It was meant to be" Section "D"
Fancier of the year again
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loft layout of Jeff Greenaway the main Widowhood loft with
tiled roof, to its right the small Young Bird Section with
aviary in the middle Stall traps already installed. And above
the new Widowhood Hens loft with the open trap for in the
middle for a clear fly in.
Jeff Greenaway of the Hills & Maze HPS was once again crowned NIPA
Section D Fancier of the Year for the fourth time in the past five years
at the NIPA Ladies Night recently held at the Templeton Hotel on the outskirts
of Antrim town.
This man has flew out of his skin over the last five to six years, in
fact has topped the Section no less than thirty six times with the Section
covering Derriaghy, Dromara, Dromore West End, Dromore HPS, Dunedin, Dunmurry,
Glenavy & Dist, Hillsborough & Maze, Lisburn & District, Colin
and last but not least Largymore Inv HPS. With over 200 fanciers competing
they send an average weekly birdage up to and over 3,500 birds. Without
any exaggeration Section D is a hot bed for very many top class fanciers
and by no means is not an easy Section to win never mind topping the Open
that covers the whole of Northern Ireland.
Only last year Jeff finished 2nd Open on five different occasions flying
with the mighty NIPA with birdage topping 26,000 that’s what you
call bad luck this is flying pigeons at its best. When any fancier shows
as much dominance as this you always hear jealous whispers of he is doing
this and using this and using that. It was my intention since receiving
a Club result from Trevor Doherty of the Hills & Maze this year where
Jeff took nine out of the available ten positions that hardened my attitude
to insure I gave this man the recognition that he deserves by visiting
him and allowing you the fancy to see some of his top class pigeons, loft
layout and a bit of reading about the man behind it all.
In hindsight it was very stupid of me to try and fit in this loft report
on a Sunday morning before going onto work as unknown to me Jeff was more
talkative and informative than I had expected him to be. Very little has
ever been wrote about this man’s continuous achievements although
credit where credit is due fellow scribe and auctioneer Ronnie Johnston
(Irish Rover) covered Jeff on a couple of occasions namely the R.P and
For all the jealous whispers my advice is go and firstly see the loft
set up and then look at the team of pigeons that are not only winning
but producing winner after winner. That should satisfy everybody’s
curiosity without even asking about systems. I myself had an element of
curiosity how this man was starting to get pigeons returning together
in batches and ultimately taking section and open positions one after
the other as Jeff admitted himself this is something he never thought
was possible when he was reading about it in the pigeon weekly’s,
little did he know his own birds have performed the same fate for himself.
Jeff Greenaway is neither no stranger to pigeons or winning with them.
Racing with his father since he was a nipper they raced from the family
home in Banbridge under the partnership of W Greenaway & Son with
one of their major achievements (which were many) over the years, winning
the NIPA OB Derby from France in 1986. Billy (Jeff’s father) now
has the responsibility of looking after the stock birds for Jeff and spends
much of his time studying, selecting and preparing for the many successful
years to come hopefully.
A family man, Jeff has two lovely daughters Shannon (10) and Chloe (8)
a credit to Jeff’s wife Lisa. Two holidays a year are required to
keep the household happy which in turn makes his life easier with the
constant hustle and bustle about the house with the pigeons and his very
busy working schedule as an engineer with the family based business in
Lurgan which sees Jeff away from the family home up to 12 hours per day,
sometimes 6 days a week.
As well as an already very busy working and pigeon schedule Jeff likes
to visit the Continent as often as he can and admits that a lot of his
pigeon knowledge and more so his inspirations with regard loft layouts
have come mostly from loft visits in and around Holland and Belgium. It
is with these many visits abroad that has seen him and his wife Lisa build
up close friendships with some of the biggest names in the modern day
sport including :- Marcel Sangers, Louis Cooremans and Gerrard Koopman,
Jeff and Lisa have had the pleasure of Marcel and Gerrard staying with
them at the family home on the Lower Quilly Road outside Dromore. Rodney
Greer (Millfield Stud) and John Kirk are too other established fanciers
who grace the Greenaway household annually.
