Annual Show of the Association of German Racing Homer Breeders (Verband
Deutscher Brieftaubenzüchter e.V.) 09 & 10 January 2016 in Dortmund
The German National Show of the Racing Homer Association was again a
magnet for exhibitors and numerous visitors. With all the special
shows and pigeons for the auction about 1,200 pigeons have been
shown. In addition, about 1,700 fancy pigeons were exhibited in the
same hall at the 'Revier-Schau', the annual show of the Club 'Rote
Erde' Dortmund. The show always is combined with a fair of the
industry around pigeons, and thus crowd there was not so much in
front of the cages, but in the industrial section.
The different Categories
Placed at the beginning of the exhibition were the special sections
for the Championship in 2015 of the National German Association, the
Championship with pigeons banded 2014, and the Championship with
young pigeons banded 2015. The top national As-pigeons with great
performance and top ranges at special flights followed. On display
were the national race winners at the national flight over long
distances. The regular classes began with top performers in the
class 1a (a - cocks) and 1b (b - females) with up to 14 prices at 14
contests, and following classes. Also young birds are intensively
flown. They managed in some regional organization up to 7 contests
in the year of birth.
Impressive are always the pigeons with a great live performance
shown in class 3. A cock was shown with 83 prices and 27,685
price-km, an average of 333 km per flight. In the number of prices
he has been surpassed by a female with 93 prices and 30,796 price-km
. This particular performance was appreciated on display boards at
the entrance to the exhibition hall.
From the pigeons shown in the performers' classes the so called
Standard Pigeons were elected which have received the highest score
in the hand evaluation. The score or the Standard pigeons, however,
traditionally is not printed at the scorecards. But the performance
at the races was, and that was remarkably like for all pigeons shown
in the performance classes. The Standard cock had qualified with 11
prices in 2015 for the class 1a, the hen as a yearling with 8 prizes
for the class 2b.
Standard cock (cage no. 14), Standard hen (301) and at the right
most best cock in the beauty-class (596) 2016
Performance record of the standard cock with 11 prices in 2015
In addition to the performance classes since several years also pure
beauty classes compete. They need not to prove any performance by
successfully completed flights. The difference of the phenotypes of
performers and beauty homes got obvious in the direct comparison of
the standard pigeons with the ' Most Beautiful males in 2016 ' and
the ' Most Beautiful female 2016' as it says in the catalog on p.
24. The sense of beauty is very subjective, for the rapporteur, the
standard pigeons were at least just as beautiful.
In the Footsteps of the Ancestors
Ancestors of the Belgian pigeon is the Liège pigeons. This in turn
resulted from the region-based coarse frilled owls and long beaked
highfliers. Liège pigeons were still sold in the 1820s to other
region to upgrade the local Belgian strains. With the merger of the
Belgian strains after 1850 in Antwerp again highfliers were
introduced, the Ghent pigeons may have contributed their Pouters
background with feathered feet, the Brussels pigeon with the Turkish
pigeon as an ancestor might be responsible for a more pronounced
wattle in some racers. British homing pigeons are told to have also
contributed, but the potential derived therefrom should not be
overestimated. From English sources, we know that about 1850 the
news agencies in Britain had already switched to the time for the
pigeons post on the continental pigeons originating from Belgium.
Thus British homers at that time were mostly still continental
racers, only raised and flown in England. A discussion of the
creation of the Belgian Racing Homer is given in the author's book
'Pigeon Genetics' and the German language monograph 'Brieftauben und
ihre Verwandten' (Racing Homers and Homer-Related Fancy Breeds).
It is always a nice surprise to find after so many years
relics of the origins. Two hens in the
special section of the Championship for young birds had a nice
looking frill at the breast. Both had an excellent performance
record, 6 times winner at 6 competitions, and that at the top. The
ash red bar hen ranged e.g. first in a competition with 2517 pigeon
and the blue pied hen third in a competition with 7202 pigeons. One
of the As-pigeons, a blue hen, also had a distinct frill. She was
successful at 11 contests, and that with top ranges that qualified
her as As-pigeon. The delicate face, however, is an indicator of the
involvement of highfliers in the development of the modern racing
Pigeons from the National Championship for young pigeons (1108,
Frilled As-hen with outstanding flying record (994)
Feathered feet in the form of feathered shanks was found in a
yearling with 13 prizes in 13 flights and high As-points, he was one
of the nominated 'Super Star' to be voted by the visitors. Short
muffs could be seen in the 'Revier Show' for fancy breeds at the
Hungarian beauty homers.
Yearling nominated for the 'Super Star' with feathered shanks and
cock from 2007 with extensiv wattles
Reminiscent of the Brussels strong nose wattles, especially in older
cocks, could be seen at an other nominees for the Super Star. This
cock from 2007 in his good years, inter alia, in two years,
respectively won 14 prizes in 14 flights.
