In the South African Prestige Invitational Pigeon Race (SAPIR), champion fanciers compete against one another with a number of selected pigeons.The 82 fanciers invited to enter comprise the cream of South Africa’s racers. The entry fee is R10 000 and each fancier may enter a team of three pigeons. One bird is the main entry, while the other two are reserves if the main pigeon is injured or strays.
A fancier can replace the main entry with one of these birds by paying a R5 000 penalty. Entrants compete for the breeders’ stakes in the three hot spots and the main race. The pigeons are auctioned a week before the main race. The breeders or bidders compete in the auction stakes – a separate cash prize category. Due to the limited number of competitors, the real test for breeders is choosing the right birds. At the auction, buyers get an opportunity to buy into the best gene pool in South Africa.
2010 SAPIR final raceBasketing for the final race from Richmond, a distance of about 720km, commenced at 5pm on 22 September at the Country Guest House next to the SAPIR Lofts in Linbro Park.The 70 pigeons were liberated at 6:20am on 24 September in clear visibility. Weather conditions were favourable at 26ÂºC with a manageable east wind. After nine hours and 47 minutes of flight, two pigeons arrived together just after 4pm. Pure Magic, entered by the Soetdoring Charlie syndicate, was the first bird to be trapped. Of the original 70 birds, 29 made it back before nightfall and 58 were recorded home when the race closed the following day. The first five were:
1) Pure Magic, Soetdoring Charlie (R100 000).
2) Dirkie, Kotze and Brussow (R50 000).
3) Glenda, Glenda’s Lofts (R40 000).
4) Lady Jonas, Klerksdorp Racers (R25 000).
5) Thomas 01, Thomas Smit Syndicate (R15 000).
Pure Magic won here too, doubling its earnings. Glenda, bred by Glenda’s Lofts, picked up the highest price at the auction. It went to Engelbrecht Lofts for R30 500, and made its new owner a R9 500 profit by coming in third, winning R40 000.
Hot spot ace pigeon
This is the bird that flew the least time in all three hot spots. Bold Girl (Watson – Van Eck) picked up the R15 000 prize with a total flying time of 86 999 seconds. Runners-up were Glenda’s Lofts’ Glenda (87 503 seconds) and Ian + Ernst’s Zippity Zip (87 645 seconds).
Grand average ace pigeon
This is the pigeon that took the least time to complete the three hot spots and the main race. Glenda picked up the R20 000 prize here with a total flying time of 122 972 seconds. Runners-up were JG Jonker’s Just Johan (124 469 seconds) and At Stander’s Rozanne (124 834 seconds).
Hail to birdy
No less than five of Birdy’s grandchildren were among the top returning pigeons in the 2010 SAPIR final. Birdy, the best pigeon in the history of the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race, was bought by Mark Kitchenbrand for R800 000.
E-mail Thomas Smit at [email protected] or call 011 680 4778.