Gert Noels (Ham, BE), Marc Vanonckelen (Halen, BE) and Reynders-Tack (Millen, BE) have excelled with pigeons of Thoné

Three fanciers. One amateur, one semi-pro and one future pro. Three different approaches to racing and caretaking. Three different lofts in three different locations. They have one thing in common: their level of performance.

A common denominator

The three fanciers do have another thing in common: they all met Jos Thoné at one point in their career, sometimes by coincidence. The Thoné pigeon breed would fundamentally change their later careers in pigeon racing.

Marc Vanonckelen

Marc Vanonckelen met Jos somewhere in the late 1990s in the former WPC club. Marc’s professional career has forced him to quit pigeon racing but it was in fact Jos who convinced him to make a comeback. Jos provided him with his best bloodlines, including Avril, Frost, Avrillios, Jutta, Sumo, Sedna, Pro-freddy, Cavendish, Real Figo and other renowned pigeons. This happened in late 2008.

Marc Vanonckelen

Jada (BE09-5061319)

Thanks to the outstanding Thoné bloodlines Marc was able to make an amazing comeback in 2009, winning a 1st prov. La Souterraine against 1,165 pigeons with Jada. She finished in 69th place national against 17,814 pigeons.

The sire of Jada is Real Figo (BE07-5080843). Real Figo’s parents are Gumball (5th prov. Orleans 7,061 p., 9th Nanteuil 6005 p.) and Sumy (1st Chimay 188 p., 1st La Ferte 109 p.). Jada’s great-grandmother from her father’s side is a full sister of Figo, winner of a 1st Nat. Bourges. Click here for the full pedigree of Jada.

Novastar (BE14-2005634)

Jada turned out not only to be a top class racing hen, she developed into an outstanding breeding hen later on as well. In 2014 her daughter Novastar won the title of 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon KBDB Limburg and 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Longer Middle Distance She won the following prizes:

60/67267            national             Argenton
97/22818            semi-nat             Chateauroux
174/16619           national             Gueret
437/24097           natioal              Tours

The sire of Novastar is White Flight Caviar (BE10-5031476), a pigeon that combines some of the very best Thoné bloodlines: he originates from Jutta (inbred), Avril and pro-Freddy. Click here for the full pedigree of Novastar.

Aprillia (BE10-5031005)

Marc managed to add a second provincial first prize to his palmares fairly quickly, winning a 1st  prov. Argenton against 1,698 pigeons with Aprillia (2nd semi-nat. 6,036 p., 5th nat. 422 p.). Aprilla is a daughter of Avrillios, a full brother of Avril. Click here for the pedigree of Aprillia. It was not the only top result on Aprilla’s palmares; she has won several more top prizes both at regional and national level:

5th nat. Argenton 22,442 p.
233rd nat. Bourges 30,742 p.
​7th Soissons 1,199 p.
10th Soissons 1,437 p.
11th Soissons 638 p.
18th Soissons 1,109 p.

Aprillia proved to be invaluable in the breeding loft as well, as she managed to breed prize winners both in the second and third generation:

Zella Zoë (daughter)

97th nat. La Souterraine 16,667 p.

Blue Mercedez (grandson)

2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Allround Gouden Veer
2nd Prov. Ace Pigeon KBDB Limburg 2015
4th Best young bird with 6 prizes in the Belgian national races (with a 70th nat. Argenton 11,223 p.)
11 x top ten in 2015
Co-winner prov. championship young birds
Bowy (great-grandson)
11th nat. Bourges 36,315 p.

Minerva (BE12-5000498) and Madox (BE12-5000454)

The stars of 2012 were Minerva and Madox; this top class pair excelled in the national young birds’ races. Minerva and Madox were 2nd and 4th best young bird in the Belgian national races (PIPA ranking) respectively. They also complement each other very well in the breeding loft. For instance, they are the parents of Tigra, winner of 6 first prizes so far.

