Mark Gilbert wins his hat trick for the 2014 season and in spectacular style!
The British International Championship Club race in conjunction with the FCI International races and produce a UK National result. For the UK these races are a real test of ability on the Fanciers part and of course sheer determination by the pigeon.
The entry from the UK in these most testing races maybe small in quantity but they are very high in quality, they have to be the cream of the crop to leave race point, amongst up to 20,000 European pigeons, heading towards France, Belgium, Holland and Germany and then be single minded enough to head for home, sometimes alone, only to face the biggest obstacle of all towards the end of a very long fly…. the English Channel.
Pigeon men all over the UK know that the weather can play a huge part in how our birds fly across the open sea to reach our shores, and when one looks out to the horizon, a maximum distance of 20 or so miles can be viewed on a good day. But very often, way out to sea, there can be huge banks of fog or bands of rain moving steadily along the English Channel to create a barrier only the bravest of pigeons will negotiate.
Over the previous few years Mark has been quietly developing a family of pigeons selected by these toughest of races and indeed he will clock several birds when most have not seen a feather. This in itself stands as a testament to his own dedication and determination to succeed in races where most would not dare to go.
Buying only the very best of International bloodlines and blending them into a family capable of flying three BICC International races per season means Mark will send national winning pigeons again and again when others would have them safely tucked away in the stock loft. Just one great performance does not earn a perch in the Southfield Lofts.
They must show they have what it takes before he will breed from them and over the years means that success has been passed down, from generation to generation. Many top National and International winning pigeons have been produced here, and the toughest of International races are the yardstick used to find them.
The winner of the BICC St Vincent International is a cross between the bloodlines of Etienne Maerlien and H & P Brockamp. The sire is a son of Maerlien’s Gouden Vleugel, winner of three top prizes from Barcelona including 13th, 17th & 73rd Open, whilst the dam is a direct daughter of Brockamp’s “Perpignan 06” 1st National 2nd International Perpignan. In fact the dam is a full sister to the 2009 Marseille International winner for Brockamp.
The old saying “blood will tell” has never been more appropriate.
Mark’s second pigeon which takes 3rd Open is a grandchild of Southfield Supreme the 2004 Dax International winner, and was 7th open Tarbes National Flying Club in 2012. The third pigeon taking 14th Open is also a granddaughter of Southfield Supreme and she was 2nd open Tarbes National Flying Club in 2013. The fourth pigeon is also a grandchild of Southfield Supreme and was on the day from Agen two weeks earlier. Mark clocked a total of eight pigeons to take 1st, 3rd, 14th, 25th, 37th, 45th, 56th & 57th Open.