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  News > National Winners Belgium 2003 - Part I
  National Winners
Belgium - 2003
Part 1
by Stefan Mertens

Part 1of Two Parts. For Part 2 click here.

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Jef DeRidder
Winner of First
National Cahors

The "Cahors"

Mortier Hendrik

The season 2003 will be remembered as a very strange season. First of all, there was the very difficult start. Due to the "avian influenza" pigeons were not allowed to enter France, and so the preparations for the first long-distance races were not good. The result was that the Brive, Bourges and Pau races were cancelled, so we had to start with Cahors.

06.14.03 CAHORS (distance Brussels: 770km)


Participating birds: 4555 old birds: 1. Jef De Ridder (1025.04 m/m) 2. Gerard and Muriel Adam (1021.28m) 3. Fesler Raymond (1019.24m) 4. Limbourg Erik (1017.64 m/m) 5. Timmermans Jos (1012.95m/m)

Normally, Cahors was the first national race, but a part of the province Antwerp couldn't enter France; therefore, this race was not seen as a national but as an interprovincial race.

The winner of this race was good old Jef De Ridder from St. Ulriks Kapelle (near Brussels). Jef is 79 years old and has been a well-known fancier for many years. He is also a fancier who can say that a lot of other fanciers have succeeded with his birds. His well-known top breeders were the "As" (2436386/80) and "Motta" (2304634/83). Jef has 26 widowers and the nationals are his target. The widowers are raced every two to three weeks.

Jeff explains, "My method is very simple. I always feed a very varied mixture of which paddy rice and soja are two important components. On a regular basis I visit the vet, and to fight trichomoniasis I give Spartrix or Flagyl. A product which I give a lot (approximately three times a week) is Propolis. I make a kind of 'cocktail' with alcohol and pure honey."

The "Cahors" (2389218/99) is a very nice bird. His father is the "2439256/98" (grandson Motta X Florizoone). Mother is "2018902/97" (granddaughter Motta).

06.21.03 CASTRES (distance Brussels: 820 km)


Participating birds: 4063 old birds: 1. Hendrik Mortier (1104.24 m/m) 2. Hebberecht Chris (1101.37 m/m) 3. Santens Marc en Gerard (1091.33 m/m) 4. Verschelde Marc (1089.51 m/m) 5. Santens Marc en Gerard (1078.30 m/m)
Hendrik Mortier was born in a pigeon family. Father, grandfather--they were all pigeon fanciers. Not many pigeons in the loft--25 widowers, 40 youngsters and 10 breeders. The origins are Debuck Paul (Assebroek), Van Wildemeersch Frans (Brugge), Deschacht Chris (Loppem), Peter Samays (Brugge), Robert Dobbelaere (Marke), Van Dijcke Roger (Lissewege), Dhaenekindt Georges (Brugge), Braet Robert (Maldegem) and Van Damme-Boddaert (Oostkamp).

Mortier explains, "The widowers are coupled April 1st, and after a few days of nesting they're on widowhood. The widowers always drink and eat individually (in winter and in summer). When you're basketting for the very long-distance races, then it is important that the widowers' appetites stay up between the two races. Not too heavy in the beginning and heavier the last two days before basketting is the secret to keep them eating. There's a lot of variation in the mixtures that I give. I can say that they never receive the same mixture for two meals."


Gaston DeWulf
Winner of 1st
National Montauban


This hen won
1st National
Barcelona for

The Fauche Brothers
Winners of 1st
International Barcelona

Mortier continues, "On the medical scene, I follow my vet's advice, and when I give vitamins, I give them in pill form, never on the feed mixture or in the drinking water. Motivation is very important. I have seven lofts, and in every loft I have empty boxes. Also the 'Lichten' (national winner) had an extra box as extra motivation. He was so afraid that some other cock would take his new box that the last days before basketting I wouldn't train any more. He stayed in the sputnik."

The father of the "Lichten" is the "3060186/98" (comes from Willy Rotsaert and is a pure Roger Van Quickenborne (Lambiek X Belami)).
Mother of "Lichten" is "4102304/99 (75% Vandenabeele Gaby) and is a daughter of the world famous "Barcelona" from Maurits Verscheure (Knesselare).

