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  News > 2005 National Winners, Part 3
  2005 National Winners -
Part 3

by Stefan Mertens

Part 3 of Three Parts. For Part 1, click here.
For Part 2, click here.


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Edmond & Freddy

Jos Thone'

Michel Vanlint

07.26.05 NARBONNE
(distance Brussels: 840 km)

Narbonne International, organized by Indépendante from Liège, had a total of 14,969 pigeons in the baskets. The long distance racers got the "green light" at 7:45 a.m., and although the first pigeons achieved a speed of 1264 m/m, we cannot categorize this as an "easy races." The international victory in old birds goes to Winand van Engelshoven from Maastricht (Netherlands) with a velocity of 1264 m/m, this just ahead of E. and F. Streel (Vreren) and A and E Willems (Attenrode).
In the yearbirds group, the first and second place international goes to Jos Thoné (As).

Narbonne national Belgium: 4921 old birds
1. Streel E + F - Vreren 1248.68 m/m
2. Willems Albert and Eric - Attenrode 1244.68 m/m
3. Andot Victor - Wandre 1242.75 m/m
4. Van Calster Goris - Rillaar 1240.43 m/m
5. Vluggen Alex - Neerharen 1233.06 m/m

This race resulted in a big party at the clubhouse in Zonhoven. It's not every week that a club member wins a national victory, and when this happens then this needs to be celebrated very well.
The family Streels breathes the pigeon sport. Father Edmond (61 years young) has already been a fancier for 40 years, and his son Freddy (age 39) joined the partnership in 1975. Every year they have around 65 widowers, 100 youngsters and 20 breeding couples. The base of this loft is formed with birds from Huub Vochten (80%), Willems-Wijnants (Eisden), Adam (Sprimont) and Wim Kempeneers (Nieuwerkerken).

The national winner is called "Den Dennis" (5157565/02). Before winning national Narbonne, he also won 9th provincial Cahors against 1066b., 71st provincial Gien against 6328b. and 145th provincial Brive against 2623b.

His father is "Broer Pantani" (5291580/98 - "Pantani" won 1st provincial Perpignan and is the strain from Lardenoye-Vogten).
Mother is "Dochter Vincent" (5283287/95 - "Vincent" was 1st provincial ace-pigeon long distance 1993).

Narbonne national Belgium: 3829 yearbirds
1. Jos Thoné - As 1259.86 m/m
2. Jos Thoné - As 1258.09 m/m
3. Hok Slots - Lede 1243.77 m/m
4. Planckaert Jozef - Harelbeke 1238.26 m/m
5. Limbourg Eric - Brussegem 1227.35 m/m

With Jos Thoné, we have a world name on stage. "At last," says Jos when we congratulate him on his international victory. Jos Thoné is the man who had won, until the day before Narbonne, everything except a national or international race, and now he wins both at one time. Jos Thoné says, "I had a very good racing season. More than 30 first prizes were standing on the result list, but suddenly I saw that my birds were in bad condition. A little bit in a panic, I contacted my friend and vet Ferdinand Vandersanden, and after a serious examination he said that the pigeons were poisoned. Three days of antibiotics and an injection were needed to put the birds in better condition, and I must say it worked very well.

The birds that won this international race are two hens and are called "Sedna I" and "Sedna II." And we can say that those hens didn't have a very easy programme. In six weeks' time they were basketted for St Vincent, Jarnac and Narbonne. When we look at the pedigrees of those two birds, we see that their mothers are half-sisters, each time with "Sumo" (5018042/94) as father.

Jos races 80 pigeons on total widowhood, divided into four teams. Each team has a special preparation for the racing season. Every month the birds are treated for three to five days against trichomoniasis, and after this year they are treated against streptococcus before and at the middle of the racing season.

(distance Brussels: 450 km)

National Bourges, which is the most famous national race, this year had 9896 old birds, 12,766 yearbirds, and 32,724 youngbirds in the baskets. Compared with 2004, this means 17,556 fewer birds-this due to the very bad races and a lot of losses of youngbirds.

32,724 youngbirds
1. Michel Vanlint - Zoutleeuw 1583.32 m/m
2. Vancauwenberg Emiel - Messelbroek 1582.89 m/m
3. Neven Antoon - Lummen 1582.78 m/m
4. Sampermans Jos - Herk De Stad 1582.17 m/m
5. Jean Jennes Vos - Diest 1580.15 m/m



Van Rompaey

To twice win national Bourges in the same racing season-everybody says this is impossible but Michel Vanlint did it! Michel Vanlint the wizard from Zoutleeuw!

