1st M.N.F.C. Nat 5,103 birds
1st M.N.F.C. Nat 7,791 birds
1st U.N.C. Nat 17,366 birds
1st N.F.C. Nat 10,148 birds
1st B.I.C.C. Nat 3,461 birds
1st M.N.F.C Nat 4,154 birds
1st M.N.F.C. Nat 4,753 birds
1st U.N.C. Nat 14,701 birds
1st N.I.P.A. 12,229 birds
1st N.I.P.A. 5,243 birds
1st N.F.C. Nat 7,000 birds
1st N.F.C. Nat 5,977 birds
1st N.F.C. Nat 8,535 birds
1st U.N.C. Nat 10,143 birds
1st M.N.F.C. Nat 12,921 birds
1st N.I.P.A. 24,000 birds
1st N.I.P.A. 16,200 birds
1st M.N.F.C. Nat 4,756 birds
1st M.N.F.C. Nat 4,716 birds
1st F.C.I. Int: Nat 6,940 birds
1st M.N.F.C. Nat 4,080 birds
1st U.N.C. Nat 10,601 birds
1st M.N.F.C. Nat 8,406 birds
1st U.N.C. Nat 7,312 birds
1st B.I.C.C. Nat 6,590 birds
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The U.K. National M.N.F.C. Champions


Steve Marsh

National winning loft of Gary Daykin from Carlton Nr Nottingham is considered as one of the most consistent racing lofts in the U.K. This was achieved because Gary’s desired goal was to own a team of birds with the ability to win at all race points from 70 miles through to 500 miles. For the little time that I have known Gary, I do realise he would never be satisfied with second best. On top of this like many top fanciers to him there is absolutely no substitute for hard work, commitment and total dedication to ensure his goals.
Gary will be better known by many with the involvement in the racing and breeding stud J. S. Lofts which was considered by many as Europe’s No 1 breeding lofts for top class Jos Soontjens.
The Soontjen pigeons have achieved for Gary many top awards both north and south road racing; to list all Gary’s performances would be almost impossible. Going back to 1995 racing north road, Gary with his Soontjen family were clear winners of two Silver Medals, 35 x 1st prizes, 32 x 2nd prizes, 22 x 3rd prizes. 1n 1996 Gary’s performances were breathtaking to say the least, he broke many records and set records that will be with him for a long, long time, winning 2 Gold Medals, 50 x 1st prizes, 40 x 2nd prizes plus many more prizes down the field. In 1997 Gary was back on form again winning three Silver Medals 20 x 1st prizes and 20 x 2nd prizes. In 1996 and 1997 Gary has won no less than 16 times first three positions in the federation and on occasions he was clear winner of the first nine places in the federation with birdage up to 3,500 birds competing at distances up to 250 miles. It was around this time Gary’s outlook on pigeon racing was to change; it was his new ambition to turn south road and race against the best in the Midlands National. Frank Brownlow, Gary’s partner, who took care of the breeding stud was himself unfortunately suffering from ill health and was at this time quite happy and content in racing just at club and federation level. So as both partners had their sights set on different things it was decided amicable spilt of the breeding stud. But before the entire stud was sold into Northern Ireland Gary made sure he maintained pigeons for his own racing loft from all the best Soontjen bloodlines including Witpen Late Tom, Blue Saber, Shadow, The Blue Thunder Cock, Atom etc. Anyone studying the Soontjen pigeons will realize Gary has maintained the best
.
From left to right
Mark Evans holding 2nd Open National Tours 2003.
Dick Evans holding 1st Open National Yearlings Picauville 2003.
Gary Daykin holding top producer “Golden Atom”

As Gary’s sights were clearly set on national racing, he knew he had to find a family of middle distance pigeons which were good enough to win at national level. Also a family which would make a ideal cross for the Soontjens, to maintain from them that extra distance. Gary is the first to admit the Soontjens are fantastic pigeons, but only at distances up to around 250 miles, they will achieve 350 to 400 miles on fast days with high velocities. The decision on purchasing middle distance pigeons was not taken lightly by Gary, it was most important that he selected correctly, he could not waste years putting together a family for national racing, then find out at a later date they were not up to the job. Gary spent hours studying many middle distance families and the results these pigeons had achieved. It was only at this time after all the homework was finely accomplished Gary decided to introduce the world famous Gaby Vandenabeele pigeons.
“St George”GB2001E61748
Vandenabeele based

