Undoubtedly, one of the most underrated fanciers at channel level, is Martin Graham of Ballymena & Dist HPS.
Over the years, Martin has put up many top performances. A fearless buyer of top quality stock Martin’s present day family is based on the old original FVW of Oakfield Lofts and to these he added the Norman Thompson Family (purchased at Norman’s clearance sale) to build his own family of birds.
In later years he has introduced nothing but the very best of the Ronnie Williamson Family, purchasing the very best winning bloodlines from Ronnie direct.
Martin’s present day top producer is “The Big Hen”. This hen is Dam and G/Dam to 47 x INFC & NIPA National prizewinners to date. Bred by Martin, this hen has to be one of the best breeding hens in the country.
Martin very wisely has retained many of “The Big Hen’s” children in the stock loft with most of them turning out winners for him on a regular basis at the highest level in national racing.
Martin will be best known for his outstanding performance from St. Malo 2017, recording the only bird in race time in NIPA Sect B, topping the Sect and winning 7th Open NIPA, with only 10 birds recorded in race time. This hen will be regarded by many as one of the top French Section winners in recent years in Sect B, cementing Martin’s name along with the tops of long distance racing in Ballymena.
Martin has fond memories growing up with the likes of the great Billy Erwin and Bobby Law who won regularly from France.
On finishing I would like to personally congratulate Martin on his top performance of 2017.
Drumnavaddy Inv HPS will be holding their annual Breeder/Buyer sale on Thursday 22nd March 2018 in Banbridge Royal British Legion. Race to be flown from the Talbenny Y/B National. Penning from 7pm. Sale will start at 8.15pm. All pigeons on offer will be top breeding. Everyone welcome to come along to the sale.
A charity sale will be held late April (date to be confirmed in next week’s issue) to raise money for McMillan Nurses Pallative Care Unit, Antrim.
On offer will be a select draft of youngsters, kindly donated by some of the top lofts in the country.
Chimney Corner Football Club will be the venue and all proceeds will be donated to McMillan Nurses Pallative Care Unit.
BALLYMENA & DIST HPS
The above club will be holding a fund raising sale on behalf of the club in the coming weeks. This sale is being organised by Martin Graham, with all lots on offer, including some bred directly from a Mid Antrim Combine Winner. All lots on offer will be listed on the Pigeon Craic Auction Site, with the closing bid online being the opening bid in the live room.
The birds on offer are to be sold on the Saturday night of the opening NIPA race in the Ballymena & Dist clubrooms.
Further information on the sale can be obtained by contacting Martin on 07835 099 155.
BANBRIDGE BREEDER BUYER CHARITY SALE
Banbridge Breeder/Buyer charity sale on Thursday, March 29, in Banbridge Royal British Legion on behalf of St John of God Hospice – Newry. Money raised will be split 50% Prizemoney – 50% Newry Hospice. Penning from 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Sale starts at 8pm. Race to be flown from Sennon Cove Young Bird National.
Prizes will be divided as follows: 50%; 30%; 20%. Divided equally between Breeder and Buyer. If only two birds clocked – 60% and 40%. If only one bird clocked – 100%.
Everyone welcome to enter one or more young birds. All young birds must be in pen on night of sale.
For further information contact E. McAlinden on 07771 813 198.
YOUNGSTERS ON OFFER
2018 youngster on offer. The very best of Dirk Van Den Bulck, Leo Hermans, Van Herks, Van Rijns, Janssens, Soontjens, long distance stock and more available. Top winning bloodlines are on offer. If interested contact 07737 275 820.
I would like to personally send belated happy birthday wishes to NIPA chairman Mr Ken Wilkinson, who recently celebrated his birthday with family and friends at a surprise birthday party. Happy birthday, Ken!