Vanoppen-Luyten (Herk-de-Stad, BE) developed a triple A pigeon breed that is particularly tough to beat in the national races

The Vanoppen-Luyten combination has grown used to winning national and provincial first prizes and ace pigeon titles. These can be mostly attributed to super class hen Diamantje (BE04-8037130), whose descendants have been setting new benchmarks in the national races.

Patrick, Carlo and Niels Vanoppen-Luyten

You know the drill: if your loft is closer to the release site than that of Vanoppen-Luyten, you have to await their first pigeons to see if you have an early prize or not. If your loft is the furthest away, you can rest assured that the pigeons from Herk-de-Stad have already set a target time. As you know, Patrick Vanoppen-Carlo Luyten have developed a remarkably strong pigeon breed in no time, and that breed has been able to excel in national races across all distances. The team has claimed three national first prizes and about 20 top 10 prizes in national races since their debut season in 2013. On top of that, Carlo, Patrick and Niels have had a total of eight top 20 placings in the national ace pigeon championships so far. Click here for an overview of their top 10 prizes. Like we said, many of their best results can be attributed to the bloodline of Diamantje.

The name of BE04-8037130 does not really do her any justice. In fact, we can think of quite a few pigeons that have been named after this precious jewelry. And that is basically the only resemblance between this pigeon and her many namesakes; their list of achievements is generally no match to that of Vanoppen-Luyten's Diamantje. They might as well have called their breeding bird Ruby BE04-8037130, after the world's most expensive gem. Just have a look at her breeding references:

1st Nat. Argenton '13
1st nat. Bourges '16
1st nat. Perpignan '16
1st nat. Tulle '17
2nd nat. AZrgenton '14
3rd nat. Bourges '13
3rd nat. Montluçon '15

And that only includes the top three prizes - a complete overview can be found here. What makes Diamantje even more special, is that she was not usually tied to the same breeding partner; she bred excellent youngsters with a wide variety of male partners. This has likely something to do with her LDHA=AA DNA profile, which is quite rare. It is fair to say that DNA research in pigeons is still in its early stages of development, but there have already been a few studies that show a connection between certain DNA profiles and a pigeon's breeding and racing potential. One of the bloodlines that matched particularly well with that of Diamantje is New Pinocchio (BE04-6463772) of Yves Van de Poel from Geetbets. Yves lent this pigeon, a son of Pinocchio (BE98-6210287, 1st/9,864 Argenton, 1st/4,470 Argenton) of JLN Houben, to team Vanoppen-Luyten for a two-year period. This Diamant x New Pinocchio combination has bred for instance a 1st and 2nd Nat. Argenton, a 3rd Nat. Bourges and a 7th & 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Middle Distance.

Vanoppen-Luyten obtained Kleine Kannibaal (BE04-2198281) in the winter of 2007-2008 in the total auction of Patricia Verhaegen, and this pigeon had quite an impact on their breed. He was paired to Favoriet Hero (BE05-5221608), and the youngsters of this pair proved to be remarkably successful in the sprint and the middle distance, winning several top 100 prizes at national level:

16th nat. 18,568 p. Montluçon
26th nat. 17,865 Montluçon
53rd nat. 15,780 La Chatre
78th nat. 21,180 La Chatre
56th nat. 15,508 Bourges

These descendants turned out to be excellent breeding birds as well, again in combination with the Diamant-Pinocchi bloodline. Among their direct descendants are several winners of national top 10 prizes, including Danilla (BE12-5006272), 1st Nat. Issoudun 5,708 p. and Monlucina (BE14-2111306), 1st Nat. Bourges 7,416 p. The sire of Danila is Super 205 (BE10-5176205), which is in turn a son of Kleine Kannibaal x Favorite Hero (BE05-5221608). Click here for a detailed look at this pigeon breed and how it revolves around these two bloodlines.

That same Kleine Kannibaal and Favorite Hero are also the great-grandparents of Monlucina. An attentive reader might have already understood that Favorite Hero is on her way to becoming a new stock breeder for Vanoppen-Luyten. Favorite Hero is a daughter of Olympic Hero (BE02-8002119), an Olympiad Pigeon in Porto. Monlucina's pedigree shows that she is related to New Pinocchio and Diamantje from her father's side. And she is related to Diamantje from her mother's side as well: she is her grandmother, and het partner was Bourges Dirk (BE09-5012451), winner of a 5th Nat. Bourges. Click here for the full pedigree of Monlucina.

Monlucina, 1st Nat. Bourges

In the wake of the successful introduction of Kannibaal, the team went ahead to find even more Kannibaal related bloodlines. They found said bloodlines in the loft of Van Es in The Netherlands, where they obtained Blauwe Kannibaal 2008 (NL08-1846316) and Blauwe Kannibaal 2007 (NL07-1004984). The first one became the sire of an 8th Nat. Gueret 12,516 p. and 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Middle Distance '13, and of a 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDb Middle Distance '14. The second one, Blauwe Kannibaal 2007, is the sire of Orlina (BE12-5006168), winner of a title of 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Middle Distance. She won for instance a 1st/3,516 Orleans (fastest of 11,428 p.), a 7th/7,916 Gien, 2nd/1,373 Melun and a 4th/1,319 Melun.

Breeding bird Teent (BE98-3100461) has played a very important role in the combination's success story as well. Two youngsters of this talented pigeon moved to the loft of Vanoppen-Luyten, where they developed into excellent breeders. Racing hen Lady Argentina (BE12-5157432), winner of a 1st Nat. Argenton, is related to Perfect Teentje from her father's side, and she happens to be related to Diamantje and Pinocchio as well. Click here for Lady Argentina's pedigree.

Lady Argentina, 1st Nat. Argenton 

Carlo, Patrick and Niels have created a pigeon breed that was able to compete with the best in almost every race this season, and we expect to see more of the same in 2018. But not before we take a look back at their excellent results of 2017.