This year particularly
was a very testing time for Jeff and his Family with Jeff awakening
one morning in June with a tingling feeling in the right side of his
face he was wise enough to know it was an unusual problem and phoned
the doctor immediately who advised him to attend the surgery promptly.
Jeff had suffered with a lump in his neck for about 3 years, his local
GP had dismissed this as a cyst.
Having attended the surgery it was decided to carry out tests on this
supposed cyst as it was much larger than it had previously been and
the pain that Jeff was experiencing wasn't’t pleasant. Upon investigation
it was established that it was indeed a tumor that Jeff had in his neck,
surgery was organized along with all tests associated with the discovery
of any tumor. After a few weeks of waiting Jeff had his operation in
August to remove it and is making a speedy recovering with all tests
returning negative. Jeff would like at this opportunity to thank his
family for all their love and support, all his well wishers and the
many people who helped and volunteered to help with the pigeons.
Jeff’s success is mostly down to a pair of Mardon Van Reets that
as always come with a bit of luck and certainly fate. In 1993 Jeff phoned
Tony enquiring about buying 2 x pair of Van Reets and 1 x pair of Sootjens
upon asking what the cost would be Tony told Jeff £40 each to
which Jeff explained that he wanted the better pigeons with the bigger
price tag, to which Tony replied that all his pigeons were good and
they are all priced at £40. So the six pigeons were ordered with
delivery organized for his brother in laws house in England.
One Saturday morning he got the phone call that the pigeons had arrived
and duly arranged to have them shipped over. When they arrived one of
the Sootjens was to far down and died putting the other one of the pair
in the stock loft he left the Van Reets still in the Box on the kitchen
floor. A fellow fancier called at the house along with his wife and
upon asking what was in the box ! Jeff offered him one of the pairs
but scribbled all the ring numbers down on paper rolling them up asked
the gentleman’s wife to pick 2 pieces of paper. You can tell by
his approach that Jeff didn't’t really like what was in the box.
With the pairing’s broke up he put his pair into the stock were
they would be mated and produce absolutely nothing in the two seasons
to follow. So when his father asked Jeff one particular morning if he
still had the pair and would he be interested in selling them to a local
novice just starting out, without delay they were in a box with well
wishes for the new novice and no money was required but the gentleman
in question insisted on paying what they had cost Jeff. The fancier
in question stayed in the sport for a year or so and Jeff was offered
the pair back without having to pay but Jeff being Jeff sent the money
back with his father and Jeff had back the two Van Reets (you can guess
how delighted he was). Little did he know that this subsequent turn
of fortunate events was to catapult him to success as the pair were
re-mated and Jeff has never looked back, every single pigeon from the
pair has won at least 1 x Section some multiple Section winners with
the exception of the first pigeon raced from the pair when re-mated,
she has been named ‘Unlucky’ twice 2nd Section although
in the stock loft the first pair of pigeons of ‘Unlucky’
were two Blue Cocks winning 1st Section 3rd Open 24,000 birds 1st Section
9th Open 23,000 birds. Children are not only winning Section’s
but breeding Section Winners as well with a birdage of 3,000 + per week
in the Section.. Not forgetting taking prominent positions in the mighty
NIPA that covers the whole of the North of Ireland. As the heading reads
(It Was Meant To Be).
So as you can gather by now the stock loft is filled with the children
of the ‘ The Original Pair’ a total of six sons and five
daughters to which Jeff adds 2 or 3 new hens every year and any of the
Grand Children that merit retirement. Jeff is always on the look out
for new stock and is not afraid to experiment with new matings. Frank
Sheadder has supplied a few Sootjens and they have also kicked in with
one Pied Cock in particular responsible for 1st, 6th, 9th, 12th &
18th Open NIPA up to 30,000 Birds he has also Sired 3 x Section Winners.
When this cock was paired back to his own mother two late breds were
then mated back into his Mardon children and they have produced numerous
winners including 2nd Section twice beat with loft mates..
Three other pigeons worth a mention include a Heinz Willy Ritz hen obtained
from Brian Clayburn who when mated to a cock of the ‘The Original
Pair’ produced 2nd Open INFC Skibereen. Rodney Greer (Millfield
Stud) has also supplied a Janssen Hen that has more than made her mark
in the stock loft. Last but not least his good friend Marcel Sangers
supplied him with a Hen of the Schone Lichte when mated to the Xantia
in 1999 it again was mated into his Mardon family and have produced
winners galore including 4 x 1st Section winners.
