Cyril’s racing pigeon career began in 1957, when he was living in Port Elizabeth. He owned some of the finest old “Putteries” – named after their originator, the late Frans Putterie, the Belgian master who relocated to SA. The cream of the Belgian superstars imported to SA by Putterie revolutionised the competition in SA’s pigeon racing fraternity during the late 1940s.
Cyril is fortunate that he never had to spend a lot of money on buying good stock pigeons. He experimented with mating systems and opted only for the best progeny to form his foundation stock. Cyril bases his selection criteria on multiple performances in ruthless competition. He is a member of the Boksburg Racing Pigeon Club – one of the most competitive pigeon clubs in Gauteng – that holds dual membership with the Transvaal Homing Union (THU) and the Transvaal Racing Pigeon Federation. A fancier can choose to compete in either one or both of these organisations in the same season.
The SA National Pigeon Organisation awards medals to the best birds in SA in the categories of short, middle, long distance and all distances (all-round). Cyril’s fine Dark Chequered cock band nr. SA THUU 04 5780 earned a Gold Medal and was awarded as the best racing pigeon in SA for the 2006 season in the all-round category. The merits of its remarkable performance were calculated over all distances – it had to score at the top of the THU’s scoreboard in no fewer than six race events. It scored seven times from eight entries at club level in the 2006 season. Based on the internationally calculated coefficient formula it has achieved a combined coefficient of 3,026 – ranking it as one of the best pigeons in the world today. (Any marks below 20 indicate high quality, anything below 10 is exceptional and below five is of international Olympiad distinction.)
The 2006 Gold Medal winner/Best Bird in SA has also achieved three 1st and two 2nd positions, as well as one 4th position at club level. At union level it has placed six times within the top 25 positions competing against between 2 651 and 4 153 pigeons in each race.
This pigeon is of medium size with a long narrow wing that boasts a notable step-up between the secondary section (the flights nearest to the body, also known as the “backwing”) and the primary section (the part furthest from the body).
Because of where the backwing connects to the body it improves aerodynamics. The wing is not well louvred when extended as is universally advocated as an attribute of the ideal wing. However, between the last four primary flights a few spacious gaps are notable near the wing tips. What complements the wing is that it is connected to the body by a very short arm bone. A long wing that is held by a short arm bone more than doubles a bird’s power and ability. This bird is not a “meat palace” but its muscles and bone structure provide perfect balance for the flying athlete. Cyril jokes that the eye sign specialists have not been complimentary of the “quality” of his birds’ eyes, but he says it is what’s between the eyes (in the head) that is more significant. His birds also boast superior muscle tone. The eyes are of red/yellow pigmentation.
All five circles of the eye are intact and there is sufficient width, depth and quality of the circle of adaptation, as seen through an eyeglass with x15 magnification. Cyril says he is a working man and can’t spend much time training his pigeons, but this is clearly not a problem – his pigeons are doing all the talking on the results sheets! – Thomas Smit Contact Thomas Smit on (011) 680 4778 or e-mail [email protected].