Written by JCP - 7/16/2017






On Saturday 15th July the 277 pigeons entered by BICC members were liberated at 6.30 am BST, from the South West France city of St Vincent situated on the Atlantic coast in the very southern most region of the Bay of Biscay and close to the border of north west Spain.

Weather conditions were perfect with a light north easterly breeze blowing and a cloudless blue sky with unlimited visibility.

First birds began to be clocked on the continent at17.21 pm covering the 724 kms to its home loft at Rollot 100 miles north of Paris at 1110 mpm. Next bird was clocked approximately 100 miles south of Paris at 17.27 pm on 1093 mpm. There then followed a stream of birds being timed in Northern France and Belgium before the eventual International winner was timed by Marlon Kok at 4.01 am on the second morning in the Netherlands recording a velocity of 1168 mpm over the 1075 km course.


It was to be hoped therefore that birds would get into south east England on the day and this they certainly did with three brave pigeons crossing the channel and arriving at their home lofts before nightfall. The first of these three brave hearts was timed at 20.25 pm, velocity 1066 mpm, at the Basildon loft of Dean Childs, who wins his second BICC International race of the 2017 season following on from his Pau International success. In fact Dean has “superform” in his loft as I write this, as he also took the first three Open positions in a recent BBC Channel race.

This is what Dean had to tell me about his second great win with the BICC in the 2017 International race campaign:-


st“Chalice Sidney, the winner of 1Open BICC St Vincent International, was bred by Mark Gilbert. His father is a son of Southfield Darkie when Darkie was paired to a daughter of George. His mother is a daughter of Southfield Supreme when Supreme was paired to the mother of Southfield Melissa. The mother of Chalice Sidney is already a proven breeder being also the mother of Southfield Jane, Marks NFC Saints winner. Mark Gilbert is one of our sport’s gentlemen, and I would like to thank him for his generosity and advice throughout the years.

Chalice Sidney is a 2015 late bred so was only lightly raced as a young bird. As a yearling he was given many channel crossings to build up his education where he homed consistently, never making a mistake. This year he was firstly prepared for the Pau international and was given a few inland races before flying the first three BICC National races and then sent to the NFC Messac race. From Pau this year he was my third pigeon home being clocked at 7.26am and finishing 27th National BICC. He was so well in himself that I decided to make his next target St. Vincent. Even though the weather maps showed a continuous north east wind throughout France it was no surprise to see him complete the 553 miles on the day of liberation looking fresh and full of energy on being timed at 8.25pm.

I am immensely proud of Chalice Sidney’s achievements to win in what looked to me to be a hard but very fair race with the first three open positions being won to different sections.”

Super flying Dean and congratulations on your second win with the BICC this year. I’ll look forward to reading your account when you complete and return my questionnaire!

Mark Gilbert comes in with two early timers to finish at 1st & 2nd Centre section 2nd & 4th Open on 952 & 819 mpm. The first of these timed at 21.39 pm on the day and the second next morning at 6.34 am. Here’s what Mark had to say about his race:-


“Firstly, I would like to congratulate Dean on another outstanding performance.

My first two pigeons were cocks on roundabout, the first one was a two year old cock who was 15th open NFC Tarbes as a yearling last year, he also scored from Pau international this year.

I must say it was a great thrill to clock as late as I did, it was getting very Dark when he came.

The breeding is from Southfield Dream she was 2nd open NFC Tarbes NFC, I clocked her at 9.15 at night and she was leading the field on the day of liberation. The father was a son of Perpignan 06 of Brockamp's and he was 2nd international Perpignan.

The second pigeon was my all pooler. This cock was 2nd open St Vincent last year and 14th open Pau International last year. He scored again from Pau this year and now with a 4th open from St Vincent, he now qualifies for Merit Award with the BICC for appearing three times in the first 15 of an International race. His breeding - father is a double grandson of George and his mother is a daughter of Geoff and Catherine Cooper’s Tarbes National winner George.”


Then we come to another truly remarkable pigeon, racing far into the West Country against the wind and rain to the Peasedown St John, Bath loft of Geoff and Catherine Cooper to take 1st west section[only bird on day] and 3rd Open. The hen arrived as the light was rapidly fading and here is what an obviously very proud Geoff Cooper had to tell me about his gutsy hen:-


“We were waiting in the rain and beginning to think we wouldn't be timing on the day as it was getting dark when a yearling hen dropped onto the roof, we didn't see her approach the loft as the light wasn't good enough. She is a granddaughter of three different International winners, Farmer George, Wollongong and Forest Junior. She is a full sister to last year’s Classic winner Farmer Forest. She is now named Farm Lady of the Night as it was so dark when she arrived. She was flown widowhood. As a young bird she only had five races to 89 miles and as a yearling she had some club and BICC races including Poitiers 359 miles then an inland race of 89 miles and two weeks off and into St Vincent.”

