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  News > Belgian National Winners 2010 -Part 4

Belgian National Winners
K.B.D.B. 2010:

Part 4

by Stefan Mertens


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1st National
Tarbes 2010

1st National
Tarbes's head

Winner's wing



Winner's loft



Inside the
Masures' loft

1st National
Limoges Old
Birds 2010

Winner's wing

Julien and Peter

Winner's loft

Inside the loft


Herinnes: Tarbes... the 4th international race on the calendar. For the international winner we need to go in the direction of Dutch Limburg, namely Stein (Holland). To congratulate the national winner we need to go totally to the other side in direction of Doornik, to Herinnes. There in the Rue du General Le Maire we could greet an overly happy Thierry Masure and his son Gilles.

Thierry says, “I took an extra day off from work…last year I won the 1st prize international Euro Region Bordeaux with my ‘Le Petit Bordeaux’ against 17,674 old pigeons. My winner was the only pigeon who reached 1000m/m. Back then it was already great, but booking a national victory, that’s something different! The telephone hasn’t been quiet for a minute, and I’m surprised at how many people have congratulated me.  I really enjoy this.”


Thierry (47 years old) explains, “Since ’87 I have been between the pigeons. From the start my preference went to the fond and the marathon races. Until the year 2000 I raced pigeons at my previous address. Afterwards we moved to a new house, and the move resulted in a gap of six racing  seasons. In 2006 I moved into my new house, and for the second time in my life I made a new start in the pigeon sport. This new start took place with the pigeons of my father-in-law (race De Meyer – Tiegem), via the strain of Steketee, Pilletterie (Bleharies), Onijn Germain (Ronse), Noppe Michel (Orcque), Eric De Vlaeminck (Hulste), Jean Moureau (Obigies – strain Casaert and Vandenabeele) and Georges Carteus (Ronse).

“The 2010 season started with a team of 36 widowers, 12 couples of breeders, and around 60 young pigeons,” Thierry continues. “Because I have to work for many hours every day, I don’t have a lot of free time and that’s why I’m very happy that my son Gilles helps me with taking care of the pigeons, (e.g. young pigeons). The widowers did a winter breeding, and when the youngsters were weaned the widowhood was already a fact. The spring was icy cold, and that’s why I decided not to couple the widowers again. Also despite all preparations, I need to confess that the start of my season was everything but great. The bad start is because of a lack of condition, and when the temperature went up during the last weeks, the condition of my pigeons went up too. With Barcelona I did put a great performance on paper, and now I have the national win from Tarbes.”

Thierry describes his system this way:  “The season ends after Perpignan, and then the widowers team gets a well-earned rest. After the season I treat the pigeons to clear them of trichomoniasis, and there’s also a treatment with Parastop (De Weerd) on the schedule. Through this, I want to avoid an eventual paratyphus infection. During the resting period we use oil (4-Oliën Herbots) and yeast (Herbots) on the food. In the drinkers we use a homemade herb mix daily. A mix of thyme, garlic--this natural beverage often gets exchanged with freshly made tea (Herbots)."   

"Before the season the pigeons get treated against tricho again," Thierry continues, "and we also treat them against ornithosis with Soludox for five days. During the season we treat against tricho after each race and against ornithosis only when needed.
In terms of food I only use two mixes. That’s Moulting Extra Subliem (Versele Laga) and Start Plus I.C.. Almost throughout whole the year, the pigeons get a mix and only the last days before the basketting they get Start Plus I.C. which is a breeding mixture.”


And then let’s turn to the winner who got the name “Le Tarbes” after his win on Tarbes. “’Le Tarbes’(B08-9042734) certainly wasn’t extra motivated,” Thierry explains. “Like always, he got his nest plate and with that all my motivation tricks are revealed. Anyway something must have happened behind my back because the way this red widower came home said a lot. On the Internet we read a clocking time from the French fancier Ledoux, and after some calculating we knew that we needed to clock around 18.30h to beat this Southern neighbor. We play on a distance of 869km126m and at 18h20min and 28 seconds we clocked our win. On Tarbes we basketted three pigeons.  We clocked our second pigeon at 21h48min and 47 sec.”

“Le Tarbes” previously won: 2008: 142nd Etampes 466p. – 86th Orleans 417p. – 3rd Soustons 123p. (705th internat. 11,030p.). This season he scored with the 189th Bourges against 1,073p.

Thierry and Gilles. Once again congratulations and like you said “au prochain fois”!

10,430 OLD BIRDS

The first weekend of July was a busy weekend with the international race of Barcelona (old birds), international Soustons (yearbirds), and the national race from Limoges (old birds). Due to the bad weather, the middle-distance races and  the long-distance races were a day longer in the basket with the result that the national winner of Limoges was only known on Sunday. What Barcelona is for the long-distance lovers Limoges is for the long-distance fanciers  in other words, the winner of this race can honestly say that he has won a top race.

Speaking of the winner... the fastest pigeon of the entire competition was clocked by the father-son combination Depauw Julien and Peter.  And this was not done with the feeling of "this is an early pigeon." Peter says, "We also had pigeons on Orleans, and the top birds on Orleans made a much higher velocity than the Limoges flyers.  Or in other words, when my Limoges bird went through the open window, I had everything but the feeling that a national victory was in the running. No, we still clock manually and I went towards my loft with ease. When I clocked my pigeon, and I contacted some friends, then we realized that we had a very early bird. For years we have basketed for these flights, and the best performance we ever had was the zonal victory of Bourges in 2003.”


11 breeder couples and 35 widowers--that is the number of birds owned by this national winner. The basis of this colony is built with pigeons of Staf De Baets (Wondelgem) and Danny Van de Kerckhove (Lembeke). No winter breeding, but by mid-January all the pigeons are coupled. They can breed one youngster, and then everything is separated. In April the hens come to the loft for two days, and then the first tosses are made. From short distance (Arras and Clermont) it goes to middle distance (Ablis – Angerville), and then the national races are programmed. From 400 km the widowers are basketted every two weeks, only if the recuperation isn't 100%, they stay another week in the loft.

On the menu they have the Plus mixtures of Versele-Laga. Gerry Plus I.C. (low on proteins) and the last five feedings Superstar Plus I.C.. As by products the Depauws use “Elixir De Reiger” in the drinking water two days before the basketting. Peter explains, “We also give an Ideal pill in the morning and the evening. Against trichomoniasis we give ¼ Flagyl every 3 weeks. At mid-March and the beginning of November the veterinarian is consulted and we treat according to his advice.”

And here the info that we got from these very friendly Limoges winners had to end, because at the same time as our visit the people of the doping control were unannounced visitors.  Peter needed to make time for these controllers.

Julien and Peter... Congratulations and enjoy your victory!

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Bart and his
father Francis

"Black Shadow"
1st National
Barcelona 2010

Head of
1st National

The wing of
"Black Shadow"

Pedigree of
"Black Shadow"

The Verdeyen

1st National Limoges
Two Year Olds

Steenokkerzeel: Barcelona-- the marathon of the sky!  The whole international pigeon world looks forward to this race. Even the traditional short-distance racer wants to know who won Barcelona. Barcelona 2010… to be honest there have been easier years. This year’s race became one of fighting heat and thunderstorms. Even so, despite the hard flying circumstances, the top three international winners were very close to each other, this with Burkhard Heller (954.96 m/m – and international winner), Verdeyen Bart (953.90 m/m – national winner Belgium) and Van Bruaene (Lauwe).  A sprint after more than 1000 km is almost unbelievable!


The youth has the future, and we think it’s great that a 24-year-old fancier can show off with a national victory from Barcelona. Bart Verdeyen is the son of the better-known Francis Verdeyen, and has inherited the pigeon bug from his father. Father Francis Verdeyen loves playing the middle distance, but Bart doesn’t like that. “When are we going to race on the fond and the marathon?”

Bart kept asking his father, and father Francis had a standard answer: “When you are of age and you are working you can start your own loft in your name, and then you can race as much marathon races as you like.” Bart kept that in mind, and four years ago the promise of father Francis came back. Bart was of age and working with Flight Care in Zaventem (responsible for sending live animals) got his own loft and could play the big fond in his own name.

Bart says, “We write 2007. I couldn’t wait to try it on the marathon and with the middle-distance pigeons from my father (original Van Paesen and Impanis) I went in the direction of Bordeaux. In the club they hadn’t told me that there was an international doubling for hens, and thereby I lost the international victory with the hens. Nothing to do about it, but my love for the very long-distance races got a ‘boost.’ I went looking for pigeons with fond blood, and I found these at Jimmy Brands and Koen De Backer, both from Berendrecht. My national winner was bred at Koen De Backer. Great isn’t it?”


Bart explains, “I have 16 widowers (yearlings included). Add four hens living between the young pigeons, and you know my number of race birds. I don’t have breeders. I ask for the first round from my father, and he can have the second round. We didn’t breed with the marathon pigeons in springtime. As preparation, they flew Vierzon, Bourges and Chateauroux. Between Chateauroux and Barcelona they only worked out three short training races.  The week before the basketting of Barcelona: 1 x 30 km, 1 x 40 km and 1 x 50km. They were always liberated in a group. Motivation is very important, and also my Barcelona flyers went in the basket with some extra motivation."

