Franck DUQUESNOY : from Outreau
France becomes year after year more unmissable on international flights !
Let us stress again that the headline is not exagerating at all. Just like in Belgium, also at the southern neighbourghs’ there are discussion going on about he various lines, the Western line, the Midline or the Eastern line. This topic comes up in many dialogues and belongs thus not only into the Dutch dictionary. In France and Belgium is this topic very up to date among the pigeon fanciers.
And a pro here and a con there… the most modern techniques will not change anything on this situation, and we can only be happy about that.
Objective conditions, the ones that no one can ifluence, will always play their role in flight scenarios. Wind is definitely one of those conditions.
People say very often that the wind makes the results. Well, it is true to some extent. One has to take into consideration also a number of other factors but it does leave its clear imprint on the competition. It would be too easy to blame our succes or loss on the wind.
The season is long. Duet o climat-, temperature-, and wind changes everyone stands a fair chance. Now the weather works for someone here and then for someone else elsewhere... and if it doesn’t work out this year than maybe it will next year....
You have to think in advance. Sure, you have to check out various starting places, various lines of flight and try to satisfy everybody, but at the end it will be the wind that will play the judge.
Consequently, due to the wind direction, we should have expected the first pigeons from Pau on the French coast, where the distances are the shortest. What came as a surprise, in comparison with other races, is the speed of the first pigeons. More than 100 meter faster than the pigeons from Bordeaux. Ever since the first announcement in Boulogne-sur-Mer, it was very obvious that it will be difficult to beat the second nominated from the Duquesnoy loft.
And after some time it was confirmed: a new international victory for our French friends was a fact.
France and international flights: a fresh and young love affair
About 30 years ago, the international flights were something extra for some wealthy fanciers, who had the financial means to afford transport for long distances and mainly could afford the expensive pigeons what were able to withstand the competition with the best Belgian lofts. With the generation of baby-boomers we saw a big rise in international flights. The pigeons sport in France has evolved, it has become stronger, better, and is not afraid anymore to compete with international participants.
The nicest proof are our consequent visits to international winners in the last two years.
In 2002, we visit Sandrine and Pierre Verove de Ghyvelde, who have just won the same flight from Pau. Last year it was Eric Vanacker’s turn to be in the spotlight after his victory from Perpignan.
To visit the first international winner of the season 2004, we were invited to the area of Boulogne-sur-Mer at Franck Duquesnoy’s.
A common element among the three lofts: the owners are of the same age – around 40. And don’t try to tell us that it is caused by one or the other advantage. We believe the explanation lays somewhere else- in the values and level of the owners and the craftmanship of the lofts managers.
The context of international flights has changed for good and France is a part of the same pigeon racing community together with other countries.
Franck Duquesnoy, in brief…
Some time ago, we came across a research concerning the character of a pigeon and the influnce of the loft manager’s mood on his flying friends. We found out that pigeon can feel a depressive state of mind of its fancier.
Franck reminded us of a busy and hardworking ant. He is always moving, always busy with something and his agenda is always packed...
As a self-employed caretaker he is on a very a strict schedule. His daily duty begins at 7.30 until 12.30 and then again it starts at 17 o’clock and goes on untill 21 o’clock, and this is for seven days a week. Every two months he takes a 2 week vacation.
He is up since 5 in the morning, inspecting his lofts, checking the dropings to help him decide about possible required medical treatment. During the day he comes in as his work allows him to, to close one of the lofts and to open the following one ...
And as if this wasn’t enough, he, his brother and father work together on the administative part of his business. Besides many other things he is in charge of basketting for international flights. It is not easy to combine all these tasks, if you consider the number of pigeons that he owns.
From his very early age, Franck loved all the animals around the house, it was a true passion for him. The garden of parental house was filled with all kinds of fauna. And then, one of the uncles came for a visit with a basket ful of pigeons and a clock… and the way was open…
A strong and powerful loft
What you cannot fail to notice when you visit this loft, is the very large number of pigeons that he owns. There are 70 widowers, 60 2-year old cocks, 60 2-year old hens on widowhood and then still about 100 late youngsters...add the breeders to that number and you end up with a large total sum. Considering the time requirements of his job a loft of this size might seem unmanagable, but after looking around just for a while we are sure that our host has the situation perfectly in his hands. We have to admit that even for us it might be a bit too much to take of so many pigeons. But everbody sees the pigeon sport from his own point of view and if you see Franck’s results, you cannot doubt that he is on a good way.
We had our meeting with the Duquesnoy family in the Boulogne club and fortunately, we could rely on the help of our friend Joël Evrad to show us the way to a remotely located pigeon club. Several big shots of the French pigeon world were just basketting for Barcelona under the supervision of the administrative triumvirate of the Duquesnoy family. We had to privilege to meet Robert Ben, who owns the best pigeons of Barcelona and of Perpignan of the same year; Michel Dubois, one of the best long distance racers and and also a winnar of the World cup; Alain Bavencoff, another very famous long distance racer; Gérard Fruitier, with whom we could enjoy an intersting conversation.
The winner of Pau was actually destined to race also Barcelona, but because of his great condition he has to do with … Pau. The accident has taken care of the problem….
The rolling country, the sea wind, the cliffs, none of these things make the daily training easy.
