BICC SPRING NEWS REPORT
In beginning this report I would like once again, to thank our secretary Carol, Chairman Albi and President John Tyerman along with Mick Bunney and the other hard working officials and committee personnel who made the recent annual presentation weekend such a memorable and successful occasion. I have spoken to many people who were at the Queens Hotel on that weekend and they have all stated quite openly that it was the best presentation that they have attended, so much so that many intend to be there again next year - win or lose. First timers commented that the atmosphere was more akin to a large and friendly family gathering. I should point out at this stage that this year's event attracted a massive attendance of 175 people with a number being disappointed as they were just too late in ordering their tickets. It may well be that we may, in the future, have to look for a larger venue such is the rapid expansion of the club's membership and the growing popularity of the annual dinner and presentation weekend. We have attracted 119 new members already and this with more than two months to the start of the season, when there is usually a last minute rush for membership. I have also been informed that there is renewed interest from "north of the Border" and that one new member from Scotland is none other than John Hodgson from Annan , who is a seven times winner of Scottish National races. Welcome aboard John. Unfortunately, John's wife Gail, suffered a serious accident at home recently and I'm sure I speak on behalf of all the officials and members of the BICC as well as fanciers Nationwide, in wishing Mrs Hodgson a full and speedy recovery.
I have included here the President and Chairman's annual report which will appear in the members' 2014 handbook
President and Chairman's Annual Report
2013 was another very good year for the BICC with an increase in Club Membership and the added bonus of Geoff and Catherine Cooper winning the prestigious Pau International race; - indeed our members took an incredible first four Pau International positions, so well done to Geoff and Catherine; Darran and Des McFadden; Mark Gilbert and Colin Draper. This stunning UK victory will go down in International history and is something every fancier dreams about. There must be many members who would like to see their name way up in the International results so we would encourage you all to have a go this year.
Last year we purchased and paid for a new transporter which we had racked out to our BICC specifications. Many of you have commented on the good condition of your returning race birds and as you know the pigeons are not overcrowded and do have plenty room with access to food and water on both sides of the crates. The side net ventilation curtains allow a good supply of light and fresh air. Chief Convoyer Trevor Cracknell and his deputy Steve Adamson do a sterling job in looking after the pigeons so our thanks to them.
The 2014 race programme now incorporates an old bird race along with the young bird Nationals so it gives members the opportunity to send older pigeons that bit later in the season. Remember this is your Club and you can at any time give your race programme thoughts to the Secretary who will put them before the Committee for discussion. This year there was strong representation from the Kent and Essex members to hold the 2nd Young/OB bird race from Falaise and your Committee voted and agreed to this.
The Club is financially sound thanks to our Treasurer Russell Bradford who keeps a very close eye on expenditure and I know he will cover various points in his report. We made a good profit this past year and your Committee has decided to increase prize money for the 2014 season. Our thanks go to Russell and his wife Clare who, along with Carol Francis also run the BICC stand at the Epsom Show, which this year will be November 1st.
Every good Club needs an efficient Secretary and it cannot be an easy task to cope with around 16 National and International races so on your behalf we would like to thank Carol for all her hard work during the year. This year the new 'on line' verification system should make it easier for Carol to quickly collate an interim race result.
Race reporting is done by Gareth Watkins and we are indeed very fortunate to have such a professional and enthusiastic Press Officer who works very hard to ensure maximum publicity for the lucky winners and the Club in general.
Many of you will have been concerned to read various reports in the fancy press concerning the use of Drugs/Performance Enhancing Substances (PES) in racing. Your Committee take these matters seriously and for the 2014 season random PES testing will take place at marking stations ??? and this may also involve visiting lofts to take samples from pigeons after the race has been flown. These procedures will be carried out by 'Authorised BICC Officials' operating under RPRA rules and your co-operation is requested. Knowing that such tests will be undertaken will hopefully also act as a deterrent to any 'would be cheats'
Club membership is now in excess of 1300 and we continue to grow, with fanciers in both Scotland and Ireland now joining the Club. You are all very welcome and we wish you good success in the forthcoming season.
Lastly our sincere thanks to all the Officials who run the Club marking stations, as without them we would not function.
John Tyerman (President)
Albi Deacon (Chairman)
The BICC Sponsors in 2014
Russell Bradford gives the following information regarding the continued generous support of our sponsors.
Many of the BICC's Sponsors feature in adverts in this year's handbook, but we would still like to acknowledge their generosity, and continuing support.
