Desert View Loft, "Winner of the 2005 Sun City Million Dollar Race in South Africa!"

Desert View Loft

Richard CASS and Jeff SMITH? Users of PIPA-PRODUCTS



Jeff Smith is a partner with Richard Cass and Loft Manager of Desert View Loft of Tucson Arizona, USA.

I have known Jeff since I moved to Tucson Arizona in 1975. We both started racing as teenagers and he was becoming a strong competitor by 1975. He lived around the corner from Richard Cass who had Fabry’s imported direct from Victor Fabry in Belgium. Richard was a top competitor from 100 to 300 miles with the Fabry’s.
Jeff is a competitor you have to watch out for at any distance in old birds or young birds. Like other successful long distance competitors in Southern Arizona, Jeff has developed a family of pigeons that can handle very dry air, race courses with mountains, cross valleys, highly variable winds, lakes, and the Grand Canyon; not to mention other hazards of the desert where water sources are far apart.
Pigeon fanciers are often looking for birds that win in competition with large numbers of lofts. That is certainly not the case here in Southern Arizona where there are only a few fanciers who are competitive at the long distance. I have long said that it is difficult to find pigeons that can succeed at the long distances here because they not only have to be tough pigeons, they must be able to find their own way home. This means they must have a good compass between their ears!

Sire and Dam of “Four Starzzz Dream”. “IRON LADY”
won 1st Combine 600 miles by over 5 hours and is the dam of the 2005 Sun City Million Dollar Race winner.

Jeff’s base family of pigeons for many years have been the “Calia Janssens” that originate from breeders he purchased from Jim Calia, Sr. The Calia Janssens are a predominately Janssen family based on pigeons sent to the USA by Piet DeWeerd. Piet also sent some Stichelbaut and Jan Aarden based pigeons to cross with the Janssens to create a family that could win from 100 to 600 miles. Like most successful flyers, Jeff has introduced a few crosses into his Calia family to maintain winning vitality.
We had a difficult 600 mile race in 2001 and Jeff won the race by over 5 hours on a hot day with cross winds with one of his Calia based Janssens, “Iron Lady”. She is a beautiful blue checker hen and Jeff moved her to the breeding loft after she won the 600 mile race. That was the best decision of Jeff’s pigeon racing career because she is the dam of the 2005 South African race winner “Four Starzzz Dream”, a young cock that also won on a day with hot weather and unfavorable winds. That is what you call having the right pigeon for the day!

The sire of the winner is a very good producer and was bred from direct imports from Jean Claude Debieve by Ed Minvielle, owner of The Siegel Company, a prominent pigeon supply company in Jeanerette Louisiana, USA. Jeff purchased this cock at an auction Ed held in Phoenix Arizona that Jeff and I attended. He actually purchased the pigeon after the auction because it was a pigeon no one wanted to pay the opening bid for! Jeff liked the pigeon and, after the auction, he asked Ed if he was still willing to sell the pigeon for the $100.00 opening bid request; and the deal was made.
Richard Cass has recently acquired a number of imports direct from Gaby Vandenabeele and Nouwen-Paesen both of Belgium. A youngster from them was 99th in the 2005 Sun City Race. That is outstanding considering Desert View Loft only entered three pigeons in the race! This was their first year of competition in the Sun City Million Dollar Race. Jeff says it is “beginner’s luck”. Jeff is certainly not a “beginner” as his record and this outstanding win demonstrate