TCC Loft - SION Family - Follow the LINKS in the right hand column

Friday, December 31, 2010

"Bon Macot" & "Jeune Macot"

A Father - Son Combination

At the left is shown "Bon Macot" AU-47-B-6060 Red Check Male, bred by the late John Mahaffey, sire and grand sire of over 50 winners. Madrona Lofts houses a half dozen outstanding sons and daughters of this old ACE. He was a grand son of 34-FRANCE-754914 Dark Check, 37-FRANCE-451615 Red Check, 35-FRANCE-833372 Gris and 35-FRANCE-106187 Blue Hen, all bred by Mons. Paul Sion. The last three were all grand children of the great "Rouge Macot", the greatest pigeon Mons. Sion ever bred or flew. Thus Bon Macot descends on three distinct lines from what Mons. Paul Sion called his "higher Champion." This is the famous GRIS blood - the heart of the Sion family.

At the right is shown "Jeune Macot" AU-60-NSH-500 Gris Spl. Black Male. His dam was bred from a daughter of Bon Macot when mated to 46-FRANCE-216340 Blue Check, called "Mon Favori" bred by Mons. Paul Sion from all his best pre-war Gris blood. Thus in this son we have a concentration of the famous  "GRISES" - so difficult to acquire today. He is one of the many such ACES to be found at MADRONA LOFTS, 645 Minahen St., Napa, California.

Picture and write-up taken from The American Racing Pigeon News
July-August 1966

Great Sion's of the past ...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Le Male Gris

One of the outstanding foundation males of the Paul Sion family of "Grises" of MADEONA LOFTS, Napa, California. He is the Sire and Grand Sire of numerous winners for both Madrona Lofts and other fanciers across the country. No better Curtis-Sion than this. He is line-bred to 38-WSC-349 (half) son of the "Falconess" and 28-HAV-4350 blue son of 25-FRANCE-82030 and 24-FRANCE-309110 blue daughter of "Vieu Gris", the heart of Paul Sion's famous GRIS FAMILY.Over a dozen offspring of this fine male are also at stock at MADRONA LOFTS, NAPA, CALIF.

Taken from The American Racing Pigeon News
July-August 1965

Great Sion's of the past ...

Monday, December 13, 2010

France 23 P 181876

"181876" Bred and Flown by Mons. Paul Sion, Tourcoing, France. This hen Flown 100 to 500 miles four times. She is the mother of many prize winners in Mons. Sion's loft.

"181876" was the largest Sion hen in the Heitzman loft in 1931. She is a rare beauty and Paul Sion says "She is a Grand Daughter of "VIEUX GRIS", my famous Racer. Heitzman offered her youngsters for $20.00 each in 1932.

Great Sion's of the past ...
Picture taken from Supplement Ad The American Racing Pigeon News
December 1931

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Intelligent Pigeons

301's Dam, the LEMON EYE HEN was purchased from Chas. Heitzman by Tony Paszterko. This hen was a prisoner, and was placed in a new loft designed to give the birds more space and sun light. The hen got out before Tony had all the security precautions in place, and thought the hen was gone for good. Three days later Charles Heitzman called Tony to say the hen returned to his loft, and asked what Tony would like to do. Tony was unable to travel to Heitzman's loft for a couple of months, so Charlie suggested that he would put the hen in a paper bag, give it a shake, and release the hen. Two days from the day Charlie released the hen, the LEMON EYE HEN sailed into Tony's old Breeding loft. Her flight that week had to have been a minimum 1200 miles. Not bad for a hen that hadn't been out of the loft for two years.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Le Petit Dax

"9247", bred by Mons. Paul Sion, Tourcoing, France. Imported by Mr. L. F. Curtis, who said: "9247 bred me several fine racers in 1927," a RCC from him is father of my first Dipl. 80 mile YB winner 1928, 1700 birds competing. "9247" is stud cock of Heitzman Sion pair "G" in his 1932 Sion list.

Mons. Sion says: "9247", called "Le Petit Dax" has won a number of prizes.

1st 400 miles
1st 500 miles
1st 600 miles

He distinguished himself particularly in these races and is moreover an extra producer. He is of Blondeel crossing. "9247" "Le Petit Dax" Bred and Flown by Mons. Paul Sion. Owned by Chas. Heitzman

Great Sion's of the past ...
Photo taken from Supplement Ad in The American Racing Pigeon News
December 1931

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holly Springs

"Holly Springs" AU 50 KY 50014 Blue SION Cock

Bred and flown by Chas. Heitzman. Flown 75-115-150-313 miles. 1st Diploma and Trophy 300 Y. B. 1950, Day of Toss winning average speed. Bred from "14395" Silver Cock and "458" Blue Hen, Daughter of Combine Winner "40016" 1st 500 Day of Toss and "10398" Blue Hen presented to Heitzman by Perras of New Bedford, Mass., from his best 4 original Paul Sions. Both "14395" Silver Cock and "40016" are sons of "Morning Glory" "38084" 1st Dipl. 500 Y.B. race 1938

Great Sion's of the past ...
Picture and information taken from The American Racing Pigeon News, November 1950

Monday, November 29, 2010

Champion Roux

Champion Roux Red Chequer Cock France-47-464731

Bred by Robert Sion of Mouvaux, France "Champion of Champions" winner of  many prizes including 1st Angerville, 2nd Angouleme, 1st Chatellerault, 13th Orleans, 5th Angouleme etc. 464731 bred from Robert Sion's great Male Gris France-44-46105 and 3243 one of the great Paul Sion stock hens. 46105 bred from Paul Sion's 339445 Gris Male and 481847 Grise Hen, 339445 from the World famous "ROUX MACOT" 27-327684 Paul Sions greatest ACE.

464731 is one of the seven reference birds from a draft of Sions brought in by Parkwood Lofts, Bellflower, California in the mid 1960's

Picture taken from Racing Pigeon International
December 1965

Great Sion's of the past ...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tom Williams

A Sion Specialist, Tom Williams of Owen Sound, Ontario, checking the wing of his four year old. This bird flew 500 miles from Danville and 600 miles from Armstrong day of toss.

