The pigeon world’s ‘Crufts’ descend on Blackpool, honoring prized birds that can fly nearly 900 miles home.
Pigeon breeding is a big business, with top-tier birds fetching thousands of pounds – but enthusiastic amateurs can usually get a bird for free.
The UK’s largest gathering of pigeon fanciers will descend on Blackpool, Lancashire, this weekend to see Britain’s best homing birds, dubbed the “Crufts of the pigeon world.”
After a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic, the British Homing World Show of the Year will celebrate its 50th anniversary in the resort’s historic Winter Gardens.
The weekend celebration will include everything from trade stands, talks, films, and young fancier activities to the main event – a pigeon-themed version of the Sports Personality of the Year awards.
Around 5,000 feathered friends are expected to attend the event in Blackpool to show off their racing prowess and collect trophies.
“Blackpool will be transformed into a pigeon paradise for the weekend, and there will be a real buzz with it being the 50th show,” said Richard Chambers, development officer for the Royal Pigeon Racing Association.
“It’s like the Crufts of the pigeon world, and it’s a big event for people who want to show and demonstrate their birds.”
“The best of the birds will be here, and it will be a massive weekend celebration – especially after last year’s disappointment of the event being held virtually due to Covid-19.”
A pigeon fancier is a person who keeps and breeds pigeons, and according to Mr Chambers, birds and their owners share a special bond and relationship that is unlike that of other animals.
“Pigeons can travel up to 80 miles per hour, and the farthest race point we send pigeons to is Barcelona to England, which is about 885 miles from my home in Cannock, Staffordshire,” he explained.
“There’s something quite magical about raising a bird from an egg to seeing it return from a race, recreating the journey its forefathers took during the First and Second World Wars.”
“Even though we let them out, these pigeons choose to fly hundreds of miles home, demonstrating their loyalty, affection, and strong relationship with their owners.”
Pigeon breeding is a lucrative business, with top-of-the-line birds fetching thousands of dollars.
UK news summary from Infosurhoy.
‘Crufts of the pigeon world’ descends on Blackpool, honouring prized birds who can fly almost 900 miles home