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Here is a tip. Disregard "eyesign" as a means of picking good pigeons.

Being new to the sport, you probably wouldn't even consider eyesign anyway, however, some ads will stress eyesign as something "special". Common sense and science tell me otherwise.

Here is another free tip. You do not have to spend big money to get good racers. Start with birds free or next to free. Most (probably all) racing clubs will donate good young pigeons to new flyers. We all want as much competition as possible.

This is not to say those who purchase big money pigeons don't have an "edge". But how good does your beginning birds in the sport, have to be? Most of Ludo Claessens great birds, were started with a bird that just "showed up" at his lofts. From a deceased mans loft. A man that apparently we can not even find out the identity of.

Start out cheaply, and work your personal "magic", and good luck.

Oh, one more thing. The biggest mistake new pigeon flyers usually get into, is accumulating too many birds. Resist the temptation to get everything you like or is offered. It is supposed to be a fun hobby. Not a job.
 

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Glad I gave you a chuckle. Since I do not know Ludo personally, I can only go by what I have read. From many locations, the same story.

A deceased mans bird "showed up" on Ludo's property. Ludo went through the procedures of trying to locate the owner and found out that he was deceased. Ludo was given permission (I assume) to keep the bird and liked the bird in hand. He bred from this bird many winners. It bacame one of the foundations of his loft (not the only bird by any means though). You have to have something worthwhile to breed the great ones to, don't you? It is a fact that Ludo was a great racer before this bird "showed up". My use of the Ludo story concerning this bird, should be evident that is was an illustration of how you do not have to spend big bucks to win races. Of course those that sell squeakers from big buck pigeons will disagree heartily.

I don't remember any sons of Lrry Bird, Magic Johnson, Pete Maravich, Jim Brown, Bruce Jenner or almost any great athlete, ever being as good as their "sire". Maybe the hens they were paired with, just didn't have the genes. I am sure that they had great teachers though. Their fathers and their fathers lifelong friends and associates.

A quote from the Mike Ganus web site:

"The gift from heaven. Ludo Claessens was in his yard when out of nowhere this
beautiful white grizzle landed. Ludo contacted the Belgium Royale Federation who
responded to him that the fancier had died. Ludo liked the bird so much that he bred
out of him. He bred the Golden White which won 13th Provencial Orleans vs 3069
birds and 4th Provencial Chateauroux vs 2031 birds. These are 300 to 350 mile races.
She then went on to be the 3rd Golden Crack Winner. Year after year this white grizzle family kept breeding winners so I went over to Ludo Claessens to see for myself.
As soon as I handled the Golden Witten I knew I had to have him.

Golden Witten is medium in size, strong perfect body, fantastic breeding eyes. The
most beautiful racing pigeon that I have ever seen. Most important thing though, I knew
that he already has bred winners at distances of 200 to 400 miles.

Father and grandfather to:
Yeti (NL 9964498-99) 1st Morlincourt 15,000 birds
Casper (NL 9835807-98) 1st Perrone 4,191 birds
White Cloud 8th Niergies 4,339 birds
Cinderella 10th Nijvel 2,281 birds
White Diamond 1st Nijvel 2,348 birds"

I assume that Golden Witten translates to "Golden White".

If you believe that I was saying that Ludo had cheap or free pigeons and became a legend through them, you misunderstood. What I was trying to illustrate is that you just never know where a world beater (really great pigeon) may come from. It might be the free pigeon some guy in a local club gives you.

To respond to my posting with wording like "and a bunch of strays" is exageration. I never said that nor suggested it. I did use the word "most" and probably should have used the word "many" in its place. But hey. I ain't the brightest light bulb on the Christmas Tree by any stretch.

I could go on and on, but I will end with how you also made me laugh by saying that to sell a bird to Mike Ganus is "culling". :) Are you insinuating that Mike Ganus has a bunch of "culls" in his lofts?

No, of course you are not. Neither was I concerning Ludo's Lofts.
 

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True enough.

I would assume that with most people, there would be more gratification in starting with average pigeons and winning, than starting with ten thousand dollar pigeons and winning.

Reminds me of some guys I played basketball and tennis against on the old playgrounds. They had the best shoes, rackets, headbans, etc, that money could buy. But I crushed them because I had the never give up, never let up and never quit until it's over mentality. If things did not go their way, they would panic and not keep their head into the game. It also applies to a boxing match. Lose your head and plan, and you generally lose the fight.

I also believe that many a great pigeon was handled by a poor flyer and never had a chance. But I do not believe that it swings the other way very often.

If Ludo Claessens had my pigeons, I truly believe he would have done great, and in the interest of truth, if I had Ludo Claessens birds, I probably would not have done them justice. I just don't seem to have the knack for spotting a great bird of potential. I know what I like when handling a bird, but so far it hasn't transferred to winning the big ones.

But then again, I have only been in one big event and I got second place :) , and the bird I got second with, I wasn't going to send and a friend handled the bird and told me she was "ready" and to send her.

I hadn't even thought of sending her. She had never done anything other than below average.

