Ohio-Penn Federation
Index   -   History   -   Officers   -   Section Representatives   -   Race Archive   -   Articles   -   Links

2001 Federation 400 Mile Race

145 Lofts ----- 1,734 Birds

Submitted by Harry Boos

The Penn-Ohio Federation 400 mile race has been a popular addition to our classic race program. It is flown two weeks prior to the Federation 500 on June 9, 2001.

This year it attracted 145 lofts that flew 1734 birds from Effingham, IL. Liberator Jim Timmons started the birds at 6:45 AM, with a clear sky and calm winds. Light winds picked up from the NNW, but did not seem to affect the race birds, except for lofts along Lake Erie. The north wind was stronger coming ashore off Lake Erie, and slowed their birds on the last few miles to home.

The race saw three section winners in the first 4 birds. The SW racecourse makes for a competitive race with good competition between birds and sections. Eight sections are spread out between NE Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and Western New York. Each section winner is recognized with a photo (by Gary Potts) of the winning bird on a wall plaque. The overall winner gets his bird's picture in a beautiful trophy.

The Winners

Bedell & Koenig - First Overall!

First Akron / Buckeye Section

The partnership of Jim Bedell and Mike Koenig clocked AU-99-GAR-974 BBC at 3:09 flying 388 miles at a speed of 1356 YPM. Jim started flying 48 years ago, in 1953, while in school. His partner, Mike Koenig, grew up in a family of pigeon flyers with father, Bernard, and brother, Mark.

Jim is very active in the sport. Presently he is president of the GAR Club, and a member of the IHC Club in Cleveland. Mike is active in the GAR Club of the Akron, Ohio area.

Jim has numerous wins over the years, and birds from his loft have helped many local flyers. Many champion families of birds have been flown. Present families are from Nick Corini, Tony Mellucci, and the Bedell family, based on Herman Janssen's of 1973.

#974 is bred down from Nick Corini's "Lonero". The father and mother go to numerous Hall of Fame birds and "Cinderella". He was a late hatch in 1999, and went to 3 short races but did not race in 2000. In 2001, he went to 4 races, leading up to the 400, and was clocked 2 times. Then #974 was sent to the 400 while driving his hen.

Mark Koenig - 2nd Overall

The second overall race bird also flew to the Akron/Canton Section. Mark Koenig clocked in AU-00-GNEO-1656 DCC at 3:06 flying 386 miles at 1355 YPM. Mark is a previous Section Winner at the 400, and he almost did it again, a fine race for the 2001 AU Convention Race winning breeder.

Mark started flying 8 years ago, but with his father as a partner, they had many years of experience.

#1656 also won his first 300-mile race. He was bred by Dick Unger from parents that have bred many race and futurity winners. The sire is a Desmet/Matthis, and his dam is the same plus Stickelbout/Stassart cross. #1656 was flown to 14-day eggs. Mark thanks his AU Convention Race handlers, John Welch and Jerry Bellar for a great job.

Dworek & Borowski -First Penn-Ohio Section - 3rd Overall

Another great partnership won the largest race section. The Penn-Ohio shipped 455 birds from 29 lofts. #IF-98-WMC-1450 BBSp hen clocked in at 5:15 flying 479 miles at 1338 YPM.

The Dworek-Borowski Loft record is so fabulous, it would fill many pages. With Stan and Rick's permission I will highlight it here. Last year they won the most prestigious national award sponsored by the Bulletin for old and young birds flying (1st grand All-American), by the Thoroughbred (1st American Champion Loft - "the toughest award to win in American racing"), 1st American Racing Pigeon Union President's Cup and First in the American Racing Pigeon Union's - "All-Distance Championship". Stan and Rich are particularly proud of the American Racing Pigeon Union's All-Distance Championship Loft Award. This partnership has the best-documented record in American Pigeon Racing history in their loft category for "All Distance" races.

#1450 (Miss Ashlie) is a blend of #3016/Morris/Janssen lines. As a YB she won 1st combine at 322 miles. This year she became a double 1st combine winner, flying as a separated hen. Both her parents were 1st place 322 mile YB Futurity winners. On the dam side the four grandparents were all 1st Belgian National winners for Morris.

Their other positions in this race indicate the quality of their birds. #IF-98-WMC-48 BCH was Fifth Overall and 2nd Penn-Ohio Combine. Also Twelfth Overall was IF-98-WMC-1529 BBH.

Another indication of their bird's quality, they flew individually from two different clubs in YB in 2001. Stan won four club firsts and had numerous champion birds for national awards. Rich won five club 1st, and under Winspeed would be 1st champion loft in a 50+ member combine.

Buechel Loft - First Pittsburgh Section - 4th Overall

This partnership of Bob and son Justin clocked in #1421 cock at 4:58, flying at a speed of 1334 YPM.

Bob has been in the sport 40 years. He has flown with the South West Club, the West Mifflin Club and the Pittsburgh Southern Combine.

The loft has had numerous club and combine wins over 40 years. They have developed their own winning stain over the last 30 years. #1421 has previously won good club positions with 2 club 1sts, 1 club 2nd, and 2 club 4ths. The parents are from the family developed over the years. The cock was sitting on eggs 7 days when shipped.

