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Limal: Is it a unique phenomenon? As far as I know it is. We are speaking about the fact that one fancier two years in a row becomes national champion in the short distance category. This unique accomplishment has been performed by our friend in the sport Luc Poncelet from Limal. Limal is situated in the neighbourhood of Nijvel, or in other words south of the capital city of Belgium, namely Brussels.
In fact Luc has not been a pigeon fancier for long time, but to say that the pigeon sport was a foreign thing to him would be a lie. His father Alphonse was a very good pigeon fancier and Luc supported him in his hobby. But in May of 2004 father Alphonse died and Luc had to make the choice between selling all the pigeons or continuing the hobby of his late father. After thinking about it for some days, Luc decided to keep the pigeons and to continue the hobby of his father. The pigeon sport had brought so much joy to the Poncelet family, and Luc was hoping to enjoy the pigeons as much as his father had.
Luc is a man who admires “mother nature.” In addition to the fact that he is one of the best short-distance pigeon racers of Belgium, he is also a fanatic rose breeder. “I have more than 500 roses in my garden,” says our national champion, “and just like in the pigeon sport, a rose breeder has also his favourite strains. Personally, I admire the roses of the strain of Louis Lens. By the way, I invite you to visit me again during the summer period. Then all the roses are in bloom. I can guarantee you that it is a beautiful thing to see. Can you believe that, when the flowers are in blossom, I have a lot of visitors here? People come and have a look at my garden."
"You know what?" Luc continues. "When I have to choose between my pigeons or my flowers I would deliberate a long time, but in the end I think I would choose my flowers. Next to these things, I also love my rabbits, chickens, ducks and canaries a lot. In fact, everything which has to do with “mother nature” interests me. Every day during the week I’m working in an office in Brussels, and when I’m finished working I’m more than happy that I can go to my favourite place on earth. That is my garden!”
The 2004 season was one of learning from a lot of mistakes, but the 2005 season was a superb one. From a phenomenal 50 first prizes, Luc became 2nd provincial champion short distance, 7th national ace KBDB short distance and 10th national champion KBDB short distance. Not bad for somebody who just started in the pigeon sport! Luc pointed out his goal for the 2006 season to become provincial champion short distance, and he kept his word because at the end of the season he was celebrated as the best short-distance fancier of his province. The number of 1st prizes was standing at 10 and we found the name Poncelet back at 8th place in the national championship short distance.
Luc enjoyed the celebration of the national champions, and his great dream was to become someday the best fancier of Belgium. Well, again Luc kept his word and made his dream come true. In 2007 our friend in the sport became national champion KBDB short distance. But as much of a fanatic as Luc is, he wanted more and he told some very good friends that he would go for a second national title in a row. At the end of 2008 this dream also came true. A unique pigeon history has been written at the Avenue Georgette in Limal.
If he wants to compete at the same level as the national champions, sometimes a pigeon fancier needs to have some luck in his career. He needs, by way of speaking, to win the lottery. Well, Luc bought a winning ticket in 2005 when he visited the pigeon market at Lier with some friends. Luc didn’t have the intention to buy birds that day, but suddenly he saw a grizzle youngster among a group of blue pigeons. The grizzle youngster looked very nice and Luc asked how much he would cost. “Ten Euro” answered the man at the other side of the basket. Luc paid and he went home with a grizzle cock (B05-6101061) in a little box.
Some fanciers contend that they can find real top birds out of the thousands of youngsters which are offered at the market in Lier, but Luc is so honest to say that he only bought the baby because it had such a nice colour. Luc says, “I like grizzle pigeons and as I didn’t have a grizzle in my loft, I bought this one. If it had been a blue cock, I would never have bought that baby.
Once I got him home, I put him between the other youngsters and named him “Dix Euros” (Ten Euros in French). “Dix Euros” showed immediately what a top bird he is because at the end of the season he classified himself as 9th provincial ace short-distance young birds. As a year bird, he was a top bird again and became 1st provincial ace and 8th national ace short distance KBDB. In 2008 it was bingo again. Again 1st provincial ace and now 9th national ace short distance KBDB.
Some of his top results are: 1st Soissons 597b. – 1st La Ferte 421b. – 1st Laon 402b. – 1st Vervins 304b. – 1st Soissons 200b. – 1st Laon 133b. – 1st Momignies 114b. – 1st Vervins 106b. – 2nd Soissons 118b. – 3rd Soissons 571b. – 3rd Laon 232b. – 3rd Momignies 148b. – 3rd Soissons 145b. – 4th Vervins 197b. – 4th Soissons 600b.
We can go on this way for a while. Since the end of the 2008 season, “Dix Euros” received his own box in the breeding loft. This is a very important move because as a widower he only bred a few youngsters. But his children already showed their qualities. Coupled to the “312/03” “Dix Euros” became father of: “535/08” (won 1st Soissons 486b. – 2nd Momignies 141b. – 4th Momignies 101b. – 6th Momignies 133b. – 10th Momignies 654b.),
“536/08” (won 1st Momignies 141b. – 2nd Momignies 133b., 3rd Momignies 101b. and so on) and “592/08“ (1st Nanteuil 560b. – 3rd Momignies 141b. – 9th Momignies 133b.and so on).
