Superb birds on view at Andy’s loft

The winning lofts.
The winning lofts.

ANDY COOKE – BALLYCARRY

A few weeks back I received a phone call from a friend asking me if I could help.

Champion Joe 90.

Champion Joe 90.

He had a bird reported with a non fancier near the Ballycarry area and could I arrange to get it picked up as soon as possible.

I made a call to Andy Cooke and he duly obliged. Having collected the bird I then set out to Andy’s to lift it early next morning. It was a glorious morning and while there Andy says “Do you want a look at the birds?” Having a bit of time to spare I immediately took up his offer.

The lofts were immaculate and on first impressions I was taken aback. Why? There were big lofts with only a few birds and every bird has piles of room. The lofts measured 40 x 8 with five sections and a stock room with individual breeding pens. Andy’s total stock of race and stock birds totalled no more than 60 birds.

I was then informed that he doesn’t need any excess as he only races on average 18 old birds and 24 youngsters any season. Please take note 18 old birds - 24 youngsters. This nowadays is amazing considering what Andy has won over the past seven or eight years racing. Consistency is an understatement.

Andy pictured at the lofts with good friend Gerald Delaney - Oroory Hill Stud

Andy pictured at the lofts with good friend Gerald Delaney - Oroory Hill Stud

Take a look and judge for yourselves: Approximately 80 firsts, 51 seconds, 57 thirds etc, plus up to 1st Open NIPA, many top NIPA Section C positions and an RPRA Meritorious Award (racing across the channel – best single bird average Talbenny and Penzance).

Feeding and health are two factors that Andy maintains are very important and having viewed the stock I have no doubt he has this mastered. The birds on view were awesome. I never seen a small team of birds in such immaculate order and condition and the winning genes on view. Winners galore and breeders galore.

Due to ill health Andy took a break from the sport the past season but his enthusiasm never faltered as his breeding programme continued with the ambition to breed yet more champion performers. I viewed a few from the lofts racing champion “Champion Joe 90” – boys they were tasty.

WHERE DID IT START AND WHERE ARE WE NOW: The start came with top stock introduced from Van De Heuval Bros from Holland. This family won all in front of them including 1st Open NIPA Clonmel with “Champion Blauwe Showman”, “Champion Blue Pearl” (winner 9 x 1sts racing etc) and present day “Champion Pied Piper“ (Winner 15 prizes inc 5 x 1sts). This season’s INFC Sennon Cove Yearling National winner of 3rd South Section & 4th Open is a G/Child of Champion Blauwe Showman.

Nowadays the core foundation are the Willy Jacobs Family sourced from Oroory Hill Stud with many direct from the foundation birds “King Of Diamonds” (one of the best Jacob’s cocks in the world and sire of ‘Champion Joe 90’) and “Ace Of Diamonds“ (Brother of King Of Diamonds and top breeder – both birds the foundation of Oroory Hill Stud), sourced with no expense spared.

Also added to the present day stock is direct from Van De Heuval Bros “Jonge Bonte” also directly from “Blauwe Leo” and “King Of Sprint”.

As you can see no expense has been spared by Andy to formulate his present day team of should I say “outstanding stock”. Please note these bloodlines are responsible for Andy being highest prizewinner in club 2012/13/14/15/16/17/2018 Plus Old Bird Average/Young Bird Averages etc. past seven seasons also Young Bird Of The Year five times etc.

PRESENT DAY TOP PERFORMERS: The loft visit got better as Andy set about to show me some of his present day top performers. It was simply amazing to view so many top birds from such a small collection. The quality was outstanding and no wonder the family is winning. Some of the birds shown included (please note – since retired from racing – all the following have bred winners and prizewinners – the bloodlines just keep on winning: “CHAMPION JOE 90” – what a pigeon- sheer class – feather, shape, type – all top marks. Here we have a true champion with breeding to match – now you judge for yourselves if he is a true champion – his results – only raced a youngster – 1st Club & 5th Open NIPA Rosscarbery Y/B National, 1st Club 22nd Open INFC Skibbereen Y/B National, 1st Club Gowran Park, 1st Club Fermoy & 1st Club Roscrea – young bird of the year and highest winning velocity – plus breeding to match – a direct son of “King Of Diamond’s”.

“CHAMPION PIED PIPER” – sheer class - (winner 15 prizes inc 5 x 1sts) – best Van De Heuval Bros

“THE WEE HEN” – another tasty one – (winner 3 x 1sts plus many other prizes – direct dtr of “ The Bullitt” – The National Cock ) – best of Van De Heuval Bros

“CHAMPION BLUE 62” – beauty – (winner 3 x 1sts plus many other prizes) - Jacob’s/Van De Heuval

“CHAMPION BLUE 63” – topper - (winner 2 x 1sts plus many other prizes ) - Jacob’s/Van De Heuval

Bloodlines winning everywhere: The stock I viewed was purchased with no expense spared.

