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  News > Benny Steveninck

Benny Steveninck
8th National Champion KBDB Little Middle Distance 2006


10th National Champion KBDB Yearbirds 2006

by Stefan Mertens


Click on any photo
  for larger version




Benny and Carine



Wing of "Chipo"

A youngbird

The aviary behind


A second
youngbird loft

An aviary for hens
and stockbirds



Widowhood loft

A view inside

Loft within
a loft


In the corridor
of the widowers'


above the

Inside the
breeding loft


A pickstone

Always clean


In a breeding loft


A timer
for heating



A breeding couple

Hamme: It had to be in 2003 when we had the first conversation with this Belgian champion. I remember it very well...

It was on the provincial championship day of East-Flanders, the province where more than 11,000 fanciers live and "Chipo" (B03-439022) was just crowned as the best young middle distance bird of the province. His owner: Benny Steveninck. To give you an impression that it's not that easy to win the ace-pigeon competition, I will give you the results that "Chipo" won as a young bird: 1st Dourdan 571b., 1st Dourdan 375b., 2nd Dourdan 1,316b., 9th Dourdan 1,268b., 9th Dourdan 339b., 10th Dourdan 964b. Extremely nice results, and it was no wonder that several buyers were ready to put this "golden cock" in their basket.

But Benny didn't sell, and one season later "Chipo" had to prove again that he's a real top bird. A top bird stays a top bird, and "Chipo" showed his qualities again as a year bird: 1st Dourdan 614b., 1st Dourdan 213b., 1st Dourdan 101b., 41st Bourges 2,306b., 17th Dourdan 848b. and so on. However, after this second nice season he didn't receive a ticket to the breeding loft. No, again he had to perform, and also in his third season (in 2005) "Chipo" was more than just present: 3rd Dourdan 217b., 7th Toury 427b., 5th Dourdan 194b., 9th Noyon 199b., and so on. Beautiful, isn't it? But the nicest thing about the "Chipo" story is that his sons began to win top prizes also. Sometimes Chipo's sons were clocked before their father. For Benny, this was a sign to give "Chipo" a new box, but this time in the breeding loft. Coupled against his hen B03-4328989 (won as a young bird seven prizes whereby 5 times 1/10 - strain Michel Hautekiet from Ruddervoorde ) they became parents of following top cocks:

"Chihaut 100" (B04-4138100): became as a young bird the 15th provincial ace-pigeon and as a two-year-old bird the 6th national ace-pigeon middle distance KBDB. His racing results: 1st Noyon 807b., 1st Dourdan 508b., 1st Dourdan 384b., 1st Dourdan 204b., 3rd Dourdan 565b., 2nd Dourdan 357b., 4th Dourdan 441b., 3rd Dourdan 317b., 2nd Dourdan 198b., 2nd Dourdan 180b., 5th Dourdan 349b., 4th Dourdan 270b., 7th Dourdan 420b., 9th Bourges 333b., and so on.

"Chihaut 99" (B05-4323999): 4th Bourges 1,971b. (11th national against 12,989 year birds), 1st Dourdan 394b., 2nd Dourdan 453b., 15th Blois 1,973b., 2nd Dourdan 194b., 7th Dourdan 564b., 5th Dourdan 169b., 7th Dourdan 227b., and so on.

"Chihaut 98" (B05-4323998): 1st Noyon 539b., 1st Dourdan 571b., 1st Dourdan 342b., 1st Dourdan 227b., 1st Dourdan 226b., 2nd Dourdan 443b., 2nd Noyon 400b., 8th Dourdan 786b., 3rd Dourdan 229b., and so on.

But it doesn't stay in the first generation. Also in the second "Chipo" generation we find 1st prize winners:

B05-4323835 (son "Chihaut 100"): 1st Dourdan 330b., 1st Quievrain 119b., 3rd Dourdan 342b., 2nd Dourdan 226b., 6th Dourdan 143b., 13th Dourdan 579b., and so on.

B06-4249317 (son "Chihaut 100"): 3rd Dourdan 310b., 3rd Vichy 255b., and so on.

And what do you think about the brothers of "Chipo," namely B04-4138962. He is almost as good as his famous brother: 1st Noyon 255b., 1st Dourdan 229b., 1st Dourdan 198b., 1st Quievrain 103b., 3rd Dourdan 270b., 6th Dourdan 508b., 11th Dourdan 915b., 9th Noyon 533b., 5th Dourdan 284b., 7th Dourdan 379b., 9th Dourdan 357b., 4th Dourdan 148b., 6th Noyon 183b., 7th Dourdan 198b., 8th Dourdan 204b., and so on.

A son of "brother of Chipo" knows also very well what it means to put top results on paper: 1st Dourdan 659b., 1st Dourdan 248b., 2nd Dourdan 579b., 3rd Dourdan 443b., 3rd Quievrain 119b., 8th Dourdan 1,013b., 8th Dourdan 266b., 9th Dourdan 227b., and so on.

To be honest, if you have such a winning family of racing pigeons in your loft, then it must be more than fun to race pigeons!


Benny Steveninck, 45 years old, has not been in the pigeon sport very long. Benny explains: "I started in 1998 on my own name, but I must say that the pigeon sport was not a strange thing in my life because my father Raymond was also a fancier. When I was just married I formed a combination with my dad, with the result that I was spending more time at my parents' house than at home. My wife Carine didn't like this very much, and therefore she proposed to build a pigeon loft in our garden. We did that very quickly, and since that time Carine also developed some interest in the pigeon sport. Due to my busy job, it is not that simple to make time free for the birds. Carine is there to help me, and she does that with a lot of enthusiasm.

