NIPA French Diploma Awards – Highly Prized
The NIPA French Diploma Awards were introduced around 20 years ago and in that time just a small number of birds have achieved repeated success at the distance. The awards are presented to birds that achieve positions in the Premier Old Bird National, usually flown from France. Scoring twice is Bronze Diploma and a fair number of those have been presented with just one season being missed. It gets more difficult for the Silver Diploma having to score three times and then the major prize the Gold Medal & Diploma when the Champions score for the fourth time.
The first Gold Medal & Diploma was won in 2000 by Murphy & Martin of Cookstown with Billy’s Pride, followed in 2001 by Speirs & Campbell of Cookstown with Tommie Girl and Alan Darragh with Golden Dreams. “Tommie Girl” won the following positions. 1st Sect A & 13th Open NIPA Dinard 1998, 8th Sect A & 51st Open NIPA St Malo 1999, 2nd Sect A & 31st Open NIPA Sartilly 2000, 3rd Sect A & 66th Open NIPA Lamballe 2001. Only five have been won up to 2009, that includes B & M Gilmore who collected the major award in 2008 with “Champion Easton Gold” and Alan Darragh from Cullybackey holds the premier place with two. We missed out in the 2009 season, Sam Corrigan won with Champion Blue Boy in 2010 and we had two winners in both 2011 and 2012. In 2011 wins for the East Antrim loft of Elliott Bros Carrick & Dist and Champion Miss Consistence won for B McNeice & Sons of Lurgan Soc with positions including 4th & 7th Open NIPA. Two great distance lofts were added in 2012, C & L Fryers of Dromara and W G Neill of Annaghmore. Five winners in the first 10 years and although France has not moved we have had 5 in the last three seasons.
2007: Gold Medal & Gold Diploma won by – Alan Darragh, Cullybackey HPS. Champion Betty’s Girl won 24th Sect B & 133rd Open NIPA Lamballe 04, 189th Open NIPA Portland 05, 9th Sect B & 102nd Open NIPA St Malo 06 and 15th Sect B & 146th Open NIPA Lamballe 07.
2008: Gold Medal & Gold Diploma won by – B & M Gilmore, Ballyclare & District. Champion Easton Gold won 19th Sect C & 78th Open NIPA Portland 05, 6th Sect C & 29th Open NIPA St Malo 06, 41st Sect C & 147th Open NIPA Lamballe 07 and 4th Sect C & 22nd Open NIPA St Malo 08.
2010: Gold Medal & Gold Diploma won by – Sam Corrigan, Loughgall. Champion Blue Boy won 28th Sect E & 115th Open NIPA Lamballe 07, 7th Sect E & 23rd Open NIPA St Malo 08, 51st Sect E & 186th Open NIPA St Malo 09 and 29th Sect E & 69th Open NIPA St Malo 10.
2011: Gold Medal & Gold Diploma won by – Elliott Bros, Carrick & Dist. Blue (c) GB06C-18624 won 59th Sect C & 178th Open NIPA St Malo 08, 37th Sect C & 194th Open NIPA St Malo 09, 2nd Sect C & 40th Open NIPA St Malo 10, 14th Sect C & 74th Open NIPA St Malo 11.
2011: Gold Medal & Gold Diploma won by – B McNeice & Sons, Lurgan Social. Champion Miss Consistance won 28th Sect E & 116th Open NIPA St Malo 08, 15th Sect E & 50th Open NIPA St Malo 09, 5th Sect E & 7th Open NIPA St Malo 10 and 4th Sect E & 4th Open NIPA St Malo 11.
2012: Gold Medal & Gold Diploma won by – C & L Fryers, Dromara HPS. GB06D-20639 won 5th Sect F & 103rd Open St Malo 09, 9th Sect F & 131st Open NIPA St Malo 10, 7th Sect F & 88th Open NIPA St Malo 11 and 8th Sect F & 141st Open NIPA St Malo 12.
2012: Gold Medal & Gold Diploma won by – W G Neill, Annaghmore. GB06D-42072 won 10th Sect E & 55th Open St Malo 08, 39th Sect E & 120th Open NIPA St Malo 09, 13th Sect E & 18th Open NIPA St Malo 10 and 40th Sect E & 150th Open NIPA St Malo 12.