Anyone who knows Paul or has read articles about him or watched his videos will know that Paul had one goal for the past 12 years,fly from an International into Ireland in race time.
In 2017 he got a bird back from Mont de Marsan International, well outside the race time the dark chequer white flight cock had extensive injuries with dry and caked blood on its wings and back. Also most of the flights were missing and the keel bone indicated signs of a fracture. All this indicated to Paul that the cock had been able to get home into Ireland and then suffered a near fatal hawk attack. How long Never Give Up had actually been in Ireland before making it back to the Swindell loft will never be known, but what it proved to Paul was that it was possible as proven by other pioneering flyers to get birds back from an International.
In 2018 Paul was unable to send to the NIPA Old bird national, so made the choice of sending his Old bird team to the BICC Le Mans national, as he had checked wind and weather conditions which although not favourable did give birds a chance to get back.
His return from the race was 3 birds in the race result a 2 day national from 516 miles and a fourth bird on the 3rd day and outside the official race result.
When Paul went to collect his trophy and certificate for the feat of recording the 1st 3 birds ever to be timed into Ireland in race time from a BICC National, it became clear to him that he needed rethink additions to his base stock birds if he wanted to clock in race-time in an international race.
A lengthy and very enjoyable conversation with the legendary race team of Geoff and Catherine Cooper directed him to talk to one man probably the best distance flyer of his generation, the Dutch magician Jelle Jellema.
Arrangements were made and Paul travelled to Holland to meet with Jelle and discuss his race methods and types of birds required to fly over 700 miles at a velocity of over 1,000ypm.
Paul found Jelle a very honest down to earth fancier, someone he could discuss his project with and someone who was very interested in the unique challenge fanciers in Ireland face when trying to conquer what distance fanciers on the continent take for granted.
Unfortunately Jelle is contractually tied with PIPA to allow them to sell all his birds through them and he quite rightly pointed this out. However he was genuinely intrigued with the challenge and agreed to make the introduction to Jan Morsink acknowledged around the world to have the best colony of Jellema birds outside Jelle himself.
However Jelle had further input helping to select the pairings to produce the young birds that he believed would breed the birds to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Jelle also told Paul which birds to look out for on upcoming auctions that had the right bloodlines to achieve the goal. This meant Paul obtained birds from Comb. Vromans, M& S Tekin and Kobal.
He was also advised to try and get birds from birds that had won 1st International Barcelona International, as all these birds had the genetic ability to fly long and fast. Paul identified the birds he wanted to get descendants from, New Laureaat, Kliene Jade, Summerian Fighter, The Special One & Lloyd.
All had won impressively in a variety of races from Barcelona and all have proved to be successful breeders for fanciers around the world.
A Conversation with Steve and Lesley Wright from the House of Aarden produced a deal to provide birds inbred to all of these International winners and better still all the young birds parentage could be guaranteed as all the parents had been DNA certified when The House of Aarden had purchased them.
This combined draft of birds being offered in this sale, is probably the best selection of specialist marathon pigeons ever offered for sale in Ireland. All birds can be described as small to medium or as Paul says and Jelle agreed to fly the distance required at the speed necessary a dove like body perfectly balanced is essential.
Treat yourself for the long distance on a tough day these are the birds you need, and they have the speed to compete on the better race day these birds can never be described as plodders as can be seen in recent years with the success of Jellema in OLR’s with descendants of Kliene Jade and New Laureaat.