Lest we forget; BICC World War One Commemoration Race from Poitiers
Gareth and Stuart Treharne, Nantyglo. Second BICC Win of the season!
On the morning of the 15th of June 2014, John Tyerman, the race controller for the British International Championship Club released the following statement; “The 1,934 BICC Poitiers National pigeons have been released at 6.00 am, this morning into blue skies and sunshine. The wind was light north easterly and the pigeons cleared well. The Winds in France remain light north easterly and the English Channel is clearing after overnight storms in the Sussex area. Overall it will be a testing fly into the North East wind and there is some shower activity forecast for parts of the UK during the day”
It was indeed a very testing race and was delighted to hear that the winners were once again Gareth and Stuart Treharne, at Nantyglo, who had also won the first race of the year from Falaise. Now anyone from outside the UK reading this may think this is an easy task but let me assure you, there are hundreds of lofts in the race, all working equally as hard to win this prestigious club.
So what does this say about their loft and the form it is currently showing. Well firstly let me add that in 2011 this loft took the first 16 positions in the Welsh South Road National from Carentan and of these, four have gone on to win two first National BICC races, a Saintes National race and to win the coveted Gold Cup, of which all Welsh fanciers would like to win, being given to the best performing pigeon of the season.
Secondly, their loft has hit a level of form that is very difficult to achieve without very careful consideration of the management of the pigeons, can easily be lost. So full credit must be given to their loft management on a day-to-day basis.
The winning pigeon, a little blue hen, is raced on the roundabout system and Stuart noticed on basketing that this normally shy and flighty hen, was hugging her nest bowl and was very keen to nest and although her pedigree would suggest a more sprint line of pigeon, she dug in to return on a hard 393 mile race, flying ten hours. She is bred from an Eijerkamp Janssen cock and a Marcel Sangers hen. The sire is a grandson of Glamourboy and Wonderboy 06, whilst the dam is a direct Marcel Sangers hen, which is a Koopman cross Sangers Janssen and has previously bred a lot of good birds.
Previous to this race she had been to Salisbury with the federation and both the previous BICC races from Falaise and Tours, being the third bird to the loft from Tours. Although now three years old, she did not have much racing as a yearling due to an accident in the loft whereby she lost her two end flights. Last year her cock was lost during racing which meant she did not have a mate to get her ready for the Saintes race so she went into Bordeaux, paired to a new cock, which is around 500 miles.
Stuart very rarely road trains his pigeons but considering the gap between races he decided to give them a few before basketing for Bordeaux and when race day came they had two pigeons come together, of which she was one but she decided to compose herself before trapping. The cock she arrived with trapped right away to finish 5th open and she soon followed and finished 8th National, so she had shown promise for the longer races.
For the remainder of the season the Father and Son partnership plan to send the 35 strong middle distance team split between Messac with the National Flying Club, and Nort-Sur-Edre with the Welsh National. They also have a few pigeons bred for over 500 miles and they are planned for the Tarbes National, also with the National Flying Club.
As I was driving home I was thinking about the race and its commemoration of the fallen soldiers in World War 1. It is good to reflect on our freedoms given to us by their sacrifices, so as I was pondering this thought, whilst driving over the mountain top near Blaenavon, when I spotted a small war memorial over looking the valley, with the sun setting and I thought of the line in the poem, “For the Fallen” by Robert Laurence;
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
I stopped and photographed it, thinking it was poignant, over looking the Blaenau Gwent valley the winning pigeon had flown through to her nearby loft in Nantyglo.