The city of Marseille is
the second largest city in France
and was founded by the Greeks in 600 B.C. .Unlike the previous week's
International race from St Vincent,
Marseille race is one of the most difficult International races in
British pigeons compete. This is due in no small measure to its
location in the far south east of France on the Mediterranean
The late Stan Biss mastered the conditioning of pigeons for this
as can be witnessed by his incredible record of, I believe, 15 BICC
this race point. The 2013 event attractedan entry of 103 birds from 31UK lofts. The terrific heat wave
that the UK and
most of Western Europe had
experienced in the weeks leading up to the Marseille
race weekend continued during the course of the race with temperatures
90's Fahrenheit. It would take a very brave pigeon superbly conditioned
task in hand to prevail under the relentless heat.
Race day arrived and with a 6 am liberation
19th July, the convoy had the help of a light easterly influence in the
which was forecast to turn south east over parts of the course. The
to be recorded was at Olonne sur Mer on the west coast of France
Sables at 4.54 pm followed by a second bird to a fancier in the same
4.58, these birds recording velocities in the 1090's
mpm. Further birds were then recorded
just after 5 pm more than 200 miles to the north east atMandelbachtal and Forbach in south west Germany near the French border and
some 50 kms to the
east of the French city of Metz.
Further birds were recorded in Picardy in North East France and so,
day birds were not initially expected to make it into the UK, there seemed to be a slight possibility that
some might make it accross the English Channel and back home to
"Blighty" by nightfall on the first day.
However, this was
not to be and so it was an early start for the participants on
second morning of the race. This proved to be a demolition job for
the East section who took 19 of the first 20 positions in the Open
David Hales of Hockley in Essex
was the first to clock and this proved to be the eventual winner of the
flying 637 miles to its home loft. David has an excellent record on
International races and this season alone he has clocked birds to take
Barcelona,9th Open Pau International and now 1st& 8th Open
David races his pigeons on the traditional widowhood
system and never shows the hens to the widowhood cocks before the race
hens are always awaiting the cocks on their return. The Marseille
winner is a
four year old containing all the best of the late Stan Biss's Bassi
on the sire's side of the pedigree and David's BICC Dax winner as grand
the mother's side. The widowers are fed communally in a hopper and have
before them 24/7. David mixes his own food using Gerry Plus, super diet
various seeds and adjusts the feeding as he sees fit. The preparation
Marseille saw the cock entered in one inland club race followed by
races from Alencon
and Argen with
the BICC where he was first bird to loft on both occasions. He also had
Pithviers race with the EECC and then it was just a case of voluntary
exercise in the lead up to basketting for Marseille.
A full loft report on the Hales set up will appear in due
course. Congratulations David on yet another BICC Open win and you also
House of Aarden sponsored young bird.
In second Open is a real cracker of a
pigeon raced by the
partnership of Mr & Mrs Rhodes who are ably assisted by Steve
younger brother Paul. The partners clocked the same chequer hen that
at 2nd Open Marseille in 2012. This four year old round about hen is a
daughter of Eric Limbourg's Joost. She was 65th Open BICC Pau
earlier this season and had been to two short channel races with the
her build up to Marseille. The Rhodes
feed Garvo Marathon to appetite and the birds are exercised once per
one hour and are allowed to do as they please during this period rarely
for more than 10 - 15 minutes at a time.
was clocked at the Basildon loft of
Underdown who also clocked a second bird on the third day to take 14th
John timed a four year old cock sent sitting 14 day eggs.He is bred from a Martin Greetham cock
containing the bloodlines of the successful Glossop fancier Jed
The dam was bred by Mr & Mrs George Bates of Gravesend in Kent.
build up for his tilt at Marseille the cock had cross channel races
Cannapeville, Pithviers and Alencon.
These conditioning races, allied to an open loft to come and go as he
brought the four year old into peak condition by the time of basketting
Marseille. All racers have access at all times to a hopper topped up
witha good widowhood mixture.
with not one but SIX good pigeons is the Wingham, Kent
loft of F.Knowles & son.
The active partner here is Simon who is a past winner of the Marseille
with the BICC and triple Europa Cup winner. Simon's birds take 4th,7th,
18th,19th & 21st Open. Simon and wife Sarah own the Malibu Stud
caters for all the needs of the local pigeon, poultry and horse
Sarah Knowles gives the following information on the birds that Simon
first bird is GB 08R 17218 chequer pied hen ' Little Pea' who was 1st
Marseille 2011 and 8th Open Marseille in 2012. His second was GB
31179 blue cock which has M. Parish bloodlines and has been 1st Open
of England Continental Club 2011 and 47th Open BICC Perpignan 2012.
third GB 09N 81023 chequer pied hen and is McClaren Southwell
has been 104th Open Argen 2011 and 66th Open Perpignan 2012. His
is GB 08R 17214 blue cock is Cyril Wells bloodlines and has been 43rd
Perpignan 2011 and 4th Open Marseille 2012. His fifth GB 09X 34780
was 21st Open Marseille 2012.
