Etienne Meirlaen (Deurle, BE) claims 1st Provincial and 2nd National St.Vincent

Etienne claims a provincial first prize from St. Vincent for the second year in a row, after his previous victory in 2018. He also settles for second place at national level. He claimed victory in 2018 with a son of Monar, whereas this year's winner is a grandson of Monar.

History repeats itself

It is an often-used phrase and it definitely applies to the achievements of Etienne Meirlaen in the international race from St. Vincent over the past two seasons. To begin with, Etienne claimed a 1st Prov. and 2nd National St. Vincent in 2018 with Olympiad Pigeon 'Son Monar 031'. And he repeated his performance in 2019, this time with a two year old: a full brother of Provincial Pau BE12-4278314, himself a 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance KBDB in 2017 and 10th Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance KBDB 2016, and winner of a 1st Prov. Pau 2016 and 1st Prov. St. Vincent in 2017. 

This year's winner was renamed Provincial St. Vincent. This champion arrived home at dusk, at 22:17'07", completing 896.243km. He had been racing for about 15 hours and 2 minutes. He is a very strong bird who used every ounce of strength to arrive home on the day of the release. Hats off to him, and to national winner Noël Peiren, as well as to the other 10 pigeons that reached their loft on the day of the race. These are hard working athletes!

Provincial Pau: himself 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance KBDB 2017, 10th Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance KBDB 2016 and
a full brother of Provincial St.Vincent: 1st Prov. - 2nd Nat. St. Vincent in 2019

St. Vincent was quite a demanding race, and the start was postponed to Saturday, due to the bad weather on Friday. A slight headwind mainly from northerly direction made the return trip even more difficult for the pigeons. The Meirlaen pigeons put in a great performance, winning the following prizes:

St.Vincent club 102 olds: 1-2-3-4-7-16-20-21-26-27-31-32-33 (13/27)
Provincial 542 olds: 1-9-20-22-31-72-94-95... etc (preliminary results)
National 2,949 olds: 2-27-63-83-110-285-391-392-532-533-658-670-696-714 (14/27)

The national long distance race from Aurillac took place on Saturday 13th of July as well, where the old birds had a 100% prize percentage:

Aurillac club 139 olds: 6-9-20-27 (4/4)

The racing conditions that Saturday 13th of July suited the Meirlaen pigeons really well, apparently: they claimed a 1st Provincial and 2nd National and they did great overall, but there was more. The international winner from St. Vincent of 10,597 pigeons of Ad Fortuin from Strijen (NL) is a 50% Meirlaen bird as well, bred by Hugo Batenburg from two pigeons that come from a joint breeding between Batenburg-Vd Merwe x Etienne Meirlaen. This bird stems from the Yelena bloodline through both its parents (a son of Monar and a daughter of Montali).
In Great Britain we saw Mark Gilbert (Winkfield Windsor - UK) claim another national first prize from St. Vincent with a 25% Meirlaen bird: a grandson of Kannibaal Barcelona (himself 1st Prov. and 4th Internat. Barcelona 25,750 p. in 2010). This national winner had already won a 7th Internat. Pau for Mark Gilbert in 2019. He is quite a talented bird!
Besides, Mark Gilbert had already won a 1st National and 4th Internat. Pau with another grandson of Kannibaal Barcelona earlier this year!
The best pigeon in the current PIPA ranking over 4 national long distance races (ranking on 15th of July) belongs to the lofts of Bart and Nance Van Oeckel, and she too is a 75% Meirlaen descendant (bred in the lofts of Willy & Ivan Baetens). She is a granddaughter of both stock dam Yelena and long distance champion 't Fenomeen, and she originates from super class breeder Brother Marseille 612. 

winner of 1st Intnat. Narbonne - Monar: sire of 1st Prov. - 2nd Nat. St.Vincent 2018 and 1st & 4th Olympiad Pigeon Cat. E Poznan 2019
Grandfather of 1st Prov. - 2nd Nat. St.Vincent in 2019

Provincial St.Vincent wins 1st Prov. and 2nd National

The new provincial winner and 2nd Nat. St. Vincent was promptly renamed Provincial St. Vincent, in analogy to his full brother, superstar Provincial Pau. The race from St. Vincent was in fact the first international race for this two year old newcomer - a terrific looking bird by the way - who showed his potential right away. His pedigree speaks volumes:

