Localized in the area of Thuin, Lobbes is a small village of more than 5.000 citizens and close to the Beaumont road. That's where André Charles lives, as main fancier of the associatin Charles-Michaux. His partner is François Michaux, a person well know in the world of the pigeon sport. These two men decided to race in partnership just before the 2008 season, after becoming friends right after the national victory of André from Argenton ahead of 14.492 youngsters. François, who lives in Mariembourg, had decided to stop with the pigeon sport on his own, just after he had left the house of his parents. It was almost impossible for him to take care of his pigeons due to his work and travel commitments. After he was definitely installed in the area of Chimay, François transformed the attics of the house in Mariembourg into lofts and, in2010, he decided to race again. And he has just had a marvellous 2011 season. As he is involved in two colonies, it is his brother, Olivier, who is suscribed as the second member of the association in Lobbes. There is a story behind this. However, he wants it let known: 'In Lobbes, André is the only person who makes the decisions.' Involved in our sport for a few decades, André Charles is one of the best fanciers of the province. The championships speak for themselves.
François & André.
André has won a loft of things that most of the fanciers don't even dare to dream of. Take a look:
1st National Argenton '06 14.492 Youngsters 1st Semi-National Montluçon '06 3.696 Yearlings
1st National Champ Small Middle Distance KBDB 2011 3rd National Ace Pigeon Speed KBDB 1997 3rd National Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB 2006 6th National Champ Yearlings KBDB 2010 7th National Champ Yearlings KBDB 2006 8th National Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB 2005 8th National Champ Middle Distance KBDB 2006
So, 6 times in the top 12 of the national championships since the '05 season!
Since he began with the pigeon sport, André Charles has been a great fan of the pigeons from the legendary late Marc Roosens. Marc was a true monument of the international pigeon sport and has won a doen national victories. André has always been successful with his Roosens and, nowadays, his colony is still based on the blood lines of this great champion who was an ambassador of the Belgian pigeon sport. Later on, he strenghtened his loft with pigeons coming from lofts that were racing successfuly with the Roosens bloodlines. He did this with pigoens from Delbruyère from Solre-sur-Sambre, Bourlard from Harveng and Nihoul from Senzeilles. Recently, André and François bought a whole round of eggs from Maurice & Grégory Casaert for two years in a row. They were'nt housed in the breeding loft, they directly went to the racing loft where they were raced and selected strictly so that they could keep the cream of the crop. It gave them the possibility to select their pigeons on the only thing that a pigeon fancier must have as a target : their results in the races. We can also find pigeons from Limbourg, Van Avondt, Bosua, etc. It's useful to know that each year, a few pigeons are bought in the hpoe of finding a successful formula.
The Charles-Michaux loft is composed of 55 widowers and 20 breeding pairs which raised a hundred youngsters in more or less four rounds. There are only 12 old racing pigeons. As you may understand, the selecting of the yearlings is huge and these must show what they are worth if they want to be a part of the racing team the next year. For the youngsters, the first round is composed of 60 heads raced to the full with the sliding door system. An important detail: they are not darkened. This was not a problem for André when he won the national race of Argenton in 2006. The second and third round are simply well trained in a few speed races so that they will have some experience.
The widowers are trained at the end of november and are allowed to raise a round of youngsters. They are never coupled again before the season and they won't see their partners before the season at the begining of April. At this level, at Charles-Michaux, the pigeons take to the road in a particuliar manner. The wednesday before the first speed race, André leaves to train his whole racing team at the end of the morning. When they arrive home, the hens are enclosed in the middle of their box. At 2 p.m., he trains them a 2nd time. The hens are always enclosed. Finally, at the end of the afternoon, he makes a third training flight. 'I can say that the third time, the pigeons arrive home like rockets! The sunday, they leave for the first time and when they come back from the race, I don't even have to call them. The pigeons are not even landing on the roof. And then, the yearlings understand directly the system and we win a few weeks in only three days of time. I won't change this system. For the rest of the season, I don't even show the hens before the basketing because they already know what they will get when they come back.'
- Results sent for the 1st place at the National Champ Small Middle Distance:
1st nom 2nd nom 14/05 Orléans 2.800 p. : 3 & 1 21/05 Orléans 1.964 p. : 10 & 30 28/05 Bourges 544 p. : 17 & 50 02/07 Orléans 840 p. : 3 & 19 30/07 Bourges 2.365 p. : 22 & 21
The distance for Orléans is about 321 kilometers and for Bourges 388 kilometers.
