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              SATURDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 2008      


Report by Paul Smith

This great international pigeon race is now in its twelfth year and started off with under 1,000 pigeons in its first year way back in 1997. Since then entries have increased and in the 7th Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race in 2003 it attracted an entry of 2,473 pigeons, then the 8th SCMDPR in 2004 attracted 3,703 pigeons, however the 9th SCMDPR in 2005 attracted a staggering 5,096 pigeons. In a space of two years the entries actually doubled. After the record breaking entry of 5,096 pigeons that were entered into the 9th SCMDPR in 2005, which was made up of 3,711 International pigeons and 1,385 South African entries and were entered from 30 different countries. Then in the 10th SCMDPR held in 2006 we had a total of 4,649 pigeons entered, which was made up of 3,504 International and 1,145 South African entries that were entered by 28 different countries. This was then followed by 4,936 pigeons being entered into the 11th SCMDPR in 2007, which consisted of 3,462 International and 1,474 South African entries. When you consider all the problems and restrictions that have been implemented because of outbreaks of Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease around the world over the last few years, plus many other one loft races trying to compete with the SCMDPR, it really is truly amazing that entries have managed to stay so high, especially when you consider that Mainland China entered 413 pigeons into the 2006 SCMDPR and have not been allowed to compete since. By losing these entries and those from other countries with restrictions has certainly stopped the organisers from smashing records on an annual basis. However, even after all the problems around the world that have affected the entries into the 12th SCMDPR to be held in 2008, the organising committee are proud to announce that they have managed to get a grand total of 4,902 pigeons, which consists of 3,641 International and 1,261 South African pigeons entered into the race which is due to be held in the fabulous Sun City, South Africa on Saturday 2nd February 2008.

Of course, one of the main reasons for the success of this race is the extremely professional way it has been run from the start and that they have always paid out their projected prize money every year since the race started way back in 1997. That is why it is now known the world over “AS THE BIGGEST AND GREATEST PIGEON RACE IN THE WORLD” and has been tagged as “THE RACE WITH THE PROVEN TRACK RECORD”.

The organising committee, which consists of all the staff of Air Sport Internationale, who are The Presenters Of This Race, Zandy Meyer, Race Director, Joan-e Holt, Public Relations, Marion Branford, Administration, Michael Holt, Systems Administrator, Pieter Saayman Assistant Systems Administrator, Dirk Engelbrech, Loft Manager, Andre van Wyk, new Co-Loft Manager, plus Patrick Ngowangusha, At Van Jaarsveld and of course all the other loft staff, Corrie Naude, Trainer, Paul Smith, United Kingdom Shipper, Cornay Smit, Attorney, Henri Stiglingh, International Ambassador, Dr. L Du Plessies, Chief Veterinary Officer plus of course all the Country Shippers were once again looking to try to increase the entry for the twelfth race. They knew that this would be a massive task but they felt that even with all the other one-loft races that were now up and running all over the world, beating the record entry of three years ago could be achieved, providing we did not lose to many countries that had entered in past races. It should be mentioned that Zandy Meyer (Race Director) has worked his butt off and had scores of meetings with the South African Authorities and other Authorities around the world and he finally managed to get Import Permits arranged and issued for most of the countries that intended to compete.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, we all knew that this would be a hard task and the first thing that was to be done was for the current web site to be upgraded once again so that even more information was available to the competitors/entrants. After months and months off hard work by Peter Furstenberg of Shine Interactive and his staff, plus Michael Holt and Pieter Saayman, Systems Administrators for Air Sport Internationale this has now been achieved as anybody logging onto the brand new state of the art revamped web site www.scmdpr.co.za will be able to see even more information is available. The “HITS” on this web site had increased from 3 million for the 2003 race to 5 million for the 2004 race and over 8 million for the 2005 race and over 14 million for the 2006 race series. Records seem to be broken each year and the 2006/7 race series attracted over 16 million “HITS” during the race series. The web site has once again been updated and everything is now up and running and it is now anticipated that this web site could attract somewhere in the region of 18/20 million or more “HITS” during the full 2007/2008 race series. This just goes to show the amount of interest that is shown in this great international pigeon race from pigeon fanciers literally all over the world. Information is on line for all to see, so why not join in the fun throughout the next few months and add this web site to your favourites list. There will be 16 weekly races right through our winter months for you to enjoy and study.

