'Crufts of the pigeon world' homes in on Blackpool's Winter Gardens

Last year's show at the Winter Gardens. Pictured: William and Mini Me
Last year's show at the Winter Gardens. Pictured: William and Mini Me
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The ‘Crufts of pigeons’ is coming to Blackpool - and nobody could call these clever bipeds bird-brained!

Lifelong enthusiasts and their feathered friends are homing in on the Winter Gardens yet again as they make their way to the Royal Pigeon Racing Association’s British Homing World Show Of The Year.

Last year's show at the Winter Gardens. Pictured: Dave Rust with Silky

Last year's show at the Winter Gardens. Pictured: Dave Rust with Silky

The event, which comes to Blackpool in a flurry of feathers on January 18 and 19, is the biggest gathering of pigeon fanciers in the UK, attracting 25,000 visitors each year.

More than 2,000 top pigeons will be shown and judged for titles including best in show, best racing pigeon, best young bird, best cock, best hen, and the highly sought-after supreme champion prize.

Dubbed the ‘Crufts of the pigeon world’, the first World Show was hosted at the Doncaster Racecourse Complex in 1973 and has grown in size and popularity year on year.

Thousands of pigeons change hands at sales, with sums of up to £10,000 paid for a pedigree racing pigeon or its offspring.

Ian Evans, CEO of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association said: “We are looking forward to returning to Blackpool for our next show. Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to raise money for numerous charities and will continue to do this for the 2020 event. The show is one of the biggest events in the pigeon racing calendar and there will be another high turn out for it. It’s going to be a brilliant weekend and we can’t wait to meet new and old pigeon fanciers alike.”

Proceeds raised at last year’s British Homing World Show will be donated to Daniel Parker, a pigeon fancier from Lancashire who is paralysed from the waist down due to a motocross accident.

The cash will be used to make his pigeon loft more accessible so that he can continue to raise and train his birds.

Tickets for the show are available online at www.rpra.org/show-of-the-year. Saturday tickets are £7 and Sunday tickets are £6. Tickets for the gala award event are £16.