Jeff Greenaway, Dromore HPS
It has been my pleasure to have featured this loft several times before and the sheer consistency since my last visit several years ago has been out of the top drawer. The loft in question is Jeff Greenaway who flies in Dromore with the NIPA. The Greenaway loft is in Section D a very strong and competitive Sect. 2012 saw him Sect Fancier of the Year and this is the sixth time he has won this coveted title. Just for the record his Points Total for winning Sect D was the highest of any Section during the 2012 season. Pigeon racing is in Jeffs blood as his grandfather was an excellent fancier and then followed his father, racing as W Greenaway & Son in Banbridge. From 1993 Jeff raced in Hillsborough & Maze and was several times Sect D Fancier of the Year.
Married to Lisa he was always on the look-out for the ideal spot and was soon to find it on the Lower Quilly Road, Dromore. He continued to race will Hills & Maze until 2009 when he joined Dromore HPS, and in his first year was again Sect D Fancier of the Year. In a loft of this quality one is going to view a lot of class pigeons and I was not disappointed.
During the 90s one of the most popular strains in the UK were the Mardon Van Reets and Jeff decided he would order a few from Tony who he knew quite well. When they arrived he was not really struck on them and at the end of the season he had only a pair left. Davie Robinson was at the time looking for Van Reets and Jeff decided to part with the pair, a Blue cock and a Blue hen. A stroke of good fortune was to come Jeffs way when the Mardon Pair came back to him.
I am not going into detail on the many winners they have bred right out to 400 plus miles, because space is at a premium but they have become famous as Greenaways No 1 Pair. Jeff also had the Soontjens from Tony Mardon and Frank Sheader. These pigeons have played a major part in the success of this loft but Jeff is always looking for the right type of pigeon to include in his family.
I will come back for some of the class pigeons that have been brought in over the past few years but I want to highlight his performances from the last two YB National races of 2012. First up was the NIPA Rosscarbery Nat and the Greenaway loft won 8th, 9th & 10th Open and had no less than nine birds in the Open Result. The final race of the 2012 season was the INFC Skibbereen YB Inland Nat. Jeff was to go one better than the Rosscarbery Nat this time having ten birds in the Open Result from an entry of 3,423 birds. The result was 3rd, 26th, 35th, 37th, 59th, 65th, 67th, 102nd, 152nd & 178th all these positions are from the North Section. Jeffs 3rd Open INFC winner made a velocity of 1503, South Sect winner 1349, Middle Sect winner 1399, with Jeffs 10th pigeon recording velocity 1405.
2012 was a magical season for the Greenaway loft, and the young birds flew out of their skins, 2012 was his best ever season? Not really as in 2004 the loft won 8 x 1st Sections, 5 x 2nd Open NIPA, five Sect wins with OBs and three with YBs. At the NIPA Open level 3 x 2nd Open by Old Birds and 2 x 2nd Open with Young Birds.
Jeff thought it was a close call but 2012 may just have been his best season with the YBs as he won NIPA Sect D Fancier of the Year with the young ones. The star YB of 2012 has to be a Blue cock now named Mick and that for a reason. Jeff was to experience a toss that we all dread with the youngsters, just as he liberated a hawk hit them and they scattered. The Blue cock ended up in the lofts of Gold Medal winner now named Mick Conlon of Banbridge, hence the name Mick. Jeff gave him time to settle before starting to train him and Mick went on to win 8th Open NIPA Rosscarbery YB National and the following week 3rd Open INFC Skibbereen YB National.
The loft set-up is one of the best I have ever seen and one can see right away, they have been designed with the pigeons health in mind. A new Young Bird loft has been erected since I was last at his house and the German cleaning method installed. The perfect loft set-up is only one part of the jigsaw to get the best out of your pigeons, as is the feeding. Jeff only feeds top quality grains regardless of price and the majority would come from Beattie & Son of Portadown, Versele Laga.
The quantities and mixture used would be adjusted to the season, YBs are now in the nest and fed Versele Laga super breeding mixture. Jeff likes to keep everything as simple as possible about the loft but treats for canker, cocci plus vaccinates for paramyxo. The natural products used would be cider vinegar, garlic and tea from the Herbots range.
This fancier runs a very successful business some 30 miles from his home and during the racing season is in the loft by 5.00am before leaving for work by 6.30am. Home in the evening by 6.00pm he sees to the birds before he has his dinner, now thats dedication. Jeff makes various items for the loft super ETS Traps, and all sizes of Aviaries, and they are class.
Training gets under-way for the OBs about three weeks before the opening race. The OBs may have up to five tosses but the YBs would get double that. Jeff does all the training himself and likes to keep them to about 30 miles, far enough in his opinion. I was not surprised to learn that both OBs and YBs fly very well at home. To judge a top loft I am always anxious to learn if they race well for fanciers who have acquired them. Lets look at three top fanciers who have raced Greenaway pigeons in different parts of the country, County Down, Belfast and Mid Ulster.
I will start with Wesley Sawyers of Banbridge who purchased a son of the No 1 Pair (Van Reet) this pigeon went on to breed a lot of good pigeons. The best a Blue cock who flew France four times, Dinard twice and Vannes Kings Cup twice and was an Open prize-winner in three of them. He was in the Kings Cup result twice winning a Merit Award, Wesley sent a Blue hen to the Sub City race and she was 4trh in the World Average series.
