They reached the top of pigeon racing in Belgium in no time. In 2012 they were Belgian Champion in the longer middle distance, general champion of West Flanders and they had great results in the important races of the season. They had two national victories in two years’ time, 100 wins in three years’ time and this season they had five pigeons in the national top 10. Their results were way above average.
Raf and Kurt
Strangely enough Kurt and Raf initially had no interest in pigeons. When the grandfather of Kurt died, Raf took over his pigeon family. Raf soon had an amazing bird for the sprint competition in his loft. This bird managed to qualify for the West Flemish Sprint Championships four years in a row. That is how it all started for the two West Flemish fanciers.
Eleven years ago Kurt got increasingly involved in the sport as well. From then on things moved quickly. In 2007 they hardly won a prize but there were more and more top class pigeons in the loft and they used their Platteeuw approach. Even though they are fond of the longer middle distance races they actually take part in every competition. The Platteeuw family believes a good pigeon should do well from any liberation site.
Until 2007 they raced with top class pigeons that were taken great care of: they consulted the vet for even the smallest problem and they gave their pigeons a lot of medication. The results were disastrous: many pigeons were basketed but few actually managed to win a prize. In 2007 they decided to take things differently. They consulted a vet much less often and they no longer treated their pigeons with antibiotics. Kurt thinks these treatments only resulted in a temporary improvement of their physical condition and in the long run the pigeons needed more and more treatments. Eventually they would no longer have any resistance. With a combination of a homemade feed mixture, some other feeds (including Brockamp and Thoné) and a strict training regime they are trying to create a pigeon breed with pigeons that are resistant to minor diseases and that do not need any medical treatments.
Kurt and Raf are sometimes critised for racing their hens so much, but this is actually an important element of their approach. They breed a lot of pigeons, they basket pigeons for all races, irrespective of the weather conditions and in the end they select and keep their best pigeons. Kurt and Raf are convinced that Rumbeke is not the best location in Belgium to be at the top at international level. There is some truth to this if you keep in mind that wind and the number of pigeons often decides who wins the top prizes. However, they use this to their advantage because it allows them to make a good selection in the national races. The two fanciers say that if one of their pigeons manages to fly in the front under these circumstances he is likely to become a successful racer.
Kurt and Raf are very satisfied with their national title. It was the first time that a pigeon family from East or West Flanders has won this title. Only one West Flemish fancier ever managed to win a fifth place. This shows again how difficult it is for a West Flemish to win this championship.
The championship includes five races with a first and second nominated pigeon. The national title was won with only three hens: Devil’s Daughter took part in all five races as first nominated. La Toya raced three times as second nominated; Sweet 16 did the other two races. These were the results of the three hens from Rumbeke:
Release site: 1st nominated: 2nd nominated: prov. Chateauroux 3,486 old birds: 18th Devils Daughter 35th Sweet 16 nat. Bourges 20,589 old birds: 7th Devils Daughter 1539th Sweet 16 nat. Chateauroux 16,479 old birds: 18th Devils Daughter 77th La Toya Montluçon 302 old birds: 5th Devils Daughter 4th La Toya nat. Argenton 4,782 old birds: 1st Devils Daughter 10th La Toya
Devil's Daughter was the big star in the 2012 racing team. She had already won a second National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance and as first nominated she was always up for the task. She is a daughter of 227 Labiau paired with Devil’s Diamond, two pigeons with a proven record. The 227 Labiau has won for instance, an 18th prize from Bourges against 27,506 pigeons; Devil’s Diamond has won a fifth national from La Souterraine against 13,737 pigeons. These are obviously impressive results.
She is a half sister of Devil’s Daughter and she has won a few great prizes as well. She was for instance, fourth Ace Pigeon in West Flanders in 2010 and she won a 10th Nat. Argenton against 4,782 pigeons, a 77th Nat. Chateauroux against 16,479 pigeons, a 96th Nat. Bourges against 20,589 pigeons, a 19th Prov. Argenton against 3,250 pigeons etc.
Sweet 16 is also a half sister of Devil’s Daughter and she has been performing great in the race from Chateauroux. In the last three years she won a first prize against 497 pigeons, a first against 592 pigeons and a 7th against 433 pigeons in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Kurt and Raf had a great season at provincial level as well. In 2012 they were general West Flemish Champion with the following prizes::
1st Extreme Middle Distance & Long Distance Yearlings with 3011261/11 Odil 2nd Grand Middle Distance Yearlings with 3011390/11 Adele 2nd Grand Middle Distance Old Birds with 3100528/10 Devils Daughter
We do not want to boast about pigeons too much but the Odile has really had some remarkable results in 2012 that were hard to ignore. Have a look yourself and notice the date of the races.
Odile is first Provincial Ace Pigeon in two different categories, which is a unique feat. She won both in the longer middle distance and the long distance competition. As she can only be classified in one category she was awarded as champion in the long distance. She was also awarded as second best pigeon in Belgium, in the first four national races of the extreme long distance.
07/05 Clermont 1st / 223 12/05 L’Aigle 5th / 189 19/05 prov. Chateauroux 86th / 3,486 26/05 nat. Bourges 10th / 16,859 02/06 nat. Chateauroux 86th / 15,902 09/06 Tours 5th / 645 16/06 Montluçon 1st / 314 30/06 Argenton 1st / 520 07/07 Blois 21st / 1,512 28/07 Bourges 4th / 112 11/08 Argenton 6th / 54
Judging by their results we think the fanciers from Rumbeke have some interesting seasons ahead. Kurt and Raf, many congratulations on your 2012 season. Keep up the good work!