Dandi Lofts Marathon Pigeon Racing
Stralsunder Strasse 13
18507 GRIMMEN MV
My name is David Reynolds I am 60 years old, a veteran of the Royal Engineers and Pigeon mad. As a young boy growing up in Southend on sea Essex from good working class stock . I was introduced to pigeons when I was 14 years old when my uncle got himself 6 white doves explaining to me that when they were let out they would at least come back to the loft and after about a 6 week wait, the day came to let them have their freedom. I was there watching with anticipation as all 6 flapped their wings and flew off into the distance never to be seen again, I was so gutted but it had lit a spark in me.
I had caught the pigeon bug and soon started hanging around on Saturdays with some old pigeon fanciers in southend waiting for their birds to come back from the races. I was well and truly amazed at the ability of these little birds to find their way home from so far away and I was hooked on this fantastic sport. My father built me my first loft when I was 14 years old. I caught birds from the high street and bred young birds to race joining the Prittlewell racing club, but alas as a young lad with no income racing was not possible, and buying a clock was way out of my reach so I trained and raced against the next door neighbour which gave me some great times.
Unfortunately, the time came to look for work and I had decided to join the Army and so that was of course the end of my pigeon racing for a very long time . After serving 20 years I left the forces and had some very substantial life changes, divorce, being one but eventually after 4 years I remarried and moved to Grimmen in Germany where I now live. Grimmen is a small town in the far north east on the Baltic coast close to the polish border. I live there with my wife and 2 foster children.
In 2010 we brought the old mill house with a windmill (without sails) in the garden. This was also the starting point once again for me to have Pigeons and to build a team of Marathon pigeons that are able to race competitively over 800 to 1,000 miles.
The I G west Long distance club of which I am a member of who race each year a total of 5 races from France, Luxembourg, and London. These races are all over 500 miles from me so I use them as training for the bigger National and international races to come later in the year such as, Brive (800 miles) ,Narbonne (900 miles), or Barcelona (1000 miles) etc.
These 500 mile races are ideal for testing the birds and all my 2 year olds must complete the full long distance race programme which is approx 4500 km or 2800 miles over a 10 week period.
At the beginning I had birds come from 900 miles and 1000 miles but they were always a bit off the pace coming after a week or 10 days ,and that was not what I was aiming for. I mean don’t get me wrong , just to get them was a great thrill but to get them in race time or close to it was the goal. Over the next 6 or so years I worked on building a strain of birds that could achieve this goal.
In 2019 I entered 3 races over 500 miles – the 1st. Sezanne winning 1st Sect, the 2nd Langres winning 1st and 2nd Sect then Langres II again winning 1st sect. This alone showed me that my systems were working well and the birds where at the right fitness level both physically and mentally to endure the shorter 500 mile racing.
I also sent 4 birds to the national race from Brive a distance of 805 miles getting 2 within a couple of hours of each other and another 3 days later this was a real high not quiet in race time but very close.
I have subsequently worked even more on improving my feeding and training system in an attempt to shorten the flying times and therefor come closer to race times.
This has worked a treat and in 2020 at 805 miles in the German national race I had the 3 furthest flying prize pigeons in the whole of Germany in just 4 days. Winning the 90th, 92nd and 96th sect ,my loft being180 miles further than the next closest loft.