THE SADDLE ENGLISH TRUMPTERE CHALLENGE OF THE 1980s**
BY BOB NOLAN
saddle pattern is found in a number of breeds of pigeons such as Turbits,
Chinese Owls, Fantails and Racing Homers to cite just a few. Until
recently it was not present in English Trumpeters. In 1976, I produced,
quite by chance, from a pair of black baldheads, a black saddle hen #2393.
This bird was not perfectly marked having some colored feathers in her
tail and some white in the wing shield Coming from a nice pair of black
baldheads she possessed good English Trumpeter type. In fact as late as
1980 she won Best Genetic bird at the Pageant of Pigeons. So the quality
of the saddles from the beginning of the project has been higher than say
the braless, almonds or white bars. The previously mentioned colors had
the handicap of coming from another breed and were crossed into English
saddles are not 100% pure English Trumpeter blood now however as 1 needed
a mate for 2393. After talking with Swallow breeder Arnold Chancy of
Escondido, Calif., who was attempting a similar project, he suggested 1
use a cross breed cock that he had.
took one look at this bird and had my doubts how this bird could possible
help. First of all the bird was 950/o white with only one dark red patch
of feathers on his shoulders. His muffs were only average, body rather
long and thin and narrow. The one real plus factor was that it had a good
size skull and crest formation. Now an explanation of this cock's
background will make the reader understand his appearance better. On one
parent's side was a pure double crested white barred Shield. For those
unfamiliar with what a Saxon Shield looks like a few lines of description
may prove helpful. The Saxon Shield as the name implies is a German field
pigeon and is all white with the exception of the wing shield which is
colored. The word saddle and shield refer to the same marking thus being
synonyms they will be used interchangeably in this article. The Saxon
Shield is a rather small pigeon comparable to a Swallow, the tuft is flat,
the muffs are around 3 inches long. The crest is circular but not high or
full. The temperament is on the flightily side. On the other side of the
pedigree was a half breed from an English Trumpeter x Bokhara Trumpeter
cross. No doubt the head power had come from this blood.
Chancy assured me the cock he recommended had indeed produced saddles for
him. If it hadn't been for this assurance, by Arnold, 1 would have not
tried mating the two.
first year 1 produced a very poor type
nicely marked mealy saddle in the very first nest. Unfortunately it died.
In the next nest was a nearly perfect marked black saddle with long muffs
and superior type to his father, but not as short and cobby as his mother.
This bird band #102 remains the best saddle cock 1 have produced. The rest
of the young produced that first year were so poorly marked they were
the beautifully marked #102 to show for the season 1 was ready to face
1979 with great expectations. 1 mated #102 back to his mother #2393 and
thought 1 would have the markings set. 1 invisioned large numbers of
saddles coming off the assembly line with clock-like regularity.
my dismay, no such good fortune was to be my destiny. Rather birds
resembling poor baldheads or white self's and mismarked blacks, crowded my
weaning pen. By the summer 1 still had nothing to show for my season's
work. Then in the very last nest, was that one special bird that we all
strive for .... #505. She is the best marked and highest quality saddle in
existence. A pure white tail and tump, a perfect wing shield and good
English Trumpeter type. She has won 1st in genetic class competition
wherever shown. In fact, she was the champion genetic bird at the 1982
1981, 1 mated #505 to her father 102, who is also her half brother. Once
1 was hoping to set the saddle marking and produce more saddles. To my
extreme disappointment only one useable bird, a black saddle with a
partially colored tail was produced. This bird #616 is a useable show bird
and hopefully will produce saddles. But his quality is less than either
parent. So 1981 was not a step for- ward.
in my attempts at setting the markings for the past two seasons, 1 went to
my extensive pigeon library and finally to my complete collection of
American Pigeon Journals seeking help from writers of the past who had
worked with the saddle marking in other breeds.
that Fantail breeders of the past used white selfs I decided to try
crossing my saddles in 1982 onto whites. Considering the low percentage of
saddles 1 was getting from my other matings of past years, I feel 1 have
little to lose and also 1 will be able to deter- mine if using white
as crosses is the way to go. After a season of work from this angle 1 am
not encouraged as neither quality or markings was improved. So in 1983.
1 am going back to line breeding the original family and hopefully will
come up with some more saddles.
people have expressed interest in my saddles but so far I can only offer
mismarked birds as a start. This has discouraged many from star- ting the
project. However, with a little luck 1 may have a break through and have
enough birds to share with others who wish to start. The saddle English
Trumpeter is definitely a challenge of the 1980s. Look for them in the
shows and see how well we do in meeting this challenge.
**APJ MAY 1983