Tommy McClean of Annaghmore 07/11/2012
Tommy McClean of Annaghmore
Racing at the very highest level it must be every fanciers dream to win a National raceflying with the Irish National Flying Club. These fanciers receive their due awards at the annual INFC Dinner but some outstanding performances can go unnoticed.
Let me set out the INFC race programme: Skibbereen Inland OB Nat & YB Nat , Sennen Cove Yearling Nat, Penzance YB Nat, St Malo Old Bird and the Kings Cup from Vannes, six races in all. I was fortunate to be 4th Open Skibbereen OB Nat and it was a result I was proud of. I try to imagine what it must feel like to be an Open prize-winner in all the six races. Considering the programme that the INFC fly to achieve this in my opinion is up there with the very best in Europe. I am delighted to report on a fancier that was in fact an Open prize-winner in all the six races this season. The fancier in question is Tommy McClean of Annaghmore.
The programme opens with the OB Inland Nat from Skibbereen and Tommy won 18th North Sect & 21st Open INFC recording velocity of 1600ypm for the 230 miles, 474 members sent 4,227 pigeons. The Yearling Nat from Sennen Cove was next up and saw 813 members send 4,319 pigeons with the McClean loft winning 36th North Sect & 67th Open INFC recording velocity 989 for the 303 miles.
The Grand National from Vannes 488 miles was the Kings Cup race and saw 794 members send 2,783 pigeons, it turned out a very difficult race with only 71 birds recorded home in the three days. Tommy won 13th North Sect & 18th Open INFC recording velocity 681ypm. It was back to France for the fourth National of the year, St Malo OB Nat is better known as the Friendship National. 227 members sent 816 pigeons and the McClean loft won 8th Open INFC recording velocity 848 for the 456 miles. With four out of four it was on to the Young Bird Nationals.
The Blue Riband YB Grand Nat is flown from Penzance 301 miles, 422 members sent 2,070 pigeons. Tommy McClean finished 35th North Sect & 52nd Open INFC recording velocity 1232ypm. Skibbereen YB is the final leg of the year and the McClean loft was out to make it six out of six. 404 members sent 3,423 pigeons and Tommy did indeed score a good finish finishing 22nd Open INFC with a velocity of 1470ypm. Tommy McClean can be very proud of his 2012 season and can now add this to his very impressive CV.
The main family of birds are from Jim Newell of Annalong. The Penzance YB Nat pigeon was bred by Syd Collins the INFC President and the Skibbereen YB prize-winner was bred by Paddy McGarrity of Glenavy. Jim Newell played his part in three of the Nat races. Tommy has a very strong team of Tuplin Barkers and has enjoyed success with birds from Tommy Moorehouse former Kings Cup winner and Liam OCallaghan from Mallow in Co Cork.
He has had good success as well through a Chris Gordon bird purchased at Eddie Wrights Sale by Maurice Weir, this one was the sire of Mr Gallant 1st Sect Pau at 720 miles and half-brother of Snydale Express the Tarbes Kings Cup winner.