Profile of Joe Reid, Ballycarry

The Rea & Magill partnership pictured with their awards
The Rea & Magill partnership pictured with their awards

The following is a short loft profile on Joe Reid, racing as J.C.Reid, Ballycarry.

Many thanks Joe for spending the time to help compile this report.

D & P Harvey  pictured receiving their awards.

D & P Harvey pictured receiving their awards.

Question 1: The beginning, your history in the sport, when you began? What made you begin? Whose birds did you start with etc?

My reason for keeping pigeons was as a young boy I enjoyed caring for them. I didn’t start racing until my teens when I was influenced by the achievements of long distance champion John McMullan of Carnlough and his brilliant Delmotte/Jurions.

Question 2: Current flying organisations?

My teaching career took me to different areas to work and I disposed of my birds on two previous occasions. I raced in the Glengormley Club, then the Alexandra HPS with 60 plus members finally racing in Ballycarry HPS.

Crawford & Robinson pictured receiving their awards.

Crawford & Robinson pictured receiving their awards.

Question 3: The loft, structure, length, how man?

My single loft for racers, young birds and stock birds, is 22ft long, 7ft wide and 7ft high.

Question 4: Racing methods etc, old & young, feeding, systems etc?

Over the years my birds have been raced on the Natural System. I have not sent birds with the INFC now for many years, racing with the NIPA. With regards to feeding, the food should be clean, a balanced mixture with a small portion of seeds. A top racer in the UK wrote at the end of a letter detailing his feeding programme “it is the quality of my pigeons that enables me to win so many races.”

Larne & Dist members pictured at their annual prize night

Larne & Dist members pictured at their annual prize night

Question 5: Treatments, what used, when used?

In general good pigeons have a sound constitution and have resistance to infections. With the import of thousands of pigeons from Europe it now seems impossible to keep all birds healthy without some treatments. During racing I treat for canker if I see signs of it and give a ten day treatment for paratyphoid in November. It concerns me that antibiotics are used far too often.

Question 6: Breeding?

With regards to breeding - I suppose in a sense it is simple, race the young birds and in two years you will know your good breeders. A few times in a lifetimes racing you might find a good pre potent cock bird, which produces winners mated to almost any hen. One such pigeon I had, from Robert Mailey of Antrim, bred me 19 1st prize winners, some with more than one first, plus a hen 2nd Open YB National. What a pigeon. I recall the late Kirker Porter winning 5th open YB National Penzance and Willie Boomer of Lisburn had a host of winners from the Delwiche birds he got from me.

Joe Reid - Ballycarry - pictured with one of his star performers

Joe Reid - Ballycarry - pictured with one of his star performers

Question 7: The stock birds, strains, families etc?

Some fanciers have excellent pigeons and if you get the right line of pigeons from them then they should do well. Crossing different strains gives hybrid vigour and better racers. I have concentrated on the latter part of the season and focused on channel racing. Part of the reason for this is, I have Pigeon Lung and my loft, being open to the elements, is very cold early for in the season and the birds do not hit good form until it gets warmer.

Question 8&9: Racing results over the years - club/open/nationals etc, outstanding race birds / stock birds etc?

Pigeon racing for me has always been a hobby. My commitments to my family, my employment and other responsibilities have limited the time devoted to pigeon racing. My birds have won a number of good national positions over the years and won races and club averages. They performed very well this year in the four channel races in which I competed - Talbenny 1,2,3,7,8,10. Bude 3,9. Penzance. 1 and 2. St Malo 1.

In Pilmore Beach they finished 4,5,6,7,8,9. Included in my small team of race birds are 10 birds flown St Malo which includes 5 first clubs + open results 6,24,79,205,210, also first prize winners in Penzance (2 birds), Roscarberry, Talbenny, Truro, Mallow, Fermoy and other positions. Best distance results obtained by 18840 WOODLAND GEM 1st club, 2nd section, 6th Open Portland Smash, 2nd club St Malo, timed at 10.45 pm. WOODLAND BLUE. 12422 1st club, 4th section, 24 Open St Malo, 2nd club, 210 Open St Malo, 5th Penzance and 97th section, 200Open Roscarberry. WOODLAND QUEEN. 19781 St MALO 1st club, 11 section, 79 Open, St Malo 1st club, 205 Open, St Malo 2nd club, also winner of 1st Talbenny, 3rd Sennen Cove and 8th and 9th Talbenny. She is Dam of this years 1st club winner from St Malo. WOODLAND PRINCE 1st club 7th section 31st open Penzance, 2nd Bude, 3rd Clonmel,7th Pilmore Beach, 10th Penzance.

