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Retired Okanagan teacher travelling the world judging pigeons

Brian Krog is an expert who's been selected to judge pigeon acrobatics for the World Cup Roller Fly 2024.
Brian Krog in 1968 (left) and more recently (right)

A retired North Okanagan school teacher will be heading on an all-expenses paid trip to four different continents.

Brian Krog didn't win the lottery, instead, he's an expert who's been selected to judge pigeon acrobatics.

Krog was a long-time roller pigeon enthusiast and retired social studies teacher. He’ll be judging pigeon acrobatics for the World Cup Roller Fly 2024. An opportunity, he says, is a dream come true.

“I'm going to see a tremendous amount of the world,” said Krog, explaining the trip is all-expenses paid.

The position will take him to almost every U.S. state, all across Canada, through Europe, down to Australia and South Africa.

The trip will last three to four months where he’ll go to competitors' houses to judge performing pigeons.

“They will release, generally, a flock of 20 pigeons and for 20 minutes while they circle overhead doing their aerial acrobatics I score what they do,” said Krog.

His involvement in the hobby started in 1968 when he was 12-years-old. A friend showed Krog his own pigeons and how people can let them go and the birds will come back. The friend then introduced Krog to a special kind of bird called a Birmingham Roller which could do somersaults midair.

Getting pigeons and building friendship

Right away, Krog joined the Vancouver Pigeon Club and collected his own birds, only to find out that the ones he received were “no good.” The club president ended up giving Krog 24 birds and rehoming the other pigeons.

“He said there's many adults who would spend a lot of money on these birds, but I think you really you're the kind of guy I trust to work on this hobby. He said they're yours to use, you can have them, you can keep them and you breed from them.”

That man, Monty, ended up becoming Krog’s best friend. Monty had won three World Cups himself, before passing away in 2000 after a drunk driver crossed the centre line. Krog says he received a flood of judging invitations after that because people wanted to learn Monty’s style from him.

He says he’ll think of his best friend often on the trip.

“(Monty) said South Africa was the most amazing. He said it's such a growing active hobby there,” said Krog.

“He will be the topic of conversation because I knew him. I was a neighbour of his, I lived only few miles away, he was my mentor that taught me everything I knew.”

Krog continues to judge various competitions in hopes of spreading love for the hobby, which he says is dying.

He'll be leaving for the trip in May. For more information about Krog's journey, visit his Facebook page here.