Archive for October 2014

“ON THE ROAD” WITH KEITH MOTT” Brian Batchelor of Elstead.   1 comment

Brian Batchelor.

Brian Batchelor.

Brian Batchelor has told me recently, he is suffering with a bad pigeon fanciers lung problem and after 50 years in the sport, sadly has to pack up his pigeons at the end of this season. His pending retirement from the sport has spurred him on to have one big final fling with his birds and he has enjoyed a brilliant 2014 old bird season. The highlight of the season was sending three cocks to the NFC Tarbes Grand National and clocking all three on the winning day, recording, 15th, 31st, 40th section A, 90th, 233rd, 308th open. A brilliant performance in such a hard race! The first bird on the ETS from Tarbes was Brian’s good blue Cannon / Van Bremen widowhood cock, ‘The Tarbes Cock’, and he also won 36th section A, NFC Carentan (495 birds) this season. This handsome cock is a direct son of Brian’s foundation stock bird ‘The Old Cannon Cock’, when mated to his good racing hen, ‘Baby’, who was clocked on the winning day from Tarbes and Pau. Brian’s small racing team have won a list of prizes this season, the highlights being: 1st club Yelverton (254 birds), 3rd club, 4th Federation, 5th Amalgamation Bergerac (1,213 birds), 4th club, 11th Federation Messac (1,042 birds), 5th, 12th club, 19th, 37th Federation Nort sur Erdre (632 birds), 74th, 294th open BICC Poitiers (1,934 birds), 36th section A, NFC Carentan (495 birds), 15th, 31st, 40th section A, 90th, 233rd, 308th open NFC Tarbes (2769 birds).

The Tarbes Cock.

The Tarbes Cock.

Brian Batchelor is a ‘hard-core’ long distance enthusiast and in recent seasons has been very successful in the National and Classic races from 550 miles. He races in the very strong Godalming club and the 2012 season has seen him win the longest old bird race from Bergerac (450 miles), and record 3rd SMT Combine. When I recently asked Brian about his family of pigeons he told me, ‘my main family of long distance racers are the late Eric Cannon of Wormley bloodlines, with the sire of the loft being ‘The Old Cannon Cock’, which must be described as a champion breeder having produced a long list of premier racers from 550 miles. This handsome blue cock was bred by Keith and Betty Mott in 2004 from their Number Three Eric Cannon stock pair and he is a grandson of Champion ‘Culmer Sam’ and Champion ‘Culmer Bess’, the NFC Pau Merit Award winner. ‘The Old Cannon Cock’ is a full brother to the Eric Cannon stock cock, ‘Foxwarren Fred’, who is the sire of many premier long distance champions including: 1st Federation Bourges (581 miles), 2nd Federation Bourges, 2nd Federation Bourges, 2nd Federation Bourges, 3rd Federation Bourges, 5th Federation Bourges, 8th Federation Bourges and is grand sire of 1st Amalgamation Bourges (581 miles) in the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He is the sire of the champion cock, ‘The Five Times Bourges Cock’, winner of 3rd, 5th, 8th Federation Bourges and sire of 1st Amalgamation Bourges (twice)’.

Brian owns the Post Office in the village of Elstead in Surrey and his very smart little loft is in the garden of the premises. He is only a small team man, about 50 pigeons in all, including old bird racers, young birds and his stock team. The old birds are raced most seasons on a celibate system and the racers only see their mates on race day or returning home from training tosses. Brian says his system is very similar to widowhood, but he races both the hens and cocks. The 2014 season has been raced on widowhood with a couple of spare hens also being raced. Working where his pigeons are kept he can keep to a tight routine, with the cocks getting out for one hour twice a day, the hens getting one to two hours in the middle of the day and young bird team have their fly in the evening. They are fed on Countrywide Super widowhood mix. They also get, G10 Pellets, minerals and Osmonds purifier is added to the drinking water once a week. Brian tells me no medication is used in the off season, but during the racing season he has a medication regime. The team is raced every week up to the second channel race then bi-weekly. In the week between races the birds get one or two training tosses from about 30 miles, if possible into the wind regardless of direction. His young birds receive ten tosses and then three or four races, before being stopped to finish their very important moult.

Prior to starting up with pigeons at Elstead in 2004 Brian had racing pigeon in New Zealand where he had lived most of his life before returning to England permanently, the country of his birth. In New Zealand he had pigeons off and on since he was eleven years old and tells me he had some good success at times. Two memorable races in New Zealand were in 1994 when he was 2nd, 3rd Young Birds National and 1st Section, 2nd overall Auckland Federation Timaru (560 miles), with the same pigeon recording 5th Section, 5th overall in the same race the following year, which was flown on the day in 13 hours 26 minutes. He also still holds the record in one club he belonged to, when his pigeon flew 453 miles in 8 hours 27 minutes. In the later years of his New Zealand pigeon racing he flew in partnership with Digby Reiman, under the flying name of Royal Oak Lofts and scored numerous positions including 3rd, 4th, 6th Auckland Futurity, 3rd Young Bird National on a hard day and 2nd section, 2nd Federation overall Timaru (560 miles).

