Chris Lefevre - Vichte (BE) Man with the ‘small basket’ wins Chateauroux Yearlings National - UPDATE

It is often difficult for the ‘small fancier’ (in numbers) to compete with the mega lofts in the provincial and national races. This weekend Chris Lefevre proved that it can be otherwise... by winning the 1° Nat. Chateauroux 22.719 yearlings!

The 2° national Chateauroux of the season with the KBDB as organiser received more than 2.100 pigeons more at the start than two weeks previously… mainly due to the increase in yearlings where 4.500 extra pigeons were basketted… 22.719 yearlings as opposed to 18.251 for ‘Chateauroux I’ at the end of May… the run-up to the top classic from Limoges Yearlings has clearly started!

With a day’s delay, due to the unfavourable weather in the middle of France and on the east line, the pigeons were given the green light on Sunday morning at 7h30, and the starting signal could be given for a nice race in first-class racing weather in more or less wind still conditions or a weak NE-wind.

It was the West-Flemish Chris Lefevre from Vichte (between Deerlijk and Kortrijk) who eventually clocked the fastest yearling at 13h46’23” from a distance of 463,425 Km, which gave a velocity of 1231,25 m/min… good enough for ‘national victory’… The brothers Freddy & Jacques Vandenheede stranded (with 1215 m/min) with a ‘poulidor place’ nationally (although 1° provincial), but with this underline their steep ambitions and confirm the favourite role that we stuck on them last week! In place 3 in the provisional prognosis we find Marnix Dhondt from Semmerzake (1212 m), who seems to be in a fight for seconds with the formation Van Hove-Uytterhoeven (1211,93 m) in 4th place and Rik Hermans (1211,04) shines in 5th place nationally.

Chris Lefevre as primus
In Chris Lefevre a rather ‘small fancier’ has won the national call… say the man with the ‘small basket’ (see results further on)… just in front of a few ‘mastodons’ of our pigeon sport! Definitely not easy… but proof that also in the pigeon sport ‘David’ can beat ‘Goliath’… and that the majority of the fanciers in our country shouldn’t despair… ‘basket them’ is the message then! Chris Lefevre is not just any old fancier… but a real topper… with usually only 2 to 4 pigeons at the start! Admittedly… you are not then easily noticed between all the ‘mega lofts’… but his pigeons are always there!
Up until 2003 Chris raced together with his father under the name Lefevre Henri and Chris from Wielsbeke. In that period they achieved various splendid victories including the 1° Prov. Limoges two years in a row with the "429" , this was a pigeon of the sort from Kamiel Vanwijnsberghe from Waregem… also the 1° Prov. Bourges etc… In '95 they achieved the title of provincial champion W-Fl. with 1-2-3 over Chateauroux - Argenton and Limoges. The origin with which they raced so handsomely was for almost 70% K. Vanwijnsberghe - Waregem, plus further from Gerard Baekelandt - Wevelgem and from Bouckaert-Deneir-Olsene. In 2003 after stopping with the duo in Wielsbeke, Chris rebuilt part of his lofts at the current location in Vichte, from which he has now managed to win his national victory from Chateauroux for yearlings.

Since his restart from the lofts in Vichte Chris could further expand their old stock with pigeons from Gaby Kindt, J. Duyvetter, Jozef Laevens, Roger Vervaecke, Houtekier-Vandeghinste and from Chris Debacker. With success apparently, because within the 7 years that Chris has now been active in Vichte he can produce a handsome list of real top performances… with the highlights including
- 1° regional Rekkem in the Blois Guldensporenvlucht ('04)
- 1° prov. Limoges Bekervlucht ('05)
- Champion by "de Ware Belgen" in Deerlijk ('06)
- Champion long distance youngsters in Rekkem ('07)
-1° Prov Limoges  3.551 yearlings (’08)
-And then now 1° National Chateauroux 22.719 yearlings

The national winner Chateauroux yearlings… ‘The 998’, ring B09-3051998… was already a ‘top promise’, before he achieved his national triumph… who had already shown what he was capable of… and brought the victory flowers to Vichte from Clermont, in addition to 2 top performances from Orleans! His descendants don’t lie either… and gave good hope. He is namely a son of the ‘Blauwe Argenton’ B06-3016549, self 7° Prov Argenton and originating from Bart Declerck (and coming out ‘Son Zorro 988/01’ x Blue 946/04 Vermeulen-Dujardin) x ‘Sister Limoges’ B07-3038761, full sister of the winner 1° Prov Limoges 3.551 p.,  and 74° Nat 15.943 p. in 2008 (and coming out the ‘Blue Gaby 926/04… brother of the 1° Prov Tours in 2004… x ‘The Dhuyvetterke 639/03’, originating from 1° Nat Brive winner ’07 Julo Dhuyvetter). The own ‘nest sister’ of this ‘mother 1° Nat Chateauroux’, "the 762/07" achieved as a youngster a:

47° Clermont   538p
67° Momignies  699p
84° Brionne   1011p and prov. 1686° from 8713p
2°  Nantes     183p and interprov. 17°from 1889p
10° Poitiers   231p and interprov. 62° from 919p
34° Tours      404p and prov. 120° from 1930p

The ‘1° Nat Chateauroux’ B09-30519989 self has performed up to now as follows:

In 2009:
20/6 Ablis          391 p. 103
27/6 Ablis        1.110 p. 39
11/7 Orleans        413 p. 18
18/7 Blois          764 p. 42
        Prov      4.094 p. 152
01/8 Tours          902 p. 34
        Prov      4.203 p. 94
08/8 Argenton       423 p. 14
        Prov      2.635 p. 44
22/8 La Souterraine 369 p. 6
        Prov      1.890 p. 40
In 2010:
10/4 Arras          119 p. 18
17/4 Clermont       149 p. 17
24/4 Clermont       254 p. 1
01/5 Ablis          127 p. 12
08/5 Ablis          153 p. 11
15/5 Orleans        175 p. 2
29/5 Orleans        899 p. 4
13/6 Chateauroux 22.719 p. 1

Not surprising then that he enjoyed the ‘fullest confidence’ of his boss, and was basketted as 1° nominated


Small, but brave
Needless to say, Chris cannot participate in all the long distance races with his ‘small colony’ of pigeons. When questioned further we learn that he prefers to race the old birds in the middle distance and long distance (system of classic widowhood). The youngsters are raced according to the system of semi widowhood. Somewhere deep inside he dreams of changing to the extreme long distance, but at the moment he doesn’t really have the room to keep any more pigeons. Although in the meantime experience has taught him that also his own sort perform quite well at that level, a few experiments from Barcelona and St.Vincent (now Soustons) confirmed this completely.
Chris certainly doesn’t shy away from the ‘tough competition’ with his ‘mini team’… his home harbour is always the club in Rekkem (having this weekend all 3 of the national victories)… where quite a number of national ‘celebrities’… passed by the basketting table… and Chris knows how to hold his own between these perfectly, even more… even regularly out-perform them! That the ‘national victory’ in the very least a stroke of luck was… but more likely the result of pure ‘top condition’ in the lofts… is proved by the following magnificent performances from the ‘grand middle distance’ over the first weeks of the sport season 2010, in the club in Rekkem:

15/5 Chateauroux   604 old birds  4 (2)
22/5 Bourges       376 old birds  23-88-99 (3)
     Poitiers      285 old birds  4-26-48 (5)
29/5 Brive         552 old birds  9 (2)
     Orleans       899 yearlings 4-33-163 (4)
05/6 Poitiers      324 old birds  27-33 (3)
     Tours         481 yearlings 10-73 (2)
     Montélimar    227 old birds  18 (2)
13/6 Chateauroux   688 yearlings 1-212 (with 1°+2°nom from 3p)
         Nat    22.719 yearlings 1…
                   424 old birds  91 (2)

Beautiful performances which only  goes to prove that there is real ‘top class’ in the lofts of Chris Lefevre… pigeons which know how to classify themselves between the real West-Flemish ‘toppers’ in any circumstances! ‘David’ also won the fight here against ‘Goliath’… We would like to heartily congratulate the Lefevre family with this resounding national victory…something which they are now enjoying to the full!