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  News > 2007 National Winners - Part 3

2007 National Winners:
Part 3

by Stefan Mertens

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


Click on any photo
  for larger version

Roger and
Madelaine Ghion

The Ghions' lofts

"Le Saint Vincent"

Jo De Cock
and Lou Curfs

"De Zeppel"

Stefan Mertens recently began his reporting on the 2007 national winners of Belgium with the winners of the international races, covering Bourges, Brive, Montelimar, Cahors, Montauban, and Pau, and continued with race results from Orange, Barcelona, and Irun, and took us to the 2007 World Championship Race at Nevele, Belgium, in which pigeons from 21 countries competed...

This month, Mertens covers the winners of the races from St. Vincent, Narbonne International, Bourges, Perpignan International, Argenton, La Souterraine, and Gueret....
You see that almost every national winner is in one way one or another always super motivated...

07.27.07 ST VINCENT
Distance Brussels: 900km


1. Ghion Roger Sauvagement 1028.82 m/m
2. Thienpont Freddy Merelbeke 1009.96 m/m
3. Sioen Luc+Hilde+Gerard Moorslede 991.46 m/m
4. Aerens Daniel Drongen 961.11 m/m
5. Morrier Robert Haccourt 948.58 m/m

With Roger and Madelaine Ghion, we have again a French-speaking fancier as national winner. The 7,520 year birds which were basketted for this race could only be liberated on Monday afternoon at 3:00 o'clock. It became an extremely hard race because only two birds made a higher velocity than 1000 m/m.

Seventy-three year old Roger Ghion has been a fancier his whole life. First he concentrated on the short distance, and then little by little on the long- and very long-distance races. For this, he bought birds from Marc Roosens, Goulem Christian, Tossens, Jan Aarden, Florizoone Roger, Vanbruaene Andre, Cobut Raymond, Van Neste Henri, Delvaux Louis, Van Roy Jean-Luc , Germain Imbrecht and his Italian friend Zanni Gino.

Roger has 20 widowers, 9 hens and 80 youngsters.

The winning bird is of course named "Le Saint Vincent" (B06-1501515). As a young bird he was hardly trained and as a year bird he had his first test on this race. His father is the B03-1502508 and mother B00-2299823. Both parents are a mix of birds of the above mentioned fanciers.

Distance Brussels: 840 km

10,072 OLD BIRDS

1. De Cock-Curfs Wynandsrade
1177.83 m/m
2. Vanbogaert-Hateneij Maastricht
1175.02 m/m
3. F+B Schleininger Gros Rederching
4. De Cock-Curfs Wynandsrade
1171.61 m/m
5. Mevr. Vanderspikken Heers
1170.31 m/m

The combination Jo De Cock (50) and Lou Curfs (64) won a spectacular international race from Narbonne, because they won not only the 1st international, but also the fourth! The bird who won is called "De Zeppel" (NL04-1265272). During his race home, "De Zeppel" had to beat a lot of rain, but thanks to the strong south west wind, this battle was not too hard.

"De Zeppel" came as a gift from Gebroeders Loyens into the loft. His father (NL03-1537215) comes from a cock from Hennie van Brienen (Swalmen) and has a lot of Adriaan Wouters X Marien-Meulemans X Carteus blood. His mother (NL03-1537265) is a Jan Theelen hen (line "Trutje").
Before his international win, "De Zeppel" won 12th national Bordeaux 3,235 birds, 26th international Bordeaux 5,710 birds, and 722nd national Bordeaux 3,642 birds.

The nice thing about this story is that De Cock-Curfs were not satisfied about their 2007 season. Moreover, the week before this international race, they wanted to stop racing. They basketted their birds for a short-distance race, and these birds came so good at home that they decided to basket for Narbonne. Not expecting very much, they suddenly had two cocks at the same time home from Narbonne. The first entered the loft immediately, and the second bird stayed outside for some time and won the 4th international.


Robert Verheyden


Verheyden's Loft


Jacquemin with
his winner

Jacquemin's lofts

"Petit Arnaud"

and company

07.28.07 BOURGES
Distance Brussels: 450 km


1. Robert Verheyden Tielt-Winge 1380.36 m/m
2. P. and J. Roziers Berlaar 1377.84 m/m
3. Van De Wouwer Gaston Berlaar 1377.63 m/m
4. Jespers-Vanderwegen Holsbeek 1372.33 m/m
5. Hoeterickx Rene Lubbeek 1370.14 m/m

Robert Verheyden (53) works during the day at Renault was born into a real pigeon family. Grandfather, father, brothers, uncles, father-in-law … everybody is crazy about pigeons. In 1972 Robert started in his own name and like a lot of starters, began with the short-distance races. He built his colony with pigeons from his father, enriched with pigeons from Maurits Vandevelde (Schoonderbuken), Louis Goyvaerts (Berlaar), Rigo Vos (Verbruggen pigeons), Hubert Schroyens (Houben pigeons), and Frans Van Roey (Rijkevorsel). When Robert decided in 2003 to switch to the great-middle-distance, he invested again-now in birds from Robert Van Eycken (Erps-Kwerps), Chris Hebberecht (Evergem), and Gommair Verbruggen (Kagevinne). The performances became better and better.

Robert started the season with two old birds, 11 yearlings and 70 youngsters from the first and second round, so he is not that big a fancier and chooses quality above quantity.

And then there is winning the national on the most famous race for the Belgian middle-distance fanciers. The winning bird is a blue hen named "Maaike" (B07-2074613). "Maaike" didn't have a nest, and for Bourges she hadn't thrown a single wing feather.

Her father is B03-2238231 (won 3 times 1st prize against an average of 500 birds). Mother is B03-2238223, a full sister of one of Robert's best birds.

The top condition was more than present in the lofts in Tielt-Winge, because against 31,428 youngsters Verheyden wins: 1-8-13-68 and so on from 24 youngsters entered in the race.

07.28.07 BOURGES

12,503 OLD BIRDS

1. Francois Jacquemin Battice 1394.06 m/m
2. Schepmans-Hayen Grazen 1387.07 m/m
3. Vandersmissen Yvan and Maurice Rummen 1377.27 m/m
4. Janssens-Boen Mol 1374.87 m/m
5. Creten Marcel St. Truiden 1370.31 m/m

Battice is a nice village in the neighbourhood of Liege, and to a very young pigeon fancier who wins one of the most famous race in Belgium, the pigeon sport can be very beautiful.
Francois Jacquemin (21 years old) started in 1999 with pigeons, and bought stock from J. Bruwier, Nouwen-Paesen, René Voose, Eugène Simon, De Keyser-Dethier, and Robert Van Eycken. Every year he starts with 44 widowers and around 100 youngbirds.

And like a lot of big victories, Jacquemin was totally surprised when at 4:48 p.m. his 1st nominated blue cock was clocked. For a distance of 464km this makes a velocity of 1394.06 m/m, or in other words the fastest against more than 12,500 old pigeons.

The winner is called "Petit Arnaud" (B05-1003509). His father is B00-2144123 (directly Robert Van Eycken). Mother is B04-1013381 (directly René Voose).

07.28.07 BOURGES


1. Poelmans Valere Kozen 1366.11 m/m
2. Veulemans Andre and Toon Visenaken 1366.02 m/m
3. Jonckers Yves and Johny Drieslinter 1363.84 m/m
4. Lefever Rene Vetrijck 1363.64 m/m
5. Vanlint Michel Zoutleeuw 1363.07 m/m

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The Poelmans'

"Bourges 018"

Valere Poelmans (58 years old) built his colony on pigeons from Steenaerts-Menten (Lummen), Hermans-Loozen, Fons Francken (Meensel), Marcel Gelen (Herk-de-stad) and Flor Haezevoets (Kozen). In his nice garden 40 widowers and 140 youngsters are housed.

Valere loves to race with old birds, and the game with the youngsters is less important. The national winner is called "Bourges 018" (B06-5058018). His father is "De Jarnac" (B01-5158808) who won the 1st provincial Jarnac against 1,289 birds. Mother of "Bourges 018" is a pure "De Klak" hen through Fons Vrancken.

Before winning national Bourges, the "Blauwe 018" (as he was called then) won 164th Dizy 2479b., 26th Reims 1314b., 15th Melun 135b., 35th Nanteuil 208b., 9th Villers 317b., 3rd Chimay 208b., 6th Vervins 698b., 6th Laon 410b., 27th Nanteuil 1432b., 22nd Melun 355b., and 15th Vierzon 302b.

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The Vertelman

The Vertelmans'


Distance Brussels: 900km

15,158 OLD BIRDS

These birds were divided from among the following countries: Belgium: 5,572 - The Netherlands: 5,292 - France: 2,299 birds - Germany: 1,952 birds - Luxemburg: 43 birds

1. Co+Ton Vertelman Hoogkarspel
1215.93 m/m
2. Bigotte Jean-Marc Tourcoing
1194.61 m/m
3. Cuffel et Fils Montvilliers
1174.33 m/m
4. Thorel Joel Gonneghem
1173.22 m/m
5. Hanin-Lamoulin Trouville
1153.31 m/m

Hoogkarspel is situated in North Holland and is famous for its tulips. Co and Ton Vertelman are real top fanciers on the very long-distance races. In 2001 they won the 1st national Bordeaux against 5,962 birds, and in 2002 the 1st national Bergerac against 12,643 birds.
In the breeding loft, we find in the first place pigeons of Jan Theelen (Buggenum), further birds of Gebroeders Kuypers (Neer), Wim Bax (Budel), Leo Kouters (Noordhoek) Cas Van der Graaf (Arnemuiden), and Nico Volkens (Bergen). Every year they start with a team of 40 nest couples, 10 breeding couples and about 60 youngsters.

Normally the pigeons which are basketted for a very long-distance race are always basketted on a youngster of five-days-old in the nest, but now for Perpignan the birds were brooding 12 days. And you see, this position must have been as good.

The winning bird is a red hen named "Elly" (B05-1230818). Previously, she had also won the 16th national Tarbes against 5,210 birds and the 2,563rd national Bergerac against 14,576 birds.
Her father is the NL03-2256203 and the mother is NL03-2256129 "Het Oogje."

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The Loockx family

Guido Loockx's


Kenji Schmitt
and company

Schmitt's lofts


08.11.07 ARGENTON
Distance Brussels: 500km


1. Loockx Guido Tessenderlo 1439.02 m/m
2. Verreckt-Arien Tessenderlo 1424.08 m/m
3. Mittchel Martyn Hulste 1421.50 m/m
4. Verreckt-Arien Tessenderlo 1413.27 m/m
5. Van Ostaeyen-Pickeur Boechout 1409.31 m/m

With Guido Loockx we don't have an unknown name winning national Argenton old birds. This fancier already won 1st national Bourges in 1998 (with his famous bird "Pantani"), 1st national Bourges 2004 (with "Prinses"), 2nd national Bourges 2005, and 3rd national Bourges 2006. No wonder that the fanciers in Belgium have named him "Mr. Bourges."

Now the bird who won national Argenton answers to the name "Rossini" (B05-5221443). She is a late bred, and in her year of birth she even didn't see the inside of a basket. Guido has a team of 50 widowers and 50 hens (the partners are not raced, so no total widowhood), and when this team was coupled at the beginning of March to brood for some days, some hens refused to take a partner. One of them was later our national winner.

Moreover, the whole season she stayed without a partner, and so there were no special results noted. But everything changed 14 days before the national race of Argenton. When she came home from Bourges, Guido saw that she was interested in a cock. Strategic fancier that he is, Guido took the hen of the cock away and let "Rossini" take her place. It was the first real love in her life and motivated her enough to win national Bourges.

Her father is B03-5231795 "Zoon Lichte Pantini." His father is the "Lichte Pantani" who won 2nd Argenton 2,672b., 5th Argenton 2,955b., 11th Chateauroux 4,579b., 2 times 1st Crepy and so on. "Lichte Pantani" was coupled with "Dochter Vooruit Pantani" (B03-5242949). She is a daughter of "Vooruit Pantani," who won 1st prize five times.

08.11.07 ARGENTON


1. Schmitt Kenji Aarschot 1421.05 m/m
2. Van Avondt H. and Son Haacht 1414.05 m/m
3. Engels Jos and Jules Putte 1413.76 m/m
4. Vermeerbergen-Van Reet Mol 1408.38 m/m
5. Van Eynde-Goovaerts Putte 1405.55 m/m

It is always very nice when a young pigeon fancier wins a national race, and now with Kenji Schmitt, only 20 years old, we have somebody on that stage. Since he was six, Kenji has been a fanatical pigeon fancier, and since 2000 he has raced in his own name. Kenji goes to public auctions a lot, but a real base strain is not yet formed. In his loft we find pigeons from the following fanciers: Gommair Verbruggen, Kees Bosua, Gaby Vandenabeele, Jos and Jules Engels, Michel VanLint, Dick Postma, Fernand Schroyen, Patrick and Guido Claes, Van Looy-Somers, Fabienne Peeters, G. Devos, David Laevers, Vos-Jennes, and Roger-Eddy Grootjans.
Normally Kenji races only youngsters, but for the 2007 season he also had two hens ready, namely "Joy" (B06-2083062) and "B Qute" (B06-2083020). The two hens stayed between the youngsters so they were also darkened . When the youngbirds were separated, the two hens didn't have a partner, and they paired up with each other. The week for Argenton, they got a cock and they formed a happy trio.

