De Coninck Geert, "Quality and no quantity"

Geert De Coninck from Beveren in Belgium

Beveren Beveren is in the province East-Flanders on the border with Antwerp. I am visiting a fancier with only a small number of pigeons on his loft. The total amount of birds is 70 during the winter. Please look at your own loft! How many do you have in the winter? Read this article and see if you better results on the very long distance race. If you have better results, be sure that you have excellent birds because my host of today, Geert De Coninck, is top in Belgium.

History and strains
Geert was very young when he started racing pigeons. He was only 12 years when he got his first pigeon from the very famous Stafke Martens from Melsele. This fancier Martens became very famous in Belgium with racing hens. He was the first fancier to specialize in racing hens and was the first to have a racing systems for the hens. Martens learned the Belgium fanciers to race hens. Martens stopped racing after 80 years of pigeon racing. Really famous man!
The parents of Geert were no pigeon fanciers but the cousin of the mother had some pigeons. The cock from Staf Martens was matched to a hen from the cousin of the mother and Geert had his first good breeding pair. He bred many excellent speed pigeons from this pair (one pigeon won 15 first prizes on Quievrain).
Geert married and wanted to enter the longer distance races. So, he went to the late Jef Houben (Itegem) and some middle distance birds. The strain Houben brought him to 11th national Champion KBDB youngsters 1994. But by the end of the 90's, he realized that pigeon racing was no fun anymore. It became a routine and it was no distraction of the daily work.
Geert decided to race another way. He wanted to enter the Barcelona race and the St-Vincent race for yearlings. Both on the same weekend. He wanted to peak on these two races and be relaxed in pigeon racing. He wanted to enjoy his birds and the sport! Geert De Coninck needed another strain of birds for this races. He knows that the best fanciers makes the least mistakes.
The total package of pigeon racing must be complete to have success. Geert knows that you have to be lucky to find one golden breeding pair in racing. This is the case here. Geert bought the hen 'Vicky 4272835/87' on the total auction of René De Meester from Ouwegem. It was a daughter of 'Geschelpte Broer Perpignan' (Luc van Coppenolle) X 'Santana' (daughter 1st European Ace Pigeon R. De Meester). Geert also bought some late-breds at the loft Marc Lemahieu (Burcht).
Among them was the cock 'Vale Mark 6475741/00' (from 414/99, strain Coutteau x W. Wijnacker, x 789/87, strain Barcelona-hen M. Lemahieu). From the pair 'Vale Mark' x' Vicky' came two cocks in 2001: 'Rode St-Vincent' and 'De Schicht 115/01'. These brothers both won 1st provincial on St-Vincent and Barcelona. 'Vale Mark' X 'Vicky' was the first golden breeding pair on the very long distance in this loft. Some other birds were bought from Luc van Coppenolle and vet Henk de Weerd (Interpalomas).
This is basic strain on the loft De Coninck. Geert also has a hen from strain Cor de Heyde (via Ronald Geerdink) with success. The last birds come from Hugo De Jonghe (Kruishoutem) and a daughter of 'Favoriet' of Luc van Coppenolle.
The second basic breeding pair is from 'Schalie Henk NL 1740478/02' (direct Interpalomas) X 'Athena 4245768/02' (direct Luc van Coppenolle). They are the parents of 'Zana 4113349/04' and 'Rani 4113334/04'. 'Schalie Henk' is direct from Interpalomas breeding centre from 'NL2312189/99' x 'NL2312152/99' (inbred brother x sister). 'Athena' is direct from Luc van Coppenolle from his '4241800/01' (son Uitbreker) x '4242935/01' (from father Beziers).
The third and final golden breeding pair is 'Witpen Luc 4232157/01'(direct Luc van Coppenolle) X 'Zwart Catry 4390805/01' (halfsister of basic 'Vicky', bought on the auction René de Meester by C. and A. Catry).
This breeding pair are the parents of 'Luna'.

Supersunday 2 July 2005
The date 2/7/05 is in golden letters in the book of Geert De Coninck. It was on a Sundaymorning that his cock 'De Schicht 115/01' dived from the sky to the loft. Geert was not ready and it took about 15 minutes to clock this bird from the national Barcelona race.
He won 1st provincial with this prize but the other birds from Barcelona kept on coming home.
The final result was :
Barcelona Club199p: 1-3-6-7-10
Provincial 2315p: 1-22-63-68-112
National 12.998p: 11-138-452-471-808
International 25.815p: 22-321-976-1008
But this was not enough that day. Just before midday came the hen 'Zana 349/04' from the national race St-Vincent for yearlings. She won 1st provincial!
Two times in a few hours time!!
It did not take long for another hen to arrive from St-Vincent. It was 'Rani' (sister of Zana) which also won top 10 national.
The final results from St-Vincent:
St-Vincent Club 270p: 1-2-5-14-27…
Provincial 1935p: 2-4-36-122…
Provincial 703hens: 1-2-44
National 10.020p: 2-7-204-611…
National 3320 hens: 1-4-224
National zone B 3316p: 1-5-73-196… What an amazing day.
Geert will never forget this day !

