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Champion Murray's Dream Wins - The Kings Cup
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A DUNDRUM pigeon fancier had his dreams fulfilled when he won the Kings Cup, the sport’s blue riband race, at the weekend.  Archie Murray lifted the sport’s most prestigious honour when his five year old cock ‘Murray’s Dream’, flew home from Rennes in France, and finished ahead of the rest in what was an amazing coup for the Dundrum trainer.  The cock’s breeding is half Van Braeune through A.H. Bennett, England, a quarter Billy Walkingshaw, Killyleagh and a quarter John Channing, Newport Wales. This was the bird’s fourth race from France and when he arrived on Sunday morning at 5.50am Archie knew he was on a winner.Down Recorder 1998

A DUNDRUM pigeon fancier had his dreams fulfilled when he won the Kings Cup, the sport’s blue riband race, at the weekend.

Archie Murray lifted the sport’s most prestigious honour when his five year old cock ‘Murray’s Dream’, flew home from Rennes in France, and finished ahead of the rest in what was an amazing coup for the Dundrum trainer.

The cock’s breeding is half Van Braeune through A.H. Bennett, England, a quarter Billy Walkingshaw, Killyleagh and a quarter John Channing, Newport Wales. This was the bird’s fourth race from France and when he arrived on Sunday morning at 5.50am Archie knew he was on a winner.

Archie said “I have been racing pigeons for 30 years, and I never thought I would have bird good to win the Kings Cup.

Its a dream come true,” he remarked.

His son Patrick takes up the story, “I knew that we had a really special pigeon after we clocked “Murray’s Dream” in 1997 to take 19th Open INFC Old Bird National St. Nazaire (France) 505 mile. To me this was his greatest result, even better than winning the Kings Cup a year later”.

This result was made more remarkable because at the beginning of the 1997 racing season, even before “Murray’s Dream” had even been entered into a race, our birds were attacked by a peregrine falcon around the house and “Murray’s Dream” was injured flying into electric wires. As a result of this he wasn’t fit to fly or exercise around the loft for 4 weeks.

Once he did venture outside again for inland Irish races had already taken place. After slowly recovered from his injuries, he was nursed back to fully health again and gradually started to exercise again around the loft. This continued until he was flying in excess of an hour every time he was released. This soon became two hours and making us think that he had, fully recovered from his injuries.

After some deliberation it was decided to start training him again in the hope of perhaps sending him to the National once again, if everything was well. Before we could even contemplate this though he knew first we had to get him as race fit as possible in the time available.

He was started training at 5 miles, then 10 etc until he was at the 40 miles mark. As good luck had it an Arklow fancier called Joe O’Reilly who was visiting a neighbouring fancier called Eric Carlisle in Dundrum and it was arranged that he would take “Murray’s Dream” and two other pigeons we had for the French races back to Arklow and release them the following morning. We must thank Joe for taking good care of the birds and liberating them the following day as arranged.

On the Sunday morning “Murray’s Dream” and the other two birds arrived together all in excellent condition. Thus race preparation was now fully underway.

He was next entered into a comeback race in the East Down Combine from Dungarvin, two weeks later. This race turned out to be a head wind, which was what we had hoped for to give “Murray’s Dream” at least 5 hours fly. He arrived home in great condition and was our fourth bird home. The next day when we let him out he flew for an additional 30 minutes alone after the remaining birds had landed and this give us a good indication that the race had doe him a lot of good. After this he started ranging around the loft alone after the other birds had landed for up to an additional hour at times.

This made our minds up that we would send him to Saint Nazaire because he was now showing no sign of distress from his earlier injuries. This turned out to be a wise decision as we clocked him shortly after 8am on the second morning to record 19th Open. After this we decided we would have one last try with him at the King’s Cup, thinking with unhindered preparation he could on the right day win the race.

“Murray’s Dream” only received two channels races from Wales in his life, one from Talbenny as a yearling and the second from the Penzance yearling National were he ended up 2nd club, 7th South Down Fed (beaten by a loft mate). Any other time he competed in a channel race it was from France, having been only raced inland in Ireland prior to the race. He was always sent to the French races sitting 10-12 days on eggs, with the eggs being removed and replaced a 12 day youngster the night prior to basketing.

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Mourne Observer 1998

Pigeon Racing: Kings Cup from Rennes by Raymond Stewart

“I named the pigeon Murray’s Dream as I always thought it had the qualities of a winner. This is the third year in a row it had timed in the King’s Cup and there’s quite an interesting history with the bird.Pigeon Fancier Archie Murray Knows A Winner When He Sees One And He Has Good Reason To Wear A Contented Smile This Week.

