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SCHREEL REMI – DIRK AND DIETER
1st NATIONAL BRIVE 5,287 OLD BIRDS – FASTEST AGAINST 9,136 PIGEONS
By Stefan Mertens
Zedelgem: Brive national was an exception in the Belgian pigeon sport. Normally, they never release this race before Saturday but because the weather announces weren’t good for the weekend, the organisation Entente Belge together with the KBDB, decided to release the pigeons on Friday. It certainly isn’t a bad thing when they consult the weather reports because our feathered friends already had enough trouble the last few weeks. And the most beautiful thing about this story is that one of the people who took this decision to release Brive one day earlier; the President of the National Sports Committee Dirk Schreel and his family won the national victory. Unbelievable!
The pigeon sport is a family sport with Schreel. As well grandfather Remi, as his son Dirk and his grandson Dieter and even the mother of the family Francine are all fanatic fanciers. Remi: “I have several grandchildren but only one who adores the pigeons. I used to have pigeons all my life. Before, on the farm, there were always pigeons flying around. Everybody played the short distance and my father was one of the better of the region. Nevertheless, I have to mention that my mother was more of a fancier than my father and she learned me a lot. Already in those days, she always had some cheese in her pocket to make the birds tame and I guarantee that the pigeons were tame. In fact, I think that the birds came home for my mother instead of their hen. Till about 15 years ago, I always raced by my own name but when the grandson also showed his interest in the pigeon sport, we decided to put all our names on the result.”
Dirk continues: You don’t have to think that I’m only involved in the sport for the last 15 years. Oh no, already as a little boy, I often went on to the loft. My father always did the biggest part of the care-taking but because he has some problems with his health, these last few years, my wife Francine, my son Dieter and I always help out every day. Every morning, at 6 a.m., I’m present to take care of our birds; let them train, clean the loft, give them food and water…it all has to be done before I leave to my work. My father walls inside the pigeons and feeds them. At 16h30, Dieter arrives and he class inside the youngsters that still are outside and the widowers start their second training of the day. Around 18.00 hours, I take a look and our “day with the pigeons” is done. Luckily that we’re 4 persons to take care of the colony because it’s not an easy job to take care of 48 widowers and 16 racing hens. Add also about 150 youngsters and I don’t have to explain that the day of care-taking is well filled.
Throughout the years, the base of the colony is formed by pigeons of Lionel Debusschere (Hulste), Marc Pollin (Snellegem), Fernand Denduyver (Ichtegem), Platteeuw Kurt (Rumbeke), Kurt Dekeyser (Staden), Frank Verkinderen (Houthulst), Vanhee-Decoster (Jabbeke), Decaestecker-Ghielens (Gits) and Jozef Devriendt (Aartrijke). Our purpose is to do our very best on the national races. Before, we used to play the provincial programme but since a few years, we changed our purpose. We can’t complain about the results with highlights like 1e international St Vincent Franco-Belge against 1.700p and 1e national Tulle ’09 against 7.464 yearlings.
As we already mentioned, the racing team stands for 48 widowers and 16 hens, which are played by the pure widowhood. The widowers don’t breed in winter but they were free on the loft in winter and in spring. May be you won’t believe it but the season was already three weeks running when the cocks saw their hens for the first time.
To feed our pigeons, we follow the system of Kurt Platteeuw and we also use his mixture, which is commercialised by Beyers. It’s a basic mixture and when we feed our birds up, we use the sports mixture “long distance” Beyers. By using natural products like Probac 1000 and Oregano, we try to bring our pigeons in good health at the start. On medical level, we consult our vet Pascaline Van den Broucke. She tries to avoid the use of antibiotics too and she advice to leave the birds one week at home to rest instead of giving them a cure. Against ornithose, we don’t do anything; against cancer we use the “yellow drops” every week. But because we don’t have enough time, we don’t drop them in their noses but we mix it over the food.
The national winner
Before his national victory, this national winner, the “Brive” (B12-3017553) won 271e National Montauban 5.935p. – 1669e National Limoges 18.390p. – 143e National (z) Argenton 3.403p. and 638e National (z) Bourges 11.003p.
Dirk: “Luckily that my father was at home to clock the Brive winner because I was still at work when he arrived home. It was very exciting because father Remi, who can’t walk rather well, was waiting for the pigeons till he heard the door bell ring. He opened the door and when he returned back inside, he saw one of Brive sitting in front of the closed window. As fast as he could but very carefully, he went to the loft and luckily our widower had enough time in advance, to be clocked as the winner.”
Dirk, one more last question… what’s the greasy spot on the pigeon’s head. “Well, that’s garlic oil. We always put it on their head before we put them in the basket. We think this avoids fights in the basket. In a few days, it’s gone.”
Schreel Family, congratulations!
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