Picture taken from The Canadian Racing Pigeon Union
1968 Annual Review
First printed in the Owen Sound Sun-Times
December 28, 1968

Thursday, November 18, 2010

John & Sam Marshall's - Three Champion Sions - The Saddle Cock, Badder, and Mickey

Included in the 1967 Canadian Racing Pigeon Union Annual Report was a full page Ad placed by John and Sam Marshall featuring their three CHAMPION SION cock birds. John Marshall was a member of the Barrie Racing Pigeon Club that sported 32 members in the mid 60's. The Ivy Loft entered 33 races from the 1963 Young Bird series to the 1965 Old Bird series and won 16 x 1st, 18 x 2nd, 12 x 3rd, and 15 x 4th club positions. Below each picture is the detailed race results for each of the three birds. The figures shown in brackets indicate positions won by loft mates. Thanks go to Charlie Marshall for digging up this information for me. Thanks Charlie!

SADDLE COCK - CU 63 32813 - Heitzman Sion
Race Record

Young Bird - 1963
73 Miles - 4th (1, 2, 3)
175 Miles - 5th (1, 2, 3, 4)
252 Miles - 4th (1, 2, 3)

Yearling - 1964
73 Miles - 4th (1, 2, 3)
132 Miles - 1st
132 Miles - 4th (1, 2)
175 Miles - 2nd
252 Miles - 10th

Old Bird - 1965
132 Miles - 4th (1, 2, 3)
132 Miles - 1st
175 Miles - 4th (1)
252 Miles - 10th (1, 2)
385 Miles - 1st

BADDER - CU 63 32819 - Heitzman Mahaffey Sion
Race Record

Young Bird - 1963
175 Miles - 7th
252 Miles - 3rd (1, 2)

Yearling - 1964
73 Miles - 1st
132 Miles - 2nd (1)
132 Miles - 2nd (1)
175 Miles - 7th
175 Miles - 7th

Old Bird - 1965
73 Miles - 2nd
132 Miles - 3rd (1, 2)
175 Miles - 5th (1, 2)
175 Miles - 5th (1)
252 Miles - 9th (1, 2)
385 Miles - 2nd (1)
385 Miles - 5th

MICKEY - CU 63 32824- Heitzman Sion
Race Record

Young Bird - 1963
73 Miles - 1st
252 Miles - 2nd (1)

Yearling - 1964
73 Miles - 2nd (1)
73 Miles - 5th
132 Miles - 4th (1, 2)
175 Miles - 4th

Old Bird - 1965
252 Miles - 11th (1, 2)
385 Miles - 3rd (1, 2)
385 Miles - 6th

Great Sion's of the past ...


AU 47 OKY 547 B.C.H. SION. Bred and flown by Chas. Heitzman, Louisville, Ky.

Flown 100-117-150-200 as Young Bird. 100-200-610 Mile, 2nd day as yearling 1948. 100-313-504 Mile, Day of Toss 1949. 100-150-504 Mile, again Day of Toss, 1st dipl. 500 Mile, race Trophy winner, Only two birds home Day of Toss in this race 1950.

Sire: "21104" Blue 600 mile Cock full brother to 7128 "His Glory", 1st 500 Day of Toss 1946 from "14396" and "10398"

Dam: "21043" R.C.H. 500 miles from "14102" R.C.C. and "40617" R.C.H. from "3105" and "3697" both 500 Day Birds of "1104" and "1033" Blood. "14102" is from "2574" Blue and "339343" Silver Hen bred by Mons. Paul Sion.

Great Sion's of the past ...
Picture and information taken from The American Racing Pigeon News, November 1950

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Pigeon of a Different Color


AU 57 KY 57124 Red Chequer Cock, Flown 500 miles 6 times. Bred from Chas. Heitzman's AU 53 KY 53044, Twice a 500 mile winner and Grand Daughter of Heitzman's CHAMPION 600 mile Day Bird, AU 41 KY 4346. Chas. Heitzman presented "High-Strung" to Tony Paszterko as a gift, and he finished his days at the Utopia, Ontario Loft. Each year the black markings would increase with every completed moult. In his final year he looked like a Black Chequer. High-Strung is shown in Chas. Heitzman's Sion book on page 47.

Great Sion's of the past ...
Picture taken from Chas. Heitzman Sion book

Friday, November 12, 2010

High Class

AU 48 OKY 383 Silver Hen
Bred by Chas. Heitzman

From SHU 46 25 R.C.C. and FRANCE 38 339343 Silver Hen bred by Mons. Paul Sion. See page 22 of Heitzman's Sion Book. 383 is half sister to "High-Fly" 500 Y.B. in 49. "25" Bred from 2341 Mealy and 1556 R.C.C. from 53 and 1925 daughter of Mons Robt. Sion's "Chantilly" 36-398710 and "Rennie" 35-777004 from 28-522297 and 34-550002 "La Belle Macot". "53" is from "Raffles" 38-339348 R.C.C. and "Claire" 37-451714 Mealy. Both bred by Mons. Paul Sion. "2341" is from original Sion pair "Kelso" 35-398697 winner of 4 prizes and "Slieve Roe" France 37-451679 R.C.H. bred by Mons. Paul Sion.

Great Sion's of the past ...
Taken from Heitzman Ad in The American Racing Pigeon News
November 1950

Monday, November 8, 2010

Heitzman's 161199

Progenitress of Many Winners. Bred by Paul Sion, Tourcoing, France and flown 300 kilometers three times as young bird. Imported by Charles Heitzman, Louisville, Ky.

This hen is of the genuine Red "SION" type, a most beautiful specimen. She is the mother of numerous winners up to 533 miles, and here is what Paul Sion says of her: "This Young Rouge colored hen has the best of my blood in her veins, and had three flights of 300 kilometers".

She is mother of Heitzman's Great Red Producer "3207" who bred "Black Beauty" "3616" 500 Day of Toss twice, never out over night in her life. "3615" (Nest-Mate to "3616") won 1st 150 Y.B. Race. "3207" also bred "5016". also 500 Day of Toss.

"161199" is Great Grand-Mother of "Morning Glory" "38084" First Diploma 500 Y.B. Race 1938 Early 2nd AM - Almost made it Day of Toss.

