THE 22nd SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE. EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

“EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE”.

ON

      THE FINAL RACE

  IN

THE 22nd SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE

(THE BIGGEST & GREATEST PIGEON RACE IN THE WORLD!)

(THE RACE WITH THE PROVEN TRACK RECORD)

(THE OLYMPIC GAMES IN THE PIGEON WORLD)

      WHICH WAS HELD AT

HERON BANKS GOLF & RIVER ESTATE,

SOUTH AFRICA

ON

SATURDAY 3rd FEBRUARY 2018.

    

   ANOTHER RACE SEASON FINISHES IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN SUNSHINE.

 

TOUGH FINAL RACE WITH ONLY 93 PIGEONS ON THE DAY OF LIBERATION.

 

THE UNITED KINGDOM TEAM had a really fantastic race and won the following

OPEN positions:- 10th, 16th, 19th, 30th, 49th, 59th, 81st, 124th, 146th, 153rd,

170th, 182nd, 251st, 257th, 275th & 295th OPEN and won US$37,800 (£29,007)

in Prize Money, plus two fanciers purchased Venturer Pigeons and they won 31st &

83rd OPEN and won US$4,750 (£3,654) in Prize Money. They also won US$30,444

(£23,419) in the Nominations. TOTAL WINNINGS were US$72,994 (£56,080).

 

THE IRISH TEAM also had a remarkable race and won the following OPEN positions:- 5th, 72nd, 96th, 128th, 140th, 166th, 186th, 214th, 231st & 236th OPEN and US$45,450 (£34,962) in Prize Money, plus one fancier purchased a Venturer Pigeon and that won 26th OPEN and won US$3,500 (£2,693) in Prize Money. Also the pigeon that won 5th OPEN won The Zandy Meyer Memorial Car Nomination and US$74,800 (£57,538) Cash Prize. TOTAL WINNINGS were a staggering US$123,750 (£95,193).

 

Firstly, let me apologise for the lateness of this International Press Release but as

most of you know I also treat this race as my annual holiday and whilst I am in South Africa for the race, I also like to visit other parts of this outstanding continent. Over the past twenty-two years I have visited plenty of different areas and have loved them all. Anybody that is thinking of entering the race in the future or travelling out to South Africa for a holiday, I will be only too pleased to offer them some advice on where are some of the most exciting places to visit on your trip.

 

I arrived with Tad Truszkowski at Emerald Resort about 4pm on Tuesday 30th January 2018 after our visit to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and we settled into our accommodation, showered and agreed to meet later for a few drinks and something to eat. Whilst we were in Victoria Falls we also decided to do what Mike Ganus did last year when he was there and that was to visit a Witch Doctor. It certainly worked for Mike with some really outstanding wins under his belt since that visit. We hoped that the same would happen to us but at the end of the day it was a great experience, now all we have to do is wait and see if the same thing happens to us.

 

On the Wednesday morning we had agreed to meet Sara Blackshaw at Heron Banks Golf & River Estate to play a few holes of golf and then have a few beers and a light lunch in the clubhouse. We were greeted by Gary Lance who owns the golf club and he said he would meet us later for a drink. After the golf, drinks and food it was back to Emerald Resort to meet a few other fanciers that were checking in during the day. As we walked in we were greeted by Gerry McCourt, Karl Donnelly, John Squibb and Brian Clayburn and we joined them for a few drinks before going back to get showered and changed for the evening. We all met later and Tad, myself and Brian went out to the Breeze Restaurant for a meal before returning for a few more drinks with fanciers at the bar.

 

Wednesday evening, the race organisers had laid on something special and this was a two-hour sunset cruise up and down the Vaal River which included drinks and canapes. This was attended by lots of fanciers and friends and turned out to be a lovely way to start an event, the weather was fantastic and as we made our way back everybody experienced a fantastic African sunset under a full moon. A fabulous evening was enjoyed by all that were present. It was also great to see all the loft lads present and enjoying themselves and meeting some of the pigeon fanciers from all over the world. Back to the bar in the hotel to have a few drinks and meet other fanciers which had arrived throughout the day and early evening.

 

Thursday morning soon dawned and it was time to go for breakfast, where we once again met lots of fanciers we had not seen since last year. After breakfast it was time to basket the pigeons for The 22nd SAMDPR, so we travelled over to Heron Banks Golf & River Estate, Sasolburg, Vaal River, South Africa to watch all the pigeons being basketed by the loft staff. Once again fanciers were greeted at the lofts and they enjoyed a braai (barbeque) prior to the basketing and for those that had never visited these brand new lofts before it was a chance for them to view the inside and the outside area of the massive state of the art 370 foot pigeon loft. Whilst this was going on the loft staff were busy basketing the pigeons and loading the baskets onto the transporter to take them to the E&E Centre at Emerald Resort, Hotel & Casino just across the Vaal River in Vanderbijlpark where the pigeons were to be basketed for the Final Race. The transporter arrived and the pigeons were unloaded and everything was set up at the E&E Centre at the Emerald Resort to start the race marking at about 12 o’clock and four marking tables were all set up and ready to go, the Auditors EW Coetzee & Associates were again all present and there were lots of willing fanciers were waiting to help with the basketing of the pigeons. All of a sudden I bumped into Paul & Tracey Stacey who had just arrived from the United Kingdom they had come straight over to the E&E Centre to give us a hand with the race marking. There was delay in getting the full baskets off the transporter and into the E&E Centre and basketing did not actually start until about 13.20. Corrie Naude explained the marking procedure to those fanciers that had offered to assist and soon we were on our way to get all the pigeons race marked.

 

Everybody was complimenting the loft staff and race organisers the way the pigeons handled and many fanciers that have done this race marking for numerous years stated it was the best condition the pigeons had ever been in. This after a very trying and testing year in training and racing because of the heavy rain, thunderstorms and extreme temperatures during the race series, plus of course because training had actually started later than usual. However, as is usual with this great international race, if the pigeons are basketed for this Final Race then they sure are ready for their final hurdle. After about four and a half hours the task was finally completed and thanks must go to all the pigeon fanciers and friends that assisted us during the race marking because without their help this massive task would have taken much longer to achieve. A few pigeons were taken out because of injuries and these were placed in separate baskets for the Veterinary Officer Dr. Piet van Zyl to check them out and in total 4 pigeons were withdrawn from the race as not being fit to compete. A few pigeons were given new electronic ring and these details were then added to the database and finally at about 17.50 the Auditors finally announced that we had basketed a total of 2,627 pigeons from 38 different countries for the 22nd SAMDPR.

 

After this massive task we all made our way back to the Emerald Resort Hotel which would be our base for the next few days to have a few drinks at the bar. After a few beers to unwind with fanciers from many different countries, it was off to the lodge to get showered and changed before going out for another event which had been organised for Thursday evening, it was going to be a River Boma Braai relax and enjoy a traditional South African Barbeque under the stars at the River Boma on the side of the Vaal River. However, this has to be changed because the ground was just too wet under foot. So it was moved inside to the Breeze Restaurant and once again this turned out to be very well supported and great fun event with fabulous food and everybody really enjoying themselves listening to some outstanding South African drummers. Once again this event went down very well with all that attended. As it quietened down people made their way back to the bars and finished the evening off talking about how hopefully they were going to win the 22nd SAMDPR.

 

Friday morning dawned and Sara Blackshaw (Director of Air Sport Internationale, The Presenters of the Race) had arranged for a Country Co-ordinator’s meeting to take place in the Kilimanjaro Room. Also in attendance were Michael Holt (Race Director), Pieter Saayman (Systems Administrator), Willi van Beers (Loft Manager), Marion Branford (Administration), Dr. Piet van Zyl (Veterinary Officer), Maitland Blackshaw (Loft Assistant), Paul Smith (International Race Co-ordinator) and all the Country Race Co-ordinator’s that were attending the race. It is always an interesting meeting because you get different views from numerous countries. New competitions are talked about, plus slight changes to others. Last year it was decided to increase of a team of pigeons from 3 to 4 pigeons as trial year and as that had been successful it was decided to bring in teams of 4 pigeons from the 24th SAMDPR. However, for the 23rd SAMDPR fanciers can still enter teams of 3 or 4 pigeons into the next race. Numerous other items were raised and discussed. Another item that was discussed in some length was having daily races, however this was thought not to be viable because pigeons were continually returning to the lofts. It was then discussed about having three races a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and this seemed to meet with approval from those present. Prize Money was discussed and everybody will be notified of any changes or additions to the current structure. The current Unikon Electronic Clocking System needs to be updated and talks would take place with Benzing Electronic Clocking Company and hopefully after ASI received quotes from them a more modern Electronic Clocking System will be installed for use in the 23rd SAMDPR. The meeting came to a close because two events had also been arranged for later in the day and they were a golf and a fishing tournament for those that wanted to participate. This meeting took about one and a half hours and numerous things were discussed and then minuted.

 

I had entered the second 18 hole golf tournament, along with Tad, Sara and about 10 other pigeon fanciers from literally all over the world. Sara had hired clubs for hose that had not brought theirs with them. The weather was ideal for golf and it was decided to play a pairs competition as it would be a quicker game. The plan was we played 9 holes and then stopped for a beer/wine and a light lunch, kindly supplied by Air Sport Internationale, after this break we would then continue to play the last 9 holes. A very civilised way to play a golf tournament I thought. However, all the best made plans were about to unfold and after just one and a half holes a massive hail storm hit us with thunder and lightning which lasted for hours, something that I have never witnessed in South Africa in the 23 years that I have been visiting this country. So play had to be suspended and because the course and the greens were flooded, no further play was allowed as the course had to be closed. So it was into the clubhouse bar absolutely soaked to the skin rather earlier than anticipated. Thanks to Gary Lance, the owner of Heron Banks Golf & River Golf Club and all his staff for making us all so welcome.

 

I did enter the first fishing competition on the Vaal River as I was playing golf but according to all those that participated, it also turned out to be a disaster because of the tremendous hail storm, Air Sport Internationale had hired all the fishing rods and purchased the bait and I believe from what I was told it was exceptionally well supported and whilst there were not too many fish caught but as usual there were lots of stories about the one that got away. Once their competition was abandoned, most joined us at the clubhouse and dried out and had a few drinks and some food that had been laid on for the competitors. Well done to Willi van Beers for assisting with organising this extra bit of fun. The winners would be announced at the Welcome Function on the Friday evening.

