In the Spotlight: Zsolt Pinter, Inarcs - Hungary
Thirty four year old Zsolt has been in the pigeons sport since 1990. He lived with his parents and their family in an apartment till 1989. In 1989 they moved to a house with a garden and his father Franz and his brother Franz Jr. began racing pigeons. Zsolt's interest was stirred when he wondered why his father and brother spent all that time, in the garden, with the pigeons.
In 1993 he began to keep himself busy with the pigeons and from then up to 2009 he was a member of the partnership of Pinter and Sons.
During that time they raced very well and had results such as the following:
- 1st National Champion Middle Distance
- 1st National Champion One Day Distance
- 1st National Champion Young Birds
- 1st National Champion Loft
In the Million Dollar Race in South Africa in total their pigeons have won $131,000.00.
The pigeons which won the first Dutch Open at the Ponderosa of Hans and Evert Jan Eijerkamp, was a 50% Pinter and Sons pigeon.
Since 2009 he has had his own house and pigeon lofts and has flown independently, with his own pigeons.
He flies in the A-52 Dabas club in Regio 17.
Zsolt favours the one day distance races, because he maintains that the influence of the wind and loft position only play a minor role at these distances.
For Zsolt it is important that his pigeons can fly at the absolute front when the temperatures are hot and the wind against them.
Zsolt's loft has six sections: one for 12 breeding pairs, two sections for approximately seventy young birds, two for twenty-four widowhood cocks and one for twenty-four widowhood hens.
There is an aviary in front of the breeding and young bird sections. The young bird sections have box perches installed for the youngsters.
The nest boxes for the widowers are 66 cm wide, 55 cm deep and 40 cm high.
The widowhood hens have boxes which are 30 cm wide and 35 cm high. The hens can be locked in their boxes.
The front of the pigeon loft faces south east, this ensures that plenty of sunshine can enter the loft.
The entire loft is disinfected once each year with "Multicid 150" (a broad spectrum, fast acting, long lasting disinfectant).
The young bird sections have pea straw on the floor.
Ventilation in both the widowhood cocks and the widowhood hen loft can be controlled via a window and openings in the roof.
For both the breeders and the young birds the entire front of the loft is open which provides easy access to the aviaries.
Zsolt looks after the birds on his own. It is not always easy to get all the chores done, as he works full time for the mayor, at the local municipal office. As head of the finance section, he is able to set his own working hours and can quickly go home when required, as he lives only three minutes away from the office.
The racing season in Hungary is very different from that in the Netherlands. The old bird season runs from May to July during which they have twelve races. Races are flown at distances from 150 to 750 km.
The young bird season has five races and is flown during the month of September.
Normal winter temperatures in Hungary, during the months of December and January, are at minus 20⁰C. These cold temperatures are not ideal for pairing up pigeons.
It often can still be this cold even in February and of course there is still snow on the ground. In addition, if you did pair the pigeons in December, due to the cold, snowy weather the birds cannot fly out around the loft.
Due to the weather conditions, Zsolt usually does not pair the breeding pigeons till the middle of March. The race team is paired at the same time as the breeders. When the eggs are 7 or 8 days old Zsolt moves the breeder eggs under the race birds. This means that the first and second round of youngsters only have a 14 day age difference.
He does breed youngsters out of his best racers each year.
Zsolt believes that if you do not breed youngsters out of your better race birds, you are making a huge mistake, because often he has bred very good youngsters out of his better race birds.
Besides, he claims it is important for the yearlings to bring up a pair of youngsters, because this increases their motivation and their attachment to their nest box.
Many fanciers don't allow their racers to raise a round of youngsters in the spring, because they feel it will bring on sickness. But, according to Zsolt this is a mistaken belief, because if your colony is healthy and the birds are in good condition, then none should be sick. If the pigeons are not capable of raising two youngsters than they are not the good ones!
Zsolt generally raises between 65 and 75 youngsters for himself.
Each loft has a number of birds that can be housed comfortably, a number where you can see that the young birds feel at home and relaxed. That number on Zsolt's young bird loft is between 55 and 60 birds. If this number is exceeded than he loses birds of the loft till the numbers settle down to the numbers mentioned above.
During the training period as a rule Zsolt loses very few birds.
While racing, some years he loses quite a number of birds, and other years he loses very few birds.
It is hard to explain why there is this difference from year to year, because the condition and health of the birds seem to be the same from one year to the next. The weather conditions seem to be optimal, yet once in a while a race will come along where in the entire region everyone will have substantial losses.
Old Bird System
Zsolt flies the total widowhood system, this is both the cocks and the hens.
The race team, as written above are paired in March.
When the youngsters are 12 to 14 days old the hens and cocks are separated and each one of the partners finishes raising one of the youngsters. The cocks finish raising their youngster in their nest box and the hens are put in their section where they finish raising their youngster on the floor.