The Committee of the Entente Belge has generously donated special first prizes to the winners of the BICC International races from St Vincent and Perpignan to include free Dinner tickets to the Presentation evening in December 2014 at Wevelgem in Belgium. (Date to be advised)
Lesley & Steve Wright from the House of Aarden have kindly offered one August hatched young bird, for the winner of each of the International Races. The value of these birds will be from £250 to £450 each, and are August hatched because their Principal cocks are on the semi-bull system, but are allowed to rear the last round of the season.
Brian Wall of Gem Supplements kindly supplies the corn for all the races where the birds spend a night or more in the crates. Brian has this year donated the Gem Supplements Trophy for the second 'Any-Age' race.
Meriden Health - the makers of Orego Stim have sponsored the club with both a paid advert, and bottles of Orego Stim to the 2nd, & 3rd, places of each section in the first four Old Bird National Races. The retail value of the product amounts to over £500.
This year the club is very pleased to announce that Chris Sutton, continues into 2014 as our "Official Photographer" ~ and will be travelling to where ever the winning pigeons might be this coming season, in order to take their photograph, and furthermore will again present the winners with a framed photograph.
The cost of advertising is not inconsiderable, and we are grateful to both "The Racing Pigeon" & "The British Homing World" for discounting the cost of all of the BICC's race results
A magnificent donation of £1,000 was gifted to the BICC in 2013 by Jim Emerton which allowed the club to purchase a silver cup, weighing in at 22 troy ounces and dated 1890. Almost needless to say this superb trophy titled "The Jim Emerton Barcelona Dream Trophy" is to further promote UK competition from Barcelona.
DRUG TESTING MEETING OF SPECIALIST CLUBS.
Following on from the decision initiated and enthusiastically driven forward by the BICC committee to apply a drug testing protocol for the coming season , a meeting was recently convened and was attended by officials of the various specialist clubs with the aim of formulating a common drug testing policy.
This is what BICC President John Tyerman had to say about the meeting:-
"Albi, Mick Bunney, John Wills, Russell and myself attended the Drugs/PES meeting at Cherwell valley on 5th march. Albi chaired the meeting which was attended by many delegates from most of the National and Classic Clubs. BICC had, via Lee Fribbins, also managed to arrange for Top Vet Dr Henk de Weerd to attend the meeting and he was able to answer many questions and queries from the delegates. The RPRA banned substance list was discussed and Henk confirmed that very little research had actually been done in relation to effects of such substances in pigeon racing. He suggested this was important and is willing to conduct future trial tests in his laboratories keeping us fully informed of results. One delegate raised the issued of warnings on products and suggested a type of 'kite mark approval' could be put onto the labels of advertised products.
Delegates were also told that in 2014 the IHU were likely to be using an Internationally recognised laboratory in Belfast that can now detect drugs and other substances from feather samples. However at present delegates are aware that UK Clubs are mainly governed by the RPRA rules so faeces samples would continue to be taken in accordance with their guidelines either at marking stations or from winning birds after the race. Ex BHW Editor, Mr David Glover was elected Secretary of The Alliance of Specialist Clubs and all those Clubs in attendance agreed to Unite under this banner to continue moving forward to eliminate possible cheats who may be using banned substances to enhance the performance of their birds There is a future meeting to discuss the drug issue in Brussels in late March, which Garry Dakin, Mike Lakin , Mike Bunney and John Tyerman may attend, once more details are received regarding the format and full agenda.
Everyone felt it was a very worthwhile meeting and hopefully we can now continue to work together and move forward with a united front under the banner of the ' Alliance.' " A comprehensive account of the business discussed at the meeting will, no doubt, have been published before this report "sees the light of day".
A BICC Committee meeting has been called for Saturday 29th March which unfortunately I will not be able to attend. However, I will keep members informed on the business carried out on their behalf.
Finally, I have also included with this report a number of photos taken at the recent BICC presentation plus photographs of all the National and International race winners within the BICC during the 2013 season. Who knows one of your pigeons could be featured here this time next year - you'll never know if you don't compete.
Wishing all members a good season of racing in 2014.
Adam Turrell who had a good year with the BICC including 19th Open Pau International,17th Open Agen International and 7th Open Perpignanat theBICC_Presentation
Colin Draper 4th Open Pau INternational at the BICCPresentation
Doug Gatland 2nd Open St Vincent at the BICC Presentation
Jeff Lyden one of the stalwarts of the BICC flanked by two lovely ladies at the BICC_Presentation
Meg Murray one of the UK's top lady fanciers at the BICCPresentation
Some more of the Kent contingent
Some of the Kent contingent at the BICC dinner
The top four in the Pau International result
The Welsh table at the BICC dinner
Two lovely ladies at the BICCPresentation - Jan Deacon & Linda Tyerman