Pigeon racing might not be as universally popular as horse or Greyhound racing, but it remains a true favourite among the small circles that do follow it. It involves the release of pigeons that have been trained from birth to compete against one another over a specified distance, and it makes for a surprisingly thrilling sport that any racing fan would probably be enthralled by.
In the world of racing pigeons, there are a few breeds that tend to be better than others, similar in many ways to horse racing. Here we will break down the most common types of racing pigeon breeds and what makes each one stand out amongst the others.
The English Quarry Pigeon
The modern English Quarry Pigeon are descendants of the Asian quarry and Baghdad bearded pigeons, themselves descending from pigeons that were once favoured among the ancient Persians. They tend to have a straight and long break as well as a unique waxworm. They’re also large, and have a long and thin body that often comes in a range of various colours and shades. Despite the variety, for racing, there are only three colours that are strictly approved by racing pigeon officials: brownish-grey, black, and white.
Tape Turman Pigeon
The Tape Turman can trace its origins as far back as the late 17th century, and was originally from the city of Rzhev, and it has been used as a racing bird for centuries. The colour of this pigeon can be just about anything, but it’s the ribbon tail that sets it apart from most other breeds. They also tend to be fairly large and have a faceted head along with a colourful body.
The varieties found in this breed can be both with and without a tuft, and they have proven themselves to be good racers during the day as well as at night, when most people are inside watching TV or playing the latest mobile pokies apps.
The Damask Pigeon
Also known as the Damascus pigeon, these racing pigeons originate from either Turkey or Syria, and it’s sometimes speculated that this is a breed that was known to the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt, thousands of years ago. They are also widely known as the Dove of Muhammad, as well as the Jerusalem Dove. The reason for them being most popularly known as the Damascus Pigeon is because they were brought to England from the city of Damascus.
They are a squat bird with a large chest and strong necks, and their tails are usually of medium length, and no feathers can be found on the legs. With a short beak and a round head, they tend to also have the usual colour and markings of a normal city pigeon.
German Elster Pigeon
Often regarded as the fastest breed of pigeon in the world, the German Elster is also a decorative breed that has two tone colours that can vary from the plumage found on the head as well as the feathers on the chest. They have large but proportional bodies, with small heads and long necks. The wings are usually medium and cover the body well, while the tail is quite narrow.
The origins of the bird are unknown, but they make excellent racers when it comes to high-speed racing.