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Joël Verschoot (Ingelmunster, BE) was the superstar in the long distance in 2017

Everyone will agree that Joël Verschoot has been one of the figureheads, one of the leading names in the national long distance competition in 2017. His loft is home to some of Belgium’s strongest long distance pigeons of this season, and that includes his 2nd, 3rd, and 6th National Ace Pigeon KBDB of 2017.

An astounding 0.8134 coefficient with 6 prizes over 3 races

The Verschoot pigeons were clearly in great form in 2017, and this led to an impressive list of achievements, including several national top prizes and top 10 places. Here is a look at the results of Joel’s first and second nominated in three national long distance races:

17/6 Brive      Nat 9,132 p. 10 – 9
08/7 Limoges II Nat 9,162 p.  2 – 16
15/7 Jarnac     Nat 5,134 p. 17 – 4

These are remarkable results indeed, and it made them a likely candidate for a number of championship titles as well. These are record-breaking results. Keep in mind that up until 2012 the national championships long distance KBDB were based on three races instead of four. Take it from us: no other fancier has ever done better than Joël Verschoot in the national championships KBDB with three races!

As you know, the national championship long distance has had four races since 2013, taking into account the results of your first and second nominated. This meant that Joël needed one more top result for this championship, with the races from Libourne and Tulle still to come.

Joël won a 206th and 897th national of 3,927 old birds from Libourn with his first two nominated birds. But the championship rules out any prizes that are not won per five, which means the result of his second nominated Barry was left out of the equation. In other words, he had to play all or nothing in Tulle.

He basketed his entire long distance racing team for Tulle (44 birds, except for 3 pigeons that had raced in Narbonne, and the ones that would race In Perpignan), including 15 old birds. He had basketed his four superstars: Armando, Barry, Contador and Nopri. He had plenty of strength in numbers but as the day of basketing approached he started to wonder who to pick as his first and second nominated. He struggled to make up his mind. Armando, the leader of the team, felt like an obvious choice, since he had done quite well in the four previous long distance races of 2017. In the end, Joël opted for Nopri instead of Barry, who failed to win a prize per five as a second nominated in Libourne. As it turned out, Joël picked the wrong bird, since second nominated Armando was the only pigeon to miss the leading group. The other stars of the team did great however:

- Tulle Nat. of 7,447 olds: 18 - 69 (with 1st nominated Nopri) - 107 - 209 (3rd nom. Barry) - 469 - 635 - 805… (10/15).
As they say in pigeon racing, a very talented pigeon in great form (in this case Barry) will never disappoint his fancier two times in a row. This goes to show that predications are hard to make. The outcome of a national race is often in the details. Still, many fanciers, including Joël Verschoot, give more importance to winning an extended list of national top results more important.
And this is where the Verschoot pigeons really stood out in 2017, making Joël the superstar of the one day long distance this season. It resulted in a long list of ace pigeon titles, including most notably:

2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Allround KBDB 2017
3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance Olds KBDB 2017
6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance Olds KBDB
1st Best old bird of Belgium across all national long distance races – 2 prijzen (5 pigeons in top-15)

Let’s take the time to discuss the pigeons that have left a lasting impression in Belgium this season.

Nopri: 2nd National Ace Pigeon Allround KBDB 2017

Nopri is one of the great champions of team Joël Verschoot, who has great confidence in this pigeon: he was his first nominated for Cahors, Jarnac and Tulle. Nopri did not fail: he won a top prize in each of the three races, winning a 17th, 21st and 69th national. This pigeon is yet another descendant of the phenomenal “As” bloodline.

-Nopri BE13-3003068

 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Allround KBDB 2017
 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance Olds KBDB 2017
 1st Prov Cahors            1,045 p. ’17 
21st Nat Cahors             5,639 p. ’17
17th Nat Jarnac             5,134 p. ’17
69th Nat Tulle              7,447 p. ’17
90th Prov Chateauroux       3,422 p. ’17
178th Nat Bourges I        23,155 p. ’17
309th Prov Tours            6,720 p. ’17
22nd N.Zone La Souterraine  1,173 p. ’14
73rd Prov Pontoise WVOU    12,624 p. ’13 
94th Nat Libourne           5,024 p. ’15
101st Prov Chateauroux      3,078 p. ’15
222nd Nat Cahors            6,164 p. ’16

Sire: Bijter BE08-3002204
A very successful racing bird, with a 1st Bordeaux 146 p. and a 1st Tulle 162 p. on his palmares. Bijter is a direct son of the number one stock breeder of Team Verschoot: As BE04-3176937 (grandfather of Cees: 1st Nat. Brive ‘13, grandfather of Agen: 1st Nat. Agen ’13, grandfather of Suzanne: 1st Nat. Pau ’16)  x Blauw 467 BE02-3016467 (a crossing of Georges Lidou x Eric Vermander). This makes Bijter a full broher of Aske 1, the dam of Cees: 1st Nat. Brive in 2013, and a full brother of Aske 2: the dam of Suzanne, 1st Nat. Pau in 2016.
Dam: Jozefke BE11-3048649
A half sister of long distance champion Contador (5th Nat. Jarnac 4,167 p. ’16, 8th Nat. Brive 5,952 p. ’16, 19th Nat. La Souterraine 6,205 p. ’15, and 32nd Nat. Brive 9,126 p. ’17). She is a daughter of one of the team's stock pairs: Deprez BE05-3088024 x Christje BE10-3066778.
Click here for the full pedigree of Nopri

Bijter: a particularly strong racing bird, and now the sire of Nopri. Bijter is a son of stock breeder As.

