he American Giant Homer Association is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the development and showing of the American Giant Homer pigeon.
The AHGA offers it’s members an excellent periodical called the Bulletin that is distributed four times a year. The format invites the involvement of our members to voice themselves on proposals and issues concerning the continuous advancement of the Association and to share their experiences thru articles on the breeding and showing of the American Giant homer. Issues also inform members of upcoming shows, show reports and specific breeders wants and needs with classified ads. This all adds up to a learning and sharing experience that is very rewarding.
The AGHA also offers it’s members official AGHA club bands thru our Band Pool program. Members are invited to bid on band number series they would like, or, if they choose, they can simply order bands with no series preference. They are sold in multiples of 25 and when sales are completed, the Band Pool Director then distributes a percentage of the sales money back to the Districts for cash paybacks on young birds wearing the club bands at the District Shows. Each member’s birds become informally registered within the Association as a list of which breeders received each series and is printed in our Bulletin annually.
Besides the District Shows, of which the Association is broken down into four Districts, we also have our National Young Bird Show meet in Louisville, Kentucky each October, a Young Bird Futurity each December, and an Annual Young and Old Bird show held each Winter. Entries are generally in the hundreds at each of these shows and the competition is very keen.
If the American Giant Homer has caught your fancy and if our Association sounds appealing to you, we would very much like you to consider joining the AGHA today. We welcome your membership with enthusiasm.
The History of the AGHA
The history of the American Giant Homer and the Association is as colorful and innovated as it’s future is promising and progressive.
It all started in the early 1920s when a group of Eastern and Southern fanciers engaged in a collective endeavor to produce a super-squabbing breed that was also suitable for exhibition. Various breeds were crossed on to large Homers with the dual-purpose qualities of production and exhibition forging together to create the Giant Homer.
In 1927, nine breeders formed the American Giant Homer Association and two years later, the Giant Homer was recognized by the NPA (National Pigeon Association) as a standard breed. The McNinch sketch was adopted as the first standard visual, which demanded a deep-keeled, Racing Homer type of bird. The new standard imposed weight limits and production was stressed. With the foundation laid, new members took on the challenge of raising and showing Giants.
The 1930s and 40s saw a steady rise in the membership under the Association’s strong leadership. The first Annual Meet was held and the first NPA Master Breeder Award was bestowed in 1932. The Fowler sketch, which required a beefier bird, was adopted along with a slogan which stressed the dual-purpose qualities of the breed.
As the Giant Homer became known nationally, the breed improved in body and exhibition traits, numbers at the shows flourished and the Association promoted squab-production contests to promote the breed. The club’s Bulletin also started to expand and grow.
The early 1950s noted a dramatic interest in color genetics as breeders introduced mutant genes such as reduced, dominant opal and indigo into their Giants. The Association became the first club to offer a Rare Color Class for exhibitors as the color explosion hit the scene. The Deal sketch was adopted with the trend for a stronger head and neck. The Association offered it’s members club bands as it found itself earning a reputation for being innovated and on the move.
The 1960s found Giants gaining in popularity in the showroom as the squabbing industry started to fade. Newcomers felt the thrill of getting acquainted with the breed as older members were bestowed with Honorary and Service Awards.
The 1970s experienced a membership explosion mainly due to the APJ (American Pigeon Journal) specials on the breed. This led to even stronger leadership within the Association as changes in the standard and Constitution became necessary with the progression of the Giant Homer’s type and popularity. The club started it’s Master Breeder Award program and gave birth to it’s own Annual Young Bird Futurity which is unequaled in it’s innovative structure and financial success.
In the 80s we found a need for a new standard drawing and the Jacky sketch was adopted.
Over the years, our club has continued to grow and prosper. The membership list continues to grow and has become dotted with Foreign breeders as the Giant Homer grows in popularity abroad. Through it all, the demand for new and rare colors is still strong and still attracts new breeders and members.
As for the future, it is promising and we remain progressive. We hope that once you get your hands on a Giant Homer and see the balance of our Association, you will want to be a part of our future.