Top Belgian racing pigeon sold for R20 million

Top Belgian racing pigeon sold for R20 million
The top Belgian racing pigeon Armando that was sold for more than R20 million.
Photo: PIPA.be

A top racing pigeon named Armando has been sold for 1,25 million euros (about R20,5 million) in an online auction, the highest-price ever achieved for a single pigeon in such an auction.

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Bred by Belgian breeder, Joel Verschoot, Armando was bought for this record price following a two-week bidding war between two Chinese pigeon fanciers.

According to PIPA, the Belgian racing pigeon auction company that managed the auction, Armando was considered to be the best long-distance pigeon of all time and had been dubbed the “Lewis Hamilton of racing pigeons”.

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The previous highest price of about 400 000 euros (R6,5 million) for a single pigeon was achieved for a racing pigeon called Nadine in 2017, PIPA said.

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Verschoot sold a total of 178 pigeons at the auction for more than 2,2 million euros (R36 million), including seven of Armando’s offspring.

In 2017, Farmer’s Weekly reported that a South African record price of R5 million was paid for a racing pigeon from Belgium, called Golden Prince, bought by Samuel Mbiza and Mark Kitchenbrand after a 12-day bidding war.

Kitchenbrand also made headlines in 2008 when he paid R800 000 for Birdy, which was then the highest-priced local and best-performing pigeon in South Africa.