Zsolt Pinter (Inarcs, HU) is a young fancier performing well at all distances

There are still young fanciers out there who can manage to become successful. One of them is the Hungarian Zsolt Pinter from the town of Inarcs, which is situated 20km the southeast of Budapest.

Zsolt Pinter in his loft

Zsolt is 34 years old and he has been a passionate fancier for years. We give you a brief overview of his career as a pigeon fancier. His father Franz Pinter and his brother Franz Pinter Jr. started out as fanciers in 1990. It was only a few years later, in 1993, when Zsolt gained an interest in pigeon racing as well. They started to race under the name of Pinter & Sons and achieved several successes. They won, for instance, the title of First National Champion Middle Distance, First National Champion One Day Long Distance, First National Champion Young Birds and First National Champion as the Best Loft in Hungary. This loft has won other important prizes as well; they have won, for instance, 131,000USD in the Million Dollar Pigeon Race in South Africa. 2009 was a turning point in his career: it was the start of a new life for Zsolt, with a new house and a proper pigeon loft. From then on he started racing under his own name; it was the start of a new career. He was successful with his young birds right from the start but the best was yet to come. He raced his yearlings in 2010 and they performed really well. Zsolt won the Provincial Championship with several top prizes and he did even better in 2011, when he was awarded as the best middle distance fancier of Hungary. His Al Capone was the best Hungarian pigeon in category H; his Valentino was the best of Hungary in category C.

Al Capone was 
awarded as the best pigeon of Hungary in category H in 2011

We asked Zsolt about his favourite races: “I am fond of the races of the one day long distance, because the wind and the location of the loft do not play a significant role there. I think it’s important that my pigeons perform well in hot weather and with a strong headwind as well.”

The loft itself

Zsolt Pinter does not have a big loft; it only consists of six sections. He has a section with 12 breeding pairs, two sections with 70 young birds, two sections with a total of 24 widowers and one section with 24 hens on widowhood. Zsolt races on total widowhood and he takes care of his pigeons all by himself. This is quite manageable because his working place is only three minutes away from his house. He works at the local administration as head of the tax office. As head of the office he can decide for himself when he has some time off to go to his loft and to see if everything is in order.

Piet, a great breeder of Zsolt Pinter

winter breeding or early breeding

This is simply out of the question. The weather does not allow him to have a winter breed or early breed: from December to January temperatures are usually around – 20° and the same applies to February. It is basically impossible to pair your pigeons in such temperatures. That is why Zsolt pairs his breeding and racing pigeons only in the first or second week of March. The eggs of his breeders are placed in the nests of his racing pigeons after seven to eight days, after which the breeders have to lay a second round of eggs. This method allows him to have two rounds of young birds from his breeding pigeons shortly after another. He obviously keeps the best young birds of his racing birds. He believes it is a crucial mistake not to keep any young birds from your racers. He has had some particularly talented young birds that were bred from his yearlings. Many fanciers decide not to have any young birds from their racing pigeons for fear of infections or diseases. However, as long as your pigeon breed is healthy there should be no reason to worry about diseases. When your pigeons are in good health the rest will follow. Healthy pigeons should be capable of raising a round of healthy youngsters.
Zsolt breeds about 65 to 75 young birds for his own pigeon breed.

Total widowhood

His pigeons are raced on total widowhood. As we said his racing pigeons are paired in mid-March and the pairs are kept together until the youngsters are about 12 to 14 days old. Then they are separated again and sometimes they can raise a youngster. The cocks are housed in their nest boxes, the hens live on the floor of the hens’ compartment. In the first two to three races the pigeons have to take care of the youngsters. Total widowhood starts when the youngsters are taken away; the pigeons tend to perform really well at this point in time.

Before the season the pigeons have to do 8 to 10 training flights of 20 to 70km. In the first three to four weeks of the season Zsolt takes his pigeons away during the week as well for a training flight of about 20km, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After that the number of training flights during the week gradually decreases. The pigeons are usually basketed on Saturday.

