March is the month for one of the prestigious cockfighting sports event in the whole wide world, the Grit & Steel Breeders Cup held at Sunset Recreational Club. These 3 day tourney in short knife and gaff weapons is composed of 4-cock derby each day for a total of 12-cock derby. Fights usually start at 10-11am and end in the wee hours of the morning. The main and four drag pits are always full of action from cocks and great pitters of our time, not to mention the honest referees in their black and white referee shirt.
This is in the past before Louisiana State Congress banned cockfighting on August 15, 2008.
I miss the dirty rice with fried large shrimp and fried catfish. The poboy too. I still could not get rid of the blood on my white polo shirt. The glass is only 18-24 inches tall so the action can be real with blood when the cocks are strapping and shuffling each other.
Seriously, the entries are the biggest names in the american cockfighting sports if not in the world. Several has 85-90 winning percentage in the past three months, December – February. Several has been Cocker of the Year at Sunset several times in the past. These entries are by the master breeders of gamefowls in the United States of America all 50 states. Some are in their 80’s, some are in their prime, and some are in their teens.
Their whole family and relatives are watching the fights from their small children, teens, adults, and their wives. It is a family event just like the Kentucky Derby of horse racing where Queen Elizabeth the Queen of England attended.
One day, Grit & Steel Breeders Cup in March will be back. Cockfighting is a sports. Cockfighting is a family event.
- Gameness (til the End)
Johnny Jumper, owner of Pee Jay Farm in Ripley Mississippi, is a Living Legend in the Sports of Cockfighting Hall of Fame.
Before he become known in the world of cockfighting, Johnny worked at a shoe factory. Johnny raised chickens and into cockfighting but not dominant to be known.
Johnny is very close friend of Cecil Davis. Cecil Davis had a lot of country walks for gamefowls. Cecil had 100 stag walks from Walter Kelso and 50 stag walks from Bill Japhet almost every year. Walter and Bill got their main breeds from John Madigin and Thomas Murphy when these two gentlemen decided to quit the sports. Both Walter and Thomas are known for breed named after them. Cecil also got all stocks of Walter and Bill and become known for Cecil Davis Kelso gamebreed. Johnny got some good Cecil Davis Kelso from Cecil particularly the Out & Out Kelso families.
Bill sent a stag to Cecil for country walk. Cecil then sent this same stag when he was a cock to Johnny for training. When the time come to fight him, Cecil told Johnny not to use him because they do not know where he come – the pedigree that is. But at a later time, they showed this cock twice. The first against Curtis Blackwell green legged Hatch in Alabama cockfight event. The second in Arkansas cockfight event where the owner and breed of the opponent was forgotten by years past. On both occasion, american gaff was used.
This cock, now a two-time winner, is a yellow legged straight comb medium red cock. Johnny become fond of this cock as this cock will sing, as Johnny puts it, all day long like a radio. Johnny called this cock Radio. Johnny asked Cecil to ask Bill the pedigree of this cock. They were told by Bill that it was from a Whitehackle cock and Murphy hen breeding.
Johnny bred this cock to a Grey hen which was a half Blueface half Bumblefoot Grey in breeding. The offsprings were too fast and has terrible performance.
Then the nick of the Radio. Johnny bred this cock to a yellow legged peacomb Kelso hen. The offsprings were of good performance. Johnny chose the best daughter of straight comb type every breeding season until he got 31/32 of the original cock linebred offsprings. These are the Radio gamebreed we have known and desired until now.
The late former Philippine Congressman James Chiongbian of Sarangani entry at World Slasher Cup was very successful using Radio and Kelso from Johnny. Johnny and James were very good business friends. Philip Chiongbian, son of James, is continuing the devotion to Johnny Jumper gamefowls and uses Johnny’s fowl for his King Cobra entry. Most of the big name in Philippine cockfighting already imported their Radio and Kelso stocks from Johnny. These two breeds from Johnny will remain on top of the performance decades from now.
Johnny characterized his Radio as very aggressive non-stop fighting, body puncher, medium station, round body, straight comb, yellow legged, medium red and whitehackle hackle. Johnny characterized his Kelso as very aggressive high flying fighting, yellow and white legged, straight and pea comb, dark and light red. Johnny mentioned that both his Radio and Kelso are not smart but has very quick reflexes and a deliberate strong blows.
Johnny Jumper Tribute cockfighting events were held at Sunset Recreational Club and Bayou Club years ago when it is legal to fight birds in Louisiana cockfight events. In these two very prestigious cockpit, Radios and Kelsos were performing well in all weapons – short knife, long knife, and gaff.
Johnny also breeds Grey, Roundhead, Hatch, and Aseel breed.
Johnny got a musical family background and played the guitar in band named Johnny Jumper and the Rhythm Drifters. The Pee in his farm stands for the last name of his business partner Ray Price, the musician.
Johnny is always a gentleman and very good conversationalist. He does not guess what other person might say or think about a subject or why the other person did something. He say he does not know the answer. He just say what he thinks or what he knows about the subject. Johnny is love by his wife Doris, son Randy and his grandson Nathan. Johnny is a cancer survivor. He is doing well and healthy during my visits.
I will leave you with Johnny’s word about the Radio.
“Cecil brought me a rooster to train one time…and this rooster was very noisy. He was happy, happy all the time. So, I trained him and uh I’d exercise him and he was just so noisy. He had a great mental attitude. So, I named him Radio. I gave him the name Radio cause he talked all the time. And that…that name has stuck with those chickens since 1962. And course people call “you the man that invented uh come up with the radios?” and I say well I come up with this one rooster you know and so I bred him to 1 kelso hen then I bred him back to 15/16 of him and that’s how the…and I still have that family to this day. We call them Radios but they are red chickens with yellow legs. Their basic bloodline was 1/2 whitehackle I was telling you about and 1/2 murphy. They come from Mr. Murphy up in New York. That’s what the rooster was made up out of, but we still have them today and they have such a great mental attitude. That’s so important…the mental attitude.”
- Gameness (til the End)