Minerva’s grandfather is Pepe, which you will come across later on in this article as well, just like Sedna I. The name of this invaluable pigeon appears in Minerva’s pedigree through both his parents, and this bloodline is an integral part of the Thoné pigeon breed. The pedigree of Minerva can be found here

Nafi (BE13-5024249)

In 2013 Marc had another invaluable racing bird in his collection with Nafi. She won a long list of regional, provincial and national top prizes before claiming a national victory from La Souterraine against 13,088 pigeons. It was Marc's second national victory. We take a look at her best results:

1st nat. La Souterraine 13,089 p.
14th Soissons 1,719 p.
67th nat. Issoudun 16,615 p.
23rd nat. Argenton 19,303 p.
1st Prov. Ace Pigeon KBDB Limburg Young Birds Longer Middle Distance
Co-winner provincial championship young birds
5th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Longer Middle Distance Young Birds

We said that Pepe was a name to remember, and this is why: the dam of Nafi is another granddaughter of Pepe (grandfather Minerva). In addition, Nafi is also heavily based on Sedna from her father's side. Click here for the full pedigree of Nafi.


Marc won two podium prizes in the provincial championships of 2015, both in the long distance. He had in fact three racing birds that dominated the regional sprint and shorter middle distance competition with Lan Dini (the Sachi line), Bruhha (the lines of Jutta, Sadus, The Crow) and Shakira (the lines of Frost, Cavendish). These three pigeons have won the following prizes:

1st Sourdun 158 p.
1st Sourdun 488 p.
1st Sourdun 799 p.
1st Soissons 233 p.
1st Soissons 446 p.
2nd Soissons 709 p.
2nd Soissons 446 p.
2nd Soissons 274 p.
2nd Soissons 233 p.
3rd Soissons 859 p.
3rd Soissons 709 p.


Gert Noels and his son Brian with their pigeon Brianna (picture: pimediaka)

Gert Noels

Gert does not originate from a family of pigeon fanciers but that did not keep him from becoming a fancier himself. In fact, he was not allowed to keep pigeons in his youth but he simply waited until he turned 18. Gert not only wanted to become a fancier, he wanted to become a great champion. With this in mind he started looking for bloodlines, and he could think of only one fancier: Jos Thoné. At the age of 18 Gert wrote Jos a letter (he was too shy to pick up the phone) to present himself and his objectives, and to tell him that he was his great example. Jos then contacted Gert, and he offered him a round of eggs. Marc did not have a lot of opportunities to keep pigeons at the house of his parents, and Gert and Jos did not see each other that much anymore. In 2009 Gert decided to leave his parents' home. He also got back in touch with Jos.


Initially Gert was only racing in the longer middle distance once in a while but in 2012 he decided to focus entirely on the national races. The Thoné bloodlines, including Pro Freddy, Jutta, Kleine Figo, Sedna I, etc. did really well in Gert's loft. These same bloodlines were found in Marc Vanonckelen's collection as well, and both Marc and Gert are really successful with them:

Argenton prov.: 2,416 p.: 1-10-12-47...(20/51) Winner Marceline won with a 34 mpm lead
Vervins West Limburg: 2,727 p.: 1-4-11-74...(14/42)
Nevers prov.: 524 p.: 1st (1/3) - 6th national
Chateauroux prov.: 2,119 p.: 1-9-35-74-79...(8/18)
Tulle prov.: 519 p.: 2-18-31-35-48...(5/10)
Chimay club: 142 p.: 1-2-4-6-9-10-11-12-14-15-16-17-18-19...(23/45)
Laon club: 166 p.: 1-8-9-10...(13/20)
Cahors club: 148 p.: 1-2-4-17...(5/5) - prov.: 736 p.: 8-15-18...(4/5)
Montélimar club: 105 p.: 1-4-12...(4/5) - prov.: 578 p.: 5-9...(3/5)
Jarnac club: 116 p.: 1-15 (2/2) - prov.: 619 p.: 9 (1/2)
Sourdun prov.: 4,738 p.: 14-19-20-31-32-33-36-50-56-70-72-75-92-93-95-97...(34/46)

