René & Etienne Bourlard (Harveng, BE) - Come back to 5 years of national supremacy !

With the family Bourlard, the area of Mons (south of Brussels, 20 km from the french border) has a national top value loft for the races above 500 kilometres.

After wining a lot of national top 100 positions during the '90's and at the begining of the new millenium (with sometimes more than 20x top 100 per season !), the Bourlards were definately put on the world pigeon map in 2005, a year in which their 'Limoges' was at the top of the national result of the race from which he was given the name. They did it again the following year in the race from Cahors, the proof that Limoges had nothing to do with luck. They even repeated it twice, they had in fact the 'bad habit' (for their opponents) of winning a national race really often. It was the same again with Narbonne, a victory obtained in 2008, and the incredible arrival of Montélimar in 2010 with the 1st and 2nd national prize... So, a balance of 4 different national victories in only five years time and this in 4 of the most renouned races of the national racing program !! 

It is now evident, the Bourlards are dealing with the cream of the crop in the long distance loft in Belgium ! Let's have a look to the most prestigious results:

- 1st National Orange 444 hens '04
- 1st National Limoges Derby 6.617 p. ‘05
- 1st National Limoges 12.266 ‘05
- 1st National Cahors 6.654 p.’ 06
- 1st National Narbonne 6.801 p. ’08 
- 1st National Montélimar 7.191 p. ‘10
- 2nd National Montélimar 7.191 p. ‘10
- 3rd International Narbonne 12.220 p. '08
- 4th National Pau 1.828 p. ‘08
- 5th International Pau hens 1.704 p. ‘08
- 9th National Vichy 2.461 p. ‘05
- 10th National Perpignan 6.965 p. ’06

1995, a purchase that made everything
The performances of this loft would have never been the same without the contribution of the 'Gyselbrecht Hen 721/95'. As her name says, this hen comes from the old colony of Rémy, André & Carlo Gyselbrecht from Knesselare who realized their dream in 1995 when their 'Laureaat Barcelona' triumphed in the international race from Barcelona with the 1st prize against 20.925 pigeons. After this victory, the trio decided to organise a public auction of late breeds at the begining of 1996. The Bourlards decided to visit it and they were lucky enough to purchase this incredible breeding hen. She came from a coupling between a cock of the famous colony of Antoon & Lucie Van der Wegen (a grandson of the 'Lamme') coupled with a sister of the 'Blauwe Barcelona' who won at the Gyselbrecht loft the 4th national Barcelona 11.423 in '91 (7th international 27.167 pigeons).
(Click here if you want to see the pedigree)

She was then placed in the breeding loft where she seemed to find her place. However, her impact on the actual basis has only taken on a high value over the lst few years. You will understand why. Let's specify that not a lot of results were saved before and after the year 2000.

She earned her first title of nobility in 2004, year where one of her daughters, 'Mimine', won the 1st national Orange hens against 444 pigeons (12th national 6.751 p.) but it was mainly one of her grandsons who made the work by winning the 1st national Limoges against 12.212 pigeons (1st national Derby 6.617 p.) at the speed of 1.041 m/min at the age of just 2, moreover during his second (and last) flight of his career!
The same day, a son of the 'Gyselbrecht Hen' won the 58th national on the same race.

- 'The Limoges' (BE 03-9089312)

During his short career, this magnificent blue cock was a real gunman :

1st  national Limoges 12.266 p. '06 (1.041 m/min)
1st  national Limoges Derby 6.617 p. '06
97th national Cahors 9.275 p. '06 (1.014 m/min)
13th nat Zone Cahors 2.863 p. '06

(Click here to see his pedigree)

The following year, this father & son combination confirmed the expectations placed on them after the 'Cahors' won the national race from the same town at the speed of 1.139 m/min (17 m/min ahead). It was again a grandson of the 'Gyselbrecht'. There was no doubt, the Bourlards were THE revelation of the new millenium!

- 'The Cahors'

350th national La Souterraine 2.917 p. '05
2nd Bourges 102 p. '06
17th Bourges 1.009 p. '06
1st national Cahors 6.665 p. '06 (1.139 m/min)

Still in 2006, a full sister of the 'Limoges' went to fence successfully in the season of the Bourlard during the international race of Perpignan :

10th national Perpignan 6.765 p. '06 (874 m/min)
35th international Perpignan 14.900 p. '06

They then needed two years to be under the spotlight again. 'L'As' came to confirm the national supremacy that exerted this top loft during the national one day long distance races and the Bourlards applied perfectly the famous french saying 'Never 2 without 3' ! 
This superb athlete brought back a third national victory to his owners in the race from Narbonne organised by the 'Indépendante de Liège', a traditionally hard race which was no exception in this edition. 
'L'As' won the national race at the speed of 1.033 m/min against 6.801 pigeons (18 m/min ahead).
But this victory was quite different for René & Etienne. In fact, Limoges and Cahors were the coronation of two talented 2 year olds. But the victory from Narbonne 2008 crowned the career of a valorous warrior of the colony who, for the outsiders, stayed in the shadow of his two predecessors while his performance list was amazing.

- 'L'As' - 'The Ace' (BE 03-9089299)

295th national Cahors 9.275 p. '05
70th nat Zone Cahors 2.863 p. '05
27th national Narbonne 6.033 p. '06 (1.098 m/min)
31th international Narbonne 9.634 p. '06
18th national Cahors 5.894 p. '07
1st national Narbonne 6.843 p. '08 (1.033 m/min)
3rd international Narbonne 12.220 p. '08

This famous 'As' is a full brother of the 'Cahors' (Roosens x 'Deneufbourg x Gyselbrecht') and his mother is nothing less than a daughter of the 'Gyselbrecht Hen 721/95' !!

After this national triplet, the thirst of René & Etienne should have been quenched. But they signed up for another exploit two years later with the unbelievable arrival of Montélimar. Have a look:

Montélimar national - 7.187 pigeons : 1, 2, 13, 26, 66, 117, 279, 378, 636, 710, ... & 11/12

- 'Peter' (BE 08-9084579)

3rd Châteauroux 196 p. '09
25th Limoges 145 p. '09
13th Orléans 280 p. '09
60th Châteauroux 239 p. '09
7th Bourges 118 p. '10
1st national Montélimar 7.187 p. '10 (1.175 m/min)

(Click here to see the pedigree of the winner)

The remarkable thing for this double national victory, the two fastest pigeons are cousins and both come from the line of the 'Gyselbrecht Hen'. This hen is grandmother of no