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Ronda Mariani: New York Pigeon Fancier called

Guru Of Color

By Silvio Mattacchione 

The "pigeon fraternity" is unknown to the vast majority of the people worldwide. We are but a tiny undercurrent in a great ocean of humanity. An entire world, a sub culture populated by both 'saints and sinners" , "givers and takers, by "workers and drones"," good men and on occasion con men ", "liberals and conservatives" ,  "champion and novice"  , "young and old". Our sport reflects the real world,  in all of these proportions. The vast majority of pigeon fanciers are good men. I know many who are doctors, or teachers, engineers, dentists, lawyers, bank presidents, insurance brokers, film directors, movie-stars and even athletes. However most of us are just average people with everyday jobs ( let us take heart and never forget that  those everyday jobs and those everyday people are what make this great world of ours really tick!)

Not often, but on occasion you will run into a few women fanciers as well.  A very, very small minority I grant you, but often very knowledgeable, very dedicated and sometimes, very , very creative! Creative people of either gender help our sport present itself in a better , more professional , more acceptable, more enlightened manner. In books, on film, in magazines ,we need to present  our sport and our fanciers in the best light possible. If we dream of what we would wish to be we can in fact become what we dream to be. This applies to our personal lives as well as our corporate selves as well. These creative types

 ( often generally referred to as PR types) help us conceive of and create a positive  image of  ourselves, our birds and our sport. They help us promote our pigeons as

" thoroughbreds" rather than the "street rats" that the general media love to hate. We need to cultivate our most positive image if the vast majority of the non pigeon people in this world are ever to really understand and appreciate our fascination with birds. Our sport is better off for having professional designers creating our images, especially, when they happen to be articulate, knowledgeable , dedicated and creative. I can assure you that, not every designer or would be designer demonstrates all of these qualities.

This year I had an opportunity to speak to just such a person when I had occasion to speak to the IF coordinator regarding an advert in their "SKYTALK" magazine. Though I did not personally require the services of the IF designer as we had already created and submitted our own advert for our sire "Limited Edition", I was very interested in speaking with this person. Much to my surprise the name of the designer was Ronda Mariani. There is certainly nothing rare about female designers but what is rare is a female designer that happens to be a dedicated and knowledgeable pigeon fancier, who was raised in this , typically male dominated sport, from childhood. As I chatted with her I discovered that she was as knowledgeable a pigeon fancier ,as she was ,a web site designer, a designer of print ads as well as some very unique logos and much , much more.

Ronda's educational background was very interesting and her work certainly clearly indicates her love of color!

". I started off as a fine artist for many .. When I began college I started as an art major with a minor in graphic design and advertising. Those where the days - traditional advertising... spec typing and paste-ups... it was grueling. While getting a good taste of advertising I studied the human anatomy, introducing an eccentric and creative twist.  I also studied color, which you will begin to notice in samples of my work and while in my second year of college I was nicked named the Guru of color"

The role of a really good designer is/should be, much more than just giving you what you think you want. A good designer gives you more than that, they give you what they know you really need! Have no doubts, I am not splitting hairs, there is a fundamental difference in these two statements. What you want is, an artist who can build a campaign specifically for you while also giving you a unique look. Marketing is the real name of the game. Professionally speaking, I do not appreciate seeing a designer that recycles concepts or designs. If I entrust an important advert or campaign to a designer, I expect it to have a unique look, a look that identifies only my product, or service. If after the advert or campaign appears and the general remarks are such that viewers say "Well it reminds me of." then, I guarantee you that your advert or campaign has failed ( that is your designer has failed to market your product uniquely, he or she will have failed to establish your brand), and you have inadvertently reinforced a competitors campaign with your advertising dollars. Remember your goal is not to follow, it is to lead. You do not want to be , or look like someone, but rather you should  want to be identified uniquely, on your own merit. That should be your goal, as a knowledgeable client and that should also be what a creative designer delivers. Anything else is not acceptable.

When I asked Ms. Mariani what her goals as a designer were and what was unique about her approach to her client's , it became apparent that her philosophy was marketing based. Here is what she had to say:

"When I work with a client I deliver more than just a pretty picture.. I deliver a solution, I help them achieve their  goals. I work with strategies and the fundamentals of advertising. What are my clients gains if they invest in something. Who is the target audience, reach, frequency, strategy and I even do a competitive analysis of the competition. Each client is treated uniquely and of course has unique needs.

