Belgian racing pigeon fetches record price of $1.9 million

Belgian racing pigeon fetches record price of $1.9 million

HALLE – New Kim is price her weight in gold after which some — really a lot, rather more.

A rich Chinese language pigeon racing fan put down a world document value of 1.6 million euros ($1.9 million) for the Belgian-bred fowl, saying much more than merely what sort of cash will be made within the once-quaint sport, which appeared destined to say no only some years again.

Throughout a frantic final half hour Sunday on the finish of a two-week public sale, two Chinese language bidders working below the pseudonyms of Tremendous Duper and Hitman drove up the worth by 280,000 euros ($325,000), leaving the earlier document that Belgian-bred Armando fetched final yr effectively behind by 350,000 euros ($406,000). Tremendous Duper acquired the 3-year-old hen.

It was proof once more that an age-old passion in Western Europe recognized with working-class males now has a brand new, elitist international lease on life. Prime breeders counting on generations of household expertise can now promote their birds for costs extraordinary merely a decade in the past, and infrequently China is their vacation spot.

On this event, profitable breeder Gaston Van de Wouwer retired at 76 and his son had too busy knowledgeable life to proceed the famed pigeon coop. All 445 birds have been placed on public sale and the general sale was closing in on 5 million euros ($5.8 million). A second a part of the public sale is ending on Monday, however didn’t embrace any fowl that might match New Kim.

Belgians have lengthy stood out as the very best breeders, each due to their generations-long expertise and the density of a community the place many breeders can set up races shut collectively. It isn’t a short-term endeavor, nonetheless, since turning into professional at genetic breeding with the fixed mixing and mating of birds takes years, if not a long time. Birds can dwell as much as 15 years.

“All people is interested by our pigeons,” Pascal Bodengien, head of the Belgian pigeon federation, advised The Related Press.

Solely a decade in the past, the document value for a pigeon stood at one-tenth of New Kim’s value. And the present value of gold stands about 26,000 euros ($30,350) per pound.

As so typically, globalization has made the distinction.

With the rise of enterprise wealth in China got here additionally conspicuous consumption and a brand new venue for playing. In some way, pigeons match the invoice. China typically options one-loft racing, the place pigeons all get used to at least one coop for months after which are launched many tons of of miles away to make their method again with their distinctive sense of orientation and particular pace coaching. Prize pots can attain into the tens of tens of millions of euros.

For breeding, although, there is no such thing as a place like Belgium. That is the place, little greater than a technology in the past, the nationwide weekend radio information was adopted by bulletins on whether or not pigeons have been launched in faraway locations in France and even Spain and what climate circumstances the birds have been dealing with.

After World Battle II, Belgium had over 250,000 members within the pigeon fancier federation. Now there are 18,000, Bodengien says.

Pigeon breeding calls for fixed consideration, each single day of the yr. These calls for had turned away many fashionable folks, as soon as sending the game right into a decline.

“To be the very best, it must be your life’s work. For some, it might appear boring. Day in, day trip. Winter and summer season, at all times these pigeons.” he stated.

As soon as bitten although, many stay dedicated for all times. And the information {that a} pigeon can promote for $1.9 million may immediate new challengers to enter the game. Bodengien welcomed that improvement however urged persistence and a actuality verify.

“Anyone excited about entering into our sport to get cash out of it had higher assume once more and transfer to a different sport,” he stated.

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