Leon Payne is 63 years old and has been racing pigeons since the age of 12. About 10 years ago he had a health setback as a result of a stroke. It was so serious many people thought he was not going to survive. A long story short – Leon did recover and decided in 2017 to start racing pigeons again as member of the Wesselsbron Pigeon Club and Westelike Duiwe Unie (clubs include Potchefstroom, Wesselsbron, Bothaville, Viljoenskroon, Klerksdorp, Stilfontein, Orkney, etc).
Only one problem – Leon did not have pigeons anymore but this was solved very quickly. He got about 75 youngsters from friends and 30 late breds from Bertus.
Despite his long absence from the sport Leon proved that he hasn’t lost his touch as a fancier. Because he had no old birds, Leon decided to race until the last Yearling race.
He had an excellent season and his positions in the championship competition after the last yearling race were:
1 South Section Champion Yearlings
3 South Section Champion Opens (Leon racing yearlings against old birds)
2 South Section Champion All Birds
5 Westelike Posduif Unie Yearling Champion
7 Westelike Posduif Unie Open Champion (Leon racing yearlings against old birds)
3 Westelike Posduif Unie Middle Distance Champion
If one looks at Leon’s results one might believe that everything went as planned. But it did not – Leon had an outbreak of pox which was so bad that some of his pigeons could not be raced for a number of weeks.
Leon’s best race of the season was on the 11th of August from Victoria West 510km.
YEARLINGS DERBY (released at 07:25) – winning speed 1248mpm
1,3,66,75,90 NWPV Combine 1198 pigeons
Leon sent only 7 birds to this race (all of them Vandenabeeles of Bertus). His Combine winner ZA 17/49849 is a daughter of 00437 (WITTENBUIK 790 x LITTLE BLUE) and 0142 (SPIKKELS x NANCY). SPIKKELS is a son of GOLDEN GABY which makes him a halfbrother of GOLDEN EYE. NANCY is a daughter of the world famous BLIKSEM. 49849 showed signs earlier the season that she could develop in a good racer by winning 2 club and 8 Westelike Duiwe Unie from Strydenburg 360km against 651 pigeons. She was unfortunately one of the birds that could not race a lot because of pox.
Leon’s 3rd place winner is ZA 17/49832, a daughter of MAX (imported Ric Cools cock and brother of famous MOLLEKE) x 00423 (GOUE KLEINEN x 1994). 49832 scored in another three races for Leon and her best was 9 Westelike Posduif Unie from Jamestown 377km 1336mpm against 711 pigeons.
OPEN RACE (released at 07:55) – winning speed 1241mpm
2,3,7,15,27,98 NWPV Combine 1305 pigeons
Leon’s first bird in the race was ZA 17/50427, winning 2nd NWPV Combine against 1305 pigeons. The father of 50427 is 00437 (WITTENBUIK 790 x LITTLE BLUE ) and his mother is 29096 (JONGE RUDY x MARIEKE JUNIOR). 50427 also showed signs earlier the season that he might become a good one by winning 19th Westelike Posduif Unie from Jamestown 377km 1336mpm against 711 pigeons.
ZA 17/50488, another youngster of 00437 x 29096, also raced well and won 2nd Westelike Posduif Unie Jamestown 377km 1336mpm against 711 pigeons and 5 (*2 – dropped with 3 loftmates taking 2,3,4,5) club Reddersburg 213km 1366mpm.
Other youngsters worth mentioning are:
ZA 18/108004 - winning 3 (*2) club Reddersburg 213km and 3 club Britstown 423km. Father is 29121 (WITTENBUIK 790 x LITTLE BLUE) and mother is KAYLA (Kromme x Marieke Junior)
ZA 17/49847 - winning 2 club Hopetown 297km, 4 (*2) club Reddersburg 213km and 6 club Belmont 270km. Father is SCAR (Golden Eye x Mooie Bliksem) and mother is 06722 (daughter of 45553).
Leon visited Bertus on the 25th of August and during his visit he handled 00437. Three different youngsters of 00437 won the following for Leon:
- ZA 17/49849 - 1 NWPF Combine 510km 1198 pigeons
- ZA 17/50427 - 2 NWPF Combine 510km 1305 pigeons
- ZA 17/50488 - 2 WPU 377km 711 pigeons