Mark Kitchenbrand bought most of the top-scoring pigeons at the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race (SCMDPR) for the past two years, for nearly R3 million. These quality importations are occasionally crossed with locals.
Mark bought six of the top 10 birds last year and seven in this year’s top 60. Most are medium to small, all have exceptional muscle quality, and none have long arm bones. youngsters bred of these birds have remarkable muscle quality, even though they’re untrained.
Visiting Mark’s lofts in Alberton is like visiting Fort Knox, with electric fencing, guards, locked gates and a signboard declaring you cannot refuse to be searched on departure. After tea and cake at reception, and “dressed” in a dust coat, you can view the pigeons through the loft aviaries. With Mark’s permission and personal attendance, you may enter the aviary if you first step into a footbath – with your shoes on! No handling, unless you’re a buyer, and then the birds are brought to you individually.
Most of Mark’s top-scoring SCMDR imports are of German origin, or progeny of the Janssens strain originating from the Janssens brothers in Belgium. The birds are “alive” – showing character and fighting spirit as a dominant temperament trait.
When the R800 000 pigeon the best ever to have flown in the 12-year history of the SCMDPR, was placed in her loft compartment, Zander, the occupant next door, fell in love with her immediately.
Zander is a bold blue cock that finished sixth in the 2007 SCMDPR final. Both birds are slightly larger than average, but not bulky or heavy, with pearl eyes and strong back-to-tail attachments. Notably, most top-scoring SCMDPR pigeons over the years have pearl eyes and many were bred in lofts where this eye colouration is dominant.
Zander is a little longer-cased than Birdy, with a longer wing span. His bone structure is slightly more dominant but still well-muscled. wings of both birds are well-louvered. They are currently rated amongst the top pairs in the world.
Konstantin, the 2007 SCMDPR winner, is a pearl-eyed, medium-sized blue bar hen and a real wriggler, showing that trademark fighting spirit. When extended, her wings curve in an umbrella shape – most of the top-scoring pigeons don’t have flat wings. Schalke 04, the blue cock that scored second in 2007, is slightly smaller than average and very narrow in the area of the tail/back attachment. None of these top-scoring birds are broad-tailed. – Thomas Smit ([email protected] or call (011) 680 4778) |fw