Sport of Champions: Chicken Racing
Today we have an exclusive Polloplayer scoop: meet Kerry, 4-time Canadian chicken-racing laureate!
Kerry and I go way back. To about a year ago when I pulled a photo of his chicken chariot off the web and used it without his permission. He caught up with me recently and said ”Hey, what’s with that?” And I said, “Oops”, and then I thought, “Whoa – how many chances will Polloplayer have to interview a real, live, in-the-flesh Chicken Charioteer?
The rest is history. While all of you have no doubt packed away your Christmas decorations and launched purposefully into 2011, I’ve been pestering Kerry for information about his sport and for details about the amazing Lucky, who has propelled him into the annals of chicken-racing fame.
Kerry is from Ontario, Canada, where by day he owns a locksmith/security firm and by weekend, becomes a chicken-racing superhero. Kerry explains: “I raise exotic show chickens as a hobby & was at PoultryFest one year where I saw the chariot races & looked over at my sweetheart & said “my chicken Lucky runs faster than those birds”.
He entered the following year and won the event.
Kerry, who keeps exotic breed chickens and sells more than four hundred baby chicks in a season, has a tried-and-true formula for his repeated success in the chariot: “My hen Lucky was trained using sunflower seeds & grapes. Started off just getting her to run to me for a treat. Then got her to run down a home made track. Then attached the chariot to her. I will have a bucket of KFC for dinner the night before a big race & explain to Lucky that this could be her fate if she doesn’t do well. ”
Clearly this served as inspiration to Lucky, as evidenced by the following video. Be patient – Lucky’s moment comes at about the three-minute-mark of the film:
Just in case you’re worried that Lucky’s life is all chariot and no play, fear no more. Yes, there have been difficult moments, like the time a neighbor’s dog attacked Lucky one week before the big race She spent five touch-and-go days at the pet infirmary and happily made a full recovery. According to Kerry, “she is 12 yrs old and now lives in a dog crate in the hallway of my home. She visits with the other birds outside during the warmer weather, but spends the cold Canadian winters listening to smooth jazz on the radio & enjoying the warm indoors where she is spoiled rotten like anyone else’s pet.”
Funny, I don’t know anyone else who spoils their pets…
Kerry is not one to let the chicken poo grow beneath his feet. In addition to chicken chariot-racing, he has taught another of his chickens, “Miss Ohio”, to fly a kite. Miss Ohio, who hails from Cleveland, is now the mascot of the Toronto Kite Fliers Club.
Kerry has been featured on television, magazines and newspapers but he saved his first blog interview for Polloplayer. By summer, he expects to have his web domain up and running at www.littlechickenracingteam.com. We wish him the best of luck with his fleet-footed feathery friends.