Team De Jaeger Freddy (Knesselare, BE) wins 1st National Brive

It has been a long wait, and everyone will agree that this is a well deserved victory. The team has been winning top results for weeks, and they had been close to a national first prize on several occasions. Eventually it was supercrack Mariano that made the dream come true: he claims a national victory from Brive against 9,123 pigeons.

A head start

Team Freddy De Jaeger had a more than successful start to the racing season. Their first important race of 2017 was Bourges, the opening classic of the national season. The yearlings did an excellent job there, and they got close to a national victory: they settled for 1st Provincial and 2nd National (click here to reread our report). They went on to win a first prize at club level in Long Distance Club Eeklo one week later, finishing in 3rd Provincial and 10th National in Limoges. A national win was bound to happen.

Freddy, Marijn and Frank had been close to a national win in previous seasons as well, having won three national second prizes in total. They have quite an impressive list of achievements, including such renowned titles as General Champion Belgian Entente for two consecutive years, in 2015 and 2016, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance KBDB 2014 with Carla, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2015 with Warrior, 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2015 with Fury, and a total of 6 national ace pigeon titles KBDB between 2014 and 2016.
It was supercrack Mariano that put the icing on the cake for this already remarkably successful pigeon family, which finally adds a long awaited national victory to their palmares.

1st National Brive, a crowning achievement

This year's race from Brive will be remembered as perhaps one of the most appealing races of all the classics. This race ticked all the boxes. In addition, skies were clear in France, and there was a slight north-easterly breeze around Paris, which slightly deviated to north-west below Paris. In short, it was a hard but fair race for the 9,123 competiting pigeons, and a race particularly suited for strong and talented birds. It was the equivalent of a mountain stage in the Tour de France.

The organisers of the Belgian Entente will be more than happy with such a prestigious winner on their palmares; none other than their General Champion of the past two seasons: Team Freddy De Jaeger from Knesselare. They clocked their national winner at 16:44'39" over a distance of 675.777km. It resulted in the highest average speed in the race: 1155.8659 m/min. Mariano, the winner of the race, was in fact the team's first nominated, which makes this victory even more impressive. This top class racing bird is one of a kind: he is an outstanding pigeon with several national top results to his name, even though he is only two years old. See for yourself:

-Mariano BE15-4014080

 1st  Nat Brive        9,123 p. ’17 
 3rd  Nat Chateauroux 29,591 p. ’16 (1st Club 1512 p., 2nd Prov 7,617 p.)
85th  Nat Chateauroux  9,540 p. ’16
113th Nat Argenton    18,363 p. ’16 (1st Club 449 p.)
167th Nat Limoges      6,946 p. ’16

Sire: Jonathan BE12-4159458
Winner of a 4th Nat. La Souterraine 4,161 p. '15, 25th Nat. Chateauroux 17,984 p. '14. He is a son of top class breeder Gaby BE10-4325614 (grandson of stock dam Tsunamiduivin, a daughter of Bliksem Vandenabeele) x Prinsesje Raket BE10-4239693.
Dam: Blue Pipo BE12-4159161
A super class hen and winner of a 1st, 2nd, and 9th Nat. Zone, 4 x top 50 prov., 2 first prizes, etc. She is a daughter of Blauwe Pipo BE04-3230867, a pure Gaby Vandenabeele pigeon (from Pipo Wittenbuik BE94-3237367 x Patsy BE99-4393724) x Tiffany BE09-4138742 (from Crayonnée Zorro BE07-3153107 Norman x Isabelle BE04-3001790 Vandenabeele).
Click here for the full pedigree of Mariano

Loft caretaker Marijn Laureyns - Mariano and his hen can be seen sitting in their box in the top left

Mariano was first nominated and the leader of the team that put in an excellent overall performance from Brive:

Brive club 388 olds: 1-3-16-22-34-44-49-50-55… (15/24)
  Prov 1,742 olds: 1-4-31-49-88-112-129-136-144-169… (16/24, preliminary results)
  Nat  9,123 olds: 1-13-117-212-309-388… (16/24, preliminary results)

And here is a look at their results in the national races from the previous two weeks, where the team did a great job as well:

04/6 Limoges club 695 olds: 1-18-28-35-44-45-52-60-62-63-66-67-80… (21/44)
 Prov 2,524 olds: 3… etc.    Nat  10… etc.

10/6 Chateauroux club 769 olds: 15-20-24-27-43-63-77… (17/26)
10/6 Chateauroux club 1,091 YL: 26-32-34-36-39-50-52-63-64-76-87-91-101… (39/53)

27/5 Bourges club 623 yearlings:
1-2-3-4-6-8-11-15-20-21-23-26-30-33-39-44-45-46-49-51-59-60-65… (38/65 per 3)
 Prov 4,403 yearlings: 1-3-6-13-34… (preliminary results)
 Zone A2 5,224 yearlings: 2-4-7-23-37-65-83-117-135-150-163-194… (34/65)
 Nat 20,701 yearlings: 2-14-24-83… (preliminary results)

The pigeons from the Hoekestraat in Knesselare are clearly in excellent form. Add to that the sheer talent of the modern-day Freddy De Jaeger racing bird and you end up with an impressive list of achievements. It appears that Freddy's investments in top class bloodlines has really paid off in recent years, and these bloodlines were left in the good hands of caretaker Marijn Laureyns. His opponents know that anything can happen when he starts to work his magic.

This is a textbook example of successful teamwork, and it has ultimately led to a crowning achievement, and a highlight in their pigeon racing careers: their very first national victory! And it will not be their last, if they can continue to perform like this. Kudos to Freddy, Marijn and Frank. Congratulations!