(Courtesy Jeff Howell – The Australian Racing Pigeon Journal)

Written by Northern Wanderer

Lindsay Smith is a member of the WEHC in Burnie, Tasmania, who fly with the Tasmanian Racing Pigeon Federation.

(Picture Steve Lucas, Lindsay Smith and Les Mullens)

Lindsay began racing in 1951 in Paramatta New South Wales, with the CCF, and in the 73 years since then has raced in many different clubs in NSW, South Australia and Tasmania/

Being born into a pigeon racing family, his first birds came from his father and other club members. His father and James (a good friend in the early racing days) both played a significant part in the success that was to follow for Lindsay

The initial bloodlines he had were Hansennes, Eddy Crane birds and Baker Logans

Over the year Lindsay has been a very successful flyer, having won the CCF pointscore in about 1995, along with numerous club and federation winners, in all states he has raced in

While in Adelaide his favourite achiement was a 4th from Alice Springs 800 mile race in about 2013

His 2023 season racing with the Tasmanian Racing Pigeon Federation was as good as it gets, with him winninhg the Fed on four occasions, along with 4 x 2nds, 1 x 3rd and many other Fed placings

He also won the Bird of the Year with a hen that was twice placed 1st Fed from Wedderburn in Victoria 590 kilometres

Lindsay keeps around 30 pair of stock birds and a race team of 120 birds

The bloodlines of these pigeons are mainly Busschaerts crossed with his own family of pigeons which he has developed over many years in the sport

The race birds are let out each morning for between an hour, and an hour and a half, and while they are out flying Lindsay cleans the loft.

If the birds are not flying well enough , they are sometimes flagged if it is deemed necessary

Tossing starts about two months before the first race from a distance of 10 kilometres and then progresses to about 60 kilometres before the first race

From that point on they are tossed from about 60 kilometres each week due to the fact that if they went any further they would run out of land and be over Bass Strait

Also for this reason they are not necessarily tossed on the racing line of flight

The raceteam is fed once each day on the Seedhouse Breeder and Racing mix, to which he adds some extra maize when they are racing

To their water he adds aple cider vinegar which is infused with garlic

The birds are only medicated when necessary, generally with Doxy-T and Turbosole.

They are also wormed and he vaccinates them for PMV at the end of the breeding season

His race team aren’t split into set teams like many fanciers do.

He selects them for each race based on their health and loft behaviour For example a pigeon which is looking for nesting materials or a mate would likely be selected to compete

The birds are flown to the perch and this system has brought Lindsay enough success that he would not change his system

His loft faces East due to the harsh North West Tasmanian winters. It has a timber floor and he puts sand underneath the box perches.

Each of the race loft walls has air vents at the bottom of it

The stock birds are paired up in August each year and he prefers to cross the bloodlines. His stockbirds are generally successful racebirds or pigeons that have been bred for stock

New blood is only introduced when Lindsay believes there is an opportunity good enough to warrant doing so. and this would be to obtain birds from someone who was dominant in the sport

He does not believe in eyesign or any other theories. He only considers the health of the birds, its general racing performance, and considers observation an important factor

When breeding the stockbirds are hand fed twice each day on the Seedhouse mix

When asked if he had a favourite birds from over the years Lindsay was unable to narrow it down to one birds due to having had so many good ones. He has great respect for them all