To meet a fancier like Dominique Cufay is a real pleasure. The man is nice and is full of ambition. You barely know him but you immediately trust him.
He is the head of a building company so he’s used to taking hard decisions, he is his own boss, and he has only one interest… to improve. When he has a goal, he wants to achieve it, it’s his character. A real personality…that’s for sure.
It all started when he was young, there was an old pigeon fancier in his street that took his attention. Every day, at the same hours, Dominique saw these pigeons flying through the sky. With a group of friends they decided to ring at the door and ask that fancier everything they wanted to know about pigeons. They were a little bit scared but the old pigeon fancier was very friendly and told Dominique and his friends everything about pigeons on a very enthousiastic way. This was the first step for Dominique. He knew what he wanted to become… a pigeon fancier.
When he was 16 years old, he started to participate in pigeon races, but his pigeons didn’t give their boss a lot of confidence because the results were bad. This was in Tourcoing.
In 1992, he moved to his current adress and restart racing. Same dissapointment… but Dominique doesn’t give up. By his best friend, Philippe Deleu, he gets pigeons from a very good flemish fancier, VandeKerkhove from Sleidinge. The years ’94 and ’95 are a real succes, he becomes the middle distance champion in his club.
Dominque feels there’s something missing, he wants to play long distance, for him, the succes on these flights are the most important, he wants to be the best long distance player.
He went searching and found Van den Eijnde in Holland as the perfect provider for his first long distance pigeons. He also went to Deurne where he found two cocks and two hens. He studied the results from the international flights, he selected the best lofts and on this way he arrived at Hagens. He listens to this man and takes his advice. He was very lucky to get two sons of “Sarina” before she won the 3rd international price on Dax. Sons from toppigeons as “Rijs” and “Olano” moves to Neuville-en Ferrain. Dominique bought almost 15 pigeons from Hagen during the years.
Then he started to get focused on the Bruggeman pigeons. He buys a grandson of the “Orhan” and also a daughter of one of the best flyers on the loft.
With the Bruggemanspigeons, together with the Van den Eijnde pigeons, he achieved some nice couples. The same for the Rudy Hermespigeons, that were original Van den Eijnde, were always crossed with Bruggeman. From this line he bred his best pigeon that was very good on Barcelona and Perpignan, for three consecutive years.
He wasn’t pleased yet and Dominique keeped on working and experimenting with different crossings with his only goal to build a colony of top pigeons that are capable to stay on the top for many years. He also visit Straetmans to buy about 30 pigeons, he also buyed a daughter from the “Laureaat Barcelona”, from Gyselbrecht. He also get two hens of Troncquoy, and also an exchange with his friend Marc Pruvost with only one goal: to breed from the best lines.
All these different visits gives him a large breeding loft. In total about 45 couples, among these there were 40 pigeons with a Dutch ring. At the same time Dominique builds an extremely nice loft, where there are about 60 widowers, 2-year pigeons and older. Next to that he also has about 60 yearlings, cocks that are played as widowers, these pigeons live in the first brick lofts. The other ones were build by a specialised company. The stress was put on making it as easy as possible if you think about the limited time. For this reason the floors in the widowers loft were furnished with wooden planks, and drawers. The climate in the loft is very good, not that hot climate even when the tempurature outside is 35 C° during our visit. The pigeons are in better shape at the end of the season, and that’s how Dominique wants it to be, because then the real internationals are there.
All these facilities are chosen in function of his spare time, he should take care of the pigeons while he is also needed in his company. So it’s very difficult if you want to do both very good, but Dominique does it anyway.
Since one year he gets the help of his best friend Alain Deleu, brother of Philippe, that lives in the house where the pigeons of Cufay stay.
Dominique admits that he isn’t always satisfied with the method he uses, he searched a long time to a rational feeding method and at the end he chose for the system of “full menu”. He didn’t always feel pleased when he kept his pigeons in his hands untill he decided to use the system of diet mixture at the end of the preparation so that his pigeons had a variated menu. He noticed that, the more the menu variated, the more the pigeons searched for their favourite graines and the more the pigeons ate. During the season he choses to take a cure against tricho together with a cure against ornithosis for a period of 5 or 6 days, the longest time possible before the next flight. On that way the pigeons have recovered from their medication and they could build some reserves for their next flight.
F02-627178, First international Biarritz
This black cock is a pure Bruggeman pigeon. We find the famous “Orhan” in his pedigree. The mother comes from 2 German pigeons from the loft of Rudy Hermes where we also find Van den Eijnden pigeons.
In the beginning of the season he participated in two sprint races and didn’t got a good result on Poitiers and Bergerac. He participate at San Sebastian and he returned in very good condition but just outside the prizes.
He was basketted for Biarritz in an extremely good shape… and you know the result…
He definitely has a good origin, because his brother, that is three years older, flew the 15th of 1901 pigeons national Barcelona, 80th of 2575 Limoges, 126th of 1765 national Perpignan, 107th of 1590 pigeons of Barcelona…
Dominique prefers to play on Barcelona, we see a constant progression:
In 2001: 107th, 130th and 250th of 1590 pigeons.
In 2002: 15th, 77th, 92nd, 94th, 107th, 131st, 153rd, 252nd, 283rd, 328th, 329th from 1901 pigeons.
In 2003: 1845 pigeons: 25th, 50th, 53rd, 63rd, 168th, 244th, 284th, 285th, 340th, 352nd, 409th, 414th.
In 2004: 20th, 92nd, 218th, 300th, 384th, 401st, 403rd, 446th of 1993 pigeons.
8th international Dax 2004 with 50% Gyselbrecht
During an auction that was organised in France, Dominique saw a hen that he really liked, origine Gyselbrecht. He went to the auction without a lot of hope because he thought that the pigeon would be high above his budget. Luckely for him it wasn’t that way and he could by a Vanbruaene product. This hen was a direct daughter of the first internation Barcelona 1995 from the Gyselbrecht lofts coupled with a half-sister which mother was a granddaughter of the international winner of Barcelona of 1984 in the loft of Vanbruaene. One of the next seasons, four brother always arrived somewhere between the first pigeons as a yearling. On this moment Dominique took a look at the pedigree and saw that everything from Gyselbrecht had good results. So it’s not necessary to say that every egg from this hen was considered as a “golden egg”.
It’s the FR01-560409 that was the 8th international Dax from this year. It was a very hard race. He was just too late for the national victory. Before this Dax result he already had some good results: 77th from 1335 pigeons national Pau, and 253th of 5379 pigeons from Tulle.
In 2003, he won per 10 from Limoges and Dax international. And more then one of his brothers are following the same road…
Some easy principes that will be usefull in the future.
When you first meet Dominique, the first thing you’re sure of is that he is very friendly and easy-going.
The same simplicity we find at the level of taking care of the pigeons and the way that the pigeon sport is practiced. Because of his multiple visits to Holland, he came back with the same spirit of our Dutch neighbours.
The lesson of Dominique is that you have to play and test on the distances that are fit for your pigeons and also play all your pigeons. This will ask some sacrifices but the results of this method is proven before. It’s not only Cufay that does it… Is this maybe the reason of the improvement of the French pigeonsport? The Dutch fanciers were first but now the French fanciers are taking over the Dutch champions.
Like all pigeon fanciers Dominique keeps on searching to a better way of feeding the pigeons. He listens to everybody from which he can learn something but like most of the champions he has chosen for the ‘full menu’-method. This is one of his big secrets!