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The Donaldson Hen by Dave Bunker Brierley


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 FB_IMG_1672765069593.jpgThe Donaldson Hen
"A tale of friendship and camaraderie tinged with a little sadness but overwhelmingly full of happiness"
In the not so distant past well not for the older generation two men were drawn together over their passion. These were pigeon racing fanciers but not just any old pigeon fanciers these were marathon men a select few pigeon fanciers that push distance racing to their extremes. These two men Jim Emerton and Jim Donaldson both excelled at this genre of the sport but both also held the same yearning to push the boundaries that little bit further. Their meeting I liken to when two star's collide in that both not only shared their methods they also shared their families of their birds strengthening both families in in essence the two families became one and the two fanciers became friends. What’s all this got to do with the Donaldson Hen I here you ask? Well everything. Approximately three years ago I was searching around Facebook pigeon sites when I came across a photo post about the Donaldson Hen. I put a photo of my pair of direct Jim Donaldsons pigeons which my dad had previously bought for me for Christmas on the post. Out of the blue I received a comment which just said "swap" I replied "swap what" and that was the start of another friendship that was the Donaldson Hen weaving her magic again! The fancier who said "swap" was no other than Jim Emerton. Jim and i became friends he goaded, teased and pushed me (or at least that's what I tell the wife) with my pigeons to do better and I did. But more than this he taught me to believe that anything is possible if you dare to dream it and then do it.
Last year Jim said to me "what pigeon if you could have would you like to have?" I replied "a pigeon off the Donaldson Hen to pair into my two to enhance my little embryonic beginnings of a family" We carried on chatting as we do said our goodbyes and i never thought anymore about it, well to be absolutely honest I did fleetingly think wow wouldn't that be great but I daren't dream!
The next time we were speaking Jim said "you know I asked you what pigeon you would like and you said a youngbird off the Donaldson Hen" I replied "yes" he said "I can do better than that do you want the Donaldson Hen" well you could of knocked me over with a feather and of cause I said yes. I was like a kid at Christmas. Oh yes I know you'll all be wanting to know what her breeding is but again being completely honest this is secondary to the Donaldson Hen being a bastion for friendship offering hopes and dreams to the custodians of her.
Anyway here's her bloodlines the Donaldson Hen is as Jim Donaldson in his own words said "she's the best of my family lines being bred off two Scottish national section winners at around 700 miles I have no better bred or looking pigeon" Here’s a few of Jim Donaldson's great pigeons that are in her lineage. Ancenis Lady the Dal cock, Reims Girl, Rennes Lass, Donanne, Little Lara, Blue Mist, Noit Lady and Circus Boy to name but a few. But here's a twist in this tale there is some boxes left blank in the Donaldson hens pedigree just with the colour and ring numbers and the words bred for stock documented. With a little research I have managed to track down what this line is and the pigeons are. Are you ready for the twist well here goes. The blanks which appear on the hens side of both the parent section winners of the Donaldson Hen are Unique a son off Barcelona Dream and Dark Enchantment called Unique because as Jim Emerton says "there's no other youngster with parents that both flew Barcelona at 879 miles so I called him Unique". So the twist in this tale is that the Dark chequer hen is the Dam of both section winners SU 06 NE 757 who flew 3rd section SNFC Alencon 32 open 631 miles 2009 was Jim Donaldsons 1st bird from Bourges 739 miles 2nd section Tours 705 miles 2011 Just out of time from Noit 775 miles smash only 7 birds back in race time 2012 and of course she is the dam of 2 section winners. The dark hen SU 06 757 is a granddaughter of Jim Emerton's Bicc record holding Barcelona Dream flying Barcelona at 879 miles.
Although I never spoke to Jim Donaldson I know Jim Emerton did to check with him to make sure it was alright to pass the Donaldson Hen on to me. Sadly not long after Jim Donaldson passed away but his legacy still lives on in his racing results and in the kind gestures he did. So there is a moral to this tale, life sometimes can seem bleak especially if you get involved in the politics. Pigeon racing is more than just winning and the pigeons being a conduit to perform the task it's a form of escape, solitude and you being in control. It's about friendship and camaraderie and winning is just a bonus. The humble pigeon is an extension of the fanciers personality giving us fanciers the opportunity to dream and make dreams become reality if you only dare to believe.
Yours in Sport
Dave Bunker Brierley
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