their competitors.
Mr & Mrs Allan Walker at Stockton timed a brave yearling in the dark at 8.12 pm to grab 2nd Sportsman & Section. This young hen should have a bright future in front of her building on this effort.
Next morning there was a trickle of birds arriving with McSween & Sexton at Sunderland taking 3rd club and Brian Wiemer, timing 3 more birds to take 4th, 5th and 7th club rounding off a really good performance from his team of 8 entries. Bob Mckie grabbed the 6th spot.
It was not until 11.26 am on the second morning that Dave McSween & Jim Sexton timed the first of 2 young birds doing 651.75 ypm with their second bird timed at 6.30pm. Raced on the Dark their youngsters win 1st & 2nd Sportsman & Section N. and were the only birds recorded in race time which simply highlights how tough an event this was. Their family of birds are bred down from Wearside Lass & Lionheart, two UNC Bourges greats. They are no strangers to success when tackling this distance with youngbirds. This years winner is from the section winner of the same race three years ago & their second bird is from last years section winner.
Brian Wiemer and Mcsween and Sexton win the sponsorship prizes of Vanrobaey feed and a range of their excellent products. On behalf of our members I wish to say a big thank you to Vanrobaeys for their continued support of the Sportsman which is much appreciated.
Sportsman Presentation Evening
This will take place at the club’s HQ on Wednesday the 23rd October. Doors open at 7 for an 8 pm kick off. Our main guest this year is Peter Virtue from Cockburnspath. There will be free buffet prepared by our host Belle whom always does us proud. So, if you are interested in distance racing why not come along and enjoy a great night with likeminded enthusiasts-all are welcome. If you need more information just give us a call.
August 16, 2019
Toft Hill-Sigogne National
Firstly, a brief word about the Tarbes 2019 race when only 2 Sportsman members Jim Nicholson and Tom Cuthbertson were brave enough to send 4 birds to this extreme distance event of over 800 miles. Unfortunately, there were no birds home in race time although Tom, had his solo entry arrive shortly after the race had closed. His hope is that this 2year old hen will have gained much from the experience and she will now have a long rest and be prepared for another go in 2020. We all wish you the best of luck with this plan Tom.
Next up was the Sigogne National scheduled for the 20th July. At race marking on Wednesday the 17th there was a decent turnout with 10 members sending 37 birds for a race of between 600 and 640 miles. However, when it came to Saturday the liberation was put back 24 hours due to inclement weather. Sunday morning arrived to a much improving weather picture and the news that birds were up at 6 am into a light North wind changing to a South on route was welcomed. Speculation was that we may see birds into the North East on the 14 hours flying mark depending the strength of South in the wind and where it kicked in. Unfortunately, this did not work out as hoped for the Sportsman members with no birds recorded on the first day. So, with everything to play for it was another early Monday morning at the lofts for our members. I was there just after 4.30am making ready and at 5am I turned my young bird team out as normal. They were soon working up and down the Derwent Valley returning some 40 minutes later when I noticed a pigeon coming from the East join the batch. Eventually Dark21 a 2year old of John Halstead bloodlines pulled out the batch and dropped onto the loft, quickly entering the traps timed at 5.51am to win the Sportsman and 4TH Section N. As a yearling and again this year he flew Messac (456 miles) as a warmup for Sigogne where he was sent sitting 5 days on eggs. A couple of hours later I glimpsed another bird racing hard from the East and it wasted no time in entering the traps to be timed at 8.20am. This was Dark63 a 3year old Brugemann from the best of Dave Impett blood and ended up 2nd Sportsman and 6th Section. In 2018 Dark 63 was 3rd Sportsman 7th Section N Coutances in his only race then put to one side for 2019. Trained to 250 miles this year he went to Sigogne feeding a large baby which was his pride and joy. Flying 640 miles (longest flying birds timed in the National) they recorded velocities of 1142 & 992 ypm respectively.
The race team are fed on Vanrobaey No’s 39 & 35 which keeps them in tip top condition for the longer races.
Taking 3rd Sportsman was the consistent partnership of McSween & Sexton from Sunderland with a 2year old Cheq. Cock recording a velocity of 799ypm. And in 4th place came Mr & Mrs Walker from Stockton with a 2year old Blue Cock recording a velocity of 781ypm.
I timed a Red hen early 3rd morning to grab the 5th place. This hen flew Sigogne last season ending 6th Sportsman and has now gone one better. Bred by my friend Alan Astin of Carnforth she had been trained to 200 miles and was lifted into the race sitting 5day eggs.
Birds continued to return on the 3rd day with Barry Blackett and Brian Wiemer & Son both recording arrivals. Brian Weimer, from Hartlepool, was a tad unlucky his 6year old hen was reported by a fancier in Whitby the second day. After a rest, light feed and water it was released the same day and eventually made it home around midday on day 3 taking 6th Sportsman.
For the 2nd race running Bob McKie claimed the Vanrobaey sponsorship prizes of corn and a great range of grit and supplements.
2019 NFC Racing
Reflecting on the old bird season we cannot under-estimate the damage caused by the poor outcome at the Fougeres event. It really destroyed the National season hopes of many and there was no bounce back. Entry numbers in subsequent races suffered however our members rallied and some notable performances were achieved. We now move on to the Old Hens/Young Bird Coutances National in early September and are hoping for a good event with good returns to finish off a rather mixed and disappointing National racing season.
