In 1995 my grandfather won the International Barcelona race and since then, visitors from all over the world came over to visit us. Since then I have realized that racing and breeding pigeons is not the only fascinating aspect of the pigeon sport. Something that also fascinated me is to get in touch with people from almost any country in the world, sharing the same passion. I was lucky, to be able to travel already to most of the continents and to visit racing pigeon fanciers in numerous countries. Every time it is something special. Well, this time, I paid a visit to the president of the Austrian Pigeon Federation, Franz Marchat Jnr. He lives with his family in Zagging, not so far from Vienna, in the north-east of Austria.
FLTR: me, my wife Jana, our daughter Amalia, Franz Marchat Junior, his wife Martina and Franz Marchat Senior
Franz Marchat Junior (1964) became president of the Austrian Pigeon Federation in 2010. He followed Primus Lutz, the former president (Primus visited PIPA several times, just as we met Primus several times abroad as well). Franz Junior lives there with his wife Martina. Together they have three children Gernat, Alexander and Nicole. Franz Marchat Junior was infected by the pigeon sport through his father Franz Marchat Senior (1936). Senior became a pigeon fancier in 1949 when he was 13 years old. The Marchat family has about 300 pigeons. Marchat Snr is fascinated by white pigeons and almost every week his white pigeons are hired for weddings. The Marchat family is also considered as one of the best racing pigeon fanciers in Austria and in their career they already won almost 20 Olympiad pigeons. Something special: through Jaak Koninx (a friend of the late Pros Roosen) they obtained the father of Rodeo (father of Nikolaas), a few years before Rodeo bred Nikolaas. A fantastic pigeon!
The Marchat family lofts
In Austria there are 700 registered members in the pigeon federation, 350 of them practice the racing pigeon sport actively. One of the reasons of the lower number of racing pigeons fans in Austria is the fact that Austria is covered with mountains for a large part. Racing pigeons is mostly done in the north-eastern part of Austria (Wien, Niederösterreich, Burgenland and Oberösterreich).
The racing programme is from 180km up to 650km. In the last few years their have been attempts to organize a marathon race once per year, like in 2015 from Isnes.
We would like to thank the Marchat Family for their hospitality! For more information about the pigeon sport in Austria, please visit the website of the Austrian Racing Pigeon Federation.