Etienne Meirlaen (Deurle, BE) can look back on a splendid 2014, with a well deserved title of 3rd Nat. Champion Long Distance Old Birds KBDB

A Meirlaen pigeon knows what it takes to excel, to dominate and to win, and they proved this once again in 2014, for instance by taking a double national win from Pau, and a provincial victory form Agen. In addition, no less than three Meirlaen pigeons have won a prize in the national ace pigeon championships KBDB, besides the prize mentioned in the title. Well done!

Only 2 years after selling his team of old birds (both the breeders and the racers), which have impressively dominated the long distance and the extreme long distance competition in Belgium between 2006 and 2012, the pigeon family of Etienne Meirlaen has regained its place at the very top of the longer distance competition in Belgium. Etienne is back.

Among the pigeons sold in auction are national ace pigeons Cor, Asduivin and Perpignan Lady, national winners Monar and Conar, and superior long distance birds Fenomeen, Montauban, Nestbrother Fenomeen, Kleine Fenomeen, Starlight, and Marseille. These champions have all developed into excellent breeding birds later on, but each of them was sold in Etienne’s old birds auction. Most fanciers would never be able to recover from such a loss in quality.

This again illustrates the strength of the Meirlaen pigeon breed, which has been able to return to the top in just two years’ time. Their impressive achievements have resulted in three pigeons winning a prize in the national ace pigeon championship KBDB, as well the title of 3rd National Champion Long Distance Old Bird KBDB 2014. This was quite season, with 9 first prizes in the long distance and the extreme long distance at club level, as well as 2 provincial first prizes and a double first prize from Pau.  It is fair to say 2014 was almost just as successful as some of Etienne's best seasons from the past.

Only the country’s very best champions are capable of delivering such impressive results. Every discipline has its champions, and Etienne Meirlaen is for sure one of the leading names in the long distance and the extreme long distance, as the winner of several great prizes this season:

1st + 2nd National Pau 2014
1st Provincial + 3rd National Agen yearlings 2014
3rd National Kampioen long distance old birds KBDB 2014
4th National Ace Pigeon long distance yearlings KBDB 2014
6th National Ace Pigeon extreme long distance yearlings KBDB 2014
9th National Ace Pigeon extreme long distance yearlings KBDB 2014

These are obviously the titles that have been won in 2014 alone, based on an impressive list of achievements this season (see below).

Ace pigeons bred from ace pigeons

Since his fresh start in the year 2000, which was entirely focused on the long distance and the extreme long distance, Etienne has been able to become a national and international top player. A lot has to do with his confidence in his own breed. He knows what he’s doing, and he knows how to create a high quality breed: basketing every pigeon and keeping only the strongest ones.

We can conclude that the pigeons from Deurle have been and will be going really hard. In races in honest conditions (good weather, speeds of about 1200m/min or less), Etienne sometimes determines the required results in advance: any pigeon that does not make it into the top 10 will be left out, along with those that do not appear to be very fit after the race. The pigeons that could not meet the requirements are moved to the aviary the following day, before being brought to the butcher’s one week later. The remaining pigeons will have to meet those same requirements the next race as well, making for a tough but fair selection procedure. By the end of the season only the most capable pigeons (the strongest and most intelligent) will still be part of the team.

Etienne demands a lot from his pigeons, especially his team of hens. It is this approach that allowed him to gain excellent results and to discover a number of highly talented hens, including a few national ace pigeons. These include Marathon Lady, Perpignan Lady, Perpignan Queen, Asduivin etc. These hens would develop into great breeding dams later on, and some of them have become a stock dam.

Such champions as the 1st national ace pigeons KBDB, national first prize winners and other cracks were not sold in auction. Instead, they were given a special place in the breeding loft, to be paired with each other whenever possible. Phenomenal (national) prize winners and ace pigeons were put together, based on the only unwritten rule in pigeon racing: winners breed winners; ace pigeons breed ace pigeons.

You can tell from the pedigrees that the racing birds of the successful team of 2014 are all closely related. You can read more about the double national first prize from Pau and the 1st + 2nd in our loft report that was published earlier on (click here). The national ace pigeons KBDB 2014, which will be awarded at the national days in Antwerp, are closely related as well. These ace pigeons all originate from the bloodlines of previous national ace pigeons and national winners. Let’s have a closer look:

Ace Boy: 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance Yearlings KBDB 2014

-Ace Boy BE13-4257803

4th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB Yearlings 2014
Brive         181 p. 1
     Prov     910 p. 2
     Nat    3,850 p. 13
Limoges       386 p. 5
     Prov   2,097 p. 14
     Nat    6,907 p. 30
Chateauroux   684 p. 26
Poitiers N 14,094 p. 1418

Sire: Son Ace Pair BE09-4336173
A son of two national ace pigeons, bred from Cor BE05-4344528 (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2008) x Perpignan Lady BE05-4344670 (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2009).