On behalf of all our club members I wish you much success in the final NFC race of the season.
July 10, 2019
NFC Cholet National flown 15/6/19
It was a quiet Marking Station at Toft Hill on Wednesday the 12th when members arrived for race marking of their entries. We made a prompt start at 5.30pm and the crates were loaded onto the van and away to Sheffield by 7 pm. Our members were flying between 500 and 553 miles in this event so not one for the feint hearted. Still licking their wounds from the first 2 nationals 12 members mustered 36 birds for the race with an even spread of cocks and hens. There was every possibility that the birds would be liberated on the Saturday although we knew with heavy showers forecast in the North later in the day it could be difficult.
Before members left the marking station Jim Sexton and I provided a detailed report back of the NFC Inquiry meeting held on the 5th June which we both attended. We felt the inquiry had turned all the stones which resulted in a very positive outcome with new liberation arrangements being unanimously agreed by the committee. The Chairman kept a tight control of the meeting ensuring everybody was given the opportunity to contribute to the debate which was challenging and constructive. Stu Wilcox re-enforced the message that members were looking for progress and it was important that the committee recognised this.
Moving on to Saturday the race day. When checking out the various weather sites it was generally accepted that an early liberation was on the cards. And when word came through that they had been liberated at 7am everyone had their thinking caps calculating the ETA. As early times began filtering through there was real optimism that after a seemingly good liberation we would see decent times in Section N and I calculated arrivals could be expected between 7 and 8 pm. However, by late afternoon heavy showers were the order of the day across Yorkshire an into the North East which did put a damper on expectations. Still our members were at their lofts in good time and when word came through at 6 pm that Craig Thompson at Seaton Delaval had timed around 4.30pm it looked like a stormer. We later learnt this had not been accurate in fact it was a system test case flagged on the NFC website which had led to a misunderstanding. Sorry for any embarrassment Craig — you’ll have the last laugh one day! This meant everything was still to play for and just before 6.45pm when speaking to our Chairman on my mobile I caught sight of 3 birds in the distance coming from the east at pace. 2 of these pulled off and flew due west whilst the 3rd kept coming towards my loft and I knew it was my 5year old Chequer cock K/A TIMBA he dropped on top of the loft before entering and being clocked. Although his wattles showed signs of coming through heavy rain he was fine and quickly into his nest box to see his 16day old baby. Flying 544 miles he recorded a velocity of 1357 ypm to win the Sportsman and 1st Section N & 628th Open.
Timba is a 2014 latebred his Sire is from the best of Brian Denny blood (via Alan Astin of Carnforth) the Dam is a Jan Arden bred by Peter Virtue of Cockburnspath. Trained as a yearling to 250 miles he has now had 5 races:
- 2016 2nd Sportsman 4th Section N 942nd Open Ancenis (523 miles)
- 2017 4th Sportsman 5th Section N 312th Open Messac (490 miles)
- 2017 4th Sportsman 8th Section 895th Open Fougeres (456 miles)
- 2018 2nd Sportsman 2nd Section 899th Open Ancenis (523 miles)
And this year he was prepared specifically for Cholet flying natural and given plenty of short training flights up to 50 miles. 3 weeks prior to the race date he had a 200 miles training flight from where he arrived 10 minutes ahead of his nearest loft mate. A very quiet individual he was fed on Vanrobaeys No 39 & 35 which was topped off with peanuts in the week prior to marking.
Second Sportsman was Jeff Walton and his son Matthew, who does a great job in maintaining our club website. Flying 530 miles they timed a 3year old Chequer hen, ’320, at 19.24 doing 1253 ypm being bred from the best of Peter Virtue bloodlines. Her sire is a grandson of Peter’s 1st Nat from Reims Virtue’s Pride. Her dam is a granddaughter of Jos Thone’ 1st Nat Barcelona winner Poco, She was bred by Brian Long from a Son of Musa, 5 x Barcelona & a daughter of Poco. ’320 went to the race feeding a six day old YB. In 2018 she was 1st Section N 797th Open Ancenis(509 miles)
In 3rd place it was Bob Mckie again with a 2year old Chequer hen at 20.10pm. Bred by Alan Astin of Carnforth she contains the best of Ken Hines blood and this was her first race having been trained to 250 miles as a yearling and again this season. Sent sitting 24 days she was exceptionally keen and in tip top condition on her return.
These were the only day birds recorded in the club also winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd Section N.
Next morning, there was a trickle of birds timed in with the consisted loft of Barrie Blackett timing 3 birds the first being 4th Sportsman in the process. Jeff Walton timed a second bird to grab 5th club with Barrie Blackett in 6th position.
Next came Tom Cuthbertson and Partner with their excellent 5year old Dark hen which already has 2 x 1st in the Sportsman to her credit. On basketing night this hen was dancing indeed when you saw her in the crate you would have thought it was a cock the way she was showing up to all the other hens. New members Craig Thompson and Dean Ward both timed in on the second day.
The Vanrobaey Sponsorship prizes were won by Bob Mckie along with the £100 Paul Stobbs kindly donated to the winner of the race.
Best of luck to everyone and their birds brave enough to tackle Tarbes.
Bob Mckie/Jeff Walton