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The day after (16-07-2020)

Sunday, June 28. Yesterday was for many "the flight of all flights"; National Bourges.

Due to Corona, a month ago, pigeons were not even raced yet, but that could be solved with "a crash course", as was evident from the massive participation of 45,000 pigeons. The weather forecast was bad. Heavy storms, gusts of wind, hail, heavy rain, but fortunately the ‘weather men’ were wrong. It was beautiful, optimal visibility, dry and wind from behind. You would expect a superfast race, but this is rarely the case at the first National. Not even now. After all, a price duration of more than an hour is too long for barely 500 km.

I myself do not participate in such races. I have very few birds, only want the best and want to be the best and do not want two teams. One for middle distance is ok.  


Striking is the number of usually excellent players that barely got a prize percentage of 50% from Bourges. That is not enough for top players.Actually, you should talk to a top player after a very bad result. We do know those reports of a champion or a winner already. Good players who failed may have more to say.- What do they blame for their bad results?- Did they do something different that they normally never do?- And how do they react to it? What is being done to reverse it? Such questions can provide interesting answers. But after a bad result, not everyone is looking forward to such a conversation.


The day after, Sunday, it was the turn of the sprint races. The young had only raced from Quievrain (135 kms) once and now they were basketed directly for Noyon (235 km). With so little experience you could not expect much, but the result was not even disappointing at all. A leap directly from Quievrain (130 km) to Melun (about 350 km)  is also possible, but then they must have flown at least three times from 135 km.A few years ago we had such a young. The father was a son Rudy, so not a cheap one. Noyon was skipped and in very hot weather and headwind she was put from Quievrain to Melun. She not only won 1st prize but was also faster than all other pigeons in all of Antwerp, including old ones. In pigeon magazine De Duif it said:  "With such weather on the first Middle Distance flight, beat all the old is far from  obvious."

Pick up experience is important


Also considering the pedigree I thought I had gold in my hands. Unfortunately I was wrong. A shit bird it was. And again one wonders how such a thing is possible. A pigeon cannot accidentally leave 10,000 pigeons behind in hard weather, can it?


Fanciers usually breed some more youngsters from their best later in spring. My advice is to race them if possible, despite their younger age. If not, you can rarely do anything with them. For breeding? Risky. There are so few good breeders. Also as a racer, those inexperienced birds are often worthless.Experience is important. I myself have often made the following mistake: If a young pigeon from excellent parents performed enormously and was also beautiful, I became careful with that. She stayed home in bad weather, so she could not be lost. It often turned out to be a stay of execution. They were lost as a yearling when the weather was not too good. Pigeons that were barely raced as a youngster and still became good racers exist, but believe me, they are exceptions.


On this first race from Noyon one of our babies won 3rd against 1,625 pigeons. It is a pigeon that has been brought in and good pigeons that have been brought in I love. Because they are so rare and you may have new stuff to cross.Of course this pigeon still has a lot to prove, but the beginning is promising.I got the bird from Werner. I knew he was successful with pigeons from Gert Heylen and Heylen has good ones. Even star Willy Daniels thinks that.In Werner’s loft I was allowed to choose. Actually it was a little too young to play with. Why I still raced her I told you.Werner is not world famous, he has no website, no pictures of his pigeons, simple pedigrees, but the pigeon that I got there is already far better than countless worthless grain eaters whose brothers and sisters were sold online for an awful lot of money. In other words, you don't necessarily have to apply to the big names to get good pigeons. Incidentally, that Gert Heylen is already a big one for me.


Sometimes, for various reasons, fanciers barely have a chance to toss their youngsters. I'll tell you what I did in the 90's. My brother-in-law was hospitalized in Brussels at the time and we were allowed to visit him from 7.30 pm. Brussels was (then) an hour away and coincidentally it was "in the direction" for the pigeons.I decided to combine the visit with training the youngsters, but I left at 4 o'clock already, since I dare not release the babies later than 5.00 pm. I filled in the time with a book. When I came home at night I went straight to the pigeon loft. They were all in. On my next visit I drove away half an hour later and released the birds half an hour later. Again no problem. I became bolder and ended up unloading the babies 75 km from home at 7.30 pm. No problem as it turned out. From then on I took them to Brussels two times a week and released them at 7.30 pm or even later. You can't believe how they performed.


Incidentally, I drove past Gust Christiaens the first time. He drove because he was known in Brussels. Gust was a special one but with a good heart! And what I learned is that you have to judge people on their GOOD qualities or you don't have anybody left.