Sunday, 26 September 2010

Busy day in the loft!

We have been very busy in the loft today making several changes to the layout in readiness for the breeding season. We have sectioned off the stock loft and the young bird section for next year. We have installed a new set of next boxes in the stock loft and encased them with wire mess and ply. I have also put lights into the new section we built last April. The corn shed has been demolished in preparation for the new aviary which will be erected as soon as possible for the stock birds.
I am very pleased with the alterations and think they have improved the loft. I am looking forward to finally adding the aviary which will complete the setup I envisaged when I first started back up in 2008. These are exciting times in Rasbull Lofts and we are progressing each week towards our target of creating a quality loft setup, housing a winning gene pool and competing against the best lofts and fanciers in the country!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

All over!

The final race turned out to be exactly what I expected. I had 7 out of 8 birds home (the one I am missing has been my best young bird this year and I am seriously disappointed to have that one missing!) They were behind in the club however, but with a North wind that was always going to be the case today. So the season is over and I have around 25 youngsters left which will now be taken through the winter and prepared for next season. I intend to make some changes to the loft over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the winter. All in all it has been a good season with some steps taken in improving the quality housed here. I have some valuable information regarding the birds now and I will be putting that to good use in the hope of improving next year!

Final race of the season

The final race of the season is here and the birds have been liberated at 8.30am from Swindon (76 miles). I looked through my birds last night for basketing and decided on 8 that were suitable for the race. I had to leave 6 behind because of the moult. I am expecting them home between 10am and 10.30am so will update on here after I return from the club around 3pm. Good luck to anyone else who is racing today.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Time for forward thinking!

The end of the season is almost here with this Saturday being the last race of the season for us. We have a comeback race from Swindon (76 miles). I have been looking through my pigeons and working out what I will have for next year and trying to make some plans with the numbers I need etc. From a quick glance I see I have about 8-9 hens and 2-3 cocks from my race not too happy!
In the young bird loft I currently have 24 birds. I have taken 13 of these training twice this week from 20 miles and I am hoping to enter 12 into the race on Saturday.
In the stock loft I have 13 birds in total after selling 'Rasbull Shagger' last night. I have also decided to sell anything I have bought in that has not raced themselves.
Its all change here, but I think every loft needs to go through what's what after the end of each season otherwise you have a loft full of free riders which you got to carry through the winter months.
I have a few pigeons earmarked to bring in when they come onto the market. I don't like this time of year due to the uncertainty. I like it when you know what you got, what your final figures are and what you are going to take into the breeding season with you. Hopefully in a 6-8 weeks that should all be finalised and then I will sit down and work out the individual pairings!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Europa 500 Share Syndicate!

The 3 young birds we entered into this years Europa Classic we are pleased to announce will be activated for the Europa 350 miles race as yearlings next year! They will fly 2 Hotspots with the final race being from Crieff around the 11th June 2011. We will be setting up 1 syndicate for all 3 birds and there will be 4 shareholders! The cost of a share is £94 with the first prize around £15,000 if all the 350 places in the loft are full! That 1 share will give you a 1/4 share in each of the 3 birds! First come, first served! to book yours now!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Auction site has now gone 'Live'

The Online auction site has officially gone live today. It is 100% free to join, list, sell and buy! The site is going to be advertised in the British Homing World within the next 3-4 weeks. We hope you join and help make this the No.1 pigeon market place on the internet! The site is

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Pigeonpixels and Auction site - Update

The site is now live, however the company that provides my hosting is having trouble with their server at the moment and it is causing an error message to be displayed when accessing any sites they host. If you get an error on the or the site please realise it is beyond my control at present and they should have it corrected in the very near future.
The Online Auction site is very nearly ready to go live, but due to the problem with the hosting server, I am holding off until this is sorted out. It should be tomorrow or Tuesday at the very latest I would think. The auction site is 100% free for sellers or buyers and it only takes a minute to register. Please spread the word that this market place is soon going to be available. Access to this is through the site and by clicking the advertising banner on the head of each directory page.

Thank You

Over for another year!

I don't quite know what to think regarding the final race. Part of me is happy yet the other part feels let down! Firstly I would like to congratulate the winner, Mr Ken Darlington on winning 1st Open Europa Classic and a cool £21,000.
All 5 syndicate birds arrived home safely and recorded 178th, 202nd, 403rd, 565th and 614th. They promised so much yet when it counted have delivered very little!

In terms of my own loft I have to be content in knowledge that I sent down 3 and all 3 timed in the final race. There were 1278 birds in the race from the start and I placed all 3 of mine in the top 44% of the initial birds entered. I have improved on my first years attempt at this race when 3 made the final race but only 1 made it into the result finishing 422nd. So in terms of improvement they have made big strides forward in that respect. My 5 year plan included finishing in the top 100 this year, and although we have come 78 places short of achieving this I have to be satisfied. However, when you dedicate your life to winning - anything less is going to be painful to swallow!

I will now plan for a breeding season with the birds that have not made the grade being replaced with new stock that have been proven and we will start again. The birds that have bred this years entries will be given new partners and we will see what is produced next year. They will have one more chance in the stock loft and if they come up short that will be their last.

