BALLYMENA & District HPS returned to the Adair Arms Hotel for the annual presentation of awards on Saturday (January 11) and it was the club’s turn to once again host the presentation of awards for the local Mid Antrim Combine.
The members and friends were welcomed by Vice Chairman Martin Graham, visitors were present from Doagh & District, Randalstown, Ballymoney, Cullybackey and Kells & District.
Blair & Rankin dominated the seasons racing especially in the young birds and take Highest Prize-winner for the second time, the previous occasion being in 2015 season.
Highlight of a very successful season was winning the premier NIPA Talbenny YB National from South Wales with his Blue w/f (h) “Champion Faith”for which he collected the McKeown Cup at NIPA Ladies Night.
In Section B J Eagleson & Sons had NIPA Champion Old Bird 2019, and Blair & Rankin won NIPA Champion Young Bird 2019. Martin Graham won an INFC Kings Cup Merit Award for a bird scoring twice, his Blue cock was 59th Open in 2018 and 122nd Open in 2019, only bird in the MAC and Blair & Rankin had 1st MAC in the INFC Sennen Cove Ylr Nat and also topped the MAC in the Talbenny YB Nat and the Area (1) YB Liberation from Mullingar. The ever consistent W & J Smyth scored well again in the old birds topping the NIPA Sect B in Roscrea and Fermoy, they also won Talbenny and old time favourite Penzance.
The Ballymena cups and trophies were presented by Robert Turkington from Doagh & Dist, D & R Turkington won a Merit Award in the Kings Cup St Allouestre, their Champion “Bertie’s Boy” was bred by Blair & Rankin. Martin Graham also won a Kings Cup Merit Award. Robert is involved in the Doagh Centre and gives a very good hard at the Muckamore Station in the INFC events. The NIPA Sect B Diplomas were presented by the Ahoghill Centre Manager Jackie Steele from Rasharkin.
INFC prizes – Blair & Rankin, Martin Graham, Billy Ramsey and George Bell. Some £320 was paid out in Show Specials divided between Blair & Rankin, R Service & Son, W & W Gilbert and G & A Eagleson. Local builder David Parker sponsored the NIPA Old Bird season to the tune of £150, this was divided between J Eagleson & Sons, W & J Smyth, Blair & Rankin and R Service & Son. Thanks to Willy Gilbert and Mervyn Eagleson who supplied details of the above, greatly appreciated. Thanks as well to all the members and friends who assisted with the presentation and to Martin Graham who arranged the event.
Racing season results –The various race winners were starting with the Old Birds: 13/4 Millingar Blair & Rankin vel 1536, 20/4 Tullamore J Eagleson & Sons 1st, 2nd and 3rd vel 1563 (6th MAC), 28/4 Roscrea W & J Smyth vel 1531 (1st MAC, 1st Sect & 3rd Open NIPA 702/18,761), 04/5 Gowran Park (1) J Eagleson & Sons vel 1235 (6th MAC), 11/5 Fermoy J Eagleson & Sons 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th vel 1288 (8th & 9th MAC), 18/5 Corrin J Eagleson & Sons 1st & 2nd vel 1212 (2nd MAC), 25/5 Fermoy (2) W & J Smyth vel 1656 (1st MAC & 1st Sect B with J Eagleson & Sons 2nd & 3rd MAC and 3rd Sect), same weekend Barleycove Inl Nat J Eagleson & Sons vel 1420 (5th MAC), 02/6 Gowran Park (2) Blair & Rankin vel 2093 (5th MAC and J Eagleson & Sons 6th and 7th MAC), 07/6 Fermoy (3) J Eagleson & Sons 1st, 2nd & 3rd vel 1641(11th MAC) this race brought forward to Friday and in the duplicate 5 Bird Championship J Eagleson & Sons vel 1641 (6th MAC), on Sunday of same weekend 09/6 Talbenny W & J Smyth vel 1551 and J Eagleson & Sons 1549 (2nd MAC & 2nd Sect B), 15/6 Bude J Eagleson & Sons vel 1391 (12th MAC) and on same weekend Castletown Yearling Nat J Eagleson & Sons 1st & 2nd vel 1502 (2nd & 3rd MAC and 5th & 6th Sect), 22/6 Penzance W & J Smyth 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1544 (4th MAC), duplicate OB Classic W & J Smyth vel 1544 (4th Ahoghill Centre), on same weekend Fermoy (4) J Eagleson & Sons vel 1561 (6th MAC).
