Archive for the ‘Invercargill to Auckland pigeon racing’ Tag

Invercargill, Timaru and Christchurch Old Bird National results.   2 comments

ARPFInvercargillOpen2Dec2014

 

ARPFOBNatChch6Dec2014

 

ARPF Old Bird National West.

 

ARPFTimaruOpen6Dec2014

Invercargill Race 2014.   7 comments

Mac and dimitri.

Mac and dimitri.

Last night we boxed pigeons at the Manukau Racing Pigeon Club in Auckland. We are looking forward to this prestigious race with much anticipation and there was a good muster of pigeons and fanciers from the Auckland Federation alike.

Everything went smoothly and my wife Helen and I were there just for an hour or so. Of course those of you which follow this blog will have read the articles on Mac Armstrong who has won this race six times, all in a row, an outstanding accomplishment! So he is going for seven in a row.

I have listed the names on the trophy below which have won this race since a trophy was put on it when the late Jack Longville was the Federation President and had won it. You will notice that some years there was no winner or no birds, same thing I think unless there was a year where the birds could not be liberated. Please comment if you know.

Speaking of liberation’s, it was a good decision this year to delay the Invercargill basketing a couple of days as normally we basket them on a Wednesday night and its great to see proactive decisions being made which benefit the pigeons by reducing the time in the basket.

Recently radionz presenter Lisa Thompson documented Mac Armstrong and his pigeons and you can view an article which is a synopsis basically of the show that was aired on the radio and Sky tv. Here is the link radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/spectrum/20141116

The South Island of New Zealand's Southern Alps.

The South Island of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

INVERCARGILL WINNERS.

1995 J.Longville

1996 F. van Lier

1997 J.Edwards

1998 K.Frazer

1999 No winner

2000 J.Edwards

2001 No winner

2002 C.Wilkinson

2003 No winner

2004 Valleyview

2005 No Birds

2006 No Birds

2007 L.Nel

2008 to 2013 M.Armstrong

We are blessed that Bill Beattie has been the liberator down in Invercargill for the last half dozen or so years. He does a tremendous job looking after the Auckland pigeons until the right time when the good to go is given for the liberation.

Joe Edwards who won it twice passed away in the last year and Louie Nel not that long ago.

I had my daughter photograph my 13 entries and will post their photos after liberation, see if you can pick the one or hopefully ones which come home in race time. This racepoint is certainly a great leveler of both pigeon and fancier alike. Like no doubt everybody I’ve tried hard to get my pigeons right for this one and now it is up to the pigeons, the weather gods and lady luck.

I guess the question in everyone’s mind is ‘can Mac make it seven in a row?’ Or can some lucky person and bird get past his pigeons, time will tell.

Look forwards to your comments, best wishes etc.

Mt Cook, known in Maori as 'Aoraki'.

Mt Cook, known in Maori as ‘Aoraki’.

 

 

Catching the wave……….   Leave a comment

Catching a wave!

Catching a wave!

Most of us will have enjoyed riding the surf at the beach somewhere in the world whether it be on a surfboard, bodyboard or simply straight out body surfing. Over here in the ‘Land of the long white cloud’ i.e. Aotearoa aka New Zealand we have such awesome beaches for surfing. I can remember one of the best body surfing days I’ve experienced and it was at a West Auckland beach just south of the famous Piha beach with its Lion Rock, namely Karekare Beach.

Karekare beach, West Auckland.

Karekare beach, West Auckland.

I was in my late twenties and more in shape to handle the pounding of the rough breakers than nowadays and gee could they dump you! I’m sure some people get knocked out when their head is thumped into the sand below and their ears are ringing, but when you are young, there’s certainly nothing like the adrenaline rushes and thrills that nature provides for free!

Like surfing where a really good ideal wave will come along if one waits patiently enough, so too in the sport of pigeon racing is the art of timing the peak of the ‘wave of form’ with the key race(s) we desire to win with our pigeons. Those that are familiar with this blog or who simply know the Auckland pigeon racing scene won’t have too much trouble guessing which fancier I would rate highly at being a master of timing the lofts wave of form to strike when they basket for our annual Invercargill to Auckland race. Yes, that’s right; Mr Mac Armstrong is that man!

Mac and Dimitri.

Mac and Dimitri.

How then does he manage annually for seven straight years to accomplish this extraordinary feat? Remember, that’s if you follow my blog, that Mac uses no forms of flock medication treatments for his pigeons apart from internal parasite treatment. There is no canker treatments, no antibiotics to treat or prevent respiratory pathogens such as Chlamydia, Mycoplasmosis or enteric gut syndromes caused by pathogenic species of Salmonella or  Escherichia coli. No coccidiosis medicines, not even a drop of the very popular cider vinegar, nor garlic or iodine or other antiseptics in the drinking water. No vitamins are used either as the grain has ample says Mac.

Mac uses very little supplements, just grit, some pick stones and an electrolyte solution which aids recovery in particular. So how does Mac do it? We have covered previously that Mac’s sole aim above all else is to race the annual Invercargill and win it. This is what thrills him and that is all he aims for!

I’ve heard Auckland fanciers inquire if Mac races widowhood i.e. either cocks or hens? No, it’s not that, he races separated sexes to the perch i.e. celibacy. Lesbian hens are removed to a different section to deter this. The only incentive the pigeons have is their love for the loft and its environment, that’s it!

I have mentioned in a recent article that last year Mac was the least confident of all the past seven years in which he has won this race. Nothing like a man with humility and Mac was even saying things like I hope you win it to me and how great that would be! He really felt that with the information now on this blog that someone was bound to be really difficult to beat other than his loft.

Mac also seemed to be behind the eight ball as far as getting his pigeons going last year, it can’t be easy when you are 83! There were delays in getting everything sorted with his electronic clocking system which meant he had to use rubbers on the pigeons in the build up races. This was a big hassle and doubled the stress.

I remember talking by phone with Mac last year and at the time I would have thought that he would have started training his pigeons including the latebreds, but he hadn’t. It was almost a third of the way into the season! The first Fed race was the following week. The weather had been fickle as it often is over here and so Mac hadn’t started training. However, when Mac told me that the pigeons when out were picking up nesting material and darting to and fro I knew that he was definitely still on track for a win! Hens out one day, cocks the next, the pigeons fly themselves fit and can be jumped almost to the first race as its only 180 miles or so. When hens also are picking up bits of twigs and so on when it is their day out then I think this is a very good sign indeed.

I guess it could be also said that perhaps Mac also times it so he peaks himself and hasn’t worn himself out both physically and mentally too far before the main event. As I always say, it ain’t easy as an octogenarian and a lot of the time I feel the same myself, if not worse and I’m only early 50’s!

It surely is an art preparing a team of pigeons for these long distance events, with Mac, ‘no stone goes unturned’, everything is calculated with extreme diligence to win from 730 miles or so, it has to be! However, I think the boys up here will be keener than ever to try to ‘knock Mac and his team of very good pigeons off their perch’ later on at year’s end. However, like any form of wave surfing, watch out for the ‘wipeouts’!

Any questions for Mac either in the comments section below or email me at ferguselley@gmail.com