Kenji tried to bring the hens into nest position, but they refused the eggs they were given. But Kenji kept trying, and the day before basketting they accepted the eggs. As an extra motivation, Kenji put six eggs under the hens and they didn't leave the nest anymore. This must have been the biggest motivation, because "Joy" won the 1st national, and "B Qute" the 99th national against 5,974 birds.

Before her national win, "Joy" also won the 2nd Dudelange against 178b., 3rd Dudelange against 100b., 15th Bourges against 198b. and 24th Guerret against 2,735 birds.

Her father is "De Gommaire" (B05-2141263) - direct Gommaire Verbruggen. Mother is "Dragoon" B02-2235443, who won 1 x 1st and 1 x 3rd (strain 50% Jef Vanwinckel).


Marcel De Keyzer
and company

The lofts at


Willy and
Godelieve Maes

The lofts at


08.11.07 ARGENTON


1. DeKeyzer Marcel Messelbroek 1446.33 m/m
2. Vermeerberten-Van Reet Mol 1440.22 m/m
3. Van Eynde-Goovaerts Putte 1439.02 m/m
4. De Jong Dick Balen 1437.46 m/m
5. Reyniers Henri Lubbeek 1437.39 m/m

Marcel De Keyzer is 72 years old and was born into a real pigeon family. The base of his colony is formed by "Oude Geschifte" (Karel Meulemans), line "De Teen" (Gommaire Verbruggen), and pigeons from Sylvain and Hans D'Hondt (Semmerzake).

Marcel starts every year with 15 widowers, 50 youngbirds and 12 couples of breeders.

The national winner goes by the name "Kleinzoon Barcelona" (B07-2057206) and is a young cock from the 1st round. For Argenton, he was basketted on a youngster of 23 days old and had moulted two flights. His hen hadn't laid yet, and so in the first place he was looking at his youngster, and in the second place he was looking at his hen. You see, almost every national winner is in way one or other always super motivated. "Kleinzoon Barcelona" won 1st national Argenton against 20,921b., 819th Bourges against 4,655b., 153rd Momignies against 531b., 136th Momignies against 1,169b., 147th Sens against 706b. and 106th Soissons against 687b.
His father is "Zoon Barcelona" B04-2192960 whose father won the 32nd national Barcelona.

Mother is "Blauw Witpenneke" B05-2141494 (50% strain W. Guelinckx).

Distance Brussels: 550 km


1. Maes Willy Zwalm 1186.16 m/m
2. Deviaene Carlos Anzegem 1185.89 m/m
3. Lambrechts-Van Sprengel Herentals 1185.87 m/m
4. Casaert-Sénéchal St. Léger 1185.14 m/m
5. Visschers and Son Maasmechelen 1184.60 m/m

Winning a national race is a dream for every pigeon fancier. Also for Willy and his wife Godelieve Maes, it was the high point of their pigeon career. Since 1985 Willy has raced in his own name, starting with birds which he received from his father Cyriel Maes.

The first year he raced only on the short distance, but little by little he tried to go further and further. Because of the harder and longer races, Willy bought some new birds, and those were found in the first place from Charles Lapage (Zottegem), Van Hove-Uytterhoeven (Putte), Dany Schokkaert (Oordegem), Firmin De Martelaere (Lembeke) and Van Weymeersch Steven (Roborst). Every year, Willy starts with a team of 40 widowers, 100 youngsters and 18 breeding couples. The game with the old as the game with the yearbirds is even important.

The winning bird is a very nice looking hen named "Lieve" (B07-4100705). At the time of her successful race, she had thrown two flights. The reason for her national win cannot directly be determined. She had no box, no partner, no motivation at all-and therefore she was the 8th nominated bird out of 10. But something must have happened that she was so well motivated, because when she arrived from La Souterraine, she entered the loft just like the devil was following her. She was that quick.

The father of "Lieve" is B05-4034518 (strain Lapage X Magerman). Mother is B04-4155489 (strain Van Weymeersch X Schokkaert). Before her national win, she won the 151st Bourges against 1,500 youngsters.


The Steenbergens
with their

The Steenbergens'
lofts at




1. Steenbergen Stefan & Albert Herk-de-Stad 1171 m/m
2. Hok Jos Vercammen Vremde 1161 m/m
3. Jochems-Van Hasselt Rijkevorsel 1161 m/m
4. Crucke Luc Asper 1161 m/m
5. Van Avondt Henri & Son Haacht 1158.m/m

Father Albert (70 years) and son Stefan (42 years) are standing in the spotlight in the old bird category. Not only did they win the 1st national, but their second bird is already clocked in the 6th position national level. In the early days, father Albert raced birds for fun, using birds from everybody. But in 2000 when son Stefan came into the lofts, this father-son combination became more and more fanatical, and they searched out new birds. Those were found by Van Camp-Govaerts (St. Kathelijne Waver), Maurice Vandersmissen (Rummen), André Roodhooft (Pulderbos), Maurice Voets (Kessel), and Franz Revermann (Nordhorn).

