Single Bird Challenge 2015

Jimmy Hanson top prizewinner in the Coleraine Prem last three seasons.
Jimmy Hanson top prizewinner in the Coleraine Prem last three seasons.

Raced for in the seasons Kings Cup, the 2014 Single Bird Challenge event will be long remembered, firstly just 40 birds were recorded in the race time of 3 days but the Single Bird Challenge was won locally.

Wendell Scott from Cullybackey finished 2nd North Section & 4th Open INFC recording velocity 768ypm for the 506 miles to Railway Lofts in the Ard-na-maine estate in Cullybackey collecting just over £5,000. Wendell timed at 7.47am on the second morning which was a great time for the 506 mile fly. The pigeon is called Heather’s Delight after Wendell’s daughter who helps out with the pigeons.

He was sent to the race feeding a big young bird. Although a very small loft (Wendell only rears 30 young birds) they have been in form lately having timed the previous week from the difficult St Malo and Wendell was also in the Open result from Talbenny and Bude this year and again these weren’t easy races. Last year this bird was 11th section, 137th Open NIPA in the Young Bird Talbenny and two days later was sent to the Young Bird National from Penzance where it was 123rd North section, 129th Open.

Having shown this form last year Wendell selected him for the Single Bird Challenge and this turned out to be a good choice as this was the winner of the Single Bird Challenge.

This year she was had two inland races, Talbenny and the Yearling National from Sennen Cove where she was Wendell’s ninth arrival.

The dam is from John Dowey & Son Tandragee and contains the double King’s Cup winners A McDowell & Son Newtownards bloodlines. The grandsire is Harkness lines again from John and Kyle Dowey. The sire is from Paddy McManus Ahoghill and is the Invincible Spirit lines from Louella’s Jan Arden stock.

Wendell doesn’t train with any of the transporters preferring to give the birds single and double tosses twice a week throughout the year from 20 miles.

Please note the Single Bird Challenge is a Free Nomination, the deadline date is as usual 17th March. With twelve prizes of £500, £400, £300, £200, £100 and ten at £50 plus the Joe Doheny Perpetual Cup to the winner and Framed Diplomas for the first three. Entry can be returned to Mr David Black, 11 Drumiller Hill, Dromore, County Down. BT25 1EP.

Hanson & Harpur the ace partnership won several trophies in 2014 and Top Prize-winner in Coleraine Premier HPS three years in a row. Winner of Cross Channel averages, Inland averages and Young bird averages plus Champion old bird and Champion young bird. Well done Jimmy, the loft to beat!

NIPA Committee Meeting

A few weeks back I pointed out how long it had been since the price of crates had been raised. Crates were last increased by 25p in 2006 making it £9 Inland and £9 Cross Channel. Not been changed since, and no plans for increase in 2015. That was exactly the decision made at the most recent meeting, both for Inland and Cross Channel. It was thought that with the change in oil/diesel prices plus the fact we will attempt this year to collect with five lorries, saving the cost of one, big savings will be made. The monies raised from the Comeback or Additional races also help with the revenue and no doubt the subject will come back up again in another season, but no change for 2015.

One thing changed which will need addressed immediately is the Committee have suspended the use of the Tauris ETS until the problems with Basket Lists and Arrival Lists are fixed, this was raised at the RPRA Meeting and a report is due back following the March Meeting. The Race Books are almost ready to go for printing, these should be available for the start of the race season.

Permission was granted for a number of lofts to use Doagh & Dist Centre, R Fenton and W Ferguson (applied Horseshoe), and D & J Campbell & Bigger, Grattan Bros and J Burrows (Eastway). Two members will visit sites in Southern Ireland to view possible liberation sites that are required to complete the 2015 race programme J Ramsey and B Durkin. It was agreed that Sennen Cove will be used for the OB Classic on 6th June, replacing Penzance which is not available on that date. Bude will be replaced by a new site, and new code for distances to be obtained.

Application date has passed for the advertised jobs and interviews are being arranged at present, interview panel will include Chairman Alan Darragh, Secretary Fred Russell, Transport Manager Terry Mulgrew with Ken Wilkinson representing the Committee. Applications include 10 for Driver, 4 for Race Controller and 3 for Convoyer. Long time since there has been a selection like that.

We had some more discussion on the never ending saga of the adoption of the Unikon ETS as the preferred system took on by the NIPA who at the time (2007) became agents in Northern Ireland. Latest twist was a partnership changing to a club not operating Unikon and the need for a Base Unit. I think the drift was since an ETS was not purchased at this club, then no base unit can be supplied. I would have thought at the very least they supply a Universal Lead in these circumstances, to enable race marking on another system. Ballymena & Dist are still not sorted out, Unikon for the past 3 seasons have refused to supply the Club System Activations. Why you might ask, it’s because we refuse to sign the Equipment Registration Form that we would accept the company terms and conditions for service/repairs and administration/support costs which could be anything. The form was returned, filled in but unsigned. So there we are, no form signed and no codes. I have long been of the opinion since NIPA (our organization) are Agents, it should be them who act on member clubs behalf. This situation does not exist for any other system used at our club, three members backed the choice of the NIPA. It’s not all over and done with, we intend to achieve satisfaction. It was not cost effective to join Unikon Club, and they would not supply a free Unives Lead while we had a Club System. They did say one could be purchased for £75, at the time that was the same cost to join the Unikon Club. We were told by the Company Rep at the start no costs would be involved, advertising at the time said No Activation Codes or Hidden Costs for Full Compatibility.