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The Fear Brothers
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There is no doubt in the minds of knowledgeable pigeon racers that the Fear family of racing pigeons was one of the best since the coming of the sport to the shores of Britain. In fact they were participants in a sport in which it would appear that all came natural to them. Their achievements over the years are outstanding and I have no hesitation in stating that when the history of the sport of pigeon racing in Britain comes to be written that the names of Sam and Roly Fear will be amongst the leading lights.

Although a family of long distance bloodlines the Fear Brothers raced their birds from about 50 miles to 550 miles with frequent successes. The latter fact arose from the initial decision to ensure the best of foundation stock. Their base came from another good English fancier, Bert Thatcher, who bred the brothers a half a dozen youngsters, one of which became a great stock bird after winning 4th Section, 6th Open NFC Nantes. The Thatcher bloodlines also produced a 37th Open British Barcelona Club for the Fears, thus ensuring 700 mile racing potential.

The Barcelona success was in the early 1960s but eventually the brothers got to know another English fancier by the name of Bob Legg who accommodated them by providing some of his own birds to be mated with the Thatcher bloodlines at Leggs farm. This proved a profitable arrangement for the Fears for from one of the matings there came a bird '633' who accomplished 9th Section, 27th Open; 2nd Section, 5th Open Palamos; followed by 1st Section British International Championship Club Barcelona at a distance of 718 miles. Some flying from Spain across the English channel. Of course the brothers accomplished many successes during the 1970s including winning the NFC 1st Section F, 1st Open Pau 1979 at a distance of 536 miles.

The winner being Clandown, a great mealy cock of the partnership. The important lesson of patience can be learned from the Fears management for the great 633 (above) failed to arrive from a 97 mile race from Plymouth until 4 days after race closure but the brothers rested the blue bar hen for a year (1978) and in 1979 their patience was awarded. Many others I think would have placed her in the rubbish bin, instead.

The Fears fed a diet of beans early in each year supplemented with Hormoform as well as some Homon for the youngsters. Linseed would also have been provided but beans, peas and tares would have been the diet basis for the majority of months. Although for the youngsters maize would also have been provided. They were great advocates of dry and well ventilated accommodation for racing pigeons and always strove to ensure the optimal environmental conditions. Thus with proper accommodation and diet Roly and Sam Fear would ensure an appropriate regime of training for all their racers which included 40 to 50 miles tosses for their national candidates if they thought it was required after normal stage by stage training. As for the youngsters they were trained as soon as they began to roam the countryside up to 20 miles where upon they were stopped for a period and then given a few tosses at 20-30 miles prior to the first race. Yes, a well thought out regime but a flexible one at that.

Sam and Roly Fear were fanciers of great common sense which alas many of us fail to to possess which ensured the brothers confidence of detecting the pigeon in form and that or they were the the only participants in a particular race in a particular week. No mob flying here or sending for the mere sake of sending hoping for a win.

They were pigeon racers of the highest calibre and of such is history made.

Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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