I viewed six direct from the “King Of Diamond’s” and two direct from the “Ace Of Diamond’s”. Two of the best Jacob’s cocks in the world plus many direct from the loft’s racing Champion “Joe 90”. I mentioned to Andy about a couple of guys that I knew were winning well with his birds and he was quick to point out about numerous top performances and testimonials received from the following fanciers who are winning with his birds: G & C Simmons – Edgarstown, N Ferguson – Horseshoe, C Healy – Killyleagh, J Parke – Ballycarry, E Heaney – Belfast, P McFadden – Monaghan, R McCracken – Portadown, R & J Baxter – Ballycarry, S Gent – Exeter, L Hanson – Portrush, McComb Bros – Killyleagh, Jamie Kelly – Dublin, Kemp & McBride – Belfast, R Moore & Son – Bangor etc. The bloodlines are winning all over Ireland in all organisations with many top performances recorded.

I would like to thank Andy for the loft visit. I never viewed so little birds and so many tasty ones in the one loft. Andy they are a credit to you.

STOP PRESS: Due to continued ill health and having taken a break from the sport this season, Andy feels he cannot give the birds the attention and devotion that they are used to if he was to return to the sport and with much reluctance has decided to take a complete break from his beloved passion.

A complete clearance sale has been arranged to take place over two sales: Saturday 9th November at 3.30pm and Thursday 14th November at 8.30pm. Venue: Chimney Corner Football Club, Randalstown Road, Antrim. Please Note: All birds will be online on the Pigeon Craic Auction Site prior to the sale with the closing bid the opening bid in the live room.

KEN WILKINSON & SON – ANTRIM

Ken Wilkinson – Antrim. Complete clearance sale due to health reasons (over a series of sales and online sales) on behalf of Ken Wilkinson & Son, Antrim.

The bloodlines on offer are awesome and without doubt top drawer. Ken only sourced the very best. I viewed the birds recently and believe me the quality coming up for auction over the coming weeks is awesome and would grace any loft.

The next sale will include a top selection of old bird racers and stock birds including a few star lots to include: Direct son of “Double Top” (Mr & Mrs B McNeilly Best), G/Son Jackie Warings INFC Gold Medal Winner, Direct J & D Branniff Stock, Paul Stobb’s Soontjens, Tom Marshall’s, Kemp & McBride, Daniel Aeriens, Vandenabeele etc. It is planned to have the birds online prior to the event.

Sale: Saturday, 26th October. Venue: Chimney Corner Football Club, Randalstown Road, Antrim. Birds On View: 2.30pm. Sale Starts: 3.30pm. For further updates keep an eye on the Pigeon Craic Website www.pigeoncraic.com or the auction site www.pigeoncraic.com/auctions

PAUL SWINDELL – NEWRY

After a very successful sale a couple weeks ago, Paul offers the final draft of his 2019 bred stock.

All birds are bred from top Stickers Donckers and Van Den Brande winning families.

Based on the breeding stock of Andy McAuley, to this he added sons and daughters of top winners of the Van Den Brandes & Stickers Donckers families. He also added an Ace pigeon winner of the North Coast Classic OLR to the stock list. As well as some top rate, direct Van De Brande proven breeding stock birds sourced at great expense in the UK. Anything on offer would be a superb base, or cross for any fanciers wanting super fast well bred pigeons.

Included in the back breeding of many of these birds is the Magpie top breeding direct Van De Brande cock, responsible for at least three NIPA open winning birds plus hundreds of top prize winners. If you are looking for well bred sprinters in tip top condition this is the sale you must not miss.

Date: Saturday, 2nd November at 3.30pm. On View 2.30pm. Venue: Chimney Corner Football Club, Randalstown Road, Antrim.

Please note: All birds will be online on the Pigeon Craic Auction Site prior to the sale with the closing bid the opening bid in the live room.

DRUMNAVADDY INV. HPS PANEL NIGHT

Drumnavaddy HPS are holding a panel night on Friday 1st November at 8pm.

Venue : Banbridge Royal British Legion. Panel on the night will be Paul Macaloney, Scotland & Jan Polder – Holland.

Chairman: Wesley Sawyers.

There will be an auction of gift birds on the night plus raffle. Entry Fee: £8 (includes tea etc) Interested? Contact: Geoff McMullan Tel: 07760164994 or David West Tel: 07759653317.