How it began: Sakis and Ludo in 1996
Sakis was faced with a serious blow at the start of the season. When he entered his loft on 24th February 2016 at 6:30h in the morning he noticed that two of his loft's doors had been forced open. One loft housed 11 pigeons, which had all been taken from the nest and stolen; the pigeons in the other loft were still there. It is likely that the thieves got disturbed and ran off. The stolen pigeons were taken from their nests, which means their eggs could no longer be brooded. Luckily enough his super class hen Meeuwke was not in the loft at that time, so she did not get stolen. The theft was a major setback for the team but Sakis did not throw in the towel. He made new pairing with the remaining pigeons, but not before he invested in a solid security system.
The leading names in this loft
As many of you know, Sakis has the most valuable collection of Ludo Claessens pigeons. He got in touch with Ludo in 1995 and the two fanciers became close friends in the following years. Sakis not only learned a great deal about pigeon racing from him, he also introduced quite a few pigeons in his loft in Ablasserdam. This quickly started to show in the results. Sakis's first major result was the title of best young bird of The Netherlands in the WHZB competition and the Vredesduif competition. He invested in a few other pigeons in 2003, including his most invaluable pigeon to date, Meeuwke 12. Meeuwke is a daughter of Ludo's Supercrack '69. The pigeons Supercrack's Talent and Bonte Beauty were introduced later on as well, two youngsters of Ludo's number one breeding bird Jonge Supercrack 941. These three pigeons make for a unique and unparalleled collection of Davy Claessens pigeons. Sakis is very grateful to Ludo for the advice and the invaluable pigeons that he got from him. He explains: "Ludo taught me that your pigeons have to be in peak form before they can start to breed. Ludo was an expert at breeding hiqh quality pigeons with a small collection of birds, and his approach has really paid off in my loft as well."
Meeuwke is a daughter of the world famous Supercrack '69 X Golden White. This makes her a full sister of Yeti and a half sister of Jonge Supercrack 941. Click here for her full pedigree. Numerous talented racing birds were bred from this pigeon; her direct youngsters have already won 15 clear first prizes so far. Click here for an overview of these prizes.
NL07-1936832 Bonte Beauty
This is an invaluable cock in Sakis's pigeon collection as well. The sire of Bont Beauty is Jonge Supercrack 941, winner of a 1st Prov. Orleans (2,672 p.) and a 1st Prov. Orleans (1,853 p.). He is also the sire of a 1st, 2nd and 3rd National Orleans. The dam of Bonte Beauty is Kirsty; she won a 1st Nat. Orleans (8,072 p.) as the fastest of 11,931 pigeons. Click here for the full pedigree.
NL08-1660055 Supercrack's Talent
Supercrack's Talent is a son of Jonge Supercrack 941 x dam Jonge Supercrack 941 (Schoon Donker 83). This Schoon Donker 83 is also the grandmother of a 1st and 3rd Orleans (9,096 p.). Click here for his full pedigree. These three pigeons form the most fundamental bloodlines of Sakis's pigeon loft and that of many other fanciers. In fact, several renowned breeders of Wout Spierings, Tomasz Wiczling, Fred & Dori Goodchild, John Georgupoulos, Dr. Guo Weicheng (Great Wall), and Dieter Sieber originate from the pigeon family of Sakis.
Sakis and Dr. Guo Weicheng (Great Wall)
The 2016 season
The team started the season with a race from Duffel, where they won a first prize of 662 pigeons with racing bird Top 111 right away. Top 111 held a first place in the pigeon championship of Entente Drechtsteden Rayon A after four sprint races, having won the following prizes:
6th Duffel 2,462 p. 33rd Asse-Zellik 2,157 p. 76th Quievrain 2,217 p. 122nd Quievrain 2,309 p.
