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The European Plastic Fancy Pigeon Rings...
Author: Jan LombardTitle: The European Plastic Fancy Pigeon Rings
Date: 2004-09-28 12:29:46Uploaded by: webmaster
This company manufacturing these rings is known as Horst Stengel & Sohn, Firma Kunststoff Fussringe and is situated in Schmalkalden, Germany. Their phone number is 0049-36837-83073 and they can be reached via e-mail at: fussring@t-online.de . Whether they will be helpful to ring collectors is not known.

Horst Stengel & Sohn manufactures modern plastic fancy pigeon rings for most European countries. The English NPA however decided to stick to their aluminum rings manufactured locally. When Gey Band & Tag Inc. in the USA closed their doors in 2002 the National Pigeon Association of America had to look for a new supplier. Rumors have it that John Heppner ordered NPA plastic rings from Horst Stengel & Sohn and re-sell it to the NPA. The NPA used their first plastic rings in the 2003 year. If they will continue with this supplier in 2004 is not known.

The colours were: 1997 – gray or black ; 1998 – dark blue; 1999 bright yellow; 2000 – red; 2001 dark green; 2002 gray and 2003 white; 2004 black; 2005 yellow; 2006 red and 2007 green. One German source give 2004 as brown (“braun”), but I have a few black specimens in my collection.

I will now list the different clubs that uses Horst Stengel & Sohn’s rings. I will also list the sizes and dates (years) noted so far in my collection. Please have a look at your collections and help us to update this information and to ensure that it is correct and complete.

Austria – A initial on the rings; sizes in millimeters – 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 noted so far – year printed vertically; the numbering system is alpha-numerical with the following combinations: one letter with 4 digits; one letter with 3 digits; two letters with 3 digits. I have the following Austrian plastic rings: A 8 98; A 8 00; A 9 99; A 9 00; A 9 01; A 9 02; A 9 03; A 10 98; A 10 99; A 10 02; A 12 99; A 12 01 AND A 13 02. I have the complete list of ring sizes for the different breeds of fancy pigeons in Austria. If there is a demand for this, I can upload it to the Group’s files.

I have a A 9 00 DB 000 ring. Take note of the individual number = 000.

Belgium – B initial on the rings; sizes in millimeters – 7, ? ; year printed vertical; the numbering system in alphanumerical with two letters and 4 digits. I have only a small number of these Belgian plastic rings – all in 7mm size: B07 97; B07 98; B07 99; B7 00; and B07 98. There are also similar plastic racing homer rings from Liege Federation with LF initials, the year printed vertically, and a numerical numbering system with up to 5 digits. I have: LF 02 and LF 03 .

Denmark – DR initial on the rings. Sizes indicated by letters: B; C and D noted so far. 1997 rings are black. Years printed vertically. I have the following plastic Danish rings: DR B 99; DR C 97; DR C 98; DR C 99; DR D 97; DR D 99. .

France – F initial on the rings; sizes in millimeters – 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13mm (with smaller sizes for cage birds and doves). Year printed vertically. The numbering system is numerical only in some year/size combinations and alpha-numerically with 1 or 2 letters and 3 to 4 digits. The rings from 1997 are black. I have the following French plastic rings: F 07 99; F 7 02; F 08 99; F 8 02; F 9 97; F 09 98; F 9 02; F 10 97; F 10 02; F 11 97; F 11 02; F 12 02; F 13 02.

Germany – D (Deutschland) initial on the rings; sizes in millimeters – 7, 8, 9; 10; 11 and 13mm. Year printed vertically. The numbering system is alpha numerical with one to two letters and 3 to 4 digits. This is necessary to cater for over 45000 pigeon fanciers in this country. The most popular breeds have over 3000 breeders. I have the following German plastic rings: D 7 98 to 03; D 8 98 to 03; D 9 98 to 00; 03 and 04; D 10 98, 99 & 03; D 11 99, 00, 02 to 04 and D 13 99.
I have one grey plastic DFC (Deutsche Flugroller Club) ring from 2002: DFC 02. Take note that there is no size indication on this ring, because they use one standard size. The year is printed vertically and it has a 3 digit number.

Hungary – H initial on the rings. Sizes in millimeter. I have only one plastic Hungarian ring: H7 02. The Numbering system in numerical only with up to 5 digits. The number on my specimen is 57547 – indicating on large numbers of usage – that is if they started at number 1. I have a rolled end anodized aluminum 7mm ring from 2001. Maybe 2002 was the first year in plastic.

Italy – I (for Italy) or FIAC (for Federazione Italiana Allevatori Colombi) initials on the rings. FIAC on plastic rings was most probably transitional, as these initials were used on the previous generation anodizes aluminum rings manufactured most probably by Demster in Belgium. I have only one plastic FIAC ring – gray from 1997: FIAC A 97 – with the year printed vertically. I have only one plastic I ring – a light green one from 2001 : I 13 01 – with the year printed vertically. I therefore cannot comment on layout, sizes system nor numbering systems used.

Netherlands – NL-S initials on the rings. The S ndicates “Sierduiven”. There is also a H initial – indicating Hoen (poultry). Sizes in millimeters. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13mm sizes noted so far. The year is printed vertically. The numbering system is numerical only with up to 5 digits. The red rings from 2000 are not similar to red 2000 rings from other countries. The readability of these rings is very poor and resulted in a lot of complaints from Dutch pigeon fanciers. I have the following plastic Dutch rings: NL-S 07 97; NL-S 7 98; NL-S 7 99; NL-S 7 00; NL-S 7 01; NL-S 8 98; NL-S 9 99; NL-S 8 00; NL-S 8 01; NL-S 09 98; NL-S 9 00; NL-S 9 01; NL-S 10 99; NL-S 10 00; NL-S 10 01;
NL-S 8 97 is a gray anodized aluminum ring – most probably manufactured by the company Demster from Lichtervelde in Belgium. You will therefore not find a gray plastic ring in 8mm size for 1997. The same holds true for NL-S 10 97. I do not have any 8mm; 9mm; 11mm nor 13mm rings from 1997. It may be true that the grey 7mm size was the only plastic ring size for 1997. When it comes to rings from 1998, I have blue anodized ring in 10 and 11 mm. 7, 8 and 9mm from 1998 was dark blue plastic. I have not seen any 13mm size from 1998. We need more info on this. Can any of our German speaking members try to get this info from Horst Stengel & Sohn, or maybe our Ducth members can enlighten us?

