Breeder Cockfighter: Frank Shy
Gamecock Strain: Narragansett
Specialty: Stag Tournament
Weapon: Short Heels (one and quarter gaff)
“Hometown”: Narragansett, Rhode Island
Papa told me a lot about Frank Shy since childhood. And Frank Shy’s Narragansett strain of gamecocks.
– Gameness til the End
Northeast, May 13 – In the most closely contested tournament seen in many years, Narragansett emerged as the winner with a 7-2 score after a 3-way tie with Tucwest and Murphy at the conclusion of the regular schedule. At that point all three had posted 5-2 marks. According to the terms of this event, all contestants are required to bring two additional five pound birds to be use in deciding ties. When lots were drawn, Tucwest drew the “Bye” round, which meant that he was credited with a win without fighting. Narragansett then defeated Murphy and Tucwest successively to determine the winner and the order of finish. In the opinion Foxy Hewitt and Eddie Rodger, both nationally known figures in the sport, the fighting was the highest class seen in this event for many years.
A dramatic feature of this year’s Claymore was the partcipation posthumously of Thomas W. Murphy who passed away on March 20th 1967. So great was the interest of this grand sportsman in the event that he made provision prior to his death for Heinie Mathesius, his trainer for over 30 years, to take certain stags from breeding pens designated by him and use them in this year’s classic. Proper recognition of this unprecedented devotion to the sport was made prior to the start of the tournament. Naturally he was the sentimental favorite to win of every person present, and he came within an eyelash of doing that very thing, since both his losses in the regular schedule were one shot affairs received in the first half minute of each contest.
Another feature was the order of finish which made the 1967 Claymore truly an “old timers” day. Messrs. Tuckerman and Murphy were charter members when the club was founded in 1940, and Narragansett has been a member since 1948. By a strange coincidence, all the other entries finished exactly in the order in which they became members of the organization, right down to a new member elected this year, who finished at the bottom with a 1-6 score. This brought about a humorous situation when Eric West, who is now associated with Mr. Tuckerman, and Ed Rodger, who is with Jimmie McHugh, both rushed up to him and said “Let us congratulate you. The first time each of us participated in the Claymore, neither of us won even a single fight.” Small consolation, but better than none.
Of lesser interest was the establishment of a new record for winning, this making the seventh time that Narragansett has won the event. Previously he and Mr. Murphy had been tied with six wins each. Harry Parr holds the next position with three wins to his credit. Only one other person has ever won the tournament more than once though the membership includes such illustrous names as E.S. Hatch, Dan O’Connell of Albany fame, Oliver Hoyt who was associated with E.W. Law, Henry Sage, Jr., Henry E. Bradford, etc. Strange as it seems, the O’Connell brothers participated for fourteen years without ever winning the event.
A Look At The Entries And Scores
Narragansett 7-2. Awfully strong red fowl, all closely related, which cut deep and could pick up a lot of steel without weakening. Bred, heeled and handled by the owner; conditioned by the veteran, Joseph Cayer, who put up the Narragansett fowl for many seasons over 30 years ago. Another instance of this being “Old timer’s” day. The two stags used in the fight-off matches were bred from a pure old time Herbert Atkinson cock sent by a friend in England, over a regular Narragansett hen.
Tucwest 6-3. Powerful fowl which looked to be a pound larger than their opponents. A combination of old time Whitehackle and some superb Murphy blood of several years ago. Hard smashers which could drop an opponent with one stroke at any time.
Murphy 5-3. Great fighting red stags which were unlucky enough to catch two killing shots in the first few seconds of milling, one from Onet, the other from Narragansett. Otherwise they might have taken it all. Conditioned and handled by the well known Heinie Mathesius. Was out front in their last fightoff match until their stag caught a deep one.
Onet 4-3. About the sharpest cutting stags on the ground. Mostly red roundheads. No opponent emerged from a bout with these stags without being carved up plenty. Extremely game.
McHugh 3-4. His usual line of Kearney’s, conditioned and handled by the respected Eddie Rodger. Just not their day, but good enough to knock out Narragansett in the top weight of the tournament to throw the event into a 3-way tie.
Harry Parr 3-4. Most grey fowl with an occasional red or pyle colored bird. Spotty. Some extremely good, others not so good. It’s difficult to judge from the outside, since so many things can affect a stags performance on any given occasion, just as it is with race horses.
Basking Ridge 2-5. Black eyed, dark legged, brown red fowl. The slickest looking stags on the place, but could not cut deep enough or stand up against their harder smashing opponents.
Mellick 1-6. Red fowl which just didn’t have enough of anything to win here, but a fellow has to start from somewhere. In this game it seems that experience is the only reliable teacher.
Not a runner was shown during the entire meet though a couple from one entry did not appear to be very game. One and a quarter inch regulation heels without even the conventional 1/16 or 1/8 inch for “sharpening.” they looked extremely short, but there were numerous one shot kills which shows that even this length is lethal if driven home with enough power. Very few rattles, not even shallow ones, and not many couples. Nearly all battles decided by straight battling which lasted a surprisingly short time, only a very few contest going to the drag pit.
Foxy Hewitt enforced Wortham’s Rules to everyone’s satisfaction, though Heinie jokingly accused him at the dinner that evening of “hen pecking” him in one match. Foxy’s eyes are everywhere. He must have one eye which looks right and another which looks left, for he sees everything each pitter is doing no matter how well concealed from everyone else. And he calls them, too. More power to him.
Source: The Gamecock Magazine