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NEWS


Sections at Lerwick


The dust has settled over the North Road Championship Club’s Unikon King George V Challenge Cup race from Lerwick, but the admiration remains for the excellent performance by winner Ivan Rich on an occasion when only ten birds were timed in on the day of liberation. .Here we feature all those other day birds and their owners, plus all section winners.
Hopefully you will be able to see the birds for yourself, and speak to the owners at the inaugural NRCC Day of Champions at Springfields Exhibition Centre, Spalding, on Saturday December 5th.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy reading about these outstanding performances as much as I enjoyed talking to the successful fanciers who have proved, once again, that there is a huge amount of talent within the membership of the NRCC – and there are so many different ways in which to prepare pigeons to win races.

1st Section A and 2nd Open – Rouse and Webster, Kimberley

Retired long distance lorry driver David Rouse was leader of the race for a long time, but says that he always feared he would be overtaken. In the event, he was beaten by only one bird – that special King’s Cup winner timed in by Ivan Rich in rural Cambridgeshire. It was a case of being so near, but so far away, for the 71-year-old from Kimberley, but he remains justly proud of the performance by the two-year-old blue widowhood cock bird that won Section A and was second open. It is of Jan Aarden x Soontjen breeding, and was David’s first bird from Thurso last season.

It was particularly satisfying to do so well because he feared his season had ended almost before it had started because of the slaughter on his birds launched by the peregrine falcons cosseted and protected on the University of Nottingham buildings. His team was reduced dramatically before the first race.

“I was losing pigeons wholesale,” said David. “I lost eight cocks and four hens, and five of them would have been in my Lerwick team. All five had flown Lerwick.”

The section winner was prepared by competing in all the early Federation races and then Perth with the NRCC. Then he had a week off before going to Fraserburgh with the NRCC, had a fortnight’s rest, and then it was off to Lerwick.

He was, said David, in excellent condition on arriving home and, two or three days later, was flying for more than an hour around the loft. Four out of the five entries made it home, and all were in good condition, except one had oil on its wings and tail.

This Lerwick success capped a fine season’s racing with the Pinkston North Road Club, and Derbyshire North Road Federation. It is in the longer races where he does best, admitting that it is difficult to keep pace with John Salt in the sprints.

He was, however, top of the Federation from Perth, second from Fraserburgh, and now top again from Lerwick.

David has been a pigeon fancier for many years, having been introduced to the sport when his father and uncles kept the birds.

He has had the Jan Aardens for some time, and the Soontjen cross came when John Salt gave him some unrung youngsters from his Soontjen and Flor Engels family about eight or nine years ago. They have subsequently crossed well with the Jan Aardens.

David likes to keep to a routine when looking after his birds, and finds that this is easier since retirement six years ago. He is about early in the morning to feed and exercise them, and then leaves them alone and undisturbed for the rest of the day until it is time for the evening chores.

He does not like racing hens, and prefers to stick to a team of widowhood cock birds. He buys his food direct from the farm, and this includes peas, tic beans, wheat, barley and maize.

David loves competing with the NRCC and, especially, taking on the challenge of Lerwick. He and his pigeons certainly came up to the test this year.

1st Section B and 3rd Open – Kevin Lawson, Ollerton

Remember that there were just 10 birds home on the day, so what were the chances of someone sending only one being on the list of nine fanciers who verified day birds? Pretty slim, you would think.

But that is what ace fanciers do, and the NRCC currently has such an ace in Kevin Lawson, who appears to be returning to something like the form that saw him dominate race after race a few years ago. Yes, he sent just one bird to Lerwick, timed it on the day, won Section B and was third open. Done and dusted, loft closed as many good fanciers waited in vain.

“If I had sent 40, I would have picked this one as my fancied bird,” said Kevin. “The race suited him. He has been coming well. Last year the race was too quick for him, but this year it was head wind and just the race he wanted.”

The bird in question is a three-year-old chequer widowhood cock which was timed at two minutes past eight. He had had every race of the season, had topped the Federation from Alnwick, was third section NRCC from Perth, and came home from NRCC Fraserburgh in good nick. He was 2nd Federation from Lerwick last year.

A Soontjen x Van Loon, he is half-brother to the pigeon that won the section from Perth this year. Father is the famous Starlight.

