Birds face tough test in Grand National race from Penzance

Ballymena fancier Martin Graham timed five birds in the Penzance Nat.
Ballymena fancier Martin Graham timed five birds in the Penzance Nat.

The INFC Grand National Penzance for the young birds was the usual hard fly, with just short of 3,000 birds taking part.

The cream of lofts across Ireland were released at 9.50am on Wednesday 2nd September into a Lt Northerly wind and only 45 birds were timed on the day!

Mid Antrim winner was Danny Dixon, Rasharkin Vel 594. Two super birds timed on the day by Martin Graham of Ballymena & District at 8.12pm & 8.32pm, near dark, and another on second morning at 7.56am flying 329 miles.

All told Martin put five birds in the result to achieve one of the top results of the year in the Ballymena & Dist HPS.

His birds were set up for this race well trained usually against the wind, the local club have a fantastic record in this race going back over the years.

Mid Antrim Combined Penzance YB Nat – D Dixon Rasharkin & Dist 939, M Graham Ballymena & Dist 931, M Graham 903, W Scott Cullybackey 796, M Graham 772, S Steele Cullybackey 764, A Darragh Cullybackey 714, M Graham 678, Reid Bros & McCloy Cullybackey 623, A Darragh 557, M Graham 466.

Local Club Results Penzance –

Ballymena & District – M Graham 931, 903, 772, 678, 466.

Cullybackey HPS – W Scott 796, S Steele 764, A Darragh 714, Reid Bros & McCloy 623, A Darragh 557.


The fancy should be aware this is the time of the year to claim various awards. The RPRA (Irish Region) details are listed in the recent BHW, all claims by 3rd October.

Mileage Awards are as usual – 0-250 Miles, 251-450 Miles, Over 450 Miles, Best Single Bird Performance OB or YB, Young Fancier for any of the above 8-16yrs racing on own.

Finally Club Secretary to submit claims for Single Bird Performance Talbenny (2) & Penzance. Application Forms available from Region Secretary with SAE to M/M Reid, 131 North Road, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim. BT38 7QJ.

Claims for all the NIPA Average Cups and various awards must be made inside 14 days from the final race, deadline date is this weekend Saturday 26th September.

George McDowell Secretary of Mid Antrim Combine must have all claims and trophies by 26th September. Old Bird Inland Average, Cross Channel Average, Old Bird Ave, B Eagleson Memorial Cup best average Talbenny, Penzance Classic, Bude and Penzance, Old Bird of the Year, Young Bird Ave, New North Cup best average Bude & Talbenny YB, Combine Average, Young Bird of the Year.

NIPA require all cups and trophies to be returned, in a clean condition please and same goes for the INFC.

The Annual Dinner & Prize presentation will be held as usual in the Stormont Hotel in Belfast on Friday 27th November.

NIPA Ladies Night will take place on Friday 13th November in the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick.