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AR Hill of St Just, Cornwall
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Cornwall lies at the foot of the island of Britain. It has national and cultural roots which confirms it as being more than an English county. Like Ireland its people are a river of different streams but there is something distinct about them. As of part Celtic origins I detect something in the psyche of the natives of Cornwall akin to my own. Perhaps the sharing of a similar imperialistic history makes us overcome historical subjection and reach for the stars. Being not content with minor tasks and seeking in our pigeons the same characteristic disposition. A determination to send beyond the normal and conquer what has to be conquered. A characteristic added by and partly influenced by the geographical reality of the western isles of Europe. Now the reader may not be in agreement with the contents of this introduction but the contents of my thought arises from the unique results of the Hill family of racing thoroughbreds. Results emanating from a top managerial system and blue blooded stock.

The Hill family were based upon Hill's old grizzle family and the Kirkpatrick's at the Atlantic Lofts in
the north of Penzance in Cornwall. Where they won prizes galore for their master and from where many left to conquer the long and marathon distances throughout the rest of the world. Pigeons like Silver Lady who won from every race point up until Luxembourg at 530 miles.
Then there was Lionheart who was never a night out in his life and who was clocked from Antwerp being 15 hours and 25 minutes on the wing. To be followed by being 7th Open Luxembourg and again scoring from the same race point flying fifteen and a quarter hours on the day. Not forgetting the Leggy Cock who scored from many short races but who flew over 1000
miles in his last three races in a two weeks period as a yearling, always amongst the leaders. Then
amongst others there was the great Grizzle cock bird Cornish Supreme who was 1st Open from Luxembourg, beating the 2nd bird by 200 yards per minute as well as flying over 100 miles further. Cornish Supreme had other successes during his working life.

A.R.Hill placed much emphasis on the principle of observation which he insisted must be in play at all times in and around the loft. Insisting that all fanciers should not take a willy- nilly attitude to the sport nor to management. He believed in feeding well and with the best produce and ensuring clean water at all times, at least twice daily during winter. To overcrowding he was totally opposed and looked upon it with anathema. At breeding time he patiently faced the anxious character of its reality and knew if the past moult was good then all could be met with patience as an armour. Although acknowledging that there were no hard or fast rules with pigeon racing he trained knowing that many roads led to Rome so to speak. In fact if a bird was in condition Hill was never afraid to jump it into its chosen event.

What Bob McDonnell was to the north of the island of Britain Arthur Hill was to the south of the
island and there is no doubt that they shared a commitment to the sport with a managerial ability that is not the gift of many. The younger fancier today could do worse than take both as genuine role models.


Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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