“He is a good pigeon,” said Kevin, “and he was well pooled. I shall race him again next year because I still have his mum and dad. I think the eight-hour fly from Fraserburgh helped put him in the right condition.”

Kevin described it as a “traditional Lerwick race”.

2nd Section A and 4th Open – Bill and Lyn Cutts, Carlton

Seventy-year-old Bill Cutts, now retired from his job as area manager for a brewery, likes to keep pigeon racing as a hobby - but that does not mean, with the support of wife Lyn, he does not put a lot of effort into the sport.

Their reward was a day bird from Lerwick which took 2nd Section A and 4th Open.

The bird that achieved this outstanding result was a two-year-old blue Soontjen hen flown on roundabout. She is a descendant of Frank Sheader’s top Soontjen lines and, according to Bill, has been a steady pigeon which has not set the world alight, but has always been an honest pigeon. Her father was obtained direct from the Sheader stud, and the mother was bred down from Sheader pigeons.

She had had five races in her build-up to Lerwick, and these included the previous three NRCC races. From Dunbar she was 9th bird to the loft, from Perth she was 7th, and from Fraserburgh she was second. She was “as fresh as paint” when she came home from Fraserburgh, said Bill.

Her brother has previously topped the Notts Federation from Thurso.

Bill, a member of the Calverton club, joined the NRCC only this year and has been well pleased with the results. He was second section from Fraserburgh, and fourth section from Perth, and now second section, fourth open from the longest race of the lot, from Lerwick. He was hoping to continue this successful baptism with a good result from Thurso.

He started the season with 13 widowhood cocks and 13 hens, and bred 25 youngsters. I like to keep pigeon racing as a hobby as much as I can,” he said.

1st Section C, 5th and 10th Open – Ellis Lee, Mablethorpe

However hard you look at the results of Alford North Road RPC, the club dominating Peterborough and District Federation this year, you won’t often see the name of Ellis Lee among the leaders for much of the race programme. For one thing, he doesn’t send every week and, when he does, it is basically a training toss with the long races – particularly Lerwick – in mind.

But look at the results towards the end of the season, as the races become longer and tougher, his name is regularly on the list. It is the same with the NRCC – Ellis rarely misses timing in from Lerwick. This year he excelled by being the only fancier to time two on the day, and he also had a second-day bird feature on the result. He gives his birds a lot of freedom, on open hole, and has a natural approach to pigeon racing.

His section winner was a three-year-old blue hen sitting 12 days when basketed, and is bred from his family forged from distance birds obtained from the famous trio of Messrs Hine, Cannon and De Lea in 2004 when he re-started in the sport after a four-year break.

Ellis went on a family trip to Australia in 2000 and, although it was for only six weeks, he decided that it was an opportune time to have a rest from the hobby which had occupied his spare time since 1951. He won’t be taking similar drastic action when he makes a forthcoming trip Down Under for his granddaughter’s wedding. Ellis says that the section winner is very small and had given her all to make it home on the day. The second hen, of the same family, is of a more normal size and seemed to take the trip more in her stride.

Because Ellis sends his birds to Lerwick as yearlings, they were both having their third race from Lerwick.

He sent six and, at the time of speaking, had five home. No wonder he said: “I like racing from Lerwick.” They had all been to Lerwick before. He has also timed birds from Saxa Vord. Sometimes he sends his Lerwick birds back to Thurso, but was not planning to do so this year because he thought that they had had to work too hard. “I don’t think they would be right,” he said. “It seems to have taken a lot out of them.”

The 76-year-old former civil engineer who finished his working life with a printing company, likes to give his birds plenty of freedom. They are out as soon as it is light, and stay out until it is nearly dark. This is in the summer months. They are not always on open hole in the winter because of the dangers of shooting in the nearby fields, and of sea mists descending on Mablethorpe without any warning. “I have had birds shot, and have had problems with hawks, but there are some crows about now and they seem to have shifted the hawks. “I have never flown any other way,” he said. “I think this keeps the birds happy and relaxed. They don’t get so stressed. They fly when they like. I can still get them in when I need to.” His two day birds were timed at 8-25pm and 8-58pm. “I like to send them as yearlings, and then keep them going,” added Ellis.

“I feed food from the farm, beans and barley, and try to avoid medication. I have nine pairs of old birds, and ten young birds – well, actually, seven now because three have just disappeared. I don’t usually lose many pigeons. I sent six to Lerwick and got five home. Considering that I don’t have a big team, I think I do quite well. “When I train my young birds I let two go at a time, they then learn their own way home.”

