Fanciers hope for upturn in weather conditions

The month of July was one the fancy in most parts will be looking to forget when the weather played havoc with race plans.

Ballymena lofts took the top places from Mullingar, from (l) Bertie Blair, Billy Smyth and Charlie McManus.

we did have the odd good day but far too many when it was not possible to train the birds never mind race them.

The final old bird races were flown from France and in the final two for the INFC including the Blue Riband Kings Cup very few birds returned in race time of three days to home lofts.

A lot of birds have turned up recently and that will help to ease some pain. It will take several years to replace this quality of distance birds, many champions that have won numerous awards.

There were some bright spots with Wendell Scott of Cullybackey getting an early arrival in the St Allouestre to finish 1st Club, 1st MAC, 2nd North Sect & 4th Open INFC and also winning the Single Bird Challenge to bring his winnings to over £5,000.

Training for the young birds had to be cancelled for many days and the NIPA have yet to fly a weekend race on the usual day Saturday.

Area Liberations are used at the start of the young bird programme to help educate the birds on the route home from a short distance. Birds for Mullingar were race marked on Saturday with the race flown on Sunday 20th July and that was followed up with Tullamore, birds were race marked on Thursday with the race flown on Friday 25th July.

This weekend the NIPA for the first time in its long history race marked on a Sunday and the first mass liberation from Tullamore was due to be flown on Monday 4th August. Homer will be taking bird photos for the top Ballymena & Dist birds in the season to date on Wednesday 6th August from 7.00pm, and can take any others who require a bird done.

The most recent top results for Mid Antrim lofts are listed below.

Mid Antrim Combine St Allouestre Kings Cup – W Scott Cullybackey 768, A Darragh Cullybackey 609, H & R McCloy Cullybackey 415.

Mid Antrim Combine Mullingar 60/1482 – Blair & Rankin Ballymena 1242, W & J Smyth Ballymena 1231, W & J Smyth 1231, Blair & Rankin 1224, Blair & Rankin 1223, McFall & McManus Ballymena 1205, Blair & Rankin 1204, Blair & Rankin 1192, D Dixon Rasharkin 1184, W Scott Cullybackey 1182, W Scott 1172, McFall & McManus 1171, J W Reynolds Ballymena 1165, Gibson & Dickey Cullybackey 1164, Gibson & Dickey 1163, D Dixon 1159, T Johnston & Son Harryville 1157, Russell Bros Cullybackey 1157, J Eagleson & Sons Ballymena 1154, J W Reynolds 1151, Young McManus & Sons Ahoghill 1150, W & N Gilbert Ballymena 1150, M/M M Sempey Ballymena 1150, W & N Gilbert 1150.

Sect B & Part A Mullingar 98/2355 – Lib @ 11.45am

Blair & Rankin Ballymena 1242, W & J Smyth Ballymena 1231, W & J Smyth 1231, Blair & Rankin 1224, Blair & Rankin 1223, McFall & McManus Ballymena 1205, Blair & Rankin 1204, Blair & Rankin 1192, D Dixon Ballymoney 1184, W Scott Cullybackey 1182.

Mid Antrim Combine Tullamore 74/2059 – D Dixon Rasharkin 1406, Young McManus & Sons Ahoghill 1368, Young McManus & Sons 1368, Young McManus & Sons 1366, J & M Milliken Rasharkin 1366, J & M Milliken 1366, A Darragh Cullybackey 1366, A Darragh 1361, Young McManus & Sons 1361, Young McManus & Sons 1360, Stewart Bros Randalstown 1354, Blair & Rankin Ballymena 1352, Blair & Rankin 1352, Young McManus & Sons 1350, T Kaczynski Rasharkin 1349, M/M M Sempey Ballymena 1348, Scott & Clements Kells 1347, T Kaczynski 1339, W & J Smyth Ballymena 1339, A McBride Harryville 1337, T Kaczynski 1337, Steele & McNeill Rasharkin 1332, Percy Son & Murphy Randalstown 1329, D Dixon 1327.