Micky Watts of Southminster, Essex
Micky Watts, winner of the British International Championship Club old hens race from Gurnsey, moved to his new loft location just two years ago.
He was origionally from East Ham in London where he flew in a partnership but craved a bigger garden and open space. He found that in South Minster in Essex and once settled into his new home he set about building the loft set up he had always wanted.
Being some 30 miles from his work place it was useful for him to take his pigeons along for a training toss each morning during the summer months when the early daylight hours allowed.
To populate his new loft he decided to start from scratch and approached Mark and Dickie Evans for a round of young birds out of their famous Vandenabelle strain. These birds excel at the sprint to middle distances, which are the discipline Micky wanted to follow, and initially 60 youngsters were purchased with a further 30 adding to the team the following year.
Success quickly followed as Micky began racing them and as yearlings they were placed on the widowhood system racing cocks only through the old bird season. To keep the hens from going stale they were housed with the youngbird team during the week and accompanied the youngsters during exercise and training tosses.
As the youngsters are put on the darkness system the yearling hens were also darkened during the period from March to June and after the widowhood cocks had finished racing they were allowed to go to nest and went to the British International Championship Club race sitting eggs for the first time since January.
They were then given several training tosses from 45 miles in preparation for the National races held in conjunction with the young bird Nationals each year, with Guernsey being the first of three races for them.
The winning hen, bred by Mark and Dickie Evans, is out of a half brother and half sister mating with their common sire being “Pre Olympic” a fantastic racer of Vandenabelle origin raced in the loft of Peter Jonker and purchased by Mark & Dickie .
Mark told me this pairing was a happy accident, as he would not normally pair his pigeons so close together but as they chose each other and to save any upset in the breeding loft he decided to leave them together. With the eye of a stockman, Mark was not too worried as he thought it might make an interesting coupling and his intuition proved correct as they have gone on the produce many winning pigeons.
Luckily, Micky managed to be one of the fanciers to receive a youngster from this pair and now his national win will go on to the tally of top quality winners down from the Pre Olympic, which Mark says they perform best when racing conditions are difficult and the pigeons need to “dig in” and the winnig hens’ sire is a direct son from “Pre Olympic” x “Davina” whilst her mother is a direct daughter from “Pre Olympic” x “Lady of the Rings”.
“Pre Olympic” NL.05.2105064 was raced by Peter Jonker in the Netherlands and was described as one of the best Dutch racers of the last decade. He was then purchased by Myrtle Lofts in Peter Jonker’s Entire Clearance Sale.
“Pre Olympic” is winner of 1st Strombeek 4,679 birds, 2nd Meer 5,497 birds, 2nd Duffel 4,694 birds, 2nd Strombeek 3,949 birds, 5th Meer 3,582 birds, 5th Nijvel 2,336 birds, 6th Nijvel 4,461 birds, 6th Morlincourt 2,377 birds, 7th Chantilly 9,565 birds, 8th Duffel 24,807 birds,10th Peronne 2,349 birds,10th Peronne 1,774 birds,14th Chimay 3,666 birds, 20th Meer 19,826 birds, 22nd Strombeek 11,809 birds, 28th Nijvel 3,992 birds, 31st Strombeek 23,935 birds, 33rd Meer 27,750 birds, 51st Nijvel 12,673 birds, 51st Peronne 9,181 birds, 63rd Nijvel 23,698 birds, 75th Peronne 12,370 birds.
A total winner of 33 prize cards with no duplications and 29 prize cards in the best 10% of the result with 15 prize cards being in the best 1% of the result and 5 prize cards in the best 0.1% of the result! He won 1st Provincial Ace Bird Middle Distance in 2007, 1st Ace Bird Region Overall in 2007, 1st Ace Bird Region Short Distance in 2008, 3rd Provincial Ace Bird Short Distance 2008.
4th National Ace Bird Short Distance NPO 2007, 5th National Short Distance Bird Olympiad Dortmund 2009, 7th National Ace Bird Short Distance WHZB 2007, 9th National Ace Bird Short Distance WHZB 2008, 9th National Ace Short Distance NPO 2008, 13th National Ace Bird Middle Distance NPO 2007.