 

For those that did not to participate in either of these activities this was a day of rest for most but for those involved in making sure the race goes ahead it was work as usual as everything had to be set up in the E&E Centre in the fantastic Emerald Resort, so that all visitors can enjoy the race during Saturday.

 

Friday evening at 19.30 was the Welcome Cocktail Party in the Kilimanjaro Room in the Emerald Resort Hotel, which was right next to the Restaurant and Bar area. The setting was outstanding and place was packed and food and drinks were available. After about one hour Sara Blackshaw took to the stage and gave a report on tomorrow’s race and she wished everybody success. The pigeons had arrived safely at the race point and had been fed and watered ready for the early morning liberation from 521km (324 miles). Then with the assistance of Joan-e Holt (Public Relations) the race sponsors and all the Country Co-ordinator’s that were present were called up to the stage and given a small gift for all their hard work and efforts over the past year. The Official Race Sponsors were then called to the stage and they were as follows:- Peter Furstenberg from Shine Interactive, Keith McLintock & Brett Lindsay from Big Brave Digital, Deirdre Kallmeyer from African Olive Travels Concepts, Dr. Henk De Weerd from Belgica De Weerd Clinic, Sudhoff Veterinary, Brother Copiers, Medpet, Turf Pet Hyper, Unikon (Deister Electronics Clocking System), Animals To Fly (Shipping), The Racing Pigeon & International Pictorial and Pigeons On Line. Also two very special mentions were for Heron Banks Golf & River Estate and of course Emerald Resort, Casino & Hotel. All of these were met with great applaud and the Country Co-ordinator’s that were present then had a team photograph taken. Then Sara Blackshaw announced the winners of the two special competitions held earlier in the day, and the winners of the pairs golf tournament were Paul Smith from United Kingdom and Sara Blackshaw from Switzerland and Paul walked to the stage to pick up his trophy from Sara Blackshaw. As a winning team had to be declared and as this partnership had won the trophy last year, it was decided that they should retain the trophy/s. There were joint winners of the fishing tournament and they were Jorg Woltersdorf and Ekki Wrobel from Germany, they both caught a 11.5 pound barbel, both these gentlemen proudly walked to the stage to pick up the trophy. Paul, Sara, Jorg and Ekki were then all applauded by those present and all will hopefully be back to defend their titles next year. Yet another well supported event and place was buzzing with excitement for what tomorrow might bring for one lucky fancier or syndicate. When the event ended it was back to the hotel bar for some more drinks.

 

Saturday morning dawned and it was a beautiful day for a pigeon race. I was told the pigeons were liberated at 06.00 with a light tail wind, changing round to a light head wind as the approached the loft. We had breakfast in the hotel and everybody was buzzing as the Final Race day had finally arrived. We made our way over to the E&E Centre and it was starting to fill up with many fanciers from all over the world, plus of course lots of South African fanciers and friends that were turning up to enjoy the race day activities. It was good to see the trade stands that had supported this event doing good business and my friend for many years Allan Jordaan was interviewing fanciers and other people on the stage. Food and drinks were available and the two big screens on the stage were showing the Hot Spot Car Races that had taken place during the 2017/18 race series. Then all of a sudden the E&E Centre went silent as the Final Race liberation was about to be shown on the two big screens on the stage, it really was a great liberation and the pigeons cleared the race point in minutes.  

 

Lunch had been laid on in the E&E Centre for all that had tickets and that started at 12 noon and the tables were soon full of pigeon fanciers and friends from all over the world having a good time and talking about what might be about to happen, all hoping that the first pigeon over the winning line would be theirs or if not one from a fellow countryman or somebody they knew.

 

The E&E Centre was filling up and it was estimated that there were around 1,500 fanciers and friends in the hall and numbers were still increasing. Lots of fanciers had travelled from all over South Africa to view and be part of the race as it actually happened and to be part of a wonderful experience. I finally left the E&E Centre for the race loft with Michael Holt and Pieter Saayman at about 12.30 and we arrived at the loft about 10 minutes later, everything was already set up and ready to go, all the final checks were done and found to be working perfectly and it was now time to start looking into the sky. I predicated the winning pigeon would take about eight and a half hours to cover the 324 mile journey, just over 40 miles per hour, so my estimated arrival time would be 14.30. However, as usual I was out spotting well before this estimated arrival time.

 

THE FINAL RACE took place on Saturday 3rd February 2018 and liberation took place at 06.00 from Colesburg 521km (324 miles) in a light tail wind turning into a light head wind as the pigeons got nearer to the race lofts, no storms were forecast and it looked like a perfect day for a race of this quality. The race entry consisted of 2,627 pigeons from 38 different countries and was made up as follows:- Australia 21, Austria 20, Bahrain 2, Belgium 131, Bosnia & Herzegovina 5, Bulgaria 12, Canada 62, China 12, Croatia 1, Czech Republic 45, Denmark 27, Germany 565, Greece 2, Iraq 4, Ireland 30, Italy 16, Kuwait 181, Mexico 2, Netherlands 121, Norway 11, Poland 49, Portugal 0, Puerto Rico 2, Qatar 9, Romania 48, Russia 2, Saudi Arabia 33, Slovakia 24, Slovenia 7, South Africa 305, Spain 2, Sweden 1, Switzerland 16, Trinidad 3, United Arab Emirates 22, United Kingdom 152 and United States of America 659. This total was made up of 2,322 International pigeons and 305 pigeons from South Africa.

 

There were just 4 pigeons in the Hold Back List that were not basketed because they had been deemed by the Veterinary Officer Dr. Piet van Zyl not to be fit enough to be basketed, these were made up as follows:- 1 from Belgium, 1 from Netherlands, 1 from Slovenia and 1 from United States of America. If any of these were paid up entries the owners will get a refund as per the rules of the race.

 

LIVESTREAM (YOU TUBE’S NEW LIVE BROADCASTING PLATFORM) was available to watch online on the SAMDPR Website and pigeon fanciers from literally all over the world were logging on to watch the race unfold. Keith McLintock & Brett Lindsay and Big Brave Digital and staff are the company involved with this side of the race. The figures run into thousands watching at the same time. Keith Lindsay was at the race loft doing interviews were going out live, plus Facebook and Twitter. These were seen by thousands of fanciers, friends and people all over the world. The work and effort these guys put into doing this job professionally is remarkable, everything has to be done correctly for it to be seen by all who log on to watch what they cover. They filmed at all the 5 Hot Spot Car Races, at the liberation and of course The Final Race. This gives all the pigeon fanciers or interested parties all over the world the chance to view these events LIVE and as they actually happen. THESE GUYS DO A SUPERB JOB AND ARE WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD. Special words of praise must also go to Keith McLintock & Brett Lindsay and staff from Big Brave Digital and also to Peter Furstenberg and his staff from Shine Interactive, they do a wonderful job with all the media and technical worldwide coverage, that is watched literally all over the world. They do a magnificent job. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GUYS.

 

The excitement at the race loft was building up when all of a sudden a blue chequer was spotted all on its own at 14.14 heading straight for the race loft, everybody was thinking is it mine or even is it a race bird. It finally landed on trapping platform. The excitement grew as the pigeon moved nearer to the trapping pads, then finally it went in and was clocked at 14.15.32.59, the cheers went up and we were told it was a South African pigeon that had just won the coveted 1st Prize.  

 

CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING THE COVETED 1st OPEN PRIZE went to CLUB SONSKYN from SOUTH AFRICA with their superb Blue Chequer Pied Hen named MIX ring number ZA17SLIM2697 bred by GADDIN BROTHERS + CHARL STANDER which was officially clocked at 14.15.32.59 to record a velocity of 1154ypm, 1051.374 m/m, 17.5229 m/s (39.35 mph) winning a GOLD MEDAL, SUPERB TROPHY, WINNER’S JACKET and THE WINNER’S CHEQUE for a staggering US$200,000 (£153,846).

 

