Pigeon racing beckons: Riverton Racing Pigeon Club

Bird in hand: Joe Olszowy with his blue bar hen.
Bird in hand: Joe Olszowy with his blue bar hen.

THORNLIE pigeon racer and member of the Riverton Racing Pigeon Club Joe Olszowy won the Flyer of the Year title after a successful campaign of pigeon racing.

Mr Olszowy also took the Bird of the Year title with his blue bar hen that had two wins and a second place.

In total, he won five races and was placed second seven times.

The 64-year-old started breeding and taking an interest in pigeons when he was a teenager, but stopped after he got married.

Although he stopped racing he continued to breed birds.

In 2011, he decided he wanted to return to racing and did so the following year.

Mr Olszowy now owns about 100 birds. About 70 of them are involved in racing.

“The neighbours have never complained,” he said.

“I love pigeon racing; it is in my blood.”

In pigeon racing, the birds are taken by truck to the location of the start of the race.

The races can go as far as Newman, which is about a 1200km drive north-east of Perth.

Once the birds are released from location, they must then make their way back to their loft.

The winner is judged by the fastest speed, rather than which bird comes in first, as there are members of the Riverton Racing Pigeon Club who live across Perth.

Mr Olszowy said he wanted to see more children get involved in pigeon racing, rather than sit in front of a computer all day.

“It is a great hobby. Pity kids don’t get into it,” he said.

Mr Olszowy keeps his birds in a loft in his back yard and carefully looks after them, letting them out for an hour or two a day to fly as well as have a feed when required.

Along with the crop of race birds, he is also breeding younger birds in the hope that they can race next season.