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Hard Endurance Pigeons



Long term, continuous, competitive racing from 500 to 879 miles up to Barcelona International level, and in all weathers will produce some birds of great navigational ability and solid character. In my strain and with inbreeding to performance birds many small-medium dark chequer birds have contributed to my career. Going very close indeed as a continuous entity, some of the birds are prolific breeders when out bred and every one must be tested right out. After 40 years my partners and contacts are in this process that will continue. The modern lure is Barcelona into Ireland in race time. All individuals these folk will shape a destiny out of birds and dedication. We are seeking another champion to add to the genome. On perception, the good birds may radiate an aura about themselves, like charisma in people. A bird may mature into a good racer with years of time on the wing experience and you will recognise them in race reality. I reflect on the birds I raced and bred with admiration and affection.

Jim Emerton


With specialism, some great birds may be raced from this breeding process. Inbred birds may race well too, the formula is to race all the progeny and see how good they are in race reality. With out breeding an increase in size and vigour may result on appearance and testing, although I prefer small to medium, compact pigeons. I do believe that the real value of a bird lies within it and is partly dictated by the genome inherited by the ancestors. Good ones are all a nice type, and radiate individuality of character and external appearance when perceived by the human brain. My networks of enthusiasts are poised to experiment with types of breeding system, yet i still inbreed my strain after 40 years. The untrained eye will see them as peas in a pod, yet all are different. Always nice to reflect on the key birds that you have evolved over time, you stamp your personality on them, and they can be recognised by others as being distinct. I outbreed inbreds to inbreds of different performance origins.

Jim Emerton


An eye and mind for the right bird is very significant in strain building. Knowledge and focus - a perception of quality and potential are important. In 76 i matched 2 birds up out of the pens, with value judgements on feather texture, balance and the total impression in my mind, having studied the evolutionary history of the strain origins and a montage advertised by Louella. The image was of the DVH Stichelbaut based birds from Descamps Van Hasten. I felt that they were the birds for me and would be successful for me. With strict progeny testing, the originals with 2 more from inbred, related birds have left descendants that are raced out to Barcelona International some 40 years later, with inbreeding back to my 7 foundation birds-these origins are documented on the internet. The decision to inbreed around real performance birds has been good, with some out breeding of inbred pigeons in the strain creation. Today top class UK and Ireland Barcelona marathon performers are rare, especially in excess of 800 miles i.e. within 3 to 4 days - yet to be a Barce. Int. bird into the UK on the second day over 800 miles! Have a go in the race of all races-it is mind bending.

Jim Emerton


Never perfect in reality, it is important to keep, pedantic and accurate records in the recording of the creation of a strain. Over 40 years I have tried to maintain this principle, and the evolution using my 7 foundation birds is well documented on Google. Some indication of key, prepotent birds may be seen, yet it is the total ancestry that is of highest significance-the apples may have fallen from the tree 50 years later for example-when i got the DVH in 76 they were already in bred for generations. It is fastidious, hard work, yet leaves behind the history of the human who created a group of birds with distinct hereditary characteristics. This type of activity is often undertaken by academic/scientific and intellectual types who may be visionary in conscious perception. Gerhard Schlepphorst personifies these traits - I have bought in 28 of his Stichelbaut based birds, and the standard phenotype is beautiful - we will progeny test them all. A strain is the outward expression of the psyche of man. Nice to reflect back on birds that shaped the strain. There are often many errors in the recording of pedigrees-we do try.

Jim Emerton

(Below are Pics. taken  by Michael Feeney in Ireland, of the latest generation of the Emerton strain birds.

Below is the message that he attached within his mail to Jim)






Just handled them all again this morning Jim and took photos. I am really impressed with the birds in the loft. Wow! 
The first 2 are from the number 1 hen Unique. Two beauty's. They will be mates. What a colony within themselves! 


After the epic performances of Flange of Biss and Padfield’s Invincible from Barcelona International there emerged a wonderful champion cock. Dark in colour and with multiple performances at Tarbes NFC in excess of 700 miles, he won the Northern Section in the BICC at 844 miles to be 12th open on the 3rd day. I interviewed Marco Wilson and Cath, on the exemplary achievement of this great bird in such hard conditions. A nice, genuine man Marco gave me 2 offspring, and one to my racing partner Michael Feeney in Ireland. The genes are secure and progeny will be raced out to Barcelona. From time to time over 25 years some great 800 mile marathon birds emerge after Riley’s Duchess and Barcelona Dream. The genes of these birds are used by purist marathon men who join the Barcelona International dream - men of vision and imagination who seek a name in history, and triumph over great difficulty.

Jim Emerton