Etienne Meirlaen (Deurle, BE) wins a 1st - 2nd - 2nd - 1st Provincial in four consecutive weeks

After his provincial first prize from Pau Etienne went on to win two provincial second prizes (2nd Prov. Agen and 2nd Prov. Barcelona) in two weeks' time, and he has now taken another provincial first prize, this time from St. Vincent. He confirms his status as a national champion in the extreme long distance.

Etienne Meirlaen has become one of the best extreme long distance fanciers in Belgium over the years. This is part thanks to the outstanding birds Cor and Perpignanlady, with which Etienne managed to win the title of 1st National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB for two consecutive seasons (in 2008 and 2009). This was one of many highlights in Etienne's highly successful pigeon racing career, which is clearly not past its prime yet.

Four weeks in a row: 2 x 1st Provincial and 2 x 2nd Provincial

The Meirlaen pigeons are in great form in recent weeks and have been making quite a few headlines. They are blazing through the international classics of the extreme long distance this season. They started off with a provincial first prize in the opening classic from Pau (click here to reread our report) but had to settle for second place provincial in the next two weeks, from Agen and Barcelona. These were rather demanding races. Etienne claimed victory again in the international race from St. Vincent, winning a 1st Provincial. Long story short, he claims a 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 1st Provincial in four consecutive weeks, in the first four international races of 2017.

1st Provincial St.Vincent

A total of 18 pigeons were basketed for St. Vincent, including a few two year olds that did their very first international race (they did Cahors three weeks back). It was a hard race in ideal weather conditions, with a slight headwind most of the time. It was a great day for the entire team; here is a look at their overall results:

St.Vincent club 100 olds: 1-4-5-6-10-18-19-20-24-28 (10/18)
 Prov  581 olds: 1-4-6-9-18-42-44-50-72-92-129 (11/18, preliminary)
 Nat 3,092 olds: 12-20-30-51-78-152-156-192-269-372-533-662-673 (13/18, preliminary)

It was Etienne's first nominated that was clocked first. Supercrack Provincial pau, as his name suggests, had already won a 1st Prov. Pau in 2016, and has now won the title of 10th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB. This is quite talented racing bird with now two provincial first prizes on its palmares.

supercrack Provincial Pau: 1st Prov. Pau in 2016, now 1st Prov. St.Vincent in 2017

-Provincial Pau BE12-4278314

 10th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Olds KBDB 2016
  1st Prov St.Vincent    581 p. ’17
 12th Nat St.Vincent   3,092 p. ’17
  1st Prov. Pau          299 p. ’16
 11th Nat. Pau         1,661 p. ’16
 56th Intnat Pau       9,908 p. ’16
 77th Nat Perpignan    4,191 p. ’16
132nd Nat. St.Vincent  3,240 p. ’14
139th Nat. St.Vincent  3,037 p. ’15
264th Nat. Pau         1,980 p. ’15
776th Nat. Limoges I  13,493 p. ’16 

Sire: Superbreeder 214 BE11-4312214
Sire of 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014.
Sire of 10th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Olds KBDB 2016.

He is a son of 1st International Narbonne 12,605 p. Monar BE08-4298283 (in turn a son of stock dam Yelena) x Dochter Marathonlady BE10-4284777 (half sister of Yelena).
Dam: Daughter Euro Diamond DV 06720-09-1766
A direct Dr. H.-P. Brockamp from the outstanding Euro Diamond DV06720-02-537 (Olympiad Pigeon Cat. E Marathon 2007 in Oostende, 1st Nat. Carcassonne 2,719 p., 3rd Nat. Perpignan 1,452 p., 4th Nat. Bergerac) x 1st Nat. Ace Hen 2006 DV01186-04-1449 (1st Nat. Ace Hen in 2006).
Click here for the full pedigree of Provincial Pau

2nd Provincial Agen olds

The weather conditions were far from ideal in the international classic from Agen. The bad weather along the course resulted in the pigeons spending an additional four nights in the basket. They were eventually released on Tuesday 4th of July, after 8 days in the basket. The conditions did not prevent team Meirlaen to achieve another great result in Agen:

Agen Club    148 olds: 1-2-5-7-11-12-22-34-47-50 (10/13)
     Prov. 1,018 ols: 2…
     Nat.  4,399 olds: 3-6…

The first prize at club level and the 2nd Provincial were won with a hen that comes from some of Etienne's current best breeders. She is called MonAgen and showed her potential as a yearling, with excellent results from Agen and Narbonne.

