A fancier of our sport and a gentleman greatly missed, Alan Barnfield (my stepfather) whom I and other fanciers locally considered to have owned and raced possibly the best long distance pigeon in the south of England in the late 90s early 2000s.
No other pigeon to my knowledge or fancier did what these two did together on the toughest racing days....Channel flying made to look easy.
Alan was famous for having a pigeon known simply as THE MEALY a 1994 bred athlete, it won 9 x 1st Prizes from France and 10 x 1st prize in total, The Mealy won 4 x 1st prize from Bergerac, also 1st Poiters, 2 x 1st Nantes, 2 x 1st Rennes, 1st Weymouth this is just 1st prizes as The Mealy won many many prizes in total, including 2nd, 10th, 10th, 10th, 7th, 16th 8th, 16th Federation and 2nd, 8th, 10th, 19th, 21st Combine etc.
The Mealy (Oude Vale) was a Germain Imbrecht pure as they come bred from two direct Imbrecht pigeons from the master himself.
I have never before or since known of any British pigeon to race until 9 years old in competition, conditioned and motivated to do such a thorough job, which was down soley to Alans knowledge and connection with such a Champion Athlete, the Mealy was retired due to hitting a wire around home in preperation for his first ever National race at 9 years of age in 2003... incredible isn't it that at 9 he was to be sent to his first National competition, and as calm as Alan was with everything I remember he accepted this mishap with a shrug of his shoulders and a smile.
It was a partnership between Alan and his Mealy Champion which made both of them feared across the channel into England.. A bloodline of some considerable note and excellence.
A bloodline which has been maintained and kept for the future, Alan with his generous nature agreed to use The Mealy in a breeding co-operation with myself back in late 2003 for one year only, 20 years ago, and from that mating I was blessed with Kadetje 996, a Mealy hen which was daughter of the Mealy on the sire side and on the dam side Van Den Bosch/Van Loon/Janssen, and subsiquently later generations have won club, federation and Classic honours.
The Champion Mealy passed away in my loft as when he became infertile Alan gifted him to me to live out his days at my stud, he died in 2012 at the grand age of 18...
Now on the lofts here at Timbarra we have kept the Alan Barnfield bloodline going today, we own a Great Great Grandson (Vale Bosch) of the Original Mealy (Oude Vale) 28 years after Alan first bred his famous Champion.