Round up of all the latest pigeon news and forthcoming sales

Sam McGarel - Winner BOS - pictured receiving his award from Raymond Hamilton, Horseshoe Club secretary
Sam McGarel - Winner BOS - pictured receiving his award from Raymond Hamilton, Horseshoe Club secretary
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I paid a visit over the Christmas period to John White, Nutts Corner, to view the birds.

John has won many top awards and is known by all his fancier friends as having purchased nothing but the best bloodlines, regardless of costs.

One for the family album - Raymond Hamilton - Carrick Social - pictured being congratulated on winning a class by Uncle Raymond

One for the family album - Raymond Hamilton - Carrick Social - pictured being congratulated on winning a class by Uncle Raymond

Through his friendship with, one of the continental stars, Herman Beverdam, nothing but the best was obtained from Herman. In the early years the best of the Meuleman & Janssen families plus the Jan Huybrechts were sourced and numerous top performances were recorded with their bloodlines. Indeed in later years the Jan Huybrechts family was so good that stock was sent back to Herman to add to his stock loft.

In recent years John has added the De Klak, Ad Schaerlaeckens, Verkerks, Reynaerts, Engels, Koopmans families plus the Geerinckx and most sought after Hendriks family. Indeed when you study the Hendriks family John has quite a collection with birds sourced direct from Hendriks. All the top racers/producers of Hendriks are found in the pedigrees of the stock housed at Nutts Corner. Due to John’s workload, no young birds have been raced in recent years and only a few old bird races are competed in.

John has reluctantly decided to close down the stock lofts and offer to the fancy a fantastic draft of quality bloodlines direct from Herman. All birds on offer have been bred by the master “Herman Beverdam”. Herman himself will certify that the best of his bloodlines, within the British Isles, are at John’s lofts.

Date: Saturday, 2nd January. Venue: Chimney Corner Football Club, Randalstown Road, Antrim. Sale starts 3pm. Birds on view 2pm. All Lots will be offered online prior to the auction - www.pigeoncraic.com/auctions

Nigel Arthurs - Ballycarry - Winner 3 classes at the Horseshoe Boxing Day Show, being congratulated by Raymond Hamilton

Nigel Arthurs - Ballycarry - Winner 3 classes at the Horseshoe Boxing Day Show, being congratulated by Raymond Hamilton

JOHN HALSTEAD & FERNLEA LOFTS

Sensational sale of modern day winning bloodlines winning at all distances on behalf of two of the best racing lofts in the British Isles - John Halstead “Mr Video Man”.

Date: Wednesday 30th December 2015 at 8pm. Birds on View: 7pm. Venue: Chimney Corner Football Club, Randalstown Road, Antrim .

John has personally selected an outstanding draft, only 18 lots , of his top winning bloodlines that have won numerous top awards.

Ian McGarel - S McGarel & Sons - Class Winner at the Horseshoe Boxing Day Show

Ian McGarel - S McGarel & Sons - Class Winner at the Horseshoe Boxing Day Show

FERNLEA LOFTS - Davie and Hugh have also selected an outstanding draft, approximately 20 lots, of their top winning bloodlines. Included in sale will be sons, daughters, brothers, sisters to all of their present day top performers.

HORSESHOE BOXING DAY SHOW

The Horseshoe club, based in Larne, held their annual Boxing Day Show with this year’s judges coming from Carrick & Glenarm area. Eddie Gilliland & Rab Robinson were given the task of placing the awards. Best In Show plus £50 was Andy Gault, Ballyclare & Dist, with Best Opposite Sex plus £30 was the father/sons team of Sam McGarel & Sons, Horseshoe. Nigel Arthurs, Ballycarry, had a great showing day winning three classes with the other classes won by Sam McGarel & Son, Andy Gault & Raymond Hamilton, Carrick Social. The Horseshoe club would like to thank all who supported their Boxing Day show, especially the judges who gave up their time over the festive period.

E MALLON & SONS - BANBRIDGE

The entire clearance sale - Part 2 - will be listed shortly on the Pigeon Craic auction site. Log on to: www.pigeoncraic.com/auctions

CLUB SALE

A new club has been formed in the Belfast area to compete in the coming 2016 season. The partnership of Gregg Bros & McCandless have kindly donated four birds to be sold, with all money raised, donated to the new club, to help with expenses on their new formation. All birds on offer can be viewed and bid on. The sale finishes at 6pm on 31st December. To view the lots on offer log on to: www.pigeoncraic.com/auctions

NOVARA STUD

Novara Stud - R Strain & Son, Ballyclare, own one of the finest teams of long distance continental families. Date: Thursday, 7th January. Venue: Chimney Corner Football Club, Randalstown Road, Antrim. Sale starts 8pm. Birds on view: 7pm. All lots will be offered online prior to the auction, with the closing bid online, the opening bid in the live sale room.

KINALLEN VIEW LOFTS

B. & G. Cochrane and Herman McAvoy – Harmony HPS - will offer a select draft of their top winning bloodlines, the very best of Kees Bosua and Reynaerts, closely related to the world-famous Porky, Marabella and Figo, 1st National Bourges, 1st Sens and a car winner. Heremans-Ceusters, a new introduction and already making their mark in the stock loft. Hardy Kruger etc.

The bloodlines on offer won NIPA Section F Young Bird Fancier of the Year Award 2013.

Date: Saturday, 9th January at Ballyholland Football Club, Newry.

BUS TRIP TO BLACKPOOL

There are still a few places vacant on the bus trip to the annual Blackpool Show Of The Year in January 2016.

Interested? If so contact Owen Donnelly on 07816910993.

NEW YEAR WISHES

As this is my last column of 2015, I would like to thank all who contributed in any way to my column in the past season. Your help and input is greatly appreciated.

On finishing, I would like, through the column, to wish all my fancier friends good health and happiness for 2016.