CHATTERIS' John "Rocky" Dolby was the toast of all local pigeon fanciers this week after pulling off a coup in the 370-mile race from Fraserburgh.
Dolby sent 25 birds for the race but admits: “I really did fancy the one that won the race and she won 500 in prize money. If I had been a bit braver and gone in the pool I could have won another 1,000.”
This is the first time the national race has been won locally and is a real feather in the cap for Dolby, who also bred the winner.
The winning pigeon is just one year-old and covered the 370-mile trek in an average speed of 45mph in 8 hours 10 mins.
It is not her first success as she won a race from North Allerton and was second in her section in another event from Dubar.
Dolby has 40 pigeons in three lofts at his Chatteris home and has been racing pigeons for the last 45 years.
“I started doing it continously when I came out of the army in 1963 but this is the biggest race I have won so it is tremendous as there were a total of 2,958 birds taking part.
“The winning bird was home-bred. I bought the dam a few years ago. She cost me lot of money but I can’t say how much because the wife doesn’t know.
“I will have to think of a name for the bird now but she will not race gain this season.”
But Rocky will be competing and is sending 10 birds for a race from near John O’Groats later this month but admitted: “I don’t think I will be winning that race.”