Click on any
for larger version
MEULEMANS – DAMEN
1st INTERNATIONAL ST.VINCENT 11,270 OLD BIRDS
By Stefan Mertens
Arendonk: The international victory from St. Vincent has been clocked in the north of the province of Antwerp; with Meulemans-Damen in Arendonk. It wouldn’t surprise us that each fancier is happy for Karel, Linda and Walter to have won this victory. For several decennia, Karel Meulemans has taken care of strong results with the pigeons. It’s no exaggeration if we say that Karel helped writing a piece of the Belgian pigeon history. Karel did a lot to create the present Belgian modern race pigeon! In many books they wrote about the value of the most famous breeding pair of all times: the “Oude Van de Bosch” x the “Blauwe Janssen”. This pair was formed by Karel and his partner in those days; Adriaan Wouters and their children like “Merckx”, “Junior”, “Piet”, “Witneus”, “Liebling” etc…. all became very famous.
Later on, when Karel formed a duo with his son in law Frans Mariën, the world of the middle distance turned upside down. Their top-pigeons among which the “Kadet”, “Prins”, “Schoon Donker” etc… beat the competition every week again. They dominated so hard that weren’t allowed to play any longer in the large game; the “Zuiderkempen”. We’re talking about the year of ’78. The sudden death of Frans was the end of the famous tandem and all birds were sold in a public auction.
After the auction, Karel’s daughter Linda couldn’t hide her interest for pigeons any longer and so a new combination was formed. The first year, they played by the name of daughter Linda but afterwards this was changed into Meulemans-Damen.
INTERNATIONAL ST VINCENT
St. Vincent international was won by a living legend …a fancier like we don’t find any longer! Despite all commotion that comes along with an international victory, Karel remains calm…no bluffing…no shouting…but with as careful as always to find his words to give the proper answers to all questions. “Arendonk isn’t always well situated to score at the top on the heavy long distance races” Karel begins his story, “certainly not when the weather is hard for the birds. We race on the longest distance but this time it seemed to be the good position because we’re at the top of the result”.
The international winner, now baptised as the “St. Vincent”, is a wonderful blue cock, which already can show a rather impressive prize list (see further on) with even first prizes from Montauban and Perpignan. On the question if he was especially motivated for this race, Karel answered: “Not directly because the day of basketing, he only got his nest-bowl and his complete box. But basketing was on the same day that the birds from Limoges arrived and for a couple of hours, there was a lot of movement on the loft next to him. He heard pigeons being called inside and he heard other cocks receiving their hens, etc…. I think this must have been the extra motivation to give all he had.”
Karel and Linda put in 2 St. Vincent racers: on provincial level they win 1e and 7e prize, on national level against 3.240 old: 1e and 102e. Released at 7h35, the “St.Vincent” has been clocked at 21h 43min 52sec at a distance of 974km, at a speed of 1.147,93 m/m.
The “St. Vincent” is part of a team of 15 old and 20 yearling birds. This group of widowers partly stay on the lofts behind Linda’s house and partly on the lofts at Karel’s. Because of some health problems of Karel, the widowers were moved last year. Before they used to race above the breeding loft but they were moved to a loft on the ground. Karel: “I was really scared that the pigeons wouldn’t get used to their new loft and so I also was afraid for their results. Nevertheless, the results proved the contrary and my fear was totally unnecessary.”
Before the season, the widowers never breed. They were paired on March 20th and they could breed for one week. During this breeding period, they got their first training flights and the preparation of the following long distance season could start.
We always try to do the care-taking very punctual. We like our lofts to be clean and we do everything to get and keep the birds in a good condition. I mix the food of 3 firms (Versele – Beyers – Natural) and at first I feed a protein arm mixture (Gerry Plus) and next feed them up with a mix of sports mixtures. The pigeons can eat as much as they want for about 15 till 20 minutes. Afterwards, it’s all taken away and they get some fresh little stones and candy seeds. Twice a week, they get Zell Oxygen and Optimix (Herbots) over the food.
Karel, Linda and Walter, congratulations and enjoy this fabulous victory !
Click here to return to top of page.