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|News > Luc Crucke|
1st National Ace Pigeon KBDB
Great Middle Distance
by Stefan Mertens
It must have been the second year that the KBDB differentiated between
the small middle distance and the great middle distance. For the championship
ace-pigeon great middle distance, you have to take the best four results,
specifically on races between 350km and 600km. In total, you need 1800km
and it must be in the period between May 13 and August 19. The winner
of this championship in 2006 was Luc Crucke.
The winning bird, named "VIP," is a grizzle cock. He won with an extremely low coefficient of 0.2405%. His top results of 2006 are: 1st Chateauroux against 3,665b., 1st Bourges against 1,752b., 1st Orleans against 465b., 2nd Argenton against 4,104b., 3rd Chateauroux against 2,793 birds, 4th Blois against 1,245b., and 11th Chateauroux against 4,349b.
The "VIP" was bought as a young bird by Charles Van Lancker (Oudenaarde). His father is the B04-4063763 "Grijzen" and comes out of B03-4201126 (1st Argenton against 5,130b.) X "Vuilke" (B00-4351569). His mother is B00-4056976. She comes from the coupling B96-4055590 X B95-4056356. The "VIP" is already sold to a fancier in China. In the national championship "VIP" won over the birds of Louis Van Den Eynde (0.7752%) and André Charles (1.0072%).
Another top bird of Luc Crucke is without any doubt the "826"( B05-4113826). He became 3rd provincial ace-pigeon with the following results: 8th Argenton against 4,104 birds , 8th Chateauroux against 3,114 birds , 33rd Chateauroux against 4,349 birds - 19th Bourges against 1,752 birds - 9th Vierzon against 786 birds.
Luc explains, "I must have been 14 years old when I started racing pigeons. I still remember an old bathroom was standing empty and I decided to rebuild the 'littlest room of the house' into a pigeon loft and a new 'love' was born. A few years later I stopped racing pigeons and I started cycling, but at a certain moment I liked to go to discothèques more and this couldn't be combined with cycling. I had to choose and I chose the discothèques. So I could go out dancing with the result that the pigeon sport came back into my life."
"In 1970 I moved to Asper," Luc continues, "and I became the neighbour of Jules Van Caeneghem. Jules was the best short- and middle-distance racer in the area and I bought a lot of birds from him. When Jules died in 1984 I bought all his pigeons and the breeding out of his birds was very successful. With the line of the Van Caneghem birds I won in 1987 the 1st national La Souterraine. In 1988 I clocked the 1st international Dax and again a year later I became 2nd general champion of Belgium. In those days everybody gambled a lot on their birds and I could earn nice money with the pigeons. In October 1992 I sold everything. I had too many birds, the pigeon sport was no hobby anymore and a divorce forced me to make this decision more quickly. If I think about those days then I can say that I had very good birds. Pigeons like my "Orleans" were real dream birds."
"In 1996 I wanted to start again with pigeons," Luc goes on, "and here and there I bought some pigeons. Immediately I put nice results on paper, but I must say that in the last three or four years, I'm with the big champions again. The reason for this success is the help of my friend and loft manager René Van De Velde. The base is still my old strain, but this time enriched with blood from pigeons from Guido Van Caneghem (Merelbeke), Charles Van Lancker (Heurne), Gilbert Meire (Astene), Johan De Vroe (Merelbeke) and Lucien Verstraete (Deinze)."
Luc is a very nice guy with a nice view on "the meaning of life." Luc says, "I'm 56 years old, I have enough money, a nice wife and all my children are already out of the house. So, why worry? Enjoying life is the only thing that counts. In 2005 I won the national race from La Souterraine against 15,406 youngsters. I'm not a young bird specialist so normally I don't basket for this kind of race. But on basketting day I thought, why not baskett for La Souterraine? I went to the young bird loft and I took two hens with a youngster of three or four days old. I went to the club and my friends asked me what I was doing there. I answered, 'I wanted to go out and therefore I thought why not participate in the La Souterraine race?'"
"My friends laughed at me," Luc recalls. "Two days later it was me who was laughing! I only won one prize out of the two basketted youngsters but it was the 1st national. No, don't think that I'm a miracle man. No, this winning little blue hen (B05-4113825) was out of my best breeding pair. Before La Souterraine she had already won a few early prizes and her nest position must have been very motivating. The winning bird from La Souterraine has been sold to China, to the same fancier who bought the "VIP". By the way, her brother (B04-4201088) became in 2005 the 2nd national ace-pigeon great middle distance with the following top results (no doubling): 2nd Chateauroux 564b. - 6th Chateauroux 5,831b. - 49th Chateauroux 4,854b. - 13th Argenton 5,066b. - 1st Bourges 1,607b. - 1st Vierzon 719b. For the national ace-pigeon only the best four results counted."
The parents of
the 2nd national ace-pigeon and the national winner from La Souterraine
are the "4532502/00" X "4456901/01." The "502/00" comes from Guido Van
Caeneghem. He was born out of a grandson and a daughter of the "Stijve"
(the base-pigeon of Guido Van Caeneghem). The "Stijve" was coupled with
a daughter of Luc's previously mentioned top bird, namely the "Orleans."
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"Some fanciers say that motivation is very important," Luc explains, "well,
I can tell you that here in Asper the motivation of the widowers is the
same every week. The hens are sitting in an aviary and on basketting day
I release the hens. Some girls fly directly to the widowers' loft. Others
first make some tours around the loft and then enter the widowers' loft.
When all the hens are outside, I take my basket, enter the widowers' loft
and start to basket the cocks. So there is no fixed rule in this motivation.
And now it comes: my best cock of 2005 (2nd national ace-pigeon) was always
one of the first cocks basketted. The national ace-pigeon of 2006 was
always the last one. So, again we have to say that in the case of luck,
nobody understands it! When the cocks come home from the race, they stay
together a few hours. When I come back from the club I put the hens away.
I can say that they never stay a night together. I'm convinced that a
widower starts to recuperate when the hen is away. He is not nervous anymore,
and he starts to eat and drink again."
Of course when somebody has in two years time once the 1st and once the 2nd national ace-pigeon, people ask what the secret is to breed a top bird. Luc answers, "Well, I don't know. The 2nd national ace-pigeon was bred in my loft, and the 1st was bought. My 2nd national ace was a beauty in the hand. He was 'the' bird in the loft, a real top guy ! My first national ace was more a 'strange guy.' To be honest, if you had asked me in the beginning of the racing season to select out five cocks, he would have certainly been in that group of five birds. He was not my type of pigeon. So, who knows?"
Luc says, "To invest in new pigeons is always good to do, but I don't do it every year. Be careful. I never buy 'a bird' from a fancier. No, when I buy pigeons from somebody then I always buy a whole round. I'm convinced that pigeons have to adapt to their new environment and when you buy a whole round then you have already increased your chance to be successful. It is just my opinion."
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"The young bird
season is not that important for me," Luc emphasizes. "The only thing
that counts is that the youngsters get the needed experience. Therefore,
they are always basketted for some middle-distance races. The youngsters
are not darkened and are outside as much as possible. The whole year
they stay together, and they can do what they want. The cocks that are
still in the young bird loft at the end of the year go to the loft of
the year birds. I don't care if they have won a single prize as a youngbird
or not. As a year bird, they have to perform very well or they're selected
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