"On the day of basketting," Bart continues, "I set my later national winner in his young pigeon loft where he had flown two years ago.  All alone in that young pigeon loft, I saw him improving in condition. At noon he got the company of his hen. He was super motivated when he went into the basket, and look he gives me the greatest victory I could imagine. Too bad that I didn’t see him arrive. I was just inside to check eventual arrivals on the Internet when suddenly the alarm of my electronic system went off. The clock showed 10h39min and 31 sec. I can assure you that I was close to a heart attack!"

"My hands were shaking while the control gummy was clocked," Bart confides. "Later I heard of a pigeon friend Benny De Coster who lives a bit further that he has seen him coming home, fully from a southeastern direction. The pigeon sport can be so beautiful, I’ll never forget this! As for treatment we trust the mixes of Versele-Laga (plus mixtures) and Mariman (Petit France and Race yellow). As by products we buy products from the gamma of Oropharma (e.g. Recup-Lyt) and Herbots Animal Products (e.g. Tea)."

"On the medical scene," Bart says, "we use the products of Belgica-De Weerd.  The Barcelona races got between Chateauroux and Barcelona a Spartrix and were treated with B.S. over four days. As we already mentioned, the national winner was bred by Koen De Backer. In 2009 he flew the 78th Bourges 502 p. and the 27th Chateauroux 351p. This widower went as second nominated of three basketted pigeons to Barcelona.”

Bart, it’s great that you won Barcelona as a young player. This is the best promotion the pigeon sport can imagine. Congratulations!


The national race from Limoges had 10,430 old birds at the start and next to the national victory by the old birds, there’s also a doubling for the two-year-old  birds. Well, the national victory in this category was clocked by Denduyver Ferdinand and his son Koen. Normally the two national victories are won by the same pigeons, but this year we had two different winners namely Depauw in the old birds and Denduyver in the two-year birds.


Head of 1st
National Limoges
Two Year Olds

Wing of 1st
National Limoges
Two Year Olds

Pedigree of 1st
National Limoges
Two Year Olds

The Denduyver

Results of 1st
National Limoges
Two Year Olds

Ferdinand (61 years) and his son Karel (26 years) have already been for years very good flyers in the races between 150km and 700km. But now their bird “De Kapitein” put their name in the spot lights.  Now they’re known by every Belgian pigeon fancier. Several provincial victories were already clocked.  Limoges is their first national victory, one of which they can be very proud.


They started the season with 36 widowers. Hereby there are 14 year birds and the purpose is, as already mentioned, to basket weekly for races between 150km till 700km. The base of the colony is built with pigeons from Cyriel Denduyver (father of Ferdinand,  90 years old and still active as a pigeon fancier), Houben Luc (Itegem), Marc Pollin (Snellegem),  Deschacht-Denduyver (Westkerke), Wijlen Georges Lidou (Ichtegem), Van de Poele Eddy en Valeer (Werken), Wijnands-Galle (Veldegem) and Hendrik Mortier (Brugge).

The widowers, who are housed in four different lofts, did a winter breeding and bred a couple of youngsters. After the breeding, a winter period was a fact. At the end of March, the hens came back
in the lofts. Cocks and hens stayed together for four days. During those four days the first tosses were scheduled.

The widowers which are flying the races above 400km are basketted every two weeks. Two times a day, the widowers can train around the loft. In the morning everything is done by Ferdinand, and in the evening he’s assisted by his son Karel. As a feeding, the widowers get the Casaert mixture (protein poor) and are fed up with a racing mixture of Mariman. The widowers are fed individually because they like to have very close contact between fancier and pigeon. Every widower needs to be prepared to have a hand fight with his boss.

Pigeons that are afraid of their boss are immediately selected out. Before the racing season starts, the specialised vet is visited, and his advice is followed. During the racing season they treat every month against trichomoniasis with ¼ tablet of Flagyl or with Belga Magic. If the pigeons don’t perform as expected, they’re treated for several days with Suanovil or Amoxycure (Oropharma).

Karel explains, “For this race, three widowers were basketted. Following the velocity of previously flown races, we needed to clock around 15h. I just checked the Internet, and just when I said to my father that there were no Limoges pigeons announced on the Internet, we saw our Limoges flyer coming home. We clocked at 14h55min and 9sec.  The other two birds were clocked at 15h21min31sec and 15h28min7sec. In our club there were 510 old birds and we won: 1st, 30th and 57th prizes."

"Our national winner was not extra motivated," Karel assures me. "Just like always he saw his hen before basketting and that was it.”

Ferdinand and Karel...here’s to the next national victory!

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