Ellis likes his NRCC racing, but used also to enjoy racing from the south, in partnership with his brother, in the old Sutton on Sea club, which had some good fanciers, who competed up to 600 miles, and a boys’ club.

Nowadays he has interests other than pigeon racing, particularly gardening and growing vegetables, and enjoying the company of his grandchildren whom he and his wife look after two days a week.

He has won his section in the young bird national in the past.

One advantage of living at the seaside is that his birds have no fear of the sea, and he often sees then disappear out to sea what at exercise. There can be one big disadvantage, however – flooding. Ellis experienced the East Coast disaster of 1953 when the floods washed away his loft and all his birds.

2nd Section B, 6th and 11th Open – Den Croft, Spalding

Here is another fancier achieving outstanding results on the natural system – VERY natural in the case of 79-year-old retired builder Den Croft, of Pinchbeck West, near Spalding.

NRCC committee member – and the man who kindly took the photograph – Martin Lewis jokingly calls Den’s birds “feral pigeons”, although, in future, he has been instructed to refer to them as “Champion feral pigeons.”

Den admits that they way he keeps pigeons is a world away from Martin’s meticulous routine and regime, but he is still rightly proud of his achievements from this year’s Lerwick race, and of many excellent distance performances over the many years he has been in the sport. But he insists: “Give the birds the credit – they did it.” The pigeon he timed on the day, and spotted on the roof of his house by friend Dave Hilton as he was preparing to close up for the night, was a three-year-old blue hen of Jan Aarden and Herman breeding, and sent sitting about a week. She had flown Lerwick the previous year.

Den says he does little training and his birds had no more than four tosses of 12-15 miles this season.

In preparation for Lerwick, the section winner (and also Peterborough Central Federation winner) had been to Wetherby, Berwick and, a week before being sent to Lerwick, Newton Aycliffe. His second and third birds were brother and sister, of Herman lines, and the three-year-old blue cock arrived at 5-50am on the second day to finish second Federation, and the third arrived at 11-30am.

Ironically, the mother of these two birds was bred by Martin Lewis! The father was an unrung cock from Spalding Homing Society member Mr Sherriff. Den says that you have to have a family of Lerwick pigeons to keep breeding birds that will conquer this most difficult of race points time after time. “Blood will tell when it comes to racing from Lerwick,” he said. He is always looking for birds with individual personality, pigeons, for instance, that like to spend time on their own and shun the company of others. He said he had not had a good season until the King’s Cup race, and was not usually able to keep up with the sprinters unless it was a hard racing day.

This year he sent seven, and had four home when we spoke – the basis for next year’s team.

His birds are out from first light until dusk, and spend a lot of time on the fields or pecking about the garden. Barley is on tap OUTSIDE the loft all the time, otherwise he feeds economy mix – “the cheapest that you can buy.”

Den’s philosophy for keeping a long distance team is: “Don’t try to save pigeons, try to lose them. In fact I don’t lose very many, but you need the patience of Job if you want to build up a long distance team. I spend hours in the winter time studying the breeding, and planning how to pair up.

“My first toss for young birds is Caistor Top (about 30 miles?) and then I also single them up after that.” He never pairs up before March. Cleaning out is a rare occurrence, probably once a year. Nevertheless, the birds seem to thrive on this regime, and every year when Lerwick comes around they prove that they have a real love of home, and the lifestyle they live, by making it back in conditions that proved too much for many more pampered pigeons. This year’s Lerwick results were a good example of that. Behind Den’s apparent laid-back approach to the sport, there is an instinctive pigeon fancier’s brain and shrewd observation that enables him to keep timing in from Lerwick when so many others fail.

3rd Section A and 7th Open – John Parker, Eastwood

Sixty-year-old lecturer John Parker was able to enjoy the thrill of seeing a bird home from Lerwick on the day of liberation only thanks to generous help from friends – in fact friends who were also rivals in the race. Where else would that happen other than in pigeon racing? Long may it continue.

