A Tippler is a breed of domestic pigeon bred to participate in endurance competitions. Flying results of up to 22 hours (non-stop) have been reported which makes it the most outstanding endurance-flying breed in recorded existence.
All races of breeds of domestic pigeon have been evolved from the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) that cohabits with man everywhere in the world. The domestic pigeon breeds are believed to have been developed in the Middle East. As to the origin of the Tippler we are at a loss for accurate data. According to one theory, the Tippler is supposed to have been a cross between the Tumbler and the Cumulet in order to improve their flying qualities and give them a larger range of flight, that is, they rake more, which keeps them longer on the wing. This long-term flying has helped to get rid of the tumbling properties. There is no doubt that it is man-made through selective breeding. They are of Tumbler descent, but beyond this it is merely a matter of speculation. The breed is thought to be originated in Congleton and Macclesfield mining town in England, around the year 1845. The aim of the old time breeders was to perfect a graceful action of the wings, or "Butterfly Action" and it is the ease and grace with which the wings are used that enable the Tippler to attain its marvelous duration of flight. Wendell Levi in his book The Pigeon cites a reference from Hepworth (1893) who interviewed a W. Jolly of Mill Green who in 1893 stated that he had been breeding Tipplers for fifty six years. That would take the origin back to at least 1837. Levi also comments that the breed was developed around Rainow and Macclesfield, and goes on to mention "Macclesfield Tipplers", a strain or type of Tippler (See below), and that they were named after the region they were developed in.
Hughes are, for instance, a type of tippler bred by Gordon Hughes in Derby, with a flying record of 18:07 in 1976, young birds.
Another famous type is the Boden bred by Jack Boden in Handsworth with a flying record of 20:40 in 1975, old birds. Bodens have also flown for over 20 hours many times.
"Sam Billingham", Arthur Newton, Joe Davies, and Jack Holland were also among the top breeders of England.
The following training program was published by W. Matthews in N.T.U. Yearbook 1987: "Thirty-Six Stages for the Flying Tippler Novice"
There are two categories of competition: young birds and old birds. A young bird is one hatched during the current year, and in order to qualify for young bird competition, must bear a seamless band issued for that year. Any bird wearing a band issued for any previous year is regarded as an old bird regardless of its actual age. The first old bird race is usually about the middle of April, the rest following at two week intervals. The most important competition is organized on the so called Long Day. The longest day (usually in weekend) of the year.
|22:05||Harry Shannon||Ireland, Lisburn||1995|
|20:35||Imer Saipi||Germany, Horstmar,||2005|
|20:31||P. van der Werf||Holland, Oosterbierum||2005|
|20:29||Karl Kocholl||Germany, Mudau||2004|
|20:01||P. van der Werf||Holland, Oosterbierum||2002|
|19:55||A. Mahutian||Holland, Harderwijk,||2001|
|19:40||H. Shannon||Ireland, Lisburn||1993|