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The Woods Strain of Australia
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In this series of brief insights into the world of long and marathon distance pigeon racers and their birds we have covered some countries and continents but this is the first insight into a fancier from the land of the kangaroo. The person under scrutiny is known throughout the southern hemisphere as Toby Woods. Now before I introduce this strain I must state that I have received communications from Australia and New Zealand from fanciers requesting that I look at the sport in their continent, in fact, a few have claimed that they fly the toughest routes on the planet and that the Barcelona International is child's play compared to their terrain and weather factors. However perhaps this contention can be faced some other time while I present our first Aussie fancier and strain.In this series of brief insights into the world of long and marathon distance pigeon racers and their birds we have covered some countries and continents but this is the first insight into a fancier from the land of the kangaroo. The person under scrutiny is known throughout the southern hemisphere as Toby Woods. Now before I introduce this strain I must state that I have received communications from Australia and New Zealand from fanciers requesting that I look at the sport in their continent, in fact, a few have claimed that they fly the toughest routes on the planet and that the Barcelona International is child's play compared to their terrain and weather factors. However perhaps this contention can be faced some other time while I present our first Aussie fancier and strain.

Our subject is known as Toby Woods and he has won from all distances as a member of the Blacktown Pigeon Club involving the south, west, north and north west routes. Including 600 mile races from the above directions in tough races in which the velocities are normally well below 1,000yds per minute. As an example of his achievements, amongst many: 1st Carrathool 317 miles 730 yards Vel 462; 1st Byrock 339 miles 277 yards Vel 739; 1st Balramald 418 miles 1540 yards Vel 813; 1st Gympie 529 miles 1470 yards Vel 805; 1st Mildura 503 miles 800 yards Vel 748; 1st Broken Hill 562 miles 1301 yards Vel 1090; 1st Cunnamulla 501 miles 667 yards Vel 848, also 2nd Cunnamulla (2312 birds); 1st Bundaberg 619 miles 1249 yards Vel 924; 1st Murry Bridge 670 miles 826 yards Vel 779.

In fact Toby Woods won a very tough race in apparently atrocious conditions at a distance of 39 mls and 1223 yds with a velocity of 948yds per minute. Yes, quite true! The liberation took place at 6.15am on a Saturday and Woods pigeon was clocked at 2.28pm on Sunday. The bird which recorded 2nd place was timed the following morning (Monday). A fitting item for the TV show 'Would You Believe?' On another occasion Woods won four races which took place on one day, an achievement never repeated according to my sources.

The woods strain were formed over a period of 40 plus years from a number of old strain crosses and it has been very successful in the southern hemisphere for other fanciers at all distances but especially at 600 miles and over. His brother W.Woods was 1st in a 500 mile race and a 600 mile race with the same bloodlines as well as being 2nd in 500 and 600 mile races. Also the moulder of the strain had one hen which flew five times 600 miles on four different routes including being the only bird in race time at a distance of 670 miles from Murray Bridge. Another good Australian flyer Jack Hubble won three times from 500 miles with the Woods strain. There are many more.

Apparently Toby Woods semi- retired from pigeon racing after transferring his family of pigeons to the Donalson Brothers partnership. To the delight perhaps of other competitors for in Australia's biggest Federation Woods won the $10 pool four times in five years, another record. A yearly pool averaging approximately 1,000 Australian dollars. Yes our first admittedly brief look at the planet's southern pigeon fancy presents an example of the achievements of a man who was a natural when it came to the sport of pigeon racing and whose knowledge of the managerial aspects of the sport was beyond question.


Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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