Single Bird Challenge 2018 -

It was in 1932 that His Majesty King George V presented a new cup to the Irish National Flying Club to be known as The King George V Challenge Cup and was to be awarded to the winner of the OB Grand National.

The 1932 Grand National race was flown from Les Sables at a distance of some 600 miles and the race was won by R Hawthorn from Ligoniel in North Belfast.This race was flown under IHU rules and it was not until 1948 that the Kings Cup was flown under IHU and RPRA rules.The race in 1948 was won by Sammy Robinson from Belfast.

The Irish National Flying Club have a six race programme for the 2020 season which enables its members to compete in the inland Nationals or over the channel at the very highest level. I hope you will enjoy using the website as it will be a source of information through out the season. Good luck to all members competing in this years Nationals. Ronnie Johnston Patron INFC.

The INFC has 2,100 members across Ireland. The 6 Race Programme includes the famous Kings Cup from France. Friendship Nat is also France, Ylr Nat Sennen Cove, YB Nat Penzance and OB and YB Nat from Skibbereen. Numerous other awards including Gold Medal, Hall of Fame Diploma, Triple Championship, Single Bird Challenge, 3 Bird Championship, Merit Awards etc. Results, Reports, Latest News etc. See Website or

Single Bird Challenge 2018 -

Postby willie reynolds » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:08 pm

BHW/INFC 2018 Single Bird Challenge

The single bird challenge was first ran back in 2002 when I invited 16 people to enter a single bird to compete in that year’s King’s Cup, unbelievably two of the 16 birds, Joe Doheny’s and Alan Darragh’s, finished first and second Open. In 2003 we opened the entry to any member of the INFC, the deadline date being the 17th of March. Joe Doheny kindly donated a fantastic trophy for the winner and Wesley Sawyers, through his company Sawyers &Co Estate agents, sponsored framed diplomas for first, second and third and nothing has changed since. The full winner list is 2003 McCracken Bros with “Lucy” who finished 3rd Open, 2004 H. Gilligan “Kim” 24th Open, 2005 M. Maguire & Son “Moonlight Lass” 19th Open, 2006 G. Benson “Jean’s Girl” 12th Open, 2007 and 2008 no race, 2009 J. Robinson 9th Open, 2010 P. Dunlop “The Big Hen” 13th Open, 2011 A. Morgan “Katie’s Lad” 3rd Open,2012 W.G. Neill “Ivy” 2nd Open, 2013 W. McCall “Greystone Dawn” 19th Open, 2014 W. Scott ”Heather’s Delight” 4th Open, 2015 J. Downing “Kennedy” 9th Open,2016 E. Murtagh “Mammy’s Girl” 10th Open, and last year we had the first ever open single bird challenge bird win the King’s Cup L. McCall “Chloe” 1st Open. This year’s prizemoney was 1st £500, 2nd £300, 3rd £200, 4th £100, 5th £80, 6th to 10th £50 each.

