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  News > National Belgium Winners

Louis Mattheus

Luc Sioen

Astere Vergotte

Wilson Dekens

National Belgium Winners

Louis Mattheus

Luc Sioen

Astere Vergotte

Wilson Dekens

by Stefan Mertens





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Mattheus and Chinese Fanciers


Breeding Loft

Racing Loft

Inside the Loft

National Winner



















































Sieon & Hilde

Breeder & Widowers Loft

Racing Loft

National Winner




















Vergotte & Wife



Fatima National Winner























Dekens & Wife


National Winner







The first big appointment for the fanciers still is the national race from Bourges. In comparison with the previous years, more pigeons came to the start and surely the good preparation has something to do with it.

The winner with the old birds is a two-year old hen, the 2110524/2012, which we find with Louis Mattheus in Baal, the province of Flemish Brabant.

She was clocked at 14h39m39sec at a distance of 467km and all of this at a speed of 1250 m/min.
Not only she’s the fastest against 22.654 old birds but also the fastest of all 46.721 pigeons.

When we have to introduce Louis Mattheus, we have to talk about his prize list first. His profession was covering floors and he used to be a good cycling tourist. He won many races and in 2007, he became National Champion from Belgium and the Benelux at the age of 63 among the “cycling tourists”. This was a super result and here his pigeons try to follow their master.

When we pass on to his career as a fancier, we can say that Louis likes to race his pigeons and he’s one of those that have the “real” virus. It’s his life and if you want to find him, he’s always among his pigeons on the loft. This is not his first national victory from Bourges because in 1993, they year our King Boudewijn died, he also won the national victory from Bourges. Now, 21 years later, he did it again with his favourite hen.

Only with hens

His racing team of old and yearling birds are all hens; 12 for the heavy middle distance and 10 for the middle distance. When one of the middle distance team succeeds well, she also has to do the heavy middle distance races.

All racing hens were paired on November 25th and they could raise a couple of youngsters. They even dropped a second time but then it was finished.

The training

The hens only train in the morning for half an hour. When they return earlier, he sometimes uses the flag because it’s necessary to train for half an hour. They also have to train on the day of basketing.

The hens during the week

When they enter from their daily training, they can eat and drink for about a quarter of an hour and then they get locked inside their boxes. The compartment is a bit darkened so they keep calmer during the day. In the evening, he repeats it all and they can eat for about half an hour before they’re locked inside again to spend the night.

Once the season started, the birds for the heavy middle distance have to leave every week again. After 2 or 3 heavy middle distance races, they sometimes get a shorter flight from Momignies or Soissons.


The day of basketing, they get enough to eat in the late afternoon and then they get to see their partner for about 15 or 20 minutes.

The winning hen from Bourges wasn’t interested in her partner on Thursday, she preferred Louis. In fact, she was paired to Louis and here she probably got her motivation to return back home as quickly as possible. Louis says: “When I rushed her tail and talked to her, she was happy. She went into the basket as first signed because she already showed her super condition the previous weeks and she didn’t disappoint him.

After the race, at the beginning, they can stay together for about 2 hours but if it was a difficult race, they can stay together till Sunday morning.

The winning hen, 2110524/2012 1 NAT BOURGES 22.654 OLD BIRDS
This hen is the best racing hen on the loft of Louis. She can score well, as well on the short distance, the middle distance and the national races and she prefers hard weather.  This is how we can describe her best.

This season, she already scored with

 2 Soissons            366 old
 6 Soissons            462 old
 7 Vierzon Prov      1.826 old
 8 Lorris            1.241 old
30 Sourdun           1.352 old
41 Blois Prov        1.711 old

Last season, she won

  1 Orléans             166 Yrl.
 28         Prov      3.717 Yrl.
  2 Angerville          212 Yrl.
 76 Bourges Nat (z)   2.882 Yrl.
200         Nat      11.883 Yrl.

Sire 6030237/2009 Vale Jos Wouters

Dam 2160835/2006 Blue and daughter of a Vandenabeele pigeon

The care taking

The racers always get the same mixture during the season. This mixture is composed by a friend Raymond Dehaes and it’s a sport mix with a lot of barley. On the day of basketing, Louis adds some peanuts to give them some extra fat.

