The race was flown June 22nd. 2,500 birds were released from 162 lofts at 6:30 a.m. from the Bellville R.P. Club House near East St. Louis, Il. The weather was clear, calm and 64 degrees at release. A hot, hazy, humid day developed with 93-degree temperature. Thirty-four birds worked hard to make it in the first day.
Jeff Bowser - First Overall!
First A.U. & FED Trophies - First Cleveland Section
00-SWM-253 BC C flew 479.9 miles, arriving at 6:23 p.m. for a winning speed of 1183.7 YPM.
Jeff started flying pigeons with Don Green (Doc) in August of 1999 after his dad passed away. His dad and Don were partners for many years. He was very happy when Don allowed him to take over for his dad as his partner. The knowledge that he has about pigeon flying is what he has been learning from Don and the members of the O.C.H. Club. Although Don and Jeff fly from different lofts now, they are still a team. "The bird I have to thank for winning the 500 mile race is from Don Green's family of birds. I never thought I would ever have a chance at winning such a race this size with so many great fliers." When Jeff started flying out of a different loft, Don supplied him most of the birds he flies. Don is known for winning long distance races. He has told him there in nothing like a good long race. "The last race that my Dad and Don won together was a two day S.W. Concourse 400 mile old bird race on June 12th, 1999, my dad's birthday was the next day. That was the best present he could ask for. He passed away August 20th, 1999. I owe this win and a special thanks to Don Green and my Dad for their love of pigeon flying that led me to this great sport."
In the 3 years Jeff has been flying he has won:
1st place for the 2002 AU Classic and Federation "500"
4th place for the 2002 S.W.M. 300 - AU-02-SWM-0239
2nd place 2001 O.C.H. 100 - AU-00-SWM-0920
Don and Jeff also won the 2000 S.W.M. 300 - AU-00-SWM-1256
He was elected Vice President of the O.C.H. in 2001
Mary Warder - First Penn - Ohio Section, 2nd Overall
#01-OVF-1115 BB H flew 500.6 miles, arriving at 6:13 p.m. for a speed of 1154 YPM.
#1115 had a good Y.B. season, winning 1st at a Club 200, 4th Club 200, and 3rd Club 300. In 2002, she was 4th Combine 150, and 8th Combine 400.
#1115 parents are a foundation pair from Tom Roe. Sire is a Bob Koch Janssen, and Dam is a black Wegge hen, which was a daughter of the Ohio Futurity winner for Tom Roe in 2000.
Mary gives recognition to her fiancÚ, Tom Roe, for her interest in pigeons. When they met, she knew nothing about pigeons. Tom gave her 10 pigeons to start with and a small 5 x 8 foot loft from another fancier. Mary goes on to say, "The racing is quite exciting, waiting to see if you placed, and when I won my first race, it was great. The men in our combine have been very nice to me. I hope that my success will attract more women to the sport."
Del Stine - First Akron / Buckeye Section - 6th Overall
#01-SAS-432 BB C flew 501.2 miles, arriving at 6:47 p.m. for a speed of 1106.1 YPM.
He also won First Foys money. His brother won 500 and 600 in the day in 2001. #432 won the 300 Y.B. Buckeye Combine, and was 29th in the FED 400 mile race two weeks prior to the FED 500.
This family of pigeons have won 20 - "500" mile races on the day. Del fly's Barker and Cattrese pigeons, with recent additions of Tom Contena and Mardis Pigeons.
Del and his wife and partner, Joann, have been flying pigeons for 30 years. They fly in the S.A.S. club with the Buckeye Combine.
A great flying record has these current and 1990's high lights:
2002: 1st Average Speed in Old and Young birds in the S.A.S. club
1st Average Speed O.B. in Buckeye Combine
2001: 1st O.B. Average Speed in S.A.S. Club and Buckeye Combine
1992 thru 1999: Six 1st O.B. Club Average Speed Awards
1992 thru 1999: Two 1st O.B. Steel Valley Combine Awards & an Average Speed 1st in the S.A.S. Club Y.B.
Tony & Sal Conti - First Lake Section - 7th Overall
#00-NERC-3482 BC C flew 501.3 miles, arriving at 6:51 p.m. for a speed of 1100.5 YPM.
