“Raising the Bar”
A Visit to Alistair Hogg for an interview and a very rare look at his impressive stock loft
A unique opportunity came about to visit the ever so consistent loft of Alistair Hogg.
Several changes have come about since the last article two of the biggest are the new impressive double floored loft.
The second was the increase in the depth of the proponent stock birds as it became clear that Alistair’s birds have made a continued impact on not only the domestic scene but the European, National and International Circuit and the list of fanciers being successful with his pigeons is growing each year.
When a fancier such as Alistair gets reports of success from countries such as
China, Thailand, South Africa, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Poland, Greece, UK there has to be a reason a very motivated pigeon fancier with a clear Vision and TOP CLASS BIRDS.
So now let’s have a closer look into his mind and his loft that has produced these results.
Introduction : The New Impressive Loft
On the lower section leading through the aviary, into a very spacious corridor housing the corn bins.
There are 12 breeding boxes to the right hand side,
Two special breeding cells and at the far end a further 16 breeding boxes.
Very light and plenty of oxygen, Alistair was quick to point out the importance of this his motto is:
Daylight and air cost nothing so let it in!.
Upper Level: 2 Sections for Domestic Racing
16 Traditional widowhood boxes to the left for the old birds and
40 deep box perches for the young birds to the right.
The thinking here was when you have small amounts of accommodation it encourages you to :
keep the numbers down but the Quality up!.
The Correct Nourishment : Feeding
At my loft i use the best imported grains available i cannot emphasize enough Good feeding and Grit.
Coupled sparingly with Health supplements.
Q: when a pigeon fancier has won what it is they can win normally they are satisfied to rest and be happy, for an International Racer like Alistair this has proved to be the opposite, His continuance of seeking out new horizons and competitions to test his valuable renowned stock of breeders are well documented he wants his birds to adapt even further to the incredible Challenges he has set out for his birds.
Q: Where do you begin?
The Selection Process : It all Starts here at an early age
A : Even at this stage 4 days old the young pigeon must have the winning genes.
We cannot see them but we can play our part in making sure they are present in the breeding loft first of all.
The more winning genes you can get into them the better.
Like in any racing discipline no matter which category you want to fly in firstly you must test your own birds to see if they can fly for YOU this is very important as it’s only what they do for you first of all is the first test.
Racing Domestically in the Club and federation/Provincial was the foundation
Over 180 Club positions including 36 x 1st Prizes
Over 100 Federation Positions including 16 x 1st Prizes up to 5000 birds weekly
Winning Champion Performance Trophy from the whole of my country
Now I was looking for a new Challenge : “International Racing”
The Early Days: Which Race?
A : Reading the pigeon press I came across an article that read :
“Do you want to compete against the world best fanciers where everybody is equal” in my mind yes was the answer and my first international race was to be the hardest of all, The South African Million Dollar Pigeon race, Young birds to go into the basket over 90 times, to cover 5000 km’s overall training and pre races and then to be entered into the final race of 550 km +.
My Selection was made and I entered one team, steadily enough they performed then it was time for the final race.
That evening I got a phone call from Paul Smith The race Co Ordinator Congratulating me on a TOP performance the result being :
1st UK, 1st European, 10th Final Million Dollar Pigeon Race,South Africa 600km’s
Success !!!!!! :The point was proven my birds can do it
Now the work had to begin from the original base line of my birds I started to build up my team to what it has become today, embracing top results hand in hand with not such good results, Continually evaluating and seeking out other top birds from the world’s best lofts when they became available, Ruthlessly testing them and then breeding with them accordingly.
Speed with Endurance : How do you do it?
A: Not easy as in these races its difficult enough with Good pigeons, Striving for that bit EXTRA can only come out from winning genes.
Below is a gallery of some of the birds that have helped make that possible.
NOT all are related in bloodline but they are all related in one common factor WINNING and/or BREEDING WINNERS.
Click on either the images to Enlarge
New Races New Challenges : Every race has to be taken on board separately. Climate, Terrain, Distance etc…..
An example below in 2015 i wanted to try a new race in a new country to further develop the family of pigeons. POLAND was my Choice and the WG Mistrzow or Champions race was selected.
