Charles Carlson Jnr’s pigeons auction

Top racing pigeons were on offer at Charles Carlson Jnr’s auction at the end of April. It’s not often that a collection of such excellence becomes available at a single sale, says Thomas Smit.

Due to business commitments, champion pigeon fancier Charles Carlson Jnr auctioned off his fine collection of highly competitive ‘racing machines’, towards the end of April. Charles is a third-generation pigeon racing enthusiast with an enviable collection of Spritzys and Clausings. He also invested considerable sums to obtain the cream from Bert de Ceuninck on the side to use as cross material. This has paid off in race after race.

Some of Charles’s performance highlights:

  • Winning the Transvaal Racing Pigeon Federation (TRPF) Yearling Derby in his second year of pigeon racing;
  • Winning the 2011 champion points league in the Single Bird and All Birds To Count categories, to become Johannesburg Pigeon Racing Club (JPRC) Champion;
  • Winning the 2011 young bird points league category;
  • Owner/trainer of the sixth-best pigeon in the TRPF in 2011. Owner/trainer of the champion pigeon at division level. 

After moving to the Eland Pigeon Racing Club, Charles continued to score top positions at club and federation level.

Charles’s pigeon families include:

  • Famous Spritzy: The foundation hen is Spritzy, bred from an imported Janssens-based cock and a local hen. Charles owns a white throwback Spritzy cock that bred numerous top performers at federation level when crossed with a Clausing hen. As I’ve often mentioned, fanciers have paid big money to obtain the best descendants from Spritzy.
  • Champion Clausings/Houben: This was named after US champion Dave Clausing and developed from Belgium’s famous Houben family. The hen Bumpkin and its son, Pumpkin, have been responsible for numerous top scores.
  • Champion Bert de Ceuninck (The Grizzles): This family from Belgium comprises a rare collection of ace racers and breeders – the Ringlose lines and Gunter Prange’s famous 402 cock. 

Charles owned the famous click pair that bred top scorers for Arnold Morey and Fareed Kathrada/Walter Dinwoodie in the TRPF. The male is the De Ceuninck Grizzle cock and the female a Walter Dinwoodie hen (now dead).

Charles first inbreeds the base families separately and then cross-breeds them for hybrid vigour for racing purposes. The successful cross-breeds are bred back to the base pigeons of the line they emerged from. “Don’t waste time and money with mediocre pigeons,” he says. “Good pigeons make pigeon racing easy and make you look clever.”

He recommends that a novice make friends with a trusted champion fancier and undergo an ‘apprenticeship’.

“It doesn’t take long to learn the basics, but the finer points of race training take time and come with experience,” he explains. “Spend time with your pigeons. A novice can learn a great deal by observation. Look after your pigeons and they’ll look after you in the race results.”

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