Michel bred around 100 youngsters, and those may grow up till the real season starts. They were darkened from March1st until four weeks before Bourges. They were well trained, and with the necessary preparation races in the wings, they went to the nationals. The youngsters stayed together until July 9th, but they could not start a nest. After they were separated, it went full force to the national races. The last two weeks for Bourges they were tossed three times a week, from 25 to 40 km. All together and by arrival they stayed together a little while and then they were separated again. On basketting day the youngsters were tossed from 25 km. This happened at 11 o'clock. When they came home, they stayed together till 2:00 p.m. Then they were separated again and were fed twice, the second feeding coming two hours after the first. They could eat what they wanted.

The young hen that won Bourges is named "Barbara." "Barbara" was paired with a real "Don Juan" who had also another hen as a partner. And, of course, Michel had seen that this was the ideal position to motivate these three young birds. A few days before basketting day, a cardboard box was put in the loft, and only "Don Juan" with his new girlfriend could enter this box. "Barbara" was very nervous and looked to see if she could also enter the box. On basketting day, Michel put the same box in the loft, but now he let "Barbara" enter the box, and he made sure that she won the fight against her opponent. Super motivated "Barbara" went into the basket with the national victory as the result.

The father of "Barbara" is the "9012007/02," a son of the "9195348/96" (44 prizes in 4 years with 3 x 1st and 25 prizes 1/10) X "9208930/97" (daughter of 455/88 who won 12 x 1st).

The mother of "Barbara" comes from the Herbots brothers' loft. She is a daughter of "Den 155" (Olympiad bird and 5th national ace-pigeon middle distance).

9896 old birds
1. Karlo Van Rompaey - St Truiden 1582.47 m/m
2. P + Patrick Philippens - 'SGravenvoeren 1578.86 m/m
3. Roger Brems - St Truiden 1572.44 m/m
4. Gaston Bottu - Herk De Stad 1572.12 m/m
5. Rudi Hendrickx - Maasmechelen 1567.48 m/m

Karlo van Rompaey has been a well-known fancier in Belgium for many years. Karlo became a vet, specialized in pigeons, and started his own practice. A newly established practice carries with it a lot of work, leaving not that much time free any more for the pigeons. The 2005 season did not go as expected, but the main reason for a "not so good" season was the very bad races in the beginning of the racing season. Certainly, the Chateauroux race was more than catastrophic, and it took more than a week for the pigeons to come home. The result was that the condition and motivation of the birds were miles away.

For two weeks all the widowers were put on non-active status, and after a few 30km tosses they went to a 140km race and won first prize. After that they were basketted for La Ferté (256km) and won eight prizes out of 11 birds, so Karlo was more than satisfied. For Bourges, Karlo would motivate his widowers, and he started to put all the birds away which were not going to be basketted for Bourges. So in most of the lofts, there were only three or four cocks left.

Also the "Jos" (the later national winner) was very happy that a few loft mates were away, because now he could be the boss. Once Karlo saw this, he also gave "Jos" the box back in which he bred last year. So "Jos" was motivated not only because he was the boss on the ground but also because he got his extra box back. On basketting day "Jos" was closed up, together with his hen, in a box and the other birds (who had been put away) came back into the loft. Now and then "Jos" came out and then all the other pigeons had to leave his new territory. Super motivated "Jos" went to Bourges with a victory as the result.

Before winning the 1st national, "Jos" also won 1st Vervins 655b., 1st Orleans 222b. (53rd provincial against 4316b.), 4th Melun 379b., 4th Chimay 240b., 7th Nanteuil 409b., 8th Chimay 344b., 13th Nanteuil 2933b.

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Geert Schepers

Twan Bongers

Lothar Lessmeister


12,766 yearbirds
1. Geert Schepers - Zolder 1588.39 m/m
2. Jeuris-Vossius - Ulbeek 1581.72 m/m
3. Veulemans Andre + Toon - Kumtich 1279.46 m/m
4. Roosen Pros - Kermt 1575.32 m/m
5. Van Hamel-Jacobs - Koersel 1574.67 m/m

Geert Schepers didn't only win the first national Bourges against 12,766 yearbirds. With a velocity of 1588.39 m/m, his was also the quickest bird against 55,386 pigeons.

Since his 15th birthday, Geert has been a pigeon fancier. In 1983, he started racing in partnership with his father, but since 1999 he has raced under his own name but with his father still supporting and helping his son in his hobby. The teacher in the pigeon sport was Geert's Uncle Rene, and most of the birds come from this fancier, strengthened with birds from Pros Roosen (Kermt), Andre Vrancken (Zolder) and Jozef Lenaerts (Duras). But the results went up when Geert bought a whole round of youngsters from Guisson-Vanbrabant (Kuringen).

