Daily Express

Coo... girl of 9 becomes top pigeon racer

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NINE-YEAR-OLD Elizabeth Cook has achieved something of a coup in the world of pigeon racing.

She is one of the youngest racers in Britain – and is regarded as a high-flyer.

Elizabeth is ranked first at her local pigeon racing club, winning four out of her six races last year – beating opposition up to 83 years old. Now she is the best junior in her 500-strong region and targeting national titles.

She is following in the footsteps of her dad James, 41, and grandad Derek, 83.

Her family reckon she has all the skills to make it to the top.

James, who runs a pigeon breeding business from their home in Beaworthy, Devon, said: “She asked last year to try it out so we made it happen. She has a very natural instinct in how to behave around them.

“Her grandad lives two doors down so we have been three generation­s competing against each other. This season has

Tom Bevan

been affected by the pandemic but she has what it takes to compete nationally and will look to do so in the 2021 season.

“Pigeon racing is full of older men and is very traditiona­l. It is nice to celebrate a young talent, especially when it is your daughter.”

Pigeon racing sees trained birds taken between 75 and 500 miles from home and released.

Its owner “clocks” the bird’s return and, using GPS, the pigeon deemed to have flown the fastest wins.

Elizabeth said: “Seeing my dad race inspired me to start and I love racing against my friends. I have learnt how to look after my pigeons independen­tly; I can tell which pigeon it is without looking at their rings.

“I want to compete on a national level as soon as I can and it will be fun to race against pigeon fanciers around the country – maybe even the Queen.”

 ??  ?? Elizabeth loves the loft life and, with racing in the family, she’s a natural
Pictures: SWNS
Elizabeth loves the loft life and, with racing in the family, she’s a natural Pictures: SWNS
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 ??  ?? Grandad Derek Cook
Grandad Derek Cook

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