Tom Lock, veteran South African champion, did for the pigeon racing fraternity what Mohammed Ali accomplished for boxing and Gary Player did for golf.
Tom is now 80 and, having been a pigeon fancier since 1944, he needs a rest. Uncle Tom sold his birds at a comradely price to Leon Wolmarans, a trusted friend and fellow fancier in the Boksburg Racing Pigeon Club, whom he could rely on to maintain the Lock heritage. Their verbal agreement is that Uncle Tom will support Leon with the mating of the stock birds. Although Leon has trained the Lock birds with notable success, Uncle Tom will still be around on race days to advise on modifications to the training schedule.
Beneficiaries of this contract
Tom Lock’s motto was to permit fanciers across the country to share in the gene pool of his megastars, and Leon is to extend this privilege to the sport as a contractual obligation. Struggling fanciers will be given access to this astonishing gene pool of multiple winners and Best Birds. Russell van der Merwe is an example. As a member of the Benoni Homing Society, he obtained 10 youngsters of 2006 from Tom, of which only seven were raced this season.
With these youngsters Russell became the undisputed champion of the All Birds to Count Point’s Champions’ League in the 2007 open series of the formidable Transvaal Homing Union (THU). Hard as it is to swallow, Russell also clinched the first, second, 11th and 19th position on the 2007 THU champion Best Birds register.
The legacy of the Lock family
The Blue Bar hen, 4875-82, known as the Croxford foundation hen, is the key progenitor of the Tom Lock megastars. The first four youngsters bred from her have clocked in first at Uncle Tom’s loft 17 times. Seven of her children were put to stock in 1990. Her crossed and inbred offspring revolutionised our pigeon racing with the highest hit rate in breeding and results in the history of South African pigeon racing.
The Hawk, SA 86673-90, is a son of the Croxford hen and a superlative South African breeder. No less important is a grandson of the Croxford hen, Meneer, SA 87411-90. Despite being a bad trapper it scored three second places in the THU and became a key foundation breeder. Ten years ago Uncle Tom owned five of the top 10 best birds in the Boksburg Racing Pigeon Club. He also won all the point’s league categories in the THU for the 1997 season and the All Bird Averages of the East Rand Specialist Club in the same year.
Uncle Tom’s pigeons also showed supremacy in the classics. He sold a super pair to Egbert O’Kelly for a cool R100 000 (which Egbert considers a bargain). No other matched pair in South Africa can match their performance index in its near-kin references. In one season alone, Uncle Tom scored 20 first places, 26 second places and 19 third places, racing in two clubs.
His birds have won cars, gold medals and Best Bird averages at an unequalled level of success. One season, Uncle Tom won the All Birds Points Averages of the THU more than 1 300 points ahead of the fancier in second position. In the Tom Lock racing pigeon genealogy are exceptional birds, including the South African National Pigeon Organisation‘s 2007 All-round Meritorious Champion of the Bronze family. Another notable family is the Gold Medal, which are Stichelbaut/Slimme originating from champion Ronnie Herbst.
Thank you, Uncle Tom – we salute you.
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