Open on the provisional result. This one is a two year old dark chequer cock which was 11th West of th west section 28rdGeoff and Catherine timed a second pigeon next morning to finish at 3England SR Combine Saintes 394 miles three weeks before St Vincent. Once again he was flown widowhood.

His sire is Darkie a top breeding son of George 1st Grand National Tarbes. Darkie also bred 2nd International Bordeaux for Mark Gilbert.

The dam is also the dam of Farm Stellar who won 2nd national Falaise and 3rd National 328th Agen International. The Cooper production line of top class long distance racers goes on and on and on and……
The Geoff and Catherine would like to send their congratulations to Dean on a great season!


Khan Brothers come in with two good pigeons to finish at 5th & 8th Open velocities 811 & 755 mpm. Here’s what the partners had to tell me:-

“Firstly well done to our friend Dean Childs on his third National win this year, absolutely amazing pigeon flying, we would like to wish him well for the rest of the season. Our St Vincent race entries were mostly our team that had competed in the Pau International race earlier in the season. Our 1st pigeon was a hen direct from Ace Lofts stock who's sire is a full brother to Mark Gilbert's Mellisa 1st International Agen 11,400birds when it was paired to the infamous L Ring Hen who is responsible for many top birds right through to 1st National. Our 2nd bird probably taking 8th open, was again bred by Ace Lofts from the same sire as the 5th Open winner, when paired to a daughter of the L Ring Hen when the L ring hen was paired to Southfield Supreme of Mark Gilbert. We would like to thank all people involved in the race and like to wish everyone well for the rest of the season.”



Open is one to Heath Archibald of th East section 6ndNext up at 2Dover and recording a velocity of 798 mpm over the 528 mile course. Heath is enjoying an outstanding season in 2017 and here’s what he had to tell me about his latest National success:-

  1. hen I timed in from St Vincent was also my pigeon I timed in Pau International this year taking 32nd Open BICC. In fact she is the nest mate to the hen that I timed in from Tarbes NFC taking 3rd open provisional on the day and my single entry. The hen was 8th open St Vincent in 2016 . She is bred out of my Pau Hen of R O Jones family. The Pau Hen flew BICC Pau three times, twice on the day with her best result being 4th open 222nd International overall and 28th hens International . Her sire is a son of my good friends L&K Buddles “Tom” a Merit Award winner with the BICC . She is raced on a roundabout system as are all my hens. I would like to congratulate Dean Child's on another fine win this year and the other two birds that made it home on the day.”


Open BICC rd & 3stThe Padfield Family are really on a roll, as fresh from their 1Barcelona International, they are in yet again here at 2nd west section 7th Open with a two year old on 781 mpm. Here’s what Dave Padfield had to tell me about the preparation of his St Vincent team:-

“We sent two (2 Year old Cocks ) their preparation was the same - after rearing a pair of youngsters they were raced on the roundabout system having 3 inland races and two overseas races Fougeres and Messac. The Messac race was a hard race both cocks had 8 hours plus on the wing. We normally leave the birds on the roundabout like our Barcelona birds this year, but we decided to re-mate these two cocks and they were sent sitting around 7 days. It had been 5 weeks since their last race, and we were a little concerned as we don’t train, the exercise around the loft kept him on form.

We clocked the cock at 8.20 am and the weather in the Valley was horrendous, mountains’ covered in Mist \ low cloud and drizzle rain. The breeding of this cock is in the purple as his grand father won the St Vincent BICC for us before we sold him to House of Aarden. The Sire of the cock is from St Vincent Star when paired to Cessie Steve Wright’s Barcelona Champion hen.

The Dam is a full Sister to Ffion our Barcelona hen, she is from the No1 Wim Muller Stock cock when paired to our famous “T” ring hen she was an inbred double grand Daughter of our OLD 89.”

Spencer Nicholson who still competes under the banner of J Nicholson & son comes in next at 3rd East section 9th Open with a 4 year old on 734 mpm over the 538 mile course from South West France to Rochester in South East England. This is what Spencer had to tell me about their latest long distance prize winner:-

Open BICC Mont de Marsan 3 weeks ago. Last year he achieved an Award of Merit for previously being 11th th“Our first bird is a 4 year old blue chequer cock, on his 2nd trip over 500 miles this year, he was 45Pau, 9th St Vincent and 9th Perpignan and now looks like adding another 9th St Vincent. He has also been 45th St Vincent.

