Presentation time at Cullybackey HPS

Alan Darragh wins the Russell Family Cup for Highest prize-winner with officials Sammy  Steele, N eil Anderson and Edrick Davidson.
Alan Darragh wins the Russell Family Cup for Highest prize-winner with officials Sammy Steele, N eil Anderson and Edrick Davidson.

Cullybackey HPS returned to the local restaurant Toast on the village’s Main Street for the annual dinner and presentation of awards held last Friday, October 27.

Member’s friends and guests were welcomed by the chairman Neil Anderson. Guests included sponsors Derek and Geraldine McDowell, Brian Hayes from the Bridge Garage who covered the Single Bird Nomination for the last number of years with other sponsorship, local scribe Homer and Rosie. Also present was Hubert Logan and wife Jean. A dedicated member since 1963, he was Treasurer for many years and has just retired from his role as Ring Secretary.

Cullybackey officials and prize winners in the 2017 season.

Cullybackey officials and prize winners in the 2017 season.

The leading lofts were – Alan Darragh, Gibson & O’Neill, Mr & Mrs Martin Sempey, Chris McIntyre, McAlonan Bros and J & J Greer. Alan Darragh, after a few seasons in Ahoghill, came to the fore winning Russell Family Cup in 1986 and has won every year since bar 2008 when the Champion Loft award was won by Gary Gibson. Over 30 x times Highest Prize-winner for Alan Darragh, and up to date has been the loft to beat.

The 2017 season I believe was the most competitive for a long time and although Alan Darragh won most of the NIPA races some 13 were shared out among other lofts. The new partnership of Gibson & O’Neill had early success in the opening race from Mullingar winning 1st & 2nd in the Mid Antrim Combine racing as Associate Members.

In old birds they also won the Rosscarbery OB Inland Nat, Fermoy Comeback on the same day, and then two weeks later Fermoy 5 Bird. McAlonan Bros racing in the club since 1962 and back again after a short spell in Ballymena won Talbenny (2) and Alan Darragh after winning four inland races on the trot won the cross channel events at Talbenny (1) and Bude.

The loft had a good result in the Rosscarbery Yearling Nat winning 1st Cullybackey Centre in Yearling Hen and 2nd Cullybackey Centre in Yearling Cock and the Harryville HPS sponsored Centre Diplomas. New President Sammy Steele had a fantastic result from Penzance winning 1st Club Penzance on velocity 1387 and also 1st Club in the Old Bird Classic flown in duplicate.

Moving to the young birds Mr & Mrs Sempey had 1st & 2nd in the Millingar (1) Area Lib and Alan Darragh won Mullingar (2). The mass liberation from Tullamore was won by McAlonan Bros and then Mr & Mrs Sempey were to win two races on the trot with the same bird, over 500 birds competing in both Roscrea and Gowran Park. Alan Darragh won Fermoy (1) and Roscrea (2) and then on the same weekend Fermoy (2) and Fermoy 5 Bird. Chris McIntyre had a young bird season to remember winning both YB Nationals, 1st Club Talbenny doing velocity 1314 and the Harryville sponsored Diploma for 3rd Centre, and then 1st Club Rosscarbery doing velocity 1098.

Racing with the Irish Nat FC was dominated again by Alan Darragh winning most of the races although Gibson & O’Neill had the best bird in the Old Bird Skibbereen winning 1st MAC doing velocity 1546. Alan Darragh won the Sennen Cove Yearling Nat on velocity 1260 with Reid Bros & McCloy 2nd and 3rd. In the Blue Riband Grand Nat from St Allouestre Alan Darragh was 1st Club on velocity 843, Reid Bros & McCloy were 2nd and Alan Darragh 3rd. The YB Grand Nat was a difficult race as well just 66 birds home and only two birds home in Mid Antrim, Alan Darragh had 1st Club doing velocity 945 and then finally Skibbereen another 1st Club doing velocity 999.

The Bridge Garage Nominations were won by Alan Darragh and M/M Sempey. The late Len Russell is still a big miss, ever present at the annual Prize Night & Dinner winning his share at both racing and the shows. He passed away just before racing in 2016 and his memory will live on with two new cups presented to the club for competition in 2018. His sisters donated the first one and wife Benina the other who will the first winners be, what they will be awarded for will be decided later.

Alan Darragh as usual collected most of the silver up for grabs in 2017 which, as I have already mentioned, included the famous Russell Family Cup for highest prize-winner which had been presented to the club by Len’s late mother. He also won G Glenholmes Mem (Bude & Penzance), W Allen (Most Points OB), Reid Bros Cup (Kings Cup & Penzance YB), Norman Blaney Mem ((Talbenny, Bude & Penzance), Coronation Cup (Cross Channel Ave OB), Club Shield (Most Points YB), Patton Plane Sales (1st Talbenny), B Herbison (Bude), B Law (Penzance & Talbenny YB), S Herbison (5B Fermoy YB) Moore Cup (Bude & St Allouestre), and Straham Cup (2nd Area Lib).