My ambition of winning this race burns as bright as ever and I am even more determined to now improve on the 178th position I have obtained this year. So all in all, I am disappointed in the result of today but have to look at the series as a whole, and all things considered it has been very pleasing. Its when you don't move forward and stand still or fall backwards when you are in trouble!

The Rasbull Share Syndicate will be back next year and I promise it will be bigger and better than ever before! A big thank you to all the Shareholders in this years event. Anyone wanting to reserve a share please email me at Watch this space!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Europa Classic

The Final of the Europa Classic 2010 is finally here! 817 have been race marked and will take to the starting line with an expected liberation Sunday 12th of September 2010 around 8am. The birds took 7hrs to complete the distance last year but with a tail wind forecast they should be arriving a lot quicker this year!

The Share Syndicate has been a resounding success this year with all 3 of the original entries making the final race and 2 out of the 3 'additional purchased' birds also making final. The birds have performed well in the training tosses and have been as far as 160 miles. The highlight would have to be in the 4th Hotspot with the syndicate birds timing just 3 seconds behind the winner and 3 of the 5 in the top 100 of the result!Added to this the birds have obtained the following results in training/hotspots -
1st, 4th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 23rd, 27th, 28th, 33rd, 37th, 37th - A decent set of performances against up to 1,000 birds!

I would like to thank all the shareholders for participating and I hope you have enjoyed following the birds progress as we have gone through the various stages towards the final race.
I will be running the syndicate again next year and would like everyone who was involved to be so again as the way the pigeons are being bred they can only improve year on year in an attempt to find that 'Golden' pigeon who is capable of winning 1st Open Europa Classic......and who's to say that won't be this year! I also believe you have a decent run for your money and if they can pull it off in the final then that would put the icing on the cake!

I am going down to the race myself on Sunday and any shareholder who would like me to call them upon the result being known please email me with a phone number and I will phone as soon as the winning pigeons arrive at the finish line.

The below is the anticipated prize money of the final race (this is not official and based on last years payouts when a similar number of birds entered the race. It will give an idea of the prize money structure and what to expect. Obviously if one of the syndicate birds finishes in the prize money positions that amount will be split 4 ways between the shareholders within that pigeons syndicate. The prize money is a 3rd of what was planned but when there is only 1/3 of the loft full this is to be expected. I know the lower prizes are small but the aim when we entered was to win and the prize for that remains what was advertised when we set this venture up....£5,250 each shareholder if we win!

1st - £21,000
2nd - £4,500
3rd - £3,000
4th - £1,500
5th - £900
6th - £600
7th - £450
8th - £390
9th - £360
10th - 19th- Between £330 and £210
20th - 30th - £180
30th - 40th - £120
40th - 70th - £90
70th - 100th - £60

Thank you and Good Luck!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Thats it - now time to wait!

The last training toss from 35 miles was today and the syndicate birds were 12th, 69th, 75th, 379th and 699th out of the 807 that timed in!

Well that's it! The final training toss of the 2010 series has been completed and after 33 races ranging from 35 miles up to 160 miles - all 3 of the birds I bred have made it through to the final race and 2 of the 3 birds the syndicate purchased are going to be there as well! It is a great achievement as asking people to pay for a share and then the bird could be lost within the 1st few tosses is a bit worrying to say the least! However, the people who have been involved this year have more than had a run for their money and each will have a crack at the £21,000 first prize that is up for grabs!
I will be attending the race this year again and this time will be more than optimistic of getting one in the top end of the result. I entered 3 last year and only one made the final result and finished a disappointing 422nd in the final. (the other 2 were lost in the final). The stock loft saw a big transition as a direct result of this and after starting back up in 2008 parted with the birds I had heavily invested as the results were not up to scratch. A new plan was then formulated to obtain quality proven birds and to start again. The results we have achieved this year (only our second year back) have by far eclipsed the results the old generation of stock birds produced the year before!
We will hope for a good result in the final and then we will continue our plan of introducing quality, proven birds into the loft to create that golden gene pool that we all strive for!
We will be running the syndicate again next year and will be hoping to send 12 young birds all bred by Rasbull Lofts to the race, anyone wishing to have a bit of fun throughout the summer in addition to their racing please feel free to get involved. I have a number of people already on the list for shares and anyone who might like to join us please drop me an email at and I will reserve a space for you!
That just leaves me to say thank you to all that have been involved this year and may we have every success in the final this Sunday. C'mon the Rockets!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Europa Training

Well there is just 1 more training toss planned for the Europa birds before they are basketed up for the Final race taking place on Sunday. They were trained from 35 miles today and all 5 of the syndicate birds clocked within 74 seconds of the winner. They recorded the following positions:- 13th, 89th, 252nd, 466th and 545th from the 808 birds recorded. This is the 2nd time I have entered this race and barring any mishaps in the last trainer, on both occasions I will have got all 3 of my own bred youngsters to the final race!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Counting up!

