Foreign fanciers watch out
To trick and being tricked
Making money in the pigeon sport you do mainly through selling.
There"s nothing wrong with that, I do it as well, but you might expect the seller not to tell lies and to try and deliver quality.
However, the rub is that non-champions also want a share of the profits, and for want of good money they can become very inventive indeed.
The full extent of their creativity becomes especially apparent when you look in foreign pigeon papers.
For instance, there was this Belgian fancier who in America advertised a pigeon that had allegedly won 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 7, 9 and so on.
An acquaintance of the man studied the results, and what was the outcome?
The pigeon existed (that was something at least), but no matter where he looked, he couldn"t find the listed prizes.
He did find other prizes: 21, 31, 42, 92, 63, 65, 76, 87, 59 and so on.
He decided to confront the man.
The man knew immediately what it was all about but "there was absolutely no ill will, it was all a mistake."
He had sold that pigeon and given the results to the buyer. The pigeon was sold on and "somewhere, something must have gone wrong with the photocopying of the results." The result list had not been positioned correctly on the photocopier, which had made the first number disappear.
So for the 31st prize that was the "3", so that left the 1 to read the 1st prize.
With prize 42 that was the "4", so that left the 2 of 2nd prize.
With prize 92 the "9" had disappeared, which made that 2nd prize.
The man apologized and for him that was the end of it, but his pigeon will go on as a bird with prizes that it has never won.
And buyers of offspring from that pigeon think that they descend from a top pigeon. They themselves will show off (in good faith) with prizes never won by the grandfather of their pigeons.
It had gone wrong and nobody wants to know, because that would result in too many pigeons being not worth a lot.
EVERYTHING IN PERSPECTIVE
I am not a winner in the overnight races, I don"t have the patience or the pigeons for it, but at one time I entered TWO pigeons in a race from Dax.
To my own surprise I won the 905th prize.
Puhh. The 905th prize?
Not really a fantastic prize, but it was a National competition with 17,121 pigeons and numerically that made half of the pigeons I had entered win 1 in 20, so in the first 5%. And when half of your pigeons win 1 in 20 that means that you had a very good result. What became clear when I studied the results a bit more?
Up to prize 905th none of the great long-distance champions had half of their pigeons home. There were fanciers who had half, or even all off their pigeons home, but they were people I had never heard of, and who all raced with only a few pigeons.
They were all so called small fanciers, with the emphasis on so called, because when you are looking for pigeons to strengthen your loft you would be best to go to these people. They are cheaper and their pigeons are numerically better.
And why do some fanciers race so many birds?
It"s not difficult to understand "why".
They are counting on one or two "early birds", because these are mentioned by the media and no foreigner will wonder if that "early bird" belonged to someone who had 3 pigeons in the race or 150.
TRANSPARENCY AND FASHION?
A Belgian fancier pointed a pigeon out to me that was introduced as follows:
Dourdan 78 p - 1
Orleans 67 p - 1
Dourdan 318 p - 1
Dourdan 1,470 p - 1
Orleans 420 p - 1
Dourdan 4,188 p - 1
Orleans 1,114 p - 1
Prizes like these arouse the suspicion of an attentive reader, because he will see immediately that only two are first prizes and that the others are doublings.
But not all readers are attentive.
Meanwhile, publishing doublings is so widespread that it"s almost seen as normal. That is why you can sometimes read "without doublings".
As if these are exceptions.
Then there is this fancier from the Dutch province of Zuid-Holland who compares the speed in nearby combines when he has won a first prize.
If there are 5 combines and his pigeon was the fastest in 4 of them, and if in the 5th combine 30 pigeons flew faster than his pigeon, he adds up the number of pigeons from the first 4 combines.
That way he can show off with the fastest bird from a large number of pigeons, without telling a lie.
Another fancier is even more "clever".
If he wins the 10th prize from some 5,000 pigeons, he will write that his pigeon left 4,990 pigeons behind. And that also isn"t a lie.
It is amusing how well some fanciers embellish their PR with the use of photos.
Sad individuals who for instance want to sell their "Janssens" could publish a photo of themselves with Louis Janssen, while sometimes they don"t even have one single Janssen pigeon in the loft.
Names are all important to make money.
"In the pigeon sport, a name is often nothing more than something to conceal a worthless product," I once told some Japanese during a dinner in a real Japanese restaurant.
For that matter, I can guarantee that such a dinner isn"t everything.
For the Japanese, the fish has to be so fresh that it kicks the vegetables off your plate. Just imagine what it must be like in Japan itself.
Actually, every travel guide to Japan should mention the translation for "bring me something that is dead".
Since we are mentioning the name Janssen; no Oriental knows that the name is as common in our country as the name Lin is over there.
I have for instance a good breeding hen from a certain Gust Jansen.
When one day some Chinese fanciers wanted to buy pigeons from me, they first asked to see that piece of paper that is called a pedigree. When they saw the name "Jansen" they became very enthusiastic indeed, but when they heard that it was a different Jansen, their interest disappeared like snow for the sun.
"Pigeons with an impressive pedigree are often beaten by pigeons without a pedigree that belong to unknown fanciers," I told them.
By now I have given up any hope that tricksters and "breed addicts" will ever beeliminated through their own inventive creativity.
But playing tricks and lying are fortunately not typical for the pigeon sport.
Even Clinton persisted that he didn"t have anything to do with Lewinsky, and later, when he was cornered, he spoke those already historic words: "I never had sex with that woman."
"Be careful," I said to one of the Japanese who had bought a National winner from Reusel (!). At least, that"s what the pedigree said.
The release station Reusel was only 90 kms away from the town where the fancier races who "won" this National.