The Freak (AU 12 MCLOFTS 3650) was a racing sensation and as well a champion breeding stud at McLaughlin Lofts for many years. This family of pigeons is not going anywhere any time soon.
What some do not know is the real family history behind the pigeon.
If you look at the pedigree of "The Freak" you will see a few different things. (350 x 985) the hit pair of Van Reets both direct off some of the best Van Reets to ever come to the United States. Before The Freak family was even a thing, these pigeons dominated the United States for nearly two decades. Wins against some of the best competition in the world, the Van Reets took off and were on another level of pigeons compared to what was here already.
Another pigeon we must keep in mind behind The Freak, was her grandmother the "Dark Hen" (AU 08 MCLOFTS 1931) another racing phenomenon and also one of the best breeding hens Frank ever owned, and that speaks for itself. The dark hen won 1st New England Open 500 miles and scored over and over in the Boston Concourse. No matter what the winds were, nothing could stop the Dark Hen from being at the top of the sheet.
What most people know about "The Freak" is the big win she had in the 2012 AU Convention. She previously was 4th and 6th against some major competition, but when it came to the final she blew every pigeon out of the water. A 23 minute lead from 350 miles is something not every pigeon can do. Any fancier would dream of winning the big race by such a wide margin. No splitting money on the drop, no other pigeons to "lead" your pigeon home. She was out front of the pack against some of the best pigeons America had to offer.
The Freak has gone on to breed winners for just about every loft that has had her genetics. Being a base breeder at McLaughlin Lofts after such a short time being there, it was made clear that these pigeons were special. Many children won races, bred race winners and so on. The Freak blood is just as potent as all of its relatives. She became the new star pigeon for many years.
Here at LandingStrip Lofts, in late 2019 we were lucky enough to get our hands on a direct son of "The Freak" AU 16 MCLOFTS 548. A pigeon that was never bred. Immediately in his first year breeding he bred 2 pigeons who topped the combine, scoring 2nd and 3rd against 846 pigeons and 69 lofts at 200 miles. The two siblings came together on a drop. 548 also went on to breed another very consistent racer for us in young birds in 2020 "S 462" who scored in multiple races and also found her way onto diplomas.
Another granddaughter of "The Freak" (AU 19 MCLOFTS 302) went on to breed a pigeon we like to call "Freak of Nature" (S 463) who was 2nd ace pigeon of the RI Club and 5th in the SNE Combine for 2020 young birds. She scored in 8 of 10 races she went to. 7 of the 8 were with North winds, bring the furthest north in the combine at the time also made racing hard. A relentless racer, scoring 6x in the top 40 and made quite the name for herself. After the season we decided to stock this hen and so far she has already bred a 12th place and an =1st. (Updated 9/7/21). A full sibling to Freak of Nature was also 15th place in the same race.
The Dark Hen blood also runs strong in our loft. We have two full siblings of "The Dark Hen" and three PROVEN direct children of the star breeding Casaert pigeon behind her named "Demi". The full sister of the Dark Hen has bred an =1st and some other top performances for Frank in the Boston Concourse and in the SNE Combine.
As you can tell, the Freak pigeons have not only been dominant for many lofts around the country, but also have been at the top consistently in the last two years. This family of pigeons is not going anywhere and will be here to stay for many years.
The Van Reet pigeons were brought in to the United States by none other than Frank McLaughlin in the early 1990s as a huge investment into the best pigeons of the family.
For a back story, Van Reet sold many of his best pigeons to Dean Pallatt. Right away he started dominating the club and federation races so badly that he was kicked out of every club. He even at one point was limited to one pigeon per race and still would win 1st against thousands of pigeons, winning one race by 12 minutes and one race by 20 minutes.
Frank went to Dean and bought some direct Van Reet pigeons and some children of the biggest winners that were available. Some pigeons that we know of today, "Brian" "Mary" "The End" "Red Tide" "The Fog" "Leyton Express" "Good News" and many more were bought from 1991 to 1999 from Dean. These pigeons have been responsible for hundreds of wins across the United States, the UK and other areas of the world.
Many generations down the line, these Van Reets are still potent on the race course and in the breeding loft. "The Freak" for example, is bred from the old line Van Reets on the mothers side. The Freak was 1st AU Convention by 23 minutes in 2012. She may be one of the best breeding hens in the USA now. The Freak is a granddaughter of "350 x 985". 350 is a son of Champion breeder "Good News" and 985 is bred from the best pair of Van Reets "Brian x Mary".
2021 was a big year as far as investing into the Staf Van Reet pigeons from Frank. Along with the Freak pigeons being part Van Reet, we also added two goldmines of the Van Reet Family. Some of the last ones left in fact. We added a 2009 and a 2008 son of Brian when paired to a daughter of Red Tide. They are old but gold and will finish their days here at LandingStrip Loft.
We also went out and brought in some of the best inbred Van Reet pigeons we could get our hands on. They are time tested and are going to be the staple of my loft for years to come, and we will never stop trying to bring in the best Van Reets possible. 2022 will be our first year breeding and testing these pigeons and we expect them to dominate the course like they have for the last 30 years!