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2004 Australian Gold Cup & GFPF Breeder’s Plate Winner


The winner is a black chequer pied hen Gold Cup – 03 - 1013.  She was purchased at a  Breeder’s Plate Auction as one of a pair in the same pen, that I paid $30 for the pair.  She was bred by Chris Hill in Queensland and sent down to the sale to try her luck in the combined Australian Gold Cup & Breeder’s Plate.


As a youngster, she was fairly highly-strung and generally opposed conforming to the daily loft routine.

This factor, combined with her very imposing colour, made her one of those pigeons that was always “in your face”.


Training began around early May with short tossing of 10 km across town once a week. Once the flock got the hang of heading straight for home after release, tossing went to 25 km into the country (hawk country that is) and to 60 km by the start of the race season.


The first race that the special rung pigeons were due to go to was not on a weekend with very good weather and they were held for another fortnight. Her first race was from Swan Hill, 258 km, further that I would normally jump from tossing and the North-East winds made for a tough race. 1013 wasn’t home until the Sunday. Her next race was three weeks later from Penaire NSW, 361 km, a race that I won with another Gold Cup pigeon, Red Hen GC-03-1047 at 1453 mpm. In this race 1013 was three hours behind the winner but starting to shape up into a race bird. The next scheduled outing was to be Ivanhoe NSW, but she somehow evaded being basketed.


The Gold cup had finally arrived and I had seven starters, 1013 among them. Not the ideal preparation, with being held on the first race, a two day trip the second race, three hours late the third race and missing her last lead up race altogether. You can imagine my surprise when this hen arrived first at my loft. Out of the seven that I sent, three made it on the day and another three on Sunday, only dropping one bird (the one that I told Barry Leonard at basketing that it would be the winner), but that’s pigeon racing.  Considering the time that she spent sitting on the landing board preening her self before trapping, I was very lucky to just beat two other local flyers for the main prize in both races.


Due to her size and very strong looking head, she was raced as a cock in all her lead up races and only showed signs of being a hen a couple of weeks before the Gold Cup race.


After the race season had finished, 1013 paired to a young cock in the race shed and was the proud mother of four good looking squeakers.


My appreciation goes to Chris Hill and the many other interstate contributors of squeakers to this event. 


Yours in the sport,



Ian Rowland