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Pigeon fetches record €1.25 million at Belgian auction

Pigeon fetches record €1.25 million at Belgian auction

Two Chinese fanciers battled it out in an online auction to buy the star racer, smashing the previous record of €376,000 ($425,000). New interest from Asian markets in recent years has given the flagging practice a lift.

Belgium’s best long-distance racing pigeon, Armando, was the subject of a bidding war between two anonymous Chinese buyers, putting enthusiasts into a spin.

Armando was expected to break the previous record of €376,000 ($425,000), paid for a pigeon called Nadine by another Chinese buyer, but not by so much.

“No one expected that the magical cap of a million euros would be pulverized,” the Belgian enthusiast site Pigeon Paradise said, after the final bid of €1,252,000 was placed in the closing hour.

The site said the average price of €13,489 for the 178 pigeons sold in the auction was the second-most expensive stable it had seen sold.

Respected west Belgian breeder Joel Verschoot picked up a total of around €2 million through the auction, with the top bird expected to be used for breeding more stars.