The birds are flown to their youngsters for the first two or three races. After the youngsters are weaned the race team is switched over to widowhood.
Zsolt finds the period during which the birds are flown on widowhood fantastic, because they come home like lightning....
Before the first races the pigeons are given 8 to 10 training tosses, these tosses vary from 20 to 70 km.
During the first three or four races he takes the birds for a 20 km toss twice a week. These tosses usually take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After these first weeks the training tosses become steadily fewer.
The pigeons are basketed on Saturdays.
He used to show the partners on shipping day, but he experimented, to see what the difference would be, if he didn't show the partners. It turned out that not only did it not get worse, but got better instead. By not showing the partners he saves himself a lot of work and the pigeons go into the basket much more relaxed.
Sometimes, when he sees that a cock is less motivated, he will show, to that cock only, his partner for two to five minutes before putting him in the basket.
After the race the pigeons remain together for two to three hours.
Several times each year the pigeons do remain together till the following morning.
His feeding method is quite simple: he uses the Gerard Koopman method: the pigeons can eat as much as they wish. He does not use a cleansing mix. He gives the same mix to his pigeons the entire week. For the last 3 or 4 meals he gives them extra corn, hemp and sunflower seeds.
Zsolt mixes his own grain mix, because the Hungarian grains are of good quality. Good to the point where several of the Belgian feed manufacturers import grain from Hungary.
The pigeons have to deal with very difficult weather conditions when racing. Often the temperatures during the racing season are between 30⁰C and 35⁰C.
In Hungary they race in a north westerly direction which has the birds flying home between the Austrian mountains and then coming down to the Hungarian plains and high temperatures.
To keep his pigeons healthy Zsolt uses about 80% products from Dr. Hans van der Sluis and the rest from Dr. Henk De Weerd.
On the advice of Dr. Hans van der Sluis the racing pigeons are vaccinated against paratyphoid (with Salmo Pt.). When the birds are paired and down on eggs they are given a four or five day treatment against canker and during that period they are vaccinated for paramixo.
During the racing season the birds get TDC (disinfecting) van Dr. Hans van der Sluis and Belgasol van Dr. H. De Weerd or BS and Belgasol from Dr. H. De Weerd.
Normally, during the racing season, the race birds only get something for respiratory (Orni Cure Pharma, Dr. Hans van der Sluis and Belga Tai from Dr. H. De Weerd) every three weeks along with a light treatment for tricho.
If the pigeons appear to be slowing a little, he gives than an injection with Orni Spritz from Dr. Hans van der Sluis and two days in a row Parastop or Belgamagix from De Weerd.
After the races the birds no longer get any treatments or medications.
He does use, Dosto WG Ropa, an oregano oil product, regularly.
Young Bird System
Zsolt darkens his youngsters for approximately three months.
They only get light from 12: 00 hours to 20:00 hours, the rest of the day they sit in a fully darkened loft.
He begins training his young birds about three weeks before the first race.
The birds are usually given a training toss every second or third day.
The first three tosses are from 20 km, he keeps them there until the birds are beating him home, normally the second toss. After this they are taken for a 60 km toss. The furthest he takes them is 80km.
The youngsters are not taken out for the club training tosses which results in, the first time they go in the trailer, in amongst the other young birds is when they are basketed for the first race. By doing this, Zsolt doesn't think his birds are at a disadvantage at all, as his young birds fly at the top, right from the first races.
During the race season he does take the youngsters for a toss on Wednesday and Thursday.
Seeing that Zsolt doesn't breed winter youngsters he leaves the youngsters together and let's them carry on as they please, if a few pair up and go down on eggs he lets them sit. Often these youngsters are more motivated and provide for some nice results.
The longest race for the young birds is, according to Zsolt, flown at a distance of barely 315 km.
The first young bird race is held on the last weekend of August or the first weekend of September. In total they fly only five young bird races.
First-rate performances from Eijerkamp pigeons
Zsolt has a super breeding hen "Georgina" who is an Eijerkamp-Janssen, coming directly from Hans and Evert Jan Eijerkamp.
"Georgina" was bred in Brummen out of "George Bond" (out of "Porsche Bond" x "Elanora" a daughter of "Wonderboy 06") and "dochter Mister Emerveen" (out of "Mister Emerveen" x "Young Dream")
Below a sample of the performances of her descendants:
A son flew as an old bird in 2012:
- 6th on a race from 149 km against 5,699 pigeons
- 4th on a race from 745 km against 1,411 pigeons
A daughter flew as a young bird in 2012:
- 1st on a race from 294 km against 1,182 pigeons (3 minutes ahead!)
Other children up to this time flew:
- 1st on a race from 216 km against 2,235 pigeons
- 2nd on a race from 178 km against 3,219 pigeons
- 3rd on a race from 316 km against 1,758 pigeons
- 6th on a race from 368 km against 662 pigeons
- 6th on a race from 209 km against 378 pigeons
- 7th on a race from 166 km against 1,380 pigeons
Zsolt purchased two pigeons from Hans and Evert Jan Eijerkamp, of which "Georgina" has turned out to be a terrific breeding hen.
Besides his own old family he has pigeons from Dik van den Burg from Tuk, which in part come out of the VIP line of Hans and Evert Jan Eijerkamp.
He also has very good pigeons from Peter van der Merwe and Gerard Koopman.
- Rajka 178 km against 3,219 pigeons
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 19, 33, 42, 48, 64 etc. and 24 of the 29 birds shipped in the prizes.
- Rajka 178 km against 2,654 pigeons
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 20, 21, 22 etc. and 26 of the 46 birds shipped in the prizes.
- Straubing 534 km against 2,434 pigeons
1, 2, 3, 9, 26, 27, 52, 66, 122 etc. and 15 out of the 20 birds shipped in the prizes.
- Regensburg 561 km against 2,390 pigeons
1, 6, 9, 23, 46, 64, 113 etc. and 11 of the 20 birds shipped in the prizes and also:
1st against 7,660 pigeons with "Al Capone" who flew 81/2 minutes ahead.
- Aurach 700 km against 1,333 pigeons
4, 7, 11, 17, 19, 76, 87 etc. and 11 of the 16 birds shipped in the prizes.
- Melk 316 km against 1,758 pigeons
1, 2, 2, 4, 5, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 4, 38, 39 etc. and all 19 birds shipped in the prizes!!!
- Melk 316 km against 1,937 pigeons
1, 19, 60 and 3 out of 3 shipped in the prizes!!!
- Aurach 700 km against 1,475 pigeons
4, 12, 19, 20, 49, 49, 120 and 7 of the 10 pigeons shipped in the prizes.
- Melk 316 km against 2,235 pigeons
1, 5, 6, 7, 12, 34, 50, 52, 64 etc. and 16 of the 18 birds shipped in the prizes.
- Haag 368 km against 1,925 pigeons
1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 29, 80, 106, 117 etc. and 19 of the 20 birds shipped in the prizes.
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 17, 18, 19, 21, 26, 39, 40, 52 etc. from 209 km against 4,035 pigeons
- 1, 6, 7, 23, 48 etc. from 150 km against 1,664 pigeons
- 1, 3, 28, 30, 54, 57, 81, 83 etc. from 209 km against 3,621 pigeons
- 1, 2, 4, 23 etc. from 316 km against 2,884 pigeons
- 1, 2, 3, 27, 73 etc. from 316 km against 1,193 pigeons
- 1st National Ace Pigeon One Day Distance
- 1st National Ace Pigeon One Day Distance Yearlings
- 1st District Champion 500-700 km
- 1st District General Champion 150-750 km
- 1st National Champion Middle Distance
- 1st National Hungarian Cup Middle Distance
- 1st National Ace Pigeon Middle Distance
- 1st National Ace Pigeon Cat. H
- 1st National Ace Pigeon Cat. C
- 1st National Derby Champion
- 1st District Champion Young Birds.
- 1st District Champion 500-700 km
- 1st District Champion 150-700 km
In 2010 Zsolt only flew with yearlings and still became General Champion of his region.
The year 2011 was better yet. Besides being crowned the National Champion Middle Distance of Hungary, his pigeon "Al Capone" was the best pigeon of Hungary in Cat. H and his "Valentino" was the best pigeon of Hungary in Cat. C.
He gave his brother a young pigeon "Harvard" which became the best pigeons of Hungary in Cat. G, in 2011.
Both "Al Capone" and "Harvard" were out of absolute top breeder "Piet" who now is four years old.
In "Georgina" Zsolt has a tremendous breeder, producing children that have shown they can win 1st prizes from 150 km to 750 km. He hopes that he can maintain this success and breed more of these top pigeons. Pigeons that can race at the front from 400 km to 700 km against the wind and/or on very hot days.
Zsolt has been coming to the Netherlands for some fifteen years to purchase pigeons and through his travels has met many people. People such as, Günter Prange, Gaby Vandenabeele, Jan van de Pasch, G. and S. Verkerk, Ad Schaerlaeckens, Drapa, Peter van der Merwe, Gerard Koopman and Marcel Sangers.
His dream is to race pigeons in the Netherlands, to show everyone that he is indeed a good racing pigeon fancier.
He wants to show that he is not just some young guy from Hungary. He is convinced that he would surprise more than a few Dutch fanciers.