DAVID BRIDGER - 1st National Flying Club Messac


On Saturday the 17th June, the National Flying Club Messac birds were liberated at 6am and considering the forecast was for high temperatures, it was a welcome decision.  As the day progressed into late morning the pigeons began to reach home on the south coast and it was at 10:30 that David Bridger clocked the provisional winner at Littlehampton, a small town situated between Bognor Regis and Worthing, 215 miles from the race point in Messac. 

Life long fancier David and his wife Lesley obviously enjoy their gardening and their small pigeon loft compliments it perfectly. David does not keep any stock birds and rears just one round of youngsters out of his racers, coupling them in mid January. They then go on to a system based around widowhood but adapted by David where both partners are sent to the races. He is very organised and methodical within his loft and has a small corridor running the full length with Hermes nest boxes and automatic cleaning facilities.

Racing started late for David this season due to attacks by the local Sparrowhawk, so he decided to keep them inside and delay his racing until the situation had improved a little. His pigeons had been confined to the loft since October last year so it was essential that they had a few weeks just flying around home to stretch their muscles before giving them a few training tosses prior to racing.

On the day David knew that the rising temperatures would make it a difficult race for all who were flying further north but was most surprised when he was given the news that he was provisional first open NFC, and as he had a London to Brighton bike ride planned for 6am on the Sunday morning, he could not celebrate too much at the clock station. But this win must have made the cycle ride a lot easier and I was told he completed the course in just three hours.

His National winning pigeon, a medium sized Mealy hen now given the name of Heatwave, was entered into her first race from Kingsdown on 20th May. She was then sent to three more inland races including Blandford the week before the  National Flying Club race from Messac, this being her first channel race of the season.
When asking about the breeding of "Heatwave" it is no surprise that she got out in front on the day. Her sire was bred by our mutual friends Vince & Sarah Crossley of Melton Mowbray from their middle distance stock and her dam was bred by Mrs Eileen Whitehead from County Durham out of her very good Heremans Ceusters. Dave would like to thank both of them for sharing such top quality bloodlines along with the Convoyers and Organisers for a fantastic job as all the birds were in very good condition upon arrival.


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