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New kind of pigeon racing (December 12th).

China now

"Brand new way of pigeon racing."

In Racing Pigeon World (a Chinese magazine) we read an interesting article about pigeon racing there. The first games were held in China in the 30s of the last century. It started with the Chinese Li Meiling who had homing pigeons imported by boat from Germany. Those first races were held in Shanghai. Initially also many foreigners who lived in the region raced pigeons as well.

Until the 80's the sport developed itself only in and around the major cities in the south. Shanghai was the center and in 1984 the board of the Homing Union (CRPA) established their offices there. From then the sport 'exploded' but until the mid 90's competitions were only held regional with fanciers that ad their own lofts.


In the 90-ies the economy developed at a dazzling speed and the result was a massive urbanization. Many homes were expropriated, houses with yards became history. Fanciers moved to play pigeons elsewhere but eventually many of them ended up in an apartment. Then something new happened, in the magazine it was called ‘a brand new way of pigeon racing’. Since it had become hardly possible to keep pigeons in a loft which was their own pigeons from different fanciers were put in a gigantic loft. And we got something new in pigeon sport, something that was even rare in Europe: One loft races. The first one loft races were organised in the early 90’s, their popularity spread like wild fire.


Until 2013 up to 500 One Loft Races per year were held, the paper said which are concentrated in the East, so the most prosperous regions. It is expected that very soon thousands One Loft Races may be held every year. Immensely huge lofts are built everywhere. Thus, the average fancier who cannot afford to build a loft of his own can race pigeons as well as people that just want to gamble on birds that they buy.

There is a saying that gambling is in the blood of Chinese. 'Fanciers play together and pigeons race together' is the slogan.


Strangely enough such one loft races never became popular in the ‘pigeon countries’ Holland and Belgium. In the Netherlands they do not even have one such a race, in Belgium there is just one. In the past the Dutch also had their one loft race though but so many youngsters got sick, died or got lost that they stopped it. For one reason or the other it seems that they do not have these problems in China.


It is kind of strange that hardly a quarter of a century ago pigeon sport did not mean much in China. It is true that already in the 80-ies National winners from races in Holland and Belgium were transferred to the Far East, but in those days it was the Japanese who paid crazy prices for pigeons. Later on they got competition from Taiwan and to-day it is the Chinese who are hard to beat when they feel like buying good birds.

‘The times they are changing’ is the title of a popular song.

As you can see Chinese like it BIG