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