Trenton Strain of America
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have written about Belgium, Dutch and British
strains of racing pigeons and ignore a strain
formed in the United States of America would
perhaps have illustrated a prejudice which does
not in reality exist. Therefore I have set out
in this article to convey to the reader some
knowledge about an undoubtable great strain
of long distance racing pigeons- the Trentons.
upon research this famous strain has an input
from a fellow Irishman called McCluthian for
the pigeons of Henri Soffle coupled with the
latter lay at the basis of the Trenton strain.
The latter two families were crossed by a Belgium
émigré to the USA called Gustove
Offerman who settled in Brooklyn in the eighteen
seventies. Offerman had almost instant success
with his family of racers and eventually when
he returned to Belgium the success continued
and in due course his family crossed the English
channel to influence the inmates of British
lofts. Osserman also judged in England during
this period. Furthermore one of the greatest
English racing pigeons bred by E. E. Jackson
was 'Excelsior' and its sire was an Offerman.
his return to Europe Offerman soon afterwards
won a 550 miles race and also took second position.
This was in 1881 and he sold both pigeons a
cock and a hen to Fred Whitly of Newark, New
Jersey. It was from this pairing that 'Trenton'
or as he is often called '137 Trenton' was bred.
A niece of the latter with the same bloodlines
was 'Bright Eye' but it required an intelligent
mind to blend both birds together to create
the first and perhaps the greatest long distance
strain of the USA. And that mind belonged to
Conrad A. Mahr who formed what is known as 'The
Great American Strain'.
digress, for a moment, in about 1894, Mr. W.B.
Ganairants of Newark, NJ sold all of his birds
to Conrad Mahr which included 'Noah' and 'Thunder'
( both brothers of 'Trenton' ) and the aforementioned
' Bright Eye', who when mated to 'Trenton' produced
approximately thirty 500 mile day birds.
there are sources who believe that the Trentons
should rightfully be called the Offerman strain
but it is acknowledged by the majority that
it was Mahr who really formed the strain. The
latter of good intellect although lacking in
formal education coupled with a very good horse
sense and powerful dedication lay the ground
for historic flights of 1000 miles plus across
regions of the American continent.
the bird that was to give its name to the strain
and the first American one perished when Mahr's
loft burned down on September 5, 1898, at 55
Magazine Street, Newark, New Jersey. As a great
dealer however Mahr had sold much of the Trenton
bloodlines and as a result the strain spread
like a prairie fire throughout the land of its
origins and indeed beyond. Another Belgian fancier
called Posenaer had brought his birds to United
States and when some were crossed with the Trentons
they produced a black colour in the Mahr strain.
Thus black in a Trenton is almost a sure indication
of Posenaer influence.
us look at a few records flights by the Trentons:
in July 11, 1913, a Blue Checker half Trenton
known as 'Bullet' homed into Fort Wayne from
Abilene, Texas, 1000 miles late in the afternoon
of the 2nd day to the loft of Oscar Anderson,
a world record in 1 day, 11 hours, and 24 minutes,
and 6 seconds making a speed of 1042.54 yards
per minute. On the 24th of June, 1927, 'Bullet's'
record was broken by 'Wayne Jr.' a full Trenton
bred and flown into Fort Wayne by C.W. Oetting.
'Wayne Jr.' flew 1005 miles to his home loft
in I day, 10 hours, 22 minutes and 20 seconds,
with a speed of 1122.43 ypm.Much has happened
since then in relation to this fabulous strain.
fact one of the great exponents of the Trenton's-
Milton Haffner of Fort Wayne, Indiana, according
to my sources in a period of 21 years sent 79
birds to races of 1,000 mile distances and realized
a percentage of 71%- that is 57 returns. This
is phenomenal! One of the latter a cock named
'Spotty' flew 1,000 miles five times collecting
a first and a second with his last race at the
age of nine years old.
today representatives of the strain continue
to cross the one thousand miles barrier. In
fact this great strain of distance racing pigeons
went on to create a lasting legacy as the foundation
of many of the great long distance lofts in
the United States of America.
by: Liam O Comain