We are now going to introduce you to the main artisan of this title, the 1st nominated of the loft, a superior crack pigeon which has been at the top of the bill for two years now.
- 'The 028' (BE 09-9046028)
2010: Orléans 20/812, Orléans 13/1.183 Orléans 17/867 Orléans 1/586 Orléans 13/547 Orléans 11/506 Orléans 2/454 Orléans 7/388 Toury 4/423 2011: Soissons 5/401 La Ferté 4/1.289 Melun 6/1.264 Lorris 46/1.964 Orléans 1/2.800 (*) Orléans 30/1.964 (*) Orléans 34/429 Orléans 9/542 Orléans 15/238 Orléans 20/840 (*) Orléans 59/637 Bourges 21/2.365 (*), 40/4.253 Zone C, 109/9.781 National
Note: (*) for the results sent for the national championship.
The wing of the '028'....
...and his head.
Father: 'Blue Van Avondt' (BE 05-2075728), grandson of the super pair Van Avondt 'Blauwe Superkweker x Blauw Kweekster'. His father, the '401/01' was a super racer and won the 1st Bourges 391 p., 1st Blois 278 p.,99th national Bourges 9.747 p. 52th semi-national La Souterraine 8.014 p. and his mother, the '515/01', is a full sister of the 'Bourges duivin' which won the 4th national Bourges against 36.506 youngsters as well as the 1st Interprovincial of 8.548 and also of the 'Vichy duivin' which won the 5th national Vichy against 2.708 pigeons.
Mother: 'Grand daughter Louis' (BE 06-2024897), directly from the Eric Limbourg loft, the wonderboy of Brussegem. A package of his best lines with pigeons like the 'Slimmen' or again 'Louis' (1st Ace pigeon Long Distance BDS & 1st prov Brive '02) in the pedigree. But it is also a granddaughter of the 1st Nat Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB '03 from Aelbrecht, the famous 'Patron', son of the 'Smallen 970', full brother of the well know 'Lucky 848'who is nothing but the best De Rauw-Sablon breeder in the world! In conclusion, 3 star origins for this crack !
If you want to have a look to the pedigree of this pigeon, click here.
The loft of the widows.
Best results of the 2011 season
10/04 Laon : 1, 2, . . . / 302 yearlings 24/04 La Ferté : 2, 4, 5, 11, 13, 14, 15, . . . / 1289 olds : 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 19, . . . / 836 yearlings 01/05 Melun : 1, 4, 5, 6, 13, 22, . . .. / 1264 olds : 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 23, 24, . . . / 857 yearlings 08/05 La Ferté : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, . . . / 144 yearlings 14/05 Orléans : 1, 4, 5, 30, . . . / 1578 yearlings : 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, . . . / 2800 olds 21/05 Orléans : 2, 3, 15, . . . / 349 yearlings 28/05 Dijon : 1 / 24 yearlings 04/06 Châteauroux : 2, 3, . . . / 175 yearlings local : 5, . . . / 2183 N 1000 : 16, . . . / 5441 CFW : 37, . . . ./25263 National 04/06 Orléans : 1, 7, . . . / 299 yearlings local : 4, . . . ./ 1080 entente 04/06 Salbris : 1, 4, 34, . . . / 878 yearlings 18/06 Orléans : 2, 8, . . . / 171 yearlings 25/06 Montluçon : 1, 8, / 110 olds local : 1, 8, / 158 yearlings local : 13, 56, . . . / 1856 Provincial : 86 Semi-National 6185 olds 02/07 Orléans : 2, 8, 10, 13, . . . / 552 olds : 3, 11, 14, 19, . . . / 840 olds entente 16/07 Salbris : 1 /320 yearlings 30/07 Bourges : 19, 20 /2120 N1000 : 21, 22 / 2365 n direct : 40, 42 /4253 Nat zone : 109,119 /9781 National 04/06 Limoges : 2, 3, 10, . . . / 127 olds local : 14, 41, . . . / 3239 N direct : 24, 74, . . . / 5147 CFW : 19 , 57, . . . / 5269 National Zone 09/07 Brive : 1, 7, / 57 local : 72 / 1589 Noyau 1000 16/07 Jarnac : 2 / 48 olds local : 41 / 715 Provincial : 1, 2, 3, / 23 yearlings local : 9, 29, 37 / 666 Provincial : 43, . . . / 1621 N1000 : 157 / 4505 Semi-national
Our congratulations and good luck for the future !