About Us/The Race

Hi everyone! Welcome back to the French Young Bird Derby, and our new all singing all dancing website. For those who haven’t visited or entered before we are John & Lou McGee. We run the French Young Bird Derby One Loft Race here in France, in Hernicourt to be precise, an area in the Nord-Pas-Du-Calais. It’s one of the busiest areas in terms of pigeon racing with tens of thousands of racing pigeons passing over every week, but that’s what make this the most challenging race of the lot and something our competitors love about our race.

We have been running the race for a few years now, and have learnt a lot about running the event in that time. One of our number one areas of training is getting the birds to trap! If they struggle to trap you could be losing out on thousands. On top of this is the bird’s well being and love for their loft. This is what makes the bird fight to get back in to the loft. We have one of the best payouts based on birdage of any race in the world, with a potential £60,000 prize fund to race for.

We are uniquely placed at a very busy crossroads, with thousands of racing pigeon races passing through here each day. That means your birds really have to have a strong intelligence, to know when to break away from a pack. When a bird gets lost at our race, they generally find their way back, and that not only shows how well we did on the first two points, but the level of intelligence of the birds we see winning each and every year. This is not for the faint hearted.

The birds compete in 4 hotspots: Breteuil (54 miles), Pontoise (91 miles), Fontenay (144 miles) and Argenton (266 miles). Before the grand final from Gueret (294 miles). Young birds that can make that sort of distance have great futures in long distance pigeon racing. These birds are also increasingly valuable and an example of this is the value fetched by our top three birds last year. Over £1,800 for the three. Not bad considering more people know about the challenge year on year.

Want to chat to us about anything to do with the race?