All of the above birds have been prepared withthree Bedhamptons with the Wingham Flying Club and 2 Pithiviers
E.E.C.C. All birds are raced on natural open hole and are fed on
mixed with peanuts, sunflower hearts and condition seed as and when". A
full loft report on Simon Knowles can be found on the BICC web site.
partnership of Dickie and son Steve Pearmain are fast building quite a
reputation for themselves in BICC International racing. At Marseille
clocked one of their team of hens to take 5th Section 5th Open to
their excellent record. Steve Pearmain gives the following details of
first bird "Regarding our blue hen we timed
yesterday for 5th open Marseille she has raced quite well before being
open Marsielle 2012.
year she had 2 prep racesand was 2nd
open East of England Continental Club Pithiviers 2 weeks ago.
is very fond of this hen and after she came from Marseille last year he
pencilled her in
for Marseille 2013 and he was well chuffed when she came!!
quality of the birds in the top 10 yesterday is outstanding many
of them with multi performances SUPERB.
days when pigeons were put to stock after one good performance
are gone, fanciers are now racing these good birds on
and true long distance champions are emerging."
comes in next with one to take 6th section 6th Open. Alan's lofts are
in the same compound as Simon Knowles at the rear of the Malibu Stud
complex. Alan's bird is a two year old red
chequer henbred from Brian Longs Red
bloodlines which was gifted toAlan by
his good friend Jamie Clarke.
and son partnership of Kevin and Lee Buddle are enjoying yet another
outstanding season of International racing with the BICC. Past winners
Pau International race when they clocked the only two birds on the day
UK winning 1st & 2nd Open, the Buddles have been clocking birds in
International races this season as if they were liberated just down the
Folkestone, such has been their outstanding team performances. In this
and Kevin clocked their good widowhood cock " Mike" which has the
following impressive list of performances.
writes:- "Mike" is a five year old cock and
he was clocked from BICC Pau International 5 weeks previous
winning 60th Open. "Mike" has previously won:-
BICC Marseille International 2011 594
24th Open BICC Perpignan International 2012 579 miles
37th Open Pau International 2011 544 miles
60th Open Pau International 2013 545 miles
64th Open Pau
International 2012 545miles and now Prov 9th Open BICC Marseille
He was bred
by our good mate and top pigeon
fancier Mike Mithchell and is bred from direct Herman Van Helmond
obtained by Mike from Belgium.
In preparation for Marseille International he was given EECC
1st May 136 miles, EECC Pithivers on 25th May 209 miles then into BICC
International 14th June 545 miles. 5 weeks rest with 220 miles trainers before being basketted for
2nd bird in the clock is an 8yr old hen we
call "Kendall" she was sent to BICC
Agen International 3 weeks Previous to Marseille being clocked and
131st Open BICC Agen 484 miles. She has previously won 34th Open BICC
2011 579 miles, 41st Open BICC Perpignan 2010 579 mles, 51st Open BICC
2009 548 miles, 131st Open BICC Agen 2013 484 miles. she has also flown
time but not clocked, BICC Pau 2008 545 miles, BICC Perpignan 2009
BICC Barcelona 2010 676 miles, BICC Barcelona 2012 676 miles
Our 3rd bird is a 5yr old hen that is a half
sister to "Amoy" our 2009 BICC Pau
All our birds are fed Versele-Laga Superstar
Plus with a little best all round added as the races get harder. also
sunflower Hearts are added in the evening".
terrific team performance from Lee and
Kevin taking 9th,12th & 15th Open.
a computer malfunctioncaused temporary
disruption to the updating of the provisional result but fortunately
this problem was resolved on
I prepare this report for publication news just in is that there is a
the west section to Terry Preddy of High Littleton. Terry clocked a
old widowhood cock which is 75% Preddy bloodlines with a cross of Geoff
Deweerdt. The Preddy lines contain the old Hansenne x Spangles through
father and uncle Vic Preddy. The sire of the west section winner has
Open Palamos and the dam is a daughter of Terry's 4th Open San
when crossed with a Cooper Deweerdt.
preparation for Marseille the cock had a couple of inland races
four channel races including NFC Tarbes three weeks before Marseille.
March he was allowed to rear a pair of youngsters before being put on
widowhood. The widowers are exercised twice daily for one hour and are
to do as they please. They are then fed individually in their boxes on
Laga Superstar Plus.
the time of writing this Terry's is the only bird recorded in the West
with no birds reported in the North section.
And finally news of a brand new £1000 trophy
the BICC by Jim Emerton. Jim has kindly donated THE
BARCELONA DREAM TROPHY-to be presented from 2013 onwards for the bird
the highest velocity over 750 miles, in race time in the blue ribband
International race. Jim comments "The
trophy is presented in order to recognise the patient skill of the
and the speed and endurance of the competing birds in the world's
pigeon race, and in remembrance of my own Barcelona Dream pigeon. The
be around one thousand pounds ,and is given freely to inspire
generations of Barcelona
fanciers"-Jim Emerton. There you go then marathon fanciers a
up for grabs each season. If that doesn't encourage competition at the
then nothing will. Many thanks to Jim Emerton on his continuedgenerous support of the BICC.
more International race from Perpignan
on 2nd August but first the Le
Mans race this weekend. Good luck to all.
David Hales 9th Open BICC Pau International 3rd Open Barcelona 1st Open Marseille all in 2013
1stOpen BICC MarseilleGB09N99490-layout
Mr & Mrs Rhodes & family 2nd Open Marseille with the same pigeon that was 2nd Open Marseille in 2012
Alan Annis 6th Open BICC Marseille
Dickie Pearmain with prov 14th Open BICC StVincent & 5th Open Marseille
John Underdown pictured with grand daughter Molly. John was 3rd Open BICC Marseille
Lee & Kevin Buddle of Dover are having another outstanding season of International racing including 9th Open Marseille