Gerry O’Reilly & Sons – 07/12/12

News Items 09 Aug 2013

Gerry O’Reilly & Sons – Kings Cup 2012

Gerry OReilly & Sons of Malahide & District

The most prestigious race in Ireland is the INFC Grand National flown in 2012 from Vannes. After three very successful races from Vannes the 2012 race was the very opposite as 794 members entered 2,783 pigeons and only 71 were recorded in three days. The pigeons were liberated at 06.30hrs into a light northerly wind and the winner, a 3 year old Red Cheq cock was clocked by the OReilly Family of Malahide recording velocity 1020.

The Kings Cup winner now named Riverview Red is of Cheetham breeding, that the OReillys have had for some 30 years through their very close friend Jimmy Anderson of Cullybackey. This outstanding Kings Cup winner has previously won: 5th Club Penzance in 2010 and 3rd Club, 4th Fed & 14th Open INFC Friendship Nat St Malo in 2011.

Gerry OReilly (father) started in pigeons in 1967 and his original loft was an old converted tea chest and the birds were from the local Pet Shop. The years have moved on and the OReillys have raced at their present lofts for some 16 years. They race in two clubs, Malahide & District in the East Coast Federation and Dublin North County in the Irish SR Federation.

The OReillys are mainly cross channel flyers and National races are their target each year, especially the INFC National. They keep a good strong team consisting of 20 stock pair, 60 old bird racers and about 100 young birds bred each year. The old birds are raced natural, the yearlings on roundabout and the young birds to the perch. The stock birds and yearlings are mated mid-February and the old bird racers mid-March. The birds are flown at the loft for at least one hour per day and trained up to 40 miles before their first race. Young birds are not pushed and most may only fly two races, but more often than not they are not raced. The young birds fly to the perch.

This brilliant team of distance pigeons has been blended from the following families: Cheethans through Jimmy Anderson, Brian Denny, Mich Hazel, Tuplin & Son, and van Ouwekkerk-Dekker. The families are kept together and pairs inter-changed each year depending on results. The best racers are crossed at two years.

The loft has achieved many top results at National level and let me give you a selection. In 2009 they won the coveted Harkness Rose Bowl for the Best 2 Bird Average in the Kings Cup, that year they had 5 birds in the INFC Open result taking 4th, 26th, 88th, 111th and 124th. 2011 was another super year clocking 8 out of 10 and getting 6 placed in the INFC Open result for 47th, 85th, 152nd, 182nd and 247th. The OReillys sent 6 to the Friendship OB Nat and clocked 3 birds to win 14th, 22nd and 36th. 2012 was the year that the Holy Grail was achieved with 1st Club, first five in the Sect and 1st Open INFC Vannes. They went on to clock a second pigeon to finish 8th Open INFC and for the second time collected the Harkness Rose Bowl. Quimper was the race-point for the Friendship Nat and the OReillys clocked 4 birds to win 6th, 7th, 58th and 93rd Open INFC.

At present the loft has an abundance of top pigeons, let me select a few to show you the depth in the National pigeons. Red Cock 08: 5th Club and 12th Fed Carmarthen; 3rd Club, 7th Fed and 117th Open INFC Messac; 5th Club and 29th Fed Portland; 3rd Club, 16th Fed and 180th Open INFC Vannes. The Pic: 1st Club and 22nd Fed Sennen Cove; 2nd Club, 2nd Fed and 17th Open INFC Picauville Friendship Nat; 6th Club INFC Vannes; 8th Club, 18th Fed and 124th Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup; 1st Club, 3rd Fed and 28th Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup and Merit Award Diploma in 2010. Blue Cock: 3rd Club and 16th Fed Sennen Cove; 4th Club, 11th Fed and 88th Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup; 10th Club, 16th Fed and 169th Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup and Merit Award Diploma in 2011. Cheq Hen: 3rd Club and 49th Fed Sennen Cove; 6th Club, 7th Fed and 36th Open INFC St Malo Friendship Nat; 93rd Open INFC Quimper Friendship Nat and Merit Award winner in 2012. Red Ch Cock Riverview Red: 5th Club Penzance; 3rd Club, 4th Fed and 14th Open INFC Friendship Nat St Malo; 1st Club, 1st Fed and 1st Open INFC Grand Nat Vannes and winner of the Kings Cup in 2012. Cheq Heh Runner View Rose (Brian Denny): 3rd Club and 50th Fed Talbenny; 109th Club and 253rd Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup; 11th Club and 38th Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup; 12th Club, 18th Fed and 183rd Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup; 2nd Club, 2nd Fed and 8th Open INFC Vannes Kings Cup in 2012. Part of the Harkness Rose Bowl and Merit Award winner in 2012.

Each year a few late-breds are reared at the end of the season. Some are used for stock and the rest are given away as gifts. Feeding is mainly Versele Laga, Gerry Plus and star Plus. The birds are treated for worms and vaccinated as standard. The OReillys recommend Cider Vinegar as it will keep the gut right.

I have always had a high regard for the OReilly Family and thought some day they would win the Kings Cup, and in 2012 it happened. I send my congratulations to a top class National team managed by the OReilly Family. 

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About the author

Willie Reynolds

Covering the sport in Ireland for several years, scribe for both BHW & RP and a number of local newspapers including the News Letter (Farming Life Supplement) each Wednesday. Secretary of Ballymena & District for a number of years and currently PO for the Mighty NIPA & INFC. Watch out for the many articles/news items penned by HOMER.

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