Pigeon racing in the loft of Rudi De Saer has a lot in common with running a cycling team, where the domestiques keep the team leader out of the wind, before he breaks away to claim victory in a national classic. Pigeon racing obviously has different rules and strategies but it is quite remarkable that Rudi often takes the win with the leader of his racing team.
This was the case with New Tours (1st Nat. Cahors 7,136 p. In 2014), New Jens (1st Nat. Limoges 13,789 p.), Antonio (1st Nat. Souillac 7,756 p. In 2012) and now Favoriet.
Favoriet takes the win
The winning pigeon Favoriet arrived home at 15:17’06”, after completing 636.396km with a velocity of 1280.22 m/min. It was already the fourth national first prize in the long distance between 2012 and 2015. The national winner was closely followed by a large group of other pigeons, leading to quite an exceptional overall performance that will not be quickly forgotten. Rudi basketed a total of 38 pigeons fro Limoges, and 10 of them managed to finish in the national top 100! Rudi was clocking pigeons from Limoges as if it were a sprint race. Take a look at his impressive results:
Limoges club 191 olds: 1-5-6-9-14-21-28-38-53 (9/18) Provincial 1,906 olds: 1-19-20-38-73-125-208-273-373… (13/18) National 8,301 olds: 1-73-74… (expected top 100) Limoges club 266 yearlings: 1-3-4-6-11-12-13-21-27-36-47-50-63-79… (14/20) Provincial 1,364 yearlings: 4-8-9-10-15-18-19-46-62-103-143-158… (17/20) National 6,275 yearlings: 10-27-28-34-54-60-61… (expected top 100)
Remarkably enough, five of the seven yearlings that finished in the national top 61 had missed the first group in the race from Chateauroux, which was the first national race in their career. But as a fancier once said, a talented pigeon will never miss a prize in two consecutive races. The winner in the yearlings’ race is a son of Rainman (winner of 1st Nat. St. Vincent 2012 for M. De Poorter but originating from a pigeon heavily based on De Saer), which ad already won a 1st Fontenay.
Rudi did not want to put all his eggs in one basket, which is why he had basketed a group of yearlings for Montluçon instead. They were quite successful too:
Montluçon 342 yearlings: 6-14-17-38-52-54-62-92-114 (9/13) Provinciaa 1,728 yearlings: 7-52-74-191-312… (8/13)
Being able to take the national first prize with your first nominated or, in case of Rudi De Saer, your supercrack and leader of the team, makes your victory even more appealing.
Favoriet was already Belgium’s best pigeon from Limoges in the PIPA ranking for two races from Limoges in 2014, having won a 2nd and 17th national. He is obviously one of a kind, and a pigeon with quite a palmares already:
- Favoriet BE11-3123742
In 2012: 4th Prov. Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB West Fl. 2012 4th Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB West Fl. 2012 40th Châteauroux Nat 15,904 (club 1st/ 197) 7th Argenton Prov 2,844 (club 2nd/ 263) 88th Montluçon Prov 2,609 33rd Tours Prov 885 66th Tours Prov 3,486 88th Montluçon Prov 2,609 In 2013: 41st Souillac Nat 5,282 (club 4th/ 118) 61st Montlucon Prov 2,360 3rd Tulle Prov 1,012 (club 2nd/ 172) 69th Tulle Nat 7,350 103rd Argenton Prov 2,650 229th Tours Prov 4,390 871st Limoges Nat 14,271 In 2014: 1st Limoges Prov 3,434 2nd Limoges I Nat 18,407 2nd Fontenay Club 509 21st Fontenay WVOU 7,568 3rd Tours Prov 6,400 (after 2 loft-mates) 17th Limoges II Nat 7,221 373rd Tulle Nat 5,976 In 2015: 1st Limoges II Prov 1,906 1st Limoges II Nat 8,301 31st Limoges I Prov 2,953 161st Limoges I Nat 15,009
Sire: Champion BE09-3040476
A full brother of former champions Bleken, Tours etc., bred from Den 18 BE98-3240118 (grandson of Wittenbuik, a 100% Gaby Vandenabeele) x stock dam ’t Goedje BE05-3177035.
Dam: Bliksemgirl BE09-3149960
Comes from the loft of his neighbour Rik Cools, but she is in fact a 100% Vandenabeele pigeon from Bliekske BE05-3006882 (son of breeding icon Bliksem x Fryda, a sister of Aske of Cools-Blancke) x Martine BE08-3037583.
Click here for the full pedigree of Favoriet.
Eye for detail the key to success
How does he do it? We reckon many fanciers are asking themselves this very question. Well, it all begins with your pigeons. You need a collection of exceptionally talented pigeons, which you can obviously find in the lofts of De Saer.
Still, the De Saer pigeons needed more time to find their top form compared to previous seasons. Rudi thinks this has a lot to do with the bird of prey that tried to attack his pigeons during a training flight around the loft. His pigeons had been quite scared: when he released his pigeons for the next training flight, only 5 of his 60 widowers were willing to fly out. The others had to be forced outside. As soon as the windows of the loft were open again, the pigeons would storm back inside, apparently still frightened. This incident has clearly had an impact on their mood and their motivation.
Rudi thinks this is what caused his pigeons to get in shape later than usual. However, this might turn into an advantage later on in the season. Rudi is hoping that his pigeons can keep their form a little longer, at least until the end of July.
The De Saer pigeons have only started to perform well in the past few weeks. It was clear that they have been working harder after the national from Limoges I. Still, Rudi noticed last week that they were losing some form again. He thinks they had been racing too much and not been training hard enough. Were his pigeons too tired, or was there a different explanation? Rudi decided to organise an additional training flight from Arras on Sunday, less than a week before Limoges II. His racing team trained for just over an hour, and they got to see their hen upon arrival. More importantly, they were given plenty of food in the following three days, before being basketed for Limoges. It proved a great success! National winner De Favoriet had shown great motivation during the training flight from Arras on Sunday, being the first to arrive back at the loft.
The long distance star clearly knew how to quickly adapt to the circumstances, but he also knew what his pigeons needed to get in top form by the race from Limoges.
Rudi is yet to decide if his Favoriet will be put in the breeding loft right away, or only at the end of the season. Transferring your best racing bird to the breeding loft in the middle of the season is not an easy choice. These are the racing birds a fancier relies on to win important races and championship points, especially for a fancier who wants to defend his title of 1st Nat. Champion Long Distance KBDB 2014. Still, it appears that his current team of yearlings has quite a few talented pigeons as well, which sounds promising for the future.
The only question that remains is which of his champions will be the next to claim a national first prize. We guess his other star Neymar is one of the likely candidates in this loft. He will be one of the pigeons to watch in the races in the coming few weeks, including Brive and Tulle.
Many congratulations Rudi, you're the greatest... simply the best!