Mark Gilbert Wins First National Again!!
The British International Championship Club first Open winner from the Agen International, is a direct daughter of a pigeon called “Kannibaal Barcelona” which was bred and raced by the top International loft of Etienne Meirlean of St Martens-Latem in Belgium. He was purchased by Mark and coupled with a daughter of Etienne’s pigeon called “Golden Vleugel”
The “Kannibaal Barcelona” won 4th International 3rd Belgian National Barcelona 2010 against 25000 pigeons and in the following year was 20th National 26th International Perpignan against 17000 pigeons. The “Golden Vleugel” who was three times in the top 35 positions of the Belgian National from Barcelona.
The second open position goes to another yearling hen which is from a daughter of “Southfield Supreme” which won 1st International from Dax for Mark in 2008 and the father is a double grandchild of Dr Brockamp’s “George” which is the father of “Euro Diamond” and “Mistral”. George was bred by George Carteus and is a son of the “As 571” which won Ace Pigeon Long Distance two years in succession.
The fourth open position is also of this lineage being off a son of Euro Diamond and her mother is also a daughter of Southfield Supreme when he was paired to a daughter of “George” proving that with intelligent line breeding to top International performance pigeons, the quality can be carefully nursed from generation to generation.
Mark sent a team of hens to Agen, which to him is a distance of 505 miles. They are raced on the roundabout system, paired on the 10th February and allowed to rear two youngsters although they are separated before going down again on the next nest. The night before shipping to the race they were allowed to go back with their partners and the next morning, given loft exercise “so the cock can chase her about a bit”.
Mark had 8 of his team home within 4 hours, in a race that proved to be a difficult one for the 532 pigeons entered by the UK lofts, due to thunder storms at the home end, and when I arrived the very next morning after the race, there was over 20 home from the race and they are proving to be a formidable force for the future.
Mark does have his critics’, mainly due to the quality, in depth, held and flown at Southfield Lofts, and although he sends more than most to a race, he is looking to test them in preparation for races like this on the International stage. No stone has been left unturned over recent years to acquire the very best International winning bloodlines Europe’s lofts have to offer.
He is very successful indeed in his quest for first open National and International positions and it is little wonder he attracts the attentions of the few “nay sayers” in the sport but I would like to remind him that he also holds the admiration of thousands of other fanciers both in the UK and on the worldwide stage. There is little doubt in my mind that I shall be visiting Southfield Lofts again very soon, such is the condition of his pigeons and his dedication to them.