-Provincial St.Vincent BE17-4214021

 1. Prov. St.Vincent   542 p. ’19 – 2. National 2,953 p.
72. Vierzon            869 p. ’19
470 Nat. Limoges I  13,569 p. ’19
726 Nat. Montauban   5,408 p. ’19

Full brother Provincial Pau:
 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2017
10th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2016

Sire: Superbreeder BE11-4312214
A phenomenal breeder; linebred from stock breeder Marathon Lady (also the dam of Yelena), coming from a grandson x daughter of Marathon Lady. He is a son of superstar Monar  BE08-4298283 (winner of a 1st Internat. Narbonne 12,605 p., and himself a son of Father Marseille x stock breeder Yelena) x Daughter Marathon Lady BE10-4284777. She is the grandmother of a 1st Nat. and 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance KBDB 2017 (bred from 612 Brother Marseille x Marathon Lady).
Dam: Daughter Euro Diamond DV06720-09-1766
A direct Dr. H. P. Brockamp from the incredible Euro Diamond DV06720-02-537 (1st Olympiad Pigeon Marathon Cat. E in Ostend 2007, winner of a 1st Nat. Carcassonne 2,719 p. and 2nd Internat. 10,323 p., a 3rd Nat. Perpignan, 4th Nat. Bergerac, 5th Nat. Perpignan…) x 1st National Acehen 2006 DV01186-04-1449 (10th Nat. Pau, 13th Nat. Perpignan, 21st Nat. Marseille…).
Click here for the pedigree of Provincial St.Vincent

Superbreeder BE11-4312214: the sire of Provincial Pau, Provincial St.Vincent etc.

Superbreeder is not only the sire of Provincial Pau and Provincial St.Vincent, he also bred racing bird '389' BE16-4235389 (pedigree). This 389 wins a 76th Nat. Pau 2,797 p. ’19, a 112th Nat. St.Vincent 2,953 p. ’19, a 163rd Nat. St.Vincent 2,758 p. ’18 etc. It is clear: the invaluable genes of golden stock dam Yelena will continue to reign in the Meirlaen pigeon lofts.

1st-2nd-3rd-4th club, 2nd-27th-63rd-83rd National St.Vincent

Etienne wins the first four prizes at club level, and all four have finished in the national top 100. The 2nd prize at club level was won by BE17-4214122. He wins a 2nd in the club of 102 p. and a 27th Nat. St. Vincent 2,949 p., and he is a grandson of Cor (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance KBDB 2008) and Den Teek (3rd Primus Inter Pares Barcelona in 2008). Click here for the pedigree of the 27th Nat. St. Vincent.

The third pigeon to get clocked from St. Vincent is one of a kind as well, having already won a national top prize from Pau, where he finished in 8th place.

-VIPau BE15-4254695

 8. Nat Pau        2,797 p. ’19
63. Nat St.Vincent 2,953 p. ’19
87. Nat St.Vincent 2,758 p. ’18
107 Nat Perpignan  3,966 p. ’18
269 Nat St.Vincent 3,053 p. ’17
337 Nat Narbonne   5,929 p. ’16

Sire: Barcelona 472 BE07-4278472
He won himself 5 consecutive prizes from Barcelona (between 2009 and 2013), including a 6th Nat. Barcelona 12,170 p. and a 16th Nat. Perpignan 6,661 p. He is a son of extreme long distance star and Barcelona specialist Old 7 x Barca BE03-6364240, winner of 7 consecutive prizes from Barcelona, including a 68th Nat. Barcelona 11,612 p. and an 84th Nat. Barcelona 12,998 p. (from the line of Laureaat Barcelona Gyselbrecht). His dam is Half Sister Luka BE03-4364276 (the successful line from which a 1st Nat. Tarbes-Shackelton, a 4th Euregion San Sebastian 1,958 p., a 20th Nat. St.Vincent, a 30th Nat. Biarritz, and a 32nd Intnat. Soustons were bred).

