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  News > Vandenheede
Jacques and Freddy Vandenheede

General Champion KBDB 2012

by Stefan Mertens


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Stefan, Freddy, and Jacques

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Zingem: I’m convinced that my car can drive by himself to the Heulestraat in Zingem, because the times that I have been by the brother Vandenheede is uncountable. People who are supposed to know it told me that Vandenheede brothers won already 11 x 1st National/Zonal and 44 x 1st provincial. An unique list of top performances and as a reporter I have the impression that these champions are racing harder and harder each year. Of course it is very difficult to compare different racing season but if you have a look at the individual and general racing results then it looks that there is no limit on the white racing lofts in Zingem.

What is the main reason of all these successes? Well…if you ask me…super birds guided to the top of the result list by super fanciers. The strategy is pointed out and both brothers are well motivated to do everything what they can to guide their birds to a top performance.

Freddy and Jacques…first of all congratulations with the winning of the general championship KBDB, but was the winning of this tittle a target for the racing season 2012?

Freddy “to be honest…yes…winning this championship was one of our targets for the coming racing season. Of course nobody expected that we would reach this target already after one year that we have pointed out this target.

To become general champion KBDB is faster said than done. You have to clock 11 times your 1st nominated bird in several disciplines very early. We won with following results

2 prizes on the marathon: 4th against 6,583 birds – 145th against 1,989 birds
3 prizes on the long distance: 4
th against 1,934b. – 35th against 11,130b. – 74th against 739b.
1 prizes with year birds: 3
rd against 2,490 birds.
2 prizes young birds long distance: 49
th against 25,949b. – 541st against 7,174b.
1 prize short distance old birds: 12
th against 233b.
1 prize middle distance old birds: 2
nd against 3,984b.
1 prize short of middle distance young 6
th against 598b.

Once again…this all with your 1st nominated bird !

Super results…and the old base of your colony is still the guarantee for success?

Jacques “certainly…till 2007 we both raced on our own name and we both had our race- and breeding team. In 2007 we decided to change our plans and decided to make a combination. Why competing each other if, maybe, together we can maybe reach more and better results. My lofts became the breeding lofts and the lofts of Freddy the racing lofts. The base of our colony is without any discussion the breeding line of “Antigoon” x “ ‘ tKrijt” and “Zieken” successfully crossed with birds from De Rauw-Sablon (since 1994), Stijn Van Laere, David Vermassen, Pierre Matthys and Engels Jos and Jules.

Every year we buy some birds and hope to be successful with them.

On which base do you decide to visit a fancier and buy birds?

Freddy “one word…results… one of the main forces of a great champion is that he can analyze results. The fancier with the small basket but winning a high percentage on top prizes is the man to visit. They earn the same attention as the fancier who is winning a lot of top prizes but who has a lot of birds in the race.

Says the man who is always basketting a lot of birds…

Freddy “It is true that we basket a lot of pigeons. Our racing team contains 70 widowers and 70 racing hens and 200 young birds. But the fact that we have a lot of birds has his reasons. First of all we like to basket a lot of pigeons and secondly if you basket a lot of birds you can clock more pigeons in the top of the result and when you do that you are having more publicity . The fancier who is having a lot of birds is less vulnerable when he is investing in new birds. When you have a small group of birds then, in percentage terms seen, you have to bring in too many new birds and there is never a guarantee for success. You understand what I want to say !

But I say it once more…it is not because we have a big team that we do not look at the results of the fanciers with a small team !

How can a bird earn a box on your breeding loft?

Jacques “we like to put birds with top performances on our breeding loft. Pigeons who showed that they are capable to perform on a high level. If they did not have the opportunity to perform then we select on pedigree. We are not afraid to breed some late bred out of top birds. The late bred can grow out and then he will receive a box on the breeding loft. This year we bred a baby out the widower from Wilson Dekens who became national ace KBDB long distance and our hen “Madina”. This late young bird did not moult one wing feather but I can see that this young bird is now already one of the favorites of my brother because he is taking that late bred too much in his hands.

You say that you like to breed out of a top bird but not every top bird is a good breeder?

Freddy “There you have a point. It is a fact that not every good racer is a good breeder, but we have a system where we can find out if the good racer will be a good breeder. I explain our system. When our breeders are coupled, we couple also our 6 best widowers against our 6 best racing hens. They do not breed babies but the eggs are put under another couple. When you do this you find out if the good racer will be also a good breeder.

Why do you not breed with all the racers…you never know if there is one or other hidden breeding talent on the loft?

Jacques “You cannot do everything …. Freddy goes out working every day …I’m retired…and we do not have anybody else who help us. Cleaning the lofts, feeding, tossing, basketing, clocking…we do everything ourselves. We have in full winter period 50 breeding couples which are breeding and that is of course a lot of work. If we have to couple at the same time also our 70 widowers and 70 racing hens then we will become totally crazy ! No …we stick to our system…breeding two rounds out the breeders and the 12 best racing birds. The other race birds have a very calm winter period. After their last race they may breed a couple of babies and then they stay the whole winter together. The short, dark and cold winter days make sure that we don’t find many eggs. When the days are becoming longer and warmer (month of February) cocks and hens are separated and after a short “divorce” they are coupled again. Widowers may brood 5 days and the racing hen start a new nest so that they have babies of maximum 7 days old on the first national race.

During the winter period the couples may fly a whole day outside. The entrance of the loft is standing open and they can decide if they go out yes or no. In the drinker we put daily some garlic together with Naturaline and some apple vinegar. We name this method “Going back to nature” !

I have the impression that you have a strict schedule ? Do you keep as a pigeon fancier a diary?

Freddy “We have of course our caring system but to say that we do every year the same, is not the case. Pigeon sport is more than just “copy-paste”. Top fanciers make at the right moment the right decisions and then we speak about the “feeling” of the fancier.

Yes…we do note a lot in a diary. Till some years ago we noted everything in a diary and with everything I really mean everything. How long did the pigeons train, what was the food, did they enter the loft well and so on. Every detail was noted. The last years I was not so fanatic anymore and only note the most important things. When a certain problem is noted on the loft and we find a solution well we will note that solution in our diary. For example. This year we had a lot of problems with “one-eye-cold”. To cure the birds from this virus we dropped the birds a lot with eye drops and we cured with an antibiotic from the vet. Well…this treatment together with the effect on the racing- an training results was noted. If we have the coming years again this problem, we can consult our experiences.

Is the experience of the fancier than so important?

Freddy “In my eyes yes…it will sound a little bit strange…take tomorrow all my birds away and I ‘m convinced that within 5 years I will be on the same level concerning race results.

Yes…but you will pay thousands of euro’s for top birds !

Well… you can take also all my money. The only thing that I will not give away is my experience. “Pigeon experience” is the key to success. To become again top birds I will analyze the race results very good.

Freddy and Jacques…thanks for this conversation…my last question…what is your target in 2013?

Our target is winning a national race with an old cock. We will see if we can reach this target.


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