The Racing Pigeon - 5th April 2024



hen ‘Little Flee’ was the first on the clock. This class hen was previously number six on the ETS from Honiton to win 6th BB&O Federation. The good year- ling Soontjen blue chequer cock, ‘Dodgy Dave’, won 2nd Federation from Kingsdown and he was bred by the partner’s good friend, Dave Vass. The partners only keep a small team of young birds and only race them lightly to educate them, for future racing as old birds. In the 2017 season a team of 20 youngsters were sent to Exeter (150 miles) with the BB&O Federation and they recorded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th & 12th, with 1.299 birds competing. The first two birds on the ETS to win 1st & 2nd Federation and racing to the perch were the Heremans-Ceusters nest pair, ‘Spoiler’ and ‘Blue Lou’. Hathaway & Poole didn’t intend to send to the last and longest young bird race flown from Wadebridge (200 miles), but were persuaded to send to the race and sent a small selected team of three birds. First pigeon clocked was the Soontjens blue chequer hen, ‘Lucky Dip’, and she recorded 1st club, 4th BB&O Federation, with 1,231 birds competing. I recently visited the Hemel Hempstead loft of Mick & Lorna Dickinson for a YouTube filming session after their wonderful 2016 racing season, which saw them win a long list of premier positions including 1st UBI Combine twice. The two Combine winners were both yearling Widowhood cocks. The first Combine winner of the season was the dark chequer cock, ‘933’ and he was purchased at the 2015 Spelthorne Breeder/Buyer

and 1st BB&O Federation Portland (1,525 birds), 7th BB&O Federation Yeovil (3,085 birds), 1st Federation Wincanton (old bird). One of the stars of the season was the Heremans-Ceusters blue cock, ‘Third Bird’, although he didn’t win the Federation, he was 3rd Federation three times and 16th Federation. Peter Hathaway moved house a couple of years ago and had a terrible job settling the Hathaway & Poole team of pigeons to the new garden, which is sited only a few hundred yards from the old one. The 2017 season has seen the partnership record their first three Federation winners to the new garden and everything has been re-established to its former glory. The Berks, Bucks & Oxen Federation sent 2,484 birds to Honiton (120 miles) and the partners recorded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th Federation, all with pigeons flown on the Roundabout system. Peter was telling me that there were several hens up there in the Federation result and he was amazed as the females had had very little work. The hens only fly out around

the loft for ten minutes every day and only had a couple short training tosses at the beginning of the season. He only sent the hens to Honiton to stop them pairing up! The partners recently brought some Lambrecht pigeons in from Steve Foster and they have been doing well, and from the Honiton race they recorded 1st, 2nd & 5th Federation. The Federation winning pigeon from Honiton was the partner’s good yearling mealy cock, ‘Freddie’, and he had previously won other premier positions including 10th BB&O Federation Yeovil. Three weeks after taking the first seven positions from Honiton, Hathaway & Poole hit the top spot again, by winning 1st & 2nd BB&O Federation Kingsdown (2232 birds). This time it was the turn of a hen to win the Federation and the partners were delighted as one of the loft favourites, the yearling Lambrecht grizzle

Auction, being bred by the very successful Hathaway & Poole partnership of Egham. This game Widowhood cock achieved club and Federation positions as a young bird and went on to win 1st Club, 1st Inter Counties Federation (2,322 birds), 1st UBI Combine (3,330 birds) Yelverton, velocity 1290ypm and 2nd Club Honiton (234 birds). A fantastic yearling cocks! Prior to the house move, the Hathaway & Poole part- nership of Egham in Berkshire got the 2014 racing season off to a brilliant start, racing in the very strong Windsor club, which has several premier racers in it’s membership, including Mark Gilbert and John Haynes. The club often sends 750 birds to inland races and the Windsor club members regularly win the Berks, Bucks & Oxen Federation. Mark Gilbert won the Federation from Portland, with 3,065 birds competing and Hathaway & Poole’s two Soontjen blue Widowhood cocks, ‘Ho! So’ and ‘Near Miss’ hit the ETS together to record the same velocity, and joint 2nd Federation. The following weekend the roles were reversed in the Honiton race, when Hathaway & Poole won 1st Club (708 birds), 1st BB&O Federation (3,530 birds), with their brilliant Soontjen blue chequer cock, ‘Short Head’. This outstanding Widowhood cock has previ- ously won several premier positions, including 4th Club, 4th BB&O Federation (2,558 birds) Wincanton in the 2012 racing season. In the Honiton race the part- ners beat Mark Gilbert by a yard and he had two pigeons hit the ETS together to win joint 2nd Federation. Funning ol’ game, this pigeon racing! The

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