Mr & Mrs D Waterhouse, Portsmouth.
The National Flying Club Saintes winner for 2014 is a cross family breeding with a distant common ancestry. This came about because Dave, who had previously won second open in the 2009 Sun City One loft Final admired the achievements of Gerard Koopman who had won third place in the same race. Dave studied his birds and methods and decided to acquire pigeons that originated from the Kline Dirk. So when he saw a hen of this breeding for sale on the Elimar website, he placed the winning bid for a her.
He then went to a Les Green Auction, when Jacob Poortvliet presented some birds for sale and bought a couple of those, which he combined with the “Kline Dirk” hen to produce his National winner, from Saintes, made very difficult by the high temperatures and head winds experienced on the day.
Dave had estimated the pigeon’s arrival to be around 9 hours after the liberation and he duly came, right on line and hit the loft with such determination that Dave knew he was going to be highly placed. Indeed he had won first prize in his previous Federation race, and earlier in the season being, 10th, 12th and twice 30th Federation, so he was heavily pooled for the Saintes National race.
After racing most of the season on the roundabout system, Dave decided to re-couple his race birds with a view to two particular races. The first one, being with the Central Southern Classic from Bergerac, which resulted in him winning first open and the second one, with the National Flying Club from Saintes, also winning first open!
The NFC Saintes winner, now called “Sonny’s Lad”
Dave had also bred and raced another very good Poortvliet pigeon called “Lisa’s Lad” who won first section 5th open NFC Saintes and first section 5th open NFC Carentan, first section 6th Open BBC Carentan and 22nd Section 62nd Open Messac winning over £2000.
Lisas Lad was bred by Dave from a pair of Poortvliet pigeons bought at the Les Green Auction who are now called “The Ace Pair’ after being responsible for 5 first section winners, an Ace Pigeon in The Opportunity One Loft Race. Also the pigeon that won the Central Southern Classic Bergerac race, only bird on the day, after flying 13 hours, is called “Lone Soldier” and is half brother to “Lisa’s Lad”. Also the lofts second pigeon from Saintes is a son of “Lisas Lad” proving the “Ace Pair” truly deserve their title.
He was a little apprehensive about re coupling the pigeons as he believed they would not exercise enough to keep race fit so he continued to race them in the Federation in the weeks in between the major races. He also gave them a few training tosses during the week and then on open hole whilst driving and incubating.
Being previously paired in December, and given youngsters to rear from the stock loft before being separated for the roundabout system, the yearlings were then re-coupled for Saintes and the older pigeons re-coupled for Bergerac, which was four weeks earlier. The yearlings were given unlimited access to food whilst coupled because youngbirds from the older pigeons were being reared.
There were very few pigeons timed on the day of liberation and a very anxious wait for news of the win followed the next. Once all the sections in the National Flying Club were verified and the winning velocities calculated, Dave could breath a sign of relief when he received a phone call from the Secretary to confirm and congratulate his win.
Dave’s neat garden loft hold an elevated position to the rear of his house and is of pent roof design with louvers above the nest boxes to allow free flowing ventilation to the rear. The inmates were in immaculate condition and a high level of detail is evident in his management of the pigeons. He awakes at 4am every morning and will road train his pigeons before work, also giving them an hours loft exercise in the evening. He likes youngbird racing and is looking forward to the youngbird National races in a few weeks time.