One of just a few truly "American" breeds, the American Giant Homer was first
recognized as a distinct breed by the NPA (National Pigeon Association)
at the 1928
Grand National Show. The breed is the result of an attempt by
early breeders of squabbing homers
to improve their breed both commercially and aesthetically.
(The early motto of the club was "A breed fit for the showroom that can
outproduce any pigeon on earth.") According to Levi, early pioneers of
the breed included Ed Blaine and Irv Goss (KY), Stanley Stout (IN) and
Carl Graefe (OH), all of whom are now deceased. In the thirties and
forties there were even "carcass shows" among breeders in the
Akron, Ohio area (pers. com. Frank Dallas). Besides simply selecting for
larger homers, outcrosses were made on the English Show Homer, Antwerp,
and later the American Show Racer, to improve
head properties. It is also believed that in the fifties and sixties
there were crosses to the French Mondain to increase body size and to the
Strasser to improve the color of recessive reds, although
the influence of the latter has since been minimized.
Today the breed is no longer the production champion it
was initially, but as a show pigeon
it is one of the most regal among the utility classes. There
have been significant changes to the breed over the
last 10 to 20 years, with
major improvements in head qualities, body structure and
overall size. Originally limited
to 22 to 27 ounces, individual birds now tip the scales at well over two
pounds and many equal the size of the Show King
and the French Mondain.
The American Giant Homer is bred in all colors, and its fanciers are
among the most knowledgeable and most accomplished in the area of color
breeding. Carl Graefe and Ed Blaine were among the early
proponents of enriching
the aesthetic character of the breed by introducing rare color genes.
(The picture below is an example not just of a fine specimen of
the breed, but also of the rare color dominant opal, which by now is
fairly common in the breed.)
Picture compliments of Robert Cooper
Click here for the official American Giant Homer Association web site.
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