As noted last issue, a racing pigeon show is all about superior health and cleanliness and is a test of how well pigeon fanciers look after their birds. The ideal show champion may have all the physical attributes needed to impress the judges, but that doesn’t mean all show champions will be good racers, or breeders of champion racers.
Many superior racers fail in the show pen and countless show champions fail to make their mark as racers. That’s because the genetic make-up that sees a pigeon leave the rest of the birds behind on race day isn’t always visible to the naked eye. But there are also some external indicators of racing quality that will be apparent to judges. I’m thinking here of how points are awarded for good balance and muscle structure.
It stands to reason that a good racing pigeon will be strong and well-balanced when airborne. These are the qualities that will give it the edge against the opposition. On the other hand, the “bold masculine head” in the cock and the “feminine contours” of the head and body in the hen that appeal to show judges aren’t always seen in top racers. You’ll often find superior racing males with “hen-shaped” heads and quality racing hens with “male-shaped” contours.
The show card
With this in mind, let’s look at the qualities that impress show judges. South Africa’s pigeon-racing governing bodies don’t have a registered show standard, but the show card used for judging at the shows provides a reasonable guideline. The physical features of a racing pigeon are listed on the card and points are given within each category.
The points are totalled and the pigeon with the highest points wins its class.When the class winners are judged to determine the show champions, a fresh show card is usually completed and the pigeons are judged from scratch.
Contact Thomas Smit on 011 680 4778 or e-mail [email protected].
Read more about categories and judges and stewards in the 10 June 2011 issue.