I can now proudly reveal to the world of pigeon fanciers that the entry for the 2008 SCMDPR is represented by 26 different countries and the total amount of entries has reached 4,902 pigeons and this total is made up as follows:- AUSTRALIA 210, AUSTRIA 96, BELARUS 3, BELGIUM 245, CANADA 74, CZECH REPUBLIC 42, DENMARK 84, GERMANY 1,561, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 90, LITHUANIA 33, MEXICO 27, NAMIBIA 9, NETHERLANDS 144, NEW ZEALAND 27, PORTUGAL 12, POLAND 3, ROMANIA 41, RUSSIA 46, SLOVAKIA 33, SLOVENIA 3, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA 1,261, SWAZILAND 6, SWITZERLAND 9, UNITED KINGDOM 383, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 418 and ZIMBABWE 42. This makes a grand total of 4,902 pigeons, which is made up of 3,641 International and 1,261 South African pigeons. It is great to see quite a few new countries coming onboard for the first time, these are LITHUANIA, POLAND and SWAZILAND, albeit with smaller numbers of entries but good to see them participating in the race and the race organisers wish them every success in the 2007/8 race series, as they do all the other competitors and entrants from all over the world. Unfortunately because of certain export/import restrictions there were no entries from ARGENTINA, HONG KONG, ITALY, NORWAY, KUWAIT or SAUDI ARABIA. Once again MAINLAND CHINA were not allowed to ship their pigeons. CONGRATULATIONS once again go to all the Country Race Shippers for again getting so many pigeons for this truly International Pigeon Race, you are truly worth your weight in gold as without all your hard work and effort the race would never get off the ground.

Once again the marketing for this race never stops and as one race finishes the next one starts but that is really what makes this event such an exciting international race. Of course, if a certain country does not do well in the past race or races, it actually becomes much harder for the Country Race Shippers to get fanciers to enter because fanciers feel they have no chance to win any of the major prizes. So it has always been the policy of this race to create more and more competitions that offer cash rewards or specials prizes and once again this year is no exception, with five brand new cars being up for grabs, plus numerous other new competitions where fanciers could win something in the Hot Spot Races in the run-up to the Final Race. Although the race is named The Sun City Million Dollar, the total paid out in cash and prizes in the 2007 race exceeded US$1.6 million American Dollars or approximately £915,000 sterling. No other one-loft race in the world today can boast of such massive payouts and this race has now been in existence for eleven years and has every year paid out its projected prize money, that is why its reputation has increased, plus it has already paid out in the last eleven races, prize money in excess of £10 million pounds, which is a remarkable achievement in itself in one loft racing and one that the race organisers are very proud of.

All the United Kingdom Team fanciers/entrants and syndicate shareholders will be kept up to date with weekly “NEWSLETTERS” plus any of them can log on to the Sun City Million Dollar Race web site:- www.scmdpr.co.za and get all the information they might require over the next few months. All competitors/entrants should now have received their own confidential username and password and will be able to log into their own account and see everything on the computer screen. You can change your pigeon’s name if you do not like the one allocated to it and you can even put all your pedigrees on live if you wish to. This really is a state of the art race that continues to improve its image on an annual basis.

Basket training is already underway and numerous short training tosses will take place over the next few weeks and the race organisers will be notifying fanciers/entrants of the progress of their entries. The training and race programme will then consist of daily training tosses (except Sundays) and a race every Saturday as follows.  Training Race 1 is due to take place on Saturday 20th October from 30km (approx. 19 miles) but will not be listed on web site because only tosses of 50km or over go live. Then on Saturday 27th October we have Training Race 2 from 50km (approx. 31 miles) and these results will be posted on the web site for all to see. Training Race 3 will take place from 80km (approx. 50 miles) on 3rd November, followed by Training Race 4 from 110km (approx. 69 miles) on the 10th November. We then have the 1st Hot Spot Race on the 17th November from 150 km (approx. 93 miles), followed by the 2nd Hot Spot Race on the 24th November from 200 km (approx. 125 miles), then on the 1st December we have Training Race 5 from 110km (approx. 69 miles) followed by the 3rd Hot Spot Race on the 8th December from 250 km (156 miles), then on the 15th December we have Training Race 6 from 110km (approx. 69 miles), then the 4th Hot Spot Race on the 22nd December from 300 km (187 miles) and this will be followed by Training Race 7 from 110km (approx. 69 miles) and that rounds up the races for the year 2007. We then move into 2008 and we have Training Race 8 from 110km (approx. 69 miles) on the 5th January followed by the 5th Hot Spot Race on the 12th January from 350 km (218 miles). Training Race 9 will be held from 110km (approx. 69 miles) on 19th January and Training Race 10 from 110km (approx. 69 miles) on the 26th January and then of course “THE FINAL RACE” on Saturday 2nd February 2008 from 550km (342 miles). The weather conditions will have to be right for all of these races to take place, if not they will be basketed and liberated on another day when the weather forecast is better and the Race Director’s decision will be final. The object of this great race from day one has always been to get as many pigeons to the “FINAL RACE” as possible and give all fanciers/competitors/entrants a fair chance in the “FINAL RACE”.


