Bart and Francis Verdeyen (Steenokkerzeel, BE) introduce their impressive Barcelona pair Black Shadow x Claire

Taking a national first prize in one of your first races from Barcelona would be a dream come true for any fancier. This is what happened to Bart Verdeyen and his Black Shadow four years ago. Bart is still enjoying this impressive feat, while his Black Shadow has been breeding a new generation of successful long distance racing birds.

Bart is young, ambitious and most of all fond of pigeons. He spent long days in the loft of his father Francis as a kid, which was a great learning experience. Father and son used to take care of the pigeons together, and it worked out really well. However, Bart eventually wanted to focus his attention on the extreme long distance competition. The two fanciers race from the same location in Steenokkerzeel but they each have their own loft, to keep the long distance and middle distance pigeons apart. Bart competed in the race from Barcelona for the first time in 2007, using middle distance pigeons of his father. He quickly noticed that they were not perfectly suited for this type of race, and so he started looking for different breeds. He managed to take a first national Barcelona in 2010, just a few years later, and this motivated him to try and do even better.

Black Shadow

His winning pigeon in 2010 was Black Shadow, a grandson of Daxter of Eijerkamp, a national long distance star bred by Koen De Backer (Hoevenen, BE). Click here for the pedigree of Black Shadow BE08-6169265Klik hier voor de pedigree van Black Shadow BE08-6169265. Bart really enjoyed these races and he started breeding his own extreme long distance pigeons. He already had one great champion in his collection, which he wanted to pair to an excellent hen to breed a new generation of champions. That hen was Claire, a pigeon raced and bred by Luc Herbots (St.-Truiden, BE), who took a 2nd national Barcelona with Claire. Click here for the pedigree of Claire BE09-5003545. It was a match made in heaven, as the two pigeons started breeding a promising new generation of racing birds.

Black Shadow x Claire, a match made in heaven

Youngsters and grandchildren with a proven record

The best two youngsters from Black Shadow currently housed in Steenokkerzeel are Black Shadow Junior and Charlene. Black Shadow Junior not only proved a successful racing bird, he is also an excellent breeder, and likely to become a new stock sire for Bart. Click here for the pedigree of Black Shadow Junior BE11-2155704. Klik hier voor de pedigree van Black Shadow Junior BE11-2155704. Charlene showed her potential in 2014, winning a 16th national Zone B2 from Châteauroux. Click here for the pedigree of Charlene BE13-2134501.

Black Shadow Junior, new top class breeder for Verdeyen

Charlene, daughter of Black Shadow

Luc Herbots, the original owner of Claire, has been quite successful with one of Claire’s descendants as well, as a grandchild of her took a provincial victory from Narbonne. Another grandchild of Claire finished in 20th place from Agen at provincial level. Vale Gust is another highly successful descendant in the collection of Verdeyen, and he originates from the one and only Gust of Ulrich Lemmens (Balen, BE). Click here for the pedigree of Vale Gust BE13-2134548Vale Gust is in fact a half brother of the hen Line, which won the title of 1st National Champion KBDB longer middle distance old birds for Ulrich Lemmens this season. Brother and sister were bred from Tarantino, a direct son of Ulrich’s top breeder Gust. Click here for the pedigree of Line BE12-6032511.

Another pigeon in the long list of successful racing birds of 2014 is Raymonda, a one year old hen that won several top prizes both at provincial and national level.

We can say that the pigeons from Steenokkerzeel have had quite a few solid seasons. Click here for an overview of their most important achievements in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Expanding your wings

Meanwhile Bart thought it was time to look for a place on his own, which he found in the town of Tremelo. He purchased a home and moved to Tremolo last summer. A dyed-in-the-wool fancier, he could not resist installing a small temporary loft in the garden, and so he was able to compete his first young birds’ season from Tremolo this summer. He enjoyed it a lot and he cannot wait for the long distance season to begin. Pigeon fancying is a game of patience and Bart knows he has as long career ahead. This means he still has the time to gradually get accustomed to his new loft. The fanciers from Tremelo and the surrounding area will have to be well prepared to compete with this highly ambitious fancier.

A fresh start with a small new loft, ready to achieve great results.