Next Ace BE13-4257803: 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014, and the sire of MonAgen, 2nd Prov. & 3rd Nat. Agen in 2017

-MonAgen BE15-4240216

 2nd  Prov Agen    1,018 p. ’17 (1st Club 148 p.)
 3rd  Nat Agen     4,399 p. ’17 (4th Intnat. Agen)
48th  Prov Agen      717 p. ’16
696th Intnat Agen  9,043 p. ’16
359th Nat Narbonne 3,173 p. ’16

Sire: Next Ace BE13-4257803
4th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance YL KBDB 2014

Winner of a 13th Nat. Brive 3,850 p. & 30th Nat. Limoges 6,907 p. He comes from Son Ace Pair BE09-4336173 (bred from 1st Nat. Ace Pigeons Extreme Long Distance KBDB Cor x Perpignanlady) x Fenomenal Harry 2 BE10-4284791, a half sister of Fenomeen, the Best Long Distance Pigeon of Belgium over 5 national races (bred from 612 Broer Marseille x Lady Future van Jan Hooymans, from the world famous Harry bloodline).
Dam: Monar’s Pride BE13-4077055
10th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014

Winner of a 13th Nat. Narbonne 2,835 p. & 67th Nat. Montauban 3,990 p. She is a daughter of supercrack Monar BE08-4298283, winner of a 1st Intnat. Narbonne 12,608 p. (son of stock dam Yelena & half brother Marseille) x Granddaughter Odylon BE11-4278214 (Odylon was the best Barcelona pigeon over 3 seasons 2007-08-09 and winner of a Golden Wing for Solange De Cuyper).
Click here for the pedigree of MonAgen

Monar's Pride BE13-4077055: 10th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014, and the dam of MonAgen: 2nd Prov. and 3rd Nat. Agen

The second pigeon that was clocked, to be beaten only by its own loft mate at club level, was also the team's first nominated: Ace Agen. Last year he won the title of Best pigeon from Agen in Belgium over 2 seasons (2016-2016 (PIPA ranking). He has lived up to his reputation indeed:

-Ace Agen BE11-4278445

1st Beste Agen pigeon of Belgium over 2 seasons 2015-16 (PIPA ranking)
 2nd  Club Agen        148 p. ’17
 6th  Nat Agen       4,399 p. ’17
20th  Nat Agen       3,648 p. ’16 (82nd Intnat. Agen 11,826 p.)
29th  Prov Bourges   3,470 p. ’13
56th  Nat Agen       3,524 p. ’15 (70th Intnat. Agen  6,042 p.)
63rd  Nat Brive      8,331 p. ’13
65th  Prov Vierzon   7,056 p. ’17
75th  Nat Brive      5,286 p. ’14
253rd Nat Limoges I 14,922 p. ’17
329th Nat Poitiers  13,813 p. ’13
426th Nat Limoges I 18,390 p. ’14

Sire: Son Cor & Perpignanlady BE09-4336174
A direct son of Cor BE05-4344528 (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2008) x Perpignanlady BE05-4344670 (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2009; a full sister of Marathonlady, the dam of Yelena).
Dam: Sister Perpignanlady BE08-4298214
A full sister of Perpignanlady, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2009. She is a full sister of Marathonlady, the dam of stock dam Yelena.
Click here for the full pedigree of Ace Agen

After his recent top result Ace Agen will be well on his way to becoming the best pigeon of Agen over three seasons as well (2015-16-17), having now won a 6th, 20th and 56th prize national respectively.

2nd Provincial Barcelona

The race from Barcelona was a difficult race for the pigeons: high temperatures combined with a strong headwind in France on Friday made this quite a demanding trip for all racing birds. This probably explains the unexpected outcome: slow arrivals and a tough race overall. It was a race for pigeons with great strength and perseverance, along with a bit of good luck probably. You never know what can happen in a classic from Barcelona.

