RED CARPET AFFAIR:
The Belmont Hotel in Banbridge was the venue on Saturday 20th October for the Annual Dinner and Prize Distribution for the very well respected Corcreeney & District HPS. This was the first time that I have been invited to this prestigious presentation that also incorporates the massively supported Corcreeney Breeder/Buyer event that without any doubt merited a Red Carpet Entrance main guest for the evening was the Belgium Master and new Emperor of this massively pigeon orientated country Mr Andre Roodhooft. Andre has had a golden spell racing pigeons over the last few years in Belgium and his birds are very well sought all over the world he has won the Top Union award five times since 2000. Andre’s wins in 2007 included 1st General Champion Middle Distance, 1st General Champion Middle Distance Zone East, 1st Champion Middle Distance Old Birds Zone East, 1st Champion Middle Distance Yearlings Zone East, 1st Champion Middle Distance Youngsters Zone East, 1st Ace Pigeon Middle Distance Old Birds, 1st Ace Pigeon Middle Distance Yearlings and 1st Ace Pigeon Middle Distance Youngsters. To win the Emperor title is something elite you have to win the Antwerp Union Championship in Belgium three years on the trot comparisons on our terms would be like winning the Kings Cup three years on the trot, in other words unheard off. It was indeed a major coo for this Club to have such a prestigious figure in attendance and this is down to the members involved both within the Club and the connections associated with the Breeder/Buyer event. I called to see Andre on Sunday morning before he jetted back home and feel very honoured indeed to be invited as his guest to the main Belgium prize night in February were Andre will receive his top honour a night I am already looking forward too. Other guests at the prize night included Gerry Reynolds and Colin Surtees from the North of England Tom Nelson from Dublin not forgetting all the major officials associated with the Irish National Flying Club including Secretary Trevor Topping, Chairman Sid Collins and Patron Mr Ronnie Johnston. The Calibre of the overall attendance was immense and a true reflection on how the Club are thought off around the country with visitors travelling from as far down as Arklow and as far up the country as Coalisland.
Chairman Steven Cairns welcomed everybody and paid special attention to the guests for the evening, he also drew special attention and praise to the treasurer who has never let the Club down in his 27 years of unbroken service in the role namely Mr Jim Carson. The well organised Secretary Mr Rodney Adamson also received high levels of praise from Steven, Rodney also enjoyed an excellent season of racing. McKittrick Bros also were thanked for their tireless work around the Club especially doing the crates every week, these boys can also race a good pigeon and have won many top class awards over the years. Praise was also extended to the auctioneers Mr Wesley Sawyers and Ronnie Johnston who took to do with the selling of the Breeder/Buyer birds. On that cue it was over to Ronnie Johnston to say a few words and quite rightly he highlighted the excellent surroundings paying particular attention to the quality of the four course meal and the professionalism of the staff involved in making the night very memorable indeed. Although I travelled down to the evening with Trevor and Florence Topping I opted to stay behind for a further hour or two rather than making an early exit and talking with a few of the guests during the course of the evening I got the feeling that this Club will continue to go from strength to strength especially the Breeder/Buyer aspect which brings so much attention to the Club over the year. With many influential figures involved with the running and sponsorship of the event it is very evident that this particular race has the makings of something very special and the level of support is magnificent.
Mrs Murphy wife of major Club sponsor Matt Murphy who runs a very successful building business in Belfast was called upon to present the awards and no surprise who topped the prize winner list, Mr Colin Gibson, Colin is one of the many fanciers around the country who as I class it are in the consistency Club, week in week out he is always there. In The O/Birds Colin topped the Club from Clonmel collecting the Ernie Ferguson Cup he also lifted the Queens Shield for his endeavours from the Mallow Five Bird and won the British Legion Cup for the most points up Ireland in the O/Bird Campaign. Y/Birds is were he stole the show winning seven of the Club races collecting a further 10 awards that included :- The Small Trophy, Graigavon Cold Storage Award, Rutherford Smith Cup, John Greer Friendship Award, Small Trophy for Fermoy, W Turkington Award, Creamline Cup, W Baxter Trophy, A Nesbitt Memorial Cup and finally the Highest Prize Winner award namely the W Nesbitt Cup, Colin is very highly regarded around the Club and is known as “Mr Motivator”, his work level and commitment is immense and his honour of Top Prize winner was very well received and applauded by all in attendance.
