The Racing Pigeon Enthusiast
~ Newsletter ~
Table of Contents:

About this newsletter   by John Vance, editor

Welcome to the second issue of the Racing Pigeon Enthusiast, This newsletter is sponsored by and it is hoped that many more issues will follow.

Normally, this newsletter would be sent out once a month, but we have an article on the Barcelona International race released on July 4th and wanted to get that article to you while it was still fresh. The race proved to be a great success and the results were encouraging for the sport, as four National Winners were all clock in the first eight birds (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and France). This is about as fair a distribution of returns for an international race as one could ever hope for. The Barcelona Race is without a doubt the pinnacle event of the European race season.

We have a section called "In the Loft" and its first topic discusses a method for the re-hydration of our birds. The article was submitted by Rohan H. Fyffe. The original article is in .pdf format, so when you click on the link to read the rest of the article, it will open a PDF document instead of one of my web pages. His article is very interesting, contains pictures and has well explained instructions.

Also included is an article one would not usually post to a newsletter about the racing pigeon sport. But, I felt the topic worthy of our consideration and it is probably a topic of discussion everywhere at one time or another. The article's title is "Exactly Why Our Sport is in Decline". Don't worry the author is not preaching only expressing something deep that he feels. I am sure you will be able to relate to his thoughts.

I hope you know, that it takes a lot of work to put out this newsletter and its continued existance is dependent upon a continuing supply of worthwhile content. Please, feel free to submit an article you have written that you feel would be of interest to our subscribers. Also, send me information on those home remedies and cures you use when treating your birds (or other helpful hints) and I willl start a section in the newsletter for these "Tips". This should be beneficial to all flyers to learn that not everything has to be purchased from the supply houses when caring for our birds.

Our next issue will have Part II of Tom Barnhart's popular article on Sex Linkage, and hopefully content from several other of our readers.

The 2003 Barcelona International Race   by John Vance

Every year, tens of thousands of racing pigeon enthusiast around the world, anxiously anticipate the release of the Barcelona International race. This year, the race was released at 9:00 AM, on July 4th, and 20,209 racing pigeons filled the skies to start their journey home.

The race was smaller this year than in past years because of the avian influenza quarantine still in place for half of the Netherlands and parts of Germany. Last year, there were 26,928 birds participating in the race. The largest release was in 1993, when 33,154 birds participated.

This year, the quarantine threatened to derail all pigeon flying in Europe, but a great deal of lobbying by the powers to be in the sport and good scientific evidence from the USA, persuaded France to allow pigeon transports into the country. Nonetheless, because of these health concerns the flyers of Belgium and the non-quarantined areas of the Netherlands and Germany were not able to train their birds into France until about a month before the race.

It was quite an accomplishment for all the flyers that did participate to get their birds conditioned in little over a month, for this 580 Ė 780 mile race. If you are at all familiar with European geography, you are aware that Belgium and to some extent the Netherlands have no way of effectively training their distance birds for this race if they cannot train into France.

Moving on, the French border was opened, the birds were trained and conditioned and on the Sunday before the Friday release, the event called the Barcelona International Race started the well tuned process of gathering all the birds from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, England and Luxemburg.

Sunday and Monday are basketing day all across Europe. On Monday, in the afternoon, the Dutch and German birds arrive at the train depot in Belgium where they are transferred to specially ventilated boxcars. In all, there are 18 of these boxcars that will make the trip to Barcelona, Spain.

By Tuesday morning, 9:00 AM, the boxcars full of racing pigeons will be on their way. But there is much work still to be done. Every bird in every crate is removed and its band recorded in the official registry. At the same time, a control number is wing stamped on the last flights and the control number is recorded in the registry next to the band number. There are 11 teams of 5 members each to perform this important task.

To read the complete article go to:

Exactly Why Our Sport is in Decline   by Jim Brown

Today I find myself troubled by the anxieties expressed on the pigeon talk lines and discussion forums on the Internet. Concern that perhaps the parent organizations are failing the local clubs and members, asking too much by increasing fees, not doing enough to better the sport, etc. are topics which we have addressed with one another from time to time. Many of us believe that the elected and paid staff of such organizations have given and continue to give of themselves for the betterment of our sport.

Decline in current members and lack of new members coming into, and more importantly, remaining in the sport beyond a year or two is a real worry to our associates. One needs only to look around at a convention or gathering at a special race event to realize that it is the old timers, the snow on the mountain crowd if you will, that comprises the majority of the active membership in such groups.

Some make honest inroads on sport promotion by unique awareness efforts and give of themselves and their time on behalf of our hobby and its well being. There have been, and continue to be, excellent grass roots ideas and efforts arising from within the ranks of our fellow flyers, which we should, all applaud.