Regularly, they receive vitamineral and beer yeast and at their arrival, they get electrolytes in their drinking water. The next 2 days, he uses Aviol.
On Tuesday, he gives them beer yeast and syrup over the food and on Wednesday, vitamins and electrolytes. The day of basketing the water is always pure.

In autumn, all birds get cured for 10 days with Cosumix and 5 days against cancer. During the season, he uses the yellow drops before basketing to get some control over the cancer infection.

Louis, congratulations with your super result!



Moorsele: One gets silent of all this… we thought we already saw many “unique results” but what Luc and Hilde Sioen did that last weekend, deserves a place in history books of the Belgian pigeon sport. Last year, Luc and Hilde won 1 National Poitiers against 13.134 yearlings with their “Nomi” (B12-3142056) and now, exactly one year later, on the same race and with the same weather conditions, Luc and Hilde Sioen win one more time the national victory ! Now, they did it with “Willemina”, a 100% Willem de Bruijn hen, which wasn’t only faster than the 10.109 yearlings from Poitiers but also of all competitors. She showed her tail to all 26.486 pigeons!
“Willemina” B13-3138072 is a hen that was born at the end of February 2013 and together with some other loft-mates; she was weaned for the second round. Luc and Hilde had a lot of faith in this second round and they trained them very carefully. As a young bird, “Willemina” only raced twice; once at 200km and the national race from La Souterraine where she won 28e local prize against 462 birds. 
In 2014, “Willemina” received her place on the hens loft, which shivered each and every fancier of the neighbourhood but she arrived wounded from a training flight and so she was non-active for a while. Thanks to the faith in her qualities, “Willemina” was learned again and this year, she only did two races; Chateauroux (53e local prize against 607p.) and now Poitiers national, where she scored with the prize of honour.
“Willemina” is born in a family of winners: her niece is “Nomi” (national winning hen from Poitiers 2013) and her half-sister already won 76e National Poitiers yearlings.
Some results of this year, of the team of the hens that race the heavy middle distance:
03/05 Fontenay 442 o.: 1 – 3 – 6 – 13 – 20 – 35 – 41… (12/12)
Prov 7.568 o.: 3 – 10 – 19 – 70...
259 yrl: 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 9 – 12 – 13 (7/9)
Prov 5.735 yrl.: 16 – 20 – 24 – 32 – 63 – 77 – 85...
Clermont 255 o: 4 – 12 (2/2)
17/05 Fontenay 265 o.: 1 – 28… (4/4)
Prov 4.659 o.: 5°
Tours 504 o.: 2 – 7 – 30 – 31 – 32… (12/20)
Prov 6.400 o.: 7 – 52…
Tours 147 yrl.: 2 – 4 – 7 – 11 – 14… (9/9)
Prov 2.964 yrl.: 70 – 81…
24/05 Bourges 340 o.: 3 – 16... (9/16)
Prov 3.080 o.: 44°...
Bourges 202 yrl.: 3 – 7 – 9 – 10 – 14… (9/23)
Prov 3.039 yrl.: 36°...
31/05 Fontenay 182 o.: 1 – 6 – 7 – 15 – 16... (6/6)
Bourges Prov 2.899 o.: 42 – 63 – 64... (5/7)
Bourges Prov 3.324 yrl.: 36 – 79 – 120 – 121... (5/7)
07/06 Chateauroux 618 o.: 1 – 7 – 33 – 59... (9/13)
Prov 3.148 o.: 17 – 54...
Chateauroux 607 yrl.: 2 – 15 – 23 – 43 – 53... (9/21)
Prov 4.085 yrl.: 33...
14/06 Poitiers 14.109 yrl.: 1...
Fastest against 26.486p.

Hilde and Luc, congratulations with your 5th national victory!

Stefan Mertens



“Fatima” of Astere Vergotte

Wins the National race from Chateauroux against 21.403 yearlings

Aalter: Astère Vergotte, very well known for his game with the hens. He lives in Aalter, in the province of Eastern Flanders, where he put in 7 old and 18 yearling hens on the national race from Chateauroux. Astère didn’t expect the pigeons from Chateauroux and so he was wandering around in the garden when his wife Edith suddenly called out that she heard the sound of the electronic system. “There’s a bird from Chateauroux” Edith announced. “That’s impossible” Astère answered, but he hurried up the stairs of his loft and indeed, there she was, “Fatima” was proudly sitting in her box. Clocked at 11h 31min 50sec at a distance of 491km and a speed of 1808.11m/m... She left behind 21.403 yearlings from Chateauroux! Astère didn’t have to wait very long for his next Chateauroux racers, he clocked at 11h36 (7e National) – 11h47 (52e National) – 11h50 (107e National) -11h 53 (165e National) etc…!