Rodney Adamson had a marvellous season also with many significant
results achieved in the O/Bird Campaign he topped the Club from the
following races, Tullamore (1) and (2), Pilmore Beach, Sennen Cove,
Sennen Cove Classic. Tom Wilson also enjoyed success in the O/Birds
topping the Club from Roscrea, Rosscarbery O/B National, Barleycove
Inland National. If the Secretary can get on the winning sheet its
was to be expected that Club Chairman would make an attempt to match
him and what a job he did winning the Club from Skibbereen North National,
Talbenny (2), Roscrea, Lamball collecting the much sought after Bertie
Fletcher Cup for the Most Points in the Channel. Steven extended his
channel success by winning the King of Wings Cup for best average
from the two Channel Derbies. As previously mentioned next best and
lifting three award were the workers McKittrick Bros they topped the
Club from the Sennen Cove Yearling National, Clonmel and the Talbenny
Y/B National. Completing the treble at the awards Table as far as
officials go was the Treasurer Jim Carson who enjoyed success from
Pilmore (2), Talbenny (3) in the old birds and lifted the W Carson
Award for his 1st Club from Roscrea (2) in the Y/Birds.
Next it was onto the much anticipated Breeder/Buyer Awards with main organiser Colin Gibson taking the stage and given a brief break down of the Race and how long it has been running touching on the overall interest which pull fanciers in from all over the country. Colin called on The Emperor Mr Andre Roodhooft to present the awards, and first to the table collecting a cheque for £2,000 was the well liked partnership of Sheldon Leonard and Jeff Greenaway, who in fact sponsored the trophies for the race with the Perpetual one a fantastic Bronze statue of two pigeons being put up by Matt Murphy a very generous gesture by both sets of fanciers. The Greenaway and Leonard partnership have had a very impressive year as far as racing goes and also were involved in the breeding of the pigeon that won the Champonship for Andre Roodhooft in Belgium.
When you see the following list of winners and the calibre of the fanciers participating in this event you can only see it going from strength to strength. (Buyers) 1st Greenaway & Leonard Vel 1823 winning £1,000, 2nd J Young & Partner 1809 £500, 3rd McGuinness & Adair 1790, £250, 4th J D Braniff 1749 £150, 5th Kinncade & McCann 1707 £150, 6th I Gibb & Sons 1660 £150, 7th Gordon Bros & Son 1658 £150, 8th M Murphy 1650 £150, 9th R Adamson 1643 £150, 10th D Croskery & Son 1602 £150, 11th E Russell 1564 £100, 12th G Douglas 1537 £100, 13th B & M McCorriston 1516 £100, 14th McCartan & Woodside 1498 £100, 15th D & B Lyness 1482 £100, 16th Greenaway & Leonard 1443 £50, 17th R Adamson 1411 & £50, 18th M Rice 1411 £50, 19th L McKinstry 1399 £50, 20th P Byrne 1332 £50. (Breeders) 1st Greenaway & Leonard £1,000, 2nd J Young & Partner £500, 3rd McGuinness & Adair £250, 4th J D Braniff £150, 5th Kincaid & McCann £150, 6th I Gibb & Sons £150, 7th Gordon Bros & Son £150, 8th G Buckley & Son £150, 9th M Brown £150, 10th D Croskery & Son £150, 11th E Russell £100, 12th G Douglas £100, 13th P Brown £100, 14th H McLoughlin £100, 15th D & B Lyness £100, 16th McGimpsey Bros £50, 17th J Nelson £50, 18th K Carolan £50, 19th L McKinstry £50, 20th D & N McCandless £50.
Many Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to Colin Gibson for inviting me down to what was truly one of the best nights I have attended since starting to scribe for the pigeon papers, a true credit to everybody involved in the management side and of course all who were in attendance that created the winning atmosphere. I would like just to finish off by thanking Matt Murphy for the lift home in the small hours of Sunday morning very much appreciated and I will close by wishing the Club continued success in 2008 and I look forward to seeing the Club results on PigeonNetwork.com.
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