Also, the national winner 5061402/04 comes directly from the loft Guisson-Vanbrabant. Before winning this top result, this nice blue cock also won the 2nd Chimay 551b., 3rd Mettet 698b., 6th Laon 131b., and 9th Chimay 1365b.

08.02.05 Perpignan International
(distance Brussels: 908 km)
Twan Bongers wins in old birds, Lothar Lessmeiser in yearbirds.
In total there were 17,834 old pigeons basketted. Belgium: 7646b., Netherlands: 5896b., France: 2061b., Germany: 1964b., U.K.: 198b., and Luxembourg: 69b.)
1. Twan Bongers - NL Odilliapeel 1049.20 m/m
2. Pip Verhoeven - NL Eygelshoeven 1022.59 m/m
3. Pierre Hardy - F Beaurain 1021.74 m/m
4. Willi Johnen - G Ubach 1006.15 m/m
5. Guy + Michael Regnier - B Pesche 1004.95 m/m

The quickest bird in this international race was "Kimlynn," NL02/0260950, a very nice checker hen with a turbo-motor, because in this racing season she also won the 6th national Dax 3105b.
From fourteen years old, Twan has been a pigeon fancier, and when he married and built a new house, he stopped racing birds. In 2003 he re-started, and now he is already an international winner. When he started he went to 15 different fanciers to buy birds. In most cases, he bought the eggs of the widowers after the season. Twan is very ambitious because in 2005 he started with 38 widowers, 50 couples of nestbirds and 300 youngbirds. The widowers were coupled the first time on March 15th. One part of the team was allowed to raise youngsters, and some were only allowed to have eggs. The nestbirds stayed together until February 1st, then they were separated and on April 1st they were coupled again.

"Kimlynn" won Perpignan after having sat on eggs for a few days. She had won the 6th prize in the Dax race with little youngsters in the nest, but in that same race her cock stayed away and therefore she had to look out for a new partner. She found one and started a new nest, and so she went on eggs to Perpignan.

Her father is the "NL01-0167839," directly from fancier Heurkens. Her mother is "NL01-2141441" strain Gebroeders Maes (Gemert) X A. Bouman (Herpen).


Father Guy and son Michael Regnier from Pesche clocked their "Nathan" (8040120/02) Saturday evening at 8:40 p.m. This was good for a velocity of 1004.95 m/m and thereby the fastest Belgian bird. Before his victory, "Nathan" also won the 75th national Montauban against 7303b.
His father is "De Rans" (2196079/98), directly from Alex Rans, Herent (strain Herman Brinkman x Deno Herbots). The mother is 1505047/01 - original Germain Imbrecht (Bornival).

Father and son Regnier have 24 old, 27 yearling cocks and eight hens. Their target is to make super results on the long- and very long-distance races, and we can say that it goes very well.

4626 yearbirds
1. Lessmeister Lothar - D -Hütsenhausen 966.89 m/m
2. Heller-Herbots - D - Zweibrücken 966.52 m/m
3. Heller-Herbots - D - Zweibrücken 961.95 m/m
4. Liart Claude + Pascal - Montignies 952.88 m/m
5. Limbourg Eric - Brussegem 944.96 m/m

For a long time, everybody thought that the German-Belgian combination Heller-Herbots would win international Perpignan yearbirds, but after a lot of calculations Lothar Lessmeister beat them by a few seconds.

Responsible for this win was the dark checker hen "Fadhila" 05286-04-514, a girl with a lot of power because this season she also won the 41st national Marseille. The father of "Fadhila" is 05286-02-2745, who was specially selected for the breeding loft. He is the result of a mother-son coupling, namely "Rapid" (05286-00-343) x "Pietche" NL96-2397815. "Rapid" was in 2002 the 16th national Perpignan, 18th national Dax, 20th national Pau, and the second national ace-pigeon in the international races. "Pietche" comes from a son of the famous stockbird "Buffel" from Piet de Weerd x "Petra" (B89-4140951), a hen bought by Piet from Peter Houfflijn from Wortegem. She is a full-sister of the 7th international Perpignan. "Pietche" was a gift from Piet de Weerd, and she is mother and grandmother of a lot of top birds by Lessmeister.

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Jos and Jules

The mother of "Fadhila" is 07989-99-182, and was bought from the German long-distance racer Paul Claessen. She comes from two direct birds from Kipp and Son (Althornbach) and is a granddaughter of the 3rd international Dax 1998.