2de nationaal Irun 2007
The next success on very long distance came in 2007. The national race St-Vincent was replaced by Irun. Geert had just checked on and no birds were known yet. He went to his loft and saw a hen diving down.
It was 'Luna'. She was released in Irun at 14.30 PM and arrived in Beveren at 6.29 AM. (distance 991,514) What a performance.
She won 2nd national; two times 2nd national in two years time for Geert De Coninck.
The hen 'Luna 4118203/06' had an great racing season:
12/5 Dourdan 922p-200
19/5 Vierzon 300p-64
2/6 Chateauroux 501dp-58
6/7 Irun 236p-1
Provincial 1818p-1
National zone 3189p-2
National 8967p-2 (1st hen)
The father 'Witpen Luc' is direct Luc van Coppenolle and the mother is 'Zwart Catry 4390805/01'. This is breeding pair number 3.

Some topbirds
De Schicht 4232115/01
1/5 Dourdan 643p-131
15/5 Dourdan 794p-114
22/5 Vierzon 449p-85
5/6 Chateauroux 159p-5
2/7 Barcelona national 12.245p-48
24/7 Marseille 64p-10

1/5 Ecouan 537p-189
8/5 Noyon 170p-67
21/5 Vierzon 413p-46
28/5 Bourges 518p-29
2/7 Barcelona national 12.998p-11 Winner Bronze Wing Bruges Barcelona Club
He is from 'Vale Mark' (direct Mark Lemahieu) X 'Vicky' (René De Meester).
His brother 'Rode St-Vincent 146/01' won 1st provincial St-Vincent '02 , 11th national 4222p.
Zana 4113349/04
1/5 Ecouan 788p-115
8/5 Noyon 264p-83
14/5 Toury 545p-202
21/5 Vierzon 276p-48
2/7 St-Vincent nat. 3320 hens-1 National 10.020p-2
Rani 4113334/04
1/5 Ecouan 788p-303
8/5 Noyon 264p-55
28/5 Bourges 351p-28
2/7 St-Vincent national 10.020p-7 Rani en Zana are sisters.
They are bred from 'Schalie Henk NL478/02' (direct from Henk De Weerd)X 'Athena 768/02' (direct L. van Coppenolle).
Noyon 571p-62
Dourdan 1035p-209
Chateauroux 403p-67
St-Vincent club 133p-2 - National St-Vincent 8393p-51
This new talent is a cock.
The father is 'De Schicht 115/01' and the mother is 'Zana 349/04'; two topbirds on this loft!
The nestmate of '431/07' is '4195430/04' wins St-Vincent national 8393p-238th! The brothers were raced on natural system and basketted for St-Vincent on babies 2-3 days.
Hera 4190733/05
Chateauroux 156p-45
St-Vincent nat.7525p-575
Dourdan 659p-36
Bourges 276p-36
Chateauroux 213p-33
Barcelona national 11.484p-89
Perpignan national 7603p-27
Perpignan international 11.484p-35
This hen will be in top 5 of the best pigeons long distance 2008 with top ranking on Barcelona and Perpignan. Geert entered on Perpignan race for the first time. He thinks he will do it again next year. 'Hera 733/05' was basketted on Barcelona on babies of 2 days. She got an extra nestpan after the race and one babyin the other nestpan. She was breeding of eggs 14 days when she was basketted on Perpignan.
'Hera' is also a daughter of 'Schicht 11501' and the mother is '4245775/02'. (She is halfsister of 'Luna').
The father is 'Witpen Luc 157/01' and mother is 'Anneke 854/95' (100% R. De Meester).

When Geert decided to race very long distance, he changed his system and his loft. He divided his loft in two parts: one for natural system and one smaller compartment for hens; old and yearlings together. These two compartments have two separate entrances. Both above his house. The 20-25 racing pairs (old and yearlings) are matched for the first time on February 2nd. They can raise 2 youngsters.
The hens leave this compartment during the day when the youngsters are 14 days old and move to the other small compartment. The cocks stay with the youngsters during the day and the hens during the night. The pairs do not see each other again. The hens move to the small loft when the youngsters are 24 days. Geert races the cocks and hens on total widowhood in the beginning of the season.
The pairs can see on other after a short or middle distance race. He matches the pigeons again in the beginning of May for natural system. Hens and cocks are raced on Barcelona and St-Vincent of babies 3-5 days old. This system is used since 2002 by Geert and not changed. The only change he made is the fact that he does not enter 2-years-old on Barcelona anymore. He races the them on Limoges or Narbonne.
The program for Barcelona/St-Vincent goes as follows: 2x Quievrain, Noyon, Dourdan, 2 x 500 km and than the big race! Only 1x Qieuvrain one week before the basketing. The birds are not tossed with the car but can train two times every day. Geert trains the hens together with the youngsters at 16.30. Cocks must stay on the nest but train in the morning at 5.30. The youngsters (45) are trained but not raced very often. They are not allowed to have nests. Geert does not believe in many drugs. He gives his birds beeryeast, oil, sedochol and Belgasol.

Results 2008
(only 3 long distance races entered!)
St-Vincent club 133p: 2-6-7-21-29-41 (6/13)
St-Vincent provincial 1581p: 14-48-59-205-315
St-Vincent national 8393p: 51-238-313-1184-1751
Barcelona club 185p: 5-20-22-47 (4/6)
Barcelona provincial 2036p: 25-215-219
Barcelona national 11.484: 89-977-996
Perpignan club 120p: 2-38 (2/2)
Perpignan national 7603: 27