Falaise National with the British International C.C. 03/05/14
A total of 384 members entered 3,229 birds for this, the first race of the BICC Old Bird calendar. There were very few entries from the Norwich, Lowestoft and Ipswich marking stations, due no doubt to the easterly influence in the wind forecast for race.
The Peasedown St John partnership of Geoff and Catherine Cooper are ranked by many and this writer in particular, as one of the best in Europe as their record in National and International races over a long period of time are second to none. In the Falaise race their first in the clock was, for quite some time, leading the field only to be pipped to the post by the Treharne pigeon flying 30 or so miles further west into the Welsh Valleys.
Geoff and Catherine’s timer recording 1407 ypm takes 2nd West section 2nd Open and is a two year old dark chequer cock.
He has been amongst the first to the loft every race so far this season, after returning badly injured from Saints as a yearling. Like all the birds, he was raced widowhood, having three short inland races, then into this, his first channel race of the season.
His sire is a pigeon called “Brother to Farm Boy”. who is a full brother to Farm Boy who won 12th International Dax, 3rd Nat Dax and 7th Nat Dax and 3rd Euro Diamond Dax and 7th Ace pigeon Euro Diamond. Farm Boy is the sire of Farmer George 1st International Bordeaux. The Dam is a daughter of the nest sister to Mark Gilbert’s Darkie, winner of two 1st Nationals. Catherine states that once again the birds arrived home in excellent condition with nearly 100% returns.
Farmer Fox wins 1st Combine 3518 birds from Truro 143 miles.
His Sire is down from Klein Dirk, Reza and Kannibal via Peter Fox of Syndicate Lofts and the Dam is a daughter of “21” when “21” was paired to a sister to Farm Boy.
Another brilliant Barcelona race for Daybreak Junior!
The Cooper’s Barcelona winner is a seven year old widowhood cock now named “Daybreak Junior” was clocked at 8.34pm to win 1st section 6th Open. He has been a good honest racer for them, always in the first few to the loft.
Prior to this he has won :- 3rd Fed. Messac,
29th sect. 202nd Classic Bergerac, 211th Nat. Tarbes,338th Nat. Messac,209th Nat. Tarbes, plus 3rd west sect. 54th Nat Pau/Int., 3rd west sect. 18th Nat. Tarbes/Int.,
2nd west sect. 22nd Nat. Barcelona/Int.
His pedigree is full of top performance pigeons. His sire is Daybreak, a top racer who won a coveted National Merit Award. Daybreak Junior’s grandsire is also the grandsire of Mark Gilbert’s International winner Southfield Supreme.
Daybreak Juniors Dam is Miss Pau, who flew Pau International as a yearling. She is a daughter of Miss Somerset, winner of the NFC YB Somerset cup and Miss Somerset’s sire is “21” a top breeder and racer for the Coopers.
Geoff and Catherine Cooper clocked “Wriggleson” a three year old widowhood cock to win 3rd sect. 6th National St Vincent. His preparation for this race was a couple of inland races then in May BICC Alencon where he was 6th National. Next race for him was BICC Tours where he was 69th Open followed by Saintes with the WESRC, then two weekends off and basketed for St Vincent on the Monday. His Sire is “Wriggler” who won 1st National Falaise, 5th National Dax plus many prizes in the top 1% of National races. His Dam is a daughter of the Cooper’s top breeder George, who won 1st Grand National Tarbes and is sire and grandsire to many top birds including 1st and 2nd International Bordeaux. Geoff and Catherine’s other timers finished at 18th,20th,26th & 30th Open.
1st National West Section Bicc Falaise with Scar
1st, 2nd 3rd Carlingcott HS Carentan
1st, 3rd Paulton HS Poole
The first National race of the season and “Scar” wins 1st National WS Falaise 194 miles. The week before he won 1st club Poole 48 miles 660 birds.
Last season we clocked “Scar” to win 1st National WS (prov.) Bicc Le Mans. He is called Scar because earlier that year he returned home with a large gash across his side and most of his tail missing through an encounter with a hawk. He has previously won 51st Bicc National from Falaise.