Homing pigeons are defined by their performance and not by their
color. It is nevertheless interesting to see the emergence of
interesting colorations in them. Some of the rare colorations have
been present since the beginning of the modern racing pigeon, others
may have come as additional mutations in the course of time. The
colorations shown here were for sure not brought in from fancy
pigeons recently, that's another section of the sport.
The main colors are blue checks in different intensity of checks,
also some very light checks seldom seen in fancy breeds, and blue
bars. Ash red in different pattern were also seen, but seem to have
Different kinds of checks (168, 166)
pigeons were shown in great numbers. In the Netherland and Belgium
they are known as 'Crayonne', German fanciers often take them as
light checks. They appeared in different kinds from only a few
flecks around the distal rachis of the convert like the standard
cock and the standard hen up to heavy dark flecks, some of them even
covering a greater area of the feather.
Different expressions of Sooty (13)
in Germany sometimes called Schallie, were also shown in greater
number and a great range of expression. At homers they are not as
light as in some fancy breeds, and a great difference is the darker
beak compared to smoky fancy breeds. The genetic difference between
these types still has to be explored. Dirty darkens the
plumage and at the young may be observed in the first few weeks by
the dark feet. The darkening at the racers shown was not as extreme
as in some fancy breeds shown in the 'Revier-Show' in the same hall.
Smoky hen (32) and lightened blue check cock with uncertain
is available in racing homers since the beginning, however, we may
not compare it with the intense black of some fancy breeds. Some
look mealy like powdered with flour, and this duff color is a
characteristic also of many homer related fancy breeds as well.
Dirty (435), black (151) and black pied hen (299)
In previous years more Indigo were shown. Indigo is available
in racing homers since long, but was not recognized as a trait for
its own but intermingled with checks showing some bronze. The
rapporteur had them in a competing strain even in the 1970th and
discussed them in the German journal 'Brieftaube' in 1978. In
combination with the Spread gene present in blacks some Andalusian
may be produced.
Indigo check hen (295) and blue bar with slight bronze
Blue check with some lightening in the shield (9)
Recessive white homers were shown in the sales section, near
to white, 'light tigers' were shown in the section for long distance
homers, and, if the
not deceptive, one of them had a brown base color.
Light tigered long distance racer hens (532, 533)
Some bronze intermingled with black in the bars were shown by
several racers. An interesting dark check cock was shown with some
bronze lightening at the tips of some feathers in the shield.
Lightening effects with similariy to heterozygous faded cocks and
hemizygous faded hens are common in the section for beauty homers
and some homer-related fancy breeds, but similar effects are also
shown in the performance classes. Some cocks appeared like frosty
similar to frosty homers that were detected several decades ago in
the US and also similar to frosty at Thuringian Selfs, an old
German fancy breed (see e.g. the discussion in 'Pigeon Genetics' pp.
Faded-mimic hen (369) and frosty or frosty-mimic cock (421)
Possibly some of the homers shown here are new mutants not yet
analyzed. As was demonstrated by the certificates of performance at
the cages all these colorations are as strong as the main
reserves pigeons only,
because they have a
beautiful or rare
color, makes no sense in a competing loft.
However, those who sort out pigeons because
they are not blue or blue
checks or have a
white feather, do
themselves just as
little a favor.
The beauty homers besides the racing homers were still mentioned and
they could not be overlooked because they already made about 30% of
the total racers shown. Within few years the physical difference
performance racing pigeons and beauty homers has become
considerable. If you look at the ratings according to the hand
evaluation, and if this be an expression for the potential
performance, then you should send the beauty homers with their often
higher grades on the journey. The grade of 94 point like this hen
were not in the range of most performance homer shown.
Beauty Homer cock in class 7a (619) and class 7b (655)
Certificate of the Beauty Homer hen in cage no. 655
In the colorations outweigh 'soft' colorations. Often found are
colorations similar to blue check hemizygous female Texans (and
identical heterozygous male cocks). Also light blues were shown,
which corresponded to the Polish Exhibition Homers 'lichtblau',
shown in the 'Revier show' as fancy breed. A difference is given by
the typical faded pattern of many Beauty Homers instead of the black
bars of light blues.
Beauty Homers in the class 7b (647) and 8a (752). To compare with a
'light blue' Polish Exhibition Homer at the Revier-Show (at the
The growing interest in racing homer related fancy breeds was
demonstrated by the entry to the Revier-Show: Homer related fancy
breeds with dominance of Show Racers and Dutch Beauty Homers
accounted for 22% of the fancy pigeons shown in total.