Newsletter November 2019


Pigeons are wonderful creatures, but just like athletes they need to train to get race fit and ready to complete the main race on 1 February 2020.

This years batch of hopefuls has proven to be a bit of a challenge and have needed a few extra short distance training flights. We believe that getting this crucial first step right will give the majority of the pigeons the tools they need to complete the Hot Spot Races and training flights before the main race.

At this stage the pigeons are being trained daily from a specific distance and then as that distance is mastered the training flights are being increased.

We are also changing the training schedule as needed to best suit the pigeons, adding additional training flights and rest days as needed.

Hot Spot Dates

This year we have tried to focus more on getting most of the pigeons being able to complete a training flight in a reasonable time. As such some of the earlier training flights scheduled for 60km where changed to additional training at the 45km distance. This has meant a slight postponement of the Hot Spot Races and recently the updated schedule was published on our web site. The first Hot Spot will now take place on 7 December 2019 from a distance of approximately 165km.

As the first Hot Spot race determines which pigeons compete in the country challenge, Hot Spot Ace  and Knock Out Competition, please make sure to avoid disappointment and activate reserve pigeons before the pigeons are liberated for the first Hot Spot.

As always Hot Spots are open days at the lofts and all are welcome and we will make sure the braai fires are lit and ready for visitors.

What is the non-basketed pigeons?

We have had a few entrants ask what the “Non Basketed returns“ means and why is it displayed.

The answer is simple, these are pigeons that return from the previous days training flight. Sometimes this number is high, but these are days where a lot of pigeons return early in the morning before the pigeons on the training flight. An interesting side note is that over the years we have found that the pigeons in training often pick up pigeons that have slept out along the way and bring them home.


Why not join us for an action-packed programme at the extensive Emerald Resort and Casino complex which promises to be an unforgettable experience.

The banks of the Vaal River is the ideal setting to engage with fellow fanciers over a a few drinks and compare notes on current pigeon racing trends across the world. Our race weekend schedule provides ample opportunity to network with some of the most renown pigeon fanciers in the world.

The special we secured on the Accommodation Package, which can be viewed on our web site,  has a early booking special which ends at the end of November so don’t delay!

For all your travel arrangements please contact African Olive Travel Concepts on or +27828527534.

View rates under the accommodation page on our website.



Planning for the 2021 SAMDPR is well underway and arrangements have been made to once again negotiate with the local authorities to have our permits issued as early as possible. Should all go according to plan, the permits will be issued in late March early April 2021.

This will mean that we will once again have quarantine start in mid-May and will accept pigeons until the end of June 2021; meaning pigeons will have to go to pre-shipping quarantine by the end of May. We are in negotiations with transport agents and shippers across the globe to ensure all pigeons are received in time.

Starting and ending the quarantine period on time gives us enough time to orientate and train the pigeons before road work starts in October without having to rush. So please make sure that your 2021 champions are bred and ready in time to make the shipping deadlines.


Over the years we have proven time and time again that the proper vaccination of the young pigeons before beign sent to pre shipping quarantine and then in quarantine is of vital importance.

We have published a guide on how and when your young pigeons being sent to us should be vaccinated and is available on our web site under New Articles.

Finally on behalf of all of us at the SAMDPR we would like to wish our entrants the best of luck in the come Hot Spot Races and main race in February 2020.

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