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New Ideas Jphn Clements 09-02-18


Adjusting Ourselves to New Ideas


John Clements


The way I see the UK pigeon sport is that for many, especially the active ones amongst us,  we are all in a state of adjustment to new ideas. The Sport is changing and what for many years has been a kind of status quo of accepted belief - belief of this kind no longer applies for everyone and new ideas are growing. People are beginning to ask questions. They ask question and seek definitions such as  What is a first? What is a race? What is a club ? What is a Federation? What is the definition of a Fed or ‘Combine’. How many Feds are needed to form a Combine ? How many members are needed to form a club ? How many competitors are needed to make a race ? Does a club need a Secretary ?


Take for instance my recent series of reports of the 2017 NFC Certificate of Merit award winners. Quite a few people have contacted me about this series, mostly favourably, but at least the NFC ‘C of M’  Award is based on a definition. (Award winners have to score high three times in the NFC Tarbes race - below 600 miles in the first 100 above 600 miles in the first 200). This creates a standard and for my part I think the standard is pretty high.


 If we break down the five 2017 winners we see that three of them were entirely British breeding.  Two were crosses between British and continental stock. So the consensus must be  that  British strains or British families of pigeons  played a big part in the make up of these five top performers. .


I think it is without doubt that these five pigeons are not just a high standard but they are of the highest standard if we think in terms of consistency over three seasons in what is one of the most difficult marathon races flown into the UK.


Nevertheless, in spite of the above facts  British pigeons are not valued as highly as continental pigeons by the majority of British fanciers. This may be because British fanciers are consumed by the idea of first prizes being the sole criteria of excellence. First prizes come in all organisations. Organisations  that are not defined and vary one from  another in size. . Some are big and difficult to win while some are tiny and easy to win but conveniently adverts always seem to leave out numbers competing and often distance flown but seem to  concentrate  on prizes won. 



So here we have the crux if my argument. Predetermined formula  awards in my opinion are more accurate than first prizes. Awards decided by a set formula are better than those nominated by a committee.  Yet, conventional thinking sees committee awards as being overwhelmingly better known and better received  than the formula NFC ‘C of M’  awards.


Still, what people value and what they ultimately pay  is their own affair but if a single youngster were purchased off every one of the 2017 ‘C of M’ award winners the would be purchaser would have the nucleus of a very good  long distance family. Say for instance  he or she  paid (this is a guess) £500 each for them. This makes a total of £2,500 which  is a lot less than many will have paid for young of many winning pigeons imported from the continent.


All the above is just a taste of my current thinking  - Other people are beginning to think in similar ways - the sport is definitely in a state of gradually adjusting it’s thinking towards  new ideas . Fanciers are beginning to think for themselves, I think this adjustment is basically a move back to 'British'  as being a  basis for long distance pigeons. I hope I am right but even if I am wrong there is some truth in what I am trying to get across.