My birds have won the cross channel averages and old bird club averages every year since 2009 in my present club. A few examples of my stock birds are 1 - g/son of Amos National winner for Michel van Lint. 2 - Nauwellart cock 4th Open Skibereen 1st Amal Skib, 8th Amal Clonmel. 3 - Blue cock S.V.R Keith Arnold g/son RPRA sprint champion etc. 4 - A pair of Hofken birds, sire and dam to 1st prize winners. 5 - Blue Ch cock son of 1st Open Roscarberry National 2007, same way bred 1st section D Penzance, 6 - Jansen Blue Ch hen of Owen Markey, Dam was 1st Open NIPA Pilmore Beach 26000 birds. 7 - L van Rjyn Blue cock 526 g/son of Rita of R McMeekin, 526 a winner of 1st Tullamore, 2nd Penzance, 4th Fermoy and Sire of 1st prize winners. 8 - L van Rjyn Blue hen 139 g/daughter of Rita, sire and dam of 139 both 1st prize winners. 9 - Blue cock 155 of Alan Atkinson, multiple prize winners in his pedigree. I only brought this bird in last year.

Question 10: To finish- any one special, special mention, your views on the sport?

From my first two pigeons which I bought 70 years ago in Smithfield pet shop costing me the grand sum of 8 shillings (40p) I have been privileged to meet many generous and helpful fanciers. Early mentors from my youth were the well known fanciers A S Hughes, of Paddy fame and John McMullan a good friend. I must not forget my older brothers David and Oswald always there to rein me in. I believe that with generosity of spirit and encouragement a new generation can be attracted into the sport. Best wishes to all. - J C Reid

STOP PRESS - Joe has decided, due to ill health and advancing years, to reduce his workload with the birds and has reluctantly decided to part with most of his birds. All the old bird race team, the top race performers, stock birds etc will be on offer. He is only retaining his 2015 young bird team so he can race them out next season. With exception to them everything else is going. In the sale will be 10 birds that have flown France including the top performers plus all his present day channel winners.

Date: Thursday 17th December @ 8pm. Venue: Chimney Corner Football Club. All birds will be online prior to this star studded sale. Winners and breeders on offer including top french performers. Put this date in your diary now!


The entire clearance sale - Part 2 - due to take place in Banbridge Legion on Thursday 3rd December has been cancelled. The partnership have decided to hold the sale, at a later date, as an online auction only, with the closing bid the winning bid. The birds will be listed online in the coming weeks on the Pigeon Craic Auction Site. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.


After another fantastic season and racing to a new loft location, only established in the past couple of seasons, Ronnie Williamson, Newry, has confirmed he will offer to the fancy one of the finest draft of channel winning bloodlines ever offered in NI, mostly 2013 virgin stock. This will be a star studded event that only the master Ronnie can offer. Winner of 61 x 1st NIPA Opens & 5 x 1st Nationals, the past season has been another cracker. Having just getting established in Newry, Ron, this past season, has won the Section G Fancier Of The Year Title plus most of the NIPA Average Cups - unbelievable flying. The team of birds on offer will be mainly 2013 late breds that were set aside for the stock loft but now the opportunity beckons for you the fancy to own any of the star studded lots on offer. These are present day winning bloodlines - direct children of INFC Kings Cup Winners, Friendship National Winners, Triple Crown Winners, NIPA St Malo O/B National Winners etc. plus the very best of the late Maurice Wilkinson bloodlines on offer. Date: Saturday 12th December at 3pm. On View 1.30pm. Venue: Ballyholland Football Club, Bettyshill Road, Newry, BT34 2LU


At present there is an “online only” charity auction which has been set up by Alan Lindore, Belfast, to fund raise to help a friend who has had a stroke and will be unable to work again. I hope you, the fancy, can help us raise funds to enable his wife and four children to have a happy Christmas (seven months on Elliot is still in hospital). Please pass the word around and support this worthy venture. A select draft on offer. The sale is online for all to bid with the final bid online, winning bid. To view all the Lots on offer please log onto


The club presented their awards recently at their annual prizenight held in their own club. I have included a few pictures in this week’s notes. Congratulations to this season’s highest prize winners Beggs & Hall plus all other prize winners.