Click on the image below to see the final race result
A brief selection of some more top recent results and references :
1st,2nd, 3rd RO National Bulgaria 360km, 1419 birds,2016 are 100% Alistair Hogg breeding for B.O’Sullivan
1st AS fond (525km + 565km) 2361pigeons in Romania, 2016 for Yusuf Karakurt, bred directly from 2 direct Alistair Hogg birds
1st prize Hot spot 1 Dracula Race,Transalvania, Romania.2016
1st, 2nd, 3rd Bacau, Bulgaria, 1334 birds,2016 are 100% Alistair Hogg breeding
1st Prize Hot Spot 2 French Young Bird Derby 2016.
1st U.K 4th open final race 505km, Kalimanci One loft race Bulgaria 2016.
1st Prize Goes to our ten year old son Argyle racing in his first old bird race 2016.
1st “Ace” pigeon reported from Romania, Aripi de Curcubeu, Same pigeon was 13th semi final 300km, 21st Final 505km, 2015
1st RO National Bulgaria 3990 birds racing in up to 30 degrees of heat! 2015
1st Semi Final Balkanic fair play race, Romania 2015, 320km
1st Prize Croatia from Neptune, Son of Top scheele breeder Regal who is also father to “Regal Lad”
1st Bacau, Bulgaria 922b 2015.
4 x 1st Pete Stanway from Stockport Retires his excellent racing cock “Ali” 2016 winner of 4 x 1st bred by Alistair Hogg.
1st prize goes to William Wallace from Cork 2016 with a grand child from his Golden Couple bred by Alistair Hogg
1st Club (97 miles), 3rd Club ( 115 miles), 3rd Club ( 73 miles ), 6th Club ( 182 miles) Both parents bred by Alistair Hogg
1st,2nd,3rd winners reported from Billy O’Sullivan in Bulgaria 380km 2016 against 1740 birds,
this being related to his 1st RO national winner in 2015 “Fantastic Flying”.
1st club,1st section, 5th Federation goes to William Wallace from Cork 2016 this is the same bird that won two weeks previously
this being a grand child from his Golden Couple bred by Alistair Hogg this pigeon now named the “Showman”
1st prize again to William Wallace in Cork,Ireland this time with a grand child of off his Golden pair that is 100% Alistair Hogg breeding this young pigeon racing into headwind gusts of up to 40mph.
2nd and 4th open in the Bank Holiday open race with the sale pigeon that won 1st for our son Argyle previously. “Fast Blue” lines.
2nd AS General (6 races- 2021km) in Romania, 2016 for Yusuf Karakurt, bred directly from 2 direct Alistair Hogg birds
3 x 2nd prizes reported in the domestic season in Bulgaria 2016, up to distances of 350km’s 100% Alistair Hogg breeding.
3rd Final Race Ribinita (MD) 565km in Romania, 2016 for Yusuf Karakurt, bred directly from 2 direct Alistair Hogg birds
5th and 7th Race 4 in the Derby Brod Race Croatia 2016.
5th Best team over all races Kalimanci One Loft Race 2016.
2nd breeder/buyer ( 208 miles ) winning £370 – on this day our 2 breeder/buyer entries both dropped together after 4 hours 56 minutes, taking 1st & 2nd and winning a total of £1200.
They were 47 ypm clear!! of the next bird.
7th Final French Young bird derby One loft race 2016 is 50% Alistair Hogg breeding.
8th Final Race WG Mistrzow (Champions race) Poland 2015
15th Ace pigeon WG Mistrzow (Champions race) Poland 2015, Also award for special Ace same race.
14th Final Race 360km, WG Mistrzow (Champions race) Poland 2016.
16th Semi Final- Palanka 525km in Romania, 2016 for Yusuf Karakurt, bred directly from 2 direct Alistair Hogg birds
24th, final Race Belgian Masters 2015. Tours 460km.
29th Final Balkanic Fair Play Race 2015. Berezanka 520km
29th Final Superstar One loft Race 46okm, 36th Ace Pigeon Romania, 2016
54th Final Race 310km, Derby Brod Race Croatia 2016
This is but a small selection of results more results and information can be found at Alistair’s web site