08.13.05 ARGENTON
(Distance Brussels: 520 km)

For this national race there were 3,935 old birds, 4,822 yearbirds and 21,272 youngbirds basketted.
3935 old birds
1. Jos + Jules Engels - Putte 1385.05 m/m
2. Hubert Caenen - veldwezelt 1376.64 m/m
3. vanhoudt Alfons - Neerpelt 1371.56 m/m
4. Jos + Jules Engels - Putte 1371.13 m/m
5. Berckmoes Eric - Brecht 1368.11 m/m

Again they had a superb season. I'm talking about the racing season of Jos and Jules Engels. With "Den Argenton" they have again a new miracle in their lofts. This cock also won the 1st Orleans against 2219 birds. In 2005 they started with 20 widowers and 30 couple pigeons raced on total widowhood. It is the first year that they follow the total widowhood system and they're more than satisfied. Also new is that the hens and cocks only train once a day, the hens from 6:00 until 7:00, and the cocks from 7:00 until 8:30.

The evening before the basketting day for Argenton, the hens and the cocks came together at 8:00 p.m. and stayed together till 8 o'clock the morning after. They trained and ate together and a few hours before basketting they were fed some peanuts.

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Eric Berckmoes
and family

Frans Vermeulen

"Den Argenton" (6226043/03) won 1st national Argenton 3935b., 1st provincial Orleans 2219b., 7th Pithiviers 1037b., 16th Toury 1863b., 18th provincial Montlucon 1800b., 51st provincial Bourges 1109b., and 154th national Bourges 26679b.

His father is the "6151734/99." He also won 1st provincial Argenton against 1538b. and comes from the coupling "6495178/94" x "6362091/97."
His mother is "6153998/01" and comes from the coupling "6369340/88" x "6151719/99."

4822 yearbirds
1. Eric Berckmoes - Brecht 1398.28 m/m
2. Eric Berckmoes - Brecht 1398.17 m/m
3. Luc Vanmechelen - Oud Turnhout 1382. 25 m/m
4. Vermeerbergen-Van Reet - Mol 1377.91 m/m
5. Jef-Luc-Nadia Houben - Itegem 1377.86 m/m

In Eric Berckmoes we have a young, but very successful winner. In 1998 he was celebrated as World Champion during the Olympiad in Blackpool, in 1999 he won with his "Virenque" the 1st national Bourges against 13,041 year birds and now his two hens "Zoë" (6265667/04) and "Yanti" (6265645/04) went almost together over the electronic clocking system and won 1st and 2nd national Argenton.

Eric races 36 couples on total widowhood, breeds around 150 youngsters and has around 18 breeding couples and 20 couples which are the pure Albert Marcelis birds. The base birds of this loft were formed by the pigeons of Albert Marcelis, with some birds of Willy Van Hekken (Zoersel). After Bourges (14 days before) the pigeons stayed together and could start a nest so the hens were basketted with "fresh eggs."

The father of the national winner is "Pauwstaart" (6493173/96 - won 2 x 1st and was 3rd ace pigeon Union Antwerpen - strain Willy Van Hekken).

Mother is "Blauw Junior" (6470395/00 - pure Albert Marcelis).

21272 youngbirds
1. Frans Vermeulen - Kessel 1407.18 m/m
2. Hok Jos Vercammen - Vremde 1404.30 m/m
3. Rudi Diels - Beerse 1403.90 m/m
4. Vandenbrandt Rudy and Dave - Vremde 1402.09 m/m
5. Gebroeders Descheemaecker - St Antonius Zoersel 1402.01 m/m

Luc Crucke

Eric Berckmoes
and family


Frans Vermeulen is 72 years old and started racing birds in 1965. He started on the short distance with pigeons from everybody. This proved not to be the best method, and in 1975 he made a very hard selection and took all the money that he had saved and bought pigeons from Karel Schellens (Kessel). A few years later, he went to Maurits Voets (Kessel) and came home with some birds. In 2000 he invested again, this time with Louis Van den Brande (Kessel).

Vermeulen says, "The pigeon sport is for me pure hobby." The lofts are built to keep 200 birds, but you can only find 15 widowers, seven breeding birds and now only nine youngsters have permission to stay. Frans races his youngsters on the "open-door-system," and when he sees that he has more cocks than hens, he couples some young cocks with old hens and races them on widowhood.

Before winning Argenton, "Den Argenton" (6231224/05) won 2nd Melun 649b. and 124th provincial Orleans against 8255 youngbirds.
His father is the "962/03" (Voets x Schellens) and mother is "148/02."