"161199" is Grand-mother of "5016" that Bred Louisville's first 600 mile youngster called "STASION" "38082", also winner of 1st 600 Trophy Race 1940. "161199" is also the Great Grand-mother of "894" Red Cock winner of 1st 500 Day of Toss and flew 600 Day of Toss a Week later and 500 2nd day after another week's rest. No Day Birds on this last 500.

In 1941 a Grand Daughter of "161199" won 1st diploma and pools in Louisville's 500 mile Combine Race, competing against all clubs in Louisville Combine.

The color of "161199" is very noticeable in the Heitzman loft and there are many Dark Reds, descended several Generations from her, but the color remains.

Numerous Long Distance Race Winners the country over are descended from this Great Red Hen.

Great Sion's of the past...
Picture and information taken from The A.R.P. News Year Book 1942

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fresh Air

Most fanciers, I think, are too much concerned with the weather in regard to their lofts. They object to rain or snow driving in. My lofts  have an entirely open front and the rain drives in, but I never worry about it; a bit of sawdust very soon dries it up. Fresh air is of considerably more importance than a drop of rain. I don't know whether I am right in my surmise, but I think birds which have to roost in a cold loft which is open to the elements, grow better quality feather. Nature provides for this. I have always been a fresh air crank in my own habits and with my pigeons. I think loft construction and equipment can contribute considerably to the success or failure of the birds.

Taken from lofts for Racing Pigeons
by Chas. Heitzman
Fifth revised edition

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Foundation of 600-Mile Racing

Written by E. Lang Miller, printed in 1942 issue of The A.R.P. News Year Book.

The 600-mile master successfully flew this distance year in and year out, and this article deserves our study
Grand National Positions won over nine years;
1933 - 7th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 17th, 24th, 28th, 49th - 393 Birds Competing
1934 - 2nd, 5th, 7th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 23rd, 33rd, 36th - Birds Competing
1935 - 8th, 12th, 27th, 33rd, 39th, 40th - 803 Birds Competing
1936 - 7th, 12th, 23rd, 38th - 770 Birds Competing
1937 - 14th, 19th, 25th, 28th, 31st, 40th, 44th - 988 Birds Competing
1938 - 1st, 6th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 46th, 47th - 1503 Birds Competing
1939 - 2nd, 8th, 12th, 14th, 55th - 1085 Birds Competing
1940 - 14th, 16th, 17th, 24th, 51st - 915 Birds Competing
1941 - 2nd, 17th, 30th, 46th, 50th - 379 Birds Competing 

Six hundred mile racing in the past decade or so has grown to such importance in the regular schedule of our American racing pigeon fancy that any information whatsoever on the subject is worthy of consideration, this due to the fact that there are so many approaches to modern-day pigeon flying for success in the long races, and in many instances the methods and plans advocated are diametrically opposed, although finally arriving at the same end - namely, successful competition.

For the purpose of this article I wish to deal with just one phase of the many ramifications of long-distance racing, which I feel to some extent has been neglected, or I might say - not especially enlarged upon. This fact is the importance of handling young birds so that eventually they will form the nucleus of a long-distance race team, suitable for winning competition. The youngsters in the nest today are your possible champions of tomorrow, and all-important is the procedure to follow so that a fair percentage of these may arrive at the age when they can be regarded as worthy additions to a loft of long-distance racers.

At this point I wish to state that a bird to be regarded as a fully qualified member of a successful long-distance race team should be at least two, or preferably 3 years old, which implies experience and means that much thought should be given to the stages through which our candidate must go before arriving at this age. This specifically applies to young-bird and yearling ages, all-important to the development of the long-distance campaigner. I fully appreciate that this statement readily promotes comment and inquiry by a number of my fellow fanciers who even now are asking - what about yearlings for long-distance racing? Yearlings and even young birds have and will occasionally perform admirably well at long-distance racing under certain conditions in the hands of some few adept fanciers. But this is the exception rather than the rule - their reliability is very uncertain.

Some young birds and yearlings under natural conditions and with physical soundness, have been known to perform miracles in spite of their care and handling. But all this does not prove that such type of young bird or yearling lays the foundation for a successful long-distance race team. Quite the contrary. Such experiences are merely a teaser and a temptation that leads fanciers to carelessness and a habit to take chances with the hope that luck may break his way. What I mean by successful 600-mile racing is to continuously place your entries up among the first group in these long-distance races whether they are hard, easy, or only the average, year in and year out, as against that performance which spasmodically appears for a year or so while the effort depends on some unusual bird or two. and then is heard of no more.

"Fast Time" Bred and Flown by E. Lang Miller. First prize of Grand International 600 Mile Championship, Hillsboro, Ill., June 18, 1938 (distance 614 miles). Timed in same day. Liberated 6:15 AM, Clocked after dark at 9:29 PM, Velocity 1182 YPM, 1503 birds competing from 228 lofts from Canada and USA, 15 Hours and 15 Minutes on the wing. Only 3 birds home same day. Winner of the Hall of Fame Award for 1938.

At this point I wish to state certain facts that might be useful as a yardstick and the basis of laying the foundation for a successful long-distance race team. Young birds of certain strains are high-strung, precocious and temperamental so to say, and naturally subject to unusual influences at this early age of their maturity, and the all-important balance to their flightiness is age. It is a truism that some of our best long-distance racers in later years are indifferent young birds.

In the year of their birth these birds should be handled in such a manner that at the time they are ready for the first race you have a hardy flock of energetic and well-developed youngsters. At this specific time, the fanciers should give careful consideration to his old bird race team, figure its possibilities for the long-distance races for the year coming, consider the numbers, and age of birds that make it up, the various degree of ability of each of these birds, as well as the number of replacements needed to keep his team up to standard. For the purpose of this article, we are assuming that he will need a major proportion of his young-bird team to be candidates for 600-mile racing two years hence. Then it well behooves this fancier to consider just what birds in his young-bird team of today he fancies most for his purpose, taking into consideration pedigree, inherent qualities, strength and general racing possibilities.

