The Racing Pigeon Enthusiast
~ Newsletter ~
Table of Contents:

About this newsletter   by John Vance, editor

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

In this newsletter, you will find my annual article on the state of long distance racing in North America. Comments on a phone call I received soon after the last newsletter sent out (Vol. 7), information on a newer product we offer, and a copy of an e-mail being circulated that suggest a strategy racing pigeon enthusiast might employ to persuade the airlines to play fair!

If you have articles that you would like published in the newsletter please feel free to e-mail them to me. This newsletter goes out to about 660 subscribers. The number of subscribers changes with every issue as some new subscribers sign up and others are dropped because they have changed their e-mail address and have not updated their information in our database.

In Defense of Long Distance Racing   by John Vance

What a refreshing change to read in the Racing Pigeon Digest lately about the renaissance resurgence of long distance racing in the USA. Over the past several issues, there have been articles about newly established 600 mile races in Houston,TX and Brooksville,FL., a two part articles about the history of a long distance strain in the Nebraska area, an article "highlighting" a top long distance flyer, and two advertisements announcing new long distance regional "Open races", one in the Northeast the other in the West.

As an affectionado of long distance racing, I welcome these articles and announcements as essential to preserving the great American tradition of Long Distance flying.

Over the past 30 years, the trend in the USA, has been towards more short and middle distance races on the schedule and less long distance races. When I first became interested in racing pigeons, anything less than 250 miles was considered a "training" race. Real racing didn't start until the 300 mile station and winning a 500 or 600 mile race was the pinnacle of the season for most flyers.

The 1960's began a wave of short distance strains moving from Europe to the USA. First and foremost would be the Janssens, but also the Van Hoves, Van Loons, Van Reets, etc. Since then, most race schedules have changed so that about 80% of their old bird races are at 375 miles or less.

Time and time again, I hear from flyers across the country, who want to continue this tradition of long distance flying, having to fight every year to preserve the 500 and longer race stations. Some protractors are even claiming that sending a bird to a 600 mile race station is "cruel".

To read the complete article go to:

Junk Science in the Racing Pigeon Sport  

After our last (seventh) newsletter was distributed, I received a phone call from a flyer in Texas, who had visited my website and wanted to order the preformance product that I sell. However, all through the conversation he kept referring to the fact that he uses L-carnitine. He made his order and then he said, "you don't know who I am do you?" I answered no and he proceeded to tell me about himself, how he helped start the new racing pigeon magazine and how he is a regional director of a "new" racing pigeon society in North America. He told me that members of this new society would be able to purchase the "natural" racing pigeon product line of the founder of the organization at a discount and receive other valuable services for a fee, such as; fecal exams, blood smears, crop swabs, etc. He even told me that the organization would be selling bands to racing pigeon fanciers.

About twenty minutes after he placed the order for the performance product, he called me again, this time on a conference call with the founder of the above mentioned organization who is also the owner of the product line that the society will be selling. This founder / owner started telling me that I did not know the difference between the racing pigeon physiology and the human physiology. He went on to tell me that my product was basically useless for our birds and he referenced several times "the Ghent study" on racing pigeons as a validation of his position.

When I found out who the founder of this organization was, I realized that I had spoken to this man before and my opinion of him at that time was let us say, less than favorable. However, "knowing" that I do not "know it all", I politely let him go on about his knowledge concerning the needs of racing pigeons and let him go on about how my product was of little consequence and my mistake was that I did not understand the physiology of the racing pigeon.

When he finished his speech, I asked for his e-mail address and told him I would e-mail him asking for the research he based his claims upon. As soon as our conference call was over, I did e-mail him, thanking him for his concern and again stating my desire to see the research upon which he based his findings; that my product was of no use to racing pigeons, because it only benefited the white muscle fibers and not the red muscle fibers that are used by our birds during sustained flight. To this day, I have not received even a reply let alone the scientific papers he so authoritatively referenced in his "beratement" of my lack of understanding the needs of racing pigeons.

Having had the earlier experience with this founder of the organization, I knew it would be useless confronting him as he had proved himself in the past and again in our current conference call to be a self-absorbed person. Instead, I politely deferred to his so called "wisdom" and asked for the research papers upon which he based his findings. As I said, I have heard nothing back from him verifying anything he had to say.

Not needing to wait for his reply, I started reviewing several papers on this subject written by Gordon Chalmers, DVM. I exchanged several spirited emails with Gordon on the subject and even obtained a copy of the seven page summary of the Ghent study that had been so authoritively referenced by the founder of the new racing pigeon organization. Just as I already knew, the so called founder's science was...

To read the complete article go to:

What's Happening at RacingPigeonMall?

There is now a store at RacingPigeonMall for those of you who are interested in our leading edge products. I spend quite a deal of time researching the latest studies and figuring out how to apply this information to our birds and the sport. The latest product is called "DADT ~ Golden Drops". How I found out about this product is a story in itself.

I was flying cross country last year, and struck up a conversation with the person sitting next to me on the plane. I learned that he was a tissue culture scientist. He grows (cultures) tissues in order to harvest certain chemical compounds that are to expensive to produce industrially.

As we talked, I told him of my interest in racing pigeons and he in turn told me of a product he produced that might be of interest to me. It seems that my in-flight companion has a small niche market selling an extract he produces to athletes and race horse trainers. This laboratory grown tissue extract contains precursors to some of the body's most useful natural "performance enhancing" substances.

It is a wonderful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, respiratory - liver - kidney tonic, immune enhancer....

To read more about this product and others we offer go to:

Birds for Sale

The online auction currently has two grandaughters of Ganus' famous '969' being offered.