His grandmother on one side is Kate, a Spanish diploma winner and 3rd BICC Perpignan. His grandmother on the other side is Jinni, who was 11th BICC Barcelona, 14th BBC Palamos and 1st BICC Marseille.

He is paired to our 2nd pigeon in this race, a 3 year old blue chequer hen, she also went to Mont de Marsan and was 35th Open. She also has top Barcelona/Palamos pigeons in her pedigree.

Our 3rd bird, a 4 year old red hen, was 95th Mont de Marsan 3 weeks ago and flew Pau & Perpignan last year.

Feeding this year has been a Variamax, Gerry plus and Superstar mix and supplemented nearer the long races with energy plus, a few peanuts and our secret long distance cake.”

The Truelove Family clocked two pigeons on the second day to finish provisionally at 10th and 15th Open. This is what Nigel and Jackie had to tell me about their two birds:-

“Our first pigeon is an inbred grandson of Mister Barcelona from a pair of direct Roger Reybroeck & son pigeons that were given to us by our friend John Chipperfield. This cock has had two races with the EECC and then the BICC Poitiers (2) with additional training. He was paired as all the birds are at the end of March then raced on widowhood. The second pigeon is a Grandson of Thei Hermans “Barcelona” bloodlines being Jan Aarden / Lowik Brothers. This pigeon was going to Barcelona but I thought he needed another week, so decided to send him to St Vincent's instead.”

There were a number of excellent team performances in this race such as :-

L & K Buddle: 16th, 19th & 22nd section; 25th, 31st & 35th Open from a five bird entry.

J Nicholson & sons 3rd,7th & 14th section 9th, 23th & 22nd Open.

Mike Mitchell: 9th, 23rd, 24th & 31st section, 16th,36th,37th & 46th Open.

Geoff & Clayton Preece: 6th, 10th, 26th & 28th section, 12th, 17th, 41st & 42nd Open.

Mark Gilbert: 1st,2nd,5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th & 11th section; 2nd ,4th, 14th, 19th, 23rd, 29th, 30th & 44th Open.



As promised in my Barcelona race report I have highlighted below those brave pigeons that made it back to their home lofts after my report on the Barcelona race had been sent off to meet the publication deadline.

At the time just 10 brave pigeons had made it home and in the next day or two 14 more birds were recorded, the first of these by Mr & Mrs Steven Rhodes who clocked a five year old, the third of their five bird entry to make the result, to record a velocity of 252 mpm.

Open on 248 mpm was a second bird to Mark Gilbert who clocked a four year old hen which is a full sister to thNext to clock with a four year old taking 12Southfield Marseille, Mark’s BICC Marseille winner.

Alan Annis & son of Wingham in flew Barcelona last year and was 28th open Perpignan 2016. The bird was actually bred by neighbour Simon Knowles of the F. Knowles & Son partnership and is a son of “Mrs Jones” who has had the following wins:-
22nd open Agen 2014.
4th open Perpignan 2014.
37th open Agen 2013.
5th open Perpignan 2013
92nd open Agen 2012.
11th open Perpignan 2012.
44th open Agen 2011.
46th open Pau 2010.
Alan’s pigeons are flown natural and fed on Bucktons VIP. The week before Barcelona it was treated with Sliepsanol in the water for 3 days. Preparation for Barcelona included 4 Bedhamptons with the Wingham Flying Club and one Fontenay with the East of England Club and then to Barcelona. My thanks to Sarah Knowles for the above information.
Kent also got one on 245 mpm to finish at 13th Open. Alan’s four year old

Mark Gilbert then timed the third of his entries, a seven year old, on 243 mpm to take 14th Open. She is a granddaughter of Brockamp’s Mistral.

Open. thDavid Hales, ably assisted by Duncan Goodchild comes in next with a five year old recording 240 mpm to finish at 15Duncan had this to say about their timer:-

“Firstly congratulations to Dave and Vince for being the race winners also to the Wilton family for a great effort and big admiration for all the birds that have made it home.

We were more than happy to see Dave's 5 year old blue widowhood cock Double D register on the ETS clock at 16.07 on the 5th day of this very tough Barcelona race.

Like all the old 3 year old and above widowhood cocks he was not paired this year after being with his hen until November last year.

