Corrie’s top quality pigeons

On 1 May, 72 outstanding racing pigeons owned by Corrie Naudé & Son were auctioned at the Alberton Homing Society, east of Johannesburg. Thomas Smit reports.

Corrie’s top quality pigeons
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Corrie Naudé started pigeon racing with his father, Steve, in 1964. His early experiences in pigeon racing provided him with a solid foundation on which to build his current success – and which includes numerous accolades. The Corrie Naudé & Son team belongs to the Alberton Homing Society (AHS) on the East Rand. The club is affiliated to both the Transvaal Racing Pigeon Federation (TRPF) and Transvaal Homing Union (THU).

The association’s mostly millionaire members have made their mark on Gauteng’s pigeon racing scene. From time to time, Randburg and Boksburg clubs attain good results at federation or union level, but they invariably fail to achieve the same overall success rate of the AHS.

Superior gene pool
Competing with his late father, Corrie’s early successes were with pigeon stock from the older South African strains. The bloodlines of the late Ronnie Croxford blended from Putterie/Hermans/Fihrens lines produced top scores in their loft, especially in young bird racing.

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Steve was the first lead trainer of the annual Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race (SCMDPR). Corrie took over after his father’s retirement, and the high quality gene pool found in the international pigeon racing community impressed him. He soon became convinced that staying close to the South African National Pigeon Organisation medallion gene pool, and pigeons that can score in international competitions such as the SCMDPR, was the only way to secure notable long-term results.

So he studied the genetic make-up of the successful SCMDPR international participants and acquired breeding stock from the SCMDPR’s auctions. Save for a select number of superstars, he did away with most of his local lines. When we speak of ‘local’ in terms of the SA gene pool, we must not forget that our SA lines are also a blend of predominantly Belgium origin.
We should also remember that there are world-class pigeons among our ‘golden oldies’.

Quality pigeons
The most identifiable difference between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ is the trend of earlier maturity found within the younger generations of the latest European gene pool. The gene pool in Corrie’s loft is derived from quality pigeons from renowned international fanciers such as Dirk van Dyck, Gerhard Koopman, Günter Prange, Gommairre Verbruggen, Gaby van den Abeele, Dave Clausing and others.

However, Corrie didn’t blindly purchase pigeons only because they came from famous names. Instead, he concentrated on close relations descending from these fanciers’ foundation breeders. The offspring of these pigeons revolutionised his loft. In addition, Corrie introduced a few pigeons from the famous Spritzy family, and made various experimental matches. Crossing inbred or line-bred imports from different origins among each other proved successful.

Looking and acting
The 1 May auction at the AHS proved that there’s a large number of top pigeons within this gene pool capable of repeating good performances again and again. But consistency of performance isn’t the only thing to take into account. As farmer Willie de Jager said on the day: you don’t buy cattle, or any other animal, by looking at the pedigree papers only. You must look at the animal critically, and ask yourself “Does it look and act the part?” And most of the champion pigeons didn’t disappoint when it came to this criterion.

Contact Thomas Smit on 011 680 4778 or at [email protected]. Please state ‘Pigeons’ in the subject line of your email.