How to become a pigeon expert

You can’t reach the top of your game without top racing pigeons, says Thomas Smit.

Exceptional racing pigeons, such as this beauty, will give you the edge when it comes to racing and breeding.
Photo: Thomas Smit

It has been said that one can better appreciate advice from a marriage therapist if the therapist is married. There appears to be a lot of sense in listening to expert advice in any field if the tutor at least practises what he or she preaches. So, in writing about my own experiences in pigeon racing, I am merely discussing what worked for me. What makes one an expert? Study, experience, observation and a passion for the sport. And humility; if you think you know it all, you are in trouble.

But there is another crucial factor: exceptional birds! These make it easy to succeed in pigeon racing and breeding. Here are some of my highlights with top rate racing pigeons:

Inbred Silas Willis:  I mated a full Silas Willis brother and sister. The pair produced the Camelot One-Day Loft Ace Pigeon, Silas.

Janssen x Twilight:  I mated an inbred Janssen cock (Kanon Piet line) to the daughter of a Twilight hen from Piet Schoeman/Davey Jacobson, ex Bob Bouwer. The hen’s dam was a breeder of multiple winners and foundation pigeons. The results came first and second in the Camelot One-Day Lofts.

Huyskens Van Riel x Thompson: A 3x winner from the Huyskens Van Riel line was mated to a 3x winner from the Janna Boshoff Thompson lines.

Huyskens Van Riel x Riaan Louw: I selected a daughter of the aforementioned Huyskens cock for Riaan Louw, which bred the winner of the Klapmuts One-Day loft after being mated to one of his cocks.

De Wet x Slimme/Grondelaer: The Derby cock De Wet Putterie, one of the best racers in Gauteng for J Van der Westhuizen, was mated to a twice federation winner from Oom Lemmer in Pretoria. It produced the Ace Pigeon at the Allflight One-Day Loft Carnival City.

1801 x van Rhijn Kloeck x Des Acke: I mated a Des Acke cock related to the dam of Double Gold to a relation of a 7x winner of Antonie Visser out of a 1801 cock and HVR hen that bred a top money scorer for Pine Pienaar.

Huyskens Van Riel x Chris Smith Blues: I mated a hen that was near kin of the Huyskens cock, with a cock from the Chris Smith Blues lines, related to Smithfield, Chris’s silver medal winner. The pair bred a R100 000 race winner.

Line-bred Schellens x Inbred Super Crack:
This cross produced seven scores in the SAMDPR for me. On three occasions, I sent in only one pigeon without backups.

Flor Vervoort x Koopman x Houben:
I selected a pair with this mixture and bred the Allflight One Day Loft ace bird and car race winner.

Birdy x SAMDPR genetics
I mated a son of Birdy to a selected hen from the SAMDPR. It bred two top scorers in SAPIR Hot Spots and came 5th in the SAPIR Final.

You can’t become a top pigeon racer without top racing pigeons!