Raphaël VAN DEN BERGHE, Zwalm (BE)
Raph. Van Den Berghe really has something with Limoges !
In 1993, he won the 2nd Provincial Limoges against 4.523 yearlings with a difference of only one second or no less than 20 metres after the winner. Considering the racers covered 584 km, 20 metres was just a minor difference but that’s just the way it was.
Raph. took revenge in 1999 and made up for his little failure of six years earlier. In the Limoges National race for yearlings, he won the 1st Provincial East-Flanders out of 5.322 pigeons as well as the 5th National out of 24.105 pigeons.
2006 or seven years later: Raph. Van Den Berghe achieved in a monumental manner the 1st NATIONAL DERBY LIMOGES of 13.581 old pigeons and the 1st NATIONAL DERBY LIMOGES of 6.642 two-year-olds. In addition, he naturally also obtained: 1st National Zone A of 5.804 old and 3.066 two-year-olds… 1st Provincial East-Flanders of 3.165 old and 1.904 two-year-olds… 1st local Zottegem of 548 old pigeons and 295 two-year-olds 11 minutes in advance. A real bull’s eye !
“De Geschelpte Limoges”…
That’s how the national winner is called: “De Geschelpte Limoges” (Scalloped Limoges). He is a beautiful scalloped two-year-old cock that bears ring number “4030534-04”. Before he achieved his triumphant national victory, he flew early on June 10 from Châteauroux till Zottegem: 20th of 526 p. and provincial 138th of 4.349 p… On May 20, he was 41st of 262 pigeons in the Dourdan race.
As a yearling, he obtained the 610th provincial of 5.066 p on July 2, 2005, … On August 6, he was 12th of 105 p. and 52nd provincial of 779 pigeons from Angoulême till Zottegem.
As far as descent is concerned, “De Geschelpte Limoges” is a 100 % DANIEL VAN CEULEBROECK, Balegem. His parents come from two public sales at “De Kat” in Ophasselt.
FATHER is “De Geschelpten 245” 4451245-01, son of “Olympiade Luitenant” 4494033-97 x “Blue Fine” 4501181-98, which is a daughter of “New Star” 4511128-96 (who flew top two times in a row two years ago in Perpignan). Interesting to know is that “Olympiade Luitenant” was the pigeon that represented Belgium as “1st Olympiad Pigeon Long Distance K.B.D.B.” and Daniël Van Ceulebroeck was also proud to sport this pigeon at the Olympiad of Liévin in 2003.
MOTHER of “De Geschelpte Limoges” is “Blauwe 030” 4442030-02, daughter of “Gouverneur” 4656427-93 x “Geschelpte Jonge Admirale” 4537928-93. “Gouverneur” was a fabulous athlete. In 1996, he won a.o. local 3/108 and national 103/6.092 in Narbonne… in 1997 in Montauban loc. 2/114 and nat. 179/7.352… in 1999 in Montauban loc. 4/158 and nat. 195/8.774 and also in Narbonne loc. 5/154 and nat. 312/6.228.
If we take a closer look at the pedigree of “De Geschelpte Limoges” of Raph. Van Den Berghe we also find: “De Jonge Admiraal” 1st NATIONAL LIMOGES 17.670 pigeons… “De Super Limoges Carteus” 1st NATIONAL LIMOGES 9.789 pigeons… “De Generaal” 1st PROVINCIAL LIMOGES 1.365 pigeons… “De Admiraal” 1st PROVINCIAL ARGENTON 681 pigeons…
The national victory of “De Geschelpte Limoges” of Raph. Van Den Berghe was a credit to his good descent. “Noblesse oblige” is no idle talk… Those words were effectively put into practice …
Let’s get acquainted…
Raph. is 65 years old and retired. He used to be a diesel mechanic. How did he get interested in pigeons? Raph.’s parents were farmers and in those days, there were always pigeons flying around at the parental farm. That’s where his passion for pigeons started. He participated for the first time in races with young pigeons at the age of 18.