Dam: Beauty Queen BE10-5061819
Herself a 71st Nat. Barcelona 8,764 p. ’14, a 48th Intnat. Marseille ’13, a 60th Intnat. Barcelona ’14, and a 77th Intnat. Perpignan ’12. She is a daughter of 10th Nat. Barca BE07-5018366 (7th Nat. St.Vincent 7,356 p. ’08, 10th Nat. Barcelona 13,502 p. ’09…) x Yelenka BE08-4358902, a half sister of golden stock dam Yelena (daughter of Gouden Vleugel 245/00 x Marathon Lady 386/04).
Bekijk hier de pedigree van VIPau

This VIPau is a full brother of the first pigeon that was clocked in the international race from Barcelona: racing bird BE15-4240282 (see pedigree): he wins a 4th club 219 p. and a 66th Nat. Barcelona 7,301 p. '19. He also won a 742nd Nat. Barcelona of 7,438 p. in 2018, in his first classic from Spain.

VIPau is hiermee een volle broer van de eerste duif die op de internationale vlucht uit Barcelona in de klok stak, duif BE15-4240282 (zie pedigree): wint 4e lokaal 219 d. en 66. Nat Barcelona 7.301 d. ’19, won vorig jaar bij zijn eerste deelname 742 Nat Barcelona 7.438 d. ’18.

An approach that works

The international races from Barcelona and Perpignan were always the number one objective up until about three years ago. These two races used to be their main point of focus, and the very best birds were used for these races. A thorough analysis of the racing calendar and the individual results of each pigeon has eventually resulted in Etienne adopting a slightly different approach. He realised that in case of a particularly difficult or demanding Barcelona classic - and we have had a few in recent years - he can only basket these birds for Barcelona; Perpignan would come too soon for them. Or to put it differently, these two races combined might be too demanding, and it would increase the risk of losing some of your best birds. He concluded that he might be able basket his best racing birds (his cocks) three times: for Pau, St. Vincent and Perpignan (or at least two times). As a result, he divided his extreme long distance team into two: a smaller group of racing cocks with specific Barcelona origins will continue to race Barcelona, along with the stronger old hens for Barcelona-Perpignan (raced from the nest). Meanwhile, the main group of racing cocks are basketed for Pau and St.Vincent, as well as Perpignan, depending on the circumstances.

And it was this change in tactics that laid the foundation for Etienne's national titles and national ace pigeons in recent years. Making an analysis, drawing conclusions, making changes and possibly reaping the rewards - this is the approach of a pigeon fancier who has a clear take on things, who understands the possibilities of his breed, and who can get the most out of his team. These are perhaps the finer points of pigeon racing, this is why such champions as Meirlaen are racing in a league of their own. His many victories and ace pigeon titles at provincial and national level say it all. This breed excels not only at home but also in various other teams across the globe, as you can tell from the dozens of references.

The international race from St. Vincent was another highlight for this team, with a provincial victory and a second place at national level, for the second year in a row. And let's not forget the international victory of Ad Fortuin, and the national first prize in the UK of Mark Gilbert. These are top results won by the golden Meirlaen pigeon family, arguably one of the leading extreme long distance breeds worldwide!

Yvette: the dam of a 1st Intnat. St.Vincent 2019 for Ad Fortuin (NL)

The best results in national and international races in 2019

St.Vincent Club 102 olds: 1-2-3-4-7-16-20-21-26-27-31-32-33 (13/27)
Provincial 542 olds: 1-9-20-22-31-72-94-95... etc (prognose)
National 2,953 olds: 2-28-63-84-112-294-403-404-538-540-664-681-706-726 (14/27)

Barcelona Club 219 olds: 4-12-19-21-22-30-38-39-46-56-57-69 (12/20)
National 7,301 olds: 66-328-534-580-581-824-1265-1273-1681 (9/20)

Agen Nationaal 3,938 olds: 34-150-203-270-293-473-721-756 (8/8)
Agen Club 142 YLs: 1-3-4-10-17-20... (16/30)
National 4,664 YLs: 31-81-86-172-265-375-568-652... and a total of 17 prizes with 30 pigeons.
(All pigeons basketed for Agen were hens)

Pau Club 84 olds: 2-3-5-6-10-15-16-17-18 (9/16)
National 2,797 olds: 8-42-75-76-109-231-235-237-238-468-508-594 (12/16)

Montauban  Club 161 olds: 4-18-19-21-23-24-25-29-33-34-37-42-46-47-53 (15/21)
National 5,381 birds 41... (11/21)

Aurillac Club 139 olds: 6-9-20-27 (4/4)
National 3,886 olds: 220-283-537-793 (4/4)