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Bruce Oakley's 2009 Story

Queensland 10,000 One loft Race

QLD 10,000 one loft Race 2009

The morning of Sunday the 30th of August saw the start of the

Qld 10,000 run by Jim Smith from his picturesque Gympie property. This event, only in its second year has attracted flyers from all parts of Australia and Jim had more flyers participating this year as word of mouth praising the 2008 event spread far and wide, and needless to say the bird quota was up and the allocated prize money reached its target.

Before I go into detail regarding the main event it would be remiss of me not to mention the expertise of loft manager- trainer Jim Smith. To release approx 130 birds from 350 mls and have over 100 birds in the loft by noon on the second day, with the winning bird having an 8 hour fly doing around the 1100 mpm proving that this race was not wind assisted, is a credit to Jim’s management to have had the birds in such great condition.

There is a lot of effort that goes into making this event successful and in saying that, there are people behind the scenes that make it all happen on the day. Bruce Kelhet set up and maintained the electronic clocking system that within what only seemed seconds when the first pigeon had entered the loft, the ring number and the flyers name was being broadcast throughout the eager crowd, then came second place getter then third and so on it went.  As well as the broadcasting of the arriving birds, a circulation of print outs with all the details was also distributed amongst the gathering, well done Bruce. I must also add that all the pics were taken by Bruce as well.

Chris Thomas from Cessnock with his trusty laptop looked after the pools, loft auctions and the popular “pick the time” segment. Chris in his very likable and easy going manner made the job look effortless as he searched for different ring numbers for flyers that had entered birds and wondering if they were still in the race. Chris’s input and computing skills were very much appreciated.

Jim would like to acknowledge Des Moore for getting the Qld 10,000  web site up and running and keeping the punters up to date with the tosses and races, I’m led to believe that Des has been on the sick list but is on the up and up, on behalf of Jim many thanks Des.

Conducting the loft auctions and squeezing that extra dollar out of the punters was Maryborough flyer Ron Wheeler, well done Ron as there were sizeable cash prizes to be won.

There are going to be people I have not mentioned that have assisted Jim throughout the year that have made this event as successful as it is.  I can only relay the many thanks to those people and without your assistance would certainly make Jim’s job a lot harder.

Okay let’s get down to the racing side of things and see how the lead up races and tosses were conducted and see if there was a stand-out pigeon over these events. The tossing prior to the first race from Agnes Waters was done mainly from Burrum Heads and Boonooroo which is on the line of flight and being 100kms and 50kms respectively. Jim was happy with the way the birds were tossing and loft flying, the birds were ranging for 1 hour on their afternoon exercise sessions and were ready for there first race. Sunday the 19th of July saw the release from Agnes Waters approx 250 kms with the majority of the birds arriving within 10-20 mins of the first batch and looking like the falcon had done little or no damage at all.

The tossing continued on a regular basis and the birds were responding well to Jim’s regime, the next race was from Yeppoon situated on the coast east of Rockhampton with a distance of 350 kms from Gympie. The birds were up at 7.30am on the 9th of August into fine and still conditions but as the morning progressed so did a stiff South Easter reaching 20-30 kmh and the temperature in the high 20’s Jim knew the birds were in for a work out with the first batch of birds arriving at 2.10pm having been on the wing for just over 6 hours and 40 mins.  Jim recalls the birds still coming in after dark with the overall returns being very good. This race certainly toughened them up for the big one from St Lawrence.

The birds were still eagerly doing their loft flying but spelled from tossing for a week in preparation for the main race from St Lawrence.  As Jim explained a week of relaxing and enjoying their weekly bath seems to lift the birds and restores there love for home. The birds are on a hi-carb diet with the water being changed twice daily and with the grated floor droppings are kept to a minimum.  The loft itself has ample room and the all round ventilation has been well thought out.