"Claire-Ree" Bred and Flown by E. Lang Miller. Second prize winner of Grand International 600 Mile Championship, Hillsboro, Ill., June 17, 1939, (distance 614 miles). Velocity 833 YPM No day birds and only 30 birds home on the second day, 1085 birds competing from 200 lofts from Canada and USA. Son of "Little Claire", winner of second prize in National 600 Mile Championship 1934, and grandson of "Black Jack", twice winner of the 600 mile Combine Championship.

Now there are two available plans for him to follow. In the first instance, the birds may compete in all the various schedule of races from 100 to 300, and even 500 and 600-mile races, as the case may be, or, secondly, he may so regulate his young-bird team that as the races progress he systematically retires certain birds week by week, let's say from 130-mile stage on, with the results that whether the races are hard or easy he can set aside a few of his young-bird hatch for later use. If some of the races are tough, as they invariably are (at least one or two difficult races occurring within a spread of four to six weeks), then his numbers will be greatly reduced, and in all probability he will have no need to waste any time deciding which to keep and which to eliminate. He would hardly have sufficient birds to add to his old-bird race team.

On the other hand should he have a fair number of young birds at the time the 300-mile race is completed, youngsters that have been stopped at the 130, 150 and 200, plus those that have made the 300-mile race, he will then be in a position to select his number of youngsters required to set aside for the following season, and then he can choose and send down those surplus ones to further races. This is the plan that I myself have personally followed, with the result that I have always had a fairly strong old-bird race team, sometimes augmented with youngsters flown only shorter distances, and sometimes with youngsters as well having flown from the longer races, such as 400, 500 an 600 miles the year of their birth.

These, I want to add, were over and above those which I retained from the shorter flights, and I might state also that these birds that flew the longer races were by no means better qualified as old birds in future years than their fellow loft mates that did not have such long and severe competition in the year of their birth. However, on the other hand, if these long-distance birds incurred hard and trying races on the days of these long-distance flights, my experience has been that the physical strain which they incurred, handicapped them and made them in some instances inferior to their fellow loft mates which had far easier young-bird training.

FALCON AU 42 Buffalo 7611 Silver Wft Male. Bred by Edwin Lang Miller from import Paul Sion pair loaned to Mr. Miller by Chas. Heitzman for the 1942 breeding season. They were 37-451818 and 38-339343. Falcon sired 21056, 1st 500 mile race, Day of Toss as a Yearling.

So from the above, one can conclude that luck and the breaks are all-important in young-bird racing, and the odds are all against the fancier attempting to race his kit of young birds hard every week-end through to the long distances, because somewhere in this schedule, in all probability within the space of a month or six weeks, one or two stiff races occur (practically out of a clear sky) and wrecks his whole young-bird team, and with it goes that prop so sorely needed for his future long-distance race team, as when one year of young-bird racing is lost whereby certain fit subjects cannot be added to the old-bird team, there is a major void in the make-up of the 600-mile candidates, because that one year in age has been lost to the team and so breaks the relay and continuity of plan suggested in making up each year the subjects needed to keep a long-distance race team at its peak, and so avoid any let-down in future years.

That which is true for young-bird development is true for yearlings as well, and 300 and 400-mile yearling racing is certainly far enough for the average fancier, and only when he has an over-sufficiency of birds should he try the longer races with yearlings. So to sum up the situation, one might say that only the surplus birds should be used in attempting long-distance racing with these classes, and where one is on the ragged edge as to these two ages in his loft, he should not tempt fate which may remove this unit from his scheme of development, and thereby handicap the make-up of his long-distance racing team.

I know some will point out the many successes of young birds and yearlings in long-distance racing, and especially the percentage of yearlings being reported in race time in many of the old-bird races, and they need not go beyond my own loft to get such facts as I feel I have flown young birds and yearlings successfully in long-distance competition equal to any. However, this does not prove the rule, or disprove my statement. It just shows it can be done and what I am talking about here is laying the foundation of a strong 600-mile team that will successfully year after year keeps its owner in the forefront of successful winning, and this cannot be done by flying each generation of young birds, yearlings, etc., the limit. Sooner or later something will crack. Luck plays a mighty big factor in pigeon racing, and for this very reason many fanciers are inclined to be thoughtless and reckless and take chances, and if their thought is only for the present and not for a continuous year in and year out long-distance winning, perhaps they can get a lot of fun out of the effort while it lasts.

So in concluding, the whole thing points to this fact that the young bird and yearling stage is merely a training period toward the peak of long-distance racing. In fact, young birds and yearlings should be trained, not raced, by the fancier with fore-thought, although the trend of our present-day sport has made young-bird racing almost pre-eminent to old-bird racing. The best proof of this statement is to review the young-bird race reports. Note the many birds and many fanciers all the way thru the schedule. How many of these fanciers do you even see at 300-mile old-bird races, and then when you come to the long-distance tests of the expert in repeated 500 and 600 mile racing, half-a-dozen of these races each year and many years following, there seldom appears but two or three percent of the young-bird pigeon racers who compete yearly in this competition.

The answer is that young-bird racing to the majority of fanciers, is just a game and a pastime not taken seriously, in which all sorts may compete - the novice, greenhorn, and old time alike - and if race conditions are easy, all stand a good chance of reporting in spite of themselves, even up to the longer races, and if youngsters are finally lost, in most instances they are, the "would be" fancier can start over again next year with a new lot of young birds, and repeat his folly with plenty of zip.

But not so with old birds. Worn-out yearlings, poor in feather and health, seldom make successful candidates for high-pressure old-bird racing with champions of the local center. So in discouragement our "would-be" fancier quits the sport, all due to the lack of proper intelligence in laying the foundation of a successful long-distance team.

So in ending this subject, I wish to leave this thought with you - Train your youngsters, don't race them - sure, ship them in your local races, but don't be too concerned about taking top position. Don't be disappointed if such or such favorite young bird seems to lag or straggle. Don't get discouraged, but give them time to mature. You were not so hot as a kid - maybe you are not so hot now. But there are hopes, so give your young birds a chance.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Heitzman's 'H' Pair

This common looking pair of SION's is probably responsible for not 100's but 1000's of winners. They are Heitzman's 'H' pair, bred by L. F. Curtis directly out of his Paul Sion imports.