Dam: Fenomenal Harry BE10-4284791
A daughter of the outstanding breeder Broer Marseille 612 BE05-4344612 (sire of Fenomeen, Nestbrother Fenomeen, Kleine Fenomeen, Monty…) x Lady Future NL09-1375155, a direct Jan Hooymans and a ful sister of Harry, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon One Day Longer Distance WHZB 2009 (a daughter of stock pair Jonge Bliksem BE01-3266512 x Dirkje NL05-1936558).

Click here for the full pedigree.

All in One: 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Yearlings KBDB 2014

-All in one BE13-4077161

6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB yearlings 2014
Agen-Bordeaux 112 p. 2 (after loft-mate)
     Prov     659 p. 3
     Nat    3,180 p. 14
Narbonne Na 2,835 p. 168

This top class hen was inbred to the invaluable stock dam Yelena.
Sire: Son Monar BE11-4312214
One of Etienne Meirlaen's favourite breeding birds. The reason is that his youngster has won the following prizes:

14th Nat Agen      3,180 YL ’14
48th Nat Libourne  3,238 YL ’14
96th Nat Poitiers 14,094 YL '14  
168th Nat Narbonne 2,835 YL ’14  

He is a direct son of the 1st internat. Narbonne 12,605 p. 2011: Monar BE08-4298283 (a son of Father Marseille BE00-3127222 x golden stock dam Yelena BE06-4288297) x Dochter Marathonlady BE10-4284777 (bred from Brother Marseille 612 BE05-4344612 x Marathon Lady BE04-4391386).

Dam: Yelena BE06-4288297
She is without doubt an invaluable breeding dam! She is the dam of Monar, Montali, Montauban, and this All in One. She originates from a joint breeding of Etienne Meirlaen and Raoul & Xavier Verstraete: Topstar BE03-4343129 Verstraete (sire of Xtra, 1st Nat. Cahors) x Marathon Lady BE04-4391386 Meirlaen.

Click here for the full pedigree.

Monar's Pride: 9e Nat Asduif Grote Fond Jaarse KBDB 2014

-Monar’s Pride BE13-4077055 (hen)

9th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB yearlings 2014
Narbonne       91 p. 1
     Prov     596 p. 3
     Nat    2,835 p. 13
     I.Nat  8,360 p. 34
Agen Nat    3,180 p. 212

Sire: Monar BE08-4298283
1st Internat Narbonne 12,605 p. in 2011

An impressive pigeon both as a racing bird and as a breeder. He is a son of Father Marseille BE00-3127222 x the golden stock dam Yelena BE06-4288297

Dam: Granddaughter Odilon BE11-4278214
A daughter of Zoon Odilon BE10-4284694, obtained from a joint breeding with Solange De Cuyper (from the best Barcelona pigeon 2007-2009, winner of Gouden Vleugel 2008 Barcelona Odilon BE04-4035419 x Perpignan Lady BE05-4344670 Meirlaen; 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2009). This pigeon was paired to Moeder Kannibaal Barcelona BE03-4364021, the dam of the 1st Prov. 2,289 p. and 3rd Nat. Barcelona 11,641 p., 26th Intnat. Perpignan 16,921 p. etc. (a 100% Cor de Heijde from Grootvader Starlight NL01-5161616 x Corry NL01-5161661).

Click here for the full pedigree.

Dochter Montali: 1st Prov and 3rd Nat. Agen-Bordeaux

Golden stock dam Yelena leads the way

The exceptional breeding dam Yelena has had an enormous influence on today’s Meirlaen pigeon breed and his racing team, which you can tell from this year’s ace pigeons KBDB. In addition, the provincial winner from Agen-Bordeaux Dochter Montali (which also won a 3rd national) is a granddaughter of Yelena, and the outstanding Yelco (winner of a 7th Nat. Montauban 5,935 p. & 127th Nat. Tulle 5,976 p.) is also closely related. The bloodline of Yelena has played a key role in this loft, and has led to several top results in the long distance and the extreme long distance, even at national level. This bloodline is without doubt the key to the future for the Meirlaen breed.

