Olympic pigeon race from Fernhurst

Pigeons at the start of the race leaving Fernhurst
Pigeons at the start of the race leaving Fernhurst

A spectacular race from Fernhurst to Somerset which saw some 800 contestants competing on a 85-mile course was planned to coincide with the Olympics opening
ceremony.

But pigeons are unable to train in rain or unexpectedly hot weather so the young birds, mostly only four or five months old, needed a few more days before they finally set off on their challenge on a week later than planned.

They were finally released on Fernhurst Recreation Ground without any rain in sight.

Terry Williams from Somerset One Loft brought the birds up overnight for their once-in-a-lifetime historic flight, allowing them a few hours’ sleep and a drink at the recreation ground before the curtains were pulled back.

Finding their correct direction with characteristic but uncanny skill, the 800 contestants were off in seconds and on their way back to Somerset.

Full story see Midhurst and Petworth Observer August 9