Chas. Heitzman's "RED SION PAIR, "1104" Red Cock and "1033" Red Chequer Hen, frequently referred to as Heitzman's Pair "H" because they were listed as Pair "H" in his 1934 Mating List. "1104" is a Son of "Le Roi" and "Le Reine" (King and Queen). Picture taken from November, 1940, The American Racing Pigeon News.

In 1940 Heitzman wrote " There is hardly a bird in the loft that does not contain the Blood of this noted Sion Pair. Many winners the country over are descendants of this pair".

Great Sion's of the past ...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

AU 41 KY 4346

Has the current day definition of a "Champion" changed over the years?

In 1945 Mr. Meier clocked his SION Red Chequer Cock '4346' at the 600 mile station on the day. Bred by Charles Heitzman, this Red Chequer Cock flew a total of 12,534 miles in six seasons.  This bird flew the 1017 mile station in 1943, won first at the 500 mile station in 1944, was a 600 mile day bird in 1945, and came in second at the 600 mile station in 1946 before being retired to stock in the Heitzman loft.

AU 41 KY 4346
Race Record
1941 - Flown 117
1942 - Flown 100-200-400-500 Miles
1943 - Flown 100-200-300-500-600-1017 Miles
1944 - Flown 200-300-500-400-500-500-1st Dipl. 500 Mile Race
1945 - Flown 100-200-400-300-500-600-300-500-600 Day of Toss
1946 - Flown 100-200-300-500-400-600-500-2nd Dipl. 600

Sire - AU 40 KY 40188 Light Red Chequer from '39238' R.R.C. and '35-76394' Blue from '3251' Blue and '31-1008'B.C.H. from '82030' Silver Cock and '309110' Blue, Bred by Mons, Sion. '39238' from '37-451818' bred by Paul Sion when paired to '3700' R.C.H, daughter of foundation pair, '1104' and '1033' R.C.H. '3251' - 500 day, also 600, son of '1104' and '181876' B.C.H. bred by Paul Sion.

Dam - 'AU 40 KY 40618' D.B.C.H. Bred from two 500 mile day birds. '3105' R.C.C. son of foundation pair '1104' and '1033'. Mother of '40618' is DAILY DOUBLE '3697' D.B.C.H. twice 500 day of toss. Bred from '3106' D.R.C.C. and '3103' D.B.C.Pd hen 600 miles from '693955' and '161106' Bronze, both bred by Mons. Paul Sion. '3106' twice 500 and bred from '1104' and '1033'.

Tony Paszterko's SION family traces back to these same blood lines. Tony's AU 47 OKY 848 R.C.C. was a direct son of the famous France 37 451818 Dark Red Chequer Cock illustrated in Heitzman's SION book.

Photo and information taken from "The Paul Sion Strain" by Chas. Heitzman

TCC Loft - Mike Taylor

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Small Loft

Some years ago an old fancier living in my district raced his youngsters to a little aviary which had a wall at the back and wire-netting in front and sides from top to bottom. The place was six feet long by three feet wide, with just a sloping roof over it. Rain blew into it but the floor sloped away slightly from the wall so that the water would drain away as fast as it went in. I copied this fancier's idea at my own home thirty years ago and I got some extra good results. Later I altered things and made a more elaborate loft, but I never had such excellent results with youngsters.

Taken from Lofts for Racing Pigeons
By Chas. Heitzman
Fifth revised edition

Monday, September 27, 2010

Color Breeding

Chas. Heitzman was able to keep quality feathering in his colony by mating his blues and blacks with red colors, and barred pigeons with checkers. This gave him the deep green and purple sheen on the necks of his pigeons, and also allowed him to accurately sex his pigeons in the nest.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Breeding Old Males With Young Hens

Breeding Old proven cocks with Young hens is not a new concept. Chas Heitzman successfully used this breeding technique, which he said gave his family vigor.

In Champions of the World, Vol. 5, Claudio Giussani States that he takes great pleasure from putting autumn females with his high performance males, especially when the hen's siblings have produced top class performances.

The American Racing Pigeon News, January, 1971, SION article states, "Referring to his methods, M. Paul Sion believed that his best results were obtained from young hens paired to old cocks, as hens are more precocious. He did not do as well with young cocks and old hens. He stopped some of his youngsters at early stages, but some were sent to the long-distance 400 mile events. He rested the 400 mile youngsters as yearlings and these yearling hens were paired to old cocks with excellent results. He did little rearing from old cocks that had been raced extensively."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Inbred to Tony's "WOODPECKER" AU 75 KY 75091, and "MAROON EYE HEN" AU 71 KY 71773. The very best from Chas. Heitzman.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mr. Lewis F. Curtis - First Hall of Fame Award - Part 2

The February 1933 issue of "The American Racing Pigeon News" included a 10 page paid advertisement on America's first Hall of Fame Award winner: Mr. Lewis F. Curtis. These pages included praises from leading fanciers of the day, and reprints from international racing pigeon papers.

The following article appeared on May 16th, 1931, in "The Racing Pigeon", published in London, England. The entire page 247, giving illustrations of the birds and their owner as well as the following article, is devoted to the subject.

"World's Record"

America Honors a Remarkable Performance.
Mr. Lewis F. Curtis Receives First Hall of Fame Award

To win the first six prizes in a 600-mile race with six pigeons which dropped into their loft together seems to be an impossible performance, but it has been accomplished by a prominent American Fancier.

This remarkable feat - a world's record - goes to the honor of Mr. Lewis F. Curtis, of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and has earned for him the distinction of being the first fancier to receive the award of the "Hall of Fame". The "Hall of Fame" was originated in 1929 for the purpose of giving due acknowledgment for racing pigeon performances accomplished beyond reasonable expectation and Mr. Curtis, who we enthusiastically compliment, is certainly worthy of being the first to have his name enrolled.

His pigeons, all from Belgian pedigreed stock, accomplished the journey at something like an average speed of 1434 yards per minute.

