Chinese bidders smashed the world record fee for a racing pigeon after going head to head in the dying minutes of an online auction for the “Lewis Hamilton” of pigeons.
The victorious pigeon fancier, whose identity is secret, spent more than £1 million to land Armando, a Belgian bird considered to be the “best long distance pigeon of all time”.
The previous record was only £340,000, a third of the winning bid, for a pigeon called Nadine.
Pigeon racing is big business in China, with millionaire enthusiasts striving to outdo each other with extravagant coops and outlandish bets laid on the outcome of races.
Armando’s breeder Joël Verschoot was left stunned as, in the final moments of the fortnight long auction as it emerged that two Chinese bidders were directly competing with each other.
Every time the bidder “XDDPO” increased the offer by €100,000, another “Champ Team” bid an extra €2,000. After an hour-long battle, XDDPO emerged triumphant with a €1.25 million bid.