He got married in 1968. Soon enough, he obtained the necessary lofts and started keeping pigeons. At first, he used to play speed races with varying success. But… things were about to change.
Raph. got some reinforcement for his colony in 1988: he went to see Sylvain D’Hondt in Semmerzake and René Vandenheede in Zingem. Later-on, he also contacted Daniël Van Ceulebroeck in Balegem and he regularly returned, he also bought at his public sales and it is apparently thanks to this pigeon strain that Raph. has now obtained the national victory in the Limoges race.
Raph. is also focussing on extreme long distance and overnight-racing in the last couple of years. He acquired some pigeons for this specific goal from some famous Dutch lofts such as: Cees de Jong, Lepelstraat… Chris van de Velden, Zuid-Beijerland… Wim Coenen, Nuth… Bram Walpot, Steenbergen. He has also achieved good results with pigeons he got from: Jos Mees, Kapellen… Martin Ravelinghien, Tiegem… André De Rouck, Wondelgem… Gerard Labiau, Brakel… Marc De Groote, Zottegem.
About accommodation, medical aspect, feed, …
The pigeons are accommodated in brick garden lofts. This year, Raph. had 48 widowers, 20 couples of breeders and he raised about 100 youngsters. The youngsters are very well-trained and don’t play.
The widowers were coupled on March 27, brooded for 10 days and were then put on widowhood. To prepare, they flew Bouillon and Arlon followed by Dourdan and Orleans and finally long distance. They have the opportunity to rest at least 3 weeks in between two long distance classics.
With respect to the medical aspect; the pigeons are treated for paratyphus with Theraprim 7 days prior to the start of the season. They also receive a cure of 5 tot 6 days against tricho. The widowers receive one Spartrix every two weeks during the racing season. The pigeons have never suffered from ornithosis and Raph. has never given them anything for this disease. Before the birds go into the baskets, Raph. puts black drops of Colman in their eyes and he does the same during the week if the weather is cold or chilly.
Feeding is simple: the pigeons receive a mixture of 2/3 sport and 1/3 purification from the first until the last day. The widowers train twice a day for one hour with open windows, free and voluntary. When the training’s over, there’s a pinch of candy seed waiting for them in their living box. Raph. does not give them any vitamins. When the pigeons return from a race, they receive tea with honey in their water bowl.
Raph. believes that a good loft is of vital importance. Good ventilation is indispensable: there must be plenty of oxygen in the loft.
Beside that, the pigeon must of course prove itself. Either it can achieve good results or it cannot. Competition results have a leading part in the selection.
Some competition results of 2006…
The races mentioned below were all flown at the club “Recht & Plicht” in Zottegem.
10-6 Châteauroux (476 km) 526 old : 19-20-25-44th (4/5)
17-6 Châteauroux 414 yearlings : 16-29-55-59-109th (5/10)
24-6 Brive (667 km) 364 old: 17-39-55-78th (4/5)
08-7 St.-Vincent (889 km) 247 yearlings: 9-17-41st (3/5)
08-7 Limoges (584 km) 548 old: 1-42-58-127th (4/8)
08-7 Limoges 295 two-year-olds : 1-20-30th (3/4)
15-7 Limoges 629 yearlings: 5-51-79-124th (4/8)
23-7 Souillac (686 km) 298 old: 47-58-67-81t (4/4)
23-7 Carcasonne (859 km) 83 old: 6-10th (2/2)
28-7 St.-Vincent 103 yearlings: 8-35th (2/2)
05-8 Angoulême (636 km) 176 old: 4th (1/3)
05-8 Angoulême 172 yearlings: 2-46th (2/4)
The results show that only a limited number of pigeons is entered for a race... that they usually start early and that the percentage of prizes rises above average.
Raph. is managing a colony that holds many winning cards. His national victory against more than 13.000 pigeons is the clear proof thereof. Everyone will undoubtedly have to consider Raph. in the future...