Big Changes for the 2020 SAMDPR


As the race season and the auctions draw to a close, we have received a number of queries that require clarification in relation to 2019 and going forward for the new entry fee structure for 2020. I am going to try and answer those queries here, but if you are still unclear please do not hesitate to speak to the SAMDPR Admin staff for further clarification.

One of the main questions was in relation to the distances of the Hot Spots during the 2019 race season. What a lot of fanciers do not know is that every year we experience more and more problems in getting our import permits for your pigeons. Although we always apply very early the South African Authorities do not always revert to us within the expected time frame. Very often they also impose additional blood testing or other last minute conditions that require to be complied with. Because of this we have in the past experienced some delays in getting your pigeons to us. The result of this is two fold. Firstly, it increases the cost per pigeon in relation to blood testing and additional quarantine time, which over the last few years has escalated to over USD 600’000 which the race has paid and not passed on to the fancier and secondly, it means that the time our trainers have to train your birds is dramatically reduced. We have been working together with SANPO, the University of Pretoria and DAFF to find a way to enable us to get our import permits in good time and we believe that this has now been sorted.

Our 2020 import permit applications were filed with DAFF end January 2019. We expect the permits to be available early April and shipping this year will be in May and June with last shipments to be received in SA by the end of June so that SA quarantine can start 01.07.19 and is lifted 01.08.19. If you are an overseas entrant please ensure that your pigeons are bred and delivered to your shippers or sent directly to us in good time as we will not be extending these intake dates for latecomers. South African pigeons can of course be received after quarantine, but we do advise that they also go through quarantine with the overseas pigeons if possible.

Our trainers have confirmed to us that by lifting quarantine on 01.08.19 they will have sufficient time to train the pigeons to go back to the longer distances, starting with the early Hot Spots and we are also currently discussing extending the final race distance too. I will be meeting with them next week in Heron Banks and this will of course be discussed in greater detail, so alI I can say is “Watch this Space”....

Going forward, the entry fee has remained almost identical since 1996. That initial entry fee of USD 1000 is now worth USD 1’950 in today’s terms. Costs have risen in every sphere, not least being the additional blood work and quarantine costs referred to above. It is not viable for the race to continue in its current form. However, we did not simply want to raise the entry fee to USD 1’950 and blame it on inflation. We took a long hard look at our current fee structure and decided that the fairest way to both ourselves and the entrants would be to take a non-refundable deposit of USD 250 on each reserve bird in the team. Many other races do this and it seems sensible when we are paying additional costs not only to receive your pigeons in our lofts but also to feed and train them that the fancier should contribute a token to these costs. The amount of USD 250 is an advance payment on each reserve bird within a team. It will be applied as a deposit against the activation fee for the reserve so should you wish to activate it you will only have to pay the balance of $850 for a full entry fee. This fee will only be charged on reserve pigeons received in SA and not on pigeons that die in pre-shipping quarantine.

Obviously this news is not welcome to many fanciers, but I would just like to encourage you not to lose sight of the bigger picture whilst focusing on the USD 250 fee. First of all, the entry fee has not in itself increased, we have just brought forward the payment time. Secondly, there has been a corresponding increase in the prize monies, with a top prize for the main race now of USD 300’000.00. We continue to be the only OLR which gives free entries and refunds to those fanciers who have lost their paid entries and teams.

The prize money for the main race has been adjusted across the board with the first prize going up a staggering 50% to $300000. The total prize pay-out has been increased by more than 20%. Prizes for the Grand Average winners are more than doubled and Hot Spot Ace pigeon prize is doubled - see the full breakdown below:

Main Race Prizes


Prize (US$)


300 000.00


150 000.00


100 000.00


75 000.00


50 000.00


25 000.00


20 000.00


15 000.00


12 500.00


10 000.00

11th to 15th

7 500.00

16th to 20th

5 000.00

21st to 25th

4 000.00

26th to 30th

3 500.00

31st to 40th

3 000.00

41st to 50th

2 500.00

51st to 75th

2 000.00

76th to 100th

1 500.00

101st to 125th

1 250.00

126th to 150th

1 100.00

151st to 200th

1 000.00

201st to 250th


251st to 300th


Run Up Competitions


Hot Spot Races




$17 500.00


$10 000.00


$5 000.00


$2 500.00


$2 000.00

Sixth to Tenth

$1 250.00

11th to 15th


16th to 20th


Grand Average Prize




$25 000.00


$15 000.00


$10 000.00

Hot Spot Ace Pigeon Prize




$10 000.00

Hopefully this short article has clarified the various issues for you, but if not please do sent your queries to us, we would be only to happy to respond on an individual basis.

Sara J. Blackshaw
MD Air Sport Internationale

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