TRPF pigeons off to a good start

It’s not unusual for Gauteng pigeon fanciers to experience a fast-paced start in the first six races of the season. With the races being from south to north, the prevailing south-westerly winds all but blow the birds home. This year has been no different.

Paul Pedro of Pedro & Van Heerden
Paul Pedro of Pedro & Van Heerden shows off two pigeons that each came second in the first week of the TRPF season.
Photo: Paul Goosen

This year, the first six events of the Transvaal Racing Pigeon Federation (TRPF) comprised three races for yearlings only and three open races for birds of any age group.

In contrast to Europe, where the average age of racing pigeons used in competition ranges from three to five years, or even older, yearlings make up the bulk of most race teams in South Africa.

Winburg One (Yearlings); 260km, 3 June

Six cocks and 14 hens were timed in the first 20 positions. The top 10 positions were all achieved by fanciers in eastern Gauteng, while seven fanciers in western Gauteng were in the top 20. The top three winners were:

– 1st: Blue hen ZA 16 TRPF 10258 (Spike Aucamp), 1 380,9m/min;
– 2nd: Check cock ZA 16 TRPF 7383 (Pedro & Van Heerden), 1 377,2m/min;
– 3rd: Blue hen ZA 16 TRPF 7011 (Bryan Marshall), 1 375,8m/min.

Winburg Two (Open); 260km, 3 June

Starting with third position, 13 of the top 20 positions were taken by fanciers in western Gauteng. Bearing in mind that fewer yearlings were entered into this open race, in which pigeons of any age can compete, yearlings managed to score within the top 20:

– 1st: Blue cock ZA 15 TRPF 20987 (Highlander Lofts), 1 336,1m/min;
– 2nd: Blue hen ZA 15 TRPF 4020 (Pedro & Van Heerden), 1 335,6m/min;
– 3rd: Check pied hen ZA 13 TRPF 19261 (Fouche Lofts), 1 332,8m/min.

Winburg Three (Yearlings); 260km, 10 June

The top 20 positions of this yearlings-only race were all taken by fanciers in east Gauteng. The top three winners were:

– 1st: Check cock ZA 16 TRPF 9020 (Harry Wilson A Team), 1 327,9m/min;
– 2nd: Mealy cock ZA 16 TRPF 12206 (Highlander Lofts), 1 324,3m/min;
– 3rd: Blue hen, ZA 16 TRPF 6658 (Bradbury Lofts), 1 321,7m/min.

Winburg Four (Open); 260km, 10 June

Six hens and four cocks were timed in the first 10 positions. Four of the top 15 positions
were achieved by fanciers in western Gauteng. The first yearling competing against the old birds was timed in the 25th position. The top three winners were:

– 1st: Blue hen ZA 15 TRPF 14020 (Pedro & Van Heerden), 1 260,7m/min;
– 2nd: Blue hen ZA 15 TRPF 883 (Harry Wilson A Team), 1 258,4m/min.
– 3rd: Blue hen ZA 15 TRPF 303 (Kitchenbrands Loft), 1 255,9m/min.

Bloemfontein One (Yearling); 370km, 17 June

In this, the third yearling race of the season, six hens and four cocks were timed in the first 10 positions. The top three winners were:

– 1st: Mealy hen ZA 16 GPU 011 (Pedro & Van Heerden), 1 383,5m/min;
– 2nd: Red cock ZA 16 TRPF 7946 (Bradbury Lofts), 1 380,3m/min;
– 3rd: Blue hen ZA 16 TRPF 14544 (Pedro & Van Heerden), 1 377,9m/min.

Bloemfontein Two (Open); 370 km, 17 June

Five cocks and five hens were timed in the first 10 positions. This was a fast-paced race with the wind pulling to the east. The highest-placed yearling bird was in 21st position. The top three birds were:

– 1st: Blue cock ZA 14 TRPF 7128 (Boshoff Family), 1 422,9m/min;
– 2nd: Blue hen ZA 15 TRPF 14020 (Pedro & Van Heerden), 1 421,7m/min;
– 3rd: Blue hen ZA 15 TRPF 14053 (Pedro & Van Heerden), 1 421,41m/min.

Thomas Smit is a racing pigeon selector, and a freelance journalist and writer.