Zsolt does not show the pigeons before basketing. He used to do this but he noticed that it was not really necessary. It was Gerard Koopman who told him to do things differently. The result is that the pigeons are a lot calmer when being basketed. In some cases however he shows the hens for about two to five minutes but only when Zsolt notices a lack of motivation.

After the race the cocks and the hens are kept together for two to three hours. Tthe pigeons can stay together until the next morning one or two times a year, to boost their motivation.

The feed

The feeding of the pigeons is based on the system of Gerard Koopman, which means the pigeons can eat as much as they want. There is no special diet; the pigeons eat the same feed throughout the week. For the last three to four meals of the week he adds some corn, hempseed and sunflower seeds as well. This is enough to provide his pigeons a healthy diet every day.


That is what pigeon racing is all about. It is not easy to win top prizes in our sport. We have briefly discussed the achievements of Pinter & Sons and we have mentioned the sensational prizes of Zsolt Pitner in 2010 and 2011 as well. Now it is time to have a look at his results of 2012:

29.04.2012 Enese  (149 km) 5,699 pigeons: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 
                  22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 28th, 35th, 53rd etc. (27/43);
12.05.2012 Sopron (209 km) 2,210 pigeons: 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 
                  20th, 21st, 22nd, 31st, 63rd etc. (23/40);
20.05.2012 Melk   (316 km) 4,077 pigeons: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 13th, 24th, 28th, 
                  38th etc. (28/41);
27.05.2012 Haag   (368 km) 1,744 pigeons: 10th, 12th, 14th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 
                  21st, 22nd, 24th, 29th, 44th, 58th, 102nd 105th etc. (25/40);
23.06.2012 Regensburg (561 km) 2,373 pigeons: 3rd, 15th, 77th, 94th, 96th, 
                  96th, 152nd etc. (12/20);
23.06.2012 Sopron (209 km) 1,121 pigeons: 3rd, 4th, 39th, 65th, 87th, 89th, 
                  179th etc. (7/10),
01.07.2012 Haag  (368 km) 1,409 pigeons: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 18th, 25th, 
                  26th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 47th, 49th, 55th etc. (24/35);
23.07.2012 Melk  (316 km) 928 pigeons: 28th, 30th, 31st, 33rd, 58th (5/8);
23.07.2012 Würzburg (745 km) 1,411 pigeons: 4th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 39th, 
                 43rd, 56th, 69th, 73rd etc. (14/19).

Keep in mind that only one in five pigeons is awarded a prize. This means only 20% of all basketed pigeons can win a prize!

Zsolt Pinter settled for third in the National Super Cup, he won the first prize in the General Provincial Championship, the first prize in the Provincial Long Distance Championship and the second place in the Provincial Short Distance Championship!

A collection of outstanding breeding pigeons

Piet is one of Zsolt’s best breeders, together with his sons Al Capone and Havard, and of course Olympiade 06. Piet is actually a 50% Peter van de Merwe: his dam stems from Joyce, winner of a first National against 22,275 pigeons. The sire of Piet originates from the pigeon breed of Pinter & Sons. Piet has bred an incredible number of outstanding pigeons and winners of first prizes. It would be impossible to name all successful descendants. Two of Piet’s best sons are Al Capone and Havard.

Olympic 06 was second National Ace Pigeon in category G
and Olympiad Pigeon in Poland, also in category G

Harvard was awarded as first national Ace Pigeon 2012 in category G and third National Ace Pigeon 2013 in category A. He was also an Olympiad Pigeon in Nitra. His sire is Piet and the dam is Reka, a hen of Rik Cools and a half daughter of the famous Marieke. The Olympic 06 was second National Ace Pigeon in Category G and Olympiad Pigeon in Poland, also in category G.

This was just a brief overview of the top class pigeon collection of Zsolt Pinter. I am sure that we will hear a lot from him and his pigeons in the future.

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