Carentan 12th september

The final race of the 2020 season for the Midlands National Flying Club was the Don Macay Memorial young bird race held from Carentan in France on the 12th September. The convoy of 1373 young birds which were entered by 152 members were liberated at 9:45am into a light south to south west wind. The wind in the channel and mainland UK was forecast to be mainly westerly with continuously improving broken skies as the day progressed. The overall winner was Peter Hardman of Rochdale who got his first pigeon fifteen minutes earlier than he had expected and recorded an average winning velocity of 1401 yards per minute.

Peter’s began in the sport around 20 years ago although like many fanciers, his first love was working dogs. He used to have a run of kennels in his garden up until the hunting ban came in force, which is when he decided to take up pigeon racing and dismantled his kennels to build the pigeon loft which is still in use today. His first pigeons were the M & D Evans Vandenebelle bloodlines based around the famous “Jester” & “Carrie” lines, with which Peter bred very many winners for himself and others, although in recent years he can be seen at selective sales accompanied by his good friend Henry Grey, where the two fanciers will each buy for their own individual stock lofts, and breed young birds for each other off them to race. They recently have birds bred down from “Wayward Lad” among others between them and they are constantly looking to improve their middle distance lines. Peter said all his eight entries in to the MNFC race were bred for him by Henry, as he himself did not breed too many this season. 

His winner in the MNFC Carentan young bird race is a blue cock out of a Van Loon sire when paired to a hen of Kurt & Raf Platteeuw bloodlines. He was in excellent condition, of medium build and very calm, which is often a sign of intelligence in the pigeon and a very attentive fancier. The young bird team are flown mainly to the perch, although the box perches can be adjusted to provide nest boxes when required, and they will have been allowed to play together in the build up to the race. Peter said he does not have much success with youngsters actually going through the nest process and are better playing at it rather than actually sitting for their motivation. When inspecting the pigeons wing I noticed he had almost regrown his first flight and was due to throw his second, which is a well known condition for a good result. Holding back the moulting of these primary flights until late in the season requires skill and dedication. Even in this uncertain season, fanciers like Peter will have been ensuring the young bird loft was darkened for more than 14 hours per day, for nearly three months from early April, through to mid June; in order to have their young birds in the best possible condition for the National races held in September.

Peter feeds a Vanrobaeys mixture and trains his young birds twice per week, once from “Astbury Pigeon Supplies” near Congleton, a distance of around 35 miles and the other from Penkridge marking station which almost double the distance at 60 miles for the birds. He began the young bird season with 52 youngsters and has 35 left to carry over into the yearling stage, when he usually races them on the roundabout system. 

Rochdale is a large town in Greater Manchester, situated at the foothills of the South Pennines in the dale on the River Roch. It is close to Saddleworth Moor and the local fanciers speak of the main line of flight for the racing pigeons being along the valley through these hills. Peter competes in the North West section of the MNFC as well as Sect L of the NFC and enjoys success in both these major clubs. Indeed, just the week before his MNFC win he scored 2nd Sect L in the NFC young bird race from Coutances. Peter would like to congratulate all the section winners and the everyone involved in the running of the Midlands National Flying Club.

News and views to me Chris Sutton on 01530 242548 or 07792 356330 email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Peter Hardman 1st Open MNFC Carentan YB 2020Peter Hardman 1st Open MNFC Carentan YBPeter Hardman 2nd Sect L NFC Coutances 1st Open MNFC Carentan