Figure 1 The banner for Ronda's  design company says it all Where every design is different. Banner by Ronda Mariani.

As we chatted I wanted to know what role she really played, in what has to be a very unique, as well as extremely successful , father daughter pigeon  partnership. Ms. Mariani quickly responded by saying:

"My biggest project with our birds is the breeders. I maintain them through and through including vitamins, minerals, diet, medicating program but most of all the inbreeding and line breeding of the Haveniths. Maintaining the "Blood" I like to call it. Ok, ok, my father has some input. chuckle. I have read many things and have been told many views on it.  I cannot say I have anyone method, but what I do works with the inbreeding. My dad is also a believer of this and provides endless advice and views. Our NSBR 300 Mile winner "Magic 03" for 2003, mother was a Grandfather/Grand daughter mating. Another cock "3606" won the IF speed award 2003 for the 200-250 mile section along with other prizes. He was a straight inbred havenith"

She also was very enthusiastic in describing some of her genetic projects that included, amongst others, developing an extremely beautiful line of pure blacks. I took the time later to visit the partnerships website and what she has achieved, in breeding these unique blacks, in a relatively short time ,is a real eye opener. Her inbred blacks are marvelous indeed. 

Figure 2 Mariani Black Pearl Family developed by Ronda Mariani. This intriguing design and presentation is also a Ronda Mariani creation.

The keeping ,raising and enjoying of pigeons, "all pigeons" is definitely a cradle to grave hobby. Thanks to caring  and dedicated parents like Ron Mariani our sport has his daughter as a participant in  two areas , both as a pigeon fancier and as great designer. More parents should take their cue from this man. Get your kids interested, don't harp, don't push and for heavens sake let your kids enjoy their birds so that we will have a sport in future. The pursuit of #1 at all costs only causes problems for the sport as well as your personal family. Please keep your hobby in proper perspective, family first, always, then your birds. If you set it up any other way I guarantee you it is bad for you as well as the sport! You can tell from what Ronda Mariani says below that she has always loved her birds!

"My whole life I have been immersed in pigeons. I owe everything to my dad. He introduced me to these wonderful birds at a very young age. I remember my first real pigeons where NYC flying flights. He built me a small coop where we kept them. I would let them out and feed them in our back yard. I do not know why I became so infatuated with birds. My exposure was at such an early age that cognitively I couldn't recall one real instance, just that I have always had them in my life." 

Figure 3"Flights" were the first birds kept by Ronda Mariani. Photo courtesy of Ronda Mariani

Ronda Mariani works in a close partnership with her father Ron and they are known as "Circle Loft". Flying in Long Island for over 35 years they are a force to be reckoned with every race day. Ronda is very proud of her dad, he was a great teacher:

"My dad was always a great flier and still is on Long Island NY.  He always flew under Circle Loft and he always raced Haveniths for over 35 years now. They are a dying breed of birds but probably the most superior birds I have ever worked with or seen. To this day we breed from a gene pool from my dads first birds acquired from Louie Aderner and on May 14, 1979 and May 21, 1979 buying Bernie Yokell team of birds and some breeders.

These pigeons have made our loft what it is today. Countless futurity wins along with binders and binders of diplomas and awards all the way back to the seventies."

I couldn't resist asking just how well they had done over the past few years. The results are impressive for any loft , anywhere in the world!


NSBR Futurity Winner Third Place - 2002
SVN First Place Club Race Winner - 2002
SNF Futurity Auction Winner Ninth Place - 2002
EMF Futurity Winner Eighth Place - 2002

