There is a saying that if you become a master at feeding pigeons you will become a master at racing pigeons.
This is very simplified but the body weight going into the race is extremely important. I would say over 75% of pigeons shipped to races are shipped too heavy.
Many fanciers have their pigeons better prepared for a show than a race. Most are under the impression the pigeons should be round and full. This is completely wrong.
Any pigeon, even for long distance races, should be light and buoyant with the muscles nearly lying flat. In most cases how a pigeon handles when it finishes the race is how it should have handled when it started the race. Just a tiny bit of fat will keep a pigeon flying for many hours. Combine this tiny bit of fat with super health, condition and you will see superb results.
This race was a tester as the birds have had winds that have helped them for most of the races this year. This was a head on one and made them work.
First Open and SW Section was Mark Gibert of Windsor - We all know what Mark can do so I won't go into all that, he had three arrive together and his first bird in the trap was a two year old Blue Chequer Hen raced on Roundabout System. She was bred from Vanlesacker cock crossed with Verkerk hen. His next two were both two year old Brockamp Pigeons. Mark said his returns were very good and was pleased with the race and liberation.
I have just done a return visit to Stephen Booth and Glen Bowers of Earby, I felt it was warranted after the season they had in 2012 which surpassed 2011.
The main strain are Vandenabeele with some De Klak in them all from the A and S Hughes partnership from Rochdale who really need no introduction and who fly this family with great effect, even the Hughes feeding methods are used and the results speak for themselves.
Having handled some of their best birds I would say they are medium size with good rich eyes and excellent feathering, the quality is obvious.
Well we have had perfect weather for the first 2 races from Stafford (70 miles) and Wollaston (approx 96 miles) with sunshine and southerly winds.
We didn't send to Stafford but from talking to other fanciers the races from both lib sites were drawn out affairs, suffice to say you couldn't call them true races but there were some good birds making excellent times and well done to the winners.