Joe Strydom’s auction: a superstar retires

The husband and wife team of Joe and Belinda Strydom auctioned off most of their precious racing pigeons in Edenvale on 27 May.

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They are members of the Edenvale Racing Pigeon Club under the banner of the Transvaal Racing Pigeon Federation. Joe and his mentor Hannes Greyling, a well-known Gauteng fancier, were partners at the Jan Smuts Racing Pigeon Club on the East Rand and achieved 11 wins from 20 tries. Joe then joined the Edenvale Racing Pigeon Club, with racing pigeons of mixed accomplishment.

In the late 1990s Joe embarked on a mission to obtain the finest birds possible to improve the quality of his pigeons. A number of expensive acquisitions later, Joe began to feature on the results sheets at Club, Division and Federation level, and became a superstar in pigeon racing.

The Strydom achievements: 2001 to 2006
Thirty winners. Four times long-distance champion. Twice middle-distance champion. Twice short-distance champion. Three times division champion. Four times in the top 15 points of the Federation’s Championship league. First and second super-long-distance winner of the Federation’s Matjiesfontein race. Highest velocity achieved in the                Federation’s season.

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Their champion racing pigeons Lot 1 is a medium, blue-barred cock with a very compact body, supple muscles and a long wing. It scored more than six times at Federation level and won two race events in the club on middle- to long-distance races. Lot 17 is a long-cast, blue-barred cock with a strong frame, prominent bone structure and supple muscles along the breastbone. Remarkably, this bird scored at the top of the Federation results on the short-, middle- and long-distances. It is bred from the foundation pair Reference E and F which are descended from the Sierens/Oscar de Vriendt strains from André Carelsen.

Lot 24 is a strong, dark-chequered cock bred from an Oscar cock and a hen from Hannes Greyling that won two Federation races. It is of medium build with a strong pearl-based eye colouration, mediumlength wing and a good balance between the muscle and bone structure. It scored best on the middle- to long-distances. Lot 28 is a larger-than-average bluebarred hen from the Belgian Champion strain Gommaire Verbruggen. It also has an excellent wing that connects well to the body on a strong frame. The Verbruggen birds have also produced excellent offspring in crosses with the Oscar de Vriendt and Sierens strains.

Lot 28 was sold for R16 500 and Lot 94 for R18 000. Lot 74 is strong, bluebarred hen, also blessed with an excellent frame and muscle quality. It has a pearl-based eye colouration with strong ridges and grooves, and a blue-grey tint of extra quality marking. It won the classic long- distance race from Matjiesfontein (1 050km) in the Federation. It was auctioned off for R22 000 – the highest priced bird at the auction – to Gys Louw, a well-known attorney and champion pigeon fancier.

Reference C, another foundation bird named the “Felletjie” hen, was bred from a bird of the Belgian Oscar line. Besides other mates she was also mated to her own son and besides the firstgeneration inbreeding the youngsters turned out to be remarkable racers. The birds sold for the combined sum of just over R160 000. Joe and Belinda will complete the 2007 season before pursuing other interests. All the yearlings in their race team will be sold. Beginners and struggling fanciers may also contact Joe for advice on 082 771 1181. – Thomas Smit Contact Thomas Smit on (011) 680 4778 or e-mail thomassmit@