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  News > Geert and Clara Philips
  Geert and Clara Philips:
1st National Champion KBDB 2004 Middle Distance, 4th National Champion KBDB 2004 Yearbirds, and 1st Olympiad Bird Porto Allround Belgium 2004

by Stefan Mertens


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Clara and Geert

"Napan" - 1st
national Bourges

"Sanex III" - 1st
national Bourges

"Lezi" - 1st

"Lezil" - 2nd

The breeders'

The aviary
for the hens

One of two
widowhood lofts

widowhood loft

"Napan" --
Grembergen: To a lot of fanciers this loft is known as "Mister Bourges"-- a name received after winning the Bourges national for the third time, always in an impressive way. But for me, they're known as the loft with the top results. They achieve results that are so outstanding, everybody wonders if there were also other pigeons in the race! The question asked by both friends and rivals is "How is all that possible?" But those who know Geert and Clara are not surprised that such results are put on paper.

This husband-wife partnership makes up one of the most motivated pigeon fanciers I know. There in Grembergen, every detail counts. To give you an example, when we visited them at the beginning of October, the heating plates were standing on every widowers' loft, set on "on" at the same time the windows were standing open. "When you heat up the loft, you must ventilate," says our national champion. "Otherwise, you create a bad environment." As you can see, everything is very punctual. And if this is combined with high-quality pigeons, then it's hard to compete against them. Let's make a summary of the top results of the last years:

1st national Bourges against 15,131 yearbirds with "Napan" (also the fastest against 66,533 birds, with 17 m/m in front)
1st national Bourges 11,348 yearbirds with "Sanex III" (also the fastest one against 57,004 birds)
1st national Bourges against 11,315 yearbirds with "Zipa"
1st and 2nd semi-national Chateauroux against 7243 old birds with "Lezi"and "Lezil"
3rd national Bourges against 9759 old birds with "Jonge Excellent"
5th national La Souterraine against 1433 yearbirds with "Grijzen"
5th semi-national Argenton against 10,638 yearbirds with "Lezil"
5th national ace-pigeon middle distance KBDB 1999 with "Lezil"
6th national Bourges against 11,315 yearbirds with "Jonge Excellent"
6th national Champion KBDB yearbirds 2003
10th national Bourges against 10,670 yearbirds with "Lesou"
10th national champion middle distance KBDB 1999

If these are not top results, then I don't know what would be.


Since the first second (in 1971) that Geert and Clara became pigeon fanciers they wanted to be successful with widowers. Not that the youngbirds don't count, but except for letting them get some experience, they let the youngbirds do what they want.

The widowers' team will never be bigger than 35 birds. Geert and Clara each have their own loft. Geert had one with 20 cocks, and he says "When the door of Clara's loft opened, 12 heads were looking in my direction." Clara replies, "Every year at the beginning of the season, Geert's widowers always beat my team," says Clara. "But once the second part of the season arrives, my team becomes unbeatable."

Through the years the Philipses bought a lot of birds from different fanciers, but our friends were most successful with birds from Verstraete Raoul en Xavier (Oostakker), D'Hondt Sylvain and Hans (Semmerzake), Legiest Romain (Oostakker), Schellens through Herbots, Herbots Gebroeders (Halle-Booienhoven), Reynaert Antoon and Hilde (Passendale), and Vandenabeele Gaby (Dentergem).

Geert and Clara say, "Till a few years ago, we would let the widowers breed one round during the winter, but since 2000 our system has changed to 'dry-widowhood.' Once five days brooding in December or January and once at the end of March. In April, when the first people walk down the street in their T-shirts, we make the first training tosses. In different steps the distance goes to 60 km, and then they go with the club up to 181 km and 330 km. Before the racing season begins, we consult veterinarian Raf Herbots, and during the season we always follow his advice."

The Philipses continue, "Motivation is very important for widowers. Don't throw all your best cards on the table in the beginning of the season. No, in the first weeks everything happens here like with a lot of fanciers. Just showing hens before basketting, but when you see that the motivation is gone, then some tricks bring life into the loft again. Some of our tricks are one hen for the whole loft, opening an empty box, installing an extra shelf in the loft, etc. All of these things create new motivation."