His Sire is a nest brother to “Stroller” who won 2nd West Section from St Vincent International, being a son of “Ridge” a top National and Classic prize winner.
The Dam is a daughter of “Multi Man” winner of multiple top National and Classic prizes when he was paired to a hen down from “350” and a daughter of “Emiel” 1st International Bordeaux.
From the last seven BICC National/International races we have won 6 x 1st West Section and 2 x 2nd West Section and other section prizes, plus top National positions, all in strong west north west winds which are cross/headwinds for our lofts. Five section wins in a single old bird season is a record for the British International Championship Club.
2012 season we won:
National / International racing: 6 x 1st section/provincial, 2 x 2nd section/provincial, 3 x 3rd section/provincial, 4th Classic, 5th National, 15th National, 22nd National, 5th National, 10th National, plus many other positions in the top 1% of National races. 5 x 1st club.
All races above were over seas, with very strong cross winds, rain and mist on route.
Misty, winner of 1st prov. (sect) St Vincent BICC International
Daybreak Junior won 2nd prov (sect) Barcelona. 22nd National Barcelona BICC International
“SCOTTY” winner of 3 x 1st National Provincial
Grandson Of “George”
Just four weeks after winning 1st WS 5th National/International Bordeaux/Agen “Scotty” wins 1st C Section 9th National Bordeaux 721 kms 451 miles, again having to battle against strong West Noth West cross/head winds. This brings his total of 1st section (provincials) to three. “scotty” has won 5th national and 9th national against the wind. This is an amazing achievement, when you consider all the other top ten National prizes were in the east of the country. “Scotty” is truely a “wind cheater”.
After the wettest June for many years, Geoff and Catherine Cooper from Peasedown St John are getting used to waiting for birds in the rain. Saturday evening was no exception, most of the evening was spent in the conservatory watching the loft with George Ridge and Fab Baressi. Around 7.30 Geoff went to another loft to check the food and water for them and told the others to keep a look out. As he came back up the garden he heard the cocks calling from the racing loft, he ran up to the loft and there in the trap was “Scotty” a three year old chequer cock. All three keeping watch were sacked from their job as they were bl**dy useless!!
“Scotty” was in very good condition when he landed, despite all the rain and gale force west winds he had to encounter on the way home. He has already had several good prizes to his name, including 12th National Fougeres, 1st National WS Falaise and 303rd Saintes National. He is named “Scotty” after Scott Stevens, a young fancier from Midsomer Norton. Previous to going to Agen “Scotty” had raced three channel races with the NFC, the last one two weeks ago at Messac.
His sire is “Georgeson” a son of “George” 1st Grand National Tarbes and sire and grandsire to many top pigeons including grandsire to “Farmer George” 1st International Bordeaux, 2nd International Yearling Bordeaux for Mark Gilbert. “Georgeson” is a full brother to the dam of “Farmer George”
The dam of “Scotty” is a daughter of “Southfield Supreme” 1st International Dax for Mark Gilbert. Geoff and Catherine also clocked three more pigeons to win 6th, 7th and 8th WS.
Once again, all arrivals were in excellent condition.
Also won:- 4th Classic with a son of George
5th Bicc Agen National/International with Scotty a grandson of George
1st Bicc WS (prov.) Agen National /International with Scotty a grandson of George
1st National Carentan (J & D Staddon) winner bred from a half sister to George
1st Classic (A & S Thompson) with a sister to HBP top racer.
1st Bicc WS (prov) Pau National/International with Georgia Jean, a grand daughter of George
15th National Fougeres with a grand daughter of JW
2 x 5th West of England SR Combine
1st National WS (prov) Bicc Tours with Bro. Farm Boy
22nd Bicc National/International Barcelona, 2nd WS (prov)Barcelona National/International with Daybreak Junior
39th Bicc National/International Barcelona, 6th Bicc WS (prov)Barcelona National International with Bro. Farm Boy.
3rd Bicc WS (prov) Pau National/International
1st BICC WS (prov) 10th ST Vincent International 1st CHS Lyndhurst, 1st CHS Saintes with Misty down from Farm Boy and Legend 1st International Dax.
