Axel was just eight years old when he got captivated by pigeons, and despite moving several times throughout his life, he never lost his passion. Getting the most of their pigeon breed has always been a struggle for the Verschuere family, who run a night store. Nonetheless, Alex decided to open up a new breeding loft in 2012 with nothing but top quality pigeons. He visited the lofts of Leo Heremans in Vorselaar, looking to buy breeding birds that can really make a difference. He obtained pigeons from the invaluable bloodlines of Jan, Blauwe As, Wonderaske, and Olympiade. These bloodlines are pretty much guaranteed to bring great results in any loft that they are introduced in. And these sprint breeders would soon prove invaluable in the team of father and son Verschueren as well.
Two national stars ... in The Netherlands
Numerous fanciers took notice of the high quality collection of birds in the Verschueren loft! Fellow fancier Peter Theunis (who excels as Embregts-Theunis) from Hoeven in The Netherlands travelled to Zoersel to dsicover the bloodlines of the successful Heremans breed, and the two teams quicly agreed to exchange some young birds; a round of Heremans birds bred in Zoersel travelled to the loft of Embregts-Theunis, and a group of youngsters of the successful Dutchman were in turn transferred to Zoersel. The two groups of young birds would be put to the test for sure. Alex and Mario ringed their birds with Peter's rings, and it was the blue coloured NL13-3337856 that would prove particularly talented. She was in fact the best bird for Embregts-Theunis in 2013. It was then that she was given a proper name: Miss Goldmine.
The palmares of Miss Goldmine continued to grew every season. She has won an impressive five first prizes, including:
1st Creil - 2,431 p. 1st Orleans - 1,984 p.
In big races:
13th NPO Orleans - 6,850 p. 13th prov. Morlincourt - 12,241 p. 16th NPO Orleans - 4,229 p. 17th NPO Sens - 8,503 p. 17theprov. Creil - 10,991 p. 23rd NPO Creil - 24,470 p. 43rd prov. Souppes sur Loing - 14,496 p.
In 2015 she bred Goldmine’ 484/15, another great racing bird:
1st Strepy Thieu - 974 p. 42nd NPO Creil - 9,489 p. 66th NPO Morlincourt - 17,385 p. And a 44th-45th-75th s-prov.
Miss Goldmine was bred from two direct Leo Heremans pigeons. the sire is BE12-6123084 Kleine Leo, a grandson of the 444, 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon and the sire of the renowned Jan. The dam is BE12-6322908, a sister of Janie, winner of a 1st prov. Bourges 4,555 p., and bred from a half brother of Flitske. Flitske bred Dino, Doner Aske, Super Broer Eenoogske, Superkweker 003, 400 Duivin and many other renowned breeding and racing birds.
When their good friend André Smits from Zundert (The Netherlands) asked if it would be possible to obtain some descendants from their fantastic Heremans breeders, Mario and Alex surprised the Dutchman by creating a few breeding pairs which André could breed a number of youngsters from. Borrowing some of your most precious pigeons to a good friend, this is a sign of great friendship indeed. Among these breeding pairs were Kleine Leo and Zus Janie, the parents of Miss Goldmine. They bred a super class bird for André as well: the NL14-3432053. This cock was only just good enough to compete in the Natour as a youngster but he really stood out as a yearling, winning one top prize after another. By the end of 2015 he turned out to be the best racing cock in The Netherlands in the WHZB/The best of the best competition. This is his fantastic palmares:
1st Nat. cock WHZB/TBOTB 2015 Winner 5x 1st prize 1st Fontenay - 118 p. 2nd Quievrain - 1,177 p. 2nd Gien - 254 p. 2nd Quievrain - 237 p. 3rd St. Quentin - 1,639 p. 3rd Creil - 562 p. 3rd Fontenay - 178 p. 5th Roye - 632 p. 6th Sens - 3,969 p. 6th Creil - 947 p. 7th Morlincourt - 1,299 p. 9th Roye - 2,103 p.
Racing bird NL14-3431580 Fireball developed into a big star in the team of André Smits as well. He became the best racing bird of 2017 for the renowned fancier from Zundert, winning 3 first prizes, including a 1st Creil of 2,454 pigeons. Here are Fireball's best results in 2017:
1st Creil - 2,454 p. 1st Morlincourt - 203 p. 1st Peronne - 188 p. 3rd Peronne - 117 p.
Fireball comes from BE12-6324852, which André borrowed from Mario and Axel in 2014, along with breeding pair Kleine Leo x Sister Janier. This 852 is a direct Leo Heremans from top cass breeding bird Super 110 (grandson Galantos & Beautiful), and a granddaughter of Den As and De Jan from her mother's side.
Hitting the jackpot with Millennium
One of the first signs that the Heremans breeders would prove invaluable for team Verschueren, came from BE13-6022100 Millennium. He belongs to the first generation of youngsters that Mario and Axel bred from their newly introduced breeders. This talented racing bird demonstrated his potential in Zoersel, winning the following prizes:
5th Ace Pigeon Zuid Antwerps Verbond 2014 1st Souppes - 115 p. 2nd Souppes - 855 p. 4th Souppes - 1,111 p. 8th Souppes - 684 p. 9th Souppes - 172 p. 10th Souppes - 1,183 p. 10th Souppes - 901 p.
Millennium is a cock from two direct Heremans breeders.
The sire is BE12-6123141 Inteelt Olympiade, a half brother of Jannes, which won a 1st Nat. Montlucon of 16,958 yearlings for team Op De Beeck-Baetens. He is also a half brother of the breeder of Nieuwe Olympiade, an Olympiad Pigeon in Poznan 2011, and purchased by the Eijerkamp company in the Heremans total auction of 2013, raising an impressive 210,000 euro. He comes from a grandson x grandaughter of the renowned Olympiade.
The dam is BE12-6123545 Inteelt As, which was also heavily inbred from a son x daughter of Den As, 1st Ace Pigeon middle distance Turnhout 2004, 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon middle distance AVE Regina 2004 and a world class breeder.
Click here for the full pedigree of Millennium.
Axel showing top breeder Kleine Leo
The highly valued breeding pair Kleine Leo x Zus Jamie eventually returned to the loft of Mario and Axel, where they continued to breed champions, including the 192/16, winner of a 3rd against 682 p. and a 4th of 1,007 p. in Chevrainvilliers, as well as the 072/16, winner of a 5th Quievrain 402 p. They also bred the 1st Ace Pigeon Noyon Noorhoek-NVAK for the team of Van Peer. Today, about 90% of the Verschuere pigeon family originates from the Leo Heremans bloodlines, although they are being joined by pigeons of Geerinckx as well. On top of that, Mario and Axel have added no less than 11 (!) direct youngsters of Super Mario to their breeding loft. These were purchased just before he was sold to an American fancier, which makes them invaluable.
We were still quite impressed with this fantastic group of pigeons when Axel showed us the championship titles that were won by Jozef Bertels with descendants of the Heremans bloodlines of Verschueren. Jozef became champion from Noyon NVAK + Noordhoek YBs in 2017, with a 2nd and 5th Ace Pigeon in his pigeon family. It underlines the potential of the Verschueren potential, and many of Mario and Axel's friends have been reaping the benefits as well.