Ron Scammell & Paul Peploe of Pontypool, South Wales
When a loft is racing well during the first half of the season, there may be a few club wins and maybe even a couple of federation wins that make other fanciers take notice. But when a loft has several National wins along with top open positions, the pigeon fancy as a whole begin to take notice. One such loft is Sammell & Peploe of Pontypool, South Wales and their National results in the first half of this season are as follows;
- 17th May~Welsh National Flying Club “Carentan” 185 miles, 1st, 2nd & 6th Open
- 17th May~British International Championship Club “Alencon” 267 miles, 4th , 11th & 26th Open
- 25th May~Welsh South Road National Flying Club “Carentan” 185 miles, 1st, 3rd & 13th Open
- 31st May~British International Championship Club “Tours” 345 miles, 2nd & 38th Open
- 12th June~Welsh National Flying Club “Messac” 276 miles 1st & 5th Open
- 14th June~British International Championship Club “Poitiers” 385 miles, 2nd Open
Outstanding performances by anyones standards and we are only half way through the season!
I asked their opinion as to what makes a loft come into super form like they have achieved this season. They replied that it is very difficult to know, they have experienced it before in 2005, but it can vanish in a whisper. Lots of little things add up and if they all fall into place, you can hope to reach super form. Ron had said that you can often see lofts in super form one season and then wonder what they have done wrong the next.
The truth, is they have done everything exactly the same but the super form does not come again.
This year, in the winter, they knew they had a good team, because they could see it in them around the loft. Ron had commented to Paul that he thought the birds would perform well in the races. One thought that they did have, is that they did not put youngsters on the darkness system last year because they had young bird sickness. They think it may take something out of them, because when their birds are put on the darkness system, it seams to lead to problems. One or two birds look ill, and you begin a treatment of the whole team and it can stress them out more. They are contemplating ever using the darkness system on the youngsters again.
As old birds, they race both cocks and hens on the roundabout system and are hopper fed with food available all the time. Because of this, they do not gorge themselves and observations show them taking food to their needs rather than having to eat what they are given. They feed Verselle Laga Prestiege which contains a good variation of quality grains and after exercise they come into a trough full of food and then go to roost.
If you handle them at this time its like they have nothing in them, they do not over feed themselves.
They do not normally win the shorter races as they try to time their season towards the second half for the longer races. A lot of their pigeons are M & D Evans Vandenabelle, which will sprint for them but normally, with the full hopper being available at all times, its the longer races it benefits most. When they first went on the roundabout system they paired the second week in February, but they found they can loose the form for the longer races so they paired this year at the beginning of March. Then you can get ten good weeks out of them.
This year, for the first time, they did not rear anything out of the racers, they were allowed to sit for 10 days before being parted. This is the first time they have done that, so the results this year have proved it has worked. They have a good team of stock pigeons to supply them with enough young birds and they are mainly M & D Evans Vandenabelles along with their well know “Nearly Cock” which won 2nd National three times.
They have a few on loan from M & D Evans, who they say has the best in this country at the present time. They have had them since 2005 and bred countless winners out of them.
They do not really go by pedigrees when pairing but put winners to winners and if possible, National winners to National winners. One year they offered for sale, four youngsters out of two National winners paired together and surprisingly some fanciers turned them down because they were not pure this or pure that! The Nearly Cock who had 3 second nationals was from John Webber. John asked them if they wanted to swap pigeons so they took two youngsters out of two National winners and gave him the
Consequently when they asked for their pigeon in return, he pointed to a youngster hanging up in a stocking with two broken legs, to which they thought he was joking, but he was not.
They gave him a chance because John had so much faith in its breeding and it became the sire of Nearly Cock. The dam was from John Burgman, of Burgman Brothers, who had held an entire clearance sale. They called on him late, only to see if he had anything left, to which he replied just three pigeons, two late breds and a yearling. They bought the yearling hen and in turn she bred the Nearly cock who has become famous in South Wales due to the prolific nature of his breeding. Countless winners have come down from him for the partnership and others right up to National level.