Netherlands – AVI initial on rings . These rings are issued by the Dutch magazine “Avicultura”. Whether or not birds rung with AVI rings are allowed to be entered for shows in the Netherlands or elsewhere is not known. I have only one AVI ring: a 10mm size ring from 2002: AVI 10 02 (the 02 is printed vertically. This ring has a 4 digit number. Available in 6 - 6,5 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 18 - 20 - 22 - 24 - 27 – 32 mm sizes with AVI size in mm, year and serial number. (Schriftelijk te bestellen bij: VBC, Postbus 4, 2600 AA Delft, of per fax 015 - 2 564 546, of per e-mail: VBC@XS4ALL.nl @ Euro 1.80 per 10 since 2002)

Norway – NRF initial (Norsk Rasedue Forbund) on the rings; sizes indicated by letters e.g. : A, B, C, D, E and F. Years printed vertically in 1998, 2000 and 2001 and horizontally in 2002 and 2003. Numbering system is numerical only with up to 4 digits. I have the following Norwegian rings: NRF A 98; NRF 01 A; NRF 02 A; NRF 03 A; NRF C 00; NRF D 98; NRF E 98; NRF 02 E; NRF 03 E and NRF F 98. I have a black NRS E 97. This is reported to be a misprint. Whether or not it was used officially in 1997 or whether Horst Stengel & Sohn supplied the Norsk Rasedue Forbund with NRF rings for this year is not known, as I do not have any other Norwegian rings from 1997.

Sweden – SDF (Svensk Duvavels Forening) initial on the rings. The rings from 1997 are black. Year printed vertically up untill 2001 and horizontally in 2002 and 2003. Sizes: A, B, C, D, E and F. I have the following Swedish plastic rings: SDF A 97; SDF 03 A; SDF C 99; SDF 01 C; SDF 02 C; SDF 03 C; SDF 03 D; SDF 03 E; SDF F 98 and SDF F 99. The black plastic rings for 2004 have the size in millimeters, instead of letters. I have SDF 7 04; SDF 8 04; SDF 9 o4; SDF 10 04 and SDF 12 04;

Switzerland – CH initial (Cuisse) on the rings. The numbering system is alphanumerical with one letter and up to 4 digits. The year is printed vertically, but is may be horizontal on later years, as I have not a single ring from 2001 and later. Rings from 1997 are black, not gray. I have the following Swiss plastic rings: CH 7 97; CH 7 98; CH 7 99; CH 7 00; CH 8 97; CH 8 99; CH 9 97; CH 9 99.

USA – NPA (National Pigeon Association) initial on the rings. Prior to the use of plastic rings the breed clubs affiliated to the NPA had the letters NPA as well as 2 to 3 letters to indicate the specific club on tehir rolled end aluminum rings manufactured by the Gey Band & Tag company. In 2003 white plastic breed club rings appear without the letters NPA. I have only one such a ring at this stage : CNT 7 03 = Chinese Nasal Tuft Club of America (both the 7 and the year is printed vertically). Whether the layout of this ring and the absence of the letters NPA is the rule or the exemption on breed club rings is not clear at this point in time. I have one with NPA 03 HJ 864 10 – with both the H and the 10 pointing to size. Then I have a NPA 03 BD 891 8 – with both 8 and B indicating size. The years and the millimeter sizes are printed vertically on both of these two rings. As I only have two white plastic 2003 “normal” NPA rings at the time of writing, I really cannot comment on the numbering system, nor the layout used on them.

In the Gey Band & Tag Inc era the American NPA used the following size/numbering system on aluminum rings: two letters, of which the first indicated the size/breeds combination and the second letter formed part of the alphanumerical system with up to 3 digits. They used the following letters to indicate size/breeds (size in inches): A =0.292”; B = 0.315”; C = 0.292”; D = 0.315”; E = 0.340”; G = ? (1963 to 1990 in my collection – not listed on pre-2003 NPA lists); H = 0.370”; J = 0.432”; K = 0.388”; L = ? (1976, 1980 and 1981 in my collection); M = 0.340”; R = 0.292”; T = 0.432”; X = ? (1996 in my collection) and Z = 33/64”.

Similar sizes, but with different first letters, e.g. 0.292 in A, C and R are for different breeds or groups of breeds. We will have to compare this size system with the system used on the new plastic rings. Examples dated 2003 have the size in millimeters. Whether the NPA, who orders over 450 000 rings per annum and uses the Imperial measuring system, will be happy with this, needs to be seen. We will have to wait some time to get answers on these questions (Dec. 2003).

I presume that both Portugal & Spain are also using these plastic rings manufactured by Horst Stengel & Sohn, Firma Kunststoff Fussringe. Up until this date I have failed to make contact with pigeon enthusiast from these two countries. I also know that the Canadian Fancy Pigeon Association used Gey Band & Tag aluminum rings for the last time in 2003. They had their order in and manufactured before Bill Gey ceased operations in 2002. They had most probably ordered rings from Horts Stengel & Sohn for the 2004 season.

Jan Lombard

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