As far as results go I will just list Section and Open positions over
the last couple of seasons, not taking anything away from the Club competition
as many outstanding fanciers fly within the Hills & Maze HPS.
2004 what a season 8 x 1st Sections and runner - up in the Open five
times here is a quick run down. Starting with the 1st O/B race from
Mullingar 2nd Section 99/1454 6th Open 15469; Kilkenny (2) 26th Section
150/3106; Tramore (1) 33rd Section 149/3220; Tramore (2) 1st, 2nd, 5th,
12th, 23rd, 38th & 40th Section 155/3550 20th, 23rd, 53rd &
86th Open 1390/28463; Rosscarbery Inland 21st Section 119/1064 136th
Open 1124/9559; Talbenny (1) 7th & 11th Section 140/2086 118th &
154th Open 1289/17358; Tramore 4th & 14th Section 41/470 38th &
130th Open 532/6465; Roscarbery O/B National 23rd Section 118th Open
1179/14575 that was all up Ireland then to start across the water with
Bude 1st, 21st & 26th Section 41/1302 12th & 118th Open 1042/9840
with a Mallow 5 Bird the same day the loft recorded a 1st & 5th
Section 63/253 2nd & 15th Open 623/2625; Sennen Cove 1st Section
112/1100 2nd Open 1032/8450 just beat for 1st Open by C & H Beattie
by .3 of a yard this was the same pigeon that won the Section finishing
12th Open from Bude on the Monday returning to Sennen Cove on the Thursday
of the same week nearly winning the Open he is now known as ’Back
To Back’. Finishing of the O/Birds the loft lifted 1st Section
also from the Penzance Classic.
Y/Birds 2004 was a rush job as the family just returned a few days prior
to the first race from holiday but none the less from Tullamore (3)
5th, 22nd, 28th, 41st Section 133/3374 42nd Open 1281/33,096; Kilkenny
(1) 7th, 35th & 41st Section 131/3384; Kilkenny (2) 19, 32nd &
42nd Section 133/3167 107th Open 1233/28,526; Tramore (1) 1st, 2nd,
3rd, 4th, 7th, 10th, 11th & 24th Section 129/2727 2nd, 4th, 5th,
6th, 21st, 36th & 40th Open 1198/25,172 the winner of this Section
and 2nd Open was from the Pied Frank Sheader Cock; Tullamore (1) Comeback
1st, 5th, 8th & 15th Section 41/901 5th 36th & 44th Open 487/9631;
Talbenny Y/B National 6th & 15th Section 64/400 127th Open 771/4865;
Mallow 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th & 15th Section 107/1898 2nd, 7th, 32nd
& 35th Open 911/15,137, the winning pigeon was a grand-daughter
of the ‘Original Pair’. The down side of last season must
have been the Rosscarbery Young Bird National with only one away a Blue
Cock in cracking form with the race in Mid Week Jeff as always was at
his work, he had planned for getting home in time but was in a state
of shock when the Cock arrived home early having received a mobile phone
call from his wife. At this stage Jeff was being re-routed from his
normal route home this disruption was to put another 20 minutes on his
journey time and of course Lisa never having clocked a pigeon before
was unsure what to do but was prepared should the pigeon have decided
to trap. But no chance approx. 35 minutes after the bird had arrived
Jeff pulled up and duly the bird trapped upon seeing it’s master
to finish 8th Section 38th Open 725/5,942 (should this have been a National
winner I wonder?). The final race as always was the INFC Skibbereen
National a race that the South of Ireland normally have a field day,
but to Jeff’s credit he clocked, this being the very first pigeon
bred of ’Back To Back’ to finish 25th North Section 80th
Open (all Ireland competing.)
