Monday, February 21, 2011


We overstocked!  Now that the Centennial Celebration is over, we have surplus commemorative T-shirts in our inventory.  We have sizes Large and Extra Large.  We're clearing them out at the reduced price of $14.95 (includes shipping).

That's a significant reduction from the original $19.95.

It's a great looking shirt.  Don't miss a chance to get it at a discount!


Friday, February 18, 2011


We were very excited to post our landmark anniversary on our mailings during the Centennial yearlong celebration.  Now we have stickers left over.  We don't want to waste them. Perhaps you would like some to put on your envelopes and packages.

They measure 1 1/4 inches high and 2 1/4 inches wide.

For the cost of shipping them to you, they can be yours!!  They're FREE!!  That is, the stickers are free.  We do need to recover shipping costs.

Contact our office if you are interested.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011



AU junior members excel in racing.  But they do more than that.  They do a great job in the art department as well.  Junior member art has been the inspiration for many advertisements and promotional flyers.  It’s a great way to win a prize too!

Congratulations to Ms. Ivy Ciaburri, from Massachusetts, as the winner of the 2010 contest!  She gets to choose her prize, between a free t-shirt or 1-year free junior membership.  Her art will be used in sport promotion activities, for which she will be credited.

Ivy is part of the Northwest Junior Flyers Club, mentored by Tim Tessier, in Massachusetts.  Ivy’s picture is a fitting tribute to the 100th year anniversary of the American Racing Pigeon Union.

Entries are always excellent and present a challenge in selection of an overall winner.  They show creative artistic impressions of the topic for each year.

Ivy, we appreciate you sharing your art with us.  We wish you many wonderful racing years.



The American Racing Pigeon Union’s Junior Membership Contest was started to highlight more about junior members than racesheet results alone.  Juniors are a big part of our racing community that we want to acknowledge.

For eight years now, Ed Minvielle, Michael Gantner and now Hano Troll, have teamed up to represent Benzing in presenting the winner with a new electronic timing system.  Supporting youth members is close to their hearts, and they have shown it year after year by donating the system.  Ed has often shared that he is determined to encourage and inspire young flyers in the way he was encouraged as a boy.

Each year, the entries exemplify the excellence we recognize in AU youth membership.  This year’s contest was to write an essay about the value or ideal it takes to be a pigeon racer in their community.  We wanted to know what would be needed from each pigeon racer to sustain the AU for another 100 years.

The 2010 AU Junior Membership Contest winner is AU’s own Youth Ambassador, Whitney Sabrowsky, from Minnesota.  She is a member of the Mid Minnesota Racing Pigeon Club. 

Whitney’s win was announced during the 2010 Awards Banquet in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Everyone did a wonderful job keeping the secret until Ed, Michael and Hano could surprise Whitney with the clock presentation at the banquet.

Whitney has been a valuable contributor to the AU publications.  Her writing skills are top notch and her willingness to connect with members across the country speaks to her representation – excellent!

Whitney, our congratulations to you and best wishes for a long and winning racing career!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Junior members, don't forget.  Your race entry deadline is March 1.  Don't wait.  Enter today!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


2/1/2011 12:41:00 AM
Nearly 2,000 racers sprint from Lake City in an event that goes back thousands of years
By Karl Burkhardt

     Nearly two thousand racers left Lake City Monday morning for a 120-mile sprint to Spring Hill, Fla. They arrived before lunch.

     Three people gathered for the start of the race in the open area that had been the K-Mart parking lot. The only other spectators were a flock of curious gulls, sitting on the pavement.
     Jim Milligan of Gulf Coast Homing Club comes to Lake City about 20 times a year to release racing pigeons.
     There were two starts Monday. The first start, scheduled for 8 a.m., was postponed for an hour because a squall line was passing across the race course. About 1,400 birds sprang from a large trailer as 52 doors opened simultaneously.
     At 9:30 a.m., a smaller group of young pigeons in training were released.
     Gulf Coast Homing Club, the largest homing club in the United States, has events every week. Some races are 100 miles, starting in Alachua. Last week, a Saturday race started in Fargo, Ga., with 2,000 pigeons flying 150 miles.
     A 500-mile race starts north of Chattanooga, Tenn., and a 600-mile race is from Whitehouse, Tenn. Depending on the speed and direction of the wind, racers go 600 miles in 10 to 11 hours.
     “Racing pigeons fly about 45 mph. When there is a good tailwind, we’ve had races that are as fast as 70 miles an hour,” Milligan said. “In a headwind, they fly as slow as 30 miles an hour.”
     The Gulfcoast Homing Club is 35 miles north of Tampa and they have about 200 members. Each bird carries a numbered leg band and the club issues 28,000 bands a year to its members.  Milligan is a club member, but he does not race in events where he released the birds.  “I belong to a one-loft race, the Flamingo International Challenge,” he said. “People send pigeons to our loft. We train them and race all the birds to one loft.” . . .  “Some people express concern that the pigeons spreading disease,” Milligan noted. “But these are healthy birds. Owners take care of them like you would care for a race horse or a pedigreed dog.” If a bird is ill, they put it in quarantine and nurse it back to health.
     Racing pigeons are sold at auctions. Bidding at some of the online auctions starts at $100 to $500 or more for a bird.
     Before they became popular as a racing sort, they were called homing pigeons and were used by Egyptians and Persians to carry messages 3,000 years ago.
     According to Wikipedia, “Birds were used extensively during World War I. One homing pigeon,Cher Ami, was awarded the French Croix de guerre for his heroic service in delivering 12 important messages, despite having been very badly injured.
     “During World War II, the Irish Paddy and the American G.I. Joe both received the Dickin Medal, and were among 32 pigeons to receive this medallion, for their gallantry and bravery in saving human lives with their actions.
      “Homing pigeons were still employed in the 21st century by certain remote police departments in Orissa state in eastern India to provide emergency communication services following natural disasters. In March 2002, it was announced that India's Police Pigeon Service messenger system in Orissa was to be retired, due to the expanded use of the Internet . . .