2012’s most read articles: part two

At the end of every year we publish an overview of the most read articles (including the translations) on our website. For 2012 we split the list in two: yesterday we published number ten to six, today we present you with the top five.

Click here for the first part of our top ten of 2012's most read articles.

5. Video: Hans Eijerkamp talks about the introduction of Janssen pigeons in his breed

In a twelve minute video Hans Eijerkamp speaks about his experience with Janssen pigeons in his inimitable style. He paid his first visit to the Janssen brothers in 1960 and this video deals with his first visit, his experiences with the Janssen pigeons in the races and his personal experiences with the Janssen brothers.


4. Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race dominated by German fanciers

The final race of the Sun City MDPR (now the South African MDPR) took place at the end of January. No less than five German pigeons finished in the top ten (1, 2, 3, 4 and 6), as well as two South Africans, a Danish, an Australian and a Dutch pigeon. There was live coverage of the SCMDPR on PIPA, with videos and a lot of pictures. We will cover the race next year as well!


3. The De Rauw-Sablon collection of the Flanders Collection

The Flanders Collection is one of the most unique collections of De Rauw-Sablon and Aelbrecht pigeons. This article deals with the breeding methods, selection and the goals of this breed. This popular article was our website's third most read story.


2. The most expensive auction and pigeon ever: Pieter Veenstra

Yesterday we mentioned the auction of Etienne Meirlaen, which is the sixth most expensive pigeon auction ever. This article is about the most expensive auction ever: the 245 pigeons of Pieter Veenstra and the astonishing sum of 250,400 Euros for Dolce Vita.

With 1,899,300 Euros and an average price of 7,752 Euros per pigeon it would be fair to say that the pigeons of Pieter Veenstra were quite popular on the market. This is a picture of the new owner of Dolce Vita Hu Zhen Yu (left) together with our Chinese PIPA colleague Green Xiang.


1. The end of an era: the history of the Janssen brothers

After more than 100 years (it probably started in 1884) the Janssen family decided to quit pigeon racing. There are no longer pigeons at Schoolstraat no. 6; the life’s work of the Janssen brothers has been auctioned.

First we published an article about the glorious history of this family, which was the most-read article (about 49,000 times) on PIPA this year.

Drieske Janssen founded a pigeon federation in Arendonk in 1886 to allow his fellow villagers to fancy pigeons. Back in those days you needed more than a team of good pigeons to be successful; you also needed a good runner. That is because fanciers did not have their own clock and the pigeons had to be brought to the club as soon as possible to be clocked there.

There were no pigeon races during the war of 1914-18 but fanciers were allowed to release pigeons between 12 o’clock in the afternoon and 10 o’clock in the evening. The most glorious period began in 1933. They won 154 prizes between 1945 and 1954. The Janssen family thinks that the reason for their success is that they started with very healthy pigeons (because they could fly outside during the war) and that they further improved their breed with crossings. They did not use any special nutrition or elixirs.

The Janssen pigeons became world famous. A lot of fanciers were (and still are) interested in these pigeons, both in Belgium and abroad. Over the years, fanciers offered a lot of money for the outstanding breeding pigeons that were still in the loft of Louis Janssen but he declined the offers. “All breeding pigeons should stay here”, he said. Nobody could convince him otherwise.

However, Louis Janssen suffered health problems and he was the last member of the family, so it seemed advisable to sell the birds after all. He was forced to sell his last 20 pigeons in May 2012. The average price for a pigeon was 21,390 Euros, which showed that the Janssen pigeons are still very popular among fanciers.