Joske (BE12-5030080)

Joske was 13th best young bird in 4 national young birds' races in 2012:

11th nat. Bourges 13,588 p.
485th nat. Argenton 25,949 p.
337th nat. 19,155 p. La Souterraine (nat. winner was Jos Thoné)
​325th nat. 16,988 p. Guéret

Joske also won a first prize from Reims, a 34th prov. Guéret 1,362 p., a 34th prov. Montluçon 1,508 p., a 47th prov. Argenton 2,416 p., as well as 7 top ten prizes (no doubles). The dam of Joske is Prodie (BE10-5031657), a daughter of the Pro-Freddy x Jutta combination. Click here for the full pedigree of Joske.

Marceline (BE12-5030122)

Marceline won a 1st prov. Argenton 2,416 p. (21st against 25,949 p.). Her dam originates from the Avril bloodline. Click here for the pedigree of Marceline.

Brianna (BE12-5030187)

Brianna is a granddaughter of Kleine Figo from her mother's side, and her grandmother from her father's side is Jutta. These are two invaluable bloodlines indeed. Click here for the pedigree of Brianna. Her excellent origins have enabled her to win the following prizes:

1st prov. Nevers 524 p.
4th prov. Guéret 273 p.
6th nat. Nevers 2,918 p.
10th prov. Argenton 2,416 p.
1st Chimay
7 x top 10 (no doubles)

Gert likes to take on a new challenge every once in a while. In 2014 he took part in the Kuznika One Loft Race in Poland with BE14-2090526. The race proved a major success for the 526/14, covering 524km with an impressive 52 minutes' lead over the second in the race. We conclude with an overview of all of Noel's national top 30 prizes and provincial top 10 prizes. Keep in mind that Gert had only started to focus on the national races in 2012.

6th  Nat. Nevers
11th Nat. Bourges
13th Nat. Montélimar
21st Nat. Argenton
24th Nat. Issoudun

1st Prov. Châteauroux
1st Prov. Argenton
1st Prov. Nevers
2nd Prov. Tulle
4th Prov. Gueret
5th Prov. Bourges
5th Prov. Gien
5th Prov. Montélimar
6th Prov. Argenton
7th Prov. Issoudun
7th Prov. Châteauroux
8th Prov. Cahors
9th Prov. Châteauroux
9th Prov. Montélimar
9th Prov. Jarnac
10th Prov. Argenton

Ludo Reynders and Emiel Tack: plenty to smile about


Ludo Reynders is really a hobby player, unlike the other two fanciers in this article. He does not keep track of his pigeons or their achievements. "I just race them, and I eat the bad ones. That's about it for me." He is a self employed construction worker, and he gets a helping hand from Emiel Tack when he is short of time. Their collaboration led to several major achievements in 2015, besides many top results overall: two zonal first prizes and one provincial victory. Ludo met Jos Thoné in 1988-'89 during the construction of Jos's new house. It did not take long before Jos gave Ludo a round of eggs; it was the start of a successful period. At the moment, the Reynders-Tack pigeon family consists for 100% of Jos Thoné pigeons.

Outstanding pigeons

It would be impossible to discuss every renowned prize winner in the Tack-Reynders pigeon family but we tried to summarize their achievements: in 2015 no less than 18 pigeons managed to win a prize per 100, besides many other prizes per ten and per four. A small selection of pigeons that excelled in recent seasons will be briefly discussed below.

Racing Lida (BE10-5168760)

The first one is Racing Lida, one of the leading names in Ludo's racing loft. She has won:

1st Chateauroux 82 p. – 32nd prov. 1,509 p.
1st Montluçon 212 p. – 33rd prov. 1,911 p.
1st Châteauroux 275 p. – 41st prov. 1,963 p.
45th prov. Nevers 958 p.
100th prov. Moulins 1.299 p.