This is the “TWELFTH YEAR” since this great International One Loft Race started and every year since day one the Organising Committee have created new competitions and this year will be no exception, more on this as details come through. I am also fairly positive that once again Sun International will be going out of their way to make sure everybody has a fantastic time in the fabulous Sun City Resort as in past years and I will as usual be organising a 10 day (7 nights) “TRIP OF A LIFETIME” to watch and be part of this fantastic race and meet lots of top fanciers from literally all over the world, whilst the same time enjoying the fantastic South African scenery, weather, food, beer and of course the superb South African hospitality, if you are interested please get in touch with me on 01279-812005 as soon as possible as flights and accommodation will be at a premium.

Once again I will also be administering one syndicate in conjunction with this race and it is has already been named the “ENGLISH GLORY SYNDICATE”, which has 33 entries all bred by the legendary Jimmy Richards from Laindon, Essex. All these pigeons were hand picked for this race and bred by this outstanding fancier and I am fairly positive they will do well during the 2007/8 race series. If you are interested in joining in the fun in the sun in South Africa and being part of the United Kingdom Team for 16 weeks, then please contact me straight away on 01279-812005 for information and costs of the shares. The syndicate has been set up in such a way so that we only pay for the pigeons that are still left in the lofts when we reach the 1st Hot Spot Race, which is due to take place on Saturday 17th November 2007 from 150km (approx. 93 miles), which is after weeks of daily training up to 70 miles. This way we do not have to pay for pigeons that were lost during the early training tosses. However, I can tell you that the first option shares are £100 each for the “ENGLISH GLORY SYNDICATE” and they are going quickly. All shares will be sold on a first come, first served basis and if you purchase option one, the conditions are you must be part of option two to purchase those other pigeons that are not yet officially entered, when the extra costs will be equally shared amongst all the shareholders. So if you are genuinely interested in being part of this “ENGLISH GLORY SYNDICATE”, then can you please call me immediately on 01279-812005 and reserve your share/s today. Official shares certificates will be issued to all full paying shareholders and these will give you the colour, sex, full ring number, pigeon’s name, official United Kingdom registration number, plus all the entry conditions in this syndicate.


One point that should be pointed out to all competitors and entrants is that only your NUMBER 1 pigeons is “ACTIVATED” (FULLY PAID UP ENTRY) with the other TWO (2) pigeons in your “TEAM OF 3” being your RESERVES or BACK-UP PIGEONS. Another point worth mentioning is if you happened to lose your NUMBER 1 PIGEON, your NUMBER 2 PIGEON would replace it FREE OF CHARGE and likewise if you then lost your NUMBER 2 PIGEON, your NUMBER 3 PIGEON would then replace that one FREE OF CHARGE. If you were unlucky enough to lose all your entries of 3 pigeons in any of your “TEAMS” and they had won no “Special Prize Money” in the Hot Spot Races then you are entitled to a FREE ENTRY into the 2009 SCMDPR, all you have to pay is the shipping/export costs. This of course represents great value for your money. All pigeons go to every training toss and Saturday races providing they are fit enough but can only compete for any of the allocated PRIZE MONEY or SPECIAL AWARDS in the 5 HOT SPOT RACES if they are “ACTIVATED” and that means that these must be paid for prior to the 1st HOT SPOT RACE, which is due to take place on the 17th November 2007. The cost to “ACTIVATE” these “RESERVES or BACK-UP PIGEONS” is US$1,000 but that will then entitle all these fully paid up pigeons to compete and be eligible to fly for all the extra cash prizes and special awards that amounts to close to US$300,000 (approx. £155,000). The one thing to remember is that once your reserve pigeon or pigeons are fully paid for, if then they get lost and have won no prize money or special awards in the Special Money Races, then you get this money refunded (less about US$15 for bank charges) or added to your ASI account, which can then be used to purchase another pigeon at a later date and be entered into the Final Race under your name or syndicate. So as you can see it is “BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY” and pay for them early, after all you have nothing to lose. HOW MANY OTHER RACES IN THE WORLD OFFER THIS OPTION TO COMPETITORS?