With the health problems that Jeff encountered this year it only gives
more prestige to his achievement of winning the Section D Fancier of
the Year for the fourth time in five years. Results are as follows :-
Kilkenny (1) 3rd, 21st, 32nd, 34th & 42nd Section 138/2602 13th
Open 1236/25,214; Kilkenny (2) 2nd & 11th Section 143/2769 101st
Open 1277/26,120; This year the NIPA celebrated its 60th Anniversary
to which they held an extra race open to all members from Barley Cove
Jeff had a good result finishing 5th Section 35th Open; Pilmore Beach
was yet another good result taking 3rd Section and 15th Open with 25,500
birds competing. Rosscarbery Inland O/B National as always provides
a good opportunity for the Greenaway lofts this year was no different
winning 8th Section 43rd Open 989 members sending 8737 birds. The first
event of the Cross Channel programme seen them in Talbenny were the
loft finished 5th Section 128/1774 21st Open 14,973 and the following
week same race point 30th Section. Back again to Rosscarbery were good
fortunes continued 7th Section 19th Open 13,082 birds competing. Bude
and Mallow were once again run in conjunction from Bude 9th & 15th
Section 109/1181 57th & 107th Open 1010/9192. Mallow Five Bird 3rd,
9th, & 16th Section 58/258 9th, 32nd & 81st Open 650/2884. The
last race of the Old Bird programme for Jeff was Sennen Cove 2nd Section
116/1091 40th Open 976/7436 also finishing 26th Open in the Classic
Young Birds starting competitively minus the area liberations was a
race from Tullamore for Jeff 9th Section 111/2842 32nd Open 1137/27,772;
The following week again from Tullamore 37th Section. Another Section
win followed from Thurles taking 1st, 3rd, 9th, 13th , 14th & 15th
118/2613 5th, 8th, 17th, 23rd, 26th & 30th Open 1128/22,319. Thurles
(2) 6th, 10th, 18th, 23rd & 42nd Section 121/2517 25th, 48th, 84th
& 107th Open 1111/21,907; Thurles (3) 3rd, 6th, 7th, 11th, 13th
& 14th Section 55/668 8th, 17th, 18th, 34th, 44th & 46th Open
453/5157; Roscarbery Y/B National 13th & 14th Section 65/679 127th
& 142nd Open 679/6011; Tullamore on 03.09.05 the loft finished 8th,
10th, 24th, 27th, 35th & 41st Section 67/1340 86th, 95th & 163rd
There wasn't’t much difference in talking with Jeff to other top
fanciers re. systems and feeding used. Versa Lega High Protein, Widowhood
& Prestige are the mixtures. As far as the water goes he would add
Garlic, Tea and Gervit Multi Vitamins fresh grit and minerals are always
available. Widowhood are fed in their boxes. Young Bird feeding is measured
but not starved Jeff always likes to go in with them and sit and get
to know them with some extra mixture if required. Darkness is for 10
hours with the youngsters from 20.30 to 06.30 going on the system at
28 days old and coming off the system 1st week in June. Training starts
at 5 miles with a maximum of 20 tosses before the first race, out twice
a day for a fly around the loft (they are never forced) but are only
fed at tea-time. Something new once racing starts tossing stops. The
Widowhood is the same not tossed after racing starts and again not forced
to fly but what he did point out as soon as they land they are brought
in telling them who the boss is in a since.
What an array of lofts for these fine racers to be housed, theory, thought
and many improvements all carried out by the man himself. When entering
the South facing lofts you could feel the fresh air and freshness but
no smell of pigeons Jeff told me that this is made possible with much
of the fronts as open as possible but are covered by shutters if and
when required as obviously the rain and wind when attacking from the
south beats off the front, a paint job is a must most years. Electric
extraction through chimneys in the roof is always an extra help with
regards keeping the lofts as dust free as possible and keeping an even
flow of air remembering not to allow staleness to gather. I was also
informed that should the temperature drop to a certain level the heaters
would come on automatically. The main widowhood loft is situated at
ground level to house approx. 30 racers with the Y/Birds confined to
a spacious loft to the right of the widowhood loft divided by an aviary
solely for the Young Birds enjoyment.
