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What is a CHAMPION Roller?

by William H. Pensom (1958)

I have been asked this question a lot of times and still fanciers ask the same question. It is generally assumed that the deep solid spinner is the ultimate in perfection, but that is not so. The height of perfection in spinning is the highest velocity in which the bird rotates downwards in a straight line, and in the smallest compass. Perfect spinning is recognized when a small hole, from a side view is easily seen when the bird is rotating. The word deep is also misleading when applied to the depth a pigeon will roll. Some birds will roll over and over for many yards, even a hundred or more. Not the ideal spinner however, as velocity and distance go hand and hand. The deeper a bird rolls the slower will be the rotation at some point, even if it does roll perfectly at the beginning. In my opinion the most satisfactory depth is around 8 or 9 yards. In this distance an ideal spinner will maintain its speed all the way down. Regularity in the number of times the pigeon rolls in a certain time is also a deciding factor. Forty rolls in 20 minutes would not be anything out of the ordinary for a Champion. The Champion is extremely versatile since it can vary the distance it rolls at will. In addition to these variations the pigeon can tumble in an orthodox manner of tumbling over and over for several times downwards. It can also twizzle, which is a mode of performing at very high speed in a manner illustrated by twirling of a dinner plate with the finger. This type of performance should not be confused with what is call plate rolling. Plate rolling takes on a twirling pattern like twizzling but it is much slower and it is a very low form of performance. The Champion is also capable of what is called mad tumbling, a performance that is expressed in a series of extremely rapid backward somersaults in an apparent horizontal order. The Champion does not perform all these attributes in succession but does so according to the mood it is in, or according to the circumstances in which it finds itself in the kit. Every well-informed fancier I have known has endeavored to produce a bird, which could accomplish these feats. While the pigeon, which spins in perfect order and with increasing regularity, is a most desirable character, it is far from being the ultimate in performance. The solid roller is not too infrequently produced but the real Champion is rare indeed and we see few of them in our lifetime.

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