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Remarkable in 2013

"2013? Hmm. A year that should be forgotten as soon as possible" people say. But dont they say so every year? Every year there are many losers and few winners. Each year special things happen and each year has its characteristics.

The unlucky ones of the year were in my opinion the beginners.
The start of the old bird season was cancelled for weeks due to a winter that did not end. The start of the young bird season was also delayed but now due to the immense heat in summer. Novices were a little too hard to face the fact that fun in this hobby also depends on the weather.

As for me the best young bird racer of the country was Comb. v. Wanroy.
Take Semi National Orleans.
Against 15,867 pigeons from all over Southern Netherlands from the North Sea to the German border they won 1 , 2 , 5, 6 and so on.
Mr van Wanroy is one of the few that became champions through money. He knew which birds to buy and which loft managers to employ.
Loft managerS? Right. He has two.
But there are no rules that forbid fanciers to train daily, to visit a vet weekly, to race 300 birds weekly or employ two managers. Pigeon sport has changed. It is no longer a hobby for the workman alone.

The best result of the year was, according to me, achieved by Verkerk from Ruffec. Though it was a race from 750 kilometers the arrivals looked like a tsunami.
He had 59 birds in the race, 54 of them won a prize. Who else can show up with such a result? So young and so successful? It is unique.

I find "Geeloger 03" from Minderhoud the pigeon of the year. It won:
- Pithiviers : 6340 p -1.
- La Souterraine: 3077 p -1
- Chateauroux 2227 p -1
And you know what is interesting? Minderhoud himself initially had no confidence in this bird. It was amongst the last nominated birds in the first races but this was changed soon!

I myself spent a lot of money on pigeons. Too much. Generally speaking you can say the most expensive birds were the poorest, the cheapest were the best. The best I "imported" cost me nothing at all. It was my 12-941 that won Semi National:
- Pithiviers 15.770 p - 2nd
- Orleans 6.069 p - 3rd
- St Quentin 6.069 p - 2nd.

The sensation of the year was in my opinion "Bolt" from Leo Heremans. It was raced from 120 kms only and did not win any first, not even in the club. Still a Chinese paid 310,000 euro for it plus 23% taxes.
Was it worth so much?
Of course not. Not one pigeon in the world is worth it. I sometimes think even Leo himself must have been shocked by this madness.

The losers of the year may be all those that purchased OLD pigeons in sales that were not total. Dealers give the impression that such a fancier offer their best for sale and keep the rubbish. Come on!
And all those old birds bred by Leo Heremans , vd Wouwer, Vandenabeele, Koopman and others that are offered for sale by others?
A similar story; Rubbish, despite all the propaganda?

Other losers are for me the policy makers from the Homing Union in Holland who claim that young birds cannot cope with races further than 450 kilometers and therefore forbade such races.
Did they want to flatter the guys from Animal Protection?
For good youngsters in good health those races should not be a problem at all. The losses from Barcelona are infinitely greater than from races such as Orleans. But obviously you have to keep hands off from Barcelona. What a double standard if you ask me.

The dilemma of the year was tossing in between the races.
" Senseless" champions such as van Elsacker, Verbruggen and Bruijn say. Intensive tossing is "A must " people like Roziers, Vredeveld and others say. And indeed, you would start to doubt.
Jordi Damen tossed his young birds nearly daily the 2 weeks before the race from Orleans. And the birds did a spectacular job.
I consider the clowns of the year those guys that make fake bids on birds that are offered for sale on the Internet. They (the names are well known in Holland and Belgium) play a game that should be played in order to get higher prices, get more money out of the pockets of Chinese. It is natural that eyebrows are raised when people that have no money make bids of 50,000 euros or more and buy(?) birds of 70,000 euoros or more.
Now some of these "bidders" talked. "They asked me", they say.
The question is how long this situation will last. Chinese are not that stupid you know.