(distance Brussels: 550 km)

15,383 youngbirds
1. Luc Crucke - Asper 1327.46 m/m
2. Eric Hofman - Scheldewindeke 1321.22 m/m
3. De Schepper-De Temmerman - Merelbeke 1320.06 m/m
4. Jacques Vandenheede - Zingem 1319.75 m/m
5. Jacques Vandenheede - Zingem 1317.62 m/m

With La Souterraine youngbirds, we have again the "Golden Triangle" that proves this name true. As already explained in other reports, "The Golden Triangle" is the area south of Gent where a lot of top lofts are located. With the 2005 La Souterraine race, eight of the first 10 prizes were won by fanciers in that area.

Luc Crucke has been a very good fancier for a number of years. In 1987 he won 1st national La Souterraine, in 1989 he won 1st national Dax, in 1991 he won 1st national Rouen, in 1991 the 1st national Bordeaux, and now again the 1st national La Souterraine, or in other words his 5th national victory.

Luc started in 1964 with pigeons. From the start he had high-quality birds, which he found in the lofts of Jules Van Caneghem, Léon Declercq (Astene) and Guido Van Caneghem (Merelbeke). Every year he starts with 30 widowers and 60 youngbirds from the first round.
The game with the widowers is Crucke's focus, and when this season is finished then he motivates some youngsters for the nationals.

The national winner is a blue hen named "Mieke" (4113825/05). Luc only basketted two youngsters, and "Mieke" was the first nominated. She went in the basket on a youngster of a few days old. She has no "big" pedigree, and only the father and mother are known. Her father is B00-4523502 (directly Guido Van Caneghem), and her mother is B01-4456901 (bred from Crucke's own pigeons).

3,635 old birds
1. Eric Berckmoes - Brecht 1297.56 m/m
2. Jacques Vandenheede - Zingem 1294.85 m/m
3. Bart Vanoeckel - Oud Turnhout 1291.87 m/m
4. Hubert Schroyens - Itegem 1287.38 m/m
5. Luc Daans - Begijnendijk 1287.32 m/m

Two weeks ago Berckmoes won 1st and 2nd national Argenton, and now wins 1st national La Souterraine-very impressive.
Now it was "Joni" (6265612/04) who was the best. She was the hen who was raced the longest on widowhood. She had her "normal" box but was always very interested in another box. The week for La Souterraine, Eric gave "Joni" that box and together with her cock she started to build a big nest. On Sunday evening (three days before basketting) Eric gave "Joni" an egg. Believe it or not, but when her partner wanted to sit on the eggs himself, "Joni" pushed him away and took over the nest herself. Again this was a super motivated hen that scored the first prize. Between Argenton and La Souterraine the hens flew Salbris, but the result was not so good. Because of this, Eric gave a three-day treatment with "Orni-special" from Henk De Weerd.

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Jef Vanwinkel
09/10/05 VICHY
(Distance Brussels: 550 km)

11.081 youngbirds
1. Vanwinkel Jef - Tielt Winge 1373.16 m/m
2. Verheyden Robert - Tielt Winge 1372.33 m/m
3. Verachtert-Duchatel - Lasne 1347.59 m/m
4. Hok Jos Vercammen - Vremde 1347.43 m/m
5. Lambeets Walter - Aarschot 1341.78 m/m

Normally we expect a happy fancier when we visit a national winner, but Jef was not so happy. The reason was that Vichy was everything but a good race. The pigeons were liberated in very bad weather, and on liberation day there were still a lot of pigeons that didn't sleep in their loft. Jef explains, "The pigeons were liberated at 8 a.m. and at 7:00 p.m. I had only 26 youngsters of the 42 at home. Still four superb youngsters and two extremely good yearbirds are still missing."

Jef Vanwinkel weaned after the early winter breeding 213 youngsters. Just like a lot of fanciers, Jef also had a lot of losses and could start the racing season with a good 100 youngsters. The week before the first middle-distance race, the young hens were coupled with old birds and they were raced for the rest of the season on widowhood. When they came home on Saturday from a race they stayed together until Sunday evening.

The national winner is "Zinna" (2202082/05). She was not interested in an old cock but was more interested in another young hen. That young hen had a nest in the corner of the loft and "Zinna" wanted to brood but the other hen didn't allow this. This was the perfect motivation to win the race.

Jef explains, "The arrival was really something special. Suddenly we saw two birds wing to wing. One for me and the other for my neighbour Robert Verheyden. I knew that it would be very close, but we didn't know we were 'fighting' for the national victory."

Before winning national Vichy, Zinna won 10th Sens 819b., 16th Orleans 190b., 36th Soissons 1137b., 193rd Bourges 9310b., 268th Orleans 1810b., and 649th national La Souterraine 4254b.

  [Note: This is the third part of a three-part article. For Part 1, click here.
For Part 2, click here.]
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