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 Jo Hendrix And Specialization
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There are some fanciers who want to specialize at a particular distance in the sport. It could be at sprint (short distance) or middle or long distance or in recent years the emphasis upon the marathon distance level. Or there are those who breed for short/middle, middle/long, or long/marathon racing. As there are those who believe that there are no pigeons for courses and literally throw their thoroughbreds into all distances. However, for the ordinary or average fancier whose means are limited and time precious especially in a society of much complexity specialization is a must in order to acquire proper management and possible success. Of course there will be those who are not in agreement with what I have written and that is their prerogative.

With the previous thoughts in mind I would like to introduce a native of the Netherlands called Jo Hendrik who decided years ago to specialize in pigeon racing- a decision which has borne fruit for the retired bank director from Twello. Prior to specializing however one has to decide upon what strain or family of pigeons one would like to obtain and manage in order to pursue ones goals. Thus from the knowledge available and the area of specialization in mind an important decision has to be made. In this context Jo Hendrix opted for 700- mile racing, that is marathon status, and the birds obtained with this objective in mind were of the van Wanroy strain. A strain which is one of the great long distance and marathon families of the modern era. The latter strain Hendrix kept pure and as a manager he appears to be one of the tough type- training hard and racing hard- with no place for weakness in his stock. Every bird, breeder or racer, had to toe the line of the survival of the fittest. In fact so much so that our subject would never administer medicine to his pigeons. For his pigeons in turn the level of toughness administered apparently was accepted for they thrived under his methods. Hendrix purchased his van Wanroy's in 1970.

From this tough form of management the legend of Jo Hendrix was born and grew until pigeondom had to admit that this Dutchman was one of the greatest modern exponents of the art and science of pigeon breeding and racing. Based upon extraordinary feats of distance racing with not many pigeons the approach of this master of the sport was confirmed. Jo would send a couple of pigeons or a few to a particular race and they in turn would win a couple or a few prizes in those races. Being always there and there about in prizes in 600 mile plus races. Many were his successes but perhaps the creme- de- la- creme of his racing career was winning the Barcelona International in perhaps the toughest race ever in its history. This was in 1980 and Hendriks pigeon '271' beat 13,665 birds to win the race into the far north of Holland. Many were of the opinion that in such a hard fly, weather wise, it was impossible to win at such a large distance. But the courageous bird of Van Wanroy bloodlines proved that it could be done. This was a fantastic almost a miraculous feat of pigeon racing endurance and it may never be repeated. Of course there are those whose management approach maybe the direct opposite or not as tough as that of Jo Hendrix and who still reap the rewards. Perhaps confirming that many roads lead to Rome. Nevertheless the decision of Jo Hendrix to specialize and to administer a strict regime has also borne fruit and given to the sport many memorable moments in its history. I could not end this piece without referring to Jo Hendrix's son, Ben, for there are many of the opinion that Ben
Hendrix was the worthy successor of van Wanroy and the custodian of one of the best modern strains of the last and present century. Ben was an important part of the Twello story.

Yes, inspite of arguments to the contrary the state of human society dictates much and in our modern era, if not already practised, specialization is a must.

Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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