Armando: 3rd National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2017

The next top bird and long distance champion in the racing team from Ingelmunster is Armando. This racing bird did really well in Limoges I, Brive, Limoges II and Libourne, and it resulted in a bronze medal in the national ace pigeon championship long distance KBDB, making him 3rd best long distance bird of Belgium in 2017. In fact, he is by far the country’s strongest long distance bird over two national long distance races. Have a look:

-Armando BE14-3004610

 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance olds KBDB 2017
 Best old long distance pigeon of Belgium 2017 in two races – PIPA ranking
 2nd  Nat Limoges II 9,102 p. ’17
10th  Nat Brive      9,126 p. ’17
12th  Prov Tours     6,720 p. ’17
85th  Nat Limoges I 14,924 p. ’17
 9th  Clermont         353 p. ’17
48th  Nat Jarnac     4,167 p. ’16
18th  Prov Tulle     1,306 p. ’15
94th  Prov Gueret    1,952 p. ’15
108th Nat Limoges I 14,937 p. ’17
206th Nat Libourne   3,927 p. ’17

Sire: Pycasso BE08-3002243

’11 Tarbes  Nat   4,818 p. 53
            Int  10,695 p. 174
’09 Tulle   Prov    718 p. 21
’09 Limoges Prov  3,326 p. 22
’11 Montauban Pro 1,393 p. 75
            Nat   9,091 p. 124
’11 Chateauroux     823 p. 26
            Prov  5,500 p. 186
’11 Limoges Nat  19,373 p. 1357
’10 Chateauroux   2,211 p. 133
            Nat  17,109 p. 592

He was a highly promising racing bird, until an injury to one of his wings put a sudden end to his racing career. Fortunately he managed to find his way back home, where he would soon develop in a first class breeding bird. Pycasso is now the sire of many Verschoot champions, including Barry, Armando, Mieke, Marike, Ramses, etc. Pycasso is a son of Biba BE07-3010152 (82nd Nat. Montauban 6,822 p., 71st Nat. Pau 2,279 p.) x Moeder Pycasso BE04-3176801.
Dam: Luna BE08-3002246
An outstanding breeding hen, and the dam of a 15th Nat. Poitiers 13,813 p., and a 61st Nat. Tulle 10,251 p. She comes from Chattel BE07-3010150 x Belleza BE05-3191901.
Click here for the pedigree of Armando

Barry and Contador complete the list of national champions

Armando and his full brother Barry have been an inseparable duo in the races that they competed in: they were the team's first and second nominated, except in the closing race from Tulle. Barry is a magnificen racing bird as well, having won numerous national top results:

-Barry BE13-3003149

 9th  Nat Brive      9,126 p. ’17
 6th  Prov Tours     6,720 p. ’17
18th  Nat Limoges II 9,102 p. ’17
22nd  N.Zone Bourges 3,461 p. ’14
29th  Prov Tours     4,939 p. ’16
29th  Prov Tulle     1,053 p. ’15
209th Nat Tulle      7,447 p. ’17 
897th Nat Libourne   3,927 p. ’17

Barry comes from top breeding pair Picasso x Luna, just like Armando
Click here for Barry's pedigree

And then there is Contador, the fourth national long distance star of Joël Verschoot. This is an excellent racing bird with plenty of potential, and an impressive palmares, including a 5-8-15-19-32nd national. We cannot think of too many pigeons with such a list of national top results to their name. This is the type of long distance bird that many fanciers dream of adding to their collection one day.

-Contador BE14-3004643

15th  Nat Limoges II     9,162 p. ’17
32nd  Nat Brive          9,126 p. ’17
 5th  Nat Jarnac         4,167 p. ’16
 8th  Nat Brive          5,952 p. ’16
12th  Prov Gueret        1,952 p. ’15
19th  Nat La Souterraine 6,205 p. ’15
49th  Prov Tours         2,122 p. ’15 
89th  Prov Tours         4,939 p. ’16
92nd  N.Zone Gueret      2,707 p. ’14
858th Nat Limoges       14,937 p. ’17


He also won a 611th Nat. Libourne of 3,927 p. and a 1398th Nat. Tulle 7,447 p., which makes it a five out of five in the nationall ong distance races of 2017. Contador stems from top breeder Deprez x Cindy, and this makes him a half brother of the dam of Nopri (from the same sire). This is a high quality bloodline for team Verschoot.
Click here for Contador's pedigree.

Heading towards 2018 in full force

Joël Verschoot has a lot of common sense when it comes to racing pigeons. His own prize winners and national champions are very dear to him. They are not for sale. The fancier from Ingelmunster learned an important lesson: you should never sell your best breeders, only their youngsters. Why turn to other lofts for pigeons that you can find in your own collection, says Joël. With this in mind, he developed a solid foundation of pigeons based on his own bloodlines, breeding youngsters from his own champions. The most important bloodlines in this team are that of his national first prize winners Cees, Agen and Suzanne, supercrack Harry, and top breeders Shakira, Deprez, Biba and Pycasso.

The current quartet of champions with Armando, Barry, Nopri and Contador are likely to follow the same path. Although Joël is thinking of keeping them in the racing team for another year, to try and win another national top result with them in 2018: a national victory, a national ace pigeon title or perhaps another national championship title. All is possible with such a group of talented racing birds, who  showed their potential on a weekly basis in 2017. The team from Ingelmunster hopes to turn 2018 into an equally successful year, with the help of some other talented two or three year old long distance birds. Congratulations Joël, Dieter and the entire team Verschoot. Hard work and determination does pay off; this team has the potential to turn 2018 into another brilliant season. Go for it!