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An interview with Mr. Petrica COCOS – FRC – February 2009 - part 3

15:01, Miercuri, 29.07.2009


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

- part 3 -





The master and the apprentice: Petrica Cocos and Robert Musat


RRP: Do you start private training with youngsters in autumn?

P. Cocos: Yes, I do, and I finish with private training too. I don`t race in autumn my youngsters with the club I am a member of. 




Cock RO-4994-2006 in his new box


RRP: Why don`t you race the youngsters with the club?

P. Cocos: First of all, I am well aware of my pigeons. It`s a great advantage not to race young birds in autumn during the club competition. I am not a supporter of immediate prizes no matter the sacrifice. I won so many prizes I don`t even know their number and I`m not interested to advertise myself by winning some young bird races. As a matter of fact, all my life I tried to stay out of the spot light. It was only the last few years that I took some interviews and talked about myself and my pigeons. I kind of avoided this. Coming back once again, I don`t race my youngsters because I`m well aware of my breeding stock. The couples are well structurated, well paired of, with pigeons selected over the years, and then I try to avoid overusing them for the future. A short and middle-distance pigeon has a short peak racing life. All I want from my pigeons is to be on top as long as they compete for me. That is why, after 4-5 years as a racer, the pigeon is taken to the breeding loft, providing he was a super racer. Otherwise, I won`t do that. And I think racing with youngsters would only increase their attrition. Autumn young bird races are good only for those who don`t know their pigeons, for beginners, for those who are willing to win trophees and long for publicity, for those who want to select their pigeons for long-distance races. I take good care of my birds when I first select them as offspring, and keep an eye on them while in the nest and after being put on wean. The second stage of the selection process is the moment they come outside. This is when I pay attentention if they take pleasure in flight, on their health condition etc. Further on I start the private training and believe me this is twice better than club training.                 




The wing of a class champion: RO-4994-2006


RRP: How many private training sessions do you take your youngsters to and at what distances?

P. Cocos: Not far away than 30-40 km, and I`m talking here about youngsters, widowers, racing season or off-season. I prefer often but hard short-distance trainings. Last year, for instance, I took my youngsters to 18 training flights between July and September.   



A super crack of the breeding section: cock RO-2485-2002


RRP: Do you train your pigeons only for the official flying route?

P. Cocos: I have a specific angle I take into consideration when training and I think this is the entrance area in Bucharest for my pigeons. To be more accurate, I`m talking about a circular curve, with its extremes in Urziceni and Ploiesti, while Bucharest and Buzau represent the axis of this curve sector. In my opinion, pigeons return home through this circular curve. It all depends on wind direction, on extreme hot weather, on the leading pigeons that pull the flock to the left or to the right, so on and so forth. It`s very important. On a hot racing day, pigeons never return home coming from South, but from Buzau heading to Ploiesti, over the hills because the air is chilly. Then, from Ploiesti on they head to Bucharest. On hot weather conditions, the entrances are always from the North of Bucharest.


RRP: How important is the selection `in the hand` of your pigeons?

P. Cocos: First and foremost, let`s start with a rule: there is no rule for champion birds, that they should look this or that way. Over the years, I hold in my hand all sorts of pigeons and the experience I achieved proved me there is no certain pattern. Still I have certain guiding lines I follow. First of all, I am into pigeons with a very strong bone structure. Inside my loft, you`ll come across only this kind of birds. I think the skeleton is the most important component of pigeon`s anatomy. If I don`t successfully cover this requirement, then everything else is useless. I hold affinity with certain pigeons and I built my pigeons to fit my standards: there must be a perfect balance between their body parts. But there are some exceptions to the rule, unusual birds that proved themselves real champions, some of them quite invincible. I sometimes experienced this situation with pigeons that I didn`t care too much of their look, but who afterwards proved the ultimate racers. Basically, this was their answer for not judging them properly.  



RO-4126-1998-M, a super AS, half-brother with RO-2485-2002


RRP: Do you believe in eyesign theory?

P. Cocos: No, I don`t believe in such thing. Maybe just a little on breeders` behalf. An eye with an increased blood supply, with more intense color might tell you something. Of course, if we are talking about the pupil, then it will suit me best a small pupil, heading towards the beak, as if that pigeon would look straight ahead. So a small pupil and a little bit oblong would fit better my taste. There are some things people don`t talk about, many of them are not acquainted with, but I didn`t really pay too much importance to colors and eyesign theories.  




RO-51848-2002-M, `Maximus`, an ex middle-distance champion, currently in the breeding section



RRP: Do you have any favorite color?