07.28.03 MONTAUBAN (distance Brussels: 800km)


Participating birds: 6970 old birds: 1. Dewulf Gaston (1177.21 m/m) 2. Martens Cyriel (1173.68 m/m) 3. Mortier Hendrik (1171.37m/m) 4. Wwdw Georges Messiaen en zoon (1170.85 m/m) 5. Smits Felix (1170.53 m/m)

Gaston Dewulf, at 67 years old, is a very happy man when we congratulate him with his victory. Gaston says, "I'm happy because I'm not that 'proffesional' guy in the pigeon sport. I am, as they say, a fancier with an old method. In total I have 52 widowers, 70 youngsters and 12 breeder pairs. My base pigeons come from Silvere Toye (Otegem), Devos Etienne (Deerlijk), Depraetere-Delorge (Kortrijk), Lippens Noel (Aarsele), Ivan Delrue (Bovekerke) and Georges Bolle (Kortemark)."

Dewulf continues, "The widowers are coupled on February 20. They may breed a couple of youngsters and then they're on widowhood. For the rest, nothing special. Feeding is from light to heavy, and on the medical scene everything is followed very well with a cure against trichomoniasis after every race. Against ornithosis, I cure when I think it is necessary."

And then the national winner--he 's called the "Witoog" (931/99). As a four-year-old, he is a very good long-distance racer. His father is the "506/97" (strain Etienne Devos X Lippens) and the mother is "790/94" (strain Devos X Waelkens Bruno).

08.04.03 BARCELONA (distance Brussels: 1060km)


Participating birds: 20415 old birds: 1. Fauche Freres (1104.98m) 2. Rutz en zoon (1040.43m) 2. Rudolf Grun (1013.22m) 4. Lessmeister Lothar (997.22m) 5. Van De Velde Chris en Jaap (989.58m)

The international race from Barcelona this year had 20,415 pigeons at the start. There were 11,985 from Belgium, 3,914 from The Netherlands, 1,897 from France, 2,408 from Germany, 143 from England, and 68 from Luxembourg.

There were not many pigeons from The Netherlands, and the reason is that some parts in Holland had still problems entering France. It is a pity that such things happen, but nothing could be done about it.

The pigeons were liberated on Friday at 9 o'clock, and the race could be closed at 10 o'clock on Sunday. International winners were the Fauche bothers (Belgium), this before Rutz and Son (Germany). In Holland Chris and Jaap V.D. Velden (5th international) won.

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This hen, daughter
of the "39," won
1st International

Chris and Jaap
Van De Velde,
Barcelona Winners
for the Netherlands

Jaap and Chris
with some of their

This pigeon won
1st National
St. Vincent

Jaak Van Ouwerkerk
and his wife
Irene Dekkers,
Winners of 1st National
St. Vincent


As already mentioned, the international winners are the Fauche Brothers. The Fauche brothers live in Waret l'Eveque (near Liege) and are a well-known name on the very long-distance races. The brothers Jean-Louis and Jean-Claude Fauche started in 1984 with pigeons, and after a short time they were at the top in pigeon sport. Before their international Barcelona victory, they won 1st semi-national Jarnac (3442 pigeons), 1st international Bordeaux (4373 pigeons), 1st international Marseille (1416 pigeons) and 1st international Pau (7760 pigeons).
The two base pigeons are a pigeon from a certain fancier Deroo (Halle-Booienhoven) and a son from a Bourges winner from Mario Kepski. Those pigeons were strengthened with pigeons from Francois Collard (Marbaix), Roger Lesire (Chatelet) and Gijsselbrecht (Knesselare).
Fauche Brothers have a nice team of 100 widowers, some nesthens, 40 breeding pairs, and 150 youngbirds. For Barcelona, they basketted 36 widowers and 4 nesthens, and it was one of those hens that was the international winner. She was basketted with five-day-old young in the nest.

The international winner (1024337-99) is a daughter of the "39" (1073439-91). The "39" was the 2nd Olympiad pigeon Belgium Long distance Bazel '97. He's coming from the "Rode Lesire" (17025-85) X "Blue Hen Collard" (415-84). The mother of the international winner is "677/97" coming from "557/95" (son Laureaat Barcelona (international winner Barcelona '95 from Gijsselbrecht) X "Het 80".