"As we already said," Clara explains, "the youngbirds have a good life. The first and second round (around 100 youngsters) are quickly trained. By the middle of April they have already seen the inside of a basket. They're trained to 35 km. In May they're trained to 76 km. During the season when the weather is good, they are basketted weekly for a 180 or 330 km race. During the week, they're always tossed once a week at 33 km. We don't have any problems with youngsters who want to start a nest, but once August comes, they are separated and raced on the 'open-door system.'"


Drinkers are
off the floor


Hygiene is
taken seriously

Closed nest boxes

The widowers
during the moult

Inside the
widowers' loft


On 05-15-2004: Dourdan race--616 participating birds--1st nominated: 2nd. 2nd nominated: 1st.
On 05-22-2004: Dourdan race--308 participating birds--1st nominated: 1st. 2nd nominated: 5th
On 06-05-2004: Dourdan race--231 participating birds--1st nominated: 1st. 2nd nominated: 7th
On 06-12-2004: Dourdan race--160 participating birds--1st nominated: 1st. 2nd nominated: 6th
On 06-26-2004: Chateauroux race--493 participating birds--1st nominated: 1st. 2nd nominated: 5th.
On 07-17-2004: Bourges race--291 participating birds--1st nominated: 4th. 2nd nominated: 17th.


On 05-15-2004: Dourdan race--605 participating birds--1st nominated: 2nd. 2nd nominated: 1st
On 05-22-2004: Dourdan race--380 participating birds--1st nominated: 7th. 2nd nominated: 16th
On 05-29-2004: Dourdan race--295 participating birds--1st nominated: 13th. 2nd nominated: 35th
On 06-05-2004: Dourdan race--283 participating birds--1st nominated: 6th. 2nd nominated: 3rd
On 06-12-2004: Dourdan race--179 participating birds--1st nominated: 9th. 2nd nominated: 1st
On 06-26-2004: Chateauroux race--734 participating birds--1st nominated: 3rd. 2nd nominated: 2nd
On 07-17-2004: Bourges race--394 participating birds--1st nominated: 5th. 2nd nominated: 15th


SANJA 4414429/02

What a result list this is for a cock of only two years old. Next prizes in the first ten percent show his qualities.
From Noyon (181km): 1/347 - 16/853 - 22/480 - 24/530 - 45/473
From Dourdan (339km): 1/616 - 2/251 - 2/310 - 2/182 - 4/192 - 5/308 - 6/356 - 6/160 - 7/231 - 15/171 - 33/404
From Chateauroux (501km): 67/3542
From Bourges (456km): 14/508 - 167/1785 - 286 national against 10,182 birds (these are all on different Bourges races)
From Blois: 93rd/1295


Father: "Broer Sanex III." "Sanex III" won 1st national Bourges against 11,348 b. and was also the fastest against 57,004 birds. "Broer Sanex III" won 1st Bourges 516 birds (7th provincial against 3575 birds), 2nd Dourdan 97b., 3rd Dourdan 122b., 7th Dourdan 578b, 9th Dourdan 502b.

Grandfather is "Jonge Excellent" (4279670/91 - 6th national Bourges 11,362b. - 3rd national Bourges 9759 b. - 39th national Bourges against 8565 b.)
Grandmotheris"Sanap" 4492067/96 - comes from "Napan" (1st nat. Bourges 1996 - fastest 66,533b.) X "Zuster Assu's"

Mother: "Dochter Jacky" 2212561/98 - comes from Herbots and is a granddaughter of "Nationaal I"
Grandfather is "Jacky" 230365/87 - 4 x 1st (comes from "Zwarte Stoces")
Grandmother "Dochter Nationaal I" - Schellens

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Entrance to
the racing loft

"Miel" --

"Sanja" --

Three top

"Sazil" --

Three champion



More top breeders

OLYMPIC SAZIL 4414483/02

Is 1st Olympiadbird All-Round for Belgium for the Olympiad 2005 in Porto.
Here is his impressive result list:

From Noyon (181 km): 1/480 - 1/250 - 3/347 - 23/473
From Dourdan (339 km): 1/310 - 1/ 182 - 1/308 - 1/231 - 1/160 - 2/616 -2/192 - 8/404
From Bourges (456 km): 4/291
From Chateauroux (501 km): 1/493 (also 15th against 3542b.)