The “Pre Olympic” is a super racer winning 1st, 2, 2, 2, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 10, 10, 14 from an average of 5,672 birds per race. He his 100% Gaby Vandenabeele bloodlines with all the following top names in his pedigree, “Kolonel”, “Rita”, “Limoges”, “Ilse”, “De Bijter 610” and the “Wittenbuik”. He is sire, grandsire and great grandsire to winners right through to 1st National Carentan 3,554 birds last year 2013 for Richard Turner from Worksop as well as the BICC winner from Guernsey for Micky.
Also in her pedigree you will see “Davina” also bred by Gaby Vandenabeele. She was the No1. Breeding Hen at the loft of Jos Goessen from the Netherlands and she is also now owned by M & D. Evans. She is the direct mother to the following pigeons. “Yula” NL.2008.1869136 – who was a first prize winner three years in a row. His prizes include 1st Bourges 1,321 birds, 1st NPO 5,122 birds, 2nd Interprov. 16,666 birds, 1st Marche 1,389 birds, 1st Charleville 1,375 birds, 2nd Orleans 396 birds, 16th NPO 4,247 birds, 3rd Chateauroux 167 birds, 73rd NPO 2,408 birds, 5th La Souterraine 175 birds, 60th NPO 2,125 birds, 5th Argenton 490 birds, 47th NPO 3,989 birds. “Arsjavin” NL.2007.1030082 – 1st Ace Bird Federation 2008. 1st Charleville 4,114 birds, 4th 21,924 birds, 3rd La Souterraine 173 birds, 44th NPO 2,125 birds, 4th Pithiviers 1,049 birds, 15th NPO 12,034 birds, 4th Bourges 907 birds, 19th NPO 4,447 birds, 4th Argenton 490 birds, 44th NPO 3,989 birds, 7th Reims 939 birds, 7th Bouillon 1,245 birds, 66th NPO Blois 2,309 birds.
Nest mate to “Davina” is “Mister Argenton” NL.2006.1412588 – 1st NPO Argenton 3,989 birds, 2nd Interprov. 11,984 birds, 12th NPO Cahors 3,755 birds, 42nd NPO Blois 1,891 birds, 66th NPO Bourges 4,447 birds, 145th Nat. Blois 45,000 birds, 289th NPO Bourges 5,122 birds.
Micky was also second open youngbirds in the same race with this hen also bred by Myrtle Lofts, and she went to the race sitting 9 day old eggs. Her sire is Inbred to Myrtle Lofts world famous breeding hen “Carrie” Belg.95.3211317 Bred by Gaby Vandenabeele and her name is the pedigrees of no fewer than fifteen 1st Open National winners. Whilst her dam is a direct daughter from champion breeder “Eisenhower” when paired to his own granddaughter.
“Eisenhower” is sire to over five generations of winners including 1st Open NFC National Angers, 1st Open London & South East Classic Bergerac, 1st Open London & South East Classic Guernsey, 2nd Open BICC National (beaten by loft mates when both birds dropped together) 2nd Open London & South East Classic (beaten by loft mates when both birds dropped together) 4th Open BBC National Bordeaux, plus endless top prizes at all levels of competition. “Eisenhower” was direct sire to 3rd Open Million Dollar Pigeon Race in South Africa in 2012 winning $75,000.00
He is a direct son from Champion “Shadow” Belg.95.3211313 bred by Gaby Vandenabeele who is considered to be the best breeding cock alive in the UK at this present moment. There are over 30 x 1st Open winners in Classic & National events bred down from this champion”.
Micky made the decision to only race the M&D Evans Vandenabeeles because he finds them to be honest and hardworking pigeons which suit his system very well. His previous results with these pigeons include three times first open combine, one 1st Amal, and also winning the BICC Guernsey National with young birds 2 years ago.
He has left no stone unturned in the design and facilities available at his loft and he said one of the best accessories he acquired was the ATX radiation heaters, fitted at ceiling level, as the sea fog can come for days days and often cause dampness in the lofts around the essex area during the early season.
Being in a very sociable local club, with the members being very happy for each others success, one criteria that Micky wanted for his new loft set up was a bar, which has a large welcome sign above it, and Micky says many a summers evening has been spent there talking with friends about pigeons and the pigeon sport.