He has just won the big race of the season, the King’s Cup from Rennes, and the success hasn’t come as too big a surprise to
the Dundrum man and his racing partner, son Patrick.
Their blue chequer five-year-old cock was a good bet to perform well in the race from France and Archie began to get
excited when his early Sunday morning vigil saw him race to the clock at 5.53am. “I didn’t exactly expect to win but I knew
he would go close” said delighted Archie as the partnership look forward to receiving their prize of a new car, around £4000
cash, an £800 clock and, of course the prestigious King’s Cup.

“I named the pigeon Murray’s Dream as I always thought it had the qualities of a winner. This is the third year in a row it had timed in the King’s Cup and there’s quite an interesting history with the bird.

ELECTRICITY WIRES

“Last year as we were preparing him for the King’s Cup when he hit electricity wires flying around the house after a peregrine falcon attack, which left the skin along his breast bone peeled back.. The peregrine probably scared him and in the panic he hit the wires. He lay up in the loft for three to four weeks, but recovered fully in enough time for us to prepare him and send him on to the 1997 St. Nazaire Kings Cup National. He finished 19th Open so we reckoned that if he did so well when he wasn’t one hundred percent fit then he was in with a good chance of winning the race if given the right preparation.””

“His training all year was geared towards the National race and when it was time to send him away, we knew he was in great condition, and all we could do now is wait and hope that the wind suited him.””

“The birds were released at 8.l5am on Saturday after a holdover and I was out at a quarter to four on Sunday morning waiting for him.” The “Dream” became a reality at 5,53am as Archie spotted him raced to the loft and by mid afternoon a phone call had confirmed their success.

GREATEST

Ronnie Johnston, from Dundonald, a past president of the Irish National Flying Club and regional editor of the Racing Pigeon, was first to give them the good news. “This is one of the greatest pigeons in the history of the National Flying Club” confirmed Ronnie. “It wins a Hall of Fame having been in the money three times from the King’s Cup.” It was 23rd in 1996, 19th last year and now a winner and that places it in the Hall of Fame’s top three. In fact, it is only the third bird in history of the Flying Club that the winning pigeon has also won a Hall of Fame in the same year.

“It’s certainly the achievement of a lifetime to win this race. It’s like the Grand National of horse racing and the World Cup of football, the one every fancier wants to win. And Archie’s pigeon won the race by two clear hours. I can’t emphasise enough how magnificent an achievement this is in an extremely difficult race.

SPECIALISE

Archie has been racing pigeons for 30 years and there are around 50 birds in the family loft at present. “I specialise in the long distance races while Patrick likes to race every week. There were 2,400 pigeons from all over Ireland in the King’s Cup race this year and only 20 were home within two days”, added Archie.

The winner his half Van Bruaene, quarter Channing and quarter Walkinshaw. The dam was down off two Van Bruaene pigeons originating from pigeons purchased from former Pau National winner A.H. Bennett of Shropshire, while the sire was from John Quinn, Clough. The sire was bred from a pigeon from Jim MC Call, Clough and one from Billy Walkinshaw, Killyleagh. This is the second time the Kings Cup has come to Dundrum with Eddie and Philip Connor the winners in 1978.

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THE Blue Riband Kings Cup race attracted a fantastic entry of 2,386 birds after the event’s switch back to Rennes, one of the most successful liberation points from France. Sunday Life 1998

PIGEON RACING SCENES
Murray’s take ~ the honours in Cup of woe


THE Blue Riband Kings Cup race attracted a fantastic entry of 2,386 birds after the event’s switch back to Rennes, one of the most successful liberation points from France.
But where did it all go wrong is the question most are asking?
A whole generation of long distance birds appear to have been wiped out over a tough race with no birds recorded in Ireland on the day and just under 20 arriving before dark the next. Most will await a report on the event and maybe a slight hope that some of the favourite birds will turn up over the next few days and weeks. From recent reports it appears that all south road organisations experienced difficult racing conditions. Indeed liberation was held up for a full day.

But the weather was virtually as forecast and, other than a moderate North West wind; there was no obvious reason for anything other than good racing.

Overall winners were the Dundrum partnership of Archie Murray and son, Paddy, who timed their great five-year-old Black Cheq cock at 5.53am. Sammy Hendry and Son from Carrick and District took 2nd Open INFC after timing at 9.3Oam and recording velocity 727 for the 489 miles.

The winner has a fantastic record from France. In 1995 he finished 13th Open East Down Combine OB Derby Dinard and in the Kings Cup, 23rd Open Rennes 1996 and 19th Open St Nazaire in 1997.
In 1998 the bird achieved a highly prized Hall of Fame Diploma for featuring three times in the Kings Cup result.

