Sions are beautiful birds but more importantly they they have the genetics to win long, tough races. My Sions are a combination of birds I've acquired from John Celia of Silver Springs, MD and Gil Rinard of Dundee, OR. I've been breeding the Maryland family of Sions since 1996. "MR. MARYLAND" was the foundation of this family. He was bred by John Celia. He is a descendant of Chas. Heitzman's "HELEN" of 1946. "MR. MARYLAND" passed away in 2011 but the impact he left on me and this Sion family will be around for a long time. The Maryland birds are the embodiment of what I think a racing pigeon should be. The feather texture, body and spirit of these Maryland Sions to me are ideal. I've flown these birds since 1996 and they have earned a permanent place in my loft. With the gene pool of the Maryland family shrinking I decided to bring in some new blood. After studying Dr. Gil Rinard's race results and accomplishments with his birds it was clear that the Rinard Sions were the perfect choice. The Sions I've acquired from Gil are line bred from "RAINRIDER"( 1st 600 miles and 1st 500 miles) Robert Sion lines of Yves Deleu, Villeneuve, D-Asq, France and the Adonis Sion family of William Michaels, Stamford Conn. "RAINRIDER" is the sire to "PLATINUM" (1st National Ace USA, ARPU Marathon Tripple Crown 2000. 1st combine 490 miles 2000, 1st club 2nd combine 602 miles 1998) "THOR"(1st club 3rd combine 500 miles, 1st 200 combine in the rain). And "SPARK" (Yearling Ace pigeon, best average % 250, 300 and 500 miles. =1st 500 miles on the day and 3rd 500 miles 2nd day.
My current foundation cock is "RAINMAN". He was bred by Gil Rinard and is a direct son of his 2000 National Marathon Ace "PLATINUM". He is line bred "RAINRIDER", "LIDO" (sire of 16 1st's 100-600 miles) and "NAPOLEON". "RAINMAN" is the sire of "CAJUN KING" ( 5th 100, 2nd 150, 3rd 150 and 9th 300 miles) and "ICESS" (2nd 100, 6th 250 and 3rd 300 miles.)
My Black Sheep family is a work in progress. Predominantly Sion, these birds are not related to any of the existing black families out there. My goal is to develope my own family of black pigeons that have the build, feather texture and spirit of a Sion and can win at any level or distance.
In the 70's I read an article on the Black Eagles of South Africa in an American Pigeon Journal. I have been obsessed with black racing pigeons ever since. However I was frustrated by most of the blacks I saw. Most were bred more for color or show than racing type or ability.
In 1991 I bought a black cock for $5 at a swap meet. The guy I bought him from had used him as a feeder for his fancy birds and knew nothing about his background. I only flew birds for my own enjoyment back then but in 1996 I joined a club and began racing. In 96 that old $5 cock bred 4 youngsters. Three of them got 300 mile diplomas in YB's and the fourth got one as a yearling.
"ACE OF SPADES" was a grand son of that old $5 cock. He flew 20 races in three years. With a five bird clocking limit he was in my clock 14 of those 20 races. He was 4th 300, 17th 300, 7th 400, 12th 400 and 7th 500 on the day. Saddly, I had to put him down at age four due to an illness.
The Black Sheep are the result of crossing the offspring of "ACE OF SPADES" on Sions and taking the resulting black youngsters back to Sions. After several generations they are taking shape. I'm now breeding black on black . I still get a few blues and white flights out of them but the majority are black. They have been proving themselves on the race team. In 2010 young birds Black Sheep placed 1st 100, 4th 100, 10th 100, 6th 150, 7th 150 and 2nd 150 miles. In 2011 old birds they placed 1st 150, 4th 250 and 5th 300 miles. In 2012 old birds they placed 3rd 100, 10th 100, 1st 150 and 1st 200 miles. I'm very excited about these blacks and can't wait to test them at longer distances.
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