Northern Cape: Queen’s pigeon to race

2013-02-01 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — A racing pigeon belonging to Queen Elizabeth will take part in tomorrow’s Million Dollar race, which starts in Douglas in the Northern Cape.

The queen’s bird, Royal Blue, is competing against 2 800 fliers from 36 countries. The winner will fly off with $200 000 (R1,78 million).

The birds will fly 550 km to Linbro Park north of Johannesburg.

The start is at 6 am and the first birds are expected home within nine or 10 hours.

Thomas Smit, a journalist who covers pigeon racing, said the Million Dollar is referred to as the Tour de France of competitive flying.

The most entrants — 682 — come from Germany. There are 462 from the U.S., 303 from South Africa and 233 from the UK. Owners from the Netherlands have entered 202 birds, Belgians sent 186 and Kuwait 155.

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