Hardy Krüger, a passionate fancier from an early age
Hardy started keeping pigeons when he was still very young: he was about 13 years old when he developed a passion for pigeon racing. In 1992 he became the youngest champion of Germany ever at 16 years old. Just let it sink in: winning the title of German national champion at the age of 16, not in the junior competition but at senior level. He managed to beat the very best fanciers of Germany, with an impressive 40 prizes and 7,789.29 prize points. He also finished in 4th place in the national long distance championship, while winning a 3rd ace cock in Germany as well. He won this title almost 25 years ago, and Hardy Krüger has continued to perform at a high level throughout these years, adding numerous other championship titles and prestigious victories to his palmares. He won the title of 1st German Champion yearlings in 2014, he was 8th in the German Union Championship long distance in 2012 and 21st in the German Union Championship in 2013, and he finished in 16th place in the German Union Championship yearlings in 2015, just to name a few. Besides his many titles at national level he also won several championship titles at club level and ace pigeon titles acros all competitions. These titles enabled him to become a household name in Germany, a fancier which many of his opponents look up to.
Hardy Krüger has a collection of 22 breeding pairs, and he races with 50 widowers and 80 youngsters. They are raced in widowhood, and the widowers are kept in two different lofts. The youngsters are divided over two lofts as well. The breeding loft, widower loft and young birds' loft are set up alongside each other in an elongated garden, which makes it easy to monitor his pigeons. Hardy does not keep hundreds of pigeons in his lofts, unlike many of our sport's great champions.
The breeding loft: the key to success!
If your goal is to achieve great results for an extended period of time then you need a collection of top class breeding birds and a lot of know-how. Hardy Krüger has both: he knows how to breed successful racing birds and he has a fine collection of breeders as well. His success story is based on a top quality breed. He is always trying to improve his existing collection as well, and the result is a team of breeders of exceptional quality.
His number one stock breeder used to be Carl Lewis; he was born in 1990 and he won the title of 3rd Ace Cock of Germany in 1992. His name still features in many of today's champions, but he is no longer part of Hardy's breeding team.
Black Power and a few others
Black Power and his descendants have given way to a new generation of champions. Black Power was and still is a truly exceptional pigeon. His ring number is 07274-00-1245 and he was bred from two yearlings. His sire is the 07274-99-950, a grandson of Carl Lewis from his mother's side, and his dam was B 99-6264813, a hen of Kris Van Massenhoven. Black Power was 4th Ace Cock in the district against 40,000 pigeons in 2002. He was an outstanding racing bird but he proved even more talented as a breeder.
We take a look at his outstanding sons, the best of which is Black Pearl (07274-08-879), a racing cock with 5 first prizes on his palmares. His best results include a 1st Orléans (499 km) against 1,788 p., a 1st Sezanne (330 km) against 1,403 p., a 1st Vierzon (542 km) against 1,196 p., a 1st Blois (543 km) against 745 p., a 1st Pithivier (450 km) against 1,136 p., a 2nd Sezanne (330 km) against 2,361 p., and a 9th Blois (546 km) against 925 p. Black Pearl represented Germany in the 2011 Olympiad in Posen as well.
One year later Black Power became the sire of Black Soul (07274-09-2100), which was quite a successful racing bird as well, winning a 1st from Sens (391 km) against 2,274 p., a 14th from Orléans (498 km) against 964 p., a 16th from Pithivier (446 km) against 1,403 p. etc.
Black Power bred no less than three top class racing cocks in 2010: 07274-10-1027 Black Sky, 07274-10-1068 Blue Sky, and 07210-10-995 Black Ocean. The latter of the three proved particularly successful, winning a 1st from Poitiers (671 km) against 360 p. and a 2nd national against 8,067 p., as well as a 1st from Rethel (231 km) against 1,029 p. and a 2nd from Pithiviers (453 km) against 865 p.
2015 was the last season in which a direct son of Black Power was part of the racing team. This racing cock 07274-13-775 called Black King became Hardy Krüger's most successful racing bird that season.
Black King wins 11 prizes with 1005 ace points, including a 1st Pithiviers (453 km) against 632 p. with a 9 minute lead, as well as a 1st Sourdun against 420 p., a 2nd Sourdun against 355 p., a 2nd Charleville 710 p. etc.