This pigeon was well clear and won the race by a clear seventeen and a half minutes. Plus, this outstanding pigeon then sold for an amazing 1.150,000 MILLION RAND, or US$94,728.17c, or £68,987, or E77,860 when it was auctioned. Mike Ganus from the Ganus Family Loft in United States of America purchased this great pigeon to add to his great Breeding Stud which of course contains many past winners of this illustrious pigeon race. This is a record breaking price paid in South African for a South African bred and rung pigeon and also the highest price paid for a SAMDPR pigeon in South Africa, the only SAMDPR pigeon to sell for more than this was Mike Ganus’s own 2016 winning pigeon Laura Is A Big Winner Today which sold in USA for US$100,010.00c, this pigeon was also purchased by Mike Ganus. Then 2nd Open Al-Watri Lofts from Kuwait with pigeon named Watri 2 bred by Fahad Al-Watri, which was officially clocked at 14.33.03.00, winning a GOLD MEDAL, Trophy and US$125,000 (£96,154), 3rd Open Neighbourhood Bullies from United States of America with pigeon named Kleine Blue bred by Bobby Brown which was officially clocked at 14.35.42.18, winning a GOLD MEDAL, Trophy and US$75,000 (£57,692), this pigeon also won THE KNOCKOUT COMPETITION and 2nd in THE OVERALL AVERAGES, 4th Open Ahmed S Al-Juwaisri from Kuwait with pigeon named Saad bred by Ahmed S Al-Juwaisri, winning GOLD MEDAL, Trophy and US$50,000 (£38,462), this pigeon was officially clocked at 14.35.52.68, 5th Open Donnelly & Kirkwood from Ireland with pigeon named Junior 2 bred by Karl Donnelly winning a GOLD MEDAL, Trophy and US$35,000 (£26,923), this pigeon was officially clocked at 14.35.52.68, this pigeon also won THE ZANDY MEYER MEMORIAL CAR NOMINATION & US$74,800 (£57,539), 6th Open F+J Vandenheede from China with pigeon named Flaterwater bred by F+J Vandenheede winning a GOLD MEDAL, Trophy and US$20,000 (£15,385), this pigeon was officially clocked at 14.40.53.23, 7th Open Irish Syndicate from United States of America with pigeon named Niall bred by Stephen Furlonge winning a GOLD MEDAL, Trophy and US$17,500 (£13,615), this pigeon was officially clocked at 14.47.35.35, this pigeon also won 5th in THE OVERALL AVERAGES, 8th Open Triple J Lofts from South Africa with pigeon named Celest bred by Jurie Eurie & Son winning a GOLD MEDAL, Trophy and US$15,000 (£11,538), this pigeon was officially clocked at 14.55.07.52, 9th Open Erwin u Ralf Schuermann from Germany with pigeon named Foxi bred by Manfred Schmidt + Martina Bau winning a GOLD MEDAL, Trophy and US$12,500 (£9,615), this pigeon was officially clocked at 14.55.21.38, 10th Open Millys Loft from United Kingdom with pigeon named Dundees Got Ya bred by Michael Mellor winning a GOLD MEDAL, Trophy and US$10,000 (£7,692), this pigeon was officially clocked at 14.55.23.07. We then had 11th Open Club Benoni Homing Society from South Africa with pigeon named Jetstream bred by Gert de Necker & Joe Gomes winning US$7,000 (£5,385), 12th Open Crazy Luck Syndicate from Germany with pigeon named Push Your Sister bred by Raimund Roidi winning US$7,000 (£5,385), 13th Open FW Munnik from South Africa with pigeon named Black 1 bred by FW Munnik winning US$7,000 (£5,385), 14th Open Veenstra – Hsu Ho Chen from Netherlands with pigeon named Return Flojo bred by Pieter Veenstra winning US$7,000 (£5,385), this pigeon also won 1st in THE OVERALL AVERAGES, this pigeon actually won this category by two hours fifteen minutes and 45.63 seconds, 15th Open Team Brodo from Germany with pigeon named Turtel bred by Juergen Brocksch winning US$7,000 (£5,385), 16th Open Paul Smith Syndicate from United Kingdom with pigeon named Stansted Blue Rocket bred by Jimmy Richards winning US$5,000 (£3,846), Next A DEFAULTER PIGEON which was not paid for by its owner, 17th Open Volker Graser from Germany with pigeon named Jonas B bred by Volker Graser winning US$5,000 (£3,846), 18th Open David Demko from United States of America with pigeon named 972Laureaat-054Cahors 120 bred by David Demko winning US$5,000 (£3,846), 19th Open TadT from Kingdom with pigeon named Wonder Girl bred by Tad Truszkowski and Vince Crossley winning US$5,000 (£3,846), this pigeon also won 7th in THE OVERALL AVERAGES, 20th Open Quest Syndicate from United States of America with pigeon named Campino bred by Philip Robertson winning US$5,000 (£3,846), 21st Open Si Se Puede Farm from United States of America with pigeon named BMW x22 bred by Robert Martin winning US$3,500 (£2,692), 22nd Open Gaddin Brothers + Charl Stander from South Africa with pigeon named Amerios 1 bred by Gaddin Brothers + Charl Stander winning US$3,500 (£2,692), 23rd Open Ludovicus Van De Wouwer from Belgium with pigeon named Louise 9 bred by Ludovicus Van De Wouwer winning US$3,500 (£2,692), 24th Open Team Hanne + Hansi Platte from Germany with pigeon named Fritzi bred by A. Wolf winning US$3,500 (£2,692), this pigeon also won 3rd in THE OVERALL AVERAGES and 25th Open Gert De Necker + Joe Gomes from South Africa with pigeon named Juliana bred by Gert De Necker + Joe Gomes winning US$3,500 (£2,692). For full result please log on to the official SAMDPR Website www.samdpr.com where you can see what time all the pigeons were officially clocked and what they all won. There were 300 cash prizes so that means another 275 cash prizes were up for grabs. I would love to list all 300 winners but unfortunately, limited space does not allow this to happen. Only 93 pigeons were officially clocked on the day up to 19.27 and 6 of these were NON-ACTIVATED PIGEONS or DEFAULTER PIGEONS so that left 213 cash prizes to won on Sunday morning. Three pigeons were clocked during the darkness at 01.37, 01.59 and 02.05. The first pigeon being clocked at 05.21.28.72 on the Sunday morning and the 300th at 08.11.26.89. There were 7 different countries in the top 10. The top 25 pigeons had 9 different countries represented in this result and then a total of 13 different countries were represented in the top 50 Open in this race, with 16 different countries represented in the top 100. A total of 300 pigeons were officially clocked by 08.07 on Sunday morning, then 750 by 09.52, followed by 1,302 by nightfall on Sunday. More pigeon homed on Monday and by nightfall a total of 1,492 had returned to the race loft. By Tuesday night the total had risen to 1,533 clocked and by Wednesday night the total was 1,544 pigeons clocked. A few more drifted in over the next few days taking the total to 1,583 pigeons recorded.

A later Loft List on the SAMDPR Web Site shows 1,618 pigeons have made it back to the loft in Heron Banks Golf & River Estate. Full result can be seen on www.samdpr.com

 

CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING 1st UNITED KINGDOM, 10th OPEN went to MILLYS LOFT with pigeon named DUNDEE GOT YA bred by MICHAEL MELLOR from CREWE which was officially clocked at 14.55.23.07 which won a cool US$10,000 (£7,692) for its efforts, plus a TROPHY and a GOLD MEDAL. Michael went one better than last year in the 21st SAMDPR when he took 1st UNITED KINGDOM, 11th OPEN. WELL DONE MATE ON A FANTASTIC DOUBLE. 2nd UK, 16th Open Paul Smith Syndicate, administered by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet with pigeon named Stansted Blue Rocket bred by Jimmy Richards from Laindon who passed on 27th December 2017, which won US$5,000 (£3,846). 3rd UK, 19th Open TadT with pigeon named Wonder Girl bred by Tad Truszkowski and Vince Crossley from Melton Mowbray, which won US$5,000 (£3,846). 4th UK, 30th Open a second for Millys Loft with pigeon named Dundee Returns bred by Michael Mellor from Crewe, which won US$3,500 (£2,692), 5th UK, 49th Open Zandys Dream Team with pigeon named Zandys Venture bred by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet, which won US$2,500 (£1,923), 6th UK, 59th Open Nigel Templar with pigeon named National Dream bred by Nigel Templar from Bristol, which won US$2,000 (£1,923), 7th UK, 81st Open Finghall Lofts Stud with pigeon named Fingham Bliksem Boy bred by Keith Thompson from Doncaster, which won US$1,750 (£1,346), 8th UK, 124th Open a second for Zandys Dream Team with pigeon named Zandys Perfection bred by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet, which won US$1,500 (£1,154), 9th UK, 146th Open L+D Wellburn with their pigeon named Krystana 3 bred by L+D Wellburn from Acklam, which won US$1,250 (£962), 10th UK, 153rd Open Berkshire Boys with pigeon named Goldfinger 3, which won US$1,110 (£846), 11th UK, 170th Open UK Elite Syndicate, administered by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet with pigeon named Essex Monarch bred by Ronnie Reason from Colchester, which won US$1,100 (£846), 12th UK, 182nd Open a third for Zandys Dream Team with pigeon named Zandys Inspiration bred by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet, which won US$1,100 (£846), 13th UK, 251st Open Team Lincs with pigeon named Mooby bred by Paul & Tracey Stacey from Sleaford, which won US$500 (£385), 14th UK, 257th Open Leighton & Williams with pigeon named Actavos King George with pigeon bred by Mark Williams from Dyserth Lofts, which won US$500 (£385), 15th UK, 275th Open a second for Paul Smith Syndicate, administered by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet with pigeon named Stansted Reward with pigeon bred by the late Jimmy Richards from Laindon who passed away on the 27th December 2017, which won US$500 (£385), 16th UK, 295th Open Syndicate Lofts UK with pigeon named Shoot To Thrill bred Peter Fox from Bangor, which won US$500 (£385), 17th UK, 333rd Open a second for the UK Elite Syndicate, administered by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet with pigeon named Essex Supreme bred by Lee Fribbins from Frating, 18th UK, 341st Open Nick Bradford with pigeon named Avocet 39 bred by Nick Bradford from Exmouth, 19th UK, 386th Open a second for TadT with pigeon named Lazarus bred by Tad Truszkowski and Vince Crossley from Melton Mowbray, 20th UK, 412th Open a second for Nigel Templar with pigeon named National Express bred by Nigel Templar from Bristol, 21st UK, 413th Open The Royal Lofts (Her Majesty The Queen) with pigeon named Ryal Artillery bred by Peter Farrow (Loft Manager) from Wolverton, 22nd UK, 422nd Open Mr & Mrs Andy Gregson with pigeon named Soul Girl bred by Mr & Mrs Andy Gregson from Preston, 23rd UK, 438th Open Lucky Devils Syndicate, administered by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet with pigeon named Lucky Triple One bred by Bob Fenech from Attleborough, 24th UK, 445th Open a second for Team Lincs with pigeon named Gonerby bred by Paul & Tracey Stacey from Sleaford and 25th UK, 446th Open a third for Tadt with pigeon named My Girl 1 bred by Tad Truszkowski and Vince Crossley from Melton Mowbray. A total of 89 United Kingdom pigeons were officially recorded, which was a fantastic result for the UK Team.

