The 136 International Federation of American Homing Pigeon Fanciers (IF) convention was hosted by the Capital City Racing Pigeon Club (CAP City) November 3rd thru the 5th, in Washington, DC.
Shipping night was held from 5 pm to 8 pm at the Metropolitan Washington Racing Pigeon Concourse (MWRPC) club in College Park, Maryland. Handlers were arrived early in order to make entries available to their prospected breeders. Shipping went as smoothly as possible with 35 lofts putting 318 birds on the truck by 8 pm.
Later that night, the host committee hosted a reception at the hotel for IF guests and friends and the party lasted way into the night.
Friday was race day and the liberator reported that visibility was at 1.5 miles and the birds were brought back 5 miles in hopes conditions would improve. At 8:53 am the convention birds were released into “clear” conditions and 43 degrees.
The anticipation hung heavy in the air as handlers and guests gathered later in the day to watch the IF birds come in. At 4:30, Lavender Hill Loft (owned by Drew Lesofski, founder of the Loft Report) clocked two birds; IF-16-WCM-73 a blue check cock bred by MWRPC member Secudiono Mota and AU-16-ARPU-42791 a blue bar hen bred by Utah fancier Travis Dyson.
Lavender Hill Loft flew 304 miles and his two bird drop had a winning speed of 1170.729 and 1170.665 ypm respectfully. Only 1 second separated the winning birds.
Third place bird, IF-NKC-17, was clocked in by Secudiono Mota and bred by Marshall Henegar of Ohio.
There were two sections in the IF Convention race, a short section and a long section. Both Lavender Hill Loft and Secudiono were in the short section and the 4th place bird, IF-16-NKC-130, clocked in by June Walls and bred by Sam Pixley was in the long section.
The race turned out to be a tough race with only 52 day birds being reported by 17 lofts. 18 lofts did not clock a bird until the next day, making this one of the toughest IF Convention races in memory.
Saturday was the auction of 33 birds donated by Chic Brooks of Hapyco Loft fame. Bob Carney from Connecticut acted as the auctioneer and helped bring in top dollar for the donated birds.
That morning, the IF convention committee required the top 40 birds to be bought in by 8 am to be drug tested. IF National President Richie Smith administered the tests, droppings were collected and sent to a lab in Colorado. The race is considered “UNOFFICIAL” until the test results return in a couple of weeks. Once that happens the race will be deemed “OFFICIAL” and prize monies will be disseminated to breeders and handlers.
That evening, the IF host committee held a banquet and award Richie Smith an award for his service to the sport as well as a handler and breeder trophies.
The convention went as smoothly as possible and fun was had by all.