De Clercq-Vervaeren (Rillaar, BE): a great finale

2011 was a wonderful season for the partnership De Clercq-Vervaren with a first national Ace Pigeon Grand Distance. Unfortunately the 2012 season began with some terrible news: his wife Peggy passed away.

Johan and Peggy with their hen Peggy, the 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Grand Distance 2011

To ease the pain of his grief he decided to pay homage to his wife, who was actively involved in looking after the pigeons. That is why he wanted to have one more successful season in 2012.

Since their start in 1999 at their present location in Rillaar they have won 7 provincial and 1 zonal victories. They have also won several top rankings in national championships. Click here to take a look at the results. Their initial breed consisted of pigeons from his father Georges. They were mainly pigeons from the Santens brothers (Oudenaarde) and Roger Florizoone (Nieuwpoort). It was in fact the introduction of the De Smeyter-Restiaen pigeons (Melden) that led to a performance boost in the loft of Clercq-Vervaeren. This eventually resulted in the title of first national Ace Pigeon Grand Distance 2011.

It seemd practically impossible to do better than in 2011, especially after the loss of his wife Peggy. Still he managed to win top prizes in 2012 as well, thanks to the quality of his De Clercq-Vervaeren breed. His team of pigeons was in a great shape for the first training flights of the season. He won a first and two second local prizes from Vierzon, Bourges and Chateauroux respectively. In the first important race of the season, from Limoges, he took another great victory. You can take a look at the results of 2012 by clicking on the links below:

Results 1
Results 2
results 3
results 4
results 5

One of his most successful pigeons in 2012 is Narbonne (2181611/10). He won for instance a 1st local prize from Narbonne. He is a grandson of Joost (4051564/02), who is the winner of a first international from Perpignan in 2003 and a top class breeder for De Smeyter-Restiaen.

Click here for the pedigree of "De Narbonne"

To conclude we give an overview of the most important titles won in 2012:

3rd National Champion Long Distance old birds KBDB
1st Provincial Champion Long distance old birds KBDB
2nd Provincial Ace Pigeon Long Distance old birds KBDB
3rd Provincial Champion Grand Distance KBDB
1st Champion Long Distance old birds Brabant Union
2nd Champion Super long distance Brabant Union
1st Champion Long Distance De Jonge Liefhebbers Testelt
1st Ace Pigeon Long Distance old birds De Jonge Liefhebbers Testelt

Johan has a few award ceremonies ahead of him before he quits pigeon racing for good. It is always sad to see a big champion such as De Clercq-Vervaeren being forced to quit our sport. We still hope that Johan will think about a comeback sooner or later.  He has always been a great addition to our sport.