 

THE UNITED KINGDOM COUNTRY CHALLENGE for the first nominated pigeon clocked in the Final Race went to MILLYS LOFT with pigeon named DUNDEES GOT YA bred by MICHAEL MELLOR from CREWE which won US$5,680 (£4,370) for its efforts. 2nd went to the Paul Smith Syndicate, administered by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet with pigeon named Stansted Blue Rocket bred by the late Jimmy Richards from Laindon who passed away on 27th December 2017. 3rd went to TadT with his pigeon named Wonder Girl bred by Tad Truszkowski and Vince Crossley from Melton Mowbray. For the full result see the SAMDPR Website www.samdpr.com

 

THE UNITED KINGDOM COUNTRY CHALLENGE AVERAGES after 16 official races was 1st TADT with pigeon named WONDER GIRL bred by TAD TRUSZKOWSKI and VINCE CROSSLEY from MELTON MOWBRAY with a combined flying time of 41.48.11.24 up 8 places from the last race. 2nd went to Zandys Dream Team with pigeon named Zandys Perfection bred by Paul Smith from Stansted Mountfitchet with a combined flying time of 58.57.03.45 up 9 places from the last race. 3rd went to Team Lincs with pigeon named Beckingham bred by Paul & Tracey Stacey from Sleaford with a combined flying time of 60.47.19.59 up 3 places from the last race. For the full result see the SAMDPR Website www.samdpr.com

 

CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING 1st IRELAND, 5th OPEN went to DONNELLY & KIRKWOOD with super pigeon named JUNIOR 2 bred by KARL DONNELLY, which was officially clocked at 14.40.38.30, winning US$35,000 (£26,923) for its efforts, plus a TROPHY and a GOLD MEDAL. Karl had travelled out to South Africa for the race so it was great to see him celebrate his fine win. He also won 1st Ireland, 106th OPEN in the 21st SAMDPR. WELL DONE ON A FANTASTIC DOUBLE. This pigeon also won THE ZANDY MEYER MEMORIAL CAR NOMINATION and US$74,800 (£57,539). WHAT A FANTASTIC RACE DAY WHICH I AM SURE YOU WILL REMEMBER FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

Then 2nd Ireland, 72nd Open Taximush with pigeon named Taximush 6, bred by Garret Hensey which won US$2,000 (£1,539), 3rd Ireland, 96th Open Joe Kennedy & Son with their pigeon named Tiny Tears, bred by Joe Kennedy & Son which won US$1,750 (£1,346), 4th Ireland, 128th Open another for Donnelly & Kirkwood with their pigeon named Nero, bred by Karl Donnelly which won US$1,250 (£962), 5th Ireland, 140th Open Philip & Mark Smith with their pigeon named Haydev, bred by Philip & Mark Smith which won US$1,250 (£962), 6th Ireland, 166th Open Team India – Kallmeyer & Viki with their pigeon named Shimmer-n-Shine bred by H. D. A Kallmeyer which won US$1,100 (£846), 7th Ireland, 186th Open Jos Reilly – Team Ireland with pigeon named Kaby Choce bred by Jos Reilly which won US$1,100 (£846), 8th Ireland, 214th Open H+C Thorpe – McMorrow with pigeon named Wylder bred by Sheldon Leonard which won US$1,000 (£769), 9th Ireland, 231st Open Alois Wiefler from Austria with pigeon named Lucky Penny that was bred by Joe Kennedy & Son and was Not-Activated by the entrant but won US$1,000 (£769) for Alois Wiefler who Activated this pigeon. Then 10th Ireland, 236th Open another for Taximush with pigeon named Taximush 2 bred by Garret Hensey which won US$1,000 (£769). The Irish Team got 23 pigeons home. A FANTASTIC TEAM RESULT FOR IRELAND, YOU MUST ALL BE OVER THE MOON WITH THIS OUTSTANDING RESULT?

 

THE IRISH COUNTRY CHALLENGE for the first nominated pigeon clocked in the Final Race went to DONNELLY & KIRKWOOD with their pigeon named JUNIOR 2 bred by KARL DONNELLY which won US$640 (£493) for its efforts. 2nd went to Donnelly & Kirkwood with their pigeon named Nero which was bred by Karl Donnelly. 3rd went to Philip & Mark Smith with their pigeon named Haydev which was bred by Philip & Mark Smith. For the full result see the SAMDPR Website www.samdpr.com

 

THE IRISH COUNTRY CHALLENGE AVERAGES after 16 official races was 1st

DONNELLY & KIRKWOOD with pigeon named JUNIOR 2 bred by KARL DONNELLY with a combined flying time of 51.31.12.42 up 2 places from the last race. 2nd went to Donnelly & Kirkwood with pigeon named Nero bred by Karl Donnelly with a combined flying time of 59.50.34.08 down 1 place from the last race. 3rd Philip & Mark Smith with pigeon named Haydev bred by Philip & Mark Smith with a combined flying time of 79.44.32.59 up 1 place from the last race. For the full result see the SAMDPR Website www.samdpr.com

 

GLOBAL NOMINATIONS ON THE FINAL RACE amounted to a staggering US$224,944 (£174,000) which included 88 pigeons entered at US$1,000 (£770) per pigeon entry fee with the top prize worth a cool US$74,800 (£57,539) for the Zandy Meyer Memorial Mercedes Car Entry and a grand total of 900 pigeons including 45 pigeons from the United Kingdom and 12 pigeons from Ireland and a total of 4,326 Global Nominations were actually placed. Once again the UNITED KINGDOM TEAM members did really well with TADT taking 19th OPEN with pigeon named WONDER GIRL bred by TAD TRUSZKOWSKI and VINCE CROSSLEY from MELTON MOWBRAY, this pigeon won a cool US$15,096 (£11,613). Then MILLYS LOFT taking 30th OPEN with pigeon named DUNDEE RETURNS bred by MICHAEL MELLOR from CREWE that won US$3,400 (£2,616) for its efforts, then taking 59th OPEN was NIGEL TEMPLAR with his pigeon named NATIONAL DREAM bred by NIGEL TEMPLAR from BRISTOL which also walked away with US$646 (£497), then FINGHALL LOFTS STUD taking 81st OPEN with pigeon named FINGHAM BLIKSEM BOY bred by KEITH THOMPSON from DONCASTER and this pigeon walked away with US$2,346 (£1,805), then ZANDYS DREAM TEAM taking 124th OPEN with pigeon named ZANDYS PERFECTION bred by PAUL SMITH from STANSTED MOUNTFITCHET which won US$1,700 (£1,308) for its efforts. It should also be mentioned that two other UK entrants purchased unsold Venturer Pigeons that won Nomination Money and they were TT SYNDICATE (Tad Truszkowski from

Melton Mowbray) with pigeon named HUDAYAN 3 from KUWAIT which won US$1,360 (£1,046) for its efforts and then SCOTLANDS OWN SYNDICTE (Barry Kinnear from Edinburgh) with pigeon named FAISAL 4 from SAUDI ARABIA which won US$3,196 (£2,459) for its efforts. THE IRISH TEAM took 5th OPEN DONNELLY & KIRKWOOD with pigeon named JUNIOR 2 bred by KARL DONNELLY and they won THE ZANDY MEYER MEMORIAL CAR NOMINATION and a cool US$74,800 (£57,539). WELL DONE TO ALL THESE FANCIERS. IT REALLY HAS BEEN AN OUTSTANDING RACE SERIES FOR FANCIERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND AS THEY HAVE WON MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE OF GLOBAL NOMINATIONS RIGHT THROUGH THE 2017 & 2018 RACE PROGRAMME. THE TOTAL GLOBAL NOMINATIONS IN THIS FINAL RACE AMOUNTED TO A STAGGERING US$265,543.40 (approx. £204,265).

 

REGIONAL NOMINATIONS FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM TEAM in the FINAL RACE amounted to US$2,669.85c (£2,054) with 30 pigeons entered with 142 Nominations and there was 3 fanciers sharing to spoils and these were as follows:- TADT took 19th OPEN with pigeon named WONDER GIRL bred by TAD TRUSZKOWSKI and VINCE CROSSLEY from MELTON MOWBRAY which won a cool US$2,401.75c (£1,848), then FINGHALL LOFTS STUD in 81st OPEN with pigeon named FINGHAM BLIKSEM BOY bred by KEITH THOMPSON from DONCASTER which won US$60.35c (£46), then ZANDYS DREAM TEAM took 124th OPEN with pigeon named ZANDYS PERFECTION bred by PAUL SMITH from STANSTED MOUNTFITCHET and this walked away with US$212.50c (£164). WELL DONE TO THESE WINNERS.

 

REGIONAL NOMINATIONS FOR THE IRISH TEAM in the FINAL RACE amounted to US$86.70c (£67) with 3 pigeons entered and with 10 Nominations. There was just one winner and that was TEAM INDIA – KALLMEYER & VIKI that took 166th OPEN with pigeon named SHIMMER-N-SHINE bred by H. D. A KALLMEYER which won US$17.85c (£14) for its efforts. Some Nominations were not won and this was refunded to those that entered.

 

THE OVERALL AVERAGES after 16 official races in the 2017/18 race series finished as follows:- 1st NETHERLANDS, 1st OPEN and the 1st Prize of US$10,000 (£7,963) went to VEENSTRA – HSU HO CHEN from NETHERLANDS with pigeon named RETURN FLOJO bred by PIETER VEENSTRA with a total combined flying time of 36.55.12.92 to cover the 16 races that counted, winning this category clearly by two hours fifteen minutes & 45.63 seconds, this pigeon moved up 16 places from the last race. Then 1st UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2nd OPEN and the 2nd Prize of US$5,000 (£3,846) went to NEIGHBOURHOOD BULLIES from UNITED STATES OF AMERICA with pigeon named KLEINE BLUE bred by BOBBY BROWN with a total combined flying time of 39.10.58.55 to cover the 16 races that counted, this pigeon moved up 271 places from the last race. Then 1st GERMANY, 3rd OPEN and US$2,500 (£1,923) went to TEAM HANNE + HANSI PLATTE from GERMANY with pigeon named FRITZI bred by A. WOLF with a total combined flying time of 40.41.12.90 to cover the 16 races that counted, this pigeon moved up 218 places from the last race. It was amazing to see the pigeon that would have taken 3rd in this category was a Defaulter Pigeon. 1st UNITED KINGDOM, 7th OPEN went to TADT with pigeon named WONDER GIRL bred by TAD TRUSZKOWSKI and VINCE CROSSLEY from MELTON MOWBRAY with a total flying time of 41.48.11.24 to cover the 16 races that counted, this pigeon moved up 394 places from the last race. 1st IRELAND, 22nd OPEN went to DONNELLY & KIRKWOOD with their pigeon named JUNIOR 2 bred by KARL DONNELLY with a total combined flying time of 51.31.12.42 in the 16 races that counted, this pigeon moved up 739 place from the last race. WELL DONE TO ALL THE WINNERS.