Father: "Lezil" 4488095/97 topbird won: 1st provincial Argenton 5177b. (5th semi-national against 10,638b.) - 2nd semi-national Chateauroux 7243b. - 28th semi-national Argenton 4470b. - 2nd Blois 566b. - Was in 1999 also 5th national ace-pigeon middle distance KBDB.
Grandfather is "Zilpan" 4637469/94
Grandmother is "Lesinne I" 4535750/94

Mother: "Sanap III" 4516646/00 - full sister of "Sanap" (mother "Sanex III")
Grandfather: "Napan" 4516090/95 : 1st national Bourges also fastest against 66,533 birds with 17 m/m in front.
Grandmother: "Zuster Assu's" 4520923/93

SHAFI 4412080/03

"This is my best yearbird," reveals Geert. "Shafi" has put the following "beauties" on paper:
From Noyon: 42nd against 1935b.
From Dourdan: 1/605 - 6/283 - 9/179 - 11/231 - 13/295 - 15/160 - 16/380 - 23/308 - 25/571
And further: 25th Bourges 1947b. - 85th Chateauroux 3542b.

His sister won 3rd Noyon 1985b. - 12th Noyon 2252b. - 2nd Dourdan 571b. - 8th Dourdan 356b. - 11th Dourdan 356b. - 10th Argenton 535b.

Father: "Son Figo" 3026067/02 - original Antoon and Hilde Reynaert (Passendale).
Grandfather: "Figo" 3020065/99 - won 1st national Bourges '01 against 12,296 old birds
Grandmother: "Madonna" 3194025/98 - daughter "Favori"

Mother: "Schapinne" 4458091/00
Grandfather: "Panter" 4152313/90 - 1st provincial Bourges 1323b. - 14th national Bourges 10,901b. - 1st Dourdan 377b. - 4th Dourdan 463b.
Grandmother: "Shana" 4488036/97 - daughter "Napan" and "Napan" won 1st national Bourges.


Noyon (181 km) 347 old birds: 1-3-29-46-79-116-170 (7/17)
Dourdan (339 km) 616 old birds: 1-2-4-10-23-32-45-90-155-183 (10/14)
Dourdan 308 old birds: 1-5-11-17-23-34-37-80-82 (9/16)
Dourdan 231 old birds: 1-3-4-6-7-11-17-22-26-32-43-47-50-59-60 (15/16)
Dourdan 160 old birds: 1-3-4-5-6-10-11-15-17-20-23-27-35-53-59 (15/16)
Chateauroux 446 old birds: 4-75 (2/2)
Chateauroux 493 old birds: 1-5-6-8-10-16-42-44-50-68-80 (12/16)
Chateauroux (provincial) 3542 old birds: 15-67-72-85-131-230-451-468 (11/16)
Argenton 2245 old birds: 18 (1/2)
Blois 201 old birds: 1-2-3-4-5-6-9-10-11-13 (10/16)
Blois 1295 old birds (provincial): 5-22-40-41-59-63-91-93-103-157 (10/16)
Bourges 279 old birds: 4-6-8-10-12-16-24-25-32-49-75-81 (12/14)
Dourdan 605 yearbirds: 1-2-5-10-35-81-86-113-132-135-150-163-176-192-196 (15/18)
Chateauroux 734 yearbirds: 2-3-8-12-26-28-31-43-53-57-121-122 (12/16)
Bourges 394 yearbirds: 4-5-15-19-44-51-52-77-97-107-129-131 (12/17)
Bourges 464 yearbirds: 1-3-13-19-30-37-39-58-66-73-110-151 (12/15)

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