The Up North Combines 2014 racing season started on Saturday 4th April, the first transporter arrived at the Selby (Bubwith) race point at 10.30pm and the last vehicle pulled in at 00.17am.
The forecast was giving a lot of cloud and that was what we got at the start of Saturday morning, it was a case of waiting for the brightness to hit the sky, with it coming just before lunch which enabled group 1 being liberated at 10.45am into a North-North-West wind, Group 2 was on its way at 11.00am and followed by group 3 at 11.15am. Things were going well when group 4 were up and away at 11.30am, with excellent visibility, well broken cloud and sunny intervals. But there was a 30 minute delay before group 5 strings were cut at 12.00pm due to heavy cloud build up, and group 6 went up at 12.15pm, all groups left reasonably well in the cold North – North - West wind. For the very first time this season, I will be covering the Teesside Federation race results, the Fed have moved out of Section 6 and moved back into Section 5 which a number of members have wanted to do for a few years. The Fed is now down to four Clubs, Steve Wheatley Snr is the secretary of both Beechwood & Easterside and the Fed, and I wish the lad well in his new post. Keith Perkins is the secretary of Billingham T U, while Nev Evans is the Haverton Hill Secretary and Ian Brown is the Middlesbrough secretary. Now onto the Selby result, starting at Billingham T U where Ali McLeod assisted by his wife Linda got off to a winning start after timing a couple of birds to win a top draw 1st and 2nd Club, 1st and 2nd Fed from an entry of 629 birds. With the pole position winner being a 3y blue hen who covered the 56 miles in 1 hour 19 minutes to record a top vel of 1257. The winning hen who is recording her second win is out of some of Ali’s best birds, her Sire is a G/Son of “Blue Diamond”, while the Dam is a G/Dtr of Koen Minderhounds famous “Gaby 103”, the winning hen is the full sister to Ali’s best ever racing hen “05 TEE 1111”. The blue card scoring yearling blue Gust Janssen x Gaby Vandenabeele hen who was 27 seconds behind the Federation winning hen knocked up a vel of 1250, her Sire being a Gust Janssen from Clive Lister of York. The hen was 3rd Club out of the young bird Maidstone National, while her Dam was a 1st Club young bird Maidstone National winner before being put to stock. Ali timed another seven of his entries in the space of 17 seconds to chalk up a very nice 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Fed on 1179 (x2), 1178 (x2), 1177 and 1175 (2x). Ali topped the Fed three times in 2014 with his first Fed win being achieved at the Eastbourne (1) National when there were 1,140 birds competing, with the chart-topper going onto score a most impressive 3rd UNC from a convoy of 16,708 birds. Fed win number two came at Melton Mowbray (3) against 1,213 birds, and the lads third Fed win was at the Eastbourne (2) National when there were 900 birds away, with the winner going onto chalk up 47th UNC from a convoy of 12,050 birds. Ali has flown a very good Pigeon over the years winning numerous Club and Fed averages and scoring some very impressive UNC positions, he is also the previous winner of 1st Up North Combine old bird Folkestone National in 1991 from a convoy of 22,375 birds when flying in the partnership of Ali McLeod & Keith Perkins.
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