Killing the sport?
- 1.900.000 e was paid for the old birds of Veenstra.
- 1.000.000 e was paid for the Verreckt Arien birds.
- 1.300.000 e for those of Pros Roosen.
- 250.400 e was paid for just ONE bird (Veenstra).
- And 96.000 e for just ONE baby (Hooymans). .
This is only 'part' of a series of sensational transfers that make eye brows rise.
And the pigeon world is shocked.
'Such prices are killing the sport and Pipa is to blame.'
'Today you can forget becoming a champion if you have no money or do not want to invest big money.' And more of such critical remarks.
I can understand what people think and for such prices indeed there are only 2 words: 'Just crazy.'
But I doubt if those people who are so pessimistic are right.
Take Pipa. This is no longer a 'hobby site' but for the young guys who are in charge it has become almost pure business.
Despite their young age they made it, like a Bill Gates.
10 Years ago they were unknown, now they have a staff of over 20 people to pay and the yearly turnover is over 20.000.000 e.
You cannot blame those hard working young men or being so successful as long as business is done correctly.
Every businessman tries to make 'the money roll' and I only know very few complaints from fanciers who ever did business with them.
But it must also be said that people in Belgium and Holland frown when they see who here are bidding. They are often the same names who seldom buy.
It is also true Pipa should be more objective.
'Koopman made the show in the one million dollar race in Sun City' they wrote.
The truth was different though.
Koopman is a nice guy with good birds but they performed badly in South Africa.
He did not 'make the show' at all with an entry of 110 birds of which only 39 were left before the final race from which 27 returned. (later maybe more).
Many others achieved far better results.
Why then did Pipa speak so highly about Koopmans poor performance?
I think the reason is clear.
He is a good partner from whom they have made very much money throughout the years and they obviously want to keep it like that!
Calling it a 'criminal site' like some do is far from fair.
They just manage to do where others fail and everybody is free to set up the same business. Pipa did it all by themselves. Others have the advantage to learn from them.
Killling the sport?
I would not know why Pipa is killing the sport.
Would any fancier quit because of the crazy money that is involved in the sport now?
Not if they are smart.
Smart people know that high prices are no guarantee for good birds.
They know that a good pedigree is no guarantee and even a fantastic racer is no guarantee for good descendants.
Even the best pigeons in the world produce rubbish.
With such birds you have just greater chances and no more than that.
I find 250.000 e for just ONE pigeon also ridiculous. But are old post stamps or coins worth a fortune?
Of course smart propaganda is the key behind the success of the site.
I give you one example.
Only 3 years ago one could buy birds from v d Wouwer for 100 euro.
In 2011 he made 140,000 e for just 10 birds!
Then there is this Belgian Champion that sold a lot of birds to fellow sportsmen.
To their great disappointment they found that none of them was any good, despite their pedigrees from here to Tokyo.
Later on full brothers and sisters of those worthless birds were sold for fortunes.
But once more you cannot blame Pipa for that. The buyers make the price.
The buyers should realise that a pedigree is little more than a piece of paper.
It is mainly those stupid pedigrees which are responsible for what is going on.
But like I said before a pedigree does not reflect the quality.
And if you study the pedigrees of many world famous birds you will find that very often their ancestors were bred by completely unknown fanciers.
Take Dirk van Dijck for arguments sake.
He had a fantastic family of birds but his results went down and down.
Till he saw the light some years ago. He imported birds from small local fanciers without a name, he crossed them with his and today again he races very well.
'Many buyers are mainly interested in bad birds' he once told me.
What he meant to say was that they want inbreeds to Kannibaal, Rambo and so on while he wants good birds and those are mainly crossings. Also in his loft.
What I want to say is this:
Those crazy prices are no reason to become desperate.
Lots of world famous fanciers never spent one cent on birds.
Gaston v d Wouwer, mentioned before, is just one of them.
If you have no money or if you do not want to spend much money on birds you just need to be a bit smarter than others.
Those mega transfers even have something positive:
They put our sport in the spot lights and that is exactly what we need.
In the past this was not an issue. In those days nearly everybody (a bit exaggerated) in Holland and Belgium had pigeons.
In the little town where I was born within 500 meters lived 14 fanciers.
No one is left now.
In the town of Tilburg were 1.700 fanciers, today only 120.
In my little town (6,000 inhabitants) there were 4 BIG clubs, now only one.
The pigeon sport was a part of the society, in Belgium even a National sport.
But with the number of fanciers declining so much 'the outer world' is hardly aware of our existence today.
That BIG money has changed things a bit.
- Nikolaas did a good job on the Belgian national television.
- The Dutch telly showed the fancy lofts of Veenstra.
In all daily magazines the sale of those expensive birds were mentioned.
I would not object if our sport would be in the media in a positive way every week.
Outsiders should know that there are other pigeons than the ones that they see in market places or that make their cars dirty.
And MAYBE some 'outsiders' may also find what a fantastic hobby we have.
It is still the only sport in which every body can be successful.
You need not be an athlete, you need not be young and strong, you need not be rich and you even do not need to be a man.
Aged people, children, gays, priests, everybody can be successful if they know to distinguish common sense from nonsense.
But that is not always easy.
Not even for people loaded with money!