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|News > Theo Janssens and Gerarda Boen|
Fanciers who follow the Belgian pigeon sport a little bit know that
a few years ago the national organization, the K.B.D.B., made a differentiation
between small middle distance and great middle distance. The national
championship termed great middle distance can be won with the best five
results with 1st and 2nd nominated old birds on races between 350km and
600km. This championship is only for old birds, and the total length of
the five races has to be a minimum of 2,000 kilometers. The period during
which this championship can be won is between the middle of May until
the middle of August. There has to be minimum of 150 participating birds
and 20 participating fanciers per race. In the weekend of the Bourges
national II, only this race counts.
The winner of this championship was the husband-wife team of Theo Janssens and Gerarda Boen from Mol.
Janssens-Mol had a coefficient of 38.09%. Second was Paul Becker from Budingen (coefficient of 42.03%), and third position was for Maurice and Yvan Vandersmissen from Rummen (coefficient 52.77%). Regular readers of my reports on SiegelPigeons.com will remember that for this championship, among others, fanciers did not have enough opportunities to create a low coefficient due to ending the races from France, caused by the bird flu.
BECAUSE BROTHER STOPPED RACING
Theo has reach the age of 66 years, and of course for some years he hasn't worked anymore. Theo started racing pigeons as a young guy. The national champion explains by saying, "I started with pigeons because my brother stopped." Theo continues--"First he asked my father if he was interested but my father said no. My father had a very busy job as a farmer and he had no time to race pigeons. The second option was to ask me, and there my brother was more successful. Even more, I was very happy, and I started with the birds from my brother with a lot of enthusiasm."
Theo explains, "Most of these birds came from a fancier named Jean Smaars (Mol). My brother worked for Jean, so the link is quickly made. The birds from Smaars had a lot of long- distance pigeons in their pedigree. But in spite of this, I raced them weekly on the short distance, namely Quievrain, and I can assure you that I did this with a lot of success. It is with a lot of joy that I think back on my two top birds, 'De Koekoek' and 'Kleine Blauwe.' Not only on the racing loft but later on in the beeding loft they performed extremely well. Nowadays I still find the names of these two birds back in the pedigree of some top birds."
"My first pigeon career stopped suddenly," Theo says, "when I started to work. This was at the same time that my father stopped as a farmer, and we had to move to another house, which brought my hobby to an end. My four best pigeons went to my brother-in-law. But the pigeon sport didn't disappear from my life for very long. My girlfriend and later on my wife, Gerarda Boen, was a daughter of a famous short-distance racer named Frans Boen, and without knowing I was again fascinated by this nice hobby. In 1963 I married Gerarda and a few weeks later our first round of young birds was sitting in a home-made pigeon loft. I again collected my old base from my brother-in-law and crossed this line with pigeons from my father-in-law. This made me a champion again."
Theo explains, "One of the base couples was without any doubt 'Goede Blauwe' X 'Late Duivin.' Out of this couple came a base cock. That base cock coupled with a hen of Lievens Brothers (Geel) put a lot of super fast short-distance pigeons into the world. But just because you have a superb breeding couple does not mean that you don't have to invest anymore. In 1986 I collected two hens from Hooyberghs Brothers of Mol. I was very successful with those new birds and three years later I bought 21 more pigeons from the Hooybreghs Brothers."
"In this last
deal," Theo continues, "there were two super pigeons, namely the '6611031/89'
and the '6611026/89.' The '031/99' was a pure Louis Van Loon pigeon
and won 5 x 1st and 2 x 2nd. The '026/89' was a cross of Van Loon X
Verstappen and won 2 x 1st and 5 x 2nd. In 1990 I bought three pigeons
from Flor Engels (Putte). There was one superb breeder among them. At
this moment there are still three sons of this Engels bird in my breeding
loft and several grand-children can show impressive race records. In
1991 there was an auction of summer birds from Verberck-Van Hove from
Berlaar, and when the auction was finished I went home with one hen.
That hen was coupled with a cock from Cyriel Vandereycken from Vorselaar
and it was bingo again. Certainly their son 'De Lichte 436' gave a lot
of good youngsters."
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During the racing
season at the Janssens-Boen lofts, the old cocks and hens are closed
up in their box and the windows of the lofts are closed with curtains.
The widowers come, with the exception of their training hours, only
a half hour per day free on the loft. Just time enough to drink and
to eat. In their box they have a little pot to drink from. "But be careful,"
Theo cautions, "widowers need to be used to the fact that they're closed
up. If they're not used to that, they're very nervous and that is not
good. During the winter time I already close up the widowers in their
box so that they know this system. I act as follows. When the new year
birds come into the loft I close up the old cocks. The year birds then
have time to take an empty box. Once they have chosen a box the year
birds are closed up in their box during the night, and the old cocks
come free on the loft. This way they have time to get to know each other."
"Concerning our system," Theo elaborates, "I must also say that my
wife has her own recipe to keep pigeons healthy. Look, here it is. She
uses a bottle with two liters of water in which she has had five cloves
of garlic soaking for a long time. From this, we mix one liter of 'garlic
water' with five liters of ordinary water. I can assure you, from the
smell, I can tell you that it's very healthful for the birds!"
Charles Siegel and Son Inc.
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