Tributes continue to flow for the late West Australian Pigeon Racing identity and former Stud master Des Sippetts

Des passed away in Western Australia on April 22nd

Des Sippetts revolutionized Australian Pigeon Racing with the importation in the late 1980’s and 90’s of some of the best racing pigeons from elite studs in the northern hemisphere including the United Kingdom and Belgium

Not every bird clicked, but those that did had a profound impact on the Sport in Australia

In those pioneering days many people didn’t believe in imports…. however some of the loudest skeptics soon joined the bidders at auctions – after progeny from the imports started to consistently win races

Des Sippetts loved to visit the Blackpool Pigeon Show in England and attended many times.

He was a true gentleman of the sport, genuine, helpful and a caring and passionate pigeon man

Those qualities endeered him to top overseas breeders and racing people when he contacted – or met them

It opened doors and gained him access to prepotent genes and extremely well-bred and performed racing pigeons that were dominant in Britain Europe

With the end of the ban on the importation of racing pigeons in the late 80’s Des Sippetts was able to join in the first shipment of legal modern day imports and the golden age of Australian foreign bred pigeons that sprang from it and others

Studs or flyers that he obtained birds from over the years included Louella, Fountainhead, Dean Pallet, Planet Brothers, Ian Axe, Houben, Flor Engels, and Ponderosa Holland and UK

He even bought entire rounds of youngsters from some flyers

His imports included Marilyn Janssens, 007 James Bond Lines, Van Loons, Houbens, Staff van Reets, Gaby Vandenabeeles, Busschaerts, Hofkens and Andre van Weils

A testament to Des’s selection and breeding abilities is the fact that his bloodlines can still be found in numerous winning Australian lofts today.

One of the biggest highlights for Des came in 1993 when he was staying at the home of leading flyer Grenville Evans.

Evans clocked the gallant blue Janssen Hen “Blue Moon” – the only bird home on the day from Bourke (960 kilometres) … with Des Sippett’s having bred the Mother

Over 4,600 birds competed in that now famous race

Des and his wife, Rae, ran the highly successful Riverview Lofts in Western Australia and were recognized internationally for their breeders and racing and breeding exploits.

Riverview didn’t believe in breeding lots of youngsters of its pairs so the gene pool was closely monitored and controlled

Des was a much admired pigeon man, and having run the Scarborough Hotel and a news agency during his working life was a people person

He would often lend people pigeons, and some times sell pigeons – without getting paid – but such was his nature he never chased it up, trusting the purchaser to make things good.

Following Des’s passing the tributes flowed

And from the West Australian Pigeon Racing Federation

Many tributes were also posted on pigeon forums ….

Other forum tributes included ….

“I had many dealings with Des and he was not only a good bloke – he was scrupulously honest. He wasn’t afraid to buy the best and spent a fortune obtaining them”

“RIP … Pigeon game was for the better with him willing to take the risk to import quality birds for people to buy … seem to remember he had some quality Van Loons that went well.’

“Genuine man …. only met him once but liked what I heard!”

AND SO another of the great men of pigeon racing passes on

A strong legacy remains … AND for those who didn’t get to meet Des Sippetts… or if you don’t recognize the name because it was from a bygone era … you missed meeting an icon of the sport.