Perhaps it is best to let the publicity chairman of the American national organizations tell his own story of the birds and the presentation. It is as follows: - On June 28, 1930, a new American record was established by the feat of six racing pigeons belonging to Mr. Lewis F. Curtis, of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, returning in 12 hours and 16 minutes together from 600 miles winning the first six positions in the Greater Boston Concourse Association annual 600-mile race, the largest flown in America at this distance with 51 fanciers and 202 birds competing, the birds liberated at Romeo, Michigan, at 5:58 AM and the six winners clocked in at Mr. Curtis's loft at 6:14 PM together, on day of toss. The ancestors of these birds were purchased direct from Messrs. Evrard Havenith, of Antwerp, Belgium, Lucien Bastin, of Verviers, Belgium, Guillaume Stassart, of Anderlecht, Belgium, and Paul Sion, of Tourcoing, France. Mr Theodore Vekens, formerly of Grammant, Belgium, and associated with Mr. Curtis, at his large and palatial lofts called Journey's End, received much praise for his splendid handling of the six winners. Nothing even approaching it had ever before been accomplished and the fanciers who had heretofore been skeptical about the ability of the Belgian racing pigeon were loud in their praise of the four continental fanciers mentioned above who had furnished Mr. Curtis with birds from which he was able to produce such racers.

The following article is taken from editorials on page 223 of the March 27th, 1931, issue of "The Homing Pigeon", published in Birmingham, England.

We have received a copy of the January issue of The American Racing Pigeon News - a particularly fine production printed on art paper and embellished with many illustrations of famous American fanciers, their birds and lofts, and the "Hall of Fame" cover is a composite picture of six racers from the loft of Mr. Lewis F. Curtis, of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Mr. Curtis' performance in winning the first six positions in the 600-mile race of the Greater Boston Concourse Association of June last gained for him the premier award in the Hall of Fame at the Hotel Pennsylvania, New York City, on January 10th last. It is of interest to note that the strains of birds responsible for this remarkable performance are the Havenith, Stassart, Bastin, and Sion. Judging from the extensive importations of birds made by Mr. Curtis from Belgium, he may be classed as, "The Logan of America".

Praises from leading fanciers of the day:

Verviers, Belguim, August 15, 1932
My dear Mr. Curtis;
I cannot but admire more and more the results that you are securing with the descendants of my pigeons. These are really amazing and I am so pleased that I am really afraid that I shall become altogether too proud thereof.
Cordially and sincerely yours,
Lucien Bastin

Anderlechl, Belgium, September 12, 1932
My dear Mr. Curtis;
Although not personally acquainted with you, I have the highest esteem and the greatest admiration for the Grand National Champion of the United States. Your wonderful exploits during the past three years at 600 miles has also contributed considerably to the growth of your reputation here, which was anyhow very well known and appreciated. Allow me to express the hope that you have only started a long line of triumphs in the fancy.
Very Sincerely,
Guilliame Stassart

Antwerp, Belgium, August 20, 1932
My dear Mr. Curtis;
I am very pleased you are succeeding so splendidly with the birds you imported from our country. Your famous performances with our good birds are most creditable, particularly your performance over three years at 600 miles distance, which has never been approached in the entire racing world. You are certainly the "Premier" of your country and I am happy to acknowledge your strength and knowledge of pigeon racing.
Yours very sincerely,
Evrard Havenith

Tourcoing, France, December 11, 1932
My dear Mr. Curtis,
I am very happy at the successes which you have obtained with the performances of my pigeons. The success gained by you at the 600-mile distance on July 9, 1932, and my success at the 500 miles distance on July 12, 1930, are beyond question the two greatest races ever flown by a single competitor throughout the racing world at these meets. You see that my predictions have been realized and I am very glad about this.
Sincerely Yours,
Paul Sion

Westcombe Park, London, England, August 7, 1932
Dear Mr. Curtis;
Congratulations on the records of your splendid birds. Wonders will never cease.
Best wishes from,
Dr. M. E. Tresidder

Farnworth, England, Austust 11, 1932
My dear Mr. Curtis;
In the forty years I have acted as agent for the Belgians, I have never witnessed such remarkable performances at the long distances as those made by your birds. I never knew anything equal to it in our country. They are World's Records and naturally deserve a recognition equal to it. I note the American Racing Pigeon News takes pride in honoring you while the Editor seems also to be equal to the occasion and "right Well" he has done his work.
Most sincerely yours,
Al Darbyshire

Uccle, Belgium, August 28, 1932
My dear Mr. Curtis;
I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for obtaining such fine success at such a long distance during these many years with the pigeons I had sent to you. The Belgian pigeon papers are full of your fame and I am indeed honored and pleased.
Heartily yours,
Alfred Seret

Brussells, Belgium, September 21, 1932
Dear Mr. Curtis;
I have read in our journals the results obtained by your pigeons for the three years past at the distance of 600 miles. I herewith beg to extend my congratulations because this represents a magnificent success.
Yours very truly,
Arthur Lenoir

Schaerbeck, Belgium, October 29, 1932
Dear Mr. Curtis;
Your great wins at 600 miles for the three years past exceeds the brilliant year I enjoyed in 1921 when all my countrymen marvelled at my triumphs. I cannot pay your deserving records greater homage.
Very truly,
Gaston Ryelandt

London, England, August 4, 1932
Dear Mr. Curtis;
Please accept my heartiest congratulations on your splendid performances. I have received several phone messages and letters expressing admiration of your twelve best racers.
Yours faithfully,
W. H. Osman

Sherwood House, Reading, England, October 10, 1932
Dear Mr. Curtis;
My hearty congratulations to you on owning such a team of real champions. I know the difficulties of pigeon racing, therefore my congratulations are very sincere.
Yours faithfully,
W. Fury

Ecaussines, Belgium, September 14, 1932
Dear Mr. Curtis;
Receive my felicitations for the fine successes you have presented, as well as my confraternal salutations.
Very sincerely,
Ernest Duray

Vinderhaute, Belgium, September 7, 1932
Dear Mr. Curtis;
With my best congratulations for your great 600-mile achievements, which are very agreeable to the Belgian fanciers. Also please accept the best wishes of my friends Stassart, Sion, Janssens, and all the other ones of the Belgian National Flying Club.
Yours sincerely,
P. Vanhecke