On return home from work today I noticed a pigeon on the loft roof that I thought had returned from this week's race from Folkstone. On closer inspection it turned out to be '89' a blue cock that I in fact lost 2 weeks from Maidstone (171 miles). It is in super condition so where has he been until now?
Checking through my computer records I have been working out how many youngsters I have lost in racing this season. I have sent to 6 races and they have been up to 200 miles which is what I planned to do at the start of the season. In those 6 races I have lost 14 birds in total, which sounds quite a lot but considering I sent 26 to the first race and also another 2 in races following, that equals 28 birds that have been raced and I still have 14 of which 10 have flown the full 200 miles. So that is 50% of the birds that I raced have completed what I have expected of them. I believe that is a good percentage of birds to carry through the winter.
In addition to these 14 I also have 14 late bred birds which will be trained up through the winter on chosen days. I plan to take them at least to 76 miles the site of the 1st race and what is left will be kept through the winter as well.

The Europa birds were trained today from 50 miles and they recorded 130th, 154th, 292nd, 375th and 401st out of the 811 that trapped with the 401st bird being within 2 minutes of the winner!

Monday, 6 September 2010

2 more back!

On return home from work this afternoon I was pleased to see 2 youngsters waiting to come in. So that is now 10 from 12. The reason I say 12 is that I had one bird in the race that had gone to a club mates in its previous 3 races so I didn't regard him as one of my race birds and was sent as a test! We agreed to put it into the race and see if it went back to him again and we would see about transferring him if he did it again - that would be his fourth time! He had been in my mates loft all week since the Maidstone (171 miles) race. So in he went and to my surprise he was waiting on the loft with my other bird this afternoon! Crazy hey? So in all he has had 4 races up to 200 miles and only come back to my loft once!

The Europa birds trained today from 35 miles and all 5 trapped within 1 minute of the winner recording 85th, 201st, 252nd, 290th and 367th out of the 814 that timed in.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

So so disappointed!

Totally disappointed to say the least with todays result from Folkstone! The birds I believed were in super condition and the wind was ideal for my location - perfect race then? It should have been but didn't turn out that way! The weather was very up and down to be fair but my birds were miles behind in the club result come knock off tonight so no excuses! At nightfall I have 8 from 11, so not bad returns compared to some. A lot of birds are still missing so that is the only positive I can take from today's race. They were slow, they were totally uninterested in trapping when they did finally arrive - so frustrating!

Congratulations to my brother Neil, who in his first season has beaten me for the first time and in all fairness he deserved it. He timed way in front of me today and was over the moon with his 4th Club result! He also had 3/3 so I think I will be taking some tips from him for the next race!

Next week is Lillers (270 mile) but I am attending the Europa Classic so will not be sending. The following week is a comeback race from Swindon 76 miles. I will be sending to that so I will get the back on track and try to finish the season on a high!

Europa Classic Training

The Europa Birds were trained today from 35 miles and the syndicate birds achieved 5th, 37th, 234th, 481st and 650th from the 806 that timed in. The birds arrived quite spaced out considering it was a short toss! They are going to be trained daily next week from 35 miles in the build up to basketing the birds on Friday!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Folkstone tomorrow

The Welsh South East Combine race from Folkstone is tomorrow and I have just returned from the club after basketing. I decided to put in 11 in total and have to say this week I really fancy them to do well. The wind is perfect for my loft location and they are in super form. The club sent 72 birds in total this week. Out of the 11, 10 have been entered into the breeder/buyer so hoping they come well in this as the first prize is £200. I think they are hoping to be away around 8 so hopefully with the wind should be home around 11.15am onwards. I will update after the knock off tomorrow evening!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Europa Training / Build up to Folkstone

The Europa birds were trained from 80 miles today and recorded 147th, 291st, 342nd, 366th and 395th from the 812 that timed in. The last of these was just 3 and half minutes behind the winner.
So just one last big toss to go now tomorrow before they have a well earned rest over the weekend. Then 35 mile tosses up to Friday and then they will be basketed for the big one from 250 miles on the 12th September! They have so far done everything asked of them, have rarely been outside the top 300 in the result. They have peppered the top 100 on a regular basis, have been 1st from the training tosses and are now ready for a crack at the main event!

The build up to the Welsh South East Combine race from Folkstone for my own birds is going well and I would go as far to say they are in the best form/condition they have been in all season! They have exercised around the loft every afternoon this week flying with vitality and vigor for up to 1 hour and 30 mins. They have been fed as much as they can eat to get the body weight back up and they are looking well inside the loft. The droppings are like marbles and I am 100% happy with them. The only concern I have is several are quite far advanced in the moult but they should be able to go on Saturday night with a bit of luck! I plan to give them a training toss from 35 miles tomorrow afternoon as a warm up and then they will go to the race with every confidence of achieving a good result!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Europa Training

The Europa birds were trained again today and this time from 95 miles. The syndicate birds recorded positions of 116th, 156th, 225th, 328th and 682nd out of the 809 birds that timed in. They have had a tough week so far with training tosses from 80 miles, 60 miles and now today from 95 miles. They are planning on going from 60 miles tomorrow and then 120 miles on Friday! So certainly a tough week for these youngsters and to their credit they are standing up to the test so far! 4 of the 5 syndicate birds timed within 1 minute 12 seconds of the winner and the last one was about 9 minutes behind.