3rd National BBC prov. Niort
2 x 1st HLFC
1st CHS Carentan
1st CHS Yelverton (young birds)
1st CHS Exeter (young birds)
The results of Geoff and Catherine Cooper’s birds are very well known but what is not so well known is how well they perform for others.
This year Geoff and Catherine bred the Dam of the winner of the UK Classic race from Messac. The Dam was a full sister to “HBP” 3rd National/International Dax.
They also bred “Shapway Lord George” who was the sire of 1st Carentan National for J & D Staddon. “Shapway Lord George” is a half brother to George 1st Grand National Tarbes etc.
Pau International 2012
Georgia Jean winner of 1st WS Pau INternational
Her breeding could not be better for the tough International racing, she is a grand daughter of Geoff and Catherine’s “George” 1st National FC Tarbes sire to many top breeders and racers, including grandsire to 1st International “Farmer George”, 2nd International Yearlings for Mark Gilbert plus many others.
She is also a grand daughter of Brian Sheppard’s “Legend” 1st International Dax. She has now been named Georgia Jean, in memory of Brian’s wife Jean, who sadly died last year and was a good friend to Geoff and Catherine.
She was raced as a young bird, including two channel races winning 21st G sect. National FC St Malo and 51st National Tours. As a yearling she was not raced and this year she had one inland race and four National races overseas prior to Pau.
Geoff and Catherine clocked a chequer white flight hen called Wollongong at 19.46 to win 3rd W Section, out of only four birds clocked on the day. She is also flown widowhood.
Her sire was bred by Clive Lister, being a grandson of “Euro Diamond” and “Marseille King” and her dam is “Gina” a half sister to “George” 1st National FC Tarbes etc.
“Wollongong” was raced as a young bird and was 1st club Exeter, 1st club 4th National Tours, 10th G sect. National St Malo, not raced as a yearling and had the same race preparation as “Georgia Jean”.
She is named “Wollongong” after their friend Alan Kerr’s home town of Wollongong in Australia. Alan watched her win 4th National Tours on a visit to the UK.
So far this year we have won 5 x 1st’s in the local clubs from 44 miles through to 394 miles
2011 has been a fantastic year for the Cooper loft.
In the early part of the old bird season the widowhood cocks started winning National positions, even when the wind was against them. Flying over the unpredictable English Channel they won many top National section/provincial prizes.
“Scotty”, a grandson of “George” the 1st Grand National Tarbes winner, who won1st National WS from Falaise with the British International Championship Club, this was in a North West wind which is a headwind for them.
A couple of weeks later from the British International Alencon race the Cooper loft took 2nd 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th National section/provincial. Their first bird was “PD” winning 2nd. He is a grandson of “Farm Boy” and a grandson of “Wriggler”, their 2nd bird winning 3rd section was “Brother to Farm Boy” who is – a full brother to the “Farm Boy”. the 3rd bird home was “Gilby” a grandson of 1st International Dax and a grandson of “Titch” another super racer and breder who was the sire and grandsire of National winning pigeons.
In June the prizes started with 3rd National WS from Tours. This was won with “Farmer George” who is a son of “Farm Boy” when paired to a daughter of “George”.
This was followed with 3rd and 5th National WS Pau International.
Geoff and Catherine clocked a four year old widowhood cock called “Stable Lad” to win 3rd National West Section/Provincial. He is called “Stable Lad” because a good friend Dave Staddon picked him up, completely flown out, as a young bird in his racing stables. Since then he has flown very consistently for Geoff and Catherine previously winning 25th Classic St Nazaire, 108th National Poitiers, 1st HLFC St Nazaire, 3rd HLFC Saintes, 217th National Saintes and 124th National Tarbes. His sire is “Wriggler” who won 1st National Falaise, 5th National Dax, 178th National Bordeaux, 1st HLFC Cholet, 16th Combine Saintes.