Also, One of the best long distance flyers in the Mid-west will be posting some children off his 400, 500, and 600 mile combine winners later this week.

My 550-mile winner, in 2003, is this same blood.

To visit the online auction go to:

Armchair Futurity ~ The Stay at Home Futurity   by John Vance

In 2001 and 2002, RacingPigeonMall, sponsored a unique futurity race called the "Armchair Futurity". What was unique is that you raced your own birds, from your own loft, choose which race from your own club's youngbirds race schedule you wanted to designate as your futurity event and had your own fate in your own hands on race day. You are the breeder - You are the handler.

What is great is that with no advertising, we still had 20+ lofts participate in 2001 and again in 2002, In 2003, with my pending move and other events, we never got around to setting up the futurity, but this year it is back!

So, how does it work, you ask? Just go to:

You will find all the instruction for filling out the forms; to designate your futurity entries and race date. Like any futurity, you select your team early and take the risk of losing some of the team before the actual race date you select. To add a challenge, the sooner you enter your team the larger your team can be. For example, if you register your team "before" June 13th, you can nominate 10 birds. For every week that past from that date, one less bird is allowed to be entered. until your team size is three birds.

Register early get 10 birds, wait and get less than 10, possibly only a 3 bird team. It's up to you!

When your race is over, return to the website and enter your best race result. Your best, competes against the best bird of everyone else's nominated team. The bird with the lowest coefficient is the winner! For example, if your best nominated bird placed 5th in your selected club race and there were 200 birds entered, then your coefficient would be 5 / 200 = 2.5%.

You might race against 200 birds another futurity contestant might race against 300 bird, another against 110 birds but with the coefficient we can level the playing field. After the results have been figured, top contestants will be asked to supply official race results to verify Armchair Futurity placement.

With the Armchair Futurity, it is all up to you.

Take a stand for Small Family Owned Businesses:  

The following letter is being circulated via e-mail. If you agree with its contents, please copy this article and e-mail it several of you friends in the sport. You never know what effect we might have on the airlines if only we would try to organize ourselves and let our collective voices be heard.

Take a stand for Small Family Owned Businesses:

Its happening again, on June 3, 2004, the airlines went before congress asking for another handout. Now, the high price of oil is their excuse for wanting more free money on top of the $20 billion congress has already given to them.

In the meantime, we have seen the USPS make a terrible deal with FedEx that eliminated the USPS own fleet of planes upon which to carry freight like our live animal shipments. Then FedEx announced that they would not carry live animal shipments for the post office.

Likewise, some US airlines are refusing to handle live animal shipments from the USPS but will handle the same shipments from their own air cargo terminals. The bottom line is they are trying to kill our ability to safely and conveniently ship "door to door" our live animal shipments with the post office and force us to use their own air cargo facilities at a 400% - 600% premium.

I've had it! They express no remorse in putting thousands of small family owned businesses "out of business" by increasing the cost of shipping until these shipping cost exceed the market's ability to pay for the animals. Isn't it strange that they again want the public to pay additional taxes so that the airlines can get a subsidy above the 20 billion already received, to offset their higher cost in fuel that threatens "their ability to make a profit", yet the same airlines have no problem putting thousands of small family owned business out of business by eliminating the safe and cost effective USPS live animal shipments?

The latest airline to dump on us is Northwest, that has won concessions from the USPS to contract carry the USPS mails but refuse live animal shipments from the post office. Yet, Northwest continues to accept live animal shipment from their own air cargo terminals. In May, I personally had two shipments refused into Wisconsin because Northwest would not handle the USPS shipment, but I could go to Northwest's own air cargo terminal and pay about $85 to ship "terminal to terminal" into Wisconsin. That would have been 120 miles round trip for me and 85 miles round trip for the buyer. Instead of a three mile drive for me and doorstep delivery for the buyer at a cost of $25, this would have been 4 hours of driving and $85, and I still have to subsidize the airline with additional taxes besides!!!!

This is how they repay the kindness of the taxpayer bailout!

It seems to me that they want to put us all out of business and yet have us continue (for years in the future) paying higher taxes to subsidize them through this bailout so they don't go "out of business". How cruel, they will ruin family businesses and make those same ruined families subsidize them for many years in the future through high taxes for additional airline bailouts.

Do what I am doing and refuse to fly with Northwest airlines until they agree to again accept live animal shipments from the USPS. Fair is fair, if they want a bailout, they shouldn't refuse profitable business. The airlines will lose 3 billion dollars this year, how can they justify refusing out business in such an environment?

If they need our tax dollars to survive, they should offer fair service to all taxpayers not manipulate the market to put some tax payers "out of business". Besides, I don't get it. If they really are in need of a bailout how can they refuse revenues from the USPS? You only refuse business when you don't need it to be profitable. If they don't need the business, why do they need a bailout (your tax dollars)?

Boycott Northwest Airlines until they start playing fair with the very people who subsidize Northwest through higher taxes.

Not all airlines will survive, shouldn't the ones that do survive be the ones smart enough to take profitable USPS business and not refuse it?

If you can only fly with Northwest then go ahead, but when offered a choice at fairly equal pricing, choose another airline that supports small family owned businesses and appreciates those who subside the airline industry.

Please do not forward this e-mail, but copy and paste the text into another e-mail and send it out. I don't want my e-mail address broadcast across the USA as I am sure eventually someone will try to get even with me for suggesting what I am suggesting. Don't broadcast this e-mail but only send to your friends that will "cut and paste" this info as well. We are not spammer we are responsible taxpayers and small family business people that have had enough bad treatment and disrespect.

You will see that I have only sent this to seven people, if you want to do something to help, please do the same!

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