Inside the youngbird
A flower breeder
And now the question that everybody asks: From whom did Luc buy this top grizzle? Well, the man at the other side of the basket was Andre Nauwelaerts from Heist Op Den Berg. Father of “Dix Euros” is “B99-6053352 (50% strain Flor Vervoort), mother is B98-6154465 (50% strain Louis Deleus).
Next to “Dix Euros” Luc also has 24 other breeding couples in his loft. The pigeons come from the following fanciers: Vandebotermet (Beersel), Roger Pierre (Pecrot), Huart (Nijvel), Jonckers (Linter), Joseph Reynaerts (Landen), Van Renterghem-Debliquy (Pipaix), Koen Van Roy (Asse) en Jacob Poortvliet (Surhuizum).
Luc is a typical widower racer. No special tricks, no secrets to discover. In fact, the widowhood birds ship in their pure form. Luc explains, “The widowers team is formed by 50 cocks (25 old birds and 25 year birds). When the racing season is finished, so around the beginning of August, the widowers can breed a couple of youngsters and afterwards they can go through the moulting season without any stress.
Their last race is just finished and then during a two- month period the birds can fly in and out as much as they want. They can, just like me, enjoy nature. During this time they receive a superb moulting mixture, and on a regular basis I mix some Oropharma Garlic Oil and Oropharma brewer’s yeast on the grains. In the drinkers I give the birds a lot of Colombine tea or some Herbots apple cider (one soupspoon per litre of water).
The widowers may breed very early, coupling at the beginning of December. Once their youngsters are weaned, they are already on widowhood. So there is no second coupling just before the racing season starts. The only thing that I do is show them their hen now and then. This is to make sure that they don’t forget their lady.
On a medical basis, I never treat my old birds. Not before, not during and even not after the racing season. I know that nobody believes me, but when I visit a specialized vet he never finds any infection. I think this has all to do with the fact that I’m a short-distance racer. You understand what I am trying to explain? During the racing season, the widowers are basketted very late and the next morning they are released. Those short-distance birds don’t have to have drinking water during that amount of time, so the risk of being infected by other pigeons is almost zero.
The relationship of pigeon to fancier is very important, and I do a lot to create a very good bond with my pigeons. I need to know how they react, how they can be motivated and so on. As a reward they get a peanut. I feed all of my widowers individually. In the beginning of the week, they get a protein poor mixture. This mixture is changed to a sport mixture closer to basketting day. I never race my pigeons on hunger. Every day they can eat as much as they want.
The game with the young birds comes second. It is not that Luc doesn’t like to race with the young birds, but in the French speaking part of Belgium they always release the young birds at the same time as the old birds. Usually for a typical widower racer like Luc, this is not so good. Therefore, Luc waits as long as possible to start with the young birds.
Every year Luc breeds about 80 babies for his own use. The young birds are raced following the open door system, and just as with a lot of friends in the sport the youngsters are darkened from 1st of March till the 20th of May. Due to this limited time, it is very important that the young birds have the necessary experiences. To survive the selection, they only have to show that they have the qualities to put their ring number at the top of the racing result. The young birds receive some antibiotics on a regular basis. It is more difficult to keep young birds healthy than widowers.
“Aigle Noir” B04-1511294
1st Soissons 246b. – 1st la Ferte 297b. – 1st Laon 185b. – 2nd Vervins 233b. – 2nd Nanteuil 100b. – 2nd Momignies 288b. – 3rd La Ferte 233b. – 3rd Momignies 257b. – 3rd Momignies 192b. – 3rd Melun 175b. – 4th Soissons 246b. – 4th Nanteuil 211b. – 4th Laon 185b. – 4th Laon 259b. – 6th Momignies 294b. – 6th Soissons 238b. – 7th Soissons 682b. – 7th Vervins 404b. – 7th Soissons 161b. – 8th Soissons 130b. – 8th Soissons 105b. – 10th Soissons 111b. and so on...
1st Soissons 600b. – 2nd Laon 405b. – 2nd Momignies 219b. – 2nd Momignies 148b. – 2nd Soissons 571b. – 2nd Laon 402b. – 2nd Momignies 110b. – 3rd Soissons 200b. – 4th Soissons 227b. – 6th Momignies 146b. – 6th La Ferte 421b. – 8th Soissons 682b. – 9th Soissons 288b. and so on.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WON WITH FOLLOWING RESULTS
To become national champion KBDB short distance, you need to take the best eight results with your 1st and 2nd nominated old bird on races between 50km and 250km. The total km of the eight chosen races has to be a minimum of 1000km. You can only nominate one race per weekend and this from the 1st weekend of April till the 1st weekend of August. Minimum 100 participating and 10 participating fanciers per race. Luc won the national championship with a coefficient of 27.350% or in other words a big gap with the number two Marc Capelle (Badour - 43.959%) and the number three Jan Wojciechowski (As – 44.142%). For the readers who like to keep statistics, in 2007 Luc won with a coefficient of 31.4528%.
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