header350.jpg

History

In the hopes of an accurate account of information a lot of the following has been determined by the memory of pigeon flyers now living. Ongoing efforts are being made to verify the names and dates contained herein by checking with more than one source. The intent of FVC history is to record part of our history before it disappears.

The Fernando Valley Racing Pigeon Club (FVC) was chartered on November 25, 1933 but wasn’t established until 1939 at it’s location in Sun Valley, California. The very first officers of the club were Richard Schayer president, L.A. Mays Vice President, Byron Mollett Secretary and Henry Groben Treasurer. Other members were Chris Shuttleworth, Ed Chandler, S. Van Dyne, Carl Walaschek, Allen Henrickson, Ed Christensen, Billy Hansen, Darrel Johansen, F.J. McMahon, Ted Hayes, Norman Foy, Kenneth Shuttleworth, Doyle Garman, Jack Sheldon, T.C. Wright, John Garner, Bud Dodd, Gerald Knight, and Joe Acton.

In 1933 the Foothill Concourse Association was formed with Hal Taylor of Pomona as President, L.R. Bertrand as Secretary. Clubs competing were the Sierra Club, Crown City, Fernando Valley Club (FVC), San Gabriel Valley and San Bernardino Valley.

In 1935 saw the first Union races. These races were held between the Foothill Concourse Association and the Southern California Combine, flying the two long old bird races and the longest young bird race. These races were continued until 1938.

In 1936 strictly to promote the breeding and flying of the best type of Homing Pigeon, the Championship Club was formed by: T.C. Wright, John W. Middendorf, Henry Groben, Ed Chandler and Chris Shuttleworth. For 15 years top notch flyers have sent one or two birds to compete in an excellent test of individuals where the birds are strictly on their own from a 500 miles station.

In 1944 T.C. Wright was awarded AU Hall of Fame for the performance of his bird “Consistent”.

In 1944 the first annual FVC Futurity was flown. Proof of this in the form of a diploma presented to Warren K. Parker of Sherman Oaks in 1949 for his 5th place overall finish at the 300 mile station. This was the 5th annual Futurity, 210 lofts competing and 1058 birds were shipped to the race. Movie stuntman, stunt coordinator and second unit director Yakima Canutt was the president of the FVC in 1949 and Edwin J. Evans as race secretary.

Starting in 1946 Southern California led the way in truck training and racing. "All races have been trucked except a few isolated special races". "Since 1947 the long distance races have been flown together by the three racing organizations with most unusual success".

In 1952 Warren K. Parker, John W. Middendorf & Fallon Kline as trustees of the club Deed transferred the owner ship of the club to the FVC members.

Around 1979/1980 there was a fire the pretty much destroyed the original single story building the club shipped out of at 9008 Laurel Canyon Blvd. in Sun Valley. With the help of club members Randy Wells, Rocky Lambert, Art Hees, Al Leamon, Leo Lorenz, Bill Traw, Tony Thomas, Rusty Hemsath and others, the club over the next two years was rebuilt and a second story was added making it much better than the original facility. It was completed in 1983 and was dedicated to the memory of T.C. 'Tenny' Wright a studio executive at Warner Brothers Studios who employed numerous pigeon flyers through out the 1930s and 1940s.

Around that same time 1979/80 the FVC went through a very lengthy lawsuit with one of its members. The defendants alleged the member was “a cheater, or words to that effect in his relationship with pigeon racing”. The plaintiff alleged "slander, emotional distress, economic and malicious prosecution”. Finally 12 years later in 1992 after arbitration had been completed it was determined the defendants had not slandered the plaintiff and the dispute was brought to an end.

The FVC in the 80s was always coming up with special pigeon races; the Summer Classic, Snowbird Classic, Yearling Triple Crown and the Snowbird Futurity to name a few. In 1985 the Snowbird Classic was created and became a huge success for many years. It put the FVC in the forefront of pigeon racing across the United States. In the mid 1990s the club was able to make substantial donations to the City of Hope to help cancer survivors and others in need of specialized medical help. The race is still going on after 30 years and in 2015 the club will be flying the 30th annual Snowbird race.

Mike Cassidy
September 1, 2015

Supporting documents:

Western Racing Pigeon Bulletin 34 E. Franklin St. Bellbrook, Ohio 45305
Volume 4, Number 218. September 26, 1983 issue
Deed of Trust
Signed Futurity diploma
Building Photographs
Plaque in memory of T.C. Wright
Court documents
Race reports