His preparation was 2 inland races and 2 channel races 144 and 224 miles with the EECC, only on the return from the channel races did he get to see his hen. His last race was on the 4th of June, after that 2 x 50 training flights and home flying. Our thoughts on these old cocks is you are not going to teach them too much, but if not over worked or bored have enough knowledge to work out the International type racing and this time he proved us right. I did show him his hen in his old box 5 days before basketing?

He has little previous form but had been to Barcelona on at least one previous occasion.

2 things stood out for me on handling the fly had not destroyed him in fact he was out for a fly the following spinning around like a young bird with the other cocks, more on memory than desire probably. The 2nd thing being that he is half brother to both Tubby and 80. They all share the same dam, in fact Tubby's nest brother also scored at International racing, so 4 different birds to score from 575 to 709 miles.

This hen bred by Alan Parker was one in a million where do you get them from now?

The sire of Double D an all Biss pigeon was 7th Open BICC Barcelona 2009 being timed late on the 2nd day after being found in the loft.”

I hope you’re getting better Dave.



Open with a two year old hen on 236 mpm. This is what an obviously thrilled Andy had to say about his thAndrew Girling takes 16Barcelona timer:-

She is a small (tiny) 2 year old blue white flight hen flown naturally and having only her seventh race ever. She was my only entry. Her parents are of Jan Aarden stock and were obtained from Louella Stud with the specific objective of trying to fly Barcelona. Her sire is a double grandson of Incredible and her dam is a granddaughter of Incredible and Red Rum. She also has the blood of De Smaraagd I and II and Invincible Spirit further back in her pedigree.

As a young bird she was trained to 70 miles and as a yearling had three channel races as far as Pithiviers (220 miles) with the East of England Continental Club. This year she had two more short races with the East of England Club and then went to Poitier with the BICC; she took twelve and a half hours and then flew round with my youngsters for another 10 minutes before trapping. I wasn’t really intending to send her to Barcelona this year (it’s only my 4th year back in the sport after a break of nearly 40 years) but her apparent stamina at Poitier made me think that despite her youth she might be up to flying Barcelona. She was sent to the race sitting 10 days and returned having lost a bit of weight but otherwise looking quite well. To say that I was excited and pleased to see her is a massive understatement – what a thrill!

I would like to congratulate the Padfields on their much-deserved win and everyone else that clocked from this very hard race. I would also like thank my friends in the Ashford and Wingham Clubs and Mark Sands and Barry Wigg for all the help and encouragement they have given me since restarting.”

Well done Andy.


Club Chairman and long distance maestro, Albi Deacon comes in with a six year old “stayer” on 199 mpm to take 17th Open.


In at 18th Open and winning the Jim Emerton Trophy for the furthest flying pigeon in race time is one to Trevor Robinson of Patrington who clocked a two year old over the 854 mile course to Yorkshire.

The Barcelona bird is a two year old sent unmated, due to his mate being lost one week previous. The bird’s breeding is a Jan Arden bred by Louella Pigeon World from a batch of ten purchased.
No training or racing as a youngster, as a yearling four races, two at
150 miles, one at 200, one over the channel at 315 miles. This year,
eight races including two channel races at 360 and 280 miles, then a two week rest before basketing for
Trevor says that the 510 miles round trip to basket at Chestfield was worth it. Thanks to Jeff Lyden and his team for the help given.


Then we had a late rush of birds making their home lofts with Don Harvey clocking on 185mpm for 674 miles;Mr & Mrs S Guy clocking a 3 year old at 702 miles for 168mpm;Mr & Mrs Angell in with a 4 year old on 167 mpm at 709 miles; Bill Aherne, a previous Barcelona winner, in with a 4 year old on 166 mpm after 711 miles; Mr & Mrs Rhodes in with their fourth pigeon from an entry of five on 162 mpm.

Steve Rhodes had this to tell me about his third and subsequent timers from Barcelona

“My third bird from Barcelona has flown Agen , Marseille, Barcelona twice being 11th open. He was 1st club 2nd Kent Cosmo Fed three weeks prior to Barcelona . He is a son of my fourth bird from Barcelona this year. His breeding is Southwell cock x grand daughter Joost19 and has flown Perpignan 4 times with a 14th open being his best placing, plus twice Barcelona both very tough races being 35th open and 23rd open; Pau twice where he had a bad smack on first one, then 79th open on next attempt at Pau. The dam to 46 has been twice 2nd open Marseille and is a grand daughter of Joost x Crack Perpignan”.

Finally D Watson & son clocked a 7 year old on 153 mpm over the 703 miles to its Ashford loft.

Congratulations to all concerned.



Gareth Watkins


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