#3482 is bred from the top breeding pair in the loft. Sire is a 1993 bird from the Snowbird race as part of the beginners program for Sal Conti. Dam is 95-OCR-400 BB. She was bred by Ray Sulkowski and is down from parents of the 1991 IF Convention Winner. #3482 previously won 3 diplomas in 2002.
Tony and son Sal (A&S Loft) are a very competitive team in the N.E.R.C. Club. Tony has been flying pigeons over 12 years. He has won the FED "500" mile Lake Section three times with several 2nd and 3rd positions. All O.B. races are flown on the natural system.
Jim Dike - First Buffalo / I.R.P.C Section - 14th Overall
#98-ALT-8467 BC H flew 600.3 miles, arriving at 6:48 a.m. for a speed of 1069.3 YPM.
She flew a good race, and was the top 2nd day bird in the race. She also won the Interstate Combine. This Combine was added to the FED "500" to give classic race recognition to flyers east of Pittsburgh.
Zollie Rayner - First P.O.N.Y. Section
#96-HAR-220 BC H flew 551 miles, arriving at 6:40 a.m. for a speed of 998.8 YPM.
Zollie Rayner's grandfather started the family in racing homing pigeons at the turn of the century. His father and older brother and Zollie carried on into the 1950's. He has flown with the Harmony Club, the Ashtabula Club, the P.O.C. Club, the Penn-Ohio Combine, and currently with the P.O.N.Y. Combine.
Highlighting his awards:
2002:FED "500" Section winner in both the 400 and 500 mile races. Past FED "500" Lake Section Winner. He won 4 of the last 5 O.B. races in P.O.N.Y. Combine in 2002; plus 1st P.O.N.Y. Section in 4 State O.B. Bond Race. His bird won 2000 Digest Bird Award when flown by Mickey Schorer of Gulf Coast Club Fl.
His foundation families are: Delbars & Bastin crosses, Gorden-Wegge crosses, Koch's Janssen's, #019 Janssen's and Buschaerts.
Zollie is very active in the sport. Currently he is A.U. Atlantic Zone Director; Pres. of P.O.N.Y. Combine; President of P.O.C. Club; Chairman of the Penn-Ohio 4 State Bond Race, and started the committee that stopped Pa. all day dove hunting with Tommy Erskine.
#230 (Old Faithful) is from CBS stock of Rick Mardis. She has flown 950 to 1100 yards her whole career. He kept her for long hard races, and believes many good Y.B.'s are culled after fast Y.B. seasons.
Robert Morris - First Pittsburgh Section
#00-E-1834 BB C flew 552.3 miles, arriving at 7:55 a.m. for a speed of 921.5 YPM.
#1834 is a VanHee, Janssen cross. The sire is a Van Hee from Todd Noftz in Pittsburgh. Dam is #0182, a Janssen given to Robert by his father, Allen Morris, also a member of the I.R.P.C. #1834 flew well as a Y.B. in 2000, placing 2nd in the I.R.P.C. from Glendon, Oh. As a yearling in 2001, he placed 10th in the I.R.P.C. from Louisville, KY. As a breeder, he has produced birds that have placed well. He has flown to eggs due to hatch, and was fed a higher fat content in the diet for longer races. Robert Morris and his father, Allen, have both flown with the Interstate R.P.C. He has been a member of the I.R.P.C. since 1999, and has been involved with homing pigeons since he was young.
Andy Federouch - Pittsburgh Section Award
#98-CVC-0136 BC H flew 534.7 miles, arriving at 7:01 a.m. for a speed of 939.4 YPM.
A fine performance by #0136 for Andy, who was 1st Pittsburgh Section in 2001. A late race report makes #136's result "unofficial"; but Andy and #136 both made a good effort in 2002.
Ray Yohman - Lo-Ray Loft - 1st Steel Valley Section
#99-LCF-1416 BC H flew 532.0 miles, arriving at 7:59 a.m. for a speed of 532.0 YPM.
#1416 "Lucy" had previously won 1st -150 and 1st - 300 in the Steel Valley Combine. She is bred from a pair of Gordon's who have bred previous winners. They are down from #DOR 85, who sired sixteen 600 mile winners for Morris Gordon in the 60's.
Ray has been very active in the FED "500" since it started. He has been the FED "500" Section Rep. since 1993. And, he has provided the beautiful diplomas with the FED emblem. Ray is a good example of the fine workers behind the scene, who have made the Ohio-Penn Federation "500" a success.
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