Franck didn’t have too much time. Actually, he never has time, says his father. In the few hours between his two work periods he had to basket for Barcelona and receive the journalists. And then he has to go again. His parent don’t take his absence very well. It is a profession where the word absence is not in the dictionary. To take of people is a more than an occupation, it is a mission.
It is thus a habit for him to do everything very efficiently and Franck talks to us while going on with his work around the pigeons. Nothing is pre programmed for him, his job dictates also his schedule in the loft. That is why the trainings are mostly irregular. His pigeons have to wait sometimes for two hours outside for their master. There is no saving of food, they receive it with by a generous hand. Always the same compostion of feed is used. His specialty is to give a serving of vegetable extract at the end of preparation. There are no visits to the vet, he uses only his feeling and sixth sense to determine the right approach. He relies on traditional products, the effects of which have been proven by many years of experience, such as a disinfection product CCP.
The focus is on races above 600 kilometers and international races. Late youngsters are very important and are bred in large numbers. Youngsters live in a large loft during the first year as singles. The “eighteen months old pigeons” and the “two year olds” are race on complete widowhood. Both cocks and hens take part in races. It is only since a few years ago that Franck began with racing hens.
The racing teams are formed in the begining of the season and are raced according to prepared plan. It is clear that from this number the best ones will come up and that the repetitive succeses are not an accident anymore.
Several important preformance of the Duquesnoy loft in the last years.
- 4th national Marseille 1990.
- 2nd national Pau 1992.
- 4th national Pau 1992
- 1st national Dax 1993.
- 5th national Dax 1993.
- 2nd national Dax 1994.
- 4th national Barcelone 1996.
- 6th national Dax 1996.
- 7th national Dax 1997.
- 7th national Perpignan 1997.
- 7th national Perpignan 1999.
- 2nd national Perpignan 2000.
- 2nd national Dax 2000.
- 4th national Dax 2000.
- 3rd national Dax 2002.
- 8th national Dax 2002.
- 17 prizes out of 19 pigeons, per 10 Dax international 2002.
- 4th international San Sebastian 2003.
- 13th international Dax 2003.
- 31st international Perpignan 2003.
The nostrils are treated with CCP.
The "Turbo", 320723/00, winner of the international Pau 2004
He is a small blue pigeon, bit of a nervous type with a fearful eye. He even chose a place in the loft, hidden behind all the cans in a box where he feels good. He comes from a line of champions and one of his brothers flew 4th national Barcelona while another one made 21st national Barcelona in 1999 and the 11th national in 2000.
The "Turbo" was born in September and for the first time flew a couple training flights 2001.
In 2002, he came in 174th out of 6417 pigeons from Tulle and flew on a prized place from Limoges and Montauban.
Last year he was 222th/17443 Limoges; 721st/7884 Royan; 77th/3656 Nîmes and 31st/19420 international Dax.
In 2004, he flew Tulle (846th/5407) before he made his most flight from PAU.
His father comes from Tronquoy de Richebourg, out of the line of his "Vidocq", 4th international Barcelona 1985 and national winner. His grandfather was the 3rd national Barcelona.
On the mothers side there is the famous base Gorin-Cattrysse through a hen that was a daughter of 2nd national Pau, 2nd national Dax, 8th national Pau, 10th national Pau, etc.. Her grandfather received 12 prizes on international flights, such as 5 X Barcelona and 3 X Perpignan, out of which once 4th national Barcelona.
The strains Gorin and Cattrysse run clearly through and through in the loft. Originally, they were brought from Joseph Charles and also from Brasseur Roussel. These fliers are the origin of repetitive succeses on international flights.
The second common element in the blood of the loft is the strain Tronquoy, excellent pigeons that are very well crossed with Gorin-Cattryse. The international winner of Pau is the proof. Further we notice the the input of Vermote, Deguillage, Peeters, Vanbruaene, Hetru, Toye, Aarden, Van Der Wegen, Hermes, Deridder.
The hiding place of the intenational winner of Pau.
Pau, designated for French lofts?
This international flight from Pau, last year cancelled due to fowl plague, was for the second time won by a French loft and that happens 10 years after the victory of Eugène Calin. This flight is often seen as the ultimate test, because so many famous loft take part in it and everybody put his best pigeons in this race.
If we now talk about Calin, Verove or about Duquesnoy, we will alwazs come to one pigeon, which comes from a strain of winners in the long distance. Luck or accident are in this case not applicable.
The quality in the loft of Duquesnoy is very obvious and the way in which the loft is managed is impressive. It is true that breeding top pigeons and racing them in large numbers brings succes, but you also have to keep them in an excellent health condition. In this aspect it is a true hats down for Franck and his way of doing it. To manage a busy business life with family and then also a great loft of pigeons is not always easy.
Let’s hope that Franck has already noted the date of awards evening for "La Colombe Joyeuse" down in his agenda.
On Sunday he was so busy with basketting for Barcelona, with arrivals from the preparation flight for Dax, that we didn’t have the impression that he has the time to enjoy his international victory from Pau. He is going in the footsteps of the greatest fanciers on international scale and his name in eternally listed ont he list of records from Pau
We saw the power of the loft and are sure that this is not the end of it.
« The Pipa-Team » congratulates Mr.Duquesnoy !