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More, more, more (december 28th)

'All people are equal, but one is more equal than the other' Orwell said and pointed to the inequality in the world. This is also becoming increasingly common in pigeon sport. And fanciers are worried.


More and more people are choosing pigeons as their profession. You see more and more pigeon palaces with sometimes several caretakers. More and more people are trying to enforce successes with massive entries of birds. More and more money is circulating in this sport.

I say more often, those large numbers of pigeons that some race are not the real problem, but the large number of GOOD pigeons.

I know several examples of fanciers with whom others now have problems because of the many pigeons they play with, while this was never the case when the same fanciers also played with so many average pigeons. But now they play so much better, hence. It is very difficult to do something about this. The NPO, fearful as it was for the Chinese in particular, who could possibly race here with many hundreds of pigeons, decided to restrict the basketing. ‘Finally’, some Dutch sighed.


I dare say I belong to the small group of  real good racers. It happened several times that we had all our pigeons at home (and there were not 2 or 3 but 7 or more) when two-thirds or three-quarters of the participating fanciers had not even one feather at home. Especially "pigeon weather" (clear, warm, headwind) leads to a lot of inequality. When we once again made such a great result, chairman Roger Geysen wished us congratulations, but at the same time pointed out the large number of fanciers who had no prize.What he meant is clear. Too often no prizes at all can lead to dropping out. And if many drop out, the remaining ones, the better players, can become Kings without a kingdom. The last thing they want. What they / we all want is to play against a lot of pigeons. 


When a few years ago 400,000 euros was paid for a pigeon from Willy Daniels, the majority was full of disbelief. The news also made it to the daily press. When this turned out to be true, everybody was sure: This was the limit. It wouldn't get any crazier. Then came 2020: Four times as much was paid for a single pigeon.Only a few years ago it happened that 1 million was paid for a loft of pigeons. A million! Fanciers just had one word for it: Crazy !!Now people shrug their shoulders for it. G v d Wouwer’s total sale yielded 10 times as much. Nearly 10 million! Also half a million was paid for a round of summer breds from a fellow fancier. So we are definitely talking about euros.In the past, people also talked and wrote about money. But that was about the huge sums some won on the flights. Or what the Janssens "dared" to ask for a baby.The paradox is that there is hardly anything to be earned on the flights to-day.


So in 2020 pigeon sport is very much about trade. It is well known that not quality but (fashion) names became / are becoming increasingly important. The result is that for certain pigeons amounts are paid that far exceed the level of ridiculousness. That certain names, call them strains, that represent nothing when it comes to achievement are sought after all over the world. That in 2020 countless people make a living from trade as an intermediary, a middle man or manager of a website that deals with sales. Little wrong with that, as long as people are not misled, and unfortunately that often happens. 

The home coming of the birds at Houben's long way back. Then also much money was in the sport. But then it was in the races, today in the selling.


I say it more often, I myself have no objection that money through sales entered the pigeon sport. I also sell myself. Some say that fanciers quit because of those expensive pigeons. I cannot believe that. On the contrary, perhaps this could be a reason for some to start with pigeons.I also have little objection to those so-called mega lofts. My best friends are mob flyers. What frustrates fanciers and also me is the unfair attention that some receive. ‘Do they pay to write about some sellers?’, you wonder sometimes.And when you talk about inappropriate attention, it means that many others don't get the attention they deserve. I repeatedly receive emails from fanciers who send me dizzying results. Fanciers who are completely unknown. Unknown because they have no friendly relationships in the media or because others cannot make money from them.


I also say more often that pigeon sport can only be saved if media such as newspapers and regional newspapers pay attention to it.But the pigeon sport media themselves also have a great responsibility.-By giving the smaller fanciers with few birds what is due to them.-By not publishing results that do not state how many pigeons were raced and how many won a prize.-By explicitly stating if prizes were won in a competition where one plays 1 on 2.(50% of the birds entered win a prize). I'm only talking about the press here. I also receive pigeon papers from abroad, or forwarded articles. It is completely a disaster there. People from here who do not represent anything sporty at all present themselves there as big names here. Paid publicity of course. Do you think that people in China have an eye for the number of pigeons that people play with here? Only the smarter ones do.

 You could ask yourself whether some fanciers here would also race so many birds if there were no Chinese buyers.

Almost every time after a successful sale I receive emails or texts from fanciers who ask themselves what they still have to look for in pigeon sport. They wonder if there is place for them. Well, I try my best not to discourage them and believe me, I mean it.Too many have become very great champions who have become like this without spending money for pigeons.Superstars like Willy Daniels and Albert Derwa never spent money on pigeons.They are just a little more gifted than most.‘Those who are not strong must be smart’, people say. This also applies to people who have little to spend in pigeon sport. Just be smarter. And listen to what column writers of my generation, so in their 70-is, like Verbree, Roodhooft and De Bruijn have to say. They have so much experience that even the great can learn from them. So many pigeons, large lofts, expensive pigeons?Don't get discouraged, you don't have to adapt. Those who have to adapt are the media, especially the pigeon press !!!