We are now closed to new entries for the 2022 series but will continue to accept replacements for the next couple of weeks. We ended up with 350+ birds which is a good manageable number while still offering good competition.
We have been accepting birds since early February and we have already received about 50 thus far. Close to 30 of those have already gone through quarantine into the main loft and most likely we will be going out for settling this upcoming week if the weather remains nice.
Jon will be driving back from Tracy & Stockton tomorrow Saturday 2/26 during the mid afternoon. If you have any birds ready and live near those areas please let us know ASAP and he can meet you by one of the freeways on the the way back.
Race rules and the projected payout for the 2022 Gold Country Challenge are all posted on the main website. Signups have been slow so far this year. We really need more breeders to sign up by the end of this weekend to make running the race worth it for both you the breeder as well as us the handlers. 400-500 birds is our goal with the loft holding a little over 500 birds.
Archives of all the Races from the last 9 Years are Posted Here:
Race 4 (Final Race) was flown yesterday and was more difficult than we hoped. As of now (end of Day 2) there are 65% of the birds home. Hopefully we get a few more back tomorrow. Not a terrible race but I was hoping for better on the last one. I will post a full Race Recap in the next couple of days. A handful of birds really excelled though including one pigeon that really outperformed the rest throughout the entire series.
Congratulations to R & D Racing (Dale Zehr & Rick Broere) for winning 1st Place @ 1308 YPM with their #1833. This pigeon was also on the first drop in Race 3 and did well in Race 1 as well. Being out overnight in Race 2 hurt it's chanced in Average speed. Also on the first drop was Birdhigh Ranch with #9206 that finished in 9th Overall Average Speed. Finally the last bird on the first drop was #2149 for Fleet Washington and this was the dominant pigeon of the series winning 1st Overall Ace Pigeon by 38+ Minutes. #2149 was also on the first drop in Race 3 and did very well in both Race 1 and Race 2. In a difficult series with a lot of adversity, there was only 1 pigeon that excelled in all 4 races with no mistakes and that was #2149. Congratulations to Fleet Washingon for breeding an outstanding pigeon. Cloux Loft (Charlie Loucks) won 1st Nominated Point Bird by a narrow margin over APC Loft in 2nd & 3rd.
Click Here for the Full Prize Payout (in Alphabetical Order by Breeder) for the 4 Race Series
If you won more than $600 after shipping then please email a completed W-9. We will begin shipping out the birds next Monday and should ship most of them out next week. Jon will start sorting out the birds tomorrow. Please let us know whether you want them shipped back or not. Those that won prizes I can deduct from your winnings. Best way to let us know is by Email that way it's more organized and I have a record of who it's from. If you didn't win money but still want your birds back email me and I can get you a shipping quote. It costs a little more to ship to the midwest and East coast than it does west coast.
Again I will post a full race recap in a couple days.
Here is video of release. Skies are very hazy headed back towards Bakersfield but bluer with better air towards east Foothills.
I arrived at the release spot at 6:10 AM. Release point is off Ridge Route at an overlook viewing Quail Lake. Elevation here is about 3700' and you can see a lower spot in the mountains to the north that hopefully the birds use.
Temperature is a little warm on this side of the mountains about 60 already but it will cool as birds get to the south side of mountains. Clear and very light north wind at the release point. There will be some wind in the mountains themselves just to the north then about 200 Miles of very light winds followed by a light headwind the last 100 miles or so. Much of the course will be calm to less than 5 MPH. Temperatures should reach about 68-73 through much of the course.
Just a little patchy fog up and down the valley that should burn off before birds reach it. The birds should be able to take whatever path they like. Fog will not be an issue this race.
Birds have been watered since 6:20 but not many actually drinking which is typical.
Good luck in the race today and I'll upload the release video on way back.
The final race will be flown tomorrow 11/29 from either 305 or 308 Miles. I have a couple different spots picked out. One is at 3700' in the mountains S of Quail Lake / SE of Gorman. The other is 10 Miles east in Neenach at about 3000' elevation. Both locations will require the birds to climb up and over a large mountain range in the 5000-6000' range about 10 Miles out. It's not the furthest final at only 305 to 308 Miles but more challenging then most as they have the big mountain range to come over and they will have no help in terms of wind.
The spot S of Quail Lake would take the birds more up through the valley once they reach Bakersfield and eventually into the lower foothills. If there is not much fog in the valley and I can get the trailer in there the Quail Lake location is where I will go. If there is a fair amount of fog in the valley, I will go to Neenach instead which would take the birds more up through the foothills and lower mountains the entire way. Neither location should take the birds on an extended trip into the mountains if they stay online but again they will have to climb over some big mountains right off the bat.
Weather tomorrow is supposed to be sunny the entire course with mild temperatures overnight and highs reaching about 70 along most of the course (including at the loft). It should be just a little warm in the bright sun but pleasant. Winds are supposed to be really light if any for the first 200 Miles and then a light headwind the last 100 Miles or so. I think we'll see speeds in the 1325 to 1425 range with upper 1300's being most likely.
For those attending, lunch will be served around 12:45 and then start seriously watching for birds from 1:15 on.
I will update points and prizes late in the afternoon or early evening during the race tomorrow. Remember the largest prize in the race is for 1st Overall Ace Pigeon and Ace Pigeon (Average Speed) pays 11 positons, so besides the actual capitol prizes there will be a lot of action into the afternoon on how they shuffle out for those Top-11 Ace Pigeon prizes.
Good luck tomorrow and thanks for participating,
Address to Loft:
6120 Chrysler Circle
Garden Valley, CA 95633
Google Maps directions is accurate