For the major race from St Malo in France only a handful of birds and for the second season on the trot nil return for Ballymena & District, former members Mr & Mrs Sempey won 1st Sect B and 2nd Open NIPA and Hugh Boyd took 1st in the Mid Antrim Combine.
The young birds started as planned and between poor weather and a lot of young bird sickness entries over the entire season were greatly reduced. The first three races were Area Liberations. 20/7 Mullingar Blair & Rankin 1st, 2nd and 3rd vel 1337 (1st MAC), 27/7 Tullamore (1) R Service & Son vel 1451 (3rd MAC), 02/8 flown Friday Tullamore (3) Blair & Rankin 1st & 2nd vel 1394 (9th MAC) , 11/8 flown Sunday Gowran Park Blair & Rankin vel 1229 (19th MAC), 17/8 Fermoy (1) Blair & Rankin 1st & 2nd vel 1979 (6th MAC), 25/8 flown Sunday Fermoy (2) Blair & Rankin 1st, 2nd and 3rd vel 1500 (3rd MAC), 31/8 Roscrea Comeback W & J Smyth vel 1406, flown two days later on Monday 02/9 Talbenny National Blair & Rankin 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th vel 1468 (1st MAC, 1st Sect B & 1st Open NIPA ), 07/9 Corrin Blair & Rankin vel 1111 (6th MAC) and in the duplicate 5 Bird Championship Blair & Rankin vel 1083 (4th MAC), 14/9 Skibbereen National Blair & Rankin 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th vel 1758 (22nd MAC).
Cups and trophies won racing in 2019: Blair & Rankin won – Harper Cup (Highest Prize-winner), Carnvale Cup INFC Yearling Nat, INFC Penzance YB Nat, Vintage Cup NIPA Talbenny YB Nat, NIPA Skibbereen YB Nat, INFC Skibbereen YB Nat, Champion Young Bird (19B-16063), Young Bird Knock-Out, Young Bird League, Roger King Memorial 6th YB Race, YB Corrin 5 Bird, Smyth Bros Perpetual Trophy Best Ave OB Classic & YB Penzance, Law Family Memorial INFC Points, Bobby Law Memorial 1st Yearling Penzance, Victory Cup Young Bird Ave, YB Inl Ave, Ruddle Cup Cross Channel YB Derby, Carney Shield ave INFC Penzance & Skibbereen YB, Flamingo Cup ave NIPA Talbenny & Skibbereen YB.
J Eagleson & Sons won – Old Bird Inland Ave , Bill Carney Perpetual Rose Bowl Best Old Bird (GB18B-12586), Old Bird Knock-Out, OB Fermoy 5 Bird, Castletown Yearling Nat NIPA, Barleycove Inl Nat NIPA, Bude Old Bird. W & J Smyth won – Old Bird Classic Penzance, Slemish Cup OB Talbenny, OB Penzance, Simon McCrory Cup Best Ave 2nd, 4th, Talbenny & Penzance. Martin Graham won – Kings Cup St Allouestre. Mooney Cup Best Individual Bird (Kings Cup).
R Service & Son won - Old Bird League, 2nd YB Race. The presentation next year will include a new award, Smyth Bros Memorial Cup, the competition to be decided at the clubs AGM.
The Ballymena & District AGM will be on Monday 3rd February at 8.00pm in the clubrooms, any Resolutions to the Secretary Willie Reynolds in writing on or before Saturday 25th January, and any resignations.