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  News > Etienne De Rauw and Frans Sablon
     
  ETIENNE DE RAUW - FRANS SABLON
1ST NATIONAL CHAMPION LONG DISTANCE K.B.D.B.
2ND NATIONAL ACE-PIGEON LONG DISTANCE K.B.D.B.

by Stefan Mertens

 
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Etienne De Rauw
and Frans Sablon
 

 




LEBBEKE: I have a strong suspicion that this winter the "Veldekenstraat" in Lebbeke will be visited by a lot of pigeon fanciers. The reason for this is obvious. The "brother-in-law" team of Etienne De Rauw and Frans Sablon had a superb season in the 2001 national long-distance races. You want more details? Well…here they come. On all of the national races they participated in with old birds and yearlings, they basketed only a total of 64 pigeons, with 44 winning prizes. This is 70 percent prize-winning ratio. These kinds of results are easy to talk about, but putting them on paper is another story.

After such a strong season, the expectations to be good in the championships are very high. Certainly those of the national federation were very interesting. Our friends knew that they had a very strong coefficient for the national championship long distance, and their "511/99" would be right there in the national ace-pigeon competition long distance. Stressful times, because there are always rumors from other fanciers about other strong coefficients. But when the results came, the stress disappeared. Their "dream season" came with the national title on the long distance and the 2nd national ace-pigeon long distance. The championship was a real thriller because the difference in coefficient with the second nominated was very little, namely 1.61 percent. And when we have a look at the difference in coefficient between the 1st and 2nd national ace-pigeon, then we come to 0.065 percent. Unbelievable, but true.

 






Inside the
widower's loft 


 






SINCE 1973

"For thirty years, we have raced together," Etienne begins his story when we ask about the history of this team. "Earlier we each raced on our own name. We both specialized on the 350 km races, and these went very well. But on a cold winter evening, we decided to put our strength together and form one team, highlighting the national races. As base pigeons, we kept our middle-distance pigeons (mostly Tournier birds) and we succeeded very well. In 1975 we were 9th national champions in young birds. But in our experience those Tournier pigeons could use some strengthening, and so we visited a fancier named Rosseel near Ostend. Mr. Rosseel was well known for his investments in pigeons. The addition of the Rosseel pigeons was the best thing we ever did in our lives. In 1984 our '4360409/81' became 1st provincial ace-pigeon, and that cock had 50 percent Rosseel blood. But that's not all, because now we still find some Rosseel pigeons in the pedigree of our top birds. The line of the '009' is especially super."

"In 1983 we looked a second time for strength. Now we rang the doorbell of Jozef De Ridder (St. Ulriks Kapelle). Jozef was at that time simply the best at the long distance, so that was the right source for new strength for our loft. A total of more than 20 youngsters left De Ridder's in our basket. These were all top birds, such as the 'As', 'Motta' and so on…."

"In recent years we also succeeded with pigeons from De Graeve-Van Geert (Smetlede) and Freddy Vandenheede (Zingem). Our 'Drommer' comes out of a cock from Vandenheede and is one of our top birds."

"Do we buy birds every year? To be honest, no. And if we buy something, we add pigeons which already have our bloodline. We don't want our breeding loft to become a Foreign Legion. Therefore, we try always to breed together with other fanciers and so there is always 50 percent of our pigeons in the new breed."

 








The Racing Lofts 




LITTLE BUT FINE

For those who don't know it already, we don't find a lot of pigeons or huge lofts here. Etienne says, "It's quality above quantity. We'd rather select out one more pigeon than put a new box in the loft. For the 2002 season, we have only 14 old and 9 yearling widowers. The only disadvantage is that we don't have enough pigeons to play the whole national program."

But let's go back to the preparations for the 2001 season. "As our widowers start the racing season on the 'dry-widowhood' system, we see the preparations for a new season in two parts," says Frans. "First, we have the period from the new year until the third week-end in March (the date of coupling) and then the period until the racing season starts."

"Let's start with the first period," Frans continues. "That period is a kind of 'resting period.' During this period the widowers are sitting 'half-box' and the feeding is very light. With light feeding we are talking about adding barley to the mixture. The percentage of barley can go up to 50 percent. The other 50 percent contains a breeding mixture. When the weather is colder, we put less barley in the mixture. Three to four times a week we put supplements in the water or on the mixture. We are talking about Bio-Extract (garlic juice), Recup-Lyt (electrolytes), brewer's yeast, Vigosine, Naturaline, etc."

"At the end of February, we check a first time to see that everything is OK. We sample droppings over a five-day period and have them examined by a specialized vet for paratyphoid. If everything is OK, we don't treat otherwise, just follow the advice of the vet. Our stockbirds are vaccinated each year for paratyphoid. 'Start good from the base,' we always say."

"At the beginning of March we vaccinate against paramyxo, and a few days later, we have Tricho-Cure on the program. Because pigeons drink less in the winter than in the summer, we cure 7 days with Tricho Plus from Oropharma."

"Our widowers are always coupled on March 22nd and may brood for five days. When the weather is good, we start the first training flights while they are brooding. The first time we go to Deux-Acren (30 km) and then we go twice to Quievrain (68 km). Afterwards, once or twice to Noyon (168 km) and then they go on the middle distance."

"For us the 'real' racing season starts with Vierzon (430 km), and believe it or not, this season we had a very bad result on this race. We got such a bad drubbing that we couldn't sleep for a few nights. Why did we get that drubbing? Well, through the colder month of April we waited too long to treat our pigeons for ornithosis. Normally, before the season starts, we make sure that the widowers are free from ornithosis, but this year we waited too long. The drubbing at Vierzon woke us up and we treated our pigeons for ornithosis. Further into the season the widowers are treated between two races [the widowers fly every 14 or 21 days] for two days against trichomoniasis and two days against ornithosis."





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Where the widow
hens are kept 









PROTEIN POOR

"Once the season begins, our champions are well motivated. Every detail is important, and nothing is too much for the pigeons. When the widowers return home, we are already thinking about the next race. Therefore, the recuperation of the long-distance flyers is very important. Once the hens are separated, the widowers must have a warm bath. At the same time, they receive some terramycin eye ointment. When it is cold weather, we turn on the heating system."

"All the widowers have individual eating and drinking bowls. They receive a protein-poor feed mixture, and the last six meals before basketing, they get a racing mixture with an extra portion of French mais. Of course, they also get supplements like vitamins, Zell-Oxygen and brewer's yeast."

YOUNGBIRDS

Our team specializes with widowers, but they also achieve some nice results with the young birds on paper. Again, this is a matter of quality above quantity. Just 50 youngsters are weaned each year. He who wants to race well with youngsters must follow the darkening system. Therefore, the youngsters are darkened from weaning until the end of May from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. When the youngsters are darkened, it is not too dark in the loft. Etienne explains, "To read a paper would be difficult, but the youngsters can easily find the drinking bowl."

"Once the youngsters are training very well, the first training flights are planned. Five or six times they go to 68 km (Quievrain), and after three times to Noyon (168 km), they go on the middle-distance races. This year the cocks flew seven weeks in a row from Toury (350 km) and got as a dessert the national race from La Souterraine (550 km). The young hens were basketed on every national race."

THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WON BY 5 DIFFERENT WIDOWERS

FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP LONG DISTANCE, THE FANCIERS CAN TAKE THREE NATIONAL LONG-DISTANCE RACES AND CAN SCORE POINTS WITH THIS FIRST AND SECOND NOMINATED OLD BIRD. THE FANCIER WITH THE BEST COEFFICIENT WINS. ONE IMPORTANT DETAIL: FOR THIS CHAMPIONSHIP THE FANCIER CAN CHOOSE BETWEEN THE NATIONAL OR THE ZONAL RESULT. (Belgium is divided into three zones and every zone has its result. That result is called the zonal result.)

Personally, we were a little bit surprised when we saw that the national championship was won by five different widowers. The "511/99" (2nd national ace-pigeon long distance) had less participation in the national title than we thought. Etienne explains, "For Brive the '511' was 2nd nominated and he won the 47th zonal Brive against 5839 birds. His 2nd race was Cahors, and there he failed. He came home one day later but was not tired. His next race was Limoges, and because I didn't trust him I nominated him as 3rd bird. He won the 111th national prize against 8882 old birds. On his last race, Souillac, he was my 1st nominated bird, and he won the 24th national against 7214 birds. Unfortunately, my 2nd nominated bird failed, and so I couldn't take this race for the championship. Instead, I took the national race from Montauban, in which my 1st and 2nd nominated bird won the 27th and 67th zonal."

