Benny and Karin showing their Fantasia
Against the wind and against the odds
The start of the national race from Tours last Saturday raised a lot of questions, as the reports and images coming from the release site were not very promising. The pigeons that had been released earlier on for the shorter middle distance were able to reach high speeds, but fanciers were not very confident about the race from Tours that came next. Did the pigeons have a good start and would the race proceed as normal? The first arrivals came later than expected, but most pigeons eventually started to come home. The best fanciers from Brabant, Limburg and eventually Antwerp were expected to win the earliest prizes given the weather conditions, and so they did, except for a number of fanciers that had to fly against the wind.
Benny and Karin did not expect to win a national top result when they saw their young hen arrive home at 13h48. This hen had done really well for sure, but the fanciers assumed that the top prizes would be won in other regions. This was not the case: their intelligent and great looking hen claimed the national first prize against 24,097 young birds, while also being the fastest of a total of 28,044 pigeons.
Fantasia - a clever pigeon
Fantasia (BE14-4059884) has excellent origins
It is sometimes difficult to choose a name for your national winner, but it was an easy choice this time. The music festival Fantasia was taking place 500 metres from the home of Benny and Karin, but it seems their white feathered hen did not mind the loud music when she claimed the national win from Tours. Fantasia originates from great pigeons and top quality bloodlines. Her sire is a half brother of the national ace pigeon 2013 Sun; he was bred from the same dam as Sun, a daughter of Chipo. This sire is a son from a joint breeding with Geerinckx B, L & J from his father’s side, based on the line of the top breeder Witkop Sylvester. The dam of Fantasia is a daughter Chihaut 98 and a granddaughter Chipo paired to a hen of Eddy Didden. Click here for the full pedigree of Fantasia.
Fantasia in her nest box
This was not her first major achievement; she has won a few great prizes as a young bird as well:
Pont-Ste-Maxence 295 against 892 pigeons Pont-Ste-Maxence 152 against 988 pigeons Souppes 48 against 446 pigeons Souppes 6 against 428 pigeons
We noticed that her form was steadily increasing towards the national race from Tours.
The family is obviously very proud of this victory
A team in top form can bring surprises
Benny is obviously having a great season – it was just two weeks ago when we reported about his recent achievements, including two first prizes in the zone and two provincial victories. It goes to show that a pigeon breed in top form has great potential. The team of young birds that was basketed for Tours had been prepared for the upcoming races of La Souterraine and Guéret. The young hens are paired to the old cocks and the old hens are paired to the young cocks, which seems to have motivated quite a few pigeons in the team. Once a week, Karin releases the pigeons 50km away from the loft for a training flight. “The pigeons were in quite a hurry after the race”, Benny explains. They wanted to be in their nest box together with their partner as quickly as possible, and so the race from Tours was a great success. The racing birds could not see their partner before basketing, as to make sure they would not get too excited. The weather forecast suggested a tailwind during the race, and so Benny did not want to motivate them too much. This illustrates that keeping a constant eye on the changing conditions can be crucial. This is what makes you a successful fancier.
Benny has won 20 prizes with 57 basketed pigeons at national level, which is quite impressive given the wind direction and the weather conditions. His national victory is obviously the icing on the cake.
We have a few more races coming up this season, and we expect this talented team of young birds to do well in the next national races too.
The pigeon lofts of Benny Steveninck in Hamme