It was wonderful to see so many people at the SAMDPR main race on Saturday February 2nd. We were exceedingly lucky with the weather conditions which proved to be much much better than the forecasts were projecting. It is always great to see a group of 4 pigeons coming together after over 8 hours of time on the wing.
The only problem is that there can only be one winner…..
For the 23rd SAMDPR it was Premier My Price from Team Brandy of Germany. Team Brandy is a syndicate composed of 5 members and has raced with us for over 20 years. Willi van beers, who is the special adviser to myself and Air Sport Internationale, is one of the sleeping partners, sleeping because he does not breed pigeons anymore. I have seen some comments on Facebook and elsewhere which seem to state that Willi is my loft manager and that he won the race. This is not only completely untrue but also very unfair to the other four members of Team Brandy, and also to the breeders Manfred Schmidt and Martina Bau.
As you might know the SAMDPR is highly regulated and receives regular inspections from the NSPCA to ensure that your birds are receiving proper care and attention. During the race weekend Inspectors are basically on site during the whole period. Every year they are present at liberation and we can not liberate if we do not receive their go ahead.
In recent years they have become particularly concerned about the care and treatment of the birds on their arrival after the main race and a couple of years ago they imposed a new restriction on us in relation to the viewing and handling of the birds after arrival. This obliged us to cancel the “Sunday Auction” and to push it back by two weeks to give the birds time to rest before being exposed to the stress of the auction room. Our veterinarian Dr Piet van Zyl spoke to them last year and received a concession that the top 10 birds could be viewed on the Sunday if they had had at least 12 hours rest. This concession did and does not extend to the handling of the birds unfortunately and we have to be extremely careful to follow these instructions.
Hoping this has clarified a few issues. If you have any questions please do contact us directly, so that we can provide you with correct and speedy answers.
Sara J. Blackshaw