On Saturday evening, 3rd September, the birds were race marked and loaded unto the transporter under the supervision of Paul O,Connor , Damien Farrell and Trevor Hughes . Kenny Glass did the catching and Sean inspected every pigeon before passing them unto the markers . Willie oversaw saw the whole process , checking and sealing all compartments in the transporter .Our convoyer John Edgar then set off on the long journey to Rosscarbery .
After a very trying year we eventually had 161 youngsters competing for our top prize of £12,000 and our other prizes . This for us was a very disappointing number as usually we would have 50 – 60% of our entrants competing in the final . Unfortunately we had a bad experience with the dreaded Circo Virus , losing many youngsters to its ravages . All measures possible were taken to control and minimise its effects but sadly it ran its course and dealt us a savage blow . Losses both in training and hot spots were unprecedented and we are at a loss to explain why . We have had many calls , texts and emails of support and encouragement which we appreciate enormously .
The birds were liberated on Sunday 4th September in Rosscarbery at 8am and 6 – 6 1/2 hours was our ETA . Meanwhile back at the lofts patrons and visitors began arriving to await the birds arrival and enjoy the craic , hospitality and the annual barbecue . Apart from a few light showers it turned out a pleasant enough day . Our catering sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous did us proud again with burgers ,baps , sirloins , cheese slices , various condiments , paper plates ,paper napkins , soft drinks and pastries ,more than enough for 100 . Cyril and Hilary Beattie our feeding sponsors ,as they do every year chipped in with a plentiful contribution . As Darren ( burger man ) Tosh was sunning himself in Spain , Simon Creighton ably took up his duties on the barbecue grill .
As we awaited our first arrivals it became apparent that we were being too optimistic on our eta and indeed it was another hour until our 2016 Classic winner arrived and was recorded .Our Winners , Daziel & Parker are no strangers to OLR success , having been victorious in last years French Young Bird Derby OLR . Their winner and their bird in 10th place , securing for them our Two Bird Average contains the best busschaert lines of Ron Williamson , who needs no introduction , being one of the very best Pigeon Fanciers in the world .
Our second arrival was a venture pigeon from Harmony Lofts (John & Viv Abernethy ) purchased by Mr Maxwell . This pigeon and our 12th placed pigeon for Sammy Thompson are in fact brothers that Sean nicknamed the Twins , contain the top Walkinshaw red and mealy distance lines of Eddie McKnight . On Eddies sad passing John was bequeathed all his racers and stock pigeons . The sire is one of Eddies top breeders , the 2003 Cock , sire to past winners . The dam contains the very best of Tom Marshall lines . Another venture from Harmony Lofts for D Gregg in 11th place and 3rd Ace pigeon and was again Walkinshaw lines being a off a son of Steady Eddie , 3 times France paired to yearling hen of the same lines that caught Johns eye and was placed in the stock loft .
Third place this year was Moffatt Bros with a pigeon bred by R Herron & Sons , Washington . These top fanciers have secured the inland and combined averages in Washington Celtic H S and Houghton fed inland average 2016 . This youngster is 1/2 Staff Van Reet ,1/4 Fran Zwols and 1/4 lambrecth . Club , fed and combine winners are plentiful in the pedigree .
In fourth place we have Charlies Champions , Kieran Galvin , adding to the fantastic record that our Southern fanciers have achieved in the NCC . This youngster is 3/4 Cooreman , 1/4 Everart Soontjens . Kieran obtained the parents from Jimmy & Richard Hamilton , New Ross , Wexford and they are both through their top stock pigeons .
Fifth spot goes to Lucie Balmer , Roy Francey , Eastway , another top fancier . This fine youngster also attained fifth position in our ace pigeon standings and is Staff Van Reet bred by Roy from Carl & Peter Nee , Neebro Stud ,North Yorks and contains the very best lines of the outstanding winning UNC and breeding pigeons of Brownlee , Nee & Ward .
Next in sixth came our double hot spot winner , first pigeon to accomplish this , and the 2016 ace pigeon , Maggies Dream Team , entered by the Small Sisters, Margaret and Marlene , of Larne . Bred by Kemp & McBride , Kingswood , top racing partnership and containing the very best of their Hereman Cuesters lines . The girls purchased Blue Boy at a charity sale and Bobby Kemp now sadly deceased promised the girls something special , and true to his word the outcome was Blue Boy .
Fourteen game youngsters made home by night fall and all are to be congratulated .We have had another 62 returned up to present and more will show up over the next week or so .
Sean would like to thank all our patrons for your continuous support and expresses his gratitude to all those mentioned in the report and also Bridget McCrudden , Dave Ward , Jim Branniff , Fran Cullen , Karl Murphy , Rose Mullholland , Willie Reynolds , Darren Tosh and Roy Parkes for their help . If i have left anyone out i apologise but know your help is greatly appreciated .
Finally , two people whom Sean has asked to give a special mention to . Firstly to Big John Edgar who is always first in the queue to help day or night , your efforts are greatly appreciated . Now to Mr NCC himself , Willie Bond ,the man who holds the whole venture together with his tireless work ethic and unflinching dedication . Voluntarily he gives his time , no task too big or too small ,he can always be counted on . Sean extends his heartfelt thanks and says that no words can say how much he appreciates what you bring to the NCC.
Sean and myself would like to thank Adrian for all he does for the NCC ,not only for the above write up, plus updates and posts on our web site ,but all the other things he does to help me when I am at work . He also pays a visit to the lofts most days to make sure that things are up to date .Thanks Adie .