Black Power was paired to different parents over the years, and these were top class pigeons as well. Unsurprisingly he bred excellent youngsters with every single one of them. This makes him quite an exceptional breeder, this is the type of pigeon that comes along only once in a decade or so.
Blackpower's successful granchildren
Black Power is quite an exceptional breeder indeed. Hardy Krüger won 7 first prizes in 2015, 5 of which were won with grandchildren of Black Power. The two other first prizes were won by Black King, which is in fact a son of Black Power.
Black Diamond 07274-14-3105, another grandchild of Black Power, wins the regional race from Sourdan (368km) against 4,046 km with an 8 minute lead. Black Diamond was bred from Black Pearl paired to Danedream of Rudi Heinen.
This is just a brief selection of the many top class breeding pigeons in Hardy Krüger's collection. Many of his pigeons have been very successful in other lofts as well, and in One Loft Races across the globe. You can read more about their achievements in the One Loft Races in another article that will be published soon.
The best results of 2015
28.04. Chimay (198 km) 692 p.: 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 62nd, 64th, etc. (43 nom./22 pr.) 02.05. Charleville-Meziers (201 km) 710 p.: 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 11th, 15th, 19th, 26th, 39th, 46th, 48th, 49th, 50th, 51st, 53rd, 69th, etc. (43/29) 09.05. Sezanne (334 km) 695 p.: 8th, 14th, 25th, 26th, 30th, 37th, 51st, 53rd, 56th, 57th, etc. (43/20) 16.05. Sourdun (367 km) 668 p.: 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 39th, 63rd, etc. (40/26) 23.05. Pithiviers (453 km) 632 p.: 1st, 9th, 26th, 39th, 40th, 41st, 63rd etc. (40/21) 30.05. Pithiviers (453 km) 522 p.: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 10th, 15th, 34th, 38th, 45th, 49th, 50th, etc. (35/25) Pithiviers regional (453 km) 6,191 p.: 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 15th, 21st, 54th, 192nd, 239th, etc. (35/26) 06.06. Pithiviers (453 km) 511 p.: 5th, 6th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 21st, 25th, 28th, 29th, 35th, 50th, etc. (34/20) 13.06. Blois (546 km) 430 p.: 1st, 6th, 7th, 15th, 28th, 33rd, 37th, 50th etc. (26/12) 27.06. Sourdun (367 km) 420 p.: 1st, 10th, 11th, 15th, 16th, 23rd, 26th, 37th etc. (39/19) 18.07. Sourdan (367 km) 355 p.: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 17th, 22nd, 25th, 28th, 29th, etc. (32/23) Sourdun regional (367 km) 4,046 p.: 1st, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 46th, 69th, 99th, 109th, 115th, 191st etc. (32/26)
The 2016 season
23.04. Huy (114 km) 699 p.: 4th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 21st, 25th, 37th, 52nd, etc. (41/26) 01.05. Chimay (198 km) 613 p.: 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th, 48th, 58th, 60th, etc. (41/22) 07.05. Clacy-et-Thierret (276 km) 661 p.: 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 46th, 50th, 59th, 63rd, 66th, etc. (41/21) 14.05. Reims (275 km) 557 p.: 2nd, 5th, 9th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 26th, 29th, 37th, 41st, 54th, 65th, etc. (36/21) 21.05. Sourdun (368 km) 534 p.: 1st, 7th, 12th, 16th, 23rd, 25th, 35th, 46th, 58th, etc. (36/19) 28.05. Clacy-et-Thierret (275 km) 517 p.: 3rd, 13th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 25th, 29th, 34th, 50th, etc. (36/20)
The 7the race on the calendar was a particularly difficult one, and Black Night, one of Hardy's best racing birds, failed to return home that day. Many other talented pigeons came home only in the following week. The organisers decided to cancel the following race, which explains why Hardy's pigeons lost their form for the remainder of the season.
There was another reason why 2016 was a very difficult year for Hardy, as his father passed in May after contracting pneumonia. Sometimes in life there are more important things than a pigeon loft, even for the most ambitious of fanciers.