In March, I had an opportunity to visit a few fanciers in the Spring Hill, Florida area. One of the fanciers I visited was Manny Rodriquez flying under the banner of Gallo Loft.
Manny was home when I called and a few minutes later I was standing in his driveway. Manny met me there and greeted me with a big smile and a friendly ‘hello.’ Manny and I first met this past February at the Ipigeon Gala in Las Vegas. Our visit then was short but left and impression on me and I knew if I ever had the chance I’d try and visit him. I’m sure glad I did.
The Gallo lofts are typical to Florida, wire flooring, about 2 to 3 feet off the ground, open front, with a steep gabled roof and a big deck off the front. Manny has some of the most sought after birds in the country making visiting him a true pleasure.
In the past several years, over 20+ lofts in the Spring Hill, Unit 10 and Brooksville areas have been robbed with most if not all their valuable pigeons stolen. Very few instances are these birds every recovered. Manny has taken every precaution to protect his valuable birds and thus his life’s work. I don’t want to go into too much detail about his security system but I can assure you no one can come or go within a block of Manny’s house without being on camera.
The first loft we went into was his breeding loft close to the back of his house. Inside, he breeds all his pairs in individual pens that guarantees which baby is from which pair. I had the opportunity to handle his South Africa Million Dollar 8th 347 mile place winner “HOT CHOCO” which was paired to a fine little hen. This particular bird, Manny had to wait five years to get back from South Africa. He wasted no time in putting him to his best hens to enter into the one loft races.
Next we handled the ‘big boys;’ “CLASSIC BOY,” winner of the 2009 Gulf Coast Classic and “MISTER MONEY;” sire to 1st Canadian International one loft race 2012 among others. We handled many of their proven sons and daughters and each was as nice as the last. What a treat!
I really enjoyed my visit to Manny’s house and lofts. If you ever find yourself in the Spring Hill area, do yourself a square and make your way to Gallo Loft.
UPDATE: Since my visit in May, Manny has decided to liquidate all his birds including the “GOLDEN PAIR,” “THUNDERBAY BOY,” and “MISTER MONEY.” All of these birds are currently listed on Ipigeon.com.