Franz Bieske, Winner of the 2017 Gauteng Combine Nissan Bakkie race
By Thomas Smit
The name of name Frankfort racing pigeon fancier, Franz Bieske and his champion racing pigeons, is not unknown to the Media. On the 23rd of November, 2012 columnist Thomas Smit made mention in the Farmers Weekly of Franz Bieske winning a ‘money race’ category of the Allflight One-Day Loft 2012 summer series. This time his pigeon skills earned him the keys of a brand new ‘Bakkie’ in the 2017 Gauteng Combine Nissan Bakkie race. Franz is a member of the Wilgerivier Posduif Klub which is one of 7 Clubs under the banner of the East-Rand Racing Pigeon Federation (OERF). The OERF in turn is one of 6 parent organizations that form the Gauteng Provincial Combine – for the purpose of staging ‘BIG’ race events against thousands of pigeons. It’s a true test of quality and winning any of these races is an distinguished achievement.
Franz pigeons showed good form when a Blue Bar Cock in his race team, id ring nr ZA 14 NOVPF 2144 won the Club, Division and Combine from Smithfield on the 15th of July 2017. The race distance was 382km’s and the winning speed 1278 metres per minute. Sparingly raced ‘2144’ was a consistent performer in being 4x within the first 6 birds back to loft from the races, scoring good club position. To win this Combine ‘2144’ had to beat 9,143 pigeons entered by 597 members. The first four Combine positions have been clinched by Wilgerivier Posduif Klub, with ‘2144’ winning with a lead of +-20 metres per minute and his loft mate ZA 14 NOVPF 2121 scoring 4th. On Federation level Franz race team scored 1e, 4th, 23rd, 24th, 44th and 55th, well done!
Winning the Bakkie from Cradock with Blue Hen ZA 15 NOVPF 1422 on the 16th of September 2017, against 7,846 pigeons entered by 474 members, is a high-light in Franz Bieske’s pigeon racing career. The race distance was 607 km’s flown at 1404 metres per minute. Fanciers had to select pigeons from their race teams and nominate their choice for entry in the Combine car race. Unfortunately the Scholtz Bothers, that actually won the Cradock Combine race, did not nominate their pigeon for the car. Franz ‘1422’ won the Club, Federation and 2nd Combine and being the 1st nominated pigeon, subsequently won the Combine car race. Franz also scored in the 1st, 7th & 27th positions of the Federation in this event.
About the Bakkie Winner ‘1422’ is the full sister of ‘2144’, the aforementioned Smithfield Combine Winner. Its parents should subsequently be rated as a class act quality match and will be worth a fortune in Belgium, the cradle country that played a key role in the development of the modern racing pigeon. The pedigree history of these guests of honour finds its origin from imported stock. Franz obtained the Sire from Potchefstroom fancier, Theo Mienie a well-known importer of high quality pigeons. The Dam side also originates from abroad and was further developed in the lofts of Frans Fouche & his Stepson Dr Bertus Praeg. Breeding more male than female youngsters it’s a renowned ‘click’ pair responsible for numerous winners. Another son of the pair also scored a 2nd Combine from Smithfield and an uncle to it won a Combine race. Two sons of the pair grace Franz stock loft and a daughter of the pair is Tops for Hennie Pretorius.
Franz was introduced to pigeon racing since age 10 Besides Franz and his brothers keeping some pigeons in the backyard they did not actively participate in the races. Later on he participated in the shows with Fancy pigeons. His passion for the sport was kindled with his neighbor and nephew being pigeon fanciers. Only after his accident which confined him to a wheelchair in 1990 did he seriously took up active pigeon racing.
Some Performance Highlights in pigeon racing includes winning the Title of Points League Champion of Wilgerivier Posduif Klub in 1995. 2017 was his first year participating on Combine level with astounding results.
Origin of Franz foundation stock pigeons began with Old Putteries (Dolf Beukes), Slimmes (Jan Rossouw), and Frans Fouche De Klak Janssen in 1995, later on Van Rhijn Kloeck (Fred Van Heerden) – all Superior lines responsible for his success.
Franz breeding methods is based on an adage that says: ‘’’n Ras wat nie Inteling kan verdra nie kan nie ‘n Ras genoem word nie.’’ (An historical declaration of the Famous Janssens Brothers, Belgium) Subsequently Franz strictly selects his choices after inbreeding the lines separately and then outcross for racing.
Participation in the Pigeons Shows is an additional exercise that, apart from the performing genotype, assists Franz to keep a well-balanced phenotype in place.
Franz training methods commence from the 10th of April with loft training and the 1st of May with road training. The Road training distances begins with 30km which is gradually increased to 150km up until the first race point.
Advice to beginners in Franz own words: ‘Die beste advies wat ek vir nuwelinge in die duiwesport kan se is dat hulle vir hulle ‘n betroubare en eerlike en gevestigde duiweboer moet kry wat met hulle ‘n pad kan loop. Hierdie boer kan hul dan vertrou met raad en advies . Duiwe sport is nie maklik nie en is ‘n fyn lyn van wetenskap.’
France Role Models in the Sport and the fanciers by whom he was most inspired are: Piet Ferreira, Fred Van Heerden and Oom Frans Fouche (88jr) & Dr Bertus Praeg.
In the face of a declining pigeon sport it’s always uplifting when someone’s pigeon ambitions & passion raise the results bar to a higher level, well done!