Next we go to Belfast and the lofts of Joe Smyth & Son who race with Grosvenor HPS, a member of the Ulster Federation. Joe has raced the Greenaway pigeons for a few years now and they have been very successful for him. 1st Club & 1st Open Ulster Fed Penzance was won for the loft with a Greenaway Van Reet. A lovely Pied hen was clocked from the INFC Penzance YB Grand Nat and the INFC Sennen Cove Yearling Nat. Joe achieved a super result from the Ulster Fed Skibbereen YB Derby when he took the first nine in the Grosvenor HPS (Club Record) and four were Staf Van Reet from Greenaway. In 2012 vJoe and wife Linda selected three for the INFC Yearling Nat and went on to clock all three in the Open prize list, two were Van Reets from Greenaway.
The final loft flying the Greenaway pigeons are the McGimpsey Bros of Ards HPS, Eddie McGimpsey bought a Blue Pied cock that Jeff presented to Comber for a YB Sale, when Jeff went to collect the young bird Jeff gave him a young hen to make up the pair. The breeding was Frank Sheader Soontjens and contained the lines of the famous 601. This was the start for the McGimpsey Bros and many good pigeons came from Greenaways. They produced some very special pigeons for the brothers such as Refuse to Bend, Back to Back, Duke and The Navigator, all these pigeons contained the lines of Soontjen, Van Reet and Sanger.
Jeff continues to search for the right pigeon to purchase and makes few mistakes. The Herman Ceusters are only new to the loft in 2010 and sourced from John Wheatcroft, the man who has the best contacts in Europe. They have been an immediate success and won up to NIPA Open and INFC National level, I see a big future for them in the Greenaway loft!
Jeff has had a close friendship with Sheldon Leonard for a number of years and has his best, what does the future hold for the Greenaway loft? Well I think he will look to improce his National performances a made a good start in 2012 being an Open prize-winner in the NIPA St Malo OB Nat getting two from two sent.
Mark Gilbert has sent him several top pigeons from the Euro Diamond bloodlines and knowing Jeff, he will get the best out of them. Jeff and his father are eagerly looking forward to the 2013 racing season and I wish them every success.
The YB season for the loft was outstanding and the following are the performances of some top YBs. The YB team won a total of 86 Open and 86 Sect prizes in 2012.
Mick GB12D-06831 won the following: 1st September 27th – Sect D and 29th Open Tullamore (9,167b), 8th September – 25th Sect D and 85th Open Fermoy (11,404b), 15th September – 5th Sect D and 8th Open Rosscarbery YB Nat (4,643b), 22nd September – 3rd Open INFC Skibbereen YB Nat (3,425b).
Tommy GB12D-06934 won the following: 11th August – 2nd Sect D and 11th Open Roscrea (25,007b), 26th August – 3rd Sect D and 5th Open Fermoy (17,691b), 22nd September – 102nd Open INFC Skibbereen YB Nat (3,425b).
GB12D-06808 won the following: 6th August 45th Sect D and 144th Open Tullamore (1,488b), 26th August 28th Sect D and 101st Open Fermoy (17,691b), 15th September 22nd Sect D and 43rd Open Rosscarbery YB Nat (4,643b), 22nd September 26th Open INFC Skibbereen YB Nat (3,425b).
GB12D-06939 won the following: 1st September 37th Sect D and 45th Open Tullamore (9,167b), 8th September 2nd Sect D and 2nd Open Fermoy (11,404b) beaten by loft mate.
Kevin IHU12N-016538 won the following: 1st September 14th Sect D and 16th Open Tullamore (9,167b), 8th September 4th Sect D and 101st Open Fermoy (11,404b), 8th September 4th Sect D and 18th Open Fermoy 5B (1,482B), 15th September 197th Open Rosscarbery YB Nat (4,643b), 22nd September 35th Open INFC Skibbereen YB Nat 3,425b).
YBs Section & Open Results: 6th August Tullamore Sect D (1,975b) 2nd, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 42nd & 45th; Open (21,506b) 8th, 46th, 47th, 48th, 52nd, 53rd, 56th, 130th, & 144th. 11th August Roscrea Sect D (2987b) 2nd & 26th; Open (25,007b) 11th. 18th August Clonmel Sect D (2,838b) 3rd, 4th, 34th, 36th 38th & 40th; Open (22,147b) 27th & 28th. 26th August Fermoy Sect D 2,125b) 2nd, 3rd, 19th, 25th, 26th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 32nd & 34th; Open (17,691b) 4th, 5th, 54th, 88th, 94th, 101st, 106th, 111th, 116th & 119th. 1st September Tullamore Sect D (2,125b) 14th, 15th, 19th, 27th, 29th, 37th & 43rd; Open (9,167b) 16th, 17th, 21st, 29th, 31st & 45th. 1st September Talbenny YB Nat (20 Bird Limit) Sect D (199b) 2nd, 6th, 7th, 14th & 18th; Open (3,590b) 32nd, 70th, 75th 146th & 204th; 6th September INFC Penzance YB Nat North Sect 18th, 39th & 195th; Open (2,070B) 30th, 58th & 195th. 8th September Fermoy Sect D (1,586b) 1st, 2nd, 11th, 12th, 13th, 22nd, 27th, 28th, 30th, 31st, 32nd & 33rd; Open (11,404b) 1st, 2nd, 41st, 42nd, 45th, 79th, 85th, 88th, 99th, 101st & 103rd. 15th Sept ember Rosscarbery YB Nat (20 Bird Limit) Sect D (648b) 5th, 6th, 7th, 22nd & 30th; Open ((4,643b) 8th, 9th, 10th, 43rd, 59th, 107th, 165th 197th & 274th. 22nd September INFC Skibbereen YB Nat Open (3,423b) 3rd, 26th, 35th, 37th, 59th, 65th, 67th, 102nd, 152nd & 178th. Irish Rover.