The second pigeon clocked was a pigeon called PD who won 5th National WS Pau. He has many top prizes his name, including 14th Tarbes National/International, 2nd section Tarbes and 2nd section Alencon BICC. He is now retired after breeding this year’s 2nd International Bordeaux (Agen) winner.
Geoff and Catherine have won many top National and International prizes but it has been their dream to win an International. This season Geoff has sent the birds with the BICC National program where the majority of the birds are all flying to the East of the UK and very few to the West. This meant that the chance of winning a major open prize was slim, but this did not worry Geoff as the main purpose of sending to these tough races was to teach the birds to break from the main drag of the birds. This is essential if you want to win an International in the UK. The British entry of 648 had a very hard task of breaking from the convoy of 22,028 birds, Geoff and Catherine’s birds then have over 220 kms of the English Channel to fly over, which if the weather is bad can be a grave yard for many good birds. When you consider the direction the main International convoy fly from the race point, then consider that the British birds have to fly in a totally different direction you can appreciate how hard it is for them.
Geoff and Catherine clocked a two year old chequer widowhood cock called Farmer George at 17.32.17 UK time to win 1st International Bordeaux by over a hour. They were sat in their garden enjoying a glass of red wine when suddenly Farmer George flew low into the garden landing on the roof of the loft, he quickly jumped down onto the trap and rushed into the loft to see his hen.
Farmer George was 3rd National West Section from Tours with BICC National on the 11/06/11. This was his last race prior to being basketed for the International. He is bred from Farm Boy who has won many top International and National prizes and a daughter of George who the Grand National from Tarbes plus many other top National prizes. When you look at “Farmer George’s” pedigree you will see winners in every generation, Geoff and Catherine can trace their top birds winning bloodlines back to the early 1980’s imports. When Geoff retires a good racer he line breeds to these top birds to keep the excellent gene pool.
They clocked another bird, a son of “PD” called “Shiraz”. He won 2nd International. He is named “Shiraz” because local club member John Smallcombe, who won the National section G from Tarbes the same day, with a bird whose parents were bred by Geoff and Catherine, called round in the afternoon with a bottle of Shiraz for them. They told him they would open it and drink a glass to celebrate his win whilst they waited for their International birds. They had just finished the first glass when “Farmer George” came racing to the loft. As he already had a name they called their second bird after John’s bottle of shiraz wine! The Cooper’s were 1st and 2nd International from 10,611old birds and 1st and 3rd overall International from 22,029 birds.
The last old bird race of the season was Tarbes International with the British International Championship Club.
Geoff and Catherine clocked three pigeons in an hour to win 2nd, 3rd and 4th SW section, 16th 18th and 23rd National. Their first bird, winning 2nd SW was a five year old widowhood cock called “Stumpy” as he has twice broken the same leg. He has only been lightly raced because as a yearling he cut himself across his keel and so had very little racing and over the last couple of years he has broken the same leg twice. Geoff was confident that given the opportunity he was capable of putting up a good performance. Stumpy’s Sire is a son of “Morning Glory” twice 2nd Pau National for Paul and Helen Kendall and his Dam is “Miss Dax” who as a yearling won 93rd International Hens from Dax, and 5th section, 20th, NFC Dax. “Miss Dax” is a grand daughter of “Twenty One”.
Their second bird was six year old “Eustace” who last year won 3rd section G, beaten by two loft mates for first section, 35th National Tarbes, 8th National Falaise, plus many other top National and Classic prizes. His Sire is a son of “Twenty One” who was a top racer and breeder for Geoff and Catherine and his Dam was a half sister to “Farm Boy” who was a super racer and fantastic breeder, “Farm Boy” was the sire of the 1st International Bordeaux winner “Farmer George”.
The third bird clocked was a five year old son of “Day Break” who was a winner of a coveted Certificate of Merit in the National FC, for having a bird three times in the top 100 of the longest race. The sire of “Day Break” was the Grandsire of Mark Gilbert’s Dax International winner. The Dam was “Miss Pau” who has won 1st MNHS and 13th Combine from Minstead 45 miles and flew Pau International as a yearling. Miss Pau is a grand daughter of “Twenty One”.