 

The 2-BIRD AVERAGE IN THE FINAL RACE carried a US$2,000 (£1,539) cash prize

and that was won by ERWIN u RALF SCHUERMANN (Team 2) from the GERMANY with his pigeons named FOXI (9th) bred by MANFRED SCHMIDT + MARTINA BAU and MARA (68th) bred by ERWIN u RALF SCHUERMANN with a total velocity of 27.580 m/s. 1st UNITED KINGDOM, 20th OPEN was NIGEL TEMPLAR (Team 1) with pigeons named NATIONAL DREAM (59th) and NATIONAL EXPRESS (412th) both bred by NIGEL TEMPLAR from BRISTOL with a total velocity of 16.945 m/s. The United Kingdom had 5 teams in the top 99 in this category. 1st IRELAND, 43rd OPEN was JOE KENNEDY & SON (Team 1) with pigeons named TINY TEARS (96th) and LUCKY PENNY (231st) both bred by JOE KENNEDY & SON with a total velocity of 11.570 m/s. CONRATULATIONS TO ALL CONCERNED.

 

The 3-BIRD AVERAGE IN THE FINAL RACE carried a US$3,000 (£2,308) cash prize and was won by AHMAD S AL-JUWAISRI (Team 2) from KUWAIT with pigeons named SAAD (4th), YOUSSEF (590th) and SALEM 1 (843rd) all bred by AHMAD S AL-JUWAISRI with a total velocity of 27.210 m/s. 1st UNITED KINGDOM, 23rd OPEN was ZANDYS DREAM TEAM (Team 5) with pigeons named ZANDYS INSPIRATION (182nd), ZANDYS AMBITION (694th) and ZANDYS PASSION (918th) all bred by PAUL SMITH from STANSTED MOUNTFITCHET with a total velocity of 15.909 m/s. 1st IRELAND, 13th OPEN was JOE KENNEDY & SON (Team 1) with pigeons named TINY TEARS (96th), LUCKY PENNY (231st) and FLASH HUGHIE (737th) all bred by JOE KENNEDY & SON with a total velocity of 16.745 m/s. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL CONCERNED.

THE ZANDY MEYER MEMORIAL MERCEDES CAR NOMINATION which has a US$1,000 (approx. £770) ENTRY FEE NOMINATION PER PIGEON also took place on the “FINAL RACE” and the winner of A BRAND NEW MERCEDES BENZ MOTOR CAR, worth a staggering US$74,800 (approx. £57,539). (ONLY “ACTIVATED”PIGEONS ARE ELIGIBLE TO COMPETE FOR ANY OF THESE SPECIAL CASH PRIZES OR AWARDS). This treasured award this year was won by DONNELLY & KIRKWOOD with their pigeon named JUNIOR 2 bred by KARL DONNELLY from IRELAND that won 5th OPEN in THE FINAL RACE. THIS PIGEON BEAT 88 PIGEONS THAT WERE ENTERED INTO THIS PRESTIGIOUS COMPETITION. WHAT A FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT, WELL DONE GUYS.

 

As per the race rules of this great International Race any UN-ACTIVATED pigeons after one week after the 5th HOT SPOT CAR RACE has taken place are listed on the SAMDPR Website FOR SALE at US$1,100 (£846) each and anybody in the world can purchase any of these pigeons and whatever Prize Money they win in the Final Race goes to the new owners. However, if one of the UN-ACTIVATED pigeons that had been purchased wins a position in the top ten, the TROPHY and GOLD MEDAL goes to the person that originally entered it, plus the original owner gets any funds raised from the auction after the Final Race. This year 259 pigeons were NOT-ACTIVATED by their owners after Hot Spot Car Race 5 and when the list went on the SAMDPR Website a total of 168 of these were sold prior to the race, meaning that just 91 pigeons were actually not flying for Prize Money in the Final Race. As usual quite a few of these pigeons won Prize Money for their new owners. GOOD LUCK TO ALL CONCERNED.

 

THE KNOCKOUT COMPETITION for the 2017/18 race series offered a US$25,000 (£19,231) First Prize and only fully paid up pigeon before basketing of Hot Spot Car Race 1 are eligible to compete for this great cash prize. This fantastic competition offers the following conditions and one lucky winner will walk away with “THE POT OF GOLD” after the Final Race. These rules are as follows:- This competition will take place over the last four Hot Spot Car Races and the Final Race, if however any Hot Spot Car Race are cancelled the race committee can use a Training Race to replace any Hot Spot Car Race. As usual this competition is very well supported and this year was no exception as there was a total of 2,734 pigeons entered, which was made up of 2,506 International pigeons, which included 197 from the United Kingdom and 33 from Ireland, plus 228 pigeons from South Africa. KNOCKOUT ROUND 1 took place on HOT SPOT CAR RACE 2 on Saturday 30th December 2017 and 1,778 (65%) of the entered pigeons moved forward to the next round. After this round 1 there was still 126 United Kingdom and 23 Irish pigeons left for the next round. KNOCKOUT ROUND 2 took place on HOT SPOT CAR RACE 3 on Saturday 6th January 2018 and 978 (55%) of the entered pigeons moved forward to the next round. After this round 2 there were still 61 United Kingdom pigeons and 12 Irish pigeons left to move forward for the next round. KNOCKOUT ROUND 3 took place on the re-arranged HOT SPOT CAR RACE 4 on Saturday 15th January 2018 and 343 (35%) of the entered pigeons moved forward to the next round. After this round 3 there was still 24 United Kingdom pigeons and 5 Irish pigeons to move forward in to the next round. KNOCKOUT ROUND 4 took place on the re-arranged HOT SPOT CAR RACE 5 on Wednesday 24th January 2018 and 69 (20%) of the entered pigeons moved forward to the next round. After this round 4 there were still 3 United Kingdom pigeons and just 1 Irish pigeon to move forward into the Final Race. The 3 United Kingdom pigeons were TADT with pigeon named WONDER GIRL bred by Tad Truszkowski and Vince Crossley from Melton Mowbray, this pigeon actually finished 3rd in this competition, SYNDICATE LOFTS UK with pigeon named SHOOT TO THRILL bred by Peter Fox from Bangor and TIM ATKIN with pigeon named Adjen bred by Tim Atkin from Rugby. The only Irish pigeon that was still left in was JOS REILLY – TEAM IRELAND with pigeon named MY PERRI bred by Jos Reilly from Dublin. Then KNOCKOUT ROUND 5 took place on THE FINAL RACE on SATURDAY 3rd FEBRUARY 2018 and just 69 top class pigeons were competing and the first pigeon clocked of these remaining 69 KNOCKOUT PIGEONS will walk away this coveted First Prize of US$25,000 (£19,231). I can announce that the winner actually took 3rd OPEN in THE FINAL RACE and was NEIGHBOURHOOD BULLIES from UNITED STATES of AMERICA with pigeon named KLEINE BLUE bred by BOBBY BROWN, this great pigeon also won 2nd in THE OVERALL AVERAGES. 1st UNITED KINGDOM, 19th OPEN was TADT with pigeon named WONDER GIRL bred by TAD TRUSZKOWSKI and VINCE CROSSLEY from MELTON MOWBRAY and 1st IRELAND, 687th OPEN was JOS REILLY – TEAM IRELAND with pigeon named MY PERRI bred by JOS REILLY – TEAM IRELAND from DUBLIN. WELL DONE TO THESE THREE PIGEONS. THIS REALLY IS A GREAT INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION THAT CREATES A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF INTEREST AND EXCITEMENT THROUGHOUT THE 2017/18 RACE SERIES.

Saturday evening was the Gala/Presentation Dinner and as I walked into the E&E Centre at 19.30 it looked stunning to say the least, fanciers and friend poured in and soon all the tables were full. Our superb Master of Ceremonies for the evening was once again Keith Lindsey who got everybody in the right mood before introducing Sara Blackshaw (Director of Air Sport Internationale) and she spoke about the tough race the pigeons had encountered today but as in most races there are winners and losers. She thanked everybody for their support and wished them all a safe journey home and hoped to see them all next year at the 23rd SAMDPR.  

It was then the turn for Michael Holt (Race Director) who also had a few words to say about the training and racing that had already taken place during the 2017/18 race season and congratulated everybody on their achievements in the Final Race. Once again he stressed it had been a tough year with heavy rain, thunderstorms and record temperatures. Unfortunately, there is not a book written that tells you how to run a pigeon race, so we have learnt from scratch and found out what works and what is practical and what benefits all. Then Joan-e Holt (Public Relations) joined Sara Blackshaw (Director of ASI) the others and special awards were given out to Michael Holt (Race Director), Pieter Saayman (Systems Administration), Stephan Steenkamp (Systems Administration), Willi van Beers (Loft Manager), Andre van Wyk (Loft Manager), Corrie Naude (Convoyer/Trainer), Marion Branford (Administration), Joan-e Holt (Public Relations), Dr Piet van Zyl (Veterinary Officer), Maitland Blackshaw (Loft Assistant) plus of course all the 10/11 Lofts Lads for all their work during the year. Once again it was mentioned that Gary Lance the owner of Heron Banks Golf & River Estate and of course the staff of Emerald Resort, Casino & Hotel had gone out of their way to assist from the start, without their help and assistance we could never have hosted such a race, thanks again for all your help. All were given much applause. Hope I did not miss anybody out, if I did I apologise. This photograph shows Sara Blackshaw presenting Paul Smith with Milly’s Loft (Michael Mellor) Trophy and Gold Medal for winning 10th Open in The Final Race.

 

After a fantastic evening of entertainment, food and drink it was once again time to say our goodbyes to many fanciers and friends and when this had been done, it was as usual the British, Irish groups and Sara Blackshaw that were last to leave the hall as they as usual were celebrating after a wonderful race day. Then it was back to the hotel bar to enjoy a few more drinks. As we arrived the place was packed and everybody was in great spirit, drinks were ordered and consumed and then more arrived, then somebody order some shots. I thought this is going to be a long session. Then all of a sudden Jan Hooymans (Netherlands) came up to our table with a bottle of champagne to congratulate Karl Donnelly, Paul Smith & Tad Truszkowski for our performances on the race day and he asked if he could have my Union Jack waistcoat and have some photographs taken and as you can see by this photograph there are Tracey Stacey, Paul Smith, Jan Hooymans, a South African fancier and Karl Donnelly all having a great time. What a fantastic gesture by Jan and one that was really greatly appreciated by all that were present. The drinking and celebrating went on to the early hours.