Chris and Jaap live in Zuid-beijerland, the western part of Holland. When you know that the top prizes of Barcelona are won on the eastern side, then we can say that Chris and Jaap put a top result on paper. Internationally, they're in fifth place, after one Belgian and three German pigeons.

Chris and Jaap concentrate on the long- and very long-distance races. They have 30 widowers and 60 nestcouples (only basketted on very long distance races). The nestpigeons are coupled on March 21 and may breed a couple of youngsters. Afterwards they may brood again, and then they are separated. For Barcelona they're basketted on youngsters from four to five days old.
Top results of the last years are: 1st national Bergerac (2000) - 1st national Cahors (1996) - 1st national Carcasonne (1994) - Winner Europabeker (1995) and so on.

The national winner is "Cheeta" (1505508/97), a very nice hen who won before her national victory the 32nd national Perpignan, 84th national Montauban, and the 129th Pau.
And now the pedigree of "Cheeta". Her father is "Zoon Barcelona" (5317716/87) Cretien Vanoppen - a very good breeder. He's coming from "De Barcelona" (5251150/85 - 1st international Barcelona 97 - strain Kuypers x Simons ) X his mother "1028357-83" (strain Simons line Oud Doffertje)
Mother "Cheeta" is "NL 93-2792694" coming from H. Peeters (strain Catrijse).

07.01.03 ST VINCENT (distance Brussels: 900km)

WINNER: Van Ouwerkerk - Dekkers

Participating birds: 4935 yearbirds: 1. Van Ouwerkerk-Dekkers (1134.16 m/m) 2. Denijs Emiel (1107.97 m/m) 3. Viaene Ignace (1089.97 m/m) 4. Neyrinck Antoine (1065.55m/m) 5. Cneut Marino (1062.55m).

What a week-end for our friends Jaak Van Ouwerkerk and his wife Irene Dekkers. In the same week-end they won not only the first national St Vincent yearbirds, but they also won the 1st provincial Barcelona against 952 old birds. You can imagine that there was more than one bottle champagne standing on the table!

Our national winners had already had pigeons their whole lives, but in the beginning they raced with Tripplers. Tripplers are a kind of pîgeon that can fly 18 to 20 hours without resting. But in 1995 they changed everything and started with racing pigeons. They were in love with the very long distance, and so they bought pigeons by Van Der Wegen - Wijnacker, Braakhuis, Gebr. Kuijpers, Jan Theelen, Jos Thoné and Roger Gulck. Jaak loves to basket a lot of pigeons and therefore they have 100 couples on total widowhood, 60 breeding couples, and about 400 youngsters.

Training is the secret word here, and the cocks train twice a day (in the morning two hours mandatory, and in the evening one hour with open window). The hens train only once, a mandatory two hours in the evening.

The pigeons that are raced on total widowhood are coupled on April 1st , but they're already trained on March 1st. So from the first races they're already in the basket. For Barcelona we had 42 birds, and for St. Vincent 65 birds in the basket. The national winner is "Miss St Vincent"--a nice blue hen with very strong eyes.

Her father is "Blauw Genopte" 6515340/00 (brother of 8th national Perpignan - strain VD Wegen x 25% Thoné). The mother of "Miss St Vincent" comes from Miel Audenaerde (50% Florizoone ).

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Emiel Hermie's

07.05.03 LIMOGES (distance Brussels 600km)


Participating birds: 16,539 old birds: 1. Hermie Emiel (1243.61 m/m) 2. Andre en Patrick Desmet (1242.60 m/m) 3. Bert en Tom Puissant (1238.58 m/m) 4. Desmet Kurt (1236.02 m/m) 5. Vandemaele Wilfried (1235.82 m/m).

This national race is also known as Limoges Derby. There is a nomination race for only two-year-old birds within that race. Out of the 16,539 old birds there were 8484 two-years. The quickest bird was the cock of Emiel Hermie, and the winner by the two-years was the hen of Andre en Patrick Desmet.

Emiel Hermie has been a pigeon fancier his whole life, but this victory was his first "big" one. His favorite game is widowhood, and therefore he has 40 widowers. The widowers are prepared following the rules of "dry-widowhood". Emiel spends a lot of time with his birds, and that we can see because when we enter the loft not one widower leaves his box and they're all prepared to fight.

