Here's why a pigeon just sold for $400,000

A Chinese businessman snapped up the champion bird, named Bolt, for a record sum that shocked the racing community.

By Kim Peterson May 22, 2013 2:11PM
Pigeons on rooftop coop in New York
© STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty ImagesA champion pigeon named Bolt is now the most expensive racing bird in the world, having sold for $400,000 over the weekend.

The year-old pigeon isn't even racing anymore. The buyer, a Chinese businessman, bought him for breeding, and his offspring will be used in competitive racing, The Associated Press reports.

Bolt's sale has shocked the bird-racing world. The last record-selling bird went for $322,000 in January 2012.

Bolt got a new owner after Belgian pigeon racer Leo Heremans, 66, decided to sell his 530 racing pigeons. The online auction drew buyers from all over the world, and Heremans made an estimated $5.7 million in the sale, The Daily Mail reports.

The star of the auction was Bolt, who is reported to have been named after the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. The bird Bolt is considered to be the fastest pigeon in Europe.

Pigeon racing has been popular in Belgium, The Daily Mail reports. But now the focus of the sport may shift to Asia, as nine of the top 10 birds sold by Heremans were snapped up by buyers in China or Taiwan, AP said.

The sport can bring big bucks to the winners. One Arizona race last year offered $20,000 to the fastest bird, The Arizona Republic reports.

More on moneyNOW

7Comments
May 22, 2013 2:45PM
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For 400 Grand, I give you all one guess as to who is the bigger "pigeon".
May 22, 2013 3:56PM
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How much would a falcon cost to buy that one can train to eat racing pigeons?
May 22, 2013 4:31PM
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If you can afford mid six figures for a pigeon then evidently you have a lot of money and so spending a lot of money on a hobby (or maybe you can make money from pigeon racing; I know nothing about it) isn't going to be a big deal to you. If I had millions and millions of dollars I'd prefer a yacht over a bird but that's just me... I really don't see why this is newsworthy. Wealthy people have expensive hobbies. If you had the money you'd have an expensive hobby...
May 22, 2013 2:48PM
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Pigeons are a delicacy in 3rd world countries, like Mexico.
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it would be my luck that on his first race he would be attacked by a bald eagle and taken back to it's nest for the young baby birds to have a gourmet dinner by the way the pigeon lost the race

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what i want to know is this a real pigeon or stool pigeon ? from kgb or the cia
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