Rush In Loft - Bill Reusch - First Over Section

Bill clocked in AU-99-GRNY-220 DCH at 7:28 PM, having flown 571 miles at 1317 YPM. She took 11th place overall, and flew 183 miles further than the 1st place bird. A 600 mile day bird for this Buffalo flyer is a great accomplishment.

Bill Reusch has only been flying 6 years. He flies in the Buffalo Homing Pigeon Assoc., and the Buffalo, Erie, Rochester Combine. In 2001 OB races he was 1st Club at the 200mi., 300mi., 400mi., 500mi., and 600mi. stations. He also won Combine 3rd at 300mi., 3rd at 400mi. and 1st Ave. Speed.

In the AU National Marathon Ace Pigeon, he took 11th place; also took a Digest Ace Loft Award in 1999, and a Digest Ace Pigeon Award.

A good write-up in the Buffalo newspaper on Bill gave recognition to his winning AU bird "RIA", named after his wife. Bill also writes, "Thanks to the AU, I was on 2 TV stations and WYRK radio. It was a great opportunity to promote our great sport."

His families of birds are mainly Janssen's, Meulleman's & Van Hee. The winner, #220 also won prizes as a YB in the Buffalo CBM Race, and in the 200mi. & 300mi. Combine Races.

#200 was bred by George Lehr of Rochester for the BHPA Races. She was flown on double widow-hood system.

Bill thanks Ron Miller and George Lehr for getting him started with some great pigeons. And, he thanks everyone for making this great race possible.

Vic Miller - First Cleveland Section

Vic's AU-99-OVR-1011 BCC clocked in at 3:37 flying 393 miles at 1300 YPM. This is the first of two great Federation wins in 2001 for this cock. Because, two weeks later he won First Overall and First Cleveland Section in the Federation 500 mile race.

#1011 - "David's Perfection" is a two time winner against some great competition. He has been doing it since he was a YB. In 1999 he was 12th at 100, 4th at 150, 5th at 200, 3rd at 300, in IHC Club YB races. In 2000 he was 9th at 100, 13th at 200. In 2001, he was 5th at 100, 9th at 200, 1st at 400, & 1st 500, and Champion Bird.

David's Perfection's father is bred from Mr. Perfection's son X Miss Texas, bred by Sam Stockton, winner of the 1997 OCR race. He also bred 2nd Snowbird. His mother is bred from "Almost Perfect" X "Josey's Doll", bred the winner of the 1995 Snowbird.

Vic Miller is a giant in the sport, and his accomplishments have been covered in previous write-ups. His family of birds, "The Miller's," is well covered in the Oak Haven Farm breeder's book. His flying system is widowhood, and he is a master at It.

James Berdis - First Lake Section

IF-99-ERIE-1764 BBC clocked in at 6:06 flying 493 miles at 1273 YPM.

Lo-Ray Loft - Ray Yohman - First Steel Valley Section

AU-98-WES-569 BVEL Cock clocked in at 5:08 flying 448 miles at 1264 YPM. He came home to a real old time pro in the sport. Ray has been flying 47 years with the Pittsburgh Center, POC Club, WES Club, and Steel Valley Combine, since it was formed in 1963. His present partner is his wife, Lois.

His loft has won 6 "All American Awards" with the last in 1999. Since 1970, they have won over 600 races, with over 300 Combine Race Awards, plus numerous "Open," "Bond" and "Nomination" race wins. In 1991 YB's 1st Point Club & Combine, Average Speed and "Bird of the Year" plus most diplomas.

The present families are mostly Debacq's and Gordon's. The father of #1764 is bred from a Gordon DCC, the mother is bred from a "Morris Gordon" Blk. Vel. Hen. #569 flies best calling his hen to the nest as he was this year.

Allen Jacobs - First PONY Section

IF-00-ERIE-3371 BCC clocked in at 5:44 flying 467 miles at 1243 YPM.

Allen started flying in 1963 when 10 years old. He flew with the Meadville, PA. Club and the Tri-City Combine. Over the years, he also flew with the Erie and Butler Clubs.

The birds were given up when family commitments took up too much time to fly. In 2000 Zollie Raynor called, and Allen came back into the sport. Zollie and Ralph Spring raised some YB's, and birds were purchased form Zollie Raynor, Shirl Gerlach and Lew Cressler.

Their offspring flew very well. In YBs they won 3 first, 2 seconds and 3 third place finishes. They also won Average Speed, Champion Loft and Champion Bird in the PONY Combine.

Allen gives a special thanks to the people who have helped him: "To Zollie Raynor for all he has done to promote the Sport. He spends hours working to encourage pigeon flying. To Shirl Gerlach's help to the sport and me. Shirl was a great competitor until his health slowed him down. To Lew Cressler, for his clinic on the "Light System." To Ralph Spring for the great youngsters and help with training. And thanks to my wife, Joyce, for letting me race."

The Top 1%

The top one percent of a Classic 400 mile race deserve special recognition.
Others in the top 18 that were not mentioned, they are:


Edwards Loft















Royal View Loft