Hendrix And Specialization
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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.
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.
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.
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.
by: Liam O Comain