Raymond's Weblog^

Pigeon Racing

First thing to know: it’s a big deal. Last year a pigeon was sold for $1.9 million. In Taiwan there are hundreds of thousands of pigeon racers and the annual prize pool is in the tens of millions.

Second: it has history. The proper name for someone who breeds and races pigeons is a ‘fancier’, and the sport is thought to date back some 1800 years. There were seven pigeon racing events in the 1900 Olympic Games, although they were not considered ‘official’ by the IOC. Here in the UK we have five independent pigeon racing organisations, including the Royal Pigeon Racing Association. Its President is “enthusiastic pigeon fancier” Queen Elizabeth II.

Third, it is pretty screwy, even by sporting standards. It’s got the classic hallmarks: