Pigeon racing in the Maritime Provinces of Canada is a sport that has many challenges. The major obstacle, a thinly spread population results in few if any areas with concentrated competition. Loft locations scattered over wide fronts are the norm. Furthermore, the natural geography makes travel for both pigeon and trainer difficult and this fact results in expensive shipping costs that often discourage potential fanciers from participating in this fantastic hobby.
Pigeon racing is not a fair sport because the racers start at the same point but often race to different finish lines. In addition, other conditions often influence the outcome of a race such as wind direction and loft location. Because of these factors the actual quality of the bird may be a secondary factor in determining the best bird on any given day. Unfortunately, and to the detriment of the sport, these variables frequently result in many heated debates. To neutralize some of these factors a better a method of determining the best pigeon is needed.
The one-loft futurity race, even though having many benefits in promoting the sport, often becomes nothing more than a lottery and a frustrating experience for many competitors. Many pigeon fanciers often enter their birds primarily to win money in these events and the intrinsic goal of breeding the best pigeon often is forgotten. Too often, in this one-time event, the luck of trapping first becomes the deciding factor. Frequently, such a pigeon is labeled a champion even though several other racers may have flown equally well that day.
For many pigeon fanciers, where prize money is unimportant, a better method of identifying the true champion is often desired. With this thought in mind, in 1997 the concept of the Le Tour Des Maritimes Futurity was born. This futurity would include a series 6 races and 1800 km of racing to one loft and the best bird of the series would be awarded to the racing pigeon completing all the races in the least total flying time.
Initially, The Le Tour was never intended to be a money race. Rather, the intention was to attract those fanciers who fly for the love of the sport and want to test their birds over one of the most challenging courses in Canada for a nominal perch fee. In addition to bragging rights, the owner of the overall winner would receive a unique training basket built out of birds eye maple and a framed photograph of their bird. Also, as a memento for their accomplishment, the owners of the first ten birds will also receive a picture of their bird.
Today, the Le Tour Des Maritime Futurity has evolved into an 8 race series and 2150 km of racing with prize money. It has attracted 200 entries from across Canada and the United States. However it remains an affordable futurity for all fanciers that are interested in testing their birds over one of the toughest courses in Canada.
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