This is often referred to as 'the art of anticipation' in professional circles but to put it simply, it means that Jos Thoné knows how to put his expertise to good use, even in these very challenging times.
Jos Thoné and his son Xavier: a great team of pigeon fanciers.
In a regular season, Thoné and his team compete in every single race on the calendar, from Mettet (102 km) to Barcelona (1,108 km). However, this 2020 season, which is already the 30th season for Jos Thoné, was delayed for two months. And that means the Thoné champions have not had a chance to deliver over the past two months. Still, the trendsetter from As has made the most of his time in lockdown. Jos does not like to waste time or stay idle for too long, so he used this unexpected downtime to further master the art of racing in total widowhood. He put a lot of thought into it, and one of his conclusions was that the pigeons need to be darkened. However, Jos quickly noticed that darkening did not make his pigeons any less eager to pair. So he gave it some more thought, and he came up with a solution: the racing hens that are most eager to pair were put together with the strongest racing cocks. Remember that his best racing birds raise one pair of youngsters before the start of a regular season. Jos elaborates: "I have now bred an additional round of eggs from my best birds. When the second egg comes out, the eggs are taken away to be brooded by a different pair. For example: Tiko (BE18-5025681), winner of a 9th National Chateauroux (6,387 p.) bred ten different young birds with this approach. Tiko is a nephew of Rhea (BE18-5025611), winner of a 3rd National Chateauroux (6.387 p.), and Rhea laid three pairs of eggs with different partners. Additionally, three pairs of youngsters were bred from Bill, 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon KBDB longer middle distance and Wulf, 2nd Prov. & 2nd Nat. zone, and a grandchild of Sachi.
With this approach, quality is guaranteed. Meanwhile, we also bred additional youngsters from Libar, Sua, Fyto (which comes straight from Fyther of Gaby Vandenabeele) and Sachi, which are all pigeons with a proven record."