The pigeon sport was something Astere Vergotte learned at his mother’s knee. Already as a little boy, he spends a lot of time on the loft of his father Cyriel Vergotte. The last years of his life, Cyriel had some problems with his respiration and so he had to pass on some of his tasks to somebody else and he found the ideal partner in his son Astere. Astere was the one who went to the club to put in the pigeons and to return the clock, he trained the birds (in those days it had to be done by bike) and of course, he also had to clean the loft. The only thing that father Cyriel had to do was feeding the pigeons and the general care-taking of the colony. Nevertheless, he was the one in charge till the very last moment, the master of the loft. Cyriel was known as a real “top fancier”, the best school to learn that Astere could imagine.
After his studies of technical teacher in cars and weld, Astere started his career as a teacher in the Emmaüs Institute in Aalter. In 1972, he bought a piece of land in the Stationstraat, where he builds his present home and a beautiful loft. It was that same year, when his father Cyriel died and most of his colony was sold in Adegem at a good price. After his father’s death, the results weren’t that good anymore and so Astere looked for reinforcement but they didn’t answer to his needs.
Finally, at the end of 1989, he contacted his neighbour Alfons Braet, a little but fine fancier and most of all with good pigeons. Alfons owned the direct Roger Vereecke & Catryse Brothers. Some pigeons moved from Stationsstraat 138 to nr. 118 and a new cooperation were founded.


We can easily mention Astère Vergotte to be one of the pioneers of his beloved game with the hens. Since 1989, he only races the “weak (?) sex”. Astère explains: “It all began by the combination with my friend Alfons Braet. Alfons had a super hen that was unbeatable as a youngster. We both felt sorry not to race her as a yearling and so we decided to race the hens on widowhood too. We immediately loved this game and throughout the years, we adjusted the system more and more.
Like every year again, the team of hens 2014 breed in winter (paired at the end of November). When the little ones were about 16 days old, they’re put on the floor of the loft, the cocks move to the open aviary and the hens have to raise the youngsters alone. By this system, we avoid the hens to drop an egg a second time.
On March 5th, a second pairing is on the programme; the hens can drop an egg but they can’t breed. That’s the reason why the cocks have to move between the 1st and the 2nd egg. During that period, they have to do their first training flights and via speed, middle distance, the hens have to race 500 km every week again. It’s a tough and hard programme but by doing this all these years and by strong selection, Astere is able to start with a team every year again, which is able to handle this system.
During the week, the cocks stay in an open aviary, at a distance of the “women’s team”. The hens stay on their resting compartment, which is specially adjusted to the game with the hens; a slanting floor covered with wires, to avoid them pairing. The hens leave from this compartment for their daily training and they get inside at the loft with the boxes. They can’t really get inside the loft but they only get their food on the corridor and then move again to their resting compartment.


Astère: “I often hear stories of fanciers of which the hens train one full hour but my hens never do that. At the beginning of the week, they train about 5 minutes and when they train for 20 minutes on Wednesday, I know that their condition is OK. The hens train twice a day.
For the medical consult, I visit the vet Wim Boddaert (Oostkamp – to control the pigeons) and I use a lot of products of Dr. Boskamp. In winter, I don’t use any medication but once the season starts, I make sure that my hens can start in a super condition.
When it comes down to the food, I prefer the Matador mixtures; Super Start + race and the last days Turbo Energy. They can eat as much as they want for half an hour and then it’s taken away. “Rich” food and enough is very important to those birds that have to race 500 km every week again.


At first, “Fatima” (B13-4175059) was 3rd marked but because she was very well, she moved one place and left as the second marked. “Fatima” didn’t have an “easy” life till now because as a youngster she went into the basket for each of the 7 national races.

Astere and Edith, congratulations
Stefan Mertens




Wilson Dekens: winner 1st National Limoges 18.407 pigeons.

