by Luka Kapac [For PDF version Click Here]
Oskar Zovich started with tipplers back in 1974. He received two birds from Kemo Basic which were a blue bar cock and a blue hen. They were the old type tipplers that existed in this country since early 1903. He also obtained more birds later on from Donny Wilson and Harry Yanny Adams which had influence from George Eaton birds of Northern Ireland. They were a smaller bird with a short beak and very high flyers. He flew the young of these birds in 1979 for time of 12:31hrs. After that he got rid of the birds and in 1981 started with four pairs of birds from Helmut Lemke and Art Bruce which were bred by Bob Ball. These birds had influence from John Cullen and Josh Davies.
In 1984 Oskar made the decision to go his own way and try something more to his ideal. He simply used two foundation cocks to start the process. He obtained a black cock NTU 4265-73 from his good friend Wayne Tomsic. It was an exchange for a Donny Wilson bird to Wayne. This bird was imported by Percy Hagan who bought it from Pete Bartholomew of the UK. During this time most of the Canadian type were phased even though Oskar flew them a number of times over 16 hours. Not entirely sure why this happened other than the quest for longer time on the wing. The other cock bird that Oskar used was a nice grizzle cock FTA 720-81 bred by Oskar. He was ¾ Josh Davies and ¼ Lovatt. This is essentially the beginning of the Zovich strain.
Over the years Oskar used a few outcross hens but none were to his liking. He tested in the air a culled vigorously to find the perfect match. It was not until he tried a Shannon hen that the offspring became to his liking….and the rest as they say is history. He worked very close with Walter Wiechec over the years testing and breeding various combinations. Oskar is always quick to mention Walter whenever we visit the good old days..
Well, all this testing and searching yielded a fantastic breeder cock back in 2001. As you know from the cover page that bird is known as Picasso…an indigo white tail white flight masterpiece. This cock bird is a prolific breeder that has many record holders as his young. You can trace almost every bird currently in Oskar’s loft to Picasso…every bird. It was through inbreeding and line breeding that Oskar was able to breed Picasso but more importantly create his own strain according to his ideal. Oskar has quite a few records to his name to solidify his place as the most consistent flyer in North America, past or present. You only have to look at the FTA final tally to truly appreciate the birds and the breeder. He has broken Canadian records an unprecedented three times and we hope a fourth is on the horizon.
A few words from some of Oskar’s friends…
I met Oskar back in 1991 and bought 5 youngsters for a grand total of $30. That was the first and last time we exchanged any currency. Over the years he has gifted so many birds to me that I cannot even count. However, I do remember two hens in 1997 that were extra special. The performance level of my loft lifted to another height. I owe all my success with Tippler flying to my good friend Oskar. Over the last 20 years all I have kept is the Zovich strain and could not see myself with any other. The birds are well tempered and can fly in any condition, whether it be cold, extreme heat, rain or heavy wind…the birds take it all in stride if trained properly. I also love the look of the birds as they are round on the head, well proportioned and most of all, well colored. I challenge any other breeder to compare the coloring of their tipplers to that of the Zovich strain. Quite simply, there is none in the world that can compare to the rainbow of color, and I mean a rainbow. You have almonds, opals, andalusions and indigos, just to name a few. I could not be happier or more grateful for having this family of birds but more importantly to have had the privilege of calling him my friend. Thanks Oskar, you are truly one in a million.