Verviers, Belgium, October 26, 1932
Dear Mr. Curtis;
I make haste to come and congratulate you upon your brilliant success in the long races. Such achievements in such competition are feats to be proud of and also they go to make our sport the more interesting. I am sure that all true fanciers, even if a bit jealous, will be glad to know of such successes.
Yours most sincerely,
Renier Gurnay

Laeken, Belgium, August 17, 1932
Dear Mr. Curtis;
It is with pleasure that I am cognizant of the great success gained by your pigeons. Your success is not only unique from the far distant points, but most interesting.
Most sincerely,
Albert Warsee

Mr. Lewis F. Curtis - First Hall of Fame Award - Part 1

The February 1933 issue of "The American Racing Pigeon News" included a 10 page paid advertisement on America's first Hall of Fame Award winner: Mr. Lewis F. Curtis. These pages included praises from leading fanciers of the day, and reprints from  international racing pigeon papers.

The following article appeared on the front page of "The Messager Colombophile" on the 20th of May, 1931. This weekly publication is generally regarded as the foremost in Belgium.

"The Belgian Pigeon in America"

On June 28, 1930, a new world's record was established by six pigeons belonging to Mr. Curtis, of Massachusetts. The pigeons accomplished the trip of 600 miles, or 1000 kilometers, in 12 hours and 16 minutes, earning thus the six first places in the American Concourse for the longest distance. 51 fanciers took part in this test in which they had entered 202 pigeons.

The release of the pigeons was effected at 5:58 AM and the six victors of Mr. Curtis finished their race together by arriving at 6:14 PM at their home loft. These prize winners originated from subjects imported from Belgium and France which had been purchased directly from Messrs. Havenith, of Antwerp, Lucien Bastin, of Verviers, Guillaume Stassart, of Anderlecht, and Paul Sion, of Tourcoing. They were handled by Mr. Theodore Vekens, who is also associated with Mr. Curtis. This Belgian was highly congratulated upon this exploit and the Belgian pigeons were showered with praise.

Certain American fanciers have been known in the past to doubt the capability of our aerial racers. These parties, however, were amongst the most enthusiastic in their praise and they showed the greatest admiration for the four Continental fanciers mentioned above and, incidentally, for the Belgian pigeons to which we must, of course, add those of Mr. Paul Sion. Such a performance could not fail to arouse the highest enthusiasm on the part of American fanciers.

Thus, on January 10, 1931, the National Committee, composed of three members of the two national organizations which control the Sport in the United States, met at the Hotel Pennsylvania, in New York and unanimously accorded the first prize in the "Hall of Fame" to Mr. Curtis for the exploit performed by his six pigeons, Mr. Curtis being the first fancier in the United States to receive this high honor.

The United States War Department has had photographs taken of the official presentation of the medal which goes with this "Hall of Fame" award. All the papers of that country have done likewise and they have, moreover, published enthusiastic articles in honor of the victor and his pigeons, an honor which he owes chiefly to the Belgian pigeon fanciers who also are entitled to all the honors of this occasion. We can see that they do things in a big way over there. We can see also that the military authorities attach a great deal of importance to the great deeds performed by racing pigeons. We can see, finally, that our pigeons are more than ever gaining great honor in America.

And you, dear Mr. Curtis, please accept our best congratulations. You may be sure that we heartily hope you may be able to duplicate this exploit. Your are young. You have yet a long career before you and you have the instruments which permit one to believe that this hope may well be expected to come true. On that day you will have won a title of imperishable Glory and all the Belgian pigeon fanciers, as well as all true American sportsmen, will join in acclaiming your success.

Forward hence, to a second victory for the Belgian racing pigeon, the best in the whole world.

The following article appeared on the front page of the "Messager Colombophile" published on August 10, 1932.

"In America"

Our readers will recall the unprecedented success by Mr. Lewis F. Curtis, of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., in 1930. For those who are not acquainted therewith, as for instance our new subscribers, and they are numerous, we will state again that Mr. Curtis was the victor in the great American meet at 600 miles distance. Such a distance means about 1000 kilometers.

As far as he is concerned it was a real triumph. Six of his pigeons returned together having covered the distance in 12 hours and 16 minutes which means more than 1300 metres per minute. These six prize winners, whose victory has kept an endless number of newspaper men busy writing in American and has been celebrated in great style, are of Belgian origin. Incidentally speaking, Mr. Curtis has never tried to hide this fact and has, moreover, sent us quite recently a magnificent photograph in colors of his great 600-mile champions which even aroused the particular attention of the United States military authorities at a time when the trophy was awarded which these pigeons had won in such a remarkable manner at 600 miles.

With this magnificent photograph we also received a printed table which for us Belgians is really a remarkable document as it specifies the pedigree of these prominent fliers all of which are of essentially Belgian origin. This document confirms again that the Belgian racing pigeon is the best in the entire world. This is a fact which no one can gainsay, neither Mr. Curtis, nor the Americans in general, as well as all of those who are closely connected with matters bearing on pigeon racing.

Since their unparalleled success in 1930, Mr. Lewis F. Curtis has been recording victory after victory with his Belgian pigeons.

In 1930 and 1931 he has won first place in 9 large concourse races out of 20 flown, comprising all the old bird races scheduled for that period.

During three successive years, namely - 1930, 1931, and 1932, the results realized by him at 600 miles distance have been simply the best that have been brought about in America and the entire racing world.

In 1930 his six pigeons won at 600-miles in 12 hours and 16 minutes. Then Mr. Curtis wins again the 600-mile race with one pigeon in 1931, the time being 12 hours and 42 minutes. In 1932 he establishes a new world's speed record for this distance covering the 600 miles in 9 hours and 27 minutes. At the last-named meet there were 236 pigeons belonging to 42 fanciers. The first 9 arrivals won the prizes awarded in this race. Amongst them Mr. Curtis had six. Their rating was as follows: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th. After the first arrival he identifies 12 pigeons in 20 minutes owing to which he records the following results in the general classification: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 23rd, 32nd, 53rd, 61st, 62nd, 63rd, 64th, 73rd, 78th, and 90th.