Chris McIntyre won – A Darragh Cup (Best Ave all Derbies), H Jackson Cup (Talbenny & Rosscarbery YB), John Blaney Mem (Talbenny YB), James Anderson (Best Ave St Malo & Rosscarbery YB), Herbison Perputal (Rosscarbery YB), J Rock (OB Knock-out), Armstrong Cup (YB Ave), Robinson & Livingstone (Rosscarbery YB), and R McIlwaine (Rosscarbery YB).

Gibson & O’Neill won – Spence Cup (OB Inland Ave), A G McCullough (Rosscarbery OB Nat), O’Kane Cup (OB Ave), J Wheatcroft (5B Fermoy OB), and Harkness Cup (Ave Fermoy & Fermoy 5B).

Sammy Steele won – J Blaney (Penzance & OB Derby), Sandy Reid (2B Ave Penzance), Tom Livingstone (OB Classic), and Sam Moore (Penzance Old Bird). J & J Greer won – G Irwin Cup (YB Knock-out). McAlonan Bros won – George McCloy Cup (2nd Talbenny).

Another good crowd and great night at Cullybackey HPS, competition has never been better.

Good luck to all lofts in the new season and many thanks once again for the invite.

Mid Antrim Shows started

Cullybackey HPS were as usual first away in Mid Antrim with the first show of the season arranged to take place the night after the prize presentation in Toast. On Saturday 28th October a good entry of birds were penned in the Young Birds Through the Wires judged by the Ballymena & Dist duo of Billy Smyth and George Eagleson.

Jimmy & Jamie Greer won both classes and had the BIS in the Young Hens. Young Cocks T/W – 1st, 2nd, VHC & HC J & J Greer, 3rd & 4th A Darragh, Reserve N & S Anderson, Commended Reid Bros & McCloy. Young Hens T/W – 1st, 4th & HC J & J Greer, 2nd & VHC D Swann, 3rdReid Bros & McCloy, Reserve & Commended A Darragh.

The remaining Saturday dates are 4th November Old Cock & Old Hen T/W, 11th November Young Pairs & Old Pairs T/W, 18th November Young Cocks & Young Hens Handled, 25th November Old Cock Handled & Late Breds, 2nd December Old Hen Handled & Fancy T/W, 9th December Old Bird & Young Bird Eye-sign. Open Show 3 in 1 to be held in the local clubrooms on Saturday 16th December.

Ballymena & District HPS

The club had to erect additional pens to contend with the entry of old birds in the opening show last Monday evening, good support locally and by visitors as well. The Ace racer from Harryville Allen McBride placed the cards and it was a night of top success for visiting lofts with W & W Gilbert from Randalstown 1st in the Old Cock T/W and Chris Moore from Ahoghill 1st in Old Hens and Best in Show from a total entry of 170 birds. Old Hand Charlie McManus had a spell in hospital for a minor operation but still sent down his entry fee for the first show, get well soon Charlie we are missing the craic. The raffle was won by club treasurer Robert Alexander.

Old Cocks T/W (92 Birds) – 1st W & W Gilbert, 2nd D Swann, 3rd, HC & Commended B Herbison, 4th C Moore, Reserve W & N Gilbert, VHC T McFall. Old Hens T/W (77 Birds) – 1st, 2nd & Reserve C Moore, 3rd, 4th & VHC W & N Gilbert, HC T McFall, Commended W & W Gilbert.

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 Info contact Willy Gilbert Tel: 07761 323459.

Broughshane & District HPS Show Series 2017 - Tuesday 7th November Old Cocks/ Young Cocks TW Tuesday 14th November Old Hens/Young Hens TW Tuesday 21st November Old Bird Eye Sign + Young Bird Mated Pairs Tuesday 28th November Old Bird Mated Pairs + Fancy Class-Pieds-Reds-Mealys-Grizzles Any Age Tuesday 5th December Old Cocks/Young Cocks Handled Tuesday 12th December Old Hens/Young Hens Handled.

Kells & District

Show series starts on Wednesday 8th November at 8.00 pm with Old cCcks. Then weekly each Wednesday as follows, Old Hens, Young cocks, Young hens, Mated Pairs and finally Eye-sign & Pieds. The Open Show as usual Boxing Day 3 in 1 Show. Kells & District will have their Annual Prize distribution on Friday 20th October in the club rooms at 7.00pm. More details later.

Ahoghill Flying Club

Show series has been listed for the usual Friday night starting on 10th November with classes for Young Cock & Young Hen Through Wires, and followed by 17th November Old Cock & Old Hen Through Wires, 24th November Young Cock & Young Hen Handled, 1st December Old Cock & Old Hen Handled, 8th December Young Pairs & Fancy, 15th December Old Pairs & Late Breds, 22nd December Eye-sign Old Bird & Young Bird. Penning between 7.00pm and 8.00pm and all fanciers welcome, tea served during judging.

RPRA Awards

The RPRA Awards will be presented as usual at NIPA Ladies Night, hopefully the winners can attend. For tickets to the Ladies Night contact NIPA Secretary Fred Russell. The date is November 10 in the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick.