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Karl von Gardony of Canada
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Karl von Gardony of Bright, Ontario, Canada has been associated with the sport for approximately 74 years. Before the age of 10 years he had been bitten with the pigeon bug and his commitment to the sport has been second to none. Too numerous to relate are his successes over the decades which includes 26 Combine 1sts at 500 miles and there is no doubt that he occupies an honoured place amongst the elite of the North American pigeon racing fraternity. In contrast with my own small stud Karl von Gardony has approximately 85 birds to race with on a weekly basis and as there are two weekend races organized from these he will choose about two score to compete in each race. His selection apparently is based upon his loft book other than handling. As a result of this method on occasions the first three Combine positions have been captured by this loft. Karl von Gardony of Bright, Ontario, Canada has been associated with the sport for approximately 74 years. Before the age of 10 years he had been bitten with the pigeon bug and his commitment to the sport has been second to none. Too numerous to relate are his successes over the decades which includes 26 Combine 1sts at 500 miles and there is no doubt that he occupies an honoured place amongst the elite of the North American pigeon racing fraternity. In contrast with my own small stud Karl von Gardony has approximately 85 birds to race with on a weekly basis and as there are two weekend races organized from these he will choose about two score to compete in each race. His selection apparently is based upon his loft book other than handling. As a result of this method on occasions the first three Combine positions have been captured by this loft.
Karl von Gardony lays emphasis upon performance as an important factor in the moulding of his family based upon a strict selection regime in fact he is always pursuing good pigeons so much so that in 1987 or '88 about ten birds were purchased from Joop Beumer of Holland and eight birds from Raymund Hermes of Germany. This was added to in 1992 with 16 Litherland Meulemans, 14 birds from Jan Grondelaers and 14 birds from Maurits Voets Kesselwere. The latter bloodlines today permeate his lofts and since I started this series this is one family in which I believe is an outcross reality for according to sources von Gardony sees a threat to the modern racing pigeon from too close inbreeding or line breeding. An interesting thesis which would imply that there are really many roads to Rome for this maestro has a list of many wins to his credit.

An outstanding example of his stock which goes back to his original base is the winner and only bird in the South Western Ontario Combine race from Grand Mere flying 15 hours, 30 minutes and beating candidates from 81 other lofts. This courageous hen was of Sion X Barker bloodlines. Other bloodlines that have worked well for Karl are the Tourniers and Van Wanroys, Hector-Desmet-white flight family, and the De Smet-Matthys.

Karl von Gardony would appear in matters of health to be a hard task master for he refuses to tolerate any weakness and any pigeon showing signs of disease is eliminated quickly. Early in the pigeons year the usual precautions are taken relating to the usual potential dangers but no medical treatment is given during the racing season. He flies to the nest and his family of birds has won from all distances so much so that he has been closed out of his federation on occasions. Performances of 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th with only 12 day birds at 450 miles illustrates why other fanciers would be reluctant (although not justified) to refuse to fly against von Gardony. On another occasion he timed 8 pigeons within two minutes in a 400 mile race.

As stated von Gardony's commitment to the sport is second to none for aside from his triumphs at racing he has served it in various organizational positions including a term as President of the Canadian Union. Not bad for an immigrant from Hungary who arrived in Canada in 1959 without a word of English but who was determined to adjust to the Canadian culture- the same determination which has took him to the top pinnacle of the sport in his adopted country. A great Canadian pigeon racer - (perhaps the greatest)!


Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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