A Race Too Far
In 2018 Trevor Robinson of Patrington was the only fancier to time at over 850 miles in BICC Barcelona! She is a great hen. For many reasons the birds and fanciers stop timing at around 750 miles in BICC Internationals, as it is too far for the vast majority of individuals and takes too much time, dedication and patience. However a minority of people aspire to the old tradition of marathon racing. I do value these birds for their stamina and strain building potential in the loft. The modern trend is for sprint to 700 mile National type racing, often with continental bred birds. The distaste for birds of prey is contributing to the decline in open loft, natural style racing, although it still exists today. Barcelona bred birds will be bought and traded, yet 2019 will not see 500 birds sent to Barcelona from the UK and Ireland, even though it is a wonderful racepoint to take part in. In reality, as long as you enjoy all distances, so what?
The big studs all have some key bloodlines, such as Louella/Wrights/Byrne etc. It is essential that you know what you want, have an I for a bird, and choose wisely from the gems on offer. It is a test of knowledge, sense perception and wisdom on the part of the fancier. Study the ancestry, study the bird and go on instinct-the birds will test your decision making prowess. I do like to browse Louella Deal of The Day for quality birds at fair prices. The six I gave Craig Wilkinson have all bred prise winners so far. I like related birds in family units to practice performance inbreeding.
A top flyer, say like Gilbert has created and evolved a winning system. It is blue print and formula, method racing. The mind set has been in perfection seeking mode.The icons of the game are the intelligentsia of the practical pigeon racing world, achieving great results at different distances. Men try and emulate these greats by spending a fortune on their birds as a quick fix. Wise to realise that years of focused dedication are needed to produce a top strain of distance and marathon pigeons. The one race they need testing at is The Barcelona International, as sending birds here in race reality, answers all the questions about bird origin, fancier,race conditions,management,location etc-it is the final arbiter of excellence. Delighted to see the BBC back with us at Barcelona Int-their true home. The corollary then is to research and create a system that is peculiar and successful to your needs, aims,aspirations and objectives-a personal series of informed methods-then you have a chance.