Liberator Jim Timmons released the birds on June 8 at 7:00 a.m. from Effingham, Il. The weather at release was clear, calm and 52 temperature. A partly cloudy sky, with south winds and a temperature of 82 made a great race day.
Triple W Loft - First FED Overall! - First Cleveland Section
#98-OCH-587 BCC flew 398.4 miles, arriving at 3:30 p.m., for a speed of 1374.1 YPM. He was flown on the widow-hood system. About three weeks before the race, his hen was killed by a hawk. The only available hen was his mother. They were put together, and #587 caught fire. The rest, as they say is history.
Triple W Loft was founded in the early 1980's, and consists of father, Fred Wright, and two sons, Fred J. Wright, DVM, and Scott I, Wright. They originally flew with the East Side Combine Club in Cleveland, and are now with the Original City Homing Club.
The 2002 O.B. season was good to them. They won a Club 300, as well as the FED 400, and took O.B. average speed. In Y.B.'s they won a 100, two 150s, as well as Y.B. average speed and Y.B. Bird of the Year. Also , a Y.B. hen won the Joe Mortone Memorial Race in Boston, Ma.
Over the years their own family of birds was developed and called the "Wright" strain. It is based on birds with Janssen, Desmet Mathys, Ad Scharlackens, and Deveriendt bloodlines. This line crossed with "05" Janssens, have given them very competitive birds over the last few years.
#OCH-587 was bred by Uncle John Lisgeski of Madisonville, Tenn. The sire was an Ad Scharlacken, and the dam was "our foundation Wright hen SWM-549, whom we all call 'The Well'. She is a futurity winner and has bred multiple winners from 100 to 400 miles".
Sam Giarratano - First A.U. Trophy and First Buffalo / I.R.P.C. Section
#00-JNY-444 BB hen flew 581.8 miles, arriving at 7:07 p.m. for a speed of 1406.8 YPM.
#444 is a Bekeart / Van Loon. The Van Loon is bred down from a som of Magic Maker Jr. from Bob Gonzalez. As a Y.B. she was equal 1st in a 400 mile combine race. As a yearling she was 1st combine at 300 miles and was a 500 mile day bird flying over 13 hours.
Sam Giarratano is a 15 time All American Winner. His old birds win from 100 to 600 miles, and the Y.B.'s from 100 to 500 miles. They have won Hall of Fame, Futurities, and also win for many flyers on different courses. He's been breeding this family of Bekearts for 36 years, and also an excellent family of Van Loon / Janssens.
James Berdis - First Lake Section - 4th Overall
#00-Erie-3417 BC C flew 493.0 miles, arriving at 5:43 p.m. for a speed of 1347.6 YPM.
#3417 comes down from several good crosses. Sire: 99-1875-Erie BC bred from George Crouchers of Williamsport, Pa. He is a cross of H.V.R.- Janssen-Stassart-Wegge-Imbrecht. In 2001 he was 3rd at 300, 2nd at 400, 8th at 500, and Bird of the Year in O.B.'s.
James R. Berdis started in 1950 caring for his brothers birds while he was in the Army. His son, James II, now helps train and discusses birds with his dad.
Birds are flown to the natural system to nest, eggs, and youngsters. He flies with the Erie Racing Pigeon Club and the Lake Erie Combine.
Paul Filisky - First Akron / Buckeye Section - 6th Overall
#01-SAS-332 BC Wt Hen flew 414 miles, arriving at 4:05 p.m. for a speed of 1336.7 YPM.
#332 was also 2nd in the SAS Club 500 in 2002. The 500 was flown 2 weeks after the 400. In 2001 Y.B. races he was 1st club 300 miles, and SAS 2nd Champion Bird of the Year. He flew 9 races and was in the clock 8 times. The loft won Y.B. average speed by 7 minutes. Sire: of #322 came from Heber Nelson, and dam is a former Y.B. of the Year.
Frank Durastante - First Steel Valley Section - 11th Overall
#00-WES-908 BB C flew 439.0 miles, arriving at 4:41 p.m. for a speed of 1329.4 YPM.
#908 was flown natural system sitting on two week eggs.
Sire: bred from Van Reil, Janssen, and Dam is a Sticklebought, Janssen. She was last Years 500 mile winner.
Frank started flying in 1961, 42 years ago. He flys with the WES Club in the Steel Vally Combine.
His family of birds are a Van Reil-Janssen-Sion and Stassart cross. They have won over 40 diplomas over the years. Last year they won two 1st Club and two 1st Combine races, and King Loft.
Dave Shaffer - First Penn-Ohio Section - 13th Overall
#00-HAR-1067 BB H flew 460.7 miles, arriving at 5:13 p.m. for a speed of 1322.2 YPM.
#1067 is bred from a pair of birds bought at the Frank Lex auction. Her nest-mate, #1068, was 4th Club, 8th Combine and 34th overall in the same race, FED 400.
Dave is 59 and retired from the US Postal Service. He started in the sport in 1957 in Erie, Pa. He has flown in the Harmony, Pa. Club and Penn-Ohio Combine.
Dave writes, "It has been a pleasure to know the different flyers who started and keep the FED Races going. I hope the races continue to grow."
Zollie Raynor - First P.O.N.Y. Section
#00-ZLR-2188 BC C flew 466.9 miles, arriving at 5:40 p.m. for a speed of 1282.2 YPM.
The bird, "Prince Delbar" was put on the race team because of his heavy frill chest. He is Delbar on both sides, and is down from Westell of Illinois, Claytom Burrier, Fred Henry and Walter Hudson of Baltimore, Md. Zollie has also won the Lake Section with Delbars from John DeJohn from Canada.
Please see the write-up on Zollie in the FED "500" race. He also won his section in the 500 mile race.
Merle Bohince - Level Green Loft - First Pittsburgh Section
#01-LAT-1760 BB C flew 478.8 miles, arriving at 5:57 p.m. for a speed of 1282.1 YPM.
#1760 was bred from a pair of black diamonds. His sire is 94-CBS-140 BB and Dam is 94-CBS-144 BLK.
Merle started flying 11 years ago in 1991. He is a member of the Latrobe Racing Pigeon Club, flying in the Interstate Pigeon Combine.
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