Australia markets closed
  • ALL ORDS

    6,816.80
    -32.00 (-0.47%)
     
  • ASX 200

    6,601.10
    -35.30 (-0.53%)
     
  • AUD/USD

    0.7390
    +0.0033 (+0.45%)
     
  • OIL

    45.53
    -0.18 (-0.39%)
     
  • GOLD

    1,788.10
    -23.10 (-1.28%)
     
  • BTC-AUD

    24,106.29
    +837.08 (+3.60%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    333.27
    -4.23 (-1.25%)
     
  • AUD/EUR

    0.6173
    +0.0000 (+0.01%)
     
  • AUD/NZD

    1.0510
    +0.0007 (+0.07%)
     
  • NZX 50

    12,639.83
    +37.81 (+0.30%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    12,258.21
    +106.00 (+0.87%)
     
  • FTSE

    6,367.58
    +4.65 (+0.07%)
     
  • Dow Jones

    29,910.37
    +37.90 (+0.13%)
     
  • DAX

    13,335.68
    +49.11 (+0.37%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    26,894.68
    +75.23 (+0.28%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    26,644.71
    +107.40 (+0.40%)
     

Coo! Racing pigeon sells for $2.6 million

AP
·2-min read
Carlo Gyselbrecht, co-owner of Pipa, a Belgian auction house for racing pigeons, shows a two-year old female pigeon named New Kim after an auction in Knesselare, Belgium, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. A pigeon racing fan has paid a world record 1.6 million euros for the Belgian-bred bird, New Kim, in the once-quaint sport that seemed destined for near extinction only a few years back, people pay big money for the right bird.(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
This is the world's most expensive pigeon. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

A wealthy Chinese pigeon racing fan has put down a world record price of 1.6 million euro ($A2.6 million) for a Belgian-bred bird.

Three-year-old hen New Kim was the focus of a two-week auction and the final price was reached as the bidding came to an end on Sunday.

During a frantic last half-hour, two Chinese bidders, operating under the pseudonyms of Super Duper and Hitman, drove up the price by 280,000 euro ($A455,796).

The final total left the previous record that Belgian-bred Armando fetched last year well behind by 350,000 euro ($A569,745). Super Duper submitted the winning bid.

Successful breeder Gaston Van de Wouwer retired at 76 and his son had too busy a professional life to continue the famed pigeon coop.

All 445 birds were put on auction and the overall sale was closing in on 5,000,000 euro ($A8.1 million). A second part of the auction is ending on Monday but did not include any bird that could match New Kim.

Belgians have long stood out as the best breeders, both because of their generations-long experience and the density of a network where many breeders can organise races close together.

"Everybody is interested in our pigeons," Pascal Bodengien, head of the Belgian pigeon federation, told The Associated Press.

"To be the best, it has to be your life's work. For some, it may seem boring. Day in, day out. Winter and summer, always those pigeons."

China often features one-loft racing, where pigeons all get used to one coop for months and then are released many hundreds of miles away to make their way back with their unique sense of orientation and special speed training.

Prize pots can reach into the tens of millions of euros.

Want to make next year your best yet? Join us for an Hour of Power at 10am AEDT Tuesday 24 November to discover 21 ways to make your money work for you in 2021. Registrations are now open.