 

It should also be mentioned and noted once again the fantastic amount of work and effort Sara Blackshaw (Director of Air Sport Internationale) puts into this race, she works tirelessly to make sure that this pigeon race keeps where it has been for the last 22 years and that is without doubt THE BEST PIGEON RACE IN THE WORLD.

 

Sara’s son Blaise Giezendanner was representing France in the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea and came a very creditable 4th in the Super G Competition on Friday 16th February 2018, just missing out on an Olympic Bronze Medal.

 

Sunday morning had already dawned for most of us whilst we were in the hotel bar but we all met for breakfast at different times I hasten to add, some looked a lot worse than others but then that was to be expected after what some drunk. The coaches started to arrive to take us to the race loft where we were going to be able to handle our winning pigeons and also some of the race winners. When we arrived there was already quite a few fanciers present. Karl Donnelly asked me to ask Mike Ganus if he could have a photo taken with him and as usual Mike agreed. The mother of Karl’s winning pigeon JUNIOR 2 was bred by Mike Ganus, being from Ornat, Car Average Winner 2012 SCMDPR from (Wonder 57 x daughter of Apollo) x Abagail mother of Mike Has A Very Good One winner of over US$100,000 being from Rocket x Mona Lisa. I took the photograph and as Karl walked away from Mike, he jokingly said next time that will cost you my friend and with that Mike replied, no you have got that the wrong way round my friend, it will cost you. Great to see pigeon fanciers from different parts of the world that had competed against each other having a laugh after the race had taken place.

This photograph shows Tad Truszkowski with his winning pigeon Wonder Girl that won 18th Open in The Final Race.

 

It was once again great to meet up and talk to such world renowned fanciers as Willi van Beers, Alfons Klaas, Paul-Hans Esser, Karl Heinz Wagner, Timo Wagner, Werner Waldow, Klaus Stieneker, Nadine Huenten, Hans Bruhl, Willi Ferchen and Heinz & Missy Annette Gessner from Germany, Thomas Gyselbrecht (Pipa), Michel Wouters, Philippe Brantegem, Norbert De Schrijver and Tom De Kovel from Belgium, Henk Jurriens & Jan Hooymans, Karel Klemens from Czech Republic, Frank Nebig & friend Theo from Netherlands, Corrie Naude, Andre van Wyk, Allan Jordaan, Joe Gomes, Butch Einkamerer, Saville Penkin, Mark Kitchenbrand, Billy Kitchenbrand, Gaddin Brothers, Robert Swanepoel, Eric Brown, Jurie & Daleen Erwee, Johann Grobbelaar, Roger Harris, Dave Gilbert, Gary Fang, Rob Conradie all from South Africa, Gerry McCourt & Karl Donnelly from Ireland, Tom Kuiper, Mike & Debbie Ganus from United States of America, Thomas Zimmermann from Austria, Tadt Truszkowski, Brian Clayburn, John Squibb (Planet Brothers), Paul & Tracey Stacey from United Kingdom plus Paul Stokes also from the United Kingdom who has recently moved out to South Africa. Plus, over the race weekend I also talked to many other top renowned International and South African pigeon fanciers.

 

As the International Race Co-ordinator for the 22nd year Paul Smith would like to personally thank all the Country Race Shippers/Co-ordinators, Frank Nebig from Animals To Fly, Allan Jordaan the Auctioneer, All the Loft Lads, Keith McLintock & Brett Lindsay from Big Brave Digital the Livestream Team, Peter Furstenberg from Shine Interactive and all the staff who work for the SAMDPR, all the backroom staff who we do not see and in fact anybody that has something to do for the SAMDPR a really BIG THANK YOU for all your help and assistance during the past year as without your help and support the race could not continue. I would also like to personally thank Sara Blackshaw (Director of Air Sport Internationale, The Presenters of this Race) for her continued great support and taking this great race forward into the future. CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYBODY, YOU ALL REALLY DO A STERLING JOB.

 

It was fantastic to actually meet and see so many SCMDPR and SAMDPR past winners during this race 22nd SAMDPR weekend, all the following great fanciers were present:- Mike Ganus, Karel Klemens, Brian Clayburn, Karl Heinz & Timo Wagner, Henk Jurriens, Ton De Kovel, Mark Kitchenbrand, Alfons Klaas and of course our latest Champion and winner of THE 22nd SAMDPR Gaddin Brothers & Charl Stander.

 

Over the past few years quite a few television companies and film companies have come over the film the event and this year was no exception. We were privileged this year to have two very likable lads from Ireland, namely GAVIN FITZGERALD and STEVE SHEEHY who had travelled over to do some filming with the hope of producing and developing a documentary project on racing pigeons. I introduced them to many top fanciers, especially most of the past SCMDPR and SAMDPR winners that were present for this race. They seemed to be enjoying every minute of it, even bringing some Irish Luck for Karl Donnelly (Donnelly & Kirkwood) that won 5th Open and the Zandy Meyer Car Nomination winner. I bet Karl will ask them to travel out again next year, he might even be prepared to pay for your trip lads. Their Website address is:- gavfitzgerald.com  GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR PROJECT LADS.

   

***SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT*** I am sorry that I can’t add all the information about who bred all the pigeons or where they live but I can only publish details which I am in possession of. If there are no details besides your winning pigeon or pigeons then please contact me on reglofts@aol.com with your details and I will include these in my later International Press Reports. I personally do like to give all the fanciers, entrants and breeders all the credit they and their pigeons deserve when they manage to get in the results so your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated.

 

THE AUCTIONS of the top winning pigeons usually takes place the day after the race but this year it was decided to run the auction from Emerald Resort, Casino & Hotel on Saturday 17th February 2018 and get Allan Jordaan (Auctioneer) to do the auction and at the same time allow telephone bidding. The top 50 winning pigeons were placed on the SAMDPR Website Auction Site on their Home Page and this gave fanciers from all over the world an opportunity to their place bids on any of these pigeons for nearly two weeks prior to the actual auction taking place. These bids that were placed online would then be the opening bid when Alan opened the actual auction. The Top 50 pigeons would be shown on LIVESTREAM and then people in the room and phone bids would be accepted and the highest bidder would purchase the pigeon. Currently there will around 40 auctions in total of 40 pigeons at different venues all over South Africa and all can be seen by logging onto www.samdpr.com and looking for the Auction Section of the right hand side of the Home Page or hitting the Auction button at the bottom of the Home Page. So far there are nearly 1,600 pigeons to be offered for sale. If you wish to place a “BID” you can do so by filling in an “AUCTION REPORT FORM” which is on the SAMDPR Website for downloading. Depending if more pigeons arrive home later, then these extra pigeons may be added to the auctions already listed, please keep your eyes open to see where your pigeon/s are being sold. As usual the Emerald Resort, Casino & Hotel had many fanciers from all over South Africa attending and with many open phone lines which encouraged fanciers from all over the world to place their bids. The pigeons would be auctioned starting from 1st to 50th positions.

 

***AUCTION SELLING PRICES*** The first 25 Lots are as mentioned above in the

OPEN RESULTS and Lot 26 to 50 the owners/breeders can be found by logging onto the SAMDPR Website www.samdpr.com and looking under the Auction Section. Lot 1 ZAR1.150,000 Million Rand or approx. (US$94,728) (£68,987) (E77,861), Lot 2 ZAR330,000 approx. (US$27,183) (£19,796) (E22,343), Lot 3 ZAR460,000 approx. (US$37,892) (£27,595) (E31,145), Lot 4 ZAR126,000 approx. (US$10,379) (£7,559) (E8,531), Lot 5 ZAR50,000 approx. (US$4,119) (£3,000) (E3,386), Lot 6 ZAR110,000 approx. (US$9,061) (£6,599) (E7,448), Lot 7 ZAR90,000 approx. (US$7,414) (£5,399) (E6,094), Lot 8 ZAR100,000 approx. (US$8,238) (£5,999) (E6,771), Lot 9 ZAR40,100 approx. (US$3,304) (£2,406) (E2,715), Lot 10 ZAR60,000 approx. (US$4,943) (£3,600) (E4,063), Lot 11 ZAR10,000 approx. (US$824) (£600) (E678), Lot 12 ZAR25,100 approx. (US$2,068) (£1,506) (E1,700),

Lot 13 ZAR19,000 approx. (US$1,566) (£1,140) (E1,294), Lot 14 ZAR370,000 approx. (US$30,478) (£22,196) (E25,051), Lot 15 ZAR20,100 approx. (US$1,656) (£1,206) (E1,361), Lot 16 ZAR55,000 approx. (US$4,531) (£3,300) (E3,724), Lot 17 ZAR13,100 approx. (US$1,080) (£786) (E887), Lot 18 ZAR32,000 approx. (US$2,636) (£1,920) (E2,167), Lot 19 ZAR35,100 approx. (US$2,892) (£2,106) (E2,377), Lot 20 ZAR25,000 approx. (US$2,060) (£1,500) (E1,693), Lot 21 ZAR18,200 approx. (US$1,500) (£1,092) (E1,233), Lot 22 ZAR270,000 approx. (US$22,241) (£16,197) (E18,281), Lot 23 ZAR3,700 approx. (US$305) (£222) (E251),

Lot 24 ZAR201,000 approx. (US$16,557) (£12,058) (E13,609), Lot 25 ZAR23,000 approx. (US$1,895) (£1,380) (E1,558), Lot 26 ZAR17,000 approx. (US$1,401) (£1,020) (E1,151), Lot 27 ZAR22,000 approx. (US$1,813) (£1,320) (E1,490),

Lot 28 ZAR15,100 approx. (US$1,244) (£906) (E1,023), Lot 29 ZAR4,100 approx. (US$338) (£246) (E278), Lot 30 ZAR30,200 approx. (US$2,488) (£1,812) (E2,045),

Lot 31 ZAR3,600 approx. (US$297) (£216) (E244), Lot 32 ZAR1,800 approx. (US$149) (£108) (E122), Lot 33 ZAR25,100 approx. (US$2,068) (£1,506) (E1,700),

Lot 34 ZAR3,300 approx. (US$272) (£198) (E224), Lot 35 ZAR6,000 approx. (US$495) (£360) (E407), Lot 36 ZAR7,100 approx. (US$585) (£426) (E481), Lot 37 ZAR60,000 approx. (US$4,943) (£3,600) (E4,063), Lot 38 ZAR5,100 approx. (US$421) (£306) (E346), Lot 39 ZAR14,100 approx. (US$1,162) (£846) (E955),

Lot 40 ZAR32,000 approx. (US$2,636) (£1,920) (E2,167), Lot 41 ZAR4,500 approx. (US$371) (£270) (E305), Lot 42 ZAR3,500 approx. (US$289) (£210) (E237), Lot 43 ZAR12,000 approx. (US$989) (£720) (E813), Lot 44 ZAR7,600 approx. (US$627) (£456) (E515), Lot 45 ZAR1,700 approx. (US$141) (£102) (E116), Lot 46 ZAR91,000 approx. (US$7,496) (£5,459) (E6,162), Lot 47 ZAR9,000 approx. (US$742) (£540) (E610), Lot 48 ZAR5,600 approx. (US$462) (£336) (E380), Lot 49 ZAR10,000 approx. (US$824) (£600) (E678), Lot 50 ZAR4,500 approx. (US$371) (£270) (E305).

