Sweater: The Toughest Match for any Gamefowl They fight like there is no tomorrow. They don't let up on the ground or in the air. And now they have endurance AND fight smarts to win it all.
According to Carol Nesmith “There is no one best strain fowl and not one best breeder either. The days of a monopoly in the cocking game has passed away because of money and brains…” He should know too. As owner of Black Water Farms, his game fowl have consistently won the majority of derby fights in hard competition over the years in the bloodiest cockpits in the Philippines and Mexico.
And to his credit, he developed the line now popular as the winningest breed of gamefowl in derbies—the Sweater.
When the first so-called Sweaters were bought by Carol, the breeder who sold him a trio claimed that the strain was ‘bred out and could not longer compete in the tough competitions.’ The stag then was a light red with white streamers in the tail, pea comb and yellow legged and very good station and good conformation with lots of plumage. The hens, a buff and straw color with black trail feathers looking a lot like a Roundhead but with better station and more plumage. Not wanting to inbreed a declining bloodline, he sent the Sweater cock to a Mr. Brown of Oak Grove Farms to breed to his yellow leg Hatch.
Breeding of these cocks for a few years and fighting them continuously each year showed that the breeding program was rather too limited within its own bloodline to cope with the rougher cocks they were matched against. In past fights, Sweaters were fast starting assassins, using quick, side stepping and phenomenal cutting abilities in the air and on the ground, these cocks could beat most of the cocks they met in the early stage of the battle. This is what made Sweaters the most feared match-ups among opponents then because they could overpower and kill overmatched birds quickly—usually within a minute. But when fights dragged out—past 5 minutes or so—and when it came down to taking hits as well as they gave, the Sweaters were unable to sustain fights to the point that some would peter out in the end game.
To stay in the game and fight a brawlfest, the birds needed new blood.
So Carol hooked up with Mr. Nene Abello one of the best game fowl breeders and competitors in the Philippines, already winning the World Slasher in Manila and other big derbies with Sweaters. Among all the cockers that Nene associated with as hobbyist friends and business partners, Carol Nesmith was the only one he knew who was always looking for something to improve the strain of the game fowl he was breeding. Carol never let strains wear out without trying to inject new blood to boost the game fowl to continue good yields.
On their quest to improve the Sweater strain, Nene and Carol went to see Mr. Ray Hoskins in Texas and were able to obtain a yellow leg cock with the same type and color as the Sweaters, but with longer plumage of very broad feathers and quills as tough as a whale bone. Plumage like that enabled a chicken to fight several times during a season. The first crosses were strong, tough and desperately game. Carol then bred back to the Sweater side; fighting and testing them. Each year’s brood showed better and better yields; retaining all the great ole fighting qualities of the Sweaters. But the cross and back-breeding now producing stronger fighters with the endurance to last the toughest brawl, making them more efficient murderers at any stage of a derby—fast strikers at the beginning and the toughest and most powerful finishers for any opponent that survives their initial attacks. Fans loved the new game fowl, rabidly rooting for their Sweater bets—which even when getting hit, kept on coming at their opponents.
Sweaters as a strain of game fowl have since dominated the ads for gamefowl breeds in current high-end cockfight magazines and the derby pits around the world. They’ve come a long way since Mr. Carol Nesmith first developed them not so long ago.
The latest pit fighter of the Sweater strain developed by the Nesmiths which performed very well in the World Slasher Cup 2014
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