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Chris Hebberecht, 1st National champion Long Distance KBDB 2015
Constantly performing on a high level, there are only a few who can manage this. Getting a top result isn't easy to start with, but achieving this year after year. Only the true champions are being able to live up to this every year again. Score an ace pigeon, win a national championship or get a national victory every year again. It makes sure you have the different glorious moments but also the additional pressure comes along with it. Competition is watching you closely and seeing a champion fail is something many people look out for. Not very nice, I know, but this is only human…So you have to be very self-confident and have to know for sure what you're doing to conquer this pressure. We could visit Chris Hebberecht, one of the biggest long distance championships of the last decade. The occasion this time was the victory of the national championship long distance. But in fact this title doesn't live up to the impressive palmares that Chris managed to conjure. Also in 2015 the list is magistral:
1° National champion Long Distance KBDB
4° National champion Long Distance Old pigeons KBDB
6° National Ace Pigeon Long Distance Old KBDB
1° Champion Long Distance Old & Year birds (1 & 2)
5° Ace Pigeon Long Distance Old & Year birds
9° Champion Long Distance youngsters (1 & 2)
Championships Belgische Verstandhouding/Entente Belge
4° Criterium der Azen
7° Team Champion (with Verstraete R & X)
12° General Champion
Co-winner Tierce Long Distance & Sextet
1° Champion Super Marathon
1° Champion Long Distance Old (1 & 2)
2° Champion –Championship Old & Year birds
4° General Champion
5° Champion Long Distance
Championships Grand Slam
1° National Decathlon
1° Champion Steeple Cup
1° Champion Champions League
11° National Marathon
3° Champion Long Distance Old
3° Champion Extreme long distance
6° Champion Shorter Long Distance
8° Champion Long Distance Youngsters
1° Champion Belgian National Fondtrophy old
1° Jan Breydel Marathon (already 4 X winner)
1° Ace pigeon Belgian National Fondtrophy old (with "Eros")
3° Ace pigeon Jan Breydel Marathon (with Emir)
Championships Club der XX
1° General Champion
1° Champion Extreme Long Distance
1° Champion Long Distance
6° Champion youngster
Championship Vlaamse Fondvrienden
1° General Champion
2° champion extreme long distance
2° champion long distance
Championships Cureghem centre
3° champion long distance
Championships Fondclub Lokeren
1° Champion extreme long distance
1° champion Superchampionship extreme long distance
1° Jackpot Yearbirds
2° Ace pigeon Extreme long distance
3° Champion Rhonevallei
4° Champion extreme long distance year birds
Championships Fondclub Eeklo
2° champion long distance
It had to be horror for the opponents to see Chris and his racing machines entering the races. You know pigeons of top quality are necessary to beat him; people stay awake for less at night. To know how a top season looks like, we take a walk through 2015.
Limoges, a difficult start
As for most of the long distance racers, the first Limoges of the season is the start of the long distance season. Everybody wants to be ready by then. To be ready Chris's pigeons went as much as possible on the spring races and the first break the birds got was the weekend of Vierzon. For Vierzon, just as the races from 300km, it isn't the goal to have the first pigeon but the birds have to follow each other quickly. One was very pleased about this in Evergem. How where they prepared after that for Limoges? Chris swears allegiance with 50% super diet with 50% off 3 different sports mixtures. He is especially pleased about the new mixtures of Versele (black label). Next to that the necessary attention is being given to the intestines and airways. Sedochol, angel drink (Blubke) and products from Brockamp are being used on a regular base to pilot the pigeons on a natural way for their first appointment. From Saturday onwards the feeding continued for basketing on Wednesday and this how the entire team was basketed.
But we saw a very difficult Limoges . A race that stayed open for too long pointed out that the birds had to cross severe weather. Chris started early with a 39th national, but several top pigeons only came home the next day. Yet a crucial moment in the season. At that moment Chris realized that a smooth recuperation is of huge importance to have them ready within two or three weeks. Cahors was the first meeting and what a race was this. With a south east wind the pigeons left just before a coming shower. It was an extraordinary race with speed limits between 1200 and 1300 meters. In Evergem six were basketed and four of them ended up in the first 100 national arrivals against more than 6,000 pigeons. 'Eros' had but the base on this Cahors for his later top quotation in the national championship long distance with a 92th national spot. 'Eros' is a quality cock that is a descendant of 'Jaws' (3rd national ace pigeon long distance KBDB 2010).
Pau, masterly heavy!
Chris knew that his pigeons were in top condition and could go to Pau with a lot of self-confidence. He had two of his absolute top pigeons in the race. 'Desterteur' had a 5th national on this race last year and 'Emir' was good for the 103rd national in 2014. Both have a father that is a son of 'Eurodiamond' from Brockamp. The mother of 'Deserteur' is a daughter of 'Pancho', the mother of 'Emir' has the divine blood of 'Champion' running through her veins. Pau 2015 was a real battle. With wind from the northern direction only one bird reach his home in Belgium on the first day. Also the second day started difficult. But the long distance champions from Chris showed themselves marvelously. 'Deserteur' landed sometime after 9 o'clock and got the 33rd national and also 'Emir' was clocked with a 105th national. Immediately Chris had his first top result for the national championship.