Now that Jeff has his double garage built it was always his dream to
have a 1st floor loft so without delay he went about designing a loft
to go on top of the garage, and what a job he has done a 6 foot wide
Section on either side of an open shutter that must be 4 foot wide this
was the first year he has used the 1st floor loft keeping a few young
birds in each section either side of this huge open space, when looking
out through the gap what an amazing view at that height looking out
onto the country side. Thinking this was a lookout Jeff amazed me once
again by showing me what was behind the Section on either side he has
created 2 x widowhood sections at the back for the hens to race from
when mated to the some of the younger stock cocks, flying straight in
through what I thought was a look out post. Again design is very similar
to the loft that houses the cocks re. ventilation and heating. Its not
my loft but I am already looking forward to next year to see if this
improves Jeff’s already astounding results.
I will pen off by
wishing Jeff continued good health and hopefully many more Sections,
Sian a good 11 + result here’s hoping Chloe gets all she wishes
from Santa and thanking Lisa for her hospitality on my visit.
(Lisburn City & Around)
Email :- firstname.lastname@example.org
Tele. 028 92604778.
holding his super racer
'Back To Back'
Original Pair" Mardon Van Reet
This pair is responsible for 12x1st Section "D"
winners plus many more Section & Open positions
Cock GB 00H 02282 -
1st Section 20th Open 28,463 Birds
1st Section 52nd Open 24,217 Birds
2nd Section 5th Open 1825 Birds
3rd Section 12th Open Skibbereen National 4547 Birds
3rd Section 156th Open 22,261 Birds
5th Section 64th Open 24,708 Birds
7th Sction 93rd Open 16,764 Birds
14th Section 71st Open 26,959 Birds.
He is also Sire to :- GB 03H 11111 -
Section 6th Open 11,000 Birds
5th Section 15th Open Mallow Five Bird 17th Section 128th
Open 21,141 Birds.
GB 03H 11112 - 4th Section 38th Open 6465 Birds, 5th Section
53rd Open 28,463 Birds, 7th Open INFC Inland National 2004.
GB 05H 13301 - 1st Section 5th Open 22,319 Birds
01H 21985 - 1st Section 3rd Open Mallow 5 Bird 2002, 3rd Section
9th Open Mallow 5 Bird 2005, 2nd Section 23rd Open 28,463
Birds, 4th Section 22nd Open 5,725 Birds and 89th Open INFC
Skibbereen O/B National.
His Nestmate Positions:-
GB 01H 21984 - 1st Section 29th Open 20,034 Birds, 3rd Section
6th Open 5,725 Birds, 11th Section 114th Open 16,764 Birds,
11th Section 153rd Open 25,163 Birds, 21st Section 106th Open
26,959 Birds, 21st Section 136th Open 9,559 Birds.
These 2 nestmates are half brothers to GB 00H 02282.
Hen 19th Section 106th Open 21,417 Birds, 1st Section 14th
Open 22,023 Birds, 4th Section 22nd Open NIPA Y/B Derby 5,910
Birds, and then sent into the Skibbereen Inland Y/B National
to win 7th Section 14th Open 2,540 Birds
Cock Mardon/Heinz Willy Ritz - 9th Section 66th Open Y/B Derby
and then as before back to the Skibbereen Y/B National to
finish 2nd Section 4th Open.
is the last pigeon from the 'Original Pair' to be raced before
joining the rest in the stock loft :- Blue Hen :- 1st Club
2nd Section 14th Open 30,447 Birds, 2nd Club 2nd Section 59th
Open 24,809 Birds, 1st Club 1st Section 1st Open 5,725 Birds.
W/F Cock :- 50th Open Yearling National 2001, 1st Section
31st Open 16,324 Birds.
Cock :- 1st Section 3rd Open NIPA Mallow 5 Bird 1,825 Birds.
Cock :- 1st Club 1st Section 52nd Open 16,764 Birds, 14th
Section 71st Open 26,959 Birds, 5th Section 64th Open 24,708
Birds, 2nd Section 5th Open 5 Bird Championship.
constructed for Young Bird enjoyment only.
Y/Bird Section already some of the cocks are keen and taken
new Widowhood Hens Sections under construction above the garage.
young Jeff Greenaway holding his prized Blue Cock outside
his fathers loft.
Sangers and Gerrard Koopman enjoy lunch at Jeff & Lisa's
home on one of their many visits.
Greenaway enjoying the a laugh with Marcel Sangers
(L) enjoying a beer with some friends at the house of Louis
Cooreman. Louis Cooreman centre.