Prizes and awards that add up to a staggering US$1.6 Million American Dollars and these include 5 x Brand New Cars, 1 for each of the 5 Hot Spot Races, 50 x US$1,000 Hot Spot Cash Prizes, split into 10 x US$1,000 Cash Prizes for each of the 5 x Hot Spot Races, a US$5,000 Hot Spot Ace Pigeon Award for the best pigeon in these 5 races, 5 x US$5,000 Country Cash Prizes on the 5th Hot Spot Race, plus numerous other US$1,000 Cash Prizes, these prizes are for the first pigeon from each country in the result, the first five different countries take the US$5,000 prizes, then after that US$1,000 prizes. A Two Bird Average Competition and a US$2,000 Cash Prize in each of the 5 x Hot Spot Races, the Sun City Ace Pigeon Award and US$10,000 in Prize Money, split 1st US$5,000, 2nd US$3,000 and 3rd US$2,000, a US$5,000 Cash Prize for the pigeon with the best overall average in all the Training Races and Hot Spot Races, 50km or over. A Knockout Winner and US$25,000 Prize Money, which starts on the 2nd Hot Spot Race and the winner is the first one to be clocked in the “FINAL RACE” (over the past few years there has been around 30/40 pigeons still left in this competition).  Around US$160,000 National Championship Cash Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Country in the “FINAL RACE”, the amount of prize money depends on how many pigeons are entered from each country. Then in the “FINAL RACE” there are 10 magnificent gold pendants to be won and around US$900,000 American Dollars in Prize Money and 250 cash prizes being on offer. (ONLY “ACTIVATED” PIGEONS ARE ELIGIBLE TO COMPETE FOR ANY OF THESE CASH PRIZES OR AWARDS).

It is worth mentioning that three brand new cars have been won by fanciers representing the United Kingdom Team in the last two years, Richard Elliott and Chris Gordon won new cars during the 2005/6 race series and Paul & Dave McCarthy won one a new car during the 2006/7 series. I am hopeful that somebody from the United Kingdom will also win one or maybe more during the 2007/8 series. GOOD LUCK TO ALL COMPETITORS.

I feel it would be very remiss of me if I did not mention the passing away of Steve Naude who died on the 2nd July 2007 after a short illness, he was a great ambassador for our sport and one of South Africa’s greatest racing men, a true gentleman plus a great friend and he was also the Loft Manager for the 1st Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race, which was held way back in 1997. Steve will be sadly missed by all who knew him and those that have travelled out to South Africa, as he always went out of his way to come over and have a chat to you. Rest in peace my friend, you will always be in my mind. To Corrie, his family and all other relations we offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences.

I would also just like to notify fanciers that my weekly “PRESS RELEASE”, “NEWSLETTERS” and “UPDATES” can now also be seen on the following three web sites:- www.iprr.co.uk and www.elimarpigeons.com and www.info@pigeonportal.com plus of course they will also be in the “”BRITISH HOMING WORLD” and “THE RACING PIGEON” for all to see.

The race date for the 13th SUN CITY MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE has already been agreed and this will once again take place in Sun City, South Africa on Saturday 31st January 2009. If you are interested in participating or acting a Country Race Team Shipper, then please contact me as soon as possible on 01279-812005 and I will give you all the information you require. I have just been notified that the organisers are bringing the first intake period forward by about two weeks, so this will now take place between 2nd May and the 24th May 2008.

If you have any questions about any aspect of the SUN CITY MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE, then please contact me on 01279-812005 and I will do my best to answer any of your questions or queries.

Paul Smith

United Kingdom Race Team Shipper for The 12th Sun City Million Dollar (The Greatest Pigeon Race In The World), which is due to be held in Sun City Resort, South Africa on Saturday 2nd February 2008.

Regency Lofts Limited, “Five Pennies”, High Lane, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex. CM24 8LQ. Telephone/Facsimile:- 01279-812005 (Int. Code:- +44-1279-812005).

Mobile:- 07860-568216. Email:- reglofts@aol.com SCMDPR Web Site:- www.scmdpr.com



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