The Top 10 were as follows: A Murray and Son, Dundrum 837; S Hendry and Son, Carrick and Dist 727; N Thompson. Dunedin 691; P J Corcoran, Balbriggan 685; J Kirk. Ballyclare 660: S Murtagh and Sons, Armagh 658: A and E Bell, Springvale. 631: S Corrigan. Loughgall 584: J Greenaway, Bondhlll 560; D Benson, Derriaghy

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The 1998 King’s Cup race from Rennes proved to be one of the most difficult races from Rennes for many years, with no birds home on the day. However, the Dundrum partnership of Archie Murray and his son Patrick clocked their great blue chequered five year old cock now known as ‘Murray’s Dream’ at 5.53am on the second day of the race to win not only the King’s Cup an in excess of £3,500 but also a car, a timing clock, an electronic clocking system and one of the coveted Hall of Fame diplomas for being a prize-winner three times from the King’s Cup. A right royal win in Dundrum

The 1998 King’s Cup race from Rennes proved to be one of the most difficult races from Rennes for many years, with no birds home on the day. However, the Dundrum partnership of Archie Murray and his son Patrick clocked their great blue chequered five year old cock now known as ‘Murray’s Dream’ at 5.53am on the second day of the race to win not only the King’s Cup an in excess of £3,500 but also a car, a timing clock, an electronic clocking system and one of the coveted Hall of Fame diplomas for being a prize-winner three times from the King’s Cup.

‘Murray’s Dream’ has an outstanding record from France. As a two year old in 1995 he was 13th open East Down Combine from the Dinard the Old Bird Derby. In 1996 from Rennes Kings Cup with the INFC he was 23rd Open, 1997 from St Nazaire King’s Cup with the INFC he was 19th ‘Open and this year the top spot.

Many congratulations to the Murray’s on a magnificent performance and ‘Murray’s Dream’ as
this tremendous result flies into the record books.

1994 2nd club, 7th South Down Fed. Penzance Yearling National 286 milesA. Murray & Son
13/14 Church Avenue,
Dundrum,
County Down, N. Ireland
Tel. No (013967) 51713

Blue Chequer (Murray’s Dream)

IHU 93 N 36633

% Van Bruaene x ¼ Walkingshaw x ¼ Channing

1994 2nd club, 7th South Down Fed. Penzance Yearling National 286 miles
1995 1st club, 3rd South Down Fed. 13th Open EDC Dinard (France) 422miles
1996 2nd club, 2nd South Down Fed. 23” Open INFC Old Bird National Rennes (France) 460miles vel. 924ypm 1067 members sent 2954 birds
1997 1st club, 1st South Down Fed. 19th Open INFC Old Bird National St. Nazaire (France) 505 miles vel. 733ypm 728 members sent 1901 birds.
1998 1st club, 1st South Down Fed, 1st Open INFC Old Bird National Rennes (France) 46Omiles vel. 887ypm 887 members sent 2386 birds.

Irish Hall of Fame winner. Winner of:- New car 13 clock Belgium electronic clocking system £5,000.

His son Patrick takes up the story, “I knew that we had a really special pigeon after we clocked “Murray’s Dream” in 1997 to take 19th Open INFC Old Bird National St. Nazaire (France) 505 mile. To me this was his greatest result, even better than winning the Kings Cup a year later”.
The cock’s breeding is half Van Braeune through A.H. Bennett, England, a quarter Billy Walkingshaw, Killyleagh and a quarter John Channing, Newport Wales. This was the bird’s fourth race from France and when he arrived on Sunday morning at 5.50am Archie knew he was on a winner.
Archie Murray with the Kings Cup at home in Dundrum
After receiving Kings Cup at the INFC presentation night at the Stormont Hotel Belfast 1998


Champion Murray's Dream
Blue Chequer IHU.93.N 36633
Sire and grand sire of winners

½ - Van Brueane
¼ - Walkingshaw
¼ - Channing

1995 - 13th Open EDC Dinard
1996 - 23rd Open INFC Rennes
1997 - 19th Open INFC St. Nazaire
1998 - 1st Open INFC Rennes

G. Sire: -
Blue Bar IHU 91 N 45210 being of ½ Fred Channing (Newport) x ½ Billy Walkingshaw (Killyleagh)

Not Specified
Not Specified
G.Dam: -
Blue Chequer IHU 86 N 08816

Pure Van Bruaene
Bred for stock

Dam of winners for us and others from 50 to 500 miles

G.G. Sire: -
Blue Bar GB 77 C 71314
Bred by A. H. Bennett
Pure Van Bruaene
G.G. Dam: -
Blue Tip IHU 81 N 07719
Pure Van Bruaene
1st club, 5th Open East Down Combine Dinard 422miles 

 

 

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HOMER
Tel/Fax (028) 256 44683
E-mail: reynoldshomer@aol.com

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