A Belgian long-distance racing pigeon named Armando became the most expensive bird ever sold on Monday, after sparking a bidding war between two Chinese buyers competing for the star flyer.
The competitive pigeon racing world stunned everyone on Monday by revealing that there is such a thing as competitive pigeon racing.
But the big story for pigeon racing enthusiasts was the US $1.4 million sale of Armando, Belgian's best long-distance racing homing pigeon.
No kidding, Jorge.
This pigeon is worth 1.2 million euros www.youtube.com
Meet Armando, the million pound pigeon. After 0800, @BBCBreakfast will be joined by @official_rpra and one of their… https://t.co/yZbZs51ihd— Caroline Rigby (@Caroline Rigby)1552971304.0
A traditional sport in Belgium, Britain, northern France and the Netherlands, homing pigeons are released 100-1,000 kilometers from home and begin their race back. The first pigeon to return is crowned the winner — and in terms of long distance racers, Armando is king.
Pigeon Paradise wrote on their website:
"Earlier this week it became clear that Armando would be the most expensive pigeon ever sold in an online auction. However, no one expected that the magical cap of a million euros would be pulverized."
When the auction began on March 4th, the bid for Armando was at €300,000 (roughly US $343,000). By early last Sunday morning, that figure had already shot up to €532,000. In the final hour of bidding though the price skyrocket to over €1 million after a bidding war broke out between two Chinese fanciers. When the auction was over Armando was sold to the anonymous winning bidder for €1,252,000 (approximately US $1.4 million).
The real winner however might be Armando's owner and breeder, Joel Verschoot. By Sunday, Verschoot had sold 178 pigeons for just over €2.4 million. Along with Armando, Verschoot sold seven of Armando's offspring who went for about €22,000 each.
For a growing number of Chinese enthusiasts pigeons from Belgium, the birthplace of the modern version of the sport, are highly coveted — which may explain the astronomical prices paid for these birds.
Unfortunately, it doesn't explain anything else that's going on here.
While Armando's sale price was certainly eye-popping, most were still trying to absorb the brand new information that competitive pigeon racing even exists.
@PeninsulaQatar I was today years old when I learnt that pigeon racing was even a thing— ℝ𝕚𝕒𝕟𝕒 (@ℝ𝕚𝕒𝕟𝕒)1553000729.0
@PeninsulaQatar https://t.co/O7EnAFGnYO— Najmul Hoque (@Najmul Hoque)1553004242.0
@PeninsulaQatar I don’t get it...pigeon racing must be for the elite.— Petey (@Petey)1552988749.0
@PeninsulaQatar Tbf this makes more sense than most the crap going on in the world— Brian Muir 🎗 (@Brian Muir 🎗)1552983936.0
With pigeons selling for €1.2 million, though, many decided not to question it and instead start looking for a way to get in on the action.
@PeninsulaQatar Its all about training and motivation https://t.co/BdDauQB89R— 🎲 Brawk🎲 (@🎲 Brawk🎲)1553001641.0
@PeninsulaQatar @DarksideofDeb capture one of your balcony pigeons and try to sell it lmaoo— voodoo mama juju (@voodoo mama juju)1553001383.0
@PeninsulaQatar Starting a crew to kidnap this Pigeon for ransom during his next race. Obviously plan is canceled i… https://t.co/WURPnPfjr4— CJ ManMythMullet (@CJ ManMythMullet)1553063247.0
@PeninsulaQatar Alright I’m going outside and catching pigeons. Who wants the pigeon that fights homeless people? B… https://t.co/9NesQb1eTr— Mark.. (@Mark..)1553006308.0
@PeninsulaQatar You can just grab one anywhere, guess when I get out the military I found my new hustle— John Garcia🕊 (@John Garcia🕊)1552992729.0
@ShanyeWest85 @PeninsulaQatar That pigeon sold for over a million euros. I say that we make that the main hustle. W… https://t.co/9n0Yr0IUOU— Young Truck Stick (@Young Truck Stick)1553029766.0
But it's probably going to be pretty tough for the thousands of new pigeon breeders out there now to find any bird that can hold a candle to Armando.
@PeninsulaQatar https://t.co/BJQ0somG8i— Kyle (@Kyle)1553029587.0
@PeninsulaQatar https://t.co/qrhQFA6frk— Andolf Fitler (@Andolf Fitler)1552988094.0
@CatMayB @PeninsulaQatar Armando is an absolute baller.— Violet NoRegard (@Violet NoRegard)1553011924.0
@PeninsulaQatar KNOW YOURSELF KNOW YOUR WORTH— potato pussy ™ (@potato pussy ™)1553006085.0
@PeninsulaQatar Armando is a beautiful pigeon. #ArmandoThePigeon— Samus Aran ⭐ (Miley) (@Samus Aran ⭐ (Miley))1552990909.0
After dropping €1.2 million on a pigeon, Armando's new owner better pray his prized racer stays safe out there.
@robbieg255 @Rabe9 https://t.co/T97XuD4TAw— Trevor (@Trevor)1553014171.0