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L J Parkinson 20-11-18

Parkinson. LJ

When I first started racing pigeons there were none of the modern-day fancy strain’s, yes there were named pigeon’s, but they were old well-established names that had been around for a dog’s age. We had such names as Putman, Sion, Vandevelde, Bricoux Desmet, Vander Espt, Cattrysse plus a few others. That isn’t the case anymore because strains pop up all over the place, in fact every couple of years we see someone else making a fortune for themselves through some real good publicity. Many of these so-called new strains have only been around a few years but they are treated like gods and people pay fortunes for their pigeons, and why not if they are in demand, that’s what makes the world go round. The reason I have brought this up is because I came across a pedigree on the internet where there is no end of information available, pointing out various named lines of pigeons and how modern-day pigeons come about, they are all crosses.


The Internet always extends stories because people do more and more research and keep adding bits so the longer the information is on the Internet the lengthier the story becomes. The only problem with that is we do lose the initial intent of the story as it was meant to be, but because so much is available that will not change in the future, it will get worse and then fantasy sets in. Probably because of the business I am in this is not the best material to use but I am writing about strains of pigeons, but it is a fact of life, new strain names are put on a pedestal. Probably the most prolific modern-day family that has been around a long time are the Gaby Vandenabeele’s and they keep on winning for fanciers around the world year after year. However, we say family, even Gaby introduced new pigeons, but he was very selective about what he introduced into his stock loft. I met Gaby through our good friend Frans Rigole who has known Gaby since his younger days. I hear that Gaby is having an entire clearance sale, I daren’t even think about how much they will bring on the open market, that will be a very interesting sale. I have mentioned it before, I was in Belgium a few years ago talking to Gino Clicque of Walvelgem, in Belgium it was the time when one of his Ace pigeons was up for sale on Pippa. He was telling me that the pigeon was near to 300,000 euros but it didn’t finish there because it ended up at 360,000 euros and was bought by Mark Kitchenbrand and his partner at Samuel Lofts in South Africa. I would imagine that a figure like that will be surpassed when it comes to the Gaby Vandenabeele sale, but who knows. I was talking to Peter Fox about another subject and the Vandenabeele sale came up, if I want to know something I very often call Peter because he ahs a vast knowledge of pigeons. He was saying that the Gaby Vandenabeele pigeons are the nearest to a strain that we currently have. When you look through the breeding the thread is “Kleinen” who came about after Gaby’s father bought a Bond and this was the pigeon that came from that Bond. For those who don’t know the system, you can buy what that call Bond’s and when you purchase it you can go to the loft and select your pairing where you want the Bond from. That has proven to be one of if not the best Bond’s ever purchased. When we see some of the prices raised nowadays it makes you wonder where it will all end. I hear it time and time again, “How can the ordinary pigeon man afford pigeons like that” Yes, they are out of the reach of the everyday pigeon fancier but always remember, those with the deepest pockets don’t always win the races. It takes more than money to be a good winning pigeon fancier and that can be seen on the results week after week. There is no doubt about it, money does help but even money will not beat a good dedicated pigeon fancier. What does beat pigeon fanciers are the conditions on the day, oh, hang on a minute there are fanciers within a stone throw of the big winners, but they are still left behind. So yes, good pigeon fanciers will win whether they have money or not and also no matter where they live. Once again getting back to strains I am sure some fanciers give up on them before they have a good chance to prove themselves, after all pigeon racing is not an overnight thing. You must be dedicated and have perseverance to win with anything at anything in life, just don’t give up too early. At the moment the in pigeons are the Van Den Bulck but they may well be pushed out by this time next year. Speculating with pigeons is not all that easy because they change so quickly, what are today’s sensation is tomorrow’s cheapies and that will not change. There is one way to make pigeon racing self-financing and that is to get out of bed in a morning and treat them as if they were your dearly beloved.

I was talking to a fancier about the pigeons and the last season, he said that in the past he never lost as many pigeons as he has in 2018. He has never been one for treating the pigeons because he liked to build up their immune system but after this year he is going to change the way he does things. He was saying that he was in racing for the long haul but that is not the way racing is going and if he want’s to be competitive then he needs to change his system. I am afraid that’s the way pigeon racing is going if you want to keep ahead of the game, having said that there are winners about who win without treatments, they have built their team on natural immunity.

There are a lot of discussions at the moment about channel racing into the North West. For many years I have been saying that the channel races start far too early for the longer flyers, but no one has taken any notice. It is ok for the southern fanciers who are 100/200mls but up here we are far more and therefore getting into those early National races is not always easy. Getting everyone to agree a suitable time for all fanciers is always going to be near impossible. However, there has to be a solution in the best interest of the sport because we need to keep everyone happy so that they mostly compete especially in the Nationals. At the moment in the North West organisations are pulling all ways instead of getting together and finding a solution. I can understand the southern fanciers who have little chance of getting any distance other than crossing the channel therefore they are limited as to where they go. The biggest problem is the National FC start too early for many of the further flying members who miss the odd race or send them before they have had chance to prepare their pigeons for the job required of them. The NFC could move back a week or two because that would have less impact on their members and could benefit them by giving the northerly fanciers time to get their pigeons ready for the job. I have always said that the NFC was my priority for the channel racing and I have had some good results from all distances with the club. I really did enjoy racing with the club and when it came to the longer races I always got far more pleasure than the shorter channel races. At the moment in the North West there are discussions about where they are going to go next year but I think this needs more planning. When I say more planning, I think they should now be talking about 2010 racing and not next year because there are far too many organisations who need to move in the best interest of pigeon racing. At the moment in the North West organisations are pulling in different directions instead of getting together and resolving the problem. I do understand them wanting to go back a couple of weeks because over the years they have started earlier and that has not been in the best interest of the pigeons. I still think it is the NFC who need to set the changes by going a bit later and then other organisations can change to suit in the best interest of everyone. Will organisations change, I very much doubt it because far too many are only interested in their own corner and not the sport in general. 

I have included a couple of photos’ that were taken at Jodi Walton's 18th birthday party. They are of Jodi and her mother Kerry who spent a lot of time preparing the food. We were there because Jodi is Elizabeth’s great granddaughter. The other photo is of Elizabeth with son David and grandson Craig.


                               David's daughter Kerry and Jodi at her 18th birthday party.                                                               Elizabeth with Son David and grandson Craig


It was a good night the younger members certainly enjoyed themselves. I was saying to Elizabeth, I can remember when Kerry and her sisters were the young ones running around enjoying the latest pop music. What I didn’t realise was just how many of the older songs from the 60’s and 70’s have been revamped by the latest artists. They cannot write them like they used to do.

Les J Parkinson. 11 Rushton Drive, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 0NJ. 01606836036 Mobile 07871701585.

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