The Meirlaen pigeons performed really well in Barcelona. By the time we are writing this article most pigeons have found their way back home, and most prizes have been won. Here in Deurle, 16 from a total of 30 racing birds have made it back - let's have a look at the preliminary results:

Barcelona Club 244 olds: 1-2-7-9-14-15-23-27-28-38-45-52-53-54-55-62…
        Prov 1,606 olds: 2-5-39-51-78-87… (preliminary top-100)
        Nat  7,738 olds: 7-18-152-247-353-397… (preliminary)

At least 15 pigeons will be winning a prize both at provincial and national level.
What makes this race from Barcelona particularly interesting, is the fact that the first two clocked pigeons (in their first race from Barcelona) originate from a joint breeding of Etienne Meirlaen with Hugo Batenburg-Van de Merwe. On top of that, the first pigeon from Barcelona in Klaaswaal and winner of a 23rd Nat. in the Netherlands, originates from that very same joint breeding.

-Diamond Anita NL14-1040453

 1st Club Barcelona      244 p. ’17
 2nd Prov Barcelona    1,606 p. ’17
 7th Nat Barcelona     7,736 p. ’17 (preliminary)
29th Intnat Barcelona 17,094 p. ’17 (preliminary)

Sire: Son Diamantje NL13-1219534
A cock of Hugo Batenburg-Vd Merwe. A half brother of a 2nd Intprov. Bordeaux 2,743 p, 3rd Nat. Bordeaux 4,447 p. and 7th Intnat. Bordeaux 10,249 p. He comes from a half brother x half sister: Zoon Jonge Witbuik NL08-1268778 x Diamantje NL08-1487710 (1st Intnat. Ace Pigeon Perpignan 2010-2011). These both originate from Dochter Witbuik 153.
Dam: Dochter Monar BE12-4278074
A hen of Etienne Meirlaen from one of the stars of this loft, namely Monar BE08-4298283. He won a 1st Intnat. Narbonne 12,605 p.. He is a son of stock dam Yelena, and half brother of Marseille. Monar was paired to Dochter Marathonlady BE10-4284777 (half sister of Yelena and Fenomeen).
Click here for the full pedigree of Diamond Anita

The second prize from Barcelona was won by a racing cock, in this case bred from a cock of Etienne and a dam of Hugo.

-Yelbar NL14-1040448

 2th Club Barcelona   244 p. ’17
 5th Prov Barcelona 1,606 p. ’17
18th Nat Barcelona  7,738 p. ’17 (preliminary)

Sire: Grandson Yelena BE11-4278389
A great looking breeding cock for Meirlaen, and owner of the genotype LDHA A/A gene. He is a direct son of Montauban BE08-4298059, the best pigeon from Montauban of Belgium over 3 seasons (PIPA ranking), having won a 5th Nat. Montauban 6,654 p., 10th Nat. Montauban 6,822 p., and a 73rd Nat. Montauban 9,091 p. (he is a son of the sire of Marathon Lady and Perpignanlady: Mont Ventoux BE00-3127297 x stock dam Yelena BE06-4288297); paired to Turbo Cor BE09-4303121.
Dam: Miss Narbonne NL07-1765513
A super class hen of Hugo Batenburg-Vd Merwe, winner of an 11th Nat. Narbonne 3,773 p. ’09, 13th Nat. St.Vincent 5,481 p. ’11, 32nd Nat. Bordeaux 12,423 p. ’08, 74th Nat. St.Vincent 5,336 p. ’10. She is a daughter of Son Jonge Witbuik NL05-1102100 x Daughter Brassie NL04-2091176 (Brassie won a 2nd Nat. St.Vincent & a 20th Nat. Montauban).
Click here for the full pedigree of Yelbar

More top results to come?

The Meirlaen pigeon team is clearly in great shape, and this in turn leads to some great results in their favourite races of the long distance and the extreme long distance (750 to 800km and more).

Team Meirlaen has always been tough to beat, especially in the extreme long distance competition. We are eager to find out if they can add some more top results to their palmares in the upcoming international classics from Marseille, Narbonne and finally Perpignan. These are the races to look forward to, especially because Etienne already has a few pigeons capable of winning an ace pigeon title later on. Wait and see!