Leo & Gerry Dockx (Koningshooikt, BE): Double lofts, double success with 70% Van de Wouwer pigeons

We go back to 2013, the year in which the Leo & Gerry Dockx combination claimed a 1st National Nevers of 11,579 young birds with Jente. A stroke of luck? We don't think so: they went on to add a title of 1st National Ace Pigeon longer middle distance young birds to their palmares the following season, with their now famous Tarzan.

And this set the tone for the next several years, in which they claimed many great results with the help of the Tarzan bloodline and their Van de Wouwer pigeons!

Quite an entry...

Fanciers Leo and Gerry claimed another great result in 2019; their pigeons showed their excellent fitness from Noyon to Chateauroux. We will be taking a closer look at their pigeons and their race approach.

"In late November our breeding birds bred 150 youngsters for our loft, and an additional 60 youngsters for Dockx-Van Den Broeck", Leo explains. "This is our second loft that we founded in 2019. This loft has been off to a great start: a son of our stock breeder Tarzan (BE14-6230069) claimed a 7th Nat. Chateauroux of 19,529 p., which is an excellent debut! And there were some other successful pigeons in this loft as well: BE19-6098822 claimed a promising 187th Nat. Chateauroux of 19,259 pigeons, a 460th Nat. Bourges of 28,446 pigeons, a 673rd Nat. Chateauroux of 22,476 pigeons and a 700th Nat. Argenton Zone 1 of 6,657 pigeons. As a result, he was the 23rd pigeon in the PIPA Ranking over 4 national races, and we were very pleased with that."

"We also breed a round of youngsters from our racing hens. They are paired in November, and preparation starts in April. They train in the evening between 6pm and 7pm. They are raced with their partners being kept at home, up until Chateauroux II, which is also their final race."

Topper Tarzan, 1st National Ace Pigeon longer middle distance young birds 2014

Click here for Tarzan's pedigree.

Feral pigeons

The young birds have one training flight a day, which lasts about one hour. The young birds for the national races are raced with the sliding door. They are darkened (from 6pm to 9am) from mid-March until late May, and they are lightened until 10:30pm, until mid-July or the end of the season. They also had a team of 28 hens for 2019 (yearlings and old birds together). The pigeons get nothing but Matador products, Leo told us. "They get a START mixture on the day of their arrival, as well as the following day. We use the RACING mixture on Mondays and Tuesdays, along with TURBO on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For the race from Noyon, the schedule is moved up a day." Their medical approach is fairly straightforward as well: the pigeons get a regular check-up, and there are no treatments unless it is deemed necessary by the veterinary surgeon.

Jente, 1st national Nevers 2013

Click here for Jente's pedigree.

One of the main issues in this loft when it comes to their health, their training or when they arrive home from a race, is the presence of feral pigeons. Around 250 wild pigeons live on and around the roofs of their farm, which can be rather annoying. When the racing birds aarrive home, they will often seek the company of these wild pigeons, and so they tend to lose a lot of time. And the fanciers lose quite a few youngsters during training as well, because some of them want to live with the feral pigeons on the roofs instead of in their lofts. "This can be quite a problem sometimes", Leo admits, "but there is nothing we can do, so we have to live with it." And it did not prevent them from getting some excellent results again in 2019:

25/05: Bourges
Nat. 24,053 old birds: 63-637-1154-1886-…
Club/Bevel 315 old birds: 2nd - …
Nat. 17,944 yearlings: 9-575-909-1082-1484-…
Club/Bevel 502 yearlings: 1st - …
01/06: Isoudun
Prov. 1400 olds: 9-120-279-308 (4/5 prizes)
Club/Bevel 154 olds: 3rd - …
Prov. 2147 yearlings: 27-40-73-287-…(8/19 prize)
Club/Bevel 271 yearlings: 4-6-12-36
15/06: Argenton
Prov. 1339 olds: 31-388 (2/2 prizes)
Club/Bevel 165 olds: 9th
Prov. 2579 YLs: 4-61-125-270-… (7/10 prizes)
Club/Bevel 277 pigeons: 1st-14-…
22/06: Argenton
Nat. 15,235 olds: 818-1040-3734 (3/6 prizes)
Club/Bevel 237 olds: 15-19
Nat. 22,826 yearlings: 48-179-2124-2437-… (9/16 prizes)
Club/Bevel 350 yearlings: 4th - 7
06/07: Monluçon
Nat. 9857 olds: 814-851-983 (3/5 prizes)
Club/Bevel 186 olds: 26-28-30
Nat. 14.104 yearlings: 36-395-439-… (5/14 prizes)
Club/Bevel 327 yearlings: 3rd -26-…
21/07: Isoudun
Nat. 8248 olds: 9-1276-2055 (3/3 prizes)
Club/Bevel 148 olds: 1st -47
Nat. 11,465 yearlings: 65-422-600-883-… (8/12 prizes)
Club/Bevel 235 yearlings: 8-33-43-60-… (7/12 prizes)
03/08: Bourges
Nat. 7253 olds: 199- 1671- (2/3 prizes)
Club/Bevel 147 olds 9-42
Nat. 10,393 yearlings: 853-1043-…
Club/Bevel 273 yearlings: 47-58-…
Nat. 28,319 YBs: 21-1148-… (5/26 prizes)
Club/Bevel 1281 YBs: 2nd -91-96-…
10/08: Chateauroux
Nat. 4203 olds: 188-764 (2/3 prijs)
Club/Bevel 60 olds: 5th
Nat. 6377 yearlings: 137-293-498-…(7/13 prizes)
Club/Bevel 149 yearlings: 22-30
Nat. 22,476 YBs: 139-1027-1030-…(9/24 prizes)
Club/Bevel 1218 YBs: 30-158-159-…
19/08 Blois
Prov. 2752 YBs: 41-46-57-85-… (30/72 prizes)
Club/Bevel 619 YBs: 11-15-18-29-36-46-47-50-… (27/72 prizes)
31/08 Vierzon
Prov. 2195 YBs: 46-47-156-… (10/16 prizes)
Club/Bevel 534 YBs: 13-14-54-96-100-… (9/16 prizes)
06/09 Chateauroux
Nat. 19529 YBs: 5th -31-79-143-275-297-301-325-382-… (28/59 prizes)
Club/Bevel 1233 YBs: 3rd -14-36-62-94-101-104-113-127-138-… (23/59 prizes)

It takes a collection of top quality birds to win so many top prizes, such as Daughter Tarzan' (BE16-6047104), which clearly inherited the qualities of her sire. She did really well in 2019, with a  9th nat. Issoudun of 8,248 pigeons, a 63rd nat. Bourges of 24,053 pigeons and a 199th nat. Bourges of 7,253 pigeons.

Daughter of broer Kim (BE18-6135145) is another hen which the combination has been very pleased with. She claimed a 9th National Bourges of 17,944 pigeons, as well as a 13th Provincial Blois of 2,923 pigeons. And let's not forget BE19-6098721, which combines the bloodlines of Gaston Van de Wouwer and Kenny Hollanders. This bird was 6th best young bird in the PIPA Ranking for the two races from Chateauroux, where he claimed a 31st and 139th National Chateauroux 2019. The combination has also invested in pigeons of Kenny Hollander and Sabrina Brugmans, to go alongside their collection of Gaston van de Wouwer and Rik Cools descendants.

And Leo would like to give a special mention to his grandchildren. They raced a group of 20 pigeons in widowhood in 2019, and they did really well: they are General Champion Noyon 1st + 2nd + 3rd nominated, and they also claimed an ace pigeon title in the "Langs de netekant" union. "Looks like we have a worthy successor", Leo says with a smile. It's time to look forward to 2020!