An accident at home while working on his son’s car resulted in John spending a week in the burns unit at the City Hospital, Nottingham. This meant a week away from the birds when he had hoped to be putting the final touches to their preparation. John explained: “I had a severe accident at home on the Friday before the Lerwick race resulting in me spending a week in the burns unit at the City Hospital, Nottingham, so this bird really could not have had any worse preparation for a 500 mile race. “However, I was out in time to see him home. My old birds are on open hole but are kept in the night before basketing and my friend Dennis Taylor took my birds to the Nottingham marking station.”

The bird in question, one of four sent by John, is a two-year-old dark cock which was his first bird from Fraserburgh, meaning that it had flown 825 miles in two races in a short space of time.

It was its first venture to Lerwick, but its credentials are top-class as John reveals: “The bird’s grandmother is bred off my Diploma of Merit bird who was 4th open Lerwick in 2009, 21st open in 2010 and 9th open in 2011.

“Unfortunately she was predated last year. His mother was off a bird bought at the Nottingham District North Road Federation sale from Nuttall and Son, and was my first bird home from the NRCC Thurso as a yearling but was predated also in April last year, from an 8-mile training toss before racing.

“He was my first bird home from Fraserburgh two week before, winning first club. The debate is should he be sent back to Thurso?.” Grateful for all the help he has received following his accident, John says: “A very big thank you to all the local fanciers who have sent get well cards and messages and all the help, especially from Chris Dolan, David Mee and Dennis Taylor for helping with my birds.”

John has had more than his fair share of bad luck this year, starting with a bad hatch at the beginning of the year, and then losing a number of good pigeons as the summer progressed (mainly through attacks from the ghastly hawks) and then culminating in his accident. His uncle Joe Bates was a NRCC winner on two occasions, and all-round top fancier, and John likes to concentrate on the longer races, admitting that he cannot compete with the likes of John Salt in the sprints.

His open hole policy, and heavy feeding, obviously stand him in good stead when the races become harder and longer.

2nd Section C and 8th Open – Pete and Teri Rodgers, Skegness

They are back with a bang. Husband and wife team, Pete and Teri Rodgers announced their return to the honours board by timing in the eighth bird on the day from Lerwick. Their welcome presence can only enhance competition in the NRCC where, previously, they have been major players. While living in Massingham, Norfolk, they were regularly contesting top section and open positions, and established themselves as top flyers. In 1995 they won the open from Thurso, a distance of 433 miles to their then home on a velocity of 1025ypm, obviously not an easy race in the face of a light southerly wind.

Subsequently, they moved to a different location in Norfolk, and then had a sojourn in Pete’s native North-East where they made their mark on the mighty Up North Combine.

Now they are back in NRCC territory, having retired to Burgh le Marsh, near Skegness, and competing with the strong Alford North Road RPC. Earlier this year they gave a big hint that they are “getting there” by taking the first three places in the Peterborough and District Federation.

Now the progress continues with second place in Section C and eighth open in this hard, somewhat puzzling, race from Lerwick. The well-bred bird that made it on the night is a two-year-old chequer hen sent sitting 14 days. She was 21st open out of Thurso last year after more than 12 hours on the wing.

Pete and Teri’s second bird from Lerwick was timed at 6-30am the next morning, and she is a sister to the day-bird. She was also sitting 14 days, and both of them had flown Fraserburgh in preparation for the King’s Cup race. Pete said both were in good condition and had obviously been well looked after, and were a credit to the convoyer. They moved into Lincolnshire to be near their parents and, now recovered from a double heart by-pass operation, the 64-year-old Pete is now taking his pigeon racing seriously again. First of all at Burgh, he had a loft facing west but could not get the ventilation to his satisfaction, so he bought a new one and faced it south.

He has also been in search of some descendants of their old lines which were prolific winners in the past, so don’t be surprised to see the name Rodgers prominently on the NRCC result sheets in the future, particularly from the longer races which are Pete’s preference

3rd Section C and 9th Open – Upsall and Son, Boston

Maybe inspired by including his five-year-old grandson, Reece, in the partnership, Carl Upsall has had a fantastic season of club racing with Boston Central RPC. He told me before the season started that he felt he had possibly his best in-depth team ever, fully recovered from losing serial winners at difficult Fraserburgh races in recent years.