This is the bloodline that will enable Etienne Meirlaen to compete against the best fanciers in the years to come. He is working on a new successful breed that is likely to play a key role in the long distance completion at national and international level. The 2014 season should give his opponents an idea of what they can expect.

Crack pigeon Yelco

Palmares of Etienne Meirlaen in 2014

31/5 Limoges 896 olds:
16-30-46-49-52-64-70-90-98… (25/61 per 3)
Nat. 18,390 p.: 121…

31/5 Bourges 790 yearlings:
14-37-45-50-77-88-90-94-95… (30/66 per 3)

07/6 Valence 60 olds: 1-2 (2/2)
Nat. 6,449 p.: 306-437 (2/2)

14/6 Cahors  242 p.: 18 (4)

14/6 Poitiers 887 yearlings:
12-96-131-150-167-171-202-203-204-224-239-244-250 (13/26)
Nat. 14,094 yearlings: 96… (13/26 per 4)

20/6 Pau Nat. 1,910 p.: 1-2-90 (3/4)
Intnat 8,295 p.: 7-8-634 (3/4)

21/6 Montauban 243 olds:
2-5-10-12-21-35-44-58-61-71-75-79 (12/17)
Nat. 5.935 p.: 7-18-51-57-138… (9 per 10 and 12/17 per 4)

27/6 Agen-Bordeaux 112 yearlings:
1-2-6-7-8-12-16-22-23-26-28-36 (12/33)
Nat. 3,180 yearlings: 3-14… (12/33)
Intnat 8,845 yearlings: 11-46… (17/33)
Intnat 2,517 hens: 8-20… (25/48 per 4)

05/7 Limoges 388 olds:
15-19-20-35-55-59-63-75-91-96-104 (11/15)
Nat. 7,221 olds: 178-206-209-315… (8 per 10 and 13/15 per 4)
05/7 Limoges 386 yearlings:
5-15-20-34-39-40-42-50-53-59-61-66-76-88-90-96-100-104-108-126 (20/28)
Nat. 6,907 yearlings: 30-83… (12 per 10 and 21/28 per 4)

05/7 Barcelona 265 olds:
10-11-19-20-40-49-53-75 (8/11)

12/7 St.Vincent 106 olds:
3-5-6-8-10-12-13 (7/20)
Nat. 3,240 olds: 107… (7 per 10 and 9/20 per 4)

12/7 Libourne 173 olds:
4-6-9-14-18-28-42-45-47-53-54 (11/14)
Nat. 4,589 olds: 116… (6 per 10 and 11/14 per 4)
12/7 Libourne 106 yearlings:
2-8-9-12-15-17-18-19-23-24-25-26-28-31-36 (15/24)
Nat. 3,238 yearlings: 48-94-95-151… (8 per 10 and 18/23 per 4)

18/7 Brive 241 olds: 4-11 (1st + 2nd nominated of 5)
Nat. 5,286 olds: 34-75 (5)
18/7 Brive 181 yearlings: 1-13 (2/5)
Nat. 3,850 yearlings: 13-94 (2/5)

18/7 Marseille 16 olds: 1-2 (2/3)
Nat. 2,612 olds: 129-185-571 (3/3)

25/7 Narbonne 124 olds: 13 (1/2)
25/7 Narbonne 91 yearlings:
1-3-4-5-6-7-11-13-14-15-18-20-22-23-24-26-28 (17/28)
Nat. 2,835 yearlings: 13-81-83-92-93-97-114… (13 per 10 and 21/29)
Intnat 5,318 hens: 38 (10 per 10 and 17/29 per 4)

26/7 Jarnac 190 yearlings:
1-10-11-13-22-23-28-30-40-52-60-63 (12/23)
Nat. 3,741 yearlings: 36… (9 per 10 and 15/23 per 4)

01/8 Perpignan 151 olds:
1-6-7-13-14-16-17-18-21-22-26-27-29-31-34-39-40-41-42-44-46-51 (22/30)
Nat. 6,248 olds: 38-117-138… (12 per 10 and 22/30 per 4)
Intnat 17,971 p.: 68-21-248-419-444-461-469… (12 per 10 and 23/30 per 4)

01/8 Tulle 305 olds: 1-12-29-59-98 (5/6)
Nat. 5,976 olds: 19-127-361-721-1204 (5/6)