(Part 5 of 6) Building Consistency – The “Smash” Race

Building Consistency in Racing Pigeons - The Smash RaceWhen racing with a club on a regular basis there will be a smash race sooner or later. This is a race where many pigeons are lost. It may be due to bad weather, a break down of the hauler and let out from an odd location behind mountains or just an odd circumstance, maybe even falcon attacks. This is when you really learn something about the pigeons you are working with. You may lose some of the faster ones. I have lost birds that have built themselves good reputations as young birds only to be lost on a smash race.

Some of the “perceived to be” lesser birds that hang around in the top 20% from first place may show themselves to be the sharpest and toughest pigeons in the group.

In 2008 I sent pigeons to the World Ace Challenge, the Vegas Classic and flew them locally. I bred three brothers from one pair that flew in all three. One flew local; one flew in the WAC and one in Vegas. The one in the WAC placed 12th in the 300 mile race. He also placed 60th in the 400 I believe. He never won top honors but was always there and one of only 160 plus pigeon left at the end of the competition. I had them mail him home to me. The other brother flew in Vegas and the results were similar. The last brother flew local and to my surprise had the same results. I sent other full brothers to all three and the results were similar too. That was a good lesson and well worth the price of admission.

It takes good pigeons to win, plain and simple. I flew the youngest brother in old birds locally. He had an equal first trapping behind his loft mate, a hen, and placed respectable in the others as well.

The next race was a 500. The hauler broke down at 400 miles and released the birds on the side of the freeway. They were behind a 16,000 foot elevation mountain range in Colorado. Many of the club members were calling wanting to know if I had received any pigeons as happens in a smash race. I was worried because I hadn’t flown in the 300 due to work schedule and my pigeons hadn’t been out that far since young birds, in fact I hadn’t had time to road train them at all. Out of 8 pigeons I got back four. The first one home and in respectable time was the third brother.

After talking to the guys in our club everyone had heavy losses with a couple of guys getting none back. This is something to consider keeping in the line of pigeons, toughness, tenacity and good intuition.

I had a champion hen in the breeding loft in an individual pen for a couple of months. I sent her as well. It was her first race of the season, a 400. She came in second for us. One faster diploma winner and a  National Ace hen never made it back. So, speed is good but it isn’t everything.

After you have all the important ingredients built into the family it is a matter of maintaining and enhancing it.

(Part 5 of 6) Building Consistency – The “Smash” Race by Ken Easley

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13 thoughts on “(Part 5 of 6) Building Consistency – The “Smash” Race

  1. Hi Gregory its bad weather hot and humid and most times with rain some where on the course
    and even bad winds most times this weather is not expected on the course Brad.

  2. Hi Chris i have seen many smash races and very good pigeons lost it happens but sometimes they
    try to get home and kill them selves trying as far as a family of pigeons go for smash races long
    distance races of course there is but i also believe there are to many sprint pigeons use in the U.S
    and Canada we fly from 100 miles and up and to me thats where a lot of new flyers make mistakes
    we have most years now hot humid weather you need good pigeons not sprinters over here.

  3. its not that easy to find such bird , the only way is to buy from that fancier pigeon that go through smash that day and right away.

    1. Hi David you need good long distance pigeons from a good fancier buy some eggs or late
      bred youngster that would be the best way to go and breed from them the following year
      Would be the cheapest way to go but take your time with them two year olds are in there
      prime Brad.

  4. Hello Sir
    Thank you very much for help i am form india punjab, we having 200 pigeons in my home and i am racing this time thanks

  5. I race in the philippines where smash races are common due to bad weather and high mountains. Mostly we race young birds where the money is. Mostly they are 7 to 10 months old .They have to complete (clocked) commonly the 6 laps derby race or 7 laps depending on what club. If you miss one you will be eliminated. At the end of the laps we add the speed sum to determine the over all winner. You see in the philippines we prioritize pigeons consistency not just pigeons who are 1 day winners. Although we have lap champions too, much of the excitement and prizes goes to the overall winner. Much of the system in belgium and other countries are inapplicable here. I wish there will be discussions like. One more thing, mostly those birds that with top honors in one or 2 races, become lost or cut offed in smash races and in the battle of consistency. So we believe that best pigeons are the ones consistent.

  6. this was the year of the smash races in my race club and the combine we race in up state new york but i did here from flyers across america there were big losses every where the old timers in my club were crying like babies we lost real good pigeons with good blood from proven racers so what gives da its all the crazy weather we had we never get hurricain in up state ny but we got cloberd this year heavy dutie fog every week end its was mad just mad so what to do just take your loss and train harder next season that is all we can due the birds have the blood but not all of us train harder we take it for granted that what we did will always put us on top of the sheets but it wont you get what you put in and road work is 3\4s and health is the rest so we all learn good flying all the new season starts today good luck

  7. Just last sunday at my local club, the last race of young season, a fly of 350 km became a kind of nightmare for many racers. Guys that sent 50-60 pigeons to the race lost about 25% of them. There were a couple of guys that lost their entire racing team of 11-12 pigeons. This is my first year of racing, so, I have a few pigeons, I sent an 8 team from wich I received only 4. Only one person, a Doctor with a lot of years of experience, a hard trainer, received all of his 11 pigeons sent to the race. Wow!

  8. hi, i’m malaysian, been having pigeons for some time now, we don’t have pigeon association’s here, so no races, could you give me some tips on how you train your birds, n is it costly to buy a bird from the states

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