NSBR Futurity First Place Winner - 2001 
SNF Futurity First Place Winner - 2001
SNF Futurity Fifth & Sixth Place Winners - 2001
SNF Auction Race Sixth Place - 2001
EMF Auction Race Third Place Winner - 2001
EMF Futurity Race Sixth & Seventh Place Winners - 2001
Thirds Best Average Speed  - 2001
SNF Futurity Race Sixth Place winner - 2000
Overall Average Speed - 2000
Special Average Speed - 2000
Second Average Speed - 2000
Third Best Average Speed - 2000
Average Speed - 1999
NSBR Futurity Race Twelfth Place Winner - 1998
Special Average Speed - 1998
SNF First Place Winner - 1997
Third Average Speed - 1995
First Average Speed - 1993
Third Average Speed - 1991
Second Special Average Speed - 1991
Second Best Average Speed - 1991
First Special Average Speed  - 1991
Second Club Average Speed - 1991
First Place Overall Average Speed - 1991
Third Best Average Speed - 1990
First Special Average Speed - 1990
Third Average Speed - 1988
Second Best Average Speed - 1987
Second Special Average Speed - 1987
First Average Speed Honors - 1987
Third Best Overall Average Speed - 1986
First Overall Average Speed honors - 1986
First Special Average Speed - 1986
Second Overall Average Speed - 1986
Second Overall Average Speed - 1984
Third Average Speed - 1984
Third Average Speed Honors - 1977

I asked Ronda Mariani about one of her most memorable moments as regards racing with her dad over so many years. Ronda did not hesitate for a moment!

"There are many many more pigeons that I can speak about like $23,000.00 hen that won the 2001 NSBR Futurity 300 mile, 2001 SNF Futurity 300 mile winner, 3rd- 120 mile -344 birds and 4th 120 mile - 1,176 birds"... . "Once thing I must say is our birds mature quickly and the results show it." 

Figure 4 If this is the type of pigeons that Ronda and her dad are breeding they are a hidden treasure. I have often said that there are many incredible racing pigeons in North America and they are not always, commonly known to the racing fraternity in general. Photo courtesy of Ronda Mariani , design also by Ronda Mariani

As our conversation wandered back and forth covering a lot of territory we finally came back to Ronda Mariani and her educational background. While freelancing she seems to still have found time to complete her Masters Degree .Her thesis was, you guessed it on racing pigeons and the "Light System" versus the "Natural System". Imagine how great was her fascination and love for these birds that she was able to translate that into a masters degree and a thesis that , no doubt, has helped her and her dad more than one might imagine. I for one will be asking Ms. Mariani for a copy of her thesis for my own personal edification.

"My Master thesis was a study I conducted using a T-Test to record the outcome of pigeons bred into the Light System and pigeons bred into the Natural system. Discovering if the Light System sped up molting and at what time and rate."

Many people across North America  have access to powerful computer programs like "Quark" or "PhotoShop" .Most believe that because they do they are designers. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Nothing leads to disaster as quickly as this simple self delusion. Creativity, in any field does not come via software , it comes via  God given ability and no "affirmative action program" will ever change this simple fact. Many people involved in design and publishing predate the advent of computers. We were taught from first principles, when type setting , in most cases was just that. Ronda was taught from first principles, but was also wise enough to embrace the new technology when it was first introduced ( most art directors , designers, and creative types resisted , and suffered because of it). Here is how she puts it in her own words:

"Those where the days - traditional advertising... spec typing and paste-ups... it was grueling. While getting a good taste of advertising I study the human anatomy, introducing an eccentric and creative twist painting the  beautiful nude anatomy of humans. I also studied color, which you will begin to notice in samples of my work and while in my second year of college I was nicked named the Guru of color!

As the first Macs where coming on to the scene in the 80's I became very intrigued on how I could take something that I had drawn or painted and then transform it on the computer. I was hooked. I changed my major to Art and Graphic Design and graduated with an Associate in Advertising Art and Graphic degree"

Before closing our long conversation I asked Ronda Mariani what she felt her greatest accomplishment was in 2003 .Her reply is indicative of her commitment to her art, to her creative talents but most of all to those people who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with a true artist. My hats off to you Ronda Mariani , I think this sport of ours will be influenced by your creative designs as well as your ability ( together with your dad Ron) to create that living art called a "racing pigeon" for years to come.

"I think at this time my biggest accomplishment for 2003 was the many logos I designed. I work with several programs to design my logos. They  range from cartoonist to classy and refined.. All in all I enjoy all aspects of advertising."