P. Cocos: Yes, I do: blue and blue-grey pigeons. I don`t like red and silver pigeons, although I sometimes had such pigeons in the loft, just for fun. I simply don`t like them.



Another pigeon Mr. Cocos put his trust in: full brother of RO-6041-2006 champ


RRP: What can you tell us about pairing up your pigeons? What system do you apply most of the times?

P. Cocos: I use both systems. I don`t have a plan and, most of the times, everything is done on the spot. I don`t determine my couples in advance, since winter season. Pigeons come and go and, apart from few couples that brought me maximum satisfaction when racing and breeding maximum quality strain, I do change my breeding couples. I think that you shouldn`t push it to the limit when something goes wrong, but I also think that you have to make a change when something really doesn`t work. A pigeon does all the work for you and tells you when he is no longer a good breeder. But, as long as his strain does work, don`t change the couple. I had certain couples that I kept for life.    



Cock RO-145119-2005 inside his new nest box


RRP: Do you think a good racer is compulsory a good breeder too?

P. Cocos: If we were to get back to Van Loon`s theory, who says a good racer must be a good breeder too, I would say that`s the way it should be. But there are some exceptions to the rule. Though I believe good racers are also good breeders.



RO-145119-2005, the middle-distance and AS champion of the last two years


RRP: During your pigeonsport career, what were the best breeding pigeons you came across: the cocks or the hens?

P. Cocos: Tough question. I think both of them. Though I suppose I had more breeding hens, not necessarily better than the cocks.     


RRP: Is there a Romanian fancier you appreciate and you believe to have learnt a lot from him? What about overseas fanciers; who do you appreciate the most?

P. Cocos: I had many role models. As I told you before, each one of them taught me something. I learnt from Valcu Constantin, Cretulescu Corneliu, Mares Stelian, Neacsu Stan, Voicu Stefan, Sotir Ion. I met all these people and, in a certain way, they had an impact on me as a fancier, and few of them influenced me as a person. I couldn`t tell who was the most precious. Each man at a time. Some were extraordinary racers, others great breeders. Still Mr. Voicu Stefan played a special part throughout my career. He was quite a guy but, unfortunately, he passed away. He laid his mark on certain moments in my pigeonsport life by giving me several birds, whose blood still run through my pigeons` veins. One racer whom I appreciated a lot and cared about as a person is Mr. Iordache Lucian, an undisputed fancier. Overseas, there are many fanciers I respect but, generally speaking, I owe a great respect to Gerard Koopman and everything he means (both the man and his pigeons). I had the pleasure to meet him, he seemed a very special person. Under the same circumstances, I also met Mr. Marcel Sangers and Mr. Eric Limbourg. I think Gerard Koopman birds perfectly fit my type of pigeon. Limbourg pigeons are also for long-distances. But Gerard Koopman is in love with one day races, starting with 100 km up to 800 km. This is what I`m also looking for.



The star of the day: champion pigeon RO-6041-2006 – a super AS


RRP: When it happened to own a very good pigeon whom you wanted to have strain from, did you couple that pigeon with several good hens or did you prefer to inbreed him?

P. Cocos: I usually couple him with as many hens as possible, but the moment I reach to an end with this pigeon, I`m looking to preserve his genes and to carry on his features. And, in terms of stock pigeons, no matter it was a cock or a hen, I`ve always been interested to keep an offspring looking alike with his sire or dam. I mean to resemble as much as possible with his parent in terms of phenotype features. I`ve never failed doing so. And these are facts I have learnt from the above mentioned fanciers.    


Work, medals and trophies inside the house of Mr. Petrica Cocos, a pigeon racing champion


RRP: What can you tell us about your very good results for the last years?

P. Cocos: It`s very difficult to speak about good results because they are so many. There`s one thing I can tell you: I won everything that could have been won in terms of regional pigeon competitions. Except long-distance competitions, I won all the prizes and categories. And there are some categories where I have no oponent for years. If one year I don`t win categories such as Short and Middle-distance, Fanciers, General, I`m still on top with two or three pigeons. And this is big deal, trust me. And you only get here with hard work. I am a constant fancier. This is what I`m looking for – no matter you`re a racer or a breeder – I`m looking for constancy. I think this is the most important thing.



Interview with a Romanian Champion – Mr. Nicu Bizdrigheanu from Urziceni - Highlights – Part IIVisiting one of the champions of Bucharest – Mister ILIE PUF (part 3)A thrilling interview on pigeon sport topics with Mr. Dan Rusu - part 2Visiting one of the champions of Bucharest – Mister ILIE PUF (part 2)Interview with a Romanian Champion – Mr. Nicu Bizdrigheanu from Urziceni - Highlights -
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