Winner of 1st Nat N.E. Section,
1st Open M.N.F.C. Yearling National
1st Nat N.E. Section,
1st Open M.N.F.C. Old Birds National 12,921 birds.
1st Open National Car Winner.
Gary is without doubt not a novice in the sport of pigeon racing and realised he was not going to produce a winning middle distance family overnight but he was 100% sure he had made the right decision.
The first Vandenabeele’s were purchased in 1996 onwards from different studs around the U.K., but after close observation on intelligence and performance the Gaby Vandenabeele’s from Mark & Dick Evans from Myrtle Lofts, Whitley Bridge were the best he had purchased. These birds are now the only Vandenabeeles left in Gary’s loft, except about six pairs purchased only recently direct from a loft in Belgium. Gary quotes “no other Vandenabeeles looked the same, handled the same or have performed the same as the M & D. Evans Vandenabeeles. I do believe this is because Mark and Dick purchased direct from Gaby in what is known in Europe as the Golden Years between 1985 to 1995. On top of this both Mark and Dick are outstanding stockmen with standards higher than anyone I know. Their very strict selection process has obviously raised the standards of the birds that they purchased from Gaby”. Gary continued to say he had a lot of respect for both Mark and Dick on the way they select and eliminate birds. So they only keep the very best and the proof is in the results achieved by Mark and Dick in Classic and National races, which have been fantastic, and acclaimed as among the best achieved in British pigeon racing, plus the many top performances achieved with their bloodlines by other fanciers worldwide. I myself can vouch for the continuing success story with birds, which have been purchased from Mark and Dick. Year after year I hear or read about new fanciers for the first time winning with birds bred down from their stock. To me Gary is obviously a very intelligent and patient fancier which is a bonus in the life of pigeon racing. As I said earlier it takes time to build a national winning family, but Gary already has made a great impact to the national seen when he turn south road and joined the M.N.F.C. in 1998. In Gary’s very
Dick, Mark & Gary holding the M.N.F.C. Trophies for the Open National Combine Averages in 2003
first race with the club from Thorness he was outright winner of 1st & 2nd Open National with 5,600 birds competing. He continued his success winning many more top national prizes including his second 1st Section, 1st Open National in the Gold Ring from Picauville in the year 2000.
Gary realised many years ago when he first met Mark and Dick Evans, the road to success is not only purchasing the best pigeons possible and working extremely hard 365 days a year, there is a little more to it than that. Mark and Dick do believe the main secret is always planning five to ten years ahead at all times, never sitting back when you are at the top thinking you will stay there without forwards thinking and investing year after year. With this in mind Gary knew he was working on the right lines, structuring and moulding a team of birds to achieve his new ambition in national racing. And after numerous telephone conversations and visits with Mark and Dick Evans seeking advice on purchasing their best lines, Gary new his results could only get better.All this interest from Gary in purchasing more birds from Myrtle Lofts was starting to make Mark and Dick realise that in the future they were going to be racing against their own family in both quality and quantity. Also with Gary’s expert knowledge in pigeon racing and on top of all this Gary is situated 50 miles shorter in the same north east section in the M.N.F.C. It was at this time Mark and Dick decided to offer Gary a partnership at his own loft at Nottingham. Gary would stay in full control with all his own management skills, training, feeding, and motivation. Mark and Dick would supply Gary with about twenty pair of Vandenabeele pigeons for stock, bred direct from their best breeding pairs including Golden Boy, Jester, Nationaal Fideel, Benetton, Shadow, Rolls Royce, Solitaire etc.
“Dark Diamond”
Raced by G. S. Daykin, Son & Evans
2001 - 2nd National North East Section
2nd Open M.N.F.C. National Gold Ring
4th Open M.N.F.C. National Guernsey
771 members sent 5,661 birds
2002 - 5th National North East Section
5th Open M.N.F.C. National Picauville
1,541 members sent 12,921 birds
2003 - 7th National North East Section
11th Open M.N.F.C. National Picauville
1,235 members sent 9,880 birds
Mark and Dick would also continue to breed Gary a team of youngsters each year for his own race team. Gary will no longer have to spend time travelling and looking for new stock, Myrtle Lofts will purchase all new breeding birds for both lofts. Mark and Dick have already have a new family of birds on order from a top European fancier which will arrive in the next two years which will now be tried and tested at both racing lofts their own and Gary’s.
In return for this offer Mark and Dick require their name adding to the partnership and also require all information and feedback from all Gary’s racing and breeding birds so Mark can keep the breeding lofts to the highest of standards. The new partnership will race at Gary’s loft in Nottingham as G. S. Daykin Son & Evans. Mark and Dick will continue on their own as before at Myrtle Lofts as M & D. Evans. Whitley Bridge.
I myself can see in store a great future in these three fanciers working together. I admit I don’t know Gary Daykin very well but I do know Mark and Dick as well as anyone, and believe me this new partnership will have only been formed if it was to benefit both lofts. By working together they can only try to improve perfection. A small example of what these two lofts can achieve was shown in the last Midlands National race in 2001 when racing into a head wind from Guernsey. Mark and Dick winning 1st, 5th, 7th, 10th, 15th, 21st, 31st, 38th, 39th Section, 2nd 8th, 10th, 13th, 23rd, 35th, 49th, 63rd, 65th Open. Gary winning 2nd, 4th, 6th, 16th, 24th, 25th, 37th, 46th, 51st Section, 4th, 7th, 9th, 28th, 38th, 39th, 61st, 77th, 86th Open. Between them both results combined winning 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 31st, 37th, 38th, 39th, 46th, 51st North East Section, 269 members sent 2,069 birds. Winning 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 23rd, 28th, 35th, 38th, 39th, 49th, 61st, 63rd, 65th, 77th, 86th Open National 771 members sent 5,661 birds. The two lofts won the first seven places in the North East Section except third place and also they had six pigeons in the top ten in the Open National. These results are outstanding when you take into consideration both their lofts are situated 50 miles apart this showing their top class racing and breeding stock which must be admired. Congratulations Mark, Dick and Gary and best of luck for the future racing in national events.
Steve Marsh, South Yorkshire. B.H.W. Scribe – England.