There wasn't a lot of time to celebrate, as Agen was the second international flight on the program. It was a warm edition that was signed by a southeastern wind with high speed levels above 1300 meter. The heat took care of huge differences in arrival times. Pigeons needed to be in top condition to enter the top results. In Evergem four pigeons were basketed. Only 20 minutes after the first national a son from wonder cock 'Ike' came in for a 16th national. And only 25 minutes later almost at the same time his first and second given came home to take the 76th and 77th place in the national ranking. 'Expres' a son from former mentioned 'Champion' and 'Elvis', nest brother of 'Emir' and again a product from a son of 'Eurodiamond'. Also 'Expres' has got Brockampblood running through his veins. The second top result was a fact and one could start dreaming of more.
The weekend of the year was coming up. With Barcelona and Montauban, two classics were scheduled. This weekend is probably the most spoken of in the last few years. Weather conditions were tropical and many had doubts about releasing the birds or not. Eventually the Barcelona classic was a really severe one and for a mysterious reason Montauban was delayed until Monday. Again it was 'Eros' who got another top result with the 15th national.
Sint-Vincent, the first real chance
At the weekend of St. Vincent again the two top cocks 'Deserteur' and 'Emir' were put in the race. Expectations were high. 'Emir' didn't let down and clocked for the 152nd national. But 'Deserteur' wasn't there. Anxiously the waiting for 'Deserteur' started, but a few hours after closure of the race 'Deserteur' raced home. He missed completely, it can happen to the best. But as many know, this doesn't happen twice to a real good one…
Eros, top result n° 3
The Marseille weekend ended up with a perfect 3 out of 3, but without top results. It can't be Sunday every day, but actually Chris was looking out for Jarnac where 'Eros' could race as a top candidate for ace pigeon championship. A northeastern wind combined with clouds on the way made it a cavalry. But being in a superb condition can help and indeed 'Eros' didn't bother a lot about the weather conditions along the way and ended up 17th national. His third top quotation and a certainty for the national championships, but in Evergem it still wasn't enough.
Narbonne, second chance
On Narbonne another top team was prepared for the start. After the long break in Agen Chris did hesitate a bit. The weather made it really difficult for the birds from West- and East Flanders. Treacherously weather over the western half of France combined with a strong western wind pushed the pigeons to the Rhone valley. It is no wonder that the top quotations were in Germany and the far east of Belgium. But as always there are a few that don't bother about the conditions and made it home in East-Flanders. In Evergem they got one home at 22u00, a year bird of all sakes! The next day 'Expres' came home and still got a second spot locally. A very nice quotation but unfortunately no top national quotation. One just can't choose the weather. Even though locally 4 out of 5 made a good quotation with the old birds and a 12th national with the year birds.
Perpignan, third time good time
Last meeting of the year was Libourne and Perpignan. There was a healthy tension in Evergem. There was pressure for that national top quotation from 'Eros', 'Desesteur' and 'Emir'. But also there was a lot of confidence in these pigeons. They were in great shape. Now it was just waiting for Friday. Perpignan became a flight as in the old days. With eastern wind and hot temperatures the pigeons had to get the most out of it. Only about twelve of them made it home. The day after every long distance fancier had to wake up really early. At 7u14 'Emir' appeared at the horizon and made it even more exciting. 'Deserteur' won't miss a second time, will he? At these moments tension is really high. Twenty minutes later another spot on the horizon that raced like crazy to the loft. Bam, 'Deserteur' takes care of euphoria. 35th and 49th national, the top result needed for the title of national champion extreme long distance KBDB.
Would 'Eros' be the cherry on the pie? And yes, after a heavy 700 km flight from Libourne he showed himself present. Unfortunately beaten by two loft mates, so no improvement of his coefficient. This last long distance weekend meant even though a nice ending of an amazing season.
The key to success
What makes it that Chris Hebberecht performs constantly on a high level. Chris has a really strong recipe: a secure race where only sporadically some reinforcement is put in. To match the firm breeding line with other top lines always takes care of fireworks. A base that go back to the sixties, when raced under the name Octaaf, Chris's father. This line of pigeons make successes with other fanciers as well and show their class. Think about the top pigeons at Raoul and Xavier Verstraete 'Topstar' and 'Xtra'. Anyway this line takes care of regularity and marvelous results.
The platoon that Chris selected to create glory moments next year is masterly. A group of nicely built pigeons with a shining health. I fear that one has to beat Chris first to enter the long distance and extreme long distance championships. It won't be surprising when another top quotation will be noted at this loft. In Evergem they know really well what they're doing.
Charles Siegel and Son, Inc.
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