Spanish photographer Richardo Cases' newest book Paloma Al Aire documents the practice of pigeon racing in the Spanish regions of Valencia and Murcia. These painted male pigeons aren't racing to a destination, but chasing a female pigeon, trying to get her attention. The winner is the one who spends the most time close to her. . . how the judges determine this I'll never know!
"Raising a male champion entails prestige and profits. Painted in a combination of primary colours, like a flag or a soccer kit, the male pigeon raised and trained to mate becomes a projection of the pigeon-keeper, who embodies its sportive, economic and sexual success or failure in the community. Far from the harsh reality of his daily life, the colombaire has a second life where he can get to the top. He just needs a champion pigeon. The pigeon-keeper stays on the ground, while his projection is able to fly." -Dalpine.com