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QUESTION: Roller enthusiasts, I hear from time to time someone mention English rollers. Or "that person flys English birds".  I'm curious:  

 

* What (is) the distinction between the Birmingham and the English roller? 

* Are they or could they be one in the same? 

* Is it a reference to what is currently being flown in England? 

* Is there a noticable difference in the quality between the two?

Please educate me. Thanks, Grant  Submitted by  wgg

 

RESPONSE: Grant, I spent 2 weeks in England about 10 years ago, touring the entire country while my friend JoeBob judged their annual national fly, and I selected the top individual young bird, and old bird in the country. From what I saw, and of the English faimlies I have played with in the past and seen in this country, I can say this. The English Rollers for the most part, kit tighter than our American birds, break simultaneously better, but are softer in the roll than ours.  

As far as sheer velocity is concerned, I am partial to birds I have seen in this country, more so than those seen in England. The English have an individual award they give every year for the top young bird, and old bird flown during the national fly. I was asked to do the honors. What may be of some interest, the young bird I picked belonged to Les Bezance, who had won this award consecutively the 3 years prior to me picking his. I did not know this prior to being asked the pick the best individuals. The late George Kitson won the best old bird, which later was featured on the front cover of Graham Dexter's second edition of Winners with Spinners. She was a beautiful black mottled hen, pearl and bull eyed, who did have the velocity that I believe most of us in North America are after.

Response By:  Rick Mee

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