The Hillside Loft of Hoboken, N.J. consists of the partnership of Vinnie Torre and Mike Laurie, two ace flyers who are more interested in results on race day than publicity. Their breeder loft is made up of super pigeons who earned their perch through the cruelest of all judges -- the race basket.
The loft truly deserves its national and international reputation. The accomplishments of this loft in only the last two seasons are astounding. In 1996 Hillside won 12 first places in old birds and 19 first places in young birds. In 1997 they won13 first places in young birds and eight first places in old birds. Old bird results were made flying the natural system. Young bird results were made flying on the John Sampson Light System with a few modifications. The aforementioned results are hard to fathom for the people that participate in the racing programs of the extremely competitive New York/New Jersey corridor.
of the highlights of Hillside's outstanding 1996 awards for old birds
awards for 1996 young birds include:
The above results are from one loft in one season competing in the largest combine in the United States. The average for a ten race series in old birds was 256 lofts and 2,996 pigeons and for 1997 young birds for a ten race series was 307 lofts and 3,728 pigeons.
In 1995, Hillside was the IF Hall of Fame winner (over 75 lofts), and in 1996 1st & 2nd Overall North American Champion Pigeons 2501 pigeons. Incredibly, this was accomplished with two nestmates. IF 96 SPRI 1050 who won 1st -- 150 miles with 433 lofts and 5,717 pigeons, 1st Overall Sprint Category Canadian Racing Pigeon News North American Championships 2501 pigeons, and 1st in the Overall Championships. The nestmate, IF 96 SPRI 1051, was 2nd CJC 2nd Central Section 1996 young bird Hall of Fame and 2nd Middle Distance Category Overall CRP News Championship 2501 pigeons and 2nd Overall in the Overall Category 2501 pigeons (beaten by his nestmate)and who flew 10 weeks in a row and always in the clock including two band races.
A particular hen that is a very special one goes by the name of PATTY T.(94 NJM 2338), a four-time first place winner at 500 miles (800 km). This super hen could possibly be one of the premier 500 mile(800 km) pigeons in the world with a 1st 500 mile Hoboken Derby,1st 500 mile Elizabeth Derby, 3rd Central Jersey Combine 500 miles(Equal 1st club) 252 lofts 2400 pigeons as a yearling, and in 1997 to prep her for the big one (NE Federation) two weeks prior she was 47th Central Jersey Combine at 300 miles with 242 lofts and 2,850 pigeons and then in the prestigious North East Federation Race "PATTY T" was 1st club 500 miles 2nd Central Jersey Combine 197 lofts 2,505 pigeons and 5th Overall Northeast Federation 340 lofts and 4,450 pigeons on a very tough day.
In addition to Patty T, some of the other dynamite pigeons that have earned their way into the stock loft and some of their accomplishments are: "1422" a BB hen who was three-times firsts at 500 miles and first at 550miles. She is the dam of "737" who has12 diplomas. Another outstanding bird is " The 10" who was six times 1st and as a two year old achieved the following:
Some of the most frequent questions the partners are asked and their responses follow:
What strain of pigeons do you owe your success to?
What do you feed your pigeons?
When do you put the breeders together?
What kind of a Health program do you maintain?
How do you train your young bird race team?
What are the qualifications you look for in breeding stock?