So what the heck do I know.
 

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fastpitch dad. Yep, there are five or ten. Out of thousands, maybe milions world wide.

Warren. I agree with you 96% (for me to agree with anyone more than 80% is unique). But we were not really talking about starting with ferals or .25 cent pigeons (or 100 pasture horses). I was talking about starting with gifts or cheap to buy (cheap being relative to paying four grand for a Ludo or three grand for a Ganus bred bird) from club racing enthusiasts. I know there are people out there with a barn full of untrained and uncared for well, pigeons. But I believe that anyone who actually sends birds to races, pays entry fees, attends club events, etc., will have decent enough birds.

Yes, some will use a race to get rid of a bird or two they don't want to keep. Some will give away birds that they actually are thankful to get rid of. But the majority of club flyers have tended to their birds and tried to improve their birds over time, so that a gift bird from a club racer to a club newbie, has IMHO, a great shot at becoming a bird to be proud of.

I sure wouldn't want it to be known that I gave the "new guy" a piece of junk. Heck, my birds sometimes dissappoint me, but it ain't because I didn't try to get the best I could afford. I believe it is because I am not as good as my birds, in this game.

I firmly believe that it is 40% the bird (given it is actually a purebred homing pigeon), 50% me, and 10% luck.

Show me a great racing pigeon and I will show you a great pigeon flyer on the same property.

The best bird I ever owned was a gift from a fellow flyer as I was moving four states away. To be honest, I do not even remember the guys name, but I remember the pigeons band number. It has been 30 years.
 

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I believe that there is little difference between your average racing pigeon and those very expensive racing pigeons.

I could buy a loft full of Ganus bred pigeons and never win a race. I also could fill my loft with pigeons from Joe Blow, a flyer of your average club, and win some races. It depends on how I manage them.

I do agree with getting the best birds you can obtain, of course. But I do not believe that there is a great difference in the birds. Naturally birds that cost someone a ton of money, are going to be well taken care of. They will also be in the loft of someone who has the means to do this racing thing top shelf.

A millionaire is supposed to win more races than a thousand-aire. It doesn't always work out that way, but usually it does. Millionaires get the best pigeons, but they don't always get the best girls :) I got the best one ever.

Now, if only she could fly.................
 

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Emulate the winners or go your own way.

hmmm............

So many forks in the road.

I guess the best way would be to combine both of those options. Take what others do, that makes sense to you, and invent or "tweek" what others do, and make it suit your specific situation and ideas.
 

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LUCKYT: All I can say is that in almost every foot race by the really good runners, that I have ever seen on TV. It is usually the guy out in front for the first 6/8's of the course, that finishes fourth or fifth. The winner is almost always the guy who was third or fourth until the very last leg. (this of course does not apply to the really short distances, like 100 meters).

Same for horse races.

But I get your point.
 

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Warren. You and I are "old school". I do not throw a tantrum when I lose, and I will congratulate the person who beats me heartily. But I hate it when I didn't do the very best I could have. If after it is over, I realize that I did not give it my very best effort, I am mad at myself. No one else. Just myself.

If I do a sport, I am in it to win. Bless the person that beats me, but they better be good. It doesn't matter if it is basketball, tug of war or checkers. I am in it to win. The only one I ever get mad at if I lose, is myself. Even some of those lousy umpires and referees are not at fault. It was me that lost.

I say "old school" because now, being retired, I teach and referee kids in various sporting events. Soccer, basketball and t-ball. These days "they" (the powers that be) does not want any winners and losers. "They" say it hurts "self esteem" in those that are not the winners.

So, I referee basketball games and we do not keep score on the younger kids, and on the older kids we erase the score after each quarter. Then after the end of the season, everyone gets an exact duplicate trophy. Everyone. No one is declared the MVP. No team is declared the champion. The kids don't even have a clue if they won or lost, when the game or the season is over. So many times in past years I have had a kid come up to me and ask "did I win?" or "who won"?

Now, they don't even ask anymore. It doesn't seem to matter to them

So, we have two seperate sporting cultures inthis country right now. Those that just do not care about winning and only about participating. Then are those that live for sports and winning is everything. The latter group will fight each other after and during sporting events, and sometimes send in goons to take out the other teams star player. They may also attack a referee or umpire and beat him with a baseball bat.

I have to say that both are probably unhealthy mentally and emotionally. I believe that winners and losers should be declared after a sporting event for sure. But, I also think that those parents of Little League players should chill a little. Just like pigeon racing and the various scandals over the years. Banding the "third" leg of a bird. Poisoning another flyers birds. Single tossing a bird fromt he shipping crates before the actual race release. I am sure that now, there are some who have figured out or are working on figuring out, how to "adjust" the eletronic clocks.

I know that money is a big factor, but I believe that sometimes it is just someone who never wins through hard work and perserverance, wanting to win and be recognized.

Anyway. I do think your terms "gifted" or "loaned" are better than cheap or free. I wish I had back all of the things that I have loaned in life, that became "permanent loans". :)
 
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