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The Biss Strain...
Author: Liam O ComainTitle: The Biss Strain
Date: 2005-06-21 00:43:39Uploaded by: webmaster
The Late Jim BissIn this article I refer to a strain of racing pigeons that are truly extraordinary. It is a family that the founder cultivated for well nigh 60 years since he first decided in the 1930s to create a strain capable of winning from 60 up to 800 miles. In another article I have expressed doubt if there is any family of racing pigeons that could be defined as an all rounder for there are horses for courses so to speak, but if my tendency to think as above can or would be refuted then perhaps the Biss strain is the one that may have that potential. However in the meantime my interest in the Jim Biss creation is the strain's achievements at the long and marathon distances. And successes of this strain were not restricted to Biss himself for there are scores of fanciers who have experienced success with the family.

At the base of the Biss strain are a number of the old English families which sadly in the main have apparently passed on into history. The latter being supplemented in time by representatives of the Commines i.e. of the Super Crack lines and the enduring Stichelbauts. An important input into the family in its early days was a pigeon known as the Donachy Hen which was a grand- daughter of a famous hen which won over 800 pounds sterling in a race from St Sebastian into Liverpool, England, in the early nineteen thirties for a Mr Cope. In fact the bloodlines of this great breeder can still be found in the strain today, for example, the great 'Natrix' of the family traces back to the Donachy Hen over generations.

Bloodlines that has achieved the following results in NFC Nationals from Pau into England (645 miles): 1991- 32nd, 34th, 62nd, 140th, 260, - (4,992 birds) 1993- 1st, 2nd, 7th, 21st, 30th, 38th, 65th, 74th, 79th, 85th, 105th, 198th, 227th, - (5,423 birds) 1994 - 38th, 51st, 104th, 202nd, 222nd, 319th, 407th, - (4,976 birds) 1995- 52nd, 73rd, 120th, 312th, 337th, 396th, 417th, 432nd, 441st, 460th, - (5,482 birds) 1996 - 71st, 77th, 81st, 127th, 218th, 369th, 377th, 494th, 525th, 557th, 608th, 613th, 626th, 629th, - (4,976 birds) 1997- 3rd, 4th, 9th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 47th, 114th, 205th, 207th, 227th, 322nd, 336th, 386th - (3,466 birds). But let us jump to other results in the NFC races and the pigeons who recorded them: starting with last year (2004) when Glazer was 3rd NFC Grand National Pau; Engage in 2003 recording 27th Pau/Saintes NFC after winning 11th position from Pau in 2002; Dasher scoring 44th Grand National Pau in 2002 and 19th in 1999; Basher being 261st in the Grand National from San Sebastian in 2001 flying 661 miles after recording 22nd Open Pau in 1998; then there is Emboli who was 341st Open NFC Pau in 2000 but who has added 10th and 5th Open Pau in 2002 and 2003. Surely enough said!

Of course the latter results are just a dip in the ocean for the family of Biss have won numerous sections, numerous averages, numerous trophies covering all aspects of pigeon racing into England and the United Kingdom in its entirety which would require more space than we have here available. And the latter confirms the greatness of the Biss strain which in the opinion of many objective pigeon sports persons is the greatest English if not British strain ever. In fact the great Emil Denys in a letter to Jim Biss wrote, 'You did not buy for commercial reasons, you purchased because you wanted to create a Super-family of long distance pigeons... I think you own one of the best long distance families in the world'.

Yes at Brundall Lofts near Norwich, in the county of Norfolk, England, a great master of the sport of pigeon racing daily participated in the joy of expert managerial activity. The latter statement is no exaggeration for there lays the reason, the basis, for the phenomenal success of this wonderful strain. A decades long and total commitment to the sport which he loved. And within those years Jim Biss in 1992 formed a partnership with Tony Waite and extended his work to the latters home at Whitchurch, Hampshire, England. An arrangement which proved valuable to both for the partnership in 1996 clocked 25 birds in an hour and recorded many positions in the first 50 open, including 1st Open National as recorded above. Then in 1998 the partners won 1st Open Palamos (679 miles) with the British Barcelona Club. The maestro bred all the pigeons from his champion stock at Hillside and (from coming together as partners) Tony Waite raced them from his home at Hampshire. Tony Waite entered the sport in about 1969 and had experienced success with pigeons prior to his association with Biss.

Some may argue that the status bestowed upon Jim Biss in this article and elsewhere may be premature if not exaggerated. Such an argument will not and cannot stand up to objective scrutiny for the facts speak for themselves and there are numerous successes by the Biss family of pigeons which supports the opinion of this author. And I have no doubt that history will validate and vindicate the greatness of the Biss strain. But in stating that opinion I don't believe that is necessary!

Liam O Comain

Dedicated to the late Jim Biss.

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