The 2018 winner of the BHW single bird challenge is Fintan Moran, Malahide and District club with a 5 year old red hen named “Aoife M” after Fintan’s daughter. The hen was 9th in the 2017 BHW single bird challenge and her sire was 6th in the 2014 challenge. The preparation for the old red hen started in February when she was paired and let rear a single y/bird. She was then privately trained and had 5 inland races, the furthest Skibbereen and last race Pilmore Beach on the 16th June. She raced celibate and was in great form all through the programme, being in the first few birds to the loft on each race. For the King’s Cup she was repaired, given a few 50 mile tosses and sent sitting 9 days. “Aoife M” was clocked at 7.24am on the second day winning 9th Open, she was so keen on arrival she went straight on to her eggs and remained there till evening. Her breeding is steeped in the very best of the old long distance English pigeons. Her sire a 2011 red cock was 30th King’s cup in 2014, when only 40 pigeons were recorded in race time. His sire was bought at the 2010 Blackpool Charity Auction and was presented by David and Joan Glover of Hinckley, Leicestershire. Their family of birds were based on Logans, Mitcheison, Fear Bros and Titmus birds and he contained their very best performance pigeons, 1st Section; 8th Open NFC Dax 605 miles and his dam won 6th Section 69th Open NFC Tarbes 2008 (645 miles on the day) and 4th Section 6th Open Midlands NFC Bergerac 2009 (536 miles on the day). The dam of the 2011 red cock was bred by Sid and Val Miles, Peasedown St John, and was a grandchild of 3 1st NFC Pau winners, “Ashgrove King” (Harding Bros. 1994); “Little Darling” (Miles and Dix 1987) and “Rosemead Abigail” (George Burgess 1988). The dam of the red hen is an 09 silver hen which was bred for Fintan by Sid and Val Miles from their national winning family of pigeons and again contained the above national winners and 2nd section 14th open NFC Pau 2004 and 2 1st Combine Marmandes 485 miles. “Aoife M” also wins a Hall of Fame Award for three times in the Kings Cup open prizes 35th Open 2016 and 107th Open last year.

Second challenge and just one place behind the winner is P. Campbell & Sons, Armagh 10th Open with a 3yr blue w/f cock. With father Pat passing away, brothers Malachy and John now look after the pigeons. His breeding is Cattrysse and Gits which John and Malachy’s late father Pat introduced, a sister to the dam won a triple award in the Friendship National. The w/f cock was a natural young bird and had a few races, the same being the case as a yearling. As a 2yr old he homed on the 5th day from a very difficult St Malo when only ten birds were recorded in three days. This year he had four inland races and sent to the Kings Cup sitting 10-12 day eggs.

In 3rd place 16th Open is Cormac O’Hare of Ballyholland club. Cormac timed a 4yr blue hen, this being her fourth time to fly France but her first time in the prizes. Cormac adopted different tactics with her preparation this year having previously lightly raced her she had every single inland race plus two Tallbennys, Dunmanway and Penzance being flown on roundabout all the way. Her dam is daughter of Alan Darragh’s Yearling National winner when paired to Aiden McAteer’s “54 hen” the dam of Drumcove Alan who in turn is also the sire of Aiden’s Gold Medal winner, this hen of Aiden’s also bred 8th challenge and a gold medal. The sire of Cormac’s timer is a son of his Harkness Rose Bowl hen.

In fourth place 29th Open is another great hen “Edith” bred and raced by Noel Lusty of Muckamore this hen also wins a Hall of Fame award (three times in the open prizes). This is her fourth time to fly France in 2015 she was just out of the prizes, 55th 2016, 104th 2017, and this year 29th. Her preparation has been the same every year, one inland and no channel races, plus one 70 mile private training toss per week in the run up to the race being sent on 10day eggs. Her breeding is Denis Dall and McCartney. The Denis Dall through Johnny Drearden who Noel got friendly with after reporting a stray and also stock from Terry Hayley the Watford wizard.

5th Challenge 30th open is E. Murtagh & Sons an individual member who lives near Armagh. Father Eamon has sadly passed away and son Arron is now in charge, the partnership has a fantastic record in the challenge winning it in 2016 and this same pigeon was 5th 20014, they have also won a Hall of Fame and a Harkness Rose Bowl. The pigeon they timed this year is 3yr dark Ch cock called “L. J.” after Arron’s grandson Lochlain James. The sire of ”L. J.”. Is a Jan Arden, Southwell through Jimmy Shepherd while the dam is Mr. & Mrs. P. Wooliss being inbred to their champion Lona. Now for the interesting part, the partnership does not belong to any club and the birds are only privately trained.” L.J.” was only trained as a young bird and a yearling last year as a 2yr old he had his first ever race in the Kings Cup where he was 37th. This year again privately trained from mostly 90 miles several times a week, then into his second ever race, the King’s Cup where he finished 30th Open winning a merit award.