Figure 5 Our racing pigeons really do fly over deserts, mountain ranges, forest, jungles and yes even over the ocean. Logo design by Ronda Mariani .

I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many great logos that  Ms.Ronda Mariani had completed this year. They represent a great body of work that anyone could be really proud of. More than that, they represent some of the best known names in the American racing pigeon sport today. Somehow they all found out about a great designer who could give each of them a totally unique identity. These logos collectively are indicative of the desire on the part of forward thinking breeders to promote themselves and in doing so, they really do promote our entire sport. 

Figure 6 Liberty is the foundation of our western world, the day we take it for granted is the day we will lose it. Logo design by Ronda Mariani 


Figure 7 It was not too long ago when the first  internet auction sites for pigeons became popular. Logo design by Ronda Mariani . 

Figure 8 Who will ever forget  "911"? It is a part of world history and as this unique logo demonstrates how many pigeon fanciers were there to help! Logo design by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 9 Some of the biggest names in the racing pigeon sport in North America have been delighted with the talents of this unique, fine artist. Logo design by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 10 Our sport is populated by many gentleman. Lou Coletta is indeed a great ambassador for our sport! Logo design by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 11 Ron Mariani should be especially proud of his talented daughter.
Logo design by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 12 Long Island has many great fanciers, some you already know others you will soon know. Logo design by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 13 I love the name of this loft. The sleepy hollow story is a classic brought to life some time ago by Walt Disney. Truly a great loft name. logo design by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 14 What a brilliant array of logos each is unique. Each has an individual style.Each tells a story if  you take the time to look for it! Logo design by Ronda Mariani

Figure 15 Our sport has many innovative and highly successful one loft challenge races. This great logo was designed for a very professional race in Florida. We will be hearing a lot about this race in years to come. My partner Glenn Shrader and I will be entering this race this year. Wish us luck. Logo design by Ronda Mariani

Figure 16 It was purely by accident that I was introduced to Ronda Mariani during a brief telephone conversation with a coordinator for "Skytalk" Logo design by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 17 World class designs delivered anywhere in the world.
 Logo design by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 18 Forward thinking, professional organizations like the IF are extremely important to the progress of our sport in North America. Logo redesign by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 19 Definitely one of my favorite logos. Logo design by Ronda Mariani 

Figure 20   A real winner in many ways. The logo reflects  superb quality for a well known and extremely  successful fancier. Logo design by Ronda Mariani

Text Box: .. I deliver a solution, I help them achieve their goals. I work with strategies and the fundamentals of advertising. What are my clients gains if they invest in something. Who is the target audience, reach, frequency, strategy and I even do a competitive analysis of the competition. Each client is treated uniquely and of course has unique needs.

I deliver a solution, I help them achieve their goals. I work with strategies and the fundamentals of advertising. What are my clients gains if they invest in something? Who is the target audience, reach, frequency, strategy? And I even do a competitive analysis of the competition. Each client is treated uniquely and of course has unique needs.
Figure 21 Ronda Mariani-Haworth


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Racing Pigeons Section Contents

Ashdon Farms

Background on Silvio Mattacchione, his pigeons, his loft, and inbreeding program.


A group of articles and editorials addressing various aspects of the sport of pigeon racing and the history of Silvio's line of Spanjaards/Janssens pigeons.

Pigeon Books

Buy fantastic pigeon books online! Selections include The Will to Prepare by Robert Kinney, Rotondo on Racing Pigeons by Joseph Rotondo, and The Pigeon Guide by Dr. Jon Esposito and Shannon Hiatt.

Pigeons For Sale

Some of Silvio Mattacchione's own winning stock is for sale.

Pigeon Consulting

Sivio Mattacchione offers a wide range of racing pigeon consulting services and consults with owners as far away as Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, The Philippines and the United States. Each consultation is tailored specifically to meet the client's needs, and is conducted in as thorough a manner as possible.

Charity Events

Good causes supported by Silvio and the racing pigeon and parrot communities.


Clever pigeon pictures constructed of keyboard strokes by artist Jerry Downs.

Pigeon Links

Links to other racing pigeon sites including those of clubs, products, and information resources. An easy way to navigate a series of pigeon web sites!

Contact Us

Silvio's e-mail, mail, phone, and fax contact information.

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