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An interview with Mr. Petrica COCOS – FRC – February 2009 - part 1

14:44, Miercuri, 29.07.2009


An interview with Mr. Petrica COCOS – FRC – February 2009

- part 1 -




Mr. Petrica Cocos inside the loft


RRP: We are now visiting Mr. Petrica Cocos, vice president on organizational issues within FRC. Greetings, Mr. Petrica. First of all, could you please tell us when did you get involved with pigeons and how old were you when you first embraced this beautiful hobby?  

P. Cocos: Maybe it always has been there and I suppose I was born with it. As long as I remember, I must have been 5 years old when I first laid my eyes on these noble creatures. The years have passed and I thought that I could leave behind the love for this hobby, but there was no way. On the contrary, this passion got extended, became more intense and I don`t know if I can live without pigeons. I`m infested with the `pigeon germ` and I`m hopeless. I can`t see myself without pigeons. I don`t know what could I do, I don`t know how could I live, I don`t know how a day in the life would look like without these pigeons.    



Some of the racers



RRP: When did you become a serious fancier?

P. Cocos: In 1992, but there were two different stages. Between 1992-2000, and starting with 2003 up till now.



A very promising yearling



RRP: What kind of pigeons did you start with? Do you remember their bloodline and where did they come from?

P. Cocos: I started with the pigeons as any other kid, at the age when you have no idea what is this all about. I used to buy pigeons from the marketplace, from various fanciers. I used to trap pigeons every now and then because I was in love with them. The first pigeons with pedigrees came around 1990-1992. I had the pleasure to meet Mr. Valcu Constantin, Mr. Alexandru Florentin, with whom I`m still racing in tandem, Mr. Corneliu Cretulescu, Mr. Mares Stelian, Mr. Neacsu Stan, people who left their mark on Bucharest pigeonsport. Great champions, great breeders, great fanciers. All of them had an influence on my progress as a fancier, and some of them had an influence on me as a person. I bought pigeons from all these fanciers, with the only difference that I didn`t have enough money to make any purchase at first. The life prior to `90 was the one we all know, but things didn`t change so dramatically afterwards so we couldn`t afford large investments. And I was pretty young back then, my children were quite undergrown and my priorities were completely different from nowadays. In the mean time, I became a good friend with all these people and things changed after purchasing few pigeons from them or getting a present to be encouraged. This is how I became the owner of my first pigeons with pedigrees, and even today I still keep many of these documents.  



The widowhood cocks section



RRP: Were they pigeons from the old bloodlines?

P. Cocos: I`ve always been in love with beautiful looking pigeons and even today I`m concerned about this aspect by selecting imposing pigeons, with a special attitude and beautiful features. Back then, there were pigeons looking like that too. There were Delbar, Van Hasten, Janssen, Raoul Van Spitael and Marc Roosens pigeons. Birds which fascinated me all the time and this is the reason why I still breed some of these bloodlines nowadays.  


The loft designed for the racers


RRP: Is your loft situated in Bucharest?

P. Cocos: My current loft is situated in Calea 13 Septembrie, the place where I also live. This is where I keep my racing birds section, of which I`m personally taking care of. From this year on, all of my stock birds are kept at Robert Musat`s loft, with whom I`m going to race in tandem this year. I collected there many precious birds. I`ve always been guided by one single thought, namely all of my breeders should be only champions, or sons/daughters of them, or, if possible, their parents. I barely purchased other type of birds. And I never sold my champs. Even now I keep among the stock birds pigeons from 1991-1992, lots of champions and other birds that have been raced by other fanciers (and which I bought them afterwards, after becoming champion birds). I believe this is the only way you can reach the top. Even if a champ bird doesn`t succeed in breeding somethig good at once, sooner or later it will break the ice and you will be able to successfully perpetuate its bloodline. This is an idea I borrowed from Luis Van Loon, who was thinking the same way: he never sold his champions or his valuable birds, and he keept only the champions among his breeders.       