Already an open winner from Perth (1991) and Thurso (last year), Carl had gone one better than his dad, Bill, who won the open from Thurso back in 1977, and he is keen to keep the pigeon racing genes flourishing in the family by encouraging young Reece to take an interest. The street lights were flickering into action as they timed the last day bird in this year’s Lerwick race. I’ll let Carl tell the story himself:
“The bird that created the fuss was a purchase from Mick Betts in 2013. He is a medium to large framed Blue Cock, being 3/4 Soontjen, his dam being a daughter of Pied Star who, in turn, was a son of The Green Eyed Cock when paired to Suzy. This pairing are parents of a dynasty of top pigeons.
“His father was one of Mick’s top birds, a winner of over £2000 in national racing, being half Soontjen crossed with a Gaby Vandenabeele ( Grandson of Bliksen). As you can see another cracking introduction from Scawsby “As a young bird he took the following prizes in the club: 10th Wetherby, 10th Newton Aycliffe, 9th Aycliffe, 7th Whitley Bay, and 2nd Berwick . As a yearling he was only placed once, being 4th Club Thurso flying for 14 Hours 18 minutes.
“This season has been amazing as the loft has only been beaten in three of the first 14 races and this cock, now named New Star, has been to the front of the field five times for us, winning 2nd Whitley Bay (6th Fed), 4th Whitley Bay (22nd Fed), 2nd Fraserburgh (15th Fed, 66th Open NRCC), 1st Malton, and then 1st Club Lerwick and 9th Open NRCC landing at 2135PM (15Hours 35 minutes on the wing).
“Upon landing all he wanted to do was attack me as I opened his nest box to place his hen in. He is a character who has flown each week with the exception of Berwick the weekend before Lerwick.”

1st Section E, 10th and 16th Open – GV and W Britton, Newborough

Father and Son, Graham and Michael Britton, timed early on the second day to win Section E and had another bird in the first 20 at No 16. Take a look further down the list and you will see their names appear at regular intervals to illustrate their prowess as distance flyers and the depth of their Lerwick team. The first thing they did was congratulate King’s Cup winner Ivan Rich.
“It's something you dream about. It must be the stand out 500 mile performance in the country this year, said Michael.?For them, it was "so close and yet so far. We are delighted obviously to win the Section......but would have loved to have seen her on the night!”
Their Section winner is five-year-old blue bar pied hen, and Michael gives her details as follows:?“Bred from a 2006 cock bird that won the Section in the Fed out of Perth as a yearling for us (something that is a rarity). He is a real stunning pigeon and is bred from a pair of pigeons from the late Stan Graves and, in turn, its sire bred Bullers & Buckley's 2001 NRCC Lerwick winner. The hen is bred out of the only pigeon we kept from the last lot of pigeons John got before he passed away, and they were from INFC Kings Cup winners. ?“This is her racing record:
“2010 - Flew NRCC Dunbar - her first and only race of that year.
“2011 - 1st Club, 89th Open NRCC Thurso, 431 miles, 2069p, Vel: 1225, (10h 19mins on the wing).
“2012 - Had a one week "holiday" on the Shetland Isles when no liberation was possible.?“2013 - Our 5th pigeon home out of Lerwick to win 29th Open
NRCC Lerwick, 521 miles, 877p, Vel 1328, (flying 11h 30 mins on the wing).
“2014 - Our 11th pigeon home out of Lerwick to win 240th Open NRCC Lerwick, 521 miles, 1064p, Vel, 1081, (flying 14h 8 mins on the wing).
“2015- Came home (minus her tail feathers! HAWKED!!) on the second day to record 1st Peterborough City Flying Club, 1st Peterborough Central Flying Club, 1st Section E, 10th Open NRCC Lerwick.
“Dad said all along that it would be a hard race....as the month of June progresses the west in the wind will take more and more toll on the birds. Hopefully next year the race will revert back to being nearest the longest day - 21st June.......oh and as Dad says ‘It's Lerwick not Berwick!!’”

1st Section H and 18th Open – M Connolly and Son, London

Now hear this! Father and son London partnership of Mickey and Mick Connolly are new to NRCC racing this year, and they were warned by fancier friends not to expect too much for a couple of years. “It is a different type of racing than you are used to,” they said. “The birds have to do a lot of the work on their own.”

Probably true, but the Connollys took the move in their stride, warmed up with a third section place with a yearling from Fraserburgh (434 miles) and now have won first section, and an impressive 18th open, from Lerwick, a few yards short of 600 miles.

