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 Jock Reid Of Scotland
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Jock Reid of Stenhousemuir, Scotland, is an immortal of the sport of pigeon racing. In his time he was one of the most consistent fanciers in Britain. From as early 1912 at the age of 8 he kept pigeons and in due course it became a passion that could not be extinguished. He began racing in 1923 and his achievements over the years were second to none.

The base of his family were stock from J. Cope of Congleton, McIntyre Brothers of Greengairs, and Berry of Maccesfield. However Reid was a person who was always seeking to improve on improvement and over the years many crosses were introduced to the loft at Stenhousemuir. This was not a willy- nilly process for our subject was careful about his introductions, knowing that the base was sound and being careful not to wreck it. The intro's included Osmans after the founders dispersal sale which fitted well into his original families. Some of the former originally contained Osman bloodlines. Another introduction was pigeons from W. Steele and these helped to produce Reid's Big Hen- one of the greatest racers that Scotland ever produced. Other crosses contained bloodlines from one of Germany's best flyers. Implying as opined that Reid was constantly trying to improve.

It was this mentality which led to the birth of some great performers at the distance. To name but a few at random: Tryst Supreme who was 78th Rennes, Tryst Beauty who was 6th at 518 miles, Tryst Queen who was 1st from Dol at 525 miles, Tryst Superb who scored 16th and 34th at a distance of 525 miles. Bearing in mind that those thoroughbreds were flying one of the toughest routes in the world, from France across the English channel into Scotland. Incidentally the preface 'Tryst' was the name of the golf course beside which Jock Reid had his loft.

In management Jock Reid was a practitioner of the open loft system and he was a great advocate of bean feeding. In fact all of his many successes were based upon beans and maize. The system of management was simplicity in itself. One wonders how Reid and others were so successful in a period of time when the complexity of modern feeding methods were absent. Perhaps it lies with each individual pigeon and not the tendency of man to complicate matters for one of the best racers of my earlier years was fed with 'Brock', that is, skins of potatoes and other meal throw aways. Its owner as I have written in the past went around the streets of a small Irish town collecting brock for a couple of pigs and his pigeons shared in their meals.

As an example of the consistency of Jock Reid we noted that he began racing in 1923, well approximately 50 years later our subject in 1972 was still the person to beat as he won the Federation old bird average right through to 518 miles. The latter is but an example, plucked at random, of the racing achievements of one of Britain's greatest pigeoners. His nation, Scotland, should remember him with pride.

Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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