 

The top 50 pigeons fetched a staggering ZAR4.032,000 Million Rand, or approx. US$333,150 or £241,890 or E373,006. The average price per pigeon worked out at a staggering ZAR80,640 or approximately US$ 6,643 or £4,838 or E5,460 each. This once again just goes to show the great value that top fanciers from all over the world put on pigeons that compete in the SAMDPR. Of course a BIG THANK YOU goes to ALLAN JORDAAN for his auctioneering skills and of course all the other SAMDPR staff and others that helped and assisted during the time it took to sell all these 50 top class winning pigeons, plus of course all pigeon fanciers from literally all over the world that placed bids and to those fanciers that were lucky enough to purchase any of these top class pigeons.

 

If you are interested in participating or acting a Country Race Team Shipper, then please contact me as soon as possible on 01279-812005 or my mobile number 07860-568216 or SMS or email on reglofts@aol.com and I will give you all the information that you require. My two proposed shipping dates for THE 23rd SAMDPR will be around the middle of MAY 2018 and the middle of JUNE 2018. I will confirm shipping dates once all the Import/Export Permits have been granted.  

 

Please let me know ASAP if you would like to enter and how many pigeons you wish to enter into THE 23rd SAMDPR and which shipment you would like them to go out on. Your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated. Please contact me by telephone, email or mobile SMS an I will be only too pleased to send you out a PRESENTATION PACK, that contains ENTRY FORMS and everything else you need to know about the race. If you need to know anything else just pick up the telephone or email me, I will be only too pleased to assist in any way I can.

 

If you have any questions about any aspect of THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE, then can you please contact me as soon as possible on 01279-812005 or my mobile 07860-568216 or by SMS or email at reglofts@aol.com and I will do my best to answer any of your questions or queries about this great race.

 

These “INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASES” do take a lot of my time to prepare and I do try to get as much information into them as possible as I know fanciers and entrants like to know what is happening in each race, unfortunately sometimes, some information will not be to hand when the print deadline is reached so can’t be included in that report. I can only apologise for this if I leave something out but I can assure everybody that I do my best to get as much current information as possible to put into each of these International Press Releases.

 

Once again the “HITS” on the SAMDPR Web Site have been remarkable to say the least and as soon as I get confirmed figures I will report them in a later International Press Release for all to see. In past years they have exceeded 80 million “HITS”. So once again this year I expect a figure in excess of 100 million “HITS” during the year.

 

If you wish to see photographs or short videos of things that happened during the 2017/18 race season, then please log onto the SAMDPR Website www.samdpr.com and you can see a selection of photographs and short videos for all to see.

 

Many great statements over the years have been given or written by actual race winners but the one that really stands out for me is what a past winner FILIP NORMAN from BELGIUM said “That winning the Million Dollar Pigeon Race was better than winning his two Barcelona Nationals”. This just goes to show how important the SAMDPR is to the race winner wherever they come from. 

 

IF ANY PIGEON FANCIER IN THE UNITED KINGDOM OR IN FACT ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE MY WEEKLY “INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASES”, “NEWSLETTERS” AND “UPDATES” BY EMAIL, THEN ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS EMAIL ME THEIR ACTUAL EMAIL ADDRESS AND I WILL PUT THEM ON MY EMAIL DATABASE AND I WILL THEN FORWARD THEM ALL THE INFORMATION BY EMAIL ON A REGULAR BASIS.

 

If you are interested in entering pigeons into the 23rd SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE and would like me to forward you information and a PRESENTATION PACK on how you can do it, then please contact me immediately on my home telephone number 01279-812005, mobile number 07860-568216, SMS message to my mobile number or by email at reglofts@aol.com I will be only too pleased to forward you information about the race and how you can enter it.

 

It would be remiss of me not to personally thank Gary Lance the owner of Heron Banks Golf & River Estate and the Emerald Resort, Casino & Hotel and all the staff for the use of this fantastic venue, everything was outstanding to say the least and I know that everybody that visited the race this year really enjoyed this great place where everybody made you feel so welcome.

 

One thing is still for sure The South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race is still the best and biggest one loft pigeon race in the world today and is the one that top fanciers all over the world want to do well in. It is run by a team of professionals and has paid out every dollar of its projected prize money every year for the past 22 years. One thing is for sure with this great race, that if you are lucky enough to get a top position in the Final Race, your pigeon or pigeons are really well rewarded. So why not enter some of your top class pigeons into the 23rd SAMDPR or try to form a syndicate with your Club, Federation, Combine or National top flyers. Many fanciers from all over the world have scored in this prestigious race and in the 23rd SAMDPR it could be your turn to hit the “JACKPOT” but first you have to enter some pigeons or be in it to win it. Once again, I am once again already looking forward to The 23rd South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race.

 

Numerous “Loft Reports”, “Updates”, “Photographs” and “Videos” have been placed on the informative state of the art SAMDPR website for all to see and these are all available now on the dedicated website www.samdpr.com 

 

Although the race is now named THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE, the total to be paid out in cash and prizes in the 2017/18 race series exceeds US$2.2 Million American Dollars or approximately £1.76 Million Pounds Sterling. No other one-loft race in the world today can boast of such massive pay outs and this race is now in its twenty second year and has for the last twenty one year’s paid out all of its projected prize money, that is why its reputation of this great race has increased, plus it has already paid out in the last twenty two races, prize money in excess of US$38 Million American Dollars (£27 Million Pounds Sterling), which is a remarkable achievement in itself in one loft racing and one that the race organisers are very proud of. It should also be mentioned that the Prize Money and Awards in THE 22nd SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE will be the same as paid out for THE 21st SAMDPR.

 

The FINAL RACE PRIZE MONEY in the 22nd SAMDPR now exceeds US$1.02 Million American Dollars or around £785,000 Million Pounds Sterling.

 

All the United Kingdom Team fanciers/entrants and syndicate shareholders are all kept up to date with regular “INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE” and “NEWSLETTERS” plus any of them can log on to the state of the art The South African Million Dollar Race web site:- www.samdpr.com and get all the information they might require over the full race series. You can’t change your pigeon’s name/s once training has started. You can even put all your pedigrees on live if you wish to, which certainly helps with the final selling price at the auction after the race. Remember the 2008 SCMDPR OVERALL ACE PIGEON named BIRDY sold for a staggering world record £53,730 and the breeder receives 50% of this figure after expenses. This really is a state of the art race that continues to improve its overall image on an annual basis and gives all pigeon fanciers and entrants all the information they need to know about all the pigeons that are in the race loft.

 

***SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT*** I am sorry that I can’t add all the information about who bred all the pigeons or where they live because I do not have access to all this information so I can only publish details which I am in possession of at the time. If there are no details besides your winning pigeon/s then please contact me on reglofts@aol.com with your details and I will include these in my later International Press Reports. I personally do my best to give all the fanciers, entrants and breeders all the credit they and their pigeons deserve when they manage to get in the results so your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated.

As mentioned earlier only races of 50km (approx. 31 miles) will count towards The 22nd South African Million Dollar Overall ACE PIGEON Averages, which has a total of three superb cash prizes of US$10,000 (approx. £7,692), US$5,000 (approx. £3,846) and US$2,500 (approx. £1,923) for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in this category after The Final Race has been completed.

It should be mentioned that GLOBAL & COUNTRY/REGIONAL NOMINATIONS during the 2015/16 race series actually paid out a staggering total of US$546,280 (£437,000).

 

GOOD LUCK TO ALL CONCERNED AND REGULAR “INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASES”, “NEWSLETTERS” AND “UPDATES” WILL BE SENT OUT TO ALL COMPETITORS/ENTRANTS AND SYNDICATE SHAREHOLDERS ON A WEEKLY BASIS BY EMAIL OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. ALSO WEEKLY “PRESS RELEASES” WILL BE SENT OUT TO BOTH OUR TWO PIGEON PUBLICATIONS NAMELY THE “BRITISH HOMING WORLD” AND “”THE RACING PIGEON” PLUS IT WILL ALSO BE ON MY REGENCY LOFTS WEB SITE www.regencylofts.com FOR ALL TO VIEW.