A lucky pigeon fancier, all the same!

We can only wish that for a long time to come he will perpetuate the glory of the Belgian racing pigeon.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sam Marshall's - French Cock - AU 55 KY 55010 RCC

TCC Loft was presented with two Grand Daughters of Sam Marshall's "BADDER" in the early 1990's.
CU 89 WW 2179 BBH, Dam to my Raemore winner was presented with her son CU 91 46467 BBC by John Pfeiffer Jr., and CU 89 35540 RCH, a Double Grand Daughter of Badder, Dam to my Daughter's Combine winner was presented by Tony Paszterko. "BADDER" was direct son of Sam's French cock.

French Foundation

Sam Marshall's "FRENCHIE" AU KY 55010 Red Chq Cock, Bred by Chas. Heitzman was responsible for several winners, including Grand Son - "SADDLE COCK" CU 63 32813 BCC, which was CU Champion in 1967. "FRENCHIE" Sire: France 50 217749 Silver Griz Cock, bred and flown 555 miles by Robert Sion from his Champion Vanquer, 46 3099984 Blue. Featured in Chas. Heitzman's Sion book on Page 32. "FRENCHIE" Dam: AU 54 KY 54150 Blue Chq, A perfect Sion specimen. Bred from "54204" Dark Chq Cock and "High Class" AU 48 OKY 383 Gris hen, bred from SHU 46 25 RCC import bred by Paul Sion. 54150 was dam of 8 outstanding birds in Heitzman colony. "54150" featured in Chas. Heitzman's Sion book on Page 36.

Sam Marshall's "Badder" CU 63 32819 RCC and "Butch" CU 63 32810 BCC were full brothers off the FRENCH cock and "1450 Hen" CU 59 1450 BBH

FRANCE 50 217749 Silver Gris Cock, Bred by Robert Sion.

Vanquer 46 3099984 Blue, 2nd Bilbao International. 3,500 birds completing, 1st Chatellerault 315 miles, 2,336 Pigeons, 95th Barcelona 750 miles, 3,329 birds 1950. "Vanquer" is bred from "Le Beau Roux" 37 451680 RCC Paul Sion's best.

"Le Beau Roux" 37 451680 RCC Paul Sion. Sire of Vanquer
54150 BCH Bred by Chas. Heitzman from 50204 Dark Chq cock featured in Heitzman's Sion book on page 36, and "High Class" AU 48 OKY 383 Gris hen

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tony Paszterko and Charles Heitzman

I was going through some old photo albums at Tony's house, and convinced Mary and Tony to lend me some pictures of Tony and Charles Heitzman to share on the Blog. Although not shy, Tony and Mary are private people and I hope they enjoy these reproductions.

Charles Heitzman and Tony Paszterko sitting inside Charlie's famous library.

Charlie was interviewed many times over the years by scribes and writers while sitting on this very swing.

Tony in front of Charlie's breeding loft. Welded-wire had to be installed after a mink came through the dowelling and killed 30 or so pigeons.

Tony in front of Charlie's main racing loft. Note the settling baskets set on top of the loft.

Charlie sent out Christmas cards featuring his CHAMPION Head Wind.

Picture during a late fall visit to Charlies', Left to Right, Ray West, Charles Heitzman, and Tony Paszterko. One picture I regret I can't reproduce is of John Pfeiffer, Tony Paszterko, and Ray West standing on the stairway of Charlie's main racing loft.

Charlie was very proud of his library, and the collection of books and pigeon racing memorabilia contained inside this building.

These two pictures show the range of lofts owned by Charles Heitzman. Lot's of room and flexibility, something Tony adopted at home.

Memorials for Head-Wind, Hurry Home, and Heat-Wave, Charles Heitzman enjoyed using "H" for Heitzman when naming his CHAMPIONS.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

FALCONESS '27 AU Hub 1273

Falconess as shown in the January 1931 American Racing Pigeon News. One of the six Lewis F. Curtis pigeons to fly 600 miles on the day to take the first six positions in the 06/28/1930 Boston Concourse race. All homed together ...... and landed at 6:14 PM after flying 12 Hours, 16 minutes on the wing. Possibly lost in history ...... The handler was Mr. Theodore Vekens.


B.C.H. '27 AU HUB 1273

 Sion's of the past ...

Chas. Heitzman's 1931 Thorobred "SION" Family

Chas. Heitzman placed a six page ad in the December 1931 American Racing Pigeon News, featuring his "SION" Family. By that time he had already aquired 15 birds bred and raced by the master PAUL SION. He offered youngsters from his best @ $40.00 a pair!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

1963 Big All American Awards

email received 02/26/2010
Dear Mr.Taylor,

My name is Brandon _ _ _ _ _ _ _. I was browsing your website and I saw the picture you had of Earnest Givannoni. I was wondering if you had a better picture of him and if so if you might perhaps e-mail it to me. I have some Sion birds myself that trace back to his birds' bloodlines through Silver Dollar, Truckee, and The Checker and I would like to know if you have some older pedigrees for these birds that trace back their lineage. And if you would be willing to e-mail those to me as well.

Yours in sport,
Brandon _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I will take a look for the information requested. Giovannoni's Sions were well sought after by many flyer's in Ontario, and New York State. I'm sure we have a pedigree for "Truckee King" that can be shared with Brandon. However, I'm not sure I can supply a better picture of Ernest Giovannoni than the one published on this Blog site 12/10/2009.
Maybe someone reading this Blog has information or pictures they would like to share?

This picture and write up appear in the Racing Pigeon Bulletin, August 3, 1964

1963 Big All American Awards; Ernest Giovannoni, 2120 Cuttings Wharf Road, Napa, Calif. Winner First Young Birds.

He is 35 years old, married and has two children, Tony and Angila. He has been actively engaged in this sport since 1949. His pigeons are of the Paul Sion family, based on ten birds direct from that loft, plus others from John Mahaffey. He has won nine club young and old bird average speeds in a row. He is also a former All American winner having placed in the 1961 and 1962 selections. His pigeons must prove themselves before they are placed in the stock loft.