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The Biss Strain
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t the base of the Biss strain are a number of the old English families which have, in the main, apparently passed on into history, being supplemented over time by representatives of the Commines i.e. of the Super Crack lines and the enduring Stichelbauts. An important input into the family in its early days was a pigeon known as the Donachy Hen, which was a grand- daughter of a famous hen which won over 800 pounds sterling in a race from St Sebastian into Liverpool, England, in the early nineteen thirties for a Mr Cope. In fact, the bloodlines of this great breeder can still be found in the strain today. For example, the great Natrix of the family traces back to the Donachy Hen over generations. These Bloodlines have achieved the following results in NFC Nationals from Pau into England (645 miles): 1991- 32nd, 34th, 62th, 140th, 260, -( 4,992 birds) 1993- 1st, 2nd, 7th, 21st, 30th, 38th, 65th, 74th, 79th, 85th, 105th, 198th, 227th, - (5,423 birds) 1994- In this article I refer to a strain of racing pigeons that are truly extraordinary. It is a family that the founder, Jim Biss, cultivated for well nigh 60 years since he first decided in the 1930s to create a strain capable of winning from 60 up to 800 miles. Now although I have previously expressed doubt if there is any family of racing pigeons that could be defined as an 'all rounder', for there are horses for courses, so to speak, if my tendency to think as above is to be refuted then the Biss strain is the one that may have that potential. However, my interest in the Jim Biss creation is the strain's achievements at the long and marathon distances and successes of this strain were not restricted to Biss himself, for there are scores of fanciers who have experienced success with the family.

At the base of the Biss strain are a number of the old English families which have, in the main, apparently passed on into history, being supplemented over time by representatives of the Commines i.e. of the Super Crack lines and the enduring Stichelbauts. An important input into the family in its early days was a pigeon known as the Donachy Hen, which was a grand- daughter of a famous hen which won over 800 pounds sterling in a race from St Sebastian into Liverpool, England, in the early nineteen thirties for a Mr Cope. In fact, the bloodlines of this great breeder can still be found in the strain today. For example, the great Natrix of the family traces back to the Donachy Hen over generations. These Bloodlines have achieved the following results in NFC Nationals from Pau into England (645 miles): 1991- 32nd, 34th, 62th, 140th, 260, -( 4,992 birds) 1993- 1st, 2nd, 7th, 21st, 30th, 38th, 65th, 74th, 79th, 85th, 105th, 198th, 227th, - (5,423 birds) 1994- 38th, 51st, 104th, 202nd, 222nd, 319th, 407th,- (4,976 birds) 1995- 52nd, 73rd, 120th, 312th, 337th, 396th, 417th, 432nd, 441st, 460th, - (5,482 birds) 1996- 71st, 77th, 81st, 127th, 218th, 369th, 377th, 494th, 525th, 557th, 608th, 613th, 626th, 629th, - (4,976 birds) 1997- 3rd, 4th, 9th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 47th, 114th, 205th, 207th, 227th, 322th, 3336th, 386th - (3,466 birds).

Let us jump to other results in the NFC races and the Biss pigeons who recorded them: starting with last year (2004) when Glazer was 3rd NFC Grand National Pau; Engage in 2003 recording 27th Pau / Saintes NFC after winning 11th position from Pau in 2002; Dasher scoring 44th Grand National Pau in 2002 and 19th in 1999; Basher being 261st in the Grand National from San Sebastian in 2001 flying 661 miles after recording 22nd Open Pau in 1998; then there is Emboli who was 341st Open NFC Pau in 2000 but who has added 10th and 5th Open Pau in 2002 and 2003 respectively. Surely enough said!

Of course, the latter results are just a dip in the ocean, for the Biss family of great flyers has won numerous
sections, numerous averages and numerous trophies covering all aspects of pigeon racing into the United Kingdom in its entirety, which would require more space than I have here available. Those results confirm the greatness of the Biss strain, which in the opinion of many objective pigeon sports people is the greatest English, if not British, strain ever. In fact, the great Emil Denys wrote, in a letter to Jim Biss 'You did not buy for commercial reasons, you purchased because you wanted to create a Super- family of long distance pigeons... I think you own one of the best long distance families in the world'.

Yes at Brundall Lofts near Norwich, in the county of Norfolk, England, a great master of the sport of pigeon racing participated daily in the joy of expert managerial activity, which is no exaggeration for therein lies the reason, the basis, for the phenomenal success of this wonderful strain, a decades- long and total commitment to the sport which he loved. Within those years, Jim Biss, in 1992, formed a partnership with
Tony Waite and extended his work to the latter's home at Whitchurch, Hampshire, England, an arrangement which proved valuable to both, for the partnership in 1996 clocked 25 birds in an hour and recorded many positions in the first 50 Open, including 1st Open National in 1993, as recorded above. Then in 1998 the partners won 1st Open Palamos (679 miles) with the British Barcelona Club. The maestro bred all the pigeons from his champion stock at Hillside and (from coming together as partners) Tony Waite raced them
from his home at Hampshire. (Tony Waite entered the sport in about 1969 and had experienced success
with pigeons prior to his association with Biss.)

Some may argue that the status bestowed upon Jim Biss in this article and elsewhere may be premature, if not exaggerated. Such an argument will not and can not stand up to objective scrutiny for the facts speak for
themselves and there are numerous successes by the Biss family of pigeons which support the opinion of
this author. I have no doubt that history will validate and vindicate the greatness of the Biss strain but, in stating that opinion, I don't believe that is necessary!



Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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