To read the complete article go to:

UK Flyers Win 1st & 2nd International from DAX

On July 12, 2003, the Dax International Race was released. A total of 19,400 birds started for home. The winds were out of the NE at 5 - 10 mph, and a hot and hard day was expected. Clocking on the day at 550+ miles were two lofts from the UK taking 1st & 2nd International.

The winner of 1st International was Brian Shepherd from Trowbridge - widely acknowledged as one of the best distance fliers in the UK. Several weeks earlier Brian had won 2nd and 6th Open ~ National Flying Club (NFC) from Saintes (5000+ birds).

The winning bird (by approx 30 minutes) is a super pigeon. Only 2 years old and flown on widowhood. His sire was bred by Jos Thone, and is a direct son of "Suma". The dam is from Brianís own distance family that heís had for many years.

The Dax winner had already won 2nd Section (Provincial), 25th Open in the British Barcelona Club ~ Nantes race and a few weeks ago was the bird that won the above-mentioned 6th Open NFC Saintes!

Crowley & Green, were the winners of 2nd International. Sorry, but I have no information to share on the ancestory of this bird.

As predicted, the Dax International turned out to be a very hard race and birds clocking in the morning of the third day were still being awarded good prizes.

Congratulations to Brian Shepherd and Crowley & Green. An outstanding achievement that all UK flyers can be proud of.

In the Loft - Rehydration

By: Rohan H. Fyffe (

Oftentimes, we find a bird in our loft that just does not look right. They will sit on their perch with feathers ruffled as if to say, "master, I do not feel well." After a fecal analysis or as most flyers do, guess at what the ailment may be and begin to practice a non-specific health program, there comes a point when some type of medicated cure has to be administered.

What and how one establishes a viable health program is not the issue here, but once you have determined the cause and proper cure, how effectively you administer medication in liquid form is? I have found that administering liquids via a Blunt Tip Piston Syringe is the better way to go. You can dunk a birdís beak/head in the liquid but you cannot guarantee that they have taken sufficient levels of the medication to be effective. In addition, the bird must be very thirsty for the dunking method to work. My blunt tip piston syringe method is a little involved, but for that special flyer/breeder that needs some special attention, it is well worth the time. I go as far as giving extra water to my race team on shipping night. Going down for water is not tolerated in my loft. In my combine, they are supposed to water on every race, short and long distances. Does it always happen, who knows? Guys in warmer weather should try this hydrating method. It may lead to better results.

As previously stated, my product of choice is a blunt tip piston syringe. Below is a picture of the Bulb and piston styles.

To read the complete article go to (opens pdf file):

What's Happening at RacingPigeonMall?

I will be on an extended visit to Southern California starting next week. I will still be accessible through email and look forward to reading your comments about the newsletter and any suggestions you might have for improving it.

One reader requested I make available a printer friendly version of the newsletter so they can print out a had copy for their own records. When I return from California, I will convert the first two issues of the newsletter and make them available for download and printing.

Currently, we have the following listings:

We have had quite a few birds put up on the auction site this past week, you might want to take a "look see" ath these birds.

We have a new European Import listing: "Antwerp Panthers" ~ Two exceptional racing cocks of the Old Horeman strain. One is a five time winner and the other is a top provincial Ace over two years. These two cocks are accessible through a link on our home page at:

The auction link is also accessible from the home page.

Feedback from our Members

Got something to say? Here is the place to sound off.

Every issue, we will reserve this space for our members to raise topics for discussion.

e-mail your feedback to: Link removed



Thanks for taking the time. I enjoyed reading the articles.

Bob Lynch


I received your newsletter it was very nice!! You know, I would like to write some articles for the newsletter but you must read it first and take all my mistakes out the article :) How many times the newsletter come out? (once/month)

Your friend in sport,
Geert Buelens (Belgium)



Great newsletter! Very interesting articles.
I hope it continues and I look forward to reading the next one.

John Berokoff, Lone Wolf Loft, Whittier, Calif.


Excellent newsletter... actual good content!!!

Top notch article by Mr. Cornella regarding "big money" and "feather peddling" moving the small loft flyer into obscurity or another hobby. We see it happening everywhere and yet hesitancy to call it what it is and address it accordingly at all levels in the sport is a real problem.

The Delbar feature brings to light yet another case of old families of pigeons still doing quite well in modern day competition... not a popular topic for those peddling the latest "hot pigeon family" from somewhere or another. After all, we're told the old HVRs, Delbars, Sions, etc. can't race with birds of today... you always need to buy the latest to compete... and buy more next year.

Keep up the much needed effort on behalf of the sport and hobby flyers!

Okiejim aka Jim Brown

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