The sire of Racing Lida is National III, a top class breeder for Ludo and the (grand)father of no less than 12 first prize winners. The dam is Jutta Too (BE08-5061667), which is equally important for Luc as National III. Jutta Too is a daughter of Pro-Freddy x Jutta, which are also the parents of Prodie (657/10), the dam of Joske (Super 080) of Gert Noels. They are also the grandparents of Novastar of Marc Vanonckelen – 1st prov. and 3rd nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance 2014. Click here for the full pedigree of Racing Linda.

Racing Linda

The had of Racing Linda


Next up is the 6th best pigeon from Tulle in 2013-2014-2015 (PIPA ranking). This hen has won:

57th nat. Tulle 6,229 p.
157th nat. Tulle 6,972 p.
35th prov. Tulle 522 p.

It is no surprise that the grandmother of hte 505/12 from her father's side is called Jutta. Click here to find out who is the great-grandmother from her mother's side. It shows once again that Jutta has played a defining role in the Thoné pigeon breed. Some readers might have noticed that Sedna I appears in the pedigree of the 505/12 as well, which explains the impressive palmares of this racing hen. The 505/12 has won an impressive 35 prizes (no doubles), including a 6th Chimay 534 p., a 10th Reims 506 p., a 24th nat. Montluçon 11,056 p. (1st zone 1,009 p.), a 400th Bourges nat. 22,633 p., a 137th La Souterraine nat. 7,176 p., and a 349th Bourges nat. 18,826 p., besides his three top prizes from Tulle. Click here for a full list of achievements of 505/12.


The head of the 505/12

Miss Eenenvijftig (BE11-5048220)

Miss Eenenvijftig is an appropriate name for the 220/11, a hen that won an impressive 51 prizes (no doubles). In 2013, her best season, she won 14 top prizes over 5,576km. She won a 1st Chateauroux 257 p. (109th nat. 22,254 p.), a 1st Argenton 122 p. (204th nat. 16,325 p.) and a 1st Argenton 48 p. (64th nat. 5941 p.) that season. The impressive palmares of Miss Eenenvijftig can be found here.


Miss Eenenvijftig brings us back to the Sedna dynasty. This pigeon originates from Sedna I both through her sire (great-grandfather) and her dam (grandmother). Jutta, that other invaluable Thoné bloodline, can be found in her pedigree as well, through Jutta's nest brother (the great-grandfather through his sire). Click here for the full pedigree of Miss Eenenvijftig.


A fourth top class pigeon of Reynders-Tack that deserves a special mention is the 765/10. This hen won a 1st prov. Nevers 958 p. & a 1st CFW 3,720 p. as a yearling. The full pedigree of 765/10 can be found here. The grandfather of the 765/10 is BE03-507166, a nest brother of Jutta. The grandmother from his mother's side is a sister of Avril. And this brings us back to that third invaluable Jos Thoné bloodline. You can find the full pedigree of the 765/10 here.

BE10-5168765, 1st prov. Nevers

The head of the 765/10


Achieving great results is always the best reference for any loft. They determine how good of a reputation your pigeon loft has among other fanciers. What reputation does the Reynders-Tack combination deserve? We let you be the judge of that; these are the best results of 2015:

Montluçon zone C1: 1,009 p.: 1-2-18-32-46-58-82…(11/12)(Reynders-Tack)
Bourges zone C1: 1,320 p.: 5-14-16-21-25-39-40-43-69-75-77-78-80…(19/30) (Reynders-Tack)
Chateauroux zone C1: 1,269 p.: 3-8-12-48-58-60-77-80-87-91-94-96...(24/34)
Argenton zone C1: 1,294 p.: 3-20-29-51-55-72...(16/32)
Chateauroux zone C1: 1,229 p.: 3-13-28-84...(12/27)


Gert Noels, Marc Vanonckelen and Reynders-Tack are just the tip of the iceberg. They are just a few of many fanciers that achieved great results with the help of the Jos Thoné pigeons. In fact, Jos not only became a renowned fancier thanks to his own results but especially thanks to the achievements of his colleagues. This shows once again that pigeon fancying gets a little bit easier if you can rely on top quality pigeons.