Racing Pigeon Breeds In UK

Racing Pigeon Breeds In UK: Our Top 5 List

Pigeon racing UK is a popular avian sport that involves racing pigeons. These birds are specially bred and rigorously trained for speed, endurance, and homing abilities. In the UK, there are several popular racing pigeon breeds known for their excellent racing capabilities.

The top racing pigeon breeds in the UK include racing homers, homing pigeons, sprint pigeons, middle distance racers, long distance racers, and the classic tumblers. The most popular bloodlines for racing pigeons in the UK include the Janssens, Sions, Stichelbauts, Heremans-Ceusters, and Van Loons pigeons.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the top 5 most popular racing pigeon breeds and strains/bloodlines you can find in the UK. Whether you’re looking for racing pigeon breeds in the UK for sale or simply curious about these unique birds, this guide will help you out.

Racing Pigeon Breeds In UK:

Racing Pigeon Breeds In UK

Here is our full list of some of the top racing pigeon breeds in the UK:

1. Racing homer/ Homing pigeons

This is no doubt the most popular racing pigeon breed in the United Kingdom as well as other parts of the world.

This type of pigeon boasts incredible homing capabilities, which is quite essential for participating in racing.

The bird can cover excellent distances at exceptional speed and easily find its way back home to its loft.

The classic white racing homer is quite common in many pigeon racing lofts.

Homing Pigeons

2. Sprint pigeons

As the name suggests, spring pigeons are short-distance racing pigeons. Such pigeons often participate in short distances where speed is crucial.

They’re bred and trained for speed and quick return to their lofts.

These birds are often considered the small racing pigeon breeds in the UK and have more streamlined bodies compared to other racing breeds.

Sprint pigeons

FUN fact: The Les Green of Manchester, UK has been regarded as one of the best sprint and middle distance lofts in the UK for the past 25+ years.

3. Middle distance racers

Middle-distance racing pigeons participate in races that are neither too long nor too short.

Pigeon strains such as Sions, Verheye, and Janssens are common in this category and are well known for their consistency and versatility in such races.

These birds are bred for speed and endurance, which suits them for middle-distance racing competitions.

4. Long distance racers

Long-distance racers are pigeons that are involved in flying over extended distances up to hundreds of miles.

The best long-distance racing pigeon breeds are capable of enduring long flights without compromising their speed.

The UK’s National Flying Club is known for holding long-distance races, and the UK-based fanciers rely on their well-bred long-distance flying champions.

5. Tumblers

While these breeds of pigeons aren’t specifically raised for flying, they’re also part of the pigeon racing culture in the UK and other parts of the world.

Tumblers are known to perform mid-air sommer-saults. Moreover, they have exceptional endurance and can stay airborne for up to 22 hours!

Some common tumblers in the UK include the English short face tumbler, Portuguese tumbler, and Turkish tumbler.

Tumblers pigeons

Popular Strains Of Racing Pigeons In The UK:

Racing pigeon breeders carefully select their breeding pairs to ensure they produce birds that have desirable characteristics for participating in races.

They highly value lineage and pedigree for racing birds as these can offer potential insights into the potential performance of a given bird.

Popular Strains Of Racing Pigeons In The UK

That said, below are some popular bloodlines of racing pigeons in the UK:

  • Sions: The Sions are regarded as some of the finest long-distance racing homers in the UK and the world over. The birds have repeatedly proven their prowess in racing abilities and remarkable endurance that enables them to fly long distances without affecting their speed.
  • Janssen: The Janssen breed originates from Belgium and is highly recommended for its racing capabilities in the UK. The pigeon is known for its endurance, speed, and strong homing instincts. It performs exceptionally well in both short and long-distance races.
  • Van Loon: Louis van Loon had already mastered the art of searching and breeding the top pigeons. He was able to gather the best from local lofts and forge his own strain of Van Loon pigeons. These are famed in the UK for speed, unmatched stamina and determination. (Source).
  • Stichelbaut pigeon breed: This breed of pigeon is popular with long-distance racing completions. The UK breeders often cross their birds with this strain for added stamina in their birds.
  • Heremans-Ceusters: This strain of racing pigeons is known for its unique ability to orient quickly as well as pure speed racing. For this reason, the bird has a special place in the hearts of UK pigeon breeders and fanciers alike. The birds have also won many races in UK flying competitions.


Racing pigeons are specially bred and usually undergo rigorous training for speed, endurance, and homing instinct. This prepares them for racing sports. The most common racing pigeon breeds and bloodlines in the UK include racing homers, sprinters, middle-distance racers, long-distance racers, and tumbler pigeons.

Each of these breeds has its own unique strengths and characteristics, which makes it suitable for participating in different racing distances and conditions. UK breeders rely on popular racing pigeon bloodlines like Janssens Van Loons, Heremans-Ceusters, Stichelbaut pigeons, and Sions to ensure they produce the best racing birds with better chances at winning in racing competitions.

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