When money starts to play a bigger role, as in pigeon racing for a quarter of a century, people become more and more resourceful. At the time, it was a reason for Klak to create a 'blacklist'. That was a list of fanciers who could not buy pigeons from him any more because of disappointing experiences.
Klak was always reasonable with his prices and others would benefit from that. For example; Some one bought 10 youngsters from him, if he was lucky there were 2 or 3 good ones among them and what happened to the rest? They tried to find a customer for them.
When Klak found out he was shocked and a new name was blacklisted. Later Middlemen (dealers) knew those “Klak branches’ and the owners were approached. Whether the birds were worth something or not was not relevant, the birds moved abroad anyway. I don't call this fooling but fucking.
You can also be fooled by your own pigeons. That happened to me repeatedly.
-The suddenly abundant fall of down is one of them. Long time ago I used to read everything about pigeons that I could read.
Throwing down pointed to health you could read anywhere. Correct, but it shouldn't be as if it snowed in the nest boxes. Several times I was tempted to pool extra money, but not for long. I learned that all this sudden down is a sign that pigeons are recovering from something. The form is not there but is still to come.
-Pigeons that do not go out of the loft is another thing, I was fooled by it several times. 'They don't go out because of attachment to their box', I fooled myself. The races that followed showed me how wrong I was.
I like to see youngsters that you don't have to go looking for in the evening because you know where they are. Usually on the same perch. Babies that may sit everywhere I don't like. Attachment to one's own place, wanting to be in the loft for that spot, I think it is one of those outwardly imperceptible but important qualities that characterize a good pigeon. Take the Zeeland champion H. He doesn't believe in road training, but he does it anyway, even in the wrong direction.
He owes a championship to it. This involves winning with nominated birds. And H is very successful at that. How so that?
When the pigeons arrive, their behavior is carefully studied. Those who trap like hell will be his nominated birds. The pigeons usually arrive together, but entering can show the difference in form although the difference is only seconds..
The next thing I was once fooled by may sound strange. But because my neighbor once experienced the same thing, it will not be exceptional. It is about a youngster that was always first at home from road training. It pays to grab such a pigeon.
There is a chance that it is injured and therefore flies so laboriously that there is no question of spontaneity at all. Such a pigeon wants to be home, as soon as possible.
Then there was this visit by this Belgian pigeon broker. When he looked at my pedigrees he saw the name of Gust Janssen. Then he asked me ´Are you Dutch or Belgian? ‘Dutch’ I said. He reacted: Í thought Dutch were smarter. You should leave out the word ‘Gust’. That woud be good for both you and me.’ I was speechless.
The late Gust Janssen was a good friend of A S
Last year I received compliments from an Antwerpian about the prize percentage that was achieved weekly. The man knew only one fancier who did equally well and showed an article with his achievements. It must be said, very impressive.
So much so that it invited me to take a closer look at those performances. And then I saw it. A 92nd prize of 232 bids already aroused suspicion and then it became clear to me. There, 1 on 2 was played. Half of the entry won a prize.
And results achieved per four or per pair makes a huge difference. Playing per pair has advantages (more names on the result sheet) but it may lead to much less quality if one does not take it into account in the selection. Pigeons that never miss are ok when 1 on 4 is played, but very ordinary, or even less at a prize ratio 1 to 2.
Until what time can you practise road training fanciers with a full day's work sometimes ask me. Of course, it all depends on which month you live in. Once I had to visit my brother-in-law repeatedly in the middle of summer who was terminally ill.
That was in Brussels and I could visit him at 9.30. Brussels is on the racing line and I decided to leave a little earlier, to take no risks. I let them go at 5.30 pm.
The pigeons got home so quickly that I became more and more brutal. Releasing pigeons at 7.30 pm at 75 km from home is not a risk in July in good weather as I learned.
An acquaintance of mine is completely charmed by the long distance. Now he was allowed to go and get a youngster from a friend of a pigeon that had won the 1st prize from Barcelona. He was in heaven, I was somewhat skeptical. And that didn't improve when the name of that Barcelona winner was mentioned Never heard of it. ́
I also became none the wiser from google. What would become apparent afterwards? The man had indeed won Barcelona, but that pigeon had been clocked at a time when the competition elsewhere was almost closed.
You also experience similar things with middle distance and sprint pigeons. What you need to do when looking for reinforcements is to pay attention not only to the man and his pigeons in question, but also to the competition.
It is best to get pigeons in a region where people specialize. Sprint pigeons in a region where sprint is central and not in an area with many fond racers who sometimes do not even clock their pigeons from shorter races. They are often the same ones that often succeed or fail when importing birds. Pure luck? Then the outbreak of WW 2 was also pure luck.