RESULTS

Hereby, we give you a summary of all the national races in which De Rauw-Sablon participated with old birds and yearlings in 2001.

Bourges
Local 328 old birds: 2-4-22-37-87 (5/7)
Zonal 9013 old birds: 61-114-730-1031-2028
National 21,593 old birds: 108-207-1502-2180-4497

Brive
Local 178 old birds: 8-12-13- (3/8)
Zonal 5839 old birds: 47-204-206-1212-1295 (5/8)
National 22,026 old birds: 243-983-986-5082-5396 (5/8)

Cahors National 9989 old birds: 1436 (1/2)

Montauban
Local 66 old birds: 2-5 (2/2)
Zonal 2049 old birds: 27-67 (2/2)
National 8027 old birds: 159-361 (2/2)

Barcelona 13,161 National: 3163 (1/2)

Limoges
Local 201 old birds: 1-2-4-11-14-31-34 (7/9)
Zonal 5311 old birds: 54-95-132-299-379-860-969 (7/9)
National 15,940 old birds: 210-346-471-980-1222-2847-3255

Limoges
Local 330 yearlings: 2-29-34-50-57 (5/8)
Zonal 8479 yearlings: 14-501-625-852-973
National 23,661 yearlings: 22-1665-2111-2911-3235 (5/8)

Souillac
Local 98 old birds: 1-3-5-8-29-30 (6/6)
Zonal 2525 old birds: 4-64-114-159-572-579 (6/6)
National 7214 old birds: 54-298-445-600-1711-1730 (6/6)

Beziers
Zonal 1904 old birds: 156 (1/5)
Zonal 1867 yearlings: 179-367 (2/4)
National 6522 old birds: 603 (1/5)
National 5420 yearlings: 536-1034 (2/4)

Bourges
Local 146 old birds: 1-6 (2/2)
Zonal 4774 old birds: 38-145 (2/2)
National 12,161 old birds: 84-310 (2/2)

TWO TOP BIRDS

"DEN AS" 4393511/99 2ND NATIONAL ACE-PIGEON LONG DISTANCE 2001

Results 2001
Brive: 243rd national 22,026 old birds
Limoges: 54th national 5311 old birds - 111th national 8882 two-year-old birds
Souillac: 54th national 7214 old birds

Pedigree
Father: 4002911/90
Grandfather: "De Barcelona" 4358204/80 100 percent Rosseel
Grandmother: 2566545/85 Daughter "As" J. De Ridder

Mother: 4002926/90 won as youngster 18th national Bourges 38,613 birds
Grandfather: 4360409/81 5th national ace-pigeon KBDB 1984 Rosseel X Tournier
Grandmother: 4475643/86 Rosseel X De Ridder

"DEN DROMER" 4393519/99

Results 1999
503 national Bourges 44,185 birds
1798 national Argenton 22,151 birds
1189 national La Souterraine 14,957 birds
369 national La Souterraine 9061 birds

Results 2000
93 provincial Bourges 3575 birds
73 interprovincial Chateauroux 6832 birds
141 interprovincial Chateauroux 6838 birds
15 interprovincial Argenton 7452 birds
120 national Limoges 23,550 birds

Results 2001
108 national Bourges 21,593 birds
193 provincial Chateauroux 3799 birds
371 interprovincial La Souterraine 5466 birds
166 national Limoges 8882 old birds
84 national Bourges 12,161 old birds

Pedigree

Father: 4407032/94 Freddy Vandenheede (Zingem)
Grandfather: "Antigoon" 4733093/88 Freddy Vandenheede
Grandmother: "T Krijt" Freddy Vandenheede

Mother: 4184712/98
Won 38 Bourges 3015 birds
Won 79 Argenton 1411 birds
Won 43 La Souterraine 699 birds
Won 12 Dourdan 412 birds
Grandfather: 4261261/91
Won 123 Bourges 10,156 birds
Won 4 Chateauroux 6140 birds
Won 22 Limoges 10,675 birds
Won 17 Marseille 2932 birds
Grandmother: 4391925/96
Won 10 Bourges 1175 birds
Won 22 Argenton 533 birds
Won 15 La Souterraine 303 birds


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