Sunday the 30th August at St Lawrence and all is ready for the release of the birds at 8.00am into fine conditions with a very slight NN/W but with the temperature creeping into the low 30’s as the day marched on. The birds are off to a good start and out of sight in minutes.  The weather stays pretty much the same with the NN/W being a little variable. Back at the loft there has been a rush on “pick the time” as a lot of betting was placed with times between 2.00pm and 2.30 pm. Mid afternoon saw a band of cloud come over and the wind changing from the N/E to a slight S/E. All eyes were searching the skies for that speck that could transform into the winning pigeon.  2.30pm came and went as did 3.00pm and the word circulating was that they have to be close. 3.30pm came and went and the rumour was that it could be a two day affair. Suddenly at 3.49 a cry of “HEAR THEY ARE”, a small pack of 9 pigeons wheel around are down within seconds, some quickly adjusting their flights and all have entered the loft in 23 seconds. Another 6 birds six minutes later and so they started rolling in with 45 on the day and as stated earlier over 100 birds by noon the second day. Bruce Kelhet had just read out the winning ring number and the owner being Des Lovell, a popular pigeon flyer in Gympie for many years, was in a state of shock.  I noticed he was straight on his mobile phone maybe to let his employer know he would be off crook for the week or maybe to family to let them know the great news, either way a great pick up for a Sunday. The nine pigeons that arrived first are listed below as they were recorded on the timing system

1st Des Lovell – 15.49.05, 2nd Maury Lacovella – 15.49.06, 3rd Graham and Linda Percival – 15.49.08, 4th Norm Milner – 15.49.10, 5th Brian Lacey – 15.49.11, 6th Barry Johnson – 15.49.25, 7th Terry Ravet – 15.49.26, 8th Rick Darnell – 15.49.28, 9th Allan Jessop Smith – 15.49.31, all very very close with all birds doing a great job, but there has to be a winner and so Des Lovell is crowned the Qld 10.000 winner for 2009.

I recently had a chat with Des to discuss his methods and about the birds he has cultivated over the years and how he first got into the sport of pigeon racing. Des can remember his first pair of pigeons that his parents brought for him for his 8th birthday present with his father paying 5 shillings a bird. From there when he was 14 he joined the Gympie club and has kept and raced pigeons from that point on. A local flyer back in the 70’s and 80’s that helped Des was the late Roy Mills who had birds from the renowned O’Toole brothers from Brisbane, some of these birds were gifted to Des and to this day are a still prominent in Des’s loft. Roy’s  brother George who flies in Cairns sent a bird to Des some 25 years ago which was a Randall (Qld) bred pigeon and when introduced into the O’Toole pigeons the sparks began to fly. This pigeon is still in Des’s loft at the age of 24 and is the matriarch of the loft. Des has had success from the Randall x O’Tooles clocking these birds from Broken Hill (800mls), Wilcannia (700mls), and Kyuna (700mls) just to name a few. Apart from these distance pigeons Des has a team he flies in the middle distance races, these being Busschaert x Janssen that are starting to make their mark.

The sire of the Qld 10,000 winner is a Busschaert Janssen that was given to him by a flyer that was leaving the sport and the dam being a Van loon x red fox janssen bred by Ian Goodall of Maryborough.  This pairing has bred very consistent race birds for Des.

Des breeds approx 130 birds for the start of the season and is not keen on racing 2 year olds as he considers the cocks to be more trouble than there worth and always being disruptive chasing hens etc, so the yearlings are raced right through to the 500 and 600 mile races. What comes home in a decent time he will reconsider their future.

When racing commences Des likes to toss once a week from the 50-60 km point providing the falcon is not too menacing and loft fly the birds for 45mins to 1 hour once a day. He will medicate for wet canker and respiratory once a month and worm the birds on a regular basis. Probiotics is given via the drink water to returning race birds which Des believes clears the digestive system and reflourishes the gut flora and gets the droppings back to normal as quickly as possible. Des buys his grain separately and mixes it to what he considers to be the right recipe for the birds at that particular time of the season. Des would like to close with a big pat on the back to Jim Smith who he reckons gets the best out of the birds and has them in super form for the big race.

Well that just about wraps it up for another year.  I will again take this opportunity to congratulate Des on his fine win and to all the fanciers who entered birds in this event, it is a great way to test your birds against the best in the country and meet up with flyers from different parts of Aussie as well as New Zealand.  See you again next year.

Bruce Oakley Qld

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