Newcastle Coalfields Breeders Plate 2001
Breeder of Winning Bird
Geelong – VIC
Steve has sent birds along with myself with other birds to the Newcastle Coalfields breeders’ plate for past couple of years. Trevor Barker from Cessnock collected the birds and delivered the birds to the sale, this is another success story for fanciers working together.
I have had the chance to sit down and talk with Steve now I am living in Ballarat, I must say it is pleasing to meet fanciers who are genuine people for the sport and who are always open minded to the possibilities in our sport.
Steve flys with the Geelong Invitation club which has approx. 30 members. The bird, which won the breeders plate, was blue bar hen, a Harrison X Barker. Steve obtained his Harrison line from a fancier who has since left the sport and his Barkers from Kenny Lemon, a hard day specialist in Geelong. He also obtained a bird of Barry Slater (Colac) which has crossed well into his birds and has produced a Tassie winner in Gippsland. He has some Pape blood from Ken McCall and Geoff Laity and a few Goodgers. His main race team is made up from these old traditional Australian bloodlines, which suit racing under the 1000 mpm. He will remain with the old bloodlines as his performance with these birds is good, but, he is now trialing some imports as he said a majority of the races in a season are less than 400 miles and with only a few distance races, he "feels the need for speed" in the shorter races. He said to cover the whole season, a variety of families may be needed.
He normally uses Fernando’s No.2 mix and then modifies this to his own needs. Early in the season he will add extra barley to the mix for the sprint races and then once he starts the distance racing he adds more peas and maize for added fat for the birds to burn. He puts a garlic clove in the water trays, which he replaces every five days and he only uses rainwater! He only worms the birds before breeding and also gives silverbeet to the stock birds each week. Any ill youngsters are culled! This way he maintains a high quality team and doesn’t have to medicate. He also uses vitamins in the water such as Ornithorn.
Steve feeds his birds twice a day, morning and night. They get 25% of the ration in the morning and the remaining 75% at night. His belief is that the birds get a better sleep over night with a full stomach. He also noticed awhile ago that birds may not be able to get not have been able to get a drink in the transporter whilst away so he fitted some race baskets to the front of his loft and extensively trained his birds this way. Since doing this, his returns and results have been well up from previous years in all races. He believes his birds are able to locate the water in the transporter and therefore don’t get dehydrated before the flight home! This is an item more fanciers should take note of!
Steve normally flys with around sixty to eighty birds, but this year he obtained some old birds from a flyer who left the sport and has broken them in to his loft. He has relocated and is now in a better position for racing his birds and feels the old birds will be an asset to his team. He starts to train his team once they are ranging, giving them 2 or 3 tosses from 5 miles then 15 miles and then 30 miles. Once at this point the birds are taken to wherever he is working. They also flown for 1 to 1˝ hours around the loft if the weather permits.
His strongest competitors in his Geelong club would be Geoff Laity "The Gun Flyer" as he sends a small team and gets top performances each time, also, Eric Branagh who is consistently at the top. He sees the top flyers in Geelong as Ken and Kerry McCall, "they are the yard stick to set your goals"! "If you can get close to them you know you are doing well".
Some of Steve’s results:
1st in Club Maroon 180 klm (over 100 mpm in font of the second bird in the club)
1st Newcastle Coalfields Breeders Plate
7th WPF breeders Plate, with his own bird
1st and 2nd in East section Gippsland Federation Breeders Plate
2nd and 3rd overall Gippsland Federation Breeders Plate
1st Hawker (400 miles) for Renzo Sordello in Horsham (won by ˝ hour)
Bred winner from Murraybridge SA for Barry Jones of Geelong
Newcastle Coalfields BP Results for past 2 years.
Total Prizes $3,433.00
1st Paul Callaghan - Bred by Paul and purchased by T & R Barker 1445.3 mpm
2nd Gary Ellicott – Bred by Trewin Family (Vic) 1431.2 mpm
3rd Paul Callaghan – Bred by T & R Barker and purchased by T & R Barker 1417.4 mpm
Total Prizes $4,260.00
1st Vic Smola – Bred by Steve Parkyn (Vic) 983.0 mpm
2nd Paul Callaghan - Bred by M & D Watt 967.7 mpm
3rd Gary Ellicott – Bred by R & A Bailey and purchased by Terry Bradbury 923.4 mpm
4th Gary Ellicott – Bred by Gary Ellicott
I will be traveling up to Cessnock late in October this year to spend some time with the Trevor and Rhonda, I also intend to visit some lofts while I’m there for the visit and I should have some loft reports on some of the fanciers from around the area for the readers at a later date.
Loft report by Barry Trewin