Dates revealed for pigeon events

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The details for the annual dinner and awards for Ballymena & District HPS have been confirmed for Saturday, 13th January 2018.

Details are as follows: Adults £20.00 and Children £10.00. To secure your tickets a £10.00 deposit (non-refundable) per adult is required. No deposit for children needed. Anyone wishing to book please contact Nicola Tel: Tel 07724 507621, or pm the Facebook page. MAC fanciers are also invited to attend and pick up their awards.

Members have been informed in writing regarding all the information, opening show will be Monday 30th October for Old Cock and Old Hen Through the Wires. The remaining Monday dates are – 6th November Young Cocks & Young Hens T/W, 13th November Yearling Cocks & Yearling Hens T/W, 20th November Old Pairs & Young Pieds T/W, 27th November Young Pairs & Old Pieds T/W, 4th December Red Mealy & Grizzle YB and Red Mealy & Grizzle OB Through Wires, 11th December YB Eye-sign and OB Eye-sign. To qualify for Show Specials a minimum of six birds must be penned. If you require more show information contact Willy Gilbert Tel: 07761 323459.

The Open Show will be Monday, 1st January and that’s the day the draw will be made for the Fireside Quiz. Quiz sheets are available from any member or contact Mrs N Gilbert Tel 07724 507621. The Open Show is only available for lofts in the NIPA Sect B due to space problems. A Squeaker Sale is to take place before racing, more on this later.

Cullybackey held a recent meeting and Ahoghill will meet shortly to discuss arrangements for a show series. Kells & District will have a meeting on Thursday, 5th October at 7.00pm to set dates for shows and the annual prize giving night. Cup winners please return trophies to club rooms in the coming weeks.

An Irish Region meeting of Appeals Committee will be held on Saturday, 7th October in the Templeton Hotel, Templepatrick at 1.30pm. You can book any tickets you may require for the NIPA Ladies Night with Fred Russell. The date is 10th November in the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick. A full committee meeting will be held this week.

The Northern Ireland Winter Fayre will be held on Saturday, 14th October 2017 at the Six Mile Leisure Centre, Ballynure Road, Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, BT39 9YU. Opens 9.30am-4.30pm (approx). At this event fanciers can purchase any of their requirements prior to the breeding season and avail themselves of new stock for sale from various stalls. They can also enjoy the banter and craic that this event is getting famous for. Interested in a stand? If so call 07737 275820. A great day out for all the family, bring the kids and they can enjoy the pool while you browse the Fayre.

Amelia Earhart – Combined Averages and winners League Table

This will be my final club report for the 2017 season.

Racing this year has had its fair share of ups and downs, but it was nice to see that club members held their own over the racing season and did well in races at local and national level.

With a continued downward trend in reducing membership by either those leaving the sport or leaving to other clubs, we had on average 10 men sending each week to the races.

Birdage through the old birds was slow but consistent and surprisingly the young birds this year saw an upward trend and maintained throughout the whole programme. Whether it was down to good pigeons or training, or a combination of both our members tended to send more birds racing than the rest of the local clubs on many occasions.

It was nice to see that the effort paid off for the fanciers in the club, as with a total of 15 competing lofts 12 managed to win at least one first prize. Over the past few reports we have acknowledged that the partnership of Tommy & Ryan White, who only raced young birds this year, managed to dominate the young bird season and won the young bird averages winning four races and consistently in the top prizes with the birds they were gifted this year, some achievement and a massive well done.

With the majority of lofts darkening their young birds, the lofts of M & M Rabbett gave a good run for their money with their natural pigeons but with the moult on the birds holding them back, they managed to maintain a firm second spot in the young bird averages with next door neighbours Noel & Ciara Doherty taking the third spot. Just as the races tended to be dominated in the young birds, the same was said for the old bird programme.

Racing a team of semi-widow cocks and roundabout Hens, the loft of M & M Rabbett was the firm favourite week in week out. Winning a total of five races in the old birds and taking other various positions in the top prizes, they looked firm favourite for the old bird averages as well. This wasn’t to be, as by playing it safe sending all birds to all inland races and none over the channel, they set their fate as the ever consistent loft of Eamonn Quigley managed to swoop in and clinch the top spot for the averages having clocked in the Penzance Classic race, beating the Rabbett’s by four points. Next door neighbours Noel & Ciara Doherty took the final top spot in the old Bird averages.

The combined averages for the club of course was both OB and YB added together. This was absolutely anyone’s gain and all to play for as the scores were not too far apart from each other. With a good performance in the old birds and a steady performance in the young birds, M & M Rabbett managed to maintain the ever so slight lead over 2nd position Eamonn Quigley as the young birds started drawing to a close. The combined average scoreboard was:

M & M Rabbett 45 + 24 = 69, Eamonn Quigley 49 + 14 = 63, Noel Doherty 22 + 19 = 41, Tommy White 0 + 38 = 38, Jimmy Quigley & Son 13 + 12 = 25, P & S Campbell 12 + 9 = 21, William McCloskey 15 + 4 = 19, Cathal Fox 14 + 2 = 16, Lexie McCloskey 12 + 2 = 14, Andy Mitchell 5 + 8 = 13, W & D Hamilton 9 + 3 = 12, Mickey Gill 2 + 6 = 8, Gerard Ferguson 5 = 5, Gerard McGlinchey 4 = 4.

With the combined averages I can now also confirm the top league table in the club based on wins, number of 2nd and 3rds and then into 4th and 5th positions (total).

M & M Rabbett 6 5 3 1 8, Eamon Quigley 5 4 5 2 3, Tommy & Ryan White 4 1 3 1 3, Noel & Ciara Doherty 2 4 1 6, Jimmy Quigley & Son 2 1 2 2 1, William McCloskey 1 3 1, P & S Campbell 1 1 2 3, Cathal Fox 1 1 1 1 2, Andy Mitchell 1 1 1 1, W & D Hamilton 1 1 1, Michael Gill 1 1 1, Gerard Ferguson 1, Lexi McCloskey 1 2 2, Gerard McGlinchey 1, Ronan McCauley & Son.

Round up of the top six prizes in the club -

Old Bird Fancier of the Year won by M & M Rabbett, Old Bird averages won by Eamonn Quigley, Young Bird Fancier of the Year won by Tommy & Ryan White, Young bird averages won by Tommy & Ryan White, Overall Fancier of the Year won by M & M Rabbett, Combined Averages won by M & M Rabbett.

It has been a successful year for the club and the members, and as stated previously, it was great to see that 12 men have all won at least one trophy. Here’s to a successful 2018 season and I look forward to seeing everyone at the presentation night. From a personal point of view, as secretary, it has been a pleasure to work with everyone this year, despite the few ups and downs along the way. This job is still new to me and a learning experience and I am thankful for your continued support and patience.

Michael Rabbett, Secretary & PO.

Wednesday 2 Bird Breeder & Buyer (Coleraine)

I can’t thank you all enough for the support back in March for our first ever Breeder Buyer.

It was a huge success for the first time running it. The race was yesterday from Fermoy and the birds were flying over 200 miles from the shortest to 219 to the longest.

Next year I will be running one again in March and already we have had names coming in from England and Ireland who are going to support this for me. I really do appreciate this lads from all my pigeon friends. You can enter as many birds as you wish in the 2018 event.

Feel free to post your name on the Facebook Page if you wish to enter the next one and how many birds you wish to enter.

Jimmy McSeveney, Secretary & PO.