The winner is a nice dark checker hen named "Linda" (B06-5115199). After her last race in 2006, namely Guerret, she moved to the aviary. The first time that she was paired up was at the beginning of March, and after three days of nesting, she was put on widowhood. But after some weeks, she was coupled again because Stefan wanted her in nest position for the first national race from Bourges at the end of May.

But the result was not good, and she was put again on widowhood. At the end of July she was coupled again, and she had a seven-day-old youngster in the nest when she was coupled for La Souterraine. This was the best motivation, because she was simply the fastest old bird in the race.

Her father is "Super Walter" (B99-5236262). He won 1st interprovincial Argenton and was the 1st provincial ace-bird. Mother of "Linda" is B02-5039596, named "Best Lady." She won four times first prize.

Before winning national La Souterraine, "Linda" won 1st Laon 330b., 22nd Nanteuil 2,421b., and 192nd Chateauroux 2722.

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Marc Van Hautte
and company

Van Hautte's lofts


09.08.07 GUERET
Distance Brussels: 550km


1. Van Hautte Marc Smetlede 1145.88 m/m
2. Lamon Gerard Oudenaarde 1140.45 m/m
3. Anno-Debouver Nazareth 1136.95 m/m
4. Cleirbaut Kris Bonheiden 1128.89 m/m
5. Van Dijck Dirk Zandhoven 1128.64.m.m

In the picture on this last national race of the season was without any doubt Marc Van Hautte from Smetlede. Marc is a professional military man and a fanatical pigeon fancier who started in 1995 in his own name with pigeons. Seventy-five percent of his colony is based on pigeons from Rudy Hendrickx and further on some birds of Roger Debusschere, De Graeve-van Geert, Herman Papaert, Etienne Pieters, and Jacques Vandenheede.

Marc is a specialist with the young birds; no old birds are raced due to time constraints. He started the racing season with a team of 57 youngsters and 20 breeding couples. The youngsters are raced on widowhood with an old bird as partner. The young cocks get an old hen the week after they finish their short-distance race, and the young hens get an old cock the week before their first middle-distance race. In fact, Marc Van Hautte follows the young bird system of Van Hove-Uytterhoeven. When the youngsters are coupled they get four days' time to pair up.

The national winner is a nice hen called "Silke" (B07-4259033). Her father is B05-4346680 "Filou," received as egg from Rudy Hendrickx. Father of "Filou" is "Jonge Dideel" (B03-3227498 - Vandenabeele Gaby) and mother is "Golden Girl" (B02-5083400 : 2nd Chateauroux 262b., 4th Melun 603b., 7th Melun 792b.).

Mother of "Silke" is "Oriana" (B05-4346605) and won 121st national Vichy 11,022b. - 167th national Gueret 2,633b. - 400th national La Souterraine 15,406b.


The Van Hove-
Uytterhoeven team

"Queen Gueret"

09.08.07 GUERET


1. Van Hove-Uytterhoeven Putte 1122.43 m/m
2. Maes Willy Zwalm 1113.44 m/m
3. Staes Guy Berlaar 1105.16 m/m
4. Van Hove-Uytterhoeven Putte 1103.58 m/m
5. Engels Jos & Jules Putte 1128.64.m.m

For Van Hove-Uytterhoeven, the number of national victories is now at number five: Limoges old birds (1993) - Limoges 2-years (1993) - Bourges yearbirds (2002) - La Souterraine youngbirds (2003), and now Gueret old birds (2007).

The national winner is B06-6052047 or "Queen Gueret." But also "Princess Gueret," a full sister of "Queen Gueret," was clocked on the 4th place national. A nice detail is that the hens were already far into the moult. "Queen Gueret" had already thrown six wing feathers and "Princes Gueret" had thrown five. You see, there are no fixed rules in the pigeon sport.

"Queen Gueret" is a blue hen who already won: 2nd Melun 916b., 5th St Denis 2,826b., 55th Pithiviers 2,061b., 48th Orleans 8,835b., 62nd Chateauroux 2,629b., 62nd national La Souterraine 13,965b., 166th Chateauroux 3,857b., 107th Monlucon 1,913b. and 175th Argenton 14,534b.

Click here to go to 2007 National Winners - Part 1

Click here to go to 2007 National Winners - Part 2

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Charles Siegel and Son Inc.

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