A schoolboy’s success: an interview with Christiaan de Beer

Christiaan De Beer is 17 years old and in Grade 11. This young man, who has done extremely well in the racing pigeon world, told me about his career so far
Issue date 31 August 2007

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Christiaan De Beer is 17 years old and in Grade 11. This young man, who has done extremely well in the racing pigeon world, told me about his career so far. How were you introduced to the world of pigeon racing? E ver since I was a little boy loved animals, especially birds. used to catch pigeons in the backyard and mark them under the wing with food colouring. Then the pigeon bug bit me and so far it hasn’t let go. started drawing up plans for my lofts and every Sunday would get on my bicycle and search for a kit of pigeons, then knock on that door! When did you actively start racing? got my stock birds in 2004 and started breeding. raced for the first time in 2005.

Although everything went well, it was more of a learning experience at that stage. Which club/organisation are you a member of? belong to the Horison Pigeon Club which is part of the West Rand Racing Pigeon Union (WRPU). There are 24 members with an average of 340 birds. In the WRPU we have 56 members with about 810 birds competing in the open series. Brief us on your performance history. L ast year was third in the Club Championships in the open series. The best positions have held are second in the club and second in the WPRU. T his year am experiencing a great season. have already won three of the 10 races, including two WRPU wins. am currently third in the club in the open series (after leading the week before). also have (at present) the best open series bird in the club.

Halfway though the season am firmly in the top 10 of the WRPU with 10 races left. Where did your first pigeon come from? From fanciers in my community. only have six pairs, getting my stock birds from Lukas Otto, Casey Fourie, Lance Horsman, Jan van den Bos, Leon and Gert Petzer and Jan Volschenk. They are all different strains, selected by me and Petzer based on how they looked and handled, and of course it depended on what the fanciers were willing to give me. Which birds gave you the best success? have three winners to date. The first is bred from a Cattrysse cock from Jan Volschenk mated with a hen from Lance Horsman. have a bird bred from a Janssen cock from Petzer and Annandale mated with a Hermans hen from Lukas Otto, and one from the same hen mated with a cock from Otto. he “click” pair of from Otto really bred well for me. The hen bred two union winners with different cocks.

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They also bred SA 47553-04, the best old bird in the club. This red hen is my best racer. flew her six weeks in a row, scoring every week from the second race onwards. We all have different successful methods. Share a few of your own. My birds are tossed every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 55km on a communal trailer. On Saturdays they train from 180km at the start of the season, dropping back to about 120km later. very afternoon they fly around the loft for 30 minutes or longer. leave food for them in the morning as am at school when they arrive. feed them only as much as they want and always try to keep them light. use a light mixture early in the week, building up to a heavier mixture closer to basketing day. Most of my feed mix myself. medicate my birds for all common illnesses before the racing season starts.

During the racing season only treat for canker and respiratory problems. was given a feeding and medication system by Leon Petzer which adapted to my needs. Which fanciers supported you? here are a lot of fanciers who contributed to my success, but especially want to thank Leon and Gert Petzer. Without them would have given up long ago. fetch my pigeons every morning for the tosses, they take me to the club and are always there to help with advice on racing, stock and medication. How would you advise someone who wants to start racing pigeons? Y ou must really love pigeons because it is really hard work. get up every morning at 4am to catch the birds to get them tossed. have to pay all my expenses myself but the feeling of getting that bird back from the race is worth every cent. earn as much as you can and try to get good pigeons from decent fanciers.

Keep trying – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t listen to too many fanciers; pick one person and stay with his advice. Don’t fall into the trap of “collecting” pigeons; only keep what you need. believe a lot of my success is due to having only a few pigeons and knowing them well. Unfortunately this is my last season, as next year am in matric and have to study (want to become a vet). won’t have enough time for my birds, so will be selling them all at the end of the season. – Thomas Smit ([email protected] or call (011) 680 4778). Contact Christiaan de Beer on 084 582 0641 or (011) 672 0249. |fw