The winner is called the "Limoges" (4005250-00). Before his national victory, he won the 200th Bourges 3451 b. and 617th Chateauroux 6010b.
His father comes from the loft Oscar en Koen Brackenier (Oosterzele) and the mother from his own family X Rudy Coppens (strain Geert en Clara Philips).

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Limoges winner
Marc Pollin with
his wife and son

Marc Pollin's Limoges winner, a blue cock,
ring number

07.12.03 LIMOGES (distance Brussels: 600km)


Participating birds: 21,463 yearbirds: 1. Pollin Marc (1141.19 m/m) 2. Marcel Scharre (1139.92 m/m) 3. Dobbelaere Chris en Robert (1133.54 m/m) 4. Naessens-Blaublomme (1133.04 m/m) 5. Eric Edo (1130.52 m/m)

Marc is a well known fancier in Belgium. He is a man who basketted for almost every race. For example, in the week-end that Limoges was flown he had 10 pigeons on Dax, 14 pigeons on Poitiers, 32 pigeons on Limoges, and 66 youngsters on Blois.

Limoges national was not the first "big" victory for Marc. He also won the first international Perpignan in 1994. The base pigeons are pigeons from local but hard racing fanciers crossed with pigeons from Albert Derweduwen ans Santens.

Every year our friends have 100 widowers. After the last race, they may breed a couple of youngsters, and then they go to an aviary until March 15th . On March 25th they're coupled again and may brood a maximum of 10 days. Once the eggs are away, the widowhood is a fact and this lasts until the last race.

And then the Limoges winner. He is a nice blue cock (ring number: 3005118/02) who won before his national victory 60th provincial Ruffec 1403b. - 69th provincial Chateauroux 6564b. - 532nd provincial Chateauroux 6071b.

His father is the "3241428/00" named "Late Bert" and mother is "Tochter Sebastiaan" (Sebastiaan won the 2nd San Sebastiaen against 1193 birds)

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Jacques Mylle,
Dax 1st National
Winner, Belgium

"The Goeroe"
1st National Winner
Dax, Belgium

07.12.03 DAX (distance Brussels: 850km)

WINNER: International winner: Brian Scheppard (U.K.)
National winner Belgium: Jacques Mylle

Participating birds: 19,400 old birds: 1. Brian Scheppard - U.K. (1047.09 m/m) 2. Crowley-Green U.K. (1007.24 m/m) 3. Mylle Jacques - Belgium (1006.54 m/m) 4. Jonckheere Boudewijn - Belgium 5. Bernard Lesur - France (1001.17 m/m).


It never happened before, and now it is a fact. An English fancier won the first international. This happened with participating countries like Belgium, France, Netherlands, and Germany. The pigeon that won the race is called "The Legend" ( ring number 01E16065). "The Legend" is a nice bird that won a lot of top prizes on the very long distance before his international victory. The father of the "Legend" is directly Jos Thone (son "Sumo") and the mother is from his own family.

It is very good that this happens in the pigeon sport.


A "little" fancier--that's what we can say about Jacques. With only seven widowers, four couple breeders and 50 youngbirds, he's trying to compete with the "big" top lofts. "Quality above quantity," says Jacques, and the base of his loft is formed with pigeons from father Albert who had pigeons from Matton Jules, Simoens Camiel, Brusseel , Vercamer Gaston , Gebroeders Decroix and Pol Bostijn. The last years Jacques invested in birds from Roger Florizoone and De Weerdt Emiel. With a small number of pigeons, there are therefore a few races with only one or two birds basketted. "My wife and I are out working everyday, so not a lot of time is left for the pigeons." My teacher in the pigeon sport is Roger Florizoone. How to feed and when to treat my pigeons is all based on his experiences.

The national winner is named "The Goeroe" (3040959/00). He' s a red cock. His father is directly from the loft Deweerdt (Kortemark) and comes out "Jan" (3321989/96) X "441" (3321441/96). The mother of "Goeroe" is from the old base from father Albert Mylle and has Florizoone (line "Molenaar" and "Witneus") blood.

[Note: This is the first part of a two-part article. For Part 2, click here.]

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