 

***WHAT COULD BE WON DURING THIS 2017/18 RACE SERIES*** Prizes and awards now add up to a staggering US$2.2 Million American Dollars £1.70 Million Pounds Sterling) and these include 5 x Brand New Motor Cars, 1 for each of the 5 x Car Races, 95 x US$1,100 (£846) Hot Spot Cash Prizes (it should be noted that the Motor Car Winner does not receive a US$1,100 Cash Prize), split into 19 x US$1,100 (£846) Cash Prizes for each of the 5 x Car Race Hot Spots, a US$5,000 (£3,846) Car Race Hot Spot Ace Pigeon Award for the best pigeon in these 5 races, A Two Bird Average Competition and a US$2,000 (£1,538) Cash Prize in each of the 5 x Car Race Hot Spots & The Final Race, A Three Bird Average Competition and a US$3,000 (£2,308) Cash Prize in each of the 5 x Car Race Hot Spots & The Final Race, The South African Million Dollar Ace Pigeon Award carries US$17,500 in Prize Money, split into three cash prizes with 1st US$10,000 (£7,692), 2nd US$5,000 (£3,846) and 3rd US$2,500 (£1,923) Cash Prizes for the 3 pigeons with the best overall average in all the Official Training Races over 50km (31 miles) and 5 x Car Race Hot Spots and the Final Race. There will also be a Knockout Winner Competition and US$25,000 (£19,231) Prize Money, which starts on the Car Race Hot Spot 2 and the winner is the first one to be clocked in the “FINAL RACE” (over the past few years there has been around 40/60 pigeons still left in this competition). There will also be 3 x Country Cash Prizes of US$125 (£96), US$75 (£58) and US$50 (£39) in each of the first 4 x Car Race Hot Spots (1 to 4). In the 5th Car Race Hot Spot US$70 (£54) from every entry will be added to the starting Prize Money of US$250 (£192) for the Country Challenge. All the Prize Money will be paid out to the first three Country Challenge entered pigeons in a ratio of 50%, 30% & 20%. The SAMDPR website will have an up to the date listing of which pigeons are entered and how much Prize Money will be flown for, plus and an ACE Pigeon Country Challenge which will be won on the FINAL RACE. There is an Entry Fee of US$120 (£93) per pigeon to enter these Country Challenge Competitions and this has to be paid for before the basketing for the 3rd Hot Spot Car Race. The COUNTRY CHALLENGE ACE PIGEON, all countries participating will be given a US$200 (£154) starting Prize Money and US$40 (£31) from each Country Challenge entry fee goes to the “WINNER TAKES ALL” cash prize, which will be awarded to the first Country Challenge pigeon which is clocked in THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON FINAL RACE. The pigeon that wins this award will be named the COUNTRY CHALLENGE ACE PIGEON. It should also be mentioned that during the 2016/17 race series the UNITED KINGDOM COUNTRY CHALLENGE paid out £14,777 in PRIZE MONEY. Then in the “FINAL RACE” on the 3rd February 2018 there are also 10 magnificent gold pendants to be won worth well over US$1,000 (£770) each and now over US$1.02 Million American Dollars in Prize Money (£1.70 Million Pounds) and 300 cash prizes being on offer.

 

THE ZANDY MEYER MEMORIAL RACE & US$1,000 (approx. £770) NOMINATION will also take place on the “FINAL RACE” and the winning will be A BRAND NEW MERCEDES BENZ SLK 555 MOTOR CAR, worth a staggering US$85,000 (approx. £65,400). (ONLY “ACTIVATED” PIGEONS ARE ELIGIBLE TO COMPETE FOR ANY OF THESE SPECIAL CASH PRIZES OR AWARDS). This new competition was very well supported in its first year and had over 160 entries and was so successful that it also paid out a staggering 2nd prize of US$54,000 cash. Do not miss this fantastic opportunity to win a fabulous new car. The 19th SAMDPR attracted about 140 entries and two staggering prizes were once again won by two worthy winners. The 20th SAMDPR attracted over 100 entries and the US$85,000 (£68,000) was won by Lloyd & Kelly from the UK, who actually won 37th OPEN in the FINAL RACE. It was the first Activated pigeons and walked away with the top award. In The 21st SAMDPR Michael Mellor from Crewe was the runner-up for this prestigious award, with over 100 entries, which once again just goes to show that the UK pigeons will hold their own against the best pigeons in the world.

 

PRIZE MONEY ALLOCATED TO THE 22nd SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR FINAL RACE, WAS AS FOLLOWS:- 1st US$200,000 (approx. £154,000), 2nd US$125,000 (approx. £96,000), 3rd US$75,000 (approx. £58,000), 4th US$50,000 (approx. £39,000), 5th US$35,000 (approx. £27,000), 6th US$20,000 (£15,000), 7th US$17,500 (£13,500), 8th US$15,000 (£11,500), 9th US$12,500 (£9,600), 10th US$10,000 (approx. £7,700), 11th/15th US$7,000 each (approx. £5,385), 16th/20th US$5,000 each (approx. £3,846), 21st/30th US$3,500 each (approx. £2,692), 31st/40th US$3,000 each (approx. £2,307), 41st/50th US$2,500 each (approx. £1,923), 51st/70th US$2,000 each (£1,538), 71st/100th US$1,750 each (£1,346), 101st/150th US$1,500 each (£1,154), 151st/200th US$1,100 each (£846) and then 201st/250th US$1,000 each (£770), 251st/300th US$500 each (£385). (Subject to terms and conditions of entry). The actual cash prizes stated above represent exchange rates (1.30) at the current time and may of course change at the time of each race depending what the currency exchange rate is on the actual race day. A total of US$1,002,500 Million American Dollars (£772,000 Pounds Sterling) Prize Money will be paid out in this FINAL RACE.

 

Something else worth mentioning that six brand new motor cars have been won by fanciers representing the United Kingdom Team in the last few years, Robbie Prettejohn and Chris Gordon both won new motor cars during the 2005/6 race series and Paul & Dave McCarthy won one a new motor car during the 2006/7 series. During the 2011/12 race series fanciers from the United Kingdom won a staggering 3 x brand new motor cars and these were won by Nev & Angi Evans & Steve Cuthbert, Robert & Peter Montila and then Phil Bond. This in itself was an outstanding team performance. No other country has ever won three cars on the trot. The Irish fancier named John Nash also won a brand new motor car in the 2008/9 race series. I am hopeful that somebody from the United Kingdom or Ireland will also win one or maybe more brand new motor cars during the 2017/18 race series. GOOD LUCK TO ALL COMPETITORS. Fantastic news, ALISTAIR HOGG has also won a BRAND NEW MOTOR CAR in HSCR2 in the 2017/18 race series. WELL DONE ALISTAIR.

 

I would also just like to notify fanciers that my weekly “INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE”, “NEWSLETTERS” and “UPDATES” can now also be seen on the following pigeon web sites:- www.regencylofts.com    www.iprr.co.uk    www.elimarpigeons.com   www.pigeonportal.com   www.pigeonglobe.co.uk   www.cyberpigeon.co.uk   www.pigeonbasics.com     www.starpigeons.com    www.pigeonpixels.co.uk   www.theloftreport.com  www.oneloftracing.com www.pigeondigest.com  plus of course they will also be published in the “BRITISH HOMING WORLD” and “THE RACING PIGEON” weeklies and many other international world pigeon publications for all to see, read and enjoy.

 

The race date for THE 23rd SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE has now been finalised and confirmed by the race organisers and it will take place on  SATURDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 2019. If you are interested in participating, helping us or acting a Country Race Team Co-ordinator/Shipper, then please telephone me as soon as possible on 01279-812005 or my mobile 07860-568216 or SMS or email on reglofts@aol.com and I will give you all the information you require. My two proposed shipping dates for THE 23rd SAMDPR will take about the middle of MAY 2018 and then the second one should be around the middle of JUNE 2018. Of course these two dates will be confirmed nearer the time. I strongly recommend that you try to ship your race entries on the 1st shipping date as this then gives these pigeons much more time to settle into the race loft. If you have any questions about any aspect of THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILLION DOLLAR PIGEON RACE, then please contact me as soon as possible on 01279-812005 or my mobile 07860-568216 or by SMS or email at reglofts@aol.com and I will do my best to answer any of your questions or queries about this great race.

 

These “INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASES” do take a lot of my time to prepare and I try to get as much into them as possible as I know fanciers and entrants like to know what is happening, unfortunately some time, some information will not be to hand when the print deadline is reached so can’t be included in that report. I can only apologise if I leave something or somebody out but I can assure everybody that I do my best to get as much information as possible to put into each of these international reports and give credit to those that deserve it.

 

IF ANY PIGEON FANCIER IN THE UNITED KINGDOM OR IN FACT ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE MY WEEKLY “INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASES”, “NEWSLETTERS” AND “UPDATES” BY EMAIL, THEN ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS EMAIL ME THEIR ACTUAL EMAIL ADDRESS I WILL PUT THEM ON MY EMAIL DATABASE AND I WILL THEN FORWARD THEM ALL THE INFORMATION BY EMAIL ON A REGULAR BASIS.

***SPECIAL THANKS*** must go to my twelve-year old grandson Harrison McGrath for assisting me with the photographs in this International Press Release, he just loves getting on my computer and helping me out.

 

I finish my International Press Release with some sad news, I have just been informed that GIGI GADDIN who was one of the winning partners in the 22nd SAMDPR sadly passed away on Thursday 1st March only a short time after the partnerships historic win. Sincere condolences to his family and friends, rest in peace my friend, you were certainly a true legend in your own lifetime and your results in one loft races in South Africa are truly second to none.

 

THIS PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE SHOWS THE COMPLETED BRAND NEW 370 FOOT (113 METRES) STATE OF THE ART RACING LOFT WHICH IS SITUATED IN STUNNING SURROUNDINGS ON THE OUTSTANDING HERON BANKS GOLF & RIVER ESTATE, VAAL RIVER, SOUTH AFRICA. IT HAS THE TRAPPING/CLOCKING SECTION IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LOFT, WHICH IS BELOW THE ADMINISTRATION CENTRE AND HAS 44 EQUAL SIZED SECTIONS (22 EACH SIDE) THAT ARE ALL ACCESSED FROM A FULL LENGTH CORRIDOR THAT RUNS ALONG THE BACK OF THIS FABULOUS PIGEON LOFT. ALL THE 44 SECTIONS HAVE GRILLED FLOORING AND THE LOFT HAS A TOTAL PERCH CAPACITY FOR WELL OVER 9,500 PIGEONS IN COMFORT.

 

If you wish to know any more information on this prestigious international pigeon race please contact me ASAP or request a Presentation Pack which will give you all the information you require about entering this great race:-

 

Paul Smith, United Kingdom Race Team Co-ordinator/Shipper and International Race Co-ordinator for The 22nd South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race, which took place at Heron Banks Golf & River Estate and Emerald Resort, Casino & Hotel, South Africa on Saturday 3rd February 2018. Regency Lofts Limited,

2, Highmead, off Coltsfield, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex. CM24 8LJ. England. Tel/Fax:- 01279-812005. (Int. Code:- +44-1279-812005). Mobile:- 07860-568216. Email Address:- reglofts@aol.com Regency Lofts Website:- www.regencylofts.com Skype Address:- talbot7944 Twitter Address:- PaulSmith@SmithReglofts

The South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race Website:- www.samdpr.com

 

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