There you have it, a small team fanciers scoring big in the very hard 2014 NFC Tarbes Grand National. That’s our article for this week! I can be contacted with any pigeon ‘banter’ on telephone number: 01372 463480 or email: keithmott1@virginmedia.com

TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT (www.keithmott.com)

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WALLY CABLE OF NORTHCHAPEL.   Leave a comment

Wally in front of his loft.

Wally in front of his loft.

Wally is one those successful fanciers that races his pigeons very well but hasn’t had the recognition he deserves, although reluctant at first he agreed to let me do this loft report. Wally started racing pigeons back in the 1960’s but like many had to give them up when the family came along and other more important commitments got in the way of pigeons. He restarted in the sport in 1997 when he had more time and his original pigeons were obtained from Dean Pallat being Van Reets and some of that blood still runs through his birds to this day. Although if you ask him what strain he races now he will tell you they are Van Cables, as he said you go over to Belgium and buy a pigeon it is always the strain of the fancier who sells it to you even though the top Belgium fanciers are always trading pigeons amongst themselves and the origins could be from anyone. Wally is a member of the Godalming and districts flying club with 30 flying members located in Surrey south England and it is affiliated to the South Coast FED. This club has a good number of successful flyers both in the local FED and Amalgamation, but also at National level. Wally is a very competitive fancier and tries to win every race he enters and does not take kindly to being an also ran and takes it hard on the rare occasions he has a bad day. Fortunately that is not very often as his results over the last two seasons have shown. In 2013 Wally was the top prize winner at Godalming by a long way, lifting half the club trophies including the Old Bird and Young Bird averages. Up until about three years ago he concentrated on the sprint and middle distance races winning more than his fair share of the prizes but as he said the glory goes more to the distance flyers so in recent years he has been introducing distance blood into his loft mainly from his two good friends and top distance flyers Darren McFadden and Mick Tuck.

Previously he only raced on the traditional widowhood system but for the past three years he has tried the round about system with some success and for the longest races the pigeons were sent natural to the nest with eggs or a small youngster. The loft set up is a basic Blakes pent roof loft with a central section for the hens and two identical sections for the cocks either side with 12 nest boxes in each. The lofts are closed in with lower and upper ventilation and an electric extractor fan is set in the front of the main loft with a timer that runs for one hour every second hour in other words on one hour off one hour. Wally is great believer in providing some special motivation for his birds and one of his favourite tricks is to put a cock in the opposite section which is identical but houses another cock in the same position as its own box so creating some fierce jealousy as the cock being raced thinks there is an intruder in his box. He times his pigeons on the Unicon ETS system which he says is the best thing since sliced bread, especially if the birds arrive home in the early part of the morning as he is out working doing a rural newspaper delivery round and would not be at home to time his birds if they were on rubbers. Young birds are raced on the darkness system which he finds works well for him, this year already he has won two races and the young birds look like yearlings and none of his team of 28 have been lost in the first four races in the series.
Feeding is Verserlager corn, Super widowhood for the old birds and young birds start off on the young bird mix but once racing is underway they also go onto the widowhood mix. The pigeons are well trained before racing starts but once the race season commences very little further training is done as the birds are raced regularly most weeks. When asked about the use of medication he said he treats the birds for worms, canker and coccidiosis before breeding and racing and half way through the season. He used to treat each drug individually but this year he used the 3 in 1 tablet and found it just as effective and easier to administer. They also get Aviform products, post race after each race and the stamina, respiratory treatment in the water twice a week. Fresh grit and minerals are before the birds at all times and orego stim is given once a week. The lofts are cleaned out when it suits him about twice a week on average.

Joe 90

Joe 90.

When asked about the highlights of his success over the past couple of years he said winning the averages in the Godalming club was one, although Wally was honest enough to admit that since the club joined the South Coast with his loft position being the nearest to the coast had put him in a favourable position. However it must not be forgotten that in the past he has won the FED when the club was in the Surrey FED and his loft position was not so favourable. The second highlight was the great performances of his Blue Cheque cock named “JOE 90” named after the last two digits of his ring number which was bred by Darren McFadden. Wally said prior to racing this outstanding cock that he was losing a bit of interest but this one pigeon had really perked him up. This wonderful cock was 3rd section, 13th open National Flying club Tarbes National 550 miles against an entry of 2769 in a very testing race when only 393 birds were timed in race time. However Wally was sorry he let the pigeon down by not pooling him as he said prior to the race he would be a good one and he was going to pool him right through but chickened out at the last minute. Having put up this top performance Wally then sent him back again to the NFC Saintes National and again timed him to win 12th section and 252nd Open against 3187 pigeons, this time Wally didn’t chicken out and pooled him through doubling his money as a result. In his build up to Tarbes JOE 90 went to all the club channel races although he was 2 hours behind Wally’s first bird in his last start before TARBES which Wally said disappointed him but on reflection probably gave him the hours on the wing which set him up nicely for the Tarbes National. Another of Wally’s top performers is a Blue Gay pied yearling hen that has raced on round about this season and won him 3 races.

Gay Pied YLG 500

Gay Pied YLG 500.

Well an enjoyable loft visit to a fancier whose pigeon have put in some top performances in the past two years.

Brian Batchelor

Posted October 18, 2014 by ferguselley in Brian's Brit Blog, U.k. news items

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