A region where they race the pigeons on a high level. Within the pigeon world, they sometimes call it the “golden triangle”. Zingem is home to many top-fanciers among which also Wilson Dekens. This fancier became famous on national level because of his super results and his famous “New Ace”, which became 1st National Ace-pigeon LD K.B.D.B in 2012. Again last year, they had a super season but this time, it was another top-pigeon that did very well in the Heulestraat in Zingem; the “Monti’ (2 x 1st Provincial from Montélimar and Souillac). Wilson and his wife Lydie are both rather passionate within the pigeon sport. Together they form an excellent duo in which they both have their tasks. Lydie takes care of the administration while Wilson is the master on the loft. Two years after their “New Ace” was crowned as 1st National Ace-pigeon LD K.B.D.B, again they had a peak last Saturday.  This time, it was their “Jordy Limoges” that brought the Dekens colony in the national spotlights. This crack succeeded to win the national victory from Limoges! A super result because we all know that this Limoges wasn’t an easy one; warm weather with now and then a strong northern wind, which made this race a beautiful openings race with a wonderful winner!
The history of the colony Dekens.
Since 1973, Wilson and Lydie live in the Heulestraat in Zingem. Not much later, they already build their first little loft.  For years, Wilson was an excellent short distance racer… But his ambitions went further than the local short distance play and step by step he turned over to the heavier work. Also the minimal “aspect of adventure” of the short distance, drove Wilson to his present passion: the heavy long distance. Like it was a miracle, his original team went very well along with the change and it didn’t take him very long before he had his first successes on the middle- and the long distances. The original short distance colony was mainly based on pigeons of local fanciers. Later on, this base was reinforced by better LD-origins from Belgium and Holland: Luc Van Coppenolle (Ouwegem), Germain Dhondt (Anzegem), Georges Verschueren (Zingem), Jos Das (Meldert), Marc Debacker (Merelbeke), Jan Aarden via Natural, Daniël Aerens (Drongen), Luc Bafort (Temse) and Batenburg-Van De Merwe (Klaaswaal, Holland).
Only with yearling and old pigeons!
With Dekens, they only race the old and yearling cocks. They’re played on the classical widowhood and they always get to see their hens before basketing. At that moment, Wilson closes the door and the game of passion can begin. The group of 100 youngsters are well learned till Vierzon and after the season, they get selected by the eye of the master himself. Those that meet the needs, get a place on the widower’s loft, where they can prove themselves as a yearling. There’s a team of 70 old birds, which isn’t too much luxury if you want to be present every week again on the heavy long distance races.
When it comes down to the care-taking, Wilson prefers it to keep it as simple as possible. He mixes 3 different mixtures to one basic mixture. In the drinking water, he uses a lot of tea, which he buys from his veterinary, Eric Vanmeirhaeghe from Zingem. On regular times, he visits this vet but he only treats his birds if the condition isn’t well enough or if there’s a certain health problem. After the season, when the pigeons passed the moulting period and in preparation of the breeding period, they get a cure of 12 days with Parastop. One of the keys of his success is certainly the dry loft filled with a lot of oxygen. For years, he thought about this and he constantly made changes to avoid problems of the respiration. It seems that these pigeons feel well and it all seems to be very cosy!
BE12-4191454 - “Jordy Limoges”: 1st National Limoges 18.407 p.
Sire: BE10-4030339, “Son Jordy”: son “Jordy” and half-brother of mother “New Ace”.
G.S.: BE05-4281706, “Jordy”: 6 Nat Ace-pig LD KBDB 2008. He won 1 Dourdan 464p. 29 Nat Cahors 5441p., 21 Nat (z) Brive 4381p., 169 Nat Brive 4381p., 169 Nat Brive 14521p., … He’s also grandfather of “New Ace”.
Gr.D.: BE09-4336031: Original Marc De Backer, grandson “Joost” -1 Internat Perpignan (origin Joost De Smeyter) paired to daughter “Rivaldo” Etienne Devos.
Dam: BE11-4225314, “Blue Bafort-hen”: mother “Jordy Limoges”- Luc Bafort.
Gr.S.: BE02-4185847, “Rode Barcelona”, origin E. De Meulemeester.
Gr.D.: BE07-4361036, “Kathy Hebberecht”, daughter “Pokemon” (1 Prov. Brive 3.433p. & 12 Nat Brive 22.026p. )

Prize list “Jordy Limoges”:
Limoges          1  National against 18.407 p
Vierzon            40 Club 668p. 
Libourne          20 Nat 6.134p.
Narbonne        382 Internat 7.859 p.
Poitiers            62 Local 491p.


































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