But Sakis's primary objective is the one day long distance, where the first two races of 2016 were unfortunately reduced in length due to the bad weather. But things went well from then on, and he achieved a 55% prize percentage in the first two one day long distance races of the season:
Bourges 555 km 818 d.: 11-13-15-20-22-31-35-39-52-53-55-62-65-70-75-77-etc. (26/41) Chateauroux 600 km 709 d.: 10-14-18-20-25-32-41-43-46-48-51-52-etc. (22/45)
The third one day long distance race started in Argenton; it was a very difficult race with speeds of less than 1,000 metres per minute for the first pigeons. You can tell from the results that Sakis's pigeons are more than suited for this type of racing:
Argenton 629 km 366 p.: 1-2-5-9-10-16-18-21-30-34-etc. (21/43) (9th NPO of 7,374 pigeons).
The winning hen White Strong actually lost some time because the clocking device did not function properly. Fortunately the issue was quickly sorted. The last one day long distance race of the season took off in Ruffec, and the racing team did a great job there as well:
Ruffec 726 km 233 p.: 4-8-13-14-15-16-17-19-20-22-etc. (21/37)
He had basketed 166 pigeons for the four one day long distance races, and he went on to win 90 prizes 1:4 (54%) and 48 prizes 1:10 (30%). One of the eye-catchers in these races was White Strong, the winner from Argenton. Besides her victory from Argenton she also won a 27th Ruffec in the one day long distance this season.
NL12-1609170 Miss Thessaloniki II
Miss Thessaloniki II is another racing hen that has won quite a few prizes in recent years. She is a direct daughter of super pair Supercrack's Talent x Super 155. Supercrack's Talent is a direct son of top breeder Jonge Supercrack of Ludo Claessens, which won a 1st Orleans 2,672 p. and a 1st Orleans 1,853 pigeons. breeding dam Super 155 is the dam of six first prize winners. Click here for the pedigree of Miss Thessaloniki II. She won the following prizes in the one day long distance this season:
15th Bourges 629 km 818 p. 43rd Chateauroux 600 km 709 p. 5th Argenton 629 km 366 p.
Miss Thessaloniki has won top prizes over the course of an impressive 20,000 kilometers. She is now the grandmother of White Strong (1st Argenton and 9th NPO 7,374 p.), and it is no surprise that this talented pigeon is now a member of the breeding team. You can tell from her impressive palmares that she was quite a talented racing bird indeed, especially in the one day long distance:
1st Chateauroux 600 km 166 p. (and 3rd of 1,033 p. and 25th Nat. Sector 2 13,512 p.) 2nd Ruffec 726 km 106 p. (and 2nd of 337 p. and 37th 4,133 p.) 3rd Argenton 629 km 122 p. (and 5th 366 p. and 90th 7,374 p.) 5th Bourges 555 km 150 p. (and 14th 1,154 p. and 116th 7,586 p.) 4th Bourges 555 km 233 p. (and 15th 1,351 p. and 356th 9,576 p.) 9th Bourges 555 km 242 p. (and 15th 818 p. and 274th 13,431 p.) 6th Vierzon 549 km 200 p. (and 31st 1,138 p. and 470th 11,506 p.) 4th Bourges 555 km 171 p. 5th Argenton 629 km 207 p. 2nd Nanteuil 331 km 193 p. 14th Moeskroen 157 km 1,435 p. 40th Meaux 347 km 4,492 p. etc.
Major success in the one loft races
Sakis is really satisfied with the achievements of his Ludo Claessens pigeons, both in his own loft and for his colleagues. He was quite impressed with the level of performance of the Claessens descendants in the international one loft races as well. Click here to learn more about their recent achievements in one loft racing (in Dutch). The racing birds of Sakis were again in great form in the one loft race on 30th of November in South Africa, as Fahad Alwatri finished in 37th place in the 135km training flight with a 100% Sakis pigeon. John Georgopoulis won a 55th place with a direct daughter of Supercrack 135. These results illustrate the value of the unique pigeon family in the lofts of Sakis Minovgioudis.
Sakis (r) with a few colleagues, including his good friend Fahad Alwatri (l) from Kuweit