6th Challenge 37th Open with a 4yr blue Ch hen is E.E. & S. Kavanagh of Arklow, the partnership consist of dad Eddy, son Eddy, who is presently in Australia, and daughter Siobhan. Raced natural as a young bird he had five or six races and as a yearling similar. As a 2yr old she was 2nd club St. Malo then last year 89th Open Kings Cup. This year she had all the inland races plus a few single up tosses from Wexford and was sent sitting 14 day eggs. The sire and dam both came from Gaffney Bros Arklow, the sire containing Westcott bloodlines.

7th Challenge 44th Open timing a 4yr blue w/f cock called “Bella” is last year’s Friendship national winner Rev T.A.B, Sawyers & Son. Although Wesley’s father has passed away some time ago like a lot of other partnerships he has kept the name the same. Wesley is also a previous Harkness Rose Bowl winner. Although the bird timed is a cock Wesley still called him “Bella” after his first grandchild. “Bella” was an untrained late bred young bird but was timed in the Yearling national being just out of the prizes. As a 2yr he was just raced inland but last year was 201st Open Kings Cup. This year he was raced roundabout and had every inland race plus both Tallbennys, he was then repaired and sent to the Kings Cup sitting ten day eggs. “Bella” contains the blood lines of Wesley’s own distance family and a full sister was 16th Open when Wesley won the Harkness Rose Bowl.

8th Challenge 47th Open is another Friendship national winner Aiden McAteer from Ballyholland. Aiden’s timer “Drumcove Cheeky Boy” is a very special bird as he also wins a Gold Medal, his previous positions bring 107th and 162nd. This year he had the entire inland programme and was very lightly trained up to the Kings Cup where he was sent sitting 12 day eggs. His sire is “Drumcove Alan”, 2nd Section 22nd Open St Malo and 1st Section 2nd Open St. Malo, he is Alan Darragh and Mick Conlon breeding. His dam is the Friendship national winner “Drumcove Olympic Gold” which again is Alan Darragh and Mick Conlon breeding.

9th Challenge 48th open is D & R Turkington, Doagh & District. The partnership timed a 2yr red cock called “Bertie’s Boy” after friend Bertie Blair. A darkness young bird he was lightly raced as a yearling as he was injured in the early part of the year then sent to Penzance. This year he had all the inland races plus Tallbenny then privately trained, he was sent to the race sitting 7 day eggs. His sire is a grandson of P. Swindell’s” Queen of the Rain” while the dam was through Bertie Blair.

10th Challenge 67th Open is Tom Cahill, Cork NFC. Tom timed a 2yr red cock called “Graeme” after Tom’s late grandson who sadly passed away a couple of weeks before the Kings Cup, aged only 22. Raced north road up to Monaghan as a young bird and a yearling, he had the same preparation this year flying four races up to Monaghan. He was then lightly privately trained from 30mls up to a week before the Kings Cup and sent sitting 10 day eggs. Tom bought ” Graeme” as a squeaker at the Cork Federation charity sale, he was bred by Neil Crean containing the blood of King’s Cup winning loft G. Reilly & Son, Malahide. Tom was also winner of the coveted Millar Gold Cup in 2009.

Two other Single Bird Challenge birds not making the challenge prizes were timed in the open result, Paul Dunlop’s blue hen in 69th and Jackie Waring’s blue Ch cock 71st open, this pigeon was 6th Challenge 70th open 2017. David Black Co-Ordinator.

F Moran Malahide & Dist, Joe Doheny Cup for INFC Single Bird Challenge in the Kings Cup 2018.

John and Malachy Campbell of P Campbell & Sons, 2nd Single Bird Challenge.

Cormac O’Hare of Ballyholland, 3rd in the Single Bird Challenge.

Aoife M on her eggs after returning from St Allouestre.

Fintan Moran and daughter with Aoife M winner of the Single Bird Challenge.
willie reynolds
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