"When I started in my own name," Benny continues, "I decided to try it on the middle distance races, and therefore I invested money with well-known middle-distance specialists. The first birds came from Willy Van Houtte (Wevelgem). Around 10 young birds went into my basket and as the success with these Van Houtte birds came readily, I bought birds again from this fancier. Those Van Houtte birds needed to be crossed, and the perfect cross was found with Eric Brootcoorens (Idegem), Van Damme Johan (Dendermonde), Verstraeten Sylvain, Michel Hautekiet (Ruddervoorde) and Philips Geert (Dendermonde)."

"For the past few seasons I have started the season with 23 widowers. In 2006 these were eight old and 15 year birds, but for the 2007 season it can be the opposite way, namely eight year birds and 15 old birds," Benny explains. "This is so because I had too many good year birds in 2006. As already mentioned, I want to basket weekly for the middle distance. The racing programme of the widowers is in the beginning a few short distance races, then weekly Dourdan (343km) and in the month of July Blois (460km) and as the final race Bourges national (480km)."

"Once the last race is finished, the widowers may 'deess' and start a nest," Benny continues. "When the youngsters are big enough to wean, everything is separated and the widowers can moult further. During the moulting the pigeons are kept inside, get a bath twice a week and a few times a week Sedochol or Biochol is in the drinker. Sometimes I put Sedochol on the mixture and dry this with vitamins and amino-acids in powder form. It is very important that the pigeons can start 100% healthy at the moulting season, and therefore every bird in my loft is treated against tricho and coccidiosis. I do this treatment the first week after their last race."

"Just to mention," Benny says, "last racing season the vet found more coccidiosis in my birds than in other years. He didn't have a logical explanation for this problem and because the birds flew very well he didn't suggest a treatment. Due to the fact that the results were super, I was afraid that when I treated against coccidiosis the top condition would go away."

Benny explains, "As is the case in a lot of lofts, winter breeding is a fact here also. Breeders, racers-everything goes together at the beginning of December and may breed. When the stock birds finish their first round, they can start immediately with a second round. With the widowers I watch out that they don't start a second nest. I don't want the hens of the widowers to lay a second time and therefore I quickly wean the youngsters of the widowers, together with the hens. Sometimes I put the eggs of the best widowers under another couple and let the hen of that top widower lay a second time. In this way, I have also four youngsters of the best birds and so I know quicker the breeding qualities of that cock."

After the winter breeding, Benny makes the first preparation steps for the new racing season. He says, "The widowers may train more little by little, but I'm careful that they don't get too quickly (in March and April) into top condition. In that period I also adapt the mixture. They get 1/3 barley and 2/3 Super Diet. From this mixture they get 1 soupspoon per pigeon per day. In this period I visit a specialized pigeon vet, and all necessary vaccinations (paramyxo, pox) are done. During that same period I give a lot of Colombine Tea and Biochol."

At the beginning of April, the widowers are coupled for the second time and they sit on eggs for a maximum of five days. If the weather conditions are good, Steveninck makes the first training tosses. Benny explains, "I'm very careful when I make those tosses. In seven or eight steps I go to 70km."

"Once the season starts," Benny continues, "I don't do anything special anymore. Just the widowhood system as in a lot of other lofts. Feeding is very important, and here I work with a three-system feeding program. They get a protein-rich recuperation mixture when they come home and a day after, a protein-poor mixture the following days, and a mixture very rich in fat the last meals before basketting. For the rest I work a lot with Aminovit from Colombine and with Zell-Oxygen."

A few hours after arrival the widowers all get a luke-warm bath, and he drops the eyes with an antibiotic eye drop. Benny says, "On the medical scene, I work with the vet Piet Blancke (Kanegem). He has a kind of six-week program, and I follow this."


In two rounds there are about 100 young birds bred for Steveninck's own use. The first round is darkened from the moment they're weaned until the end of May. The second round stays in the dark till the longest day of the year. Benny explains, "The reason why I bet on two horses is to create the top condition at several periods of the season. The second round has to be ready for the last two national races in September, namely La Souterraine and Guerret."

Till their second Quievrain race the birds stay together and then the "open-door" system is followed. With exception of the last four races, hens and cocks never come together before the race. Only after the race can they "party."

Benny says, "During the week I toss the young birds once or twice at 40km. Hens and cocks are liberated separately, but by arrival they may stay together for two hours. For the rest, I follow the same system as with the widowers."


Each from Dourdan (350km):

394 yearbirds: 1-54-56-72-75 (5)
357 old birds: 2-7-9-14-19 (6)
284 old birds: 1-3-4-5-6-42-109 (7)
443 yearbirds: 2-3-5-48-112 (5)
152 old birds: 3-4-45 (4)
194 yearbirds: 1-2-22-23-31-46-47 (8)
270 old birds: 2-3-4-7-11-34 (7)
342 yearbirds: 1-3-12-33-57-88 (6)
169 yearbirds: 1-2-5-9-12-18-32 (8)
229 old birds: 1-3-7-19-26-39-46 (7)
226 yearbirds: 4-8-11-19-32 (6)
226 yearbirds: 1-2-3-15-18-21-22-30-42-52-53 (12)
774 youngbirds: 2-3-6-8-9-10-11-12-17-35-39 etc…(27)
310 youngbirds: 1-2-3-6-7-9-10-30-31-33-48 etc… (24)
502 youngbirds: 2-4-6-8-9-11-12-20-21-22-23 etc… (27)
175 youngbirds: 1-2-3-6-7-8-21-27-28-29-31 etc… (24)
460 youngbirds: 1-2-21-33-64-69-73-77-78 etc… (16)

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