Good order and disipline inside the widowhood hens section


RRP: How many new pigeons do you bring into the stock loft annually and where do they come from? Are they your top racers or you bring in pigeons coming from other lofts?          

P. Cocos: Every year I complete the stock loft with my champion birds. But only some of them go there and I show no mercy when making their selection. I mean they have to win top prizes within 4-5 racing years. If this happens and that pigeon is a top racer in my opinion, then it will go and stay along with the breedrs. So far, I brought each year inside the breeding section 2-3 top birds, together with 1-2 new aquisitions, when necessary, but those were pigeons from similar bloodlines that I considered to match pretty well with my own birds. Now I have 30 breeding pairs. According to my estimation, I should breed annually about 130-150 offspring birds, but this isn`t the way I play my crads. The fact is that, starting with 2009, I`m planning to send my birds to some `one year loft races` and to help several young fanciers whom I consider to own valuable genetic material. And my birds made their presence felt whereever they went to. If not on the spot, they had their say on the following years, and I`m a fancier who counsel those who buy from me and tell them what to do with those pigeons. That is, to race them or keep them as breeders. It all depends on what kind of pigeons do they purchase.    



A race team made of very beautiful and valuable birds


RRP: Let`s have a small talk about the race season. How many birds do you start with in spring time and what racing system do you apply (widowhood/natural)?

P. Cocos: By the end of last year, I didn`t own a great number of birds, and today is the same thing. But last year and this year I raced a few more birds. I advocate for the widowhood system because it has plenty facilities comparing with the other one in terms of recovery and training, plus you aren`t all the time around them to bother etc. There are few special aspects, and if you are in control of them and have the information, then you`ll make it. It`s very important to have the information. Nowadays, in pigeonsport, if you don`t have the information, you stick in the mud. Each year you have to bring something new on the table. Last year was the first time I raced widowhood hens. I`ve also raced the hens until 2000, with top results. Back then, I was having some tremendous hens that were beating my widowhood cocks beyond all doubt. At present, I race my hens using the widowhood system, but only for long distance races. I don`t race them too much across the country because I want to select some very good hens for the stock loft, and if they clock in prizes 4-5 times during one year, then I`m positive they will also prove to be top breeders. I`m talking about middle-distance category, the one that I`m interested in.      



A young cock, ready to start the new 2009 racing season  


RRP: What would be the easiest category? Short, middle or long-distance?

P. Cocos: In my opinion, all of them are tough, but when talking about the first and second category, that is short and middle-distance, the fancier plays the most important part. If you`re not a good fancier, then you`ll never get good results because this is where you have to motivate your birds. For this category, you have to use all kinds of tricks, you have to pay great deal of attention to your pigeons and to feel them. If you don`t do that, there`s no way you could reach good results. A long-distance race is quite different: I believe the pigeon itself has much more to say, and most of the fanciers lack skills instead. And the bird returns home just because it`s a good one. Of course it cannot clock in prizes unless it is helped, but a good long-distance pigeon is able to come up on top 1-2 times, racing for an average fancier. And I came across many such examples in my life: humble fanciers who literally destroyed us after 1-2 long-distance races. But they were running out of continuity because they were having certain limits in terms of pigeonsport knowledge and they wouldn`t beat us for the third time. But things do change radically when talking about short and middle-distance competitions.  


One of the descendents bred by the loft`s great racers



A priceless trophy to be found on the prize shelf of the multiple Bucharest champion



Some of the trophies Mr. Cococs won over the last years


An interview with Honored Master of pigeon sport, Mr. VASILIU MIHAI - part 3An interview with Mr. Petrica COCOS – FRC – February 2009 - part 4Interview with Mr. Stoicescu Gheorghe, from Azuga, FCPR Prahova - HighlightsAn interview with Honored Master of pigeon sport, Mr. VASILIU MIHAI - part 2Interview with Mr. Gica Stanca, from Constanta, national long-distance champion - Highlights
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