Pigeon shows are a feature in every country where pigeon fancying is a major hobby.
Each country has a national association/organization that is the umbrella for breed clubs, local racing clubs and regional clubs.
Some clubs will focus on performance pigeons (such as racing pigeons, tumblers and rollers) while others will focus on specific fancy breeds.
Shows happen at club, regional and national levels.
Pigeon Shows in the USA:
The US National Pigeon Association has been around since 1920 and performs the same functions as its British counterpart.
The US calendar of pigeon shows is busy with breed-specific exhibitions and regional shows.
Some examples include:
- The St. Louis Metropolitan Pigeon Fanciers Association all breeds show (Missouri, U.S)
- The Reading Winter Show – the largest pigeon show in the northeast (Pennsylvania, U.S)
- White Rose Pigeon Association annual Fall Show (Pennsylvania, U.S)
- The Grand Circle Pigeon Club Color Country Show (Utah, U.S)
- Salt Lake Premier Show (Utah, U.S)
- Pigeon Young Bird Show (Ohio, U.S)
- Bay City Pigeon Fanciers Young Bird Show (Michigan, U.S)
- Bay City Pigeon Fanciers Annual Winter Show (Michigan, U.S)
- Midwest Pigeon Convention (Illinois, U.S)
- Virginia Pigeon and Dove Association (VPDA) Annual Fall Show (Virginia, U.S)
- The Faircount Pigeon Show (Connecticut, U.S)
- Nor Cal Pigeon Fanciers Winter Classic Pigeon Show (California, U.S)
However the main big pigeon shows in the U.S are:
The NPA Grand National
Held in January every year, the Grand National is the ultimate pigeon show in the USA.
In the past, it has changed location every year but for 2022-2024, its home is Amarillo, Texas.
It is the largest and most widely known pigeon show in the US.
More than 200 individual exhibitors attend from all over the country as well as from Canada and there are some international visitors.
Over 5,000 pedigree birds represent 141 breeds with agreed standards.
Pigeons compete for breed champion, best of show and other awards. There are also demonstrations by rollers, tumblers and racing homing pigeons.
Like all good pigeon shows there are trade and community stands, vendors, exhibits, talks, meetings, and raffles, finishing off with an awards banquet.
The National Young Bird Show
Since 1972, the National Young Bird Show has been a staple of the bird fanciers events calendar.
The show is sponsored by the Louisville Pigeon Club and is held at the Kentucky Exposition Centre in Louisville in October each year.
It is one of the largest pigeon shows in the US, bringing together breeders from all across the country to showcase an impressive number of breeds to participate in a variety of activities.
Pigeon Shows in the UK:
In the UK, the National Pigeon Association is the governing body of championship shows, also providing support to affiliated breed clubs and societies.
The NPA also sets and administers breed standards by which birds are judged at the many shows held around the country.
Catering to over 200 varieties of fancy pigeons and flying pigeons, affiliated clubs may be breed specific or regional. The list is currently 40 breed clubs and 29 regional clubs including the Royal Racing Pigeon Association and the Young Fanciers Club.
Many of these clubs hold annual events so the UK calendar of pigeon shows is very busy.
Some examples of these pigeon shows include:
- The Newark Championship Show
- Egremont Fancy Pigeon Society Championship Show
- National Modena Club of Great Britain Show
- Dragoon Club Show
- Antwerp Smerle Club Show
- Airdrie & Coatbridge Fancy Pigeon Club
- Sussex Columbarian Society Show
- Lancashire Show Pigeon Society Show
- Newcastle Columbarian Society Show
- The HOT Pouter Show Society
- BPSS & NPA National Show
- Aberdeen & District Show Pigeon Society
- United Fancy Homer Club Show
- Scottish Flying Breed Club Show
- Reading Fancy Pigeon Club Show
- British Mookee Club Show
- British Jacobin Society Show
- Muffed Tumbler Club Show
- Swansea Variety Pigeon Club Show
- Barb, Carrier & Scandaroon Club Show
The biggest and best-known shows in the U.K are:
Show of the Year
The crème de la crème of the pigeon exhibition world, The British Homing World Show of The Year takes place over the third weekend in January.
Organized by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, the show is regarded as “The Crufts” of the pigeon world with over 25,000 visitors attending the event in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
There’s all the paraphernalia of the pigeon world with trade and community stands, buying and selling of pigeons, talks and films, events of interest to young pigeon owners – everything of interest to pigeon fanciers.
The main event is the pigeon exhibition with more than 2,500 pigeons all vying to be Best in Show for their breed and ultimately the Supreme Champion.
The show donates huge amounts to charity including to their main beneficiary British Fanciers’ Pigeon Lung Research Team.
Doncaster Pigeon Show
Held on the famous racecourse, the Doncaster Pigeon Show is one of the largest behind the Show of the Year.
It is also the longest-running British pigeon show with its roots being in the First World War.
The original shows were organized by ex-military staff who had handled the pigeon messengers in the war and were held at Alexandra Palace in London before moving to its racecourse venue in 1975.
Taking place on just one day in November, the show claims to be the home of everything a pigeon fancier needs as well as a number of very well-respected auctions.
If you are interested in attending a show, check your National Pigeon Association for listings. You can also sign up for newsletters as well as keep an eye on your local and regional club updates.