The Derby Super Star Winter Edition: A Controversial Conclusion

The Derby Super Star Winter Edition: A Controversial Conclusion

Jan de Wijs1 comment

On the foggy morning of March 22, 2024, 1,218 pigeons were released for what was meant to be the climax of the Derby Super Star Winter Edition. This finale, a grueling race of 505 kilometers, was the final hurdle of a series that began with a modest 5-kilometer training session on January 10, where 3,782 pigeons appeared at the starting line.

The race, intended as a testament to endurance and strategy, however, ended in a scenario that shook the pigeon racing community to its core.

What should have been a sporting highlight swiftly turned into a tale of hasty decision-making and negligence. Under less than perfect, and perhaps even irresponsible conditions, the pigeons were sent into the air. This decision, made under the pressure of social events and the expectations of spectators – with the marquee set up, the beer chilled, and the steaks en route – exposed a deep-rooted issue within one loft races: a tendency to sacrifice the well-being of the pigeons and the long-term vision for the sport for immediate gratification and festivities.

The results were telling:
After 24 hours, only four pigeons had returned. This dramatic outcome is a dark mirror that reflects not only the risks of the sport but also the sometimes irresponsible attitude towards the animals that form the heart of this tradition. Of the original 3,782 participants, who had braved the preparatory races and challenges, only 1,218 reached the finale. This select group of survivors, trained and prepared for the ultimate test, faced a challenge that went beyond the physical: a battle against the elements, exacerbated by the decisions of those who were supposed to protect them.

The conditions on race day, far from ideal, were a test of survival rather than speed or navigational skill. The harsh lesson of the Derby Super Star Winter Edition lays bare the need for a reevaluation of values and priorities within pigeon racing. It raises questions about the responsibility of organizers and the community as a whole to prioritize the well-being of the pigeons and ensure a sport that respects the animals as much as it feeds the passion of the participants.Advertise On The Best Website For Racing Pigeon FanaticsThis event must serve as a wake-up call, a moment of collective self-reflection on how the sport can evolve towards a future where tradition and festivity go hand in hand with responsibility and sustainability. It's time to reassess the balance, to learn from the mistakes, and to work together towards creating a safer, fairer, and more respectful environment for both the pigeons and their handlers. The Derby Super Star Winter Edition of 2024 will hopefully be remembered as a turning point, the moment when the pigeon racing community chose a path of improvement and integrity.

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Jan de Wijs
Blogger & Pigeon Racing Expert

Comments (1)

Stewart Graham

Good article with great passion.
We are the pigeon guardians

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