Formula 1 Lofts (Leigh-on-Sea, UK): venture or adventure?

Formula 1 Loft, venture or adventure, well you decide. The venture was started by fanciers John Gladwin and John Cowlin. John Gladwin is a 37-year-old fancier married to Theresa and they have 3 children.

He originally met Theresa at a pigeon presentation night. Her father was a pigeon fancier and they had a pigeon loft erected within 2 weeks of buying their first house together in 1996. They actually fly as Gladwin and Jarvis.

John Cowlin is 27 years old and has a 7-month-old son with his partner Debbie. John C. actually started with pigeons when he was 9 years old, with the help of his grandfather, and his lofts are still at the family home.

These two fanciers first started talking about forming the stud in 2002 and spent the next 18 months putting together the finances needed and researching what birds they would like to introduce. The first birds were purchased in late 2003 and early 2004. The business eventually opened in 2005.

Why Create A Stud

The main reason that they decided to join together was to allow them to compete at the highest levels of pigeon racing. They had both switched from racing from the North road to the South and realised quite quickly that a different level and standard of pigeon was needed to achieve success. These birds were going to be racing against larger numbers and on a wider front, they would need to have the intelligence to enable them to break from these convoys. We cannot say that money was no object as they are young fanciers with young families and jobs to hold down to support these families. This is why they have made the efforts to buy the ‘best of the best’. In order to keep the venture going forward the two John’s have made the conscious decision to re-invest all of the monies that they generate from sales made by the stud. This has allowed them to continually improve the gene pool at Formula 1 Lofts and to improve the pigeons that they make available to other fanciers worldwide. To help with this world notion they have partnered with lofts in other parts of the world. In America they have formed a partnership with Derrick Humphreys who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, an excellent flyer and stock man. In Taiwan they have joined with Sam Webster. Sam was a novice but since taking the birds of Formula 1 Lofts he has become a very successful flyer.

John Cowlin holding Lady Hamilton, winner of 1st NFC and 8th BICC in 2008


Following the initial research performed by the John’s they have assembled a very eclectic mix of performing pigeons that cover all of the facets needed to be winners at all distances and different conditions. Most of these families will need no introduction as they are famed worldwide.

They have the largest and best stud of Frans Zwols pigeons in the U.K. and possibly the world. It is a super family that wins against the best in the world, are super intelligent and are great up to 400 miles and in the hardest competition.

Lambrechts have been bought over the last three years. These have proved to be amazingly quick and are having quite an impact all over the U.K.

Armstrong and Wheatley spent many years and travelled thousands of miles all over Europe putting together an amazing team based around the Thone and Brockamp winning lines but in 2011 they were forced to sell due to personal reasons. Formula 1 on advice from Alen Amstrong made it their task to obtain the best of the winners, basing purchases around Red Emporer and Tia lines.

The U.K. has produced some amazing national and international winning pigeons over the last  few years and these have been tapped into with pigeons direct from Mark Gilbert and Mark Bulled. Great long distance lines.

With long distance gaining in stature all over the world, for 2013 a complete round was purchased from Rutz and Sons, Germany. These are considered to be some of the best Barcelona pigeons around and will be complemented by further purchases to give around 40 direct birds to breed from in 2014.

The final family available needs no introduction, being a fantastic team of birds direct from Leo Heremans himself and Heremans-Ceusters pigeons. Twenty-eight pigeons with sixteen direct from Leo himself.

With a commitment to racing and testing their own pigeons and having teams flying in various locations you can now answer the question: Is it a venture or an adventure?