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Heard and read (09-09-22)

Because of the theft of all my racers I didn't feel like pigeons anymore, let alone read about them. But a lot has now been made up. And while reading a number of things stood out (again!).

What we had almost come to take for granted, but what it certainly isn't, is beautiful weather. Nicely included in a sport in which the weather plays such a decisive role. Barely delayed releases, rarely rain on flying days, few clouds with often headwind.
Naturally, the result was many one-sided competitions with often the same winners and often impressive prize percentages. That means less if people play with few pigeons, but all the more if fellow sportsmen play very well or very badly with many pigeons.
Very high price percentages of such 'big ones' naturally mean that many others barely get on the result sheet, if at all. And one can guess what that will lead to.
It's like a money game. The (much) money that some people win comes from fellow sportsmen.

Nice weather does not guarantee beautiful competitions. Take the race in East Brabant, the last Sunday of August. Better flying conditions were hardly imaginable, but in some clubs after 2 hours not even one third of the birds were home. For a distance of not much more than 100 km. Still not grasping?
In Turnhout, for example, they once had a training race from Vilvoorde, barely 60 km. Despite the beautiful weather also disastrous.
What is also surprising is the recurring long competition time in the north of the Netherlands. A few years ago they had a flying start of the season in the south of the Netherlands. Where I live, none of the first 6 flights lasted longer than 7 minutes. In the north of the country the price duration was nowhere shorter than 11 minutes. If you don't live there, you tend to think about quality. Or better, lack thereof. But there they focus more on long distance and then there is something else.


In the 90's I had quite a few contacts with Klak where I clocked the pigeons for three years, when that was still done manually. That was possible because we played on Saturday, he on Sunday.Electronic clocking enabled him to play with pigeons for 3 more years, but that aside. What I want to say is that Klak, together with others in his province was constantly surprised about the much smoother course of the competitions in other provinces.  As far as Orleans youngsters was concerned, the difference was even embarrassing, but that could be explained:
A very scanty racing program for youngsters there. It got so far that they separated from the ZNB (Combine).In Central Brabant people chuckled:
'Those souls have to ensure that they get better pigeons.' It was in the years that Jos Leuris in Central Brabant was unbeatable.
Unfortunately Jos passed away young and what did fanciers notice when his super pigeons were sold?They came from pigeons he had bought in East Brabant. What I'm saying is that there may be more than difference in quality and weather that explains difference in arrivals.

There are “certain people” and people who have doubts just about everything. In pigeon sport it is often the champions who have doubts. There were those two well-known names who doubted the usefulness of lighting at the end of the season. I also think that is greatly exaggerated. That lighting is superfluous then.
In this regard, it is waiting for the man who only ‘lights’ half his babies and tell us whether there were differences in performance.Losing so many babies is another such thing.
Is it a good selection, Michel V wonders.
In other words, is it the bad pigeons that get lost and walk in somewhere? You should definitely not hesitate here. After all, how often do you read about a stock pigeon, in other words the basic pigeon of a champion, which was lost as a youngster and was reported and collected?

Andre Roodhooft, who is strong in the longer distance, claims to have no knowledge of feeding. Here's another one. I also think that many people attach too much importance to this and apparently I am not the only one.
After all, you read more and more about fanciers who give the same mixture for a whole year, some even full throttle. What you can do if you are unsure is to trust the instinct of the pigeon: feed more than they need and after a while remove the surplus.

From the time when there were several pigeon newspapers I remember how some writers were envious of performing colleagues. No matter how well they played, they were ignored or, worse, 'the usual suspect'.'
Doping' was especially a popular stick to lash out at strong players.Dutch Kees Bosua seemed like an exception, he didn't have an ounce of jealousy.A few years ago to the surprise of many he stopped the sport, but not for long. That created such a void in his life that he started again. Now with his brother.
The first year back pigeons and in a short time they had twice the fastest pigeon in the entire province of South Holland. Then you can think of 17,711 pigeons or something.

A subject that always fascinated me was the course of the pigeons on their way home. I once raced overnight with 2 or 3 pigeons for two years and then in the evening, and sometimes even at night, I wondered where they stayed overnight.
If a good one is not home the day after release, I am sometimes plagued by the same question: 'Where would it be?'
It also fascinated Michel Beekman. Now that they can be followed with so-called 'GPS rings', he got to work and let us share in his experiences. He not only showed which route (some) pigeons had traveled on their way home, but also the speed, the flying height, the number of (too many) kilometers flown and any (rest) breaks.
What turned out? Just about all pigeons deviate to the west on their homeward journey.I have seen many tracks (race of the pigeons) but never one where pigeons fly straight home as if fired, in a straight line.
And any loss of time, for example due to slow departure after release or due to the curvature they make, is to the advantage of the fanciers who live farthest.