Moreover, it is their first EVER race from Lerwick! There’s more to this incredible story. Neither father nor son drives, and they don’t train their birds. Haven’t trained their young birds for the past eight years.
“They are incredible when exercising round the loft, though,” said Mickey. “Other fanciers are amazed when they see them.” How have they managed this? By natural selection. Any birds that do not fit into the home exercise routine quickly find that they have board and lodging withdrawn, hence they have a family of birds which get themselves fit around home. Many, however, would believe these are hardly all the ingredients necessary for success from Lerwick.
But the Connollys, like many of their London NRCC compatriots, are top-class fanciers, observant and a foil to each other.

They are, for instance, twice winners of the Tommy Long Trophy for the best average in the London North Road Combine’s three longest races into Scotland. And mugs don’t win that! On the Friday after the NRCC Lerwick, the Combine had a tough race from Thurso, with only four birds home on the day. Two of them were to the Canning Town loft of the two Michaels. Their Lerwick section winner was a four-year-old blue widowhood cock, from their old family and Casaert lines from Billy Lynch. Son Mick looks after the cock birds as he is quick to remind anyone who will listen, especially his dad.

A proven bird, it had had about eight races in preparation for the trip to the Shetland Isles. The day following its epic journey home, it flew out of its box, over Mick’s head and through the open doors and flew round home for half an hour.

The bird appeared so well, in fact, that they were considering sending him to Thurso. Only time will reveal whether they did, but these East Londoners are fearless flyers.

They sent three to Lerwick, and one of them, a good hen, was found dead in her garden by a lady in Norwich. The other was still missing when we spoke.

Father Mickey is now 62 years old, and retired, and has had pigeons since he was a boy. He says that son Mick is really keen, and they gee each other up all the time.Perhaps another unusual part of their loft management is that they feed Gerry Plus all through the season, even for the long races, but they do increase the diet of fats as the distance increases.

They have had their old family for many years, and the birds have become pretty inbred. In the last four or five years, however, they have introduced the Casaerts through Billy Lynch and, more recently, some Frans Zwol pigeons through John Gladwin.

They don’t keep stock birds, and usually have about 14 pairs of racers. This year it has been 14 cocks and 12 hens.

One thing Mickey emphasised is what a good friend the NRCC and its London members have in George Chalkley, who takes their pigeons to the marking station. “He is brilliant. He collects the pigeons and will not take a penny,” he said.

1st and 2nd Section I, and 13th and 14th open – Ross Olive, Wickham

Twenty-eight-year-old bricklayer, Ross Olive, of Wickham, declared himself “well pleased” with this performance. And he has every reason to do so.

Wickham, in Essex, is about 30 miles from London, and 593 miles from Lerwick if the pigeon takes a straight line – which obviously it does not – so to take first and second in a section full of experienced distance fanciers is a tremendous achievement for a young flyer. Moreover he had another second-day bird down the list at 129th open.

Unfortunately, Ross did not see the birds arrive. Being a young family man, he had to work on the Monday of the race, but the ETS system came into its own and his mum was able to verify. First arrival was at 8-51am and the second 14 minutes later at 9-05am to record velocities of 855 and 845ypm.

One man who would have been particularly proud of the birds, and of Ross, would have been his dad, a lifetime fancier who died about eight years ago. Ross, the only one of a big family who was interested in the sport, took over his dad’s birds and today his loft houses descendants of Michelson pigeons acquired in the 1970s. The loft remains at his mum’s house.

Mr Olive senior was interested mainly in distance racing, and that is an interest Ross has continued to pursue.

The section winner is a five-year-old dark pied cock bird, with a lot of experience, sent sitting 12 days. He had had quite a few short races and had been to Dunbar and Perth with the NRCC. Second bird, also a dark pied, was his sister and, having been sitting on pot eggs, she was motivated by being given a baby before basketing.

The third pigeon timed, of the four sent, was a blue chequer cock whose mother had flown Lerwick three times and is typical of the birds in the loft producing more distance birds.
“They are very small pigeons,” says Ross, who always flies his birds on the natural system. “They were in good condition when they came home. The convoyer had done a brilliant job.”
He exercises the birds once a day, usually in the afternoon, and feeds an all-round mix which includes beans, tares and maples, with maize and peanuts being added in the build-up to the race. He treats for cocci, canker and worms, but likes to keep it all as natural as possible.

These results show that he has developed a system that works for him and the birds.

By George Wheatman