Eric Berckmoes - Brecht (BE) … building on a new team after the theft at the end of 2009.

Eric Berckmoes managed to place himself in the (inter)national spotlight from a young age… with titles as National Champion Beginners in 1998, and World Champion Youth by the FCI…

The train in Brecht was immediately on the ‘right tracks’ then… though Eric was also served by a portion of chance. When Eric was 13 years old, he and his family moved from Schoten to Brecht, and he was lucky enough to live3 just 200 metres from a great champion at the time… namely sprint celebrity Albert Marcelis. Marcelis taught Eric the tricks of the trade, later… when Albert became older, and wasn’t very mobile and suffered health problems… Eric took more and more care of the Marcelis pigeons, and he became more in charge of the Marcelis loft. As a sign of his gratitude, Albert… gave him a lot back. In addition to a great number of eggs and small youngsters… Albert gave him his nicest gift ever… namely the ‘Sprint’… which was Olympiad pigeon for our country in 2003 in Liévin in France! Eric was then directly on a bed of roses… because the logical result of all this is that the colony of Eric Berckmoes is for more or less 90% built up with Marcelis pigeons… wherefrom within the shortest space of time super crack ‘Sprint’ developed into a matchless ‘super breeder’… a stock pigeon out thousands. Let’s refresh our minds with a few of the most prominent achievements of this top athlete :

-The ‘Sprint’ B97-6549507

 Won no less than 22 x 1° Prizes
Olympiad pigeon ‘Sprint’ 2003 in Liévin
3° National Ace pigeon Sprint KBDB ’02
5° National Ace pigeon Sprint KBDB ’00
Father of the ‘Jonge Sprint’: 5 x 1° prize
Father of the 1° Ace pigeon Yearlings Z.A.V. ‘05
Father of the ‘Nieuwe Zion’: 1° Nat Gueret  ’06 etc  

Grandfather of Yantiand Babette(see further)
He also lies at the basis of several top pigeons in other lofts at home and abroad, so as in the colony of SG Jung Jupid in Germany and Gerard Koopman (‘Mr Allennig’ and ‘Miss Mukdahan)…
When Albert Marcelis passed away on the 1st of April 2004, Eric had to stand on his own two feet… and he immediately began to build on his emporium… an honours list which was soon bursting at the seams. Because Eric directly entered his Marcelis pigeons for the ‘national classics’… and this in the ‘grand middle distance’ and ‘light long distance’. Distances which were no problem for the Marcelis pigeons! These pigeons kept ‘winning’ here too’… continued their triumph march from the former ‘Sprint’… unhindered in the aforementioned ‘national races’! It produced ‘fireworks’… the Eric Berckmoes colony achieved resounding victories in the shortest space of time, which resounded far abroad, with a.o .

 1° Nat Bourges          13.118 YL ’99
1-2-6° Nat Argenton       4.804 YL ’05
1-5° Nat La Souterraine 3.444 o.b. ’05
1° Nat Gueret           2.633 o.b. ’06
3° Nat Vichy            2.461 o.b. ’05
1° Ace pigeon West-European Counties cup Long Distance with ‘Yanti’
Olympiad pigeon ‘Cat B’ Long Distance in Ostend 2007 with  ‘Babette’ 

An honours list that counts… which proves that Eric, despite his young age (35) has already laid a nice track within the pigeon sport. That didn’t escape the notice of people within our sport with  ‘less chaste ideas’… so was he, within a week… at the end of August 2009, confronted twice with a pigeon theft. The first time 50 pigeons were stolen… the 2nd time Eric could rely on the help of a few friends and the police to catch the thief(s)  red-handed… the sad tale is well-known .

Building on a ‘new team 
A colony which  Eric had worked on for years… had put in a lot of time and energy, and which led to the above mentioned top successes… was suddenly partly beheaded! Eric stood for a dilemma… he had to take measures to compensate this loss… in other words, Eric had to make difficult choices.
The fact that mainly the breeding cocks were stolen, made Eric take the firm decision to reserve his best racing pigeons for the breeding loft… mainly cocks, but also hens (from which the father was stolen)… in order to secure the future! This meant that at the start of 2010 there were 30 racing couples over which were raced in ‘total widowhood’… consisting of a few pigeons from 2008, and for the rest a few youngsters from the 3rd round which had just been trained, supplemented with a few summer youngsters which had not even seen a basket as a youngster… this in order to make the racing couples complete. As a result of this Eric also has a very  ‘youthful breeding team’… with a breeding loft built up with the best racers and youngsters from 2009 from all his best lines… including, yes… another 18 direct children of the ‘Sprint’ (wherefrom 11 from the year 2009).
Anything but a balanced team, with which Eric was forced to start the 2010 sport season. Certainly not ideal then… but these pigeons bred excellently and several good performances were put to paper. Circumstances meant that he couldn’t participate in all the races… yet Eric decided to concentrate only on the ‘nationals’… wherefrom the following selection from a few good performances, so as 

 Chateauroux    2.729 p.  4-17-95-113-114-117-121-150-178-234 (19/36)
Argenton       2.118 p.  14-19-26-47-121-144-196 (15/30)
Limoges        2.159 p.  57-61-214-462 (4/6)
La Souterraine 4.778 p.  17-60-128-181-259-401-450-456 (11/16)
Gueret         2.953 p.  9-46-62-98-123-149-255 (17/19) 

In addition to the above-cited ‘Sprint’… the absolute stock father by Eric Berckmoes… we would also like to introduce you to 2 super hens…their breeding lines are mainly the basis to these successes :

-‘Yanti’ B04-6265645

 1° Ace pigeon West-European Counties cup Long Distance ‘05
2° Nat Argenton       4.804 p.
3° Prov Chateauroux   2.505 p.
5° Nat La Souterraine 3.444 p. Etc ... 

-‘Babette’ B04-6265629
Olympiad pigeon Long Distance KBDB ’07 in Ostend 

 1° Montluçon              496 p.
3° Nat Vichy            2.461 p.
27° Nat La Souterraine  3.444 p . 

The best pigeon in 2010 in the Berckmoes colony was without doubt the 

- "Red Angel"
He is a son of  "Donkere 18"x “Daughter of Yanti", and has already won :

  Quiévrain             313 p. 1
 Noyon                 633 p. 9
 Chateauroux   Nat. 22.718 p. 10
 Bourges       Nat. 17.138 p. 55
 Argenton      Nat.  7.132 p. 39
 Bourges       Prov. 1.143 p. 35
 La Souterraine Nat. 4.778 p. 181
 Gueret        Nat.  2.953 p. 149
 Blois         Prov.   793 p. 36  etc .. 

In 2010 he was basketted no less than 17 times, and won 17 prizes wherefrom 12 times per 10!

Despite the fact that Eric started 2010 with an ‘experimental’ team (read: inexperienced) of racing pigeons, he performed brilliantly, and classified himself  7 x within the ‘Top 5’ at provincial level, with :

 2° prov. Cahors
2° prov. Blois
3° prov. Blois
4° prov. Bourges
4° Prov. Chateauroux
4° Prov. Guerret
5° Prov. Limoges 

Conclusion
If Eric is spared further disappointments, we can soon expect him back at ‘top level’… when he can once again place the entire racing programme in his agenda! The performances of 2010 proved that… which were not only hopeful… but gave Eric heart, as the cowardly thefts did anything but  ‘gag’ him! In any case they gave him a ‘boost’ of confidence for the future… because, be sure… Eric Berckmoes will be back in 2011, as if he had never been away! He deserves it !