Tommy McClean of Annaghmore –
After a best ever racing season I approached Tommy McClean of Annaghmore to answer some questions on the lofts history, in the 2012 racing season the loft was placed in all six INFC races. In seasons past that would almost have been good enough to win the National Championship crown, Tommy had to be content with 3rd behind N Black & Sons of Dromara who won the title for the 2nd season running, the first time that had been achieved and clubmate W G Neill.
Your Name or Stud Name – Drumherriff lofts.
Partnership Name – Tommy McClean.
Current Club & How Long A member – Annaghmore Pigeon Club for over 20years.
Previous Clubs including duration –
1996-2004 with Clonroy HPS Racing in partnership with Niblock Bros. Nipa open 5 times including Talbenny young bird Derby. Penzance young bird National 2nd after losing by 8yards. 11th open INFC Kings Cup.
In Total how long have you been involved with pigeons – For 45 years.
Firstly can you give me a break down of your lofts ie, Stock, Y/Bird, O/Bird etc Size wooden or brick structure, tiled or wooden roof, Sections, perches number of boxes type etc. –
All wooden Structure with tin roofs. Young Bird loft : Drawer perches 18ft with 2 sections with a flight at one end. Old Bird Loft: 28ft two sections one side pippa boxes 24 widowhood boxes with a 6ft flight. Stock loft: 18ft in 2 sections 8 single breeding pens. 16 widowhood boxes. With a 8ft flight on each end.
Number of Birds Housed to include complete numbers raced O/Birds and Y/Birds – Old birds 100, Young birds 80.
Number of 1st’s won to date to include, Club, Section, Open, Specialist Races, also include top performances in National Flying Club –
Hundreds of 1sts, unfortunately I never kept record of my winnings to date.
Number of Stock pairs now kept, to include strains you’ve had in the past and up to the present. You can mention comparisons reason for updating etc. –
1st strains Krauth and Busschaert. Then introduced Ronnie Williamson’s Busschaert’s with great success.
My main pigeons now are Jim Newells, Tony Martins Soontjens. My long distance pigeons are Davey Black, Tom Marshall, Ronnie Williamson, Liam O’Callaghan, Tommy Moorehouse, Robin Duddy & Leslie Whiteside, Paul Swindell and Sid Collins
Now introducing Boxford Bussaerts and Eddie Wrights long distance family through Morris Weir.
Racing system now in force for O/Birds and has this changed in recent years if so why – Yearling pigeons natural. The rest of the pigeons are raced on the roundabout.
Can you explain your weekly work regime around this particular system now in place from Monday till Sunday – Tossed at least three times a week and flew for an hour morning and night.
What is your feeding for O/Birds and how is this broke down, how also do you compare to what you are doing now to some years ago –
Half oz in the morning and 1oz in evening. Natural pigeons are hopper fed. This has been a consistent feeding regime throughout the years and has not changed significantly.
What supplements do you use for the O/Birds when racing both administered on the corn and in the water to include frequency, and what your thoughts on same good, waste of money etc. – They get garlic in the water, and vitamins twice a week.
Training of the O/Bird Racers when does it start, what distance, and frequency also are they flown around the lofts if so when and for how long, flagged or not etc. – Tossed at least three times a week and flew for an hour morning and night.
Are the lofts and boxes cleaned daily if so once or twice, or floor grills or electric belts etc. what is your thoughts on hygiene within the lofts, deep litter or not etc. – Cleaned twice a day.
How often are your pigeons vaccinated and when, also how often do you treat for canker respiratory and when etc. – They are all treated before the breeding season starts and vaccinated.
When are your pigeons paired to include racers and y/birds if you do – Selected stock birds are paired on Boxing day, the racers are paired 20th of Feb.
If racing widowhood when are pigeons paired and when are they separated also how many youngsters will they rear – I do not race widowhood.
Do you specialize with inland Racing or do you try and complete the full programme – I try to complete the full programme but my main interest is long distance.
What system do you use for Y/Bird Racing – Natural.
If Darkness when does it start/end and what are your hours of darkness – Darkness starts 1st March- 2nd of June. Hours 7am-8pm.
Can you explain your weekly work regime around your particular system for Y/Birds from Monday till Sunday – Flown an hour morning and evening and tossed 3 times a week.
What is your feeding for Y/Birds and how is this broke down, how also do you compare to what you are doing now to some years ago – Same as old birds.
What supplements do you use for the Y/Birds when racing both administered on the corn and in the water to include frequency, and what your thoughts on same good, waste of money etc. – As old birds, Garlic and vitamins.
Training of the Y/Bird Racers when does it start, what distance, and frequency also are they flown around the lofts if so when and for how long, flagged or not etc. – Start 3 weeks before the 1st race at 15 mile, flagged if necessary.
Are the lofts and boxes cleaned daily if so once or twice, or floor grills or electric belts etc. what is your thoughts on hygiene within the lofts, deep litter or not etc. – Cleaned twice a day
How often are your Y/Birds vaccinated and when, also how often do you treat for canker respiratory and when etc. – Vaccinated twice a year when they are weaned and 3wks before the 1st race.
Do you specialize with inland Racing or do you try and complete the full Y/Bird programme? – I like to complete the full young bird programme, specializing in the Nationals.
What has been your biggest achievement ? – Winning the double 1st Open from Penzance Classic 1988; 1997: Talbenny Young bird Derby & 2nd in Penzance Young bird National.
2011 Kings Cup: 7th and 30th Open INFC.
The first loft in Northern Ireland to win the Triple Crown. Triple crown hen Jamies Girl won: 5th open Penzances Young bird National, 137th open Yearling National and 30th Open Kings Cup.
2012: National performances Skibereen old bird national 21st open. Skibereen young bird national 22nd. Kings cup 18th. Quimper 8th open. Penzance young bird national 52nd. Penzance yearling National 67th. First member of Irish National FC to time in the prizes in the 1st 70 in all 6 nationals.
What has been your biggest disaster ? – Being 2nd in the Penzance young bird National beaten by 8yards after losing 4 mins.
Has the sport a future ?? – Yes the sport has a big future, however I would love to see more young people taking up the sport.
Many thanks to Tommy and Pamela for their time, 2012 was indeed a special year and who knows what will turn up in 2013.
Tommy collects the Darragh Cup at the INFC prize night, best ave Ylr Nat & Quimper.