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South African MDPR 2013: live coverage of the final

This year’s final of the South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race is taking place on Saturday the 2nd of February 2013. Just like last year, we will put new information on our website during the final race.

Race information


Have a look at the auctioning video of the SAMDPR winner:

We also have some new pictures of the prize distribution on Saturday evening. You can find them in the photo gallery below the article.


At 11:00 on Sunday the pigeons who participated in the final race were auctioned. The first three pigeons:

  • 1st pigeon: sold to Mike Ganus for R150,000 (10 R(and) = approx. 1 euro)
  • 2nd pigeon: sold to Mike Ganus for R75,000 Rand
  • 3rd pigeon: sold to Alfons Klaas & Hans-Paul Esser for R280,000 (they were the breeders of this pigeon so they bought it back)

Auctioneer in action

Henk Jurriens with his 1st prize winner

Alfons Klaas with his 3rd prize winner


"Untamed Desert" (NL12-1231153) has won the 17th South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race. (Click here to open the pedigree of "Untamed Desert", the winner of the 17th SAMDPR.) Winners: Ton De Kovel & Henk Jurriens from the Netherlands. The pigeon was bred by Hans & Evert-Jan Eijerkamp. More info on the pigeon can be found here. Helmut Mann's pigeon "Said In Spun Silver" finished second and "Purdey" from Team Esser-Klaas finished third. "Purdey" was one of the best pigeons in this year's races having won no less than 9 prizes in the top 100! The father of "Purdey" was bought on PIPA in the total sale of Arie Dijkstra.

These three pigeons arrived together at the lofts after a race of 7 hours and 45 minutes. It took about two minutes before "Untamed Desert" eventually entered the loft and was clocked as winner of the 17th SAMDPR.

Last year the top 3 was entirely German. This year the German fanciers were again successful with 2 pigeons in the top 3 and 3 in the top 5.

This is a picture of Ton De Kovel, who won the 17th SAMDPR together with Henk Jurriens:

Ton De Kovel (on the right)

Below you can find a couple of pictures taken during the race and after the winner was announced. As you can see emotions were (and are) running high. Many other pictures can be found in the gallery below this article.

FLTR: Henk Jurriens (1st), Hans-Paul Esser, Alfons Klaas (together 3rd) and Thomas Gyselbrecht

De Schrijver Norbert & Philippe Brantegem (first Belgian pigeon, ranked 36th)

Kjelt Spithoven (sitting on the right), who is Gerard Koopman's loft manager, and Andre and Bert Leideman,
who are also members of Team Koopman, were ranked 9th. On the left (sitting) you can see Jan Hooymans, who has 2 pigeons in the top 40.

Gerard Koopman has 2 pigeons in the top 60

H-P Esser (3rd from the right) and Alfons Klaas (left) finished 3rd today. On the right you can see Arie Dijkstra,
breeder of the father of the 3rd best pigeon in the final. Arie himself pigeon finished 24th with "Gauteng Man".
Alfons Klaas is a
OLR phenomenon. Last week he won the Carnival City OLR in South Africa. In 2011 he
was the breeder of the final race winner and in 2007 he won the then called Sun City MDPR.

The top 25:

All results of the final race can be found on this page.

This is the video of the liberation this morning:

The organisation also offers a livestream of the birds' arrivals.

The 2,793 final entrants have been liberated in Douglas at 6:00 South African time (5:00 CET, 4:00 GMT) for a race of 553 km (343.62 miles).

Weather at liberation time

Liberation point

Johannesburg Skyline at 06:00 GMT: perfect pigeon weather

Notice the Orange river crossing the line of flight several times during the early stages
of the race. This ensures that birds have plenty of opportunity to go down for water.

The schematic below shows that the Orange river is crossing the line of flight for the first 280 km.
Note that the purple pin on the map is where the SAMDPR lofts are situated.

If you want to have a look at the results this afternoon, you can check out the official SAMDPR website here. On PIPA, we will only publish the top 25.


The South African MDPR organisation welcomed everybody during the welcome dinner in the evening. You can check out the photos in the gallery below.

Information on tomorrow's weather is not yet available since the organisation wishes the liberation site to be kept a secret for the safety of the pigeons.


2,793 pigeons have been basketed for the final race of the 17th South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race. At the bottom of the article, you can find pictures of Thursday's basketing and a visit to the lofts.

Thursday's basketing for the final race

Coverage planning and race weekend schedule

As the race weekend progresses, you can expect coverage of the following events:

  1. Basketing of the pigeons for the final race
  2. Welcoming function
  3. Final race:
    1. information on the liberation
    2. weather updates
    3. announcement of the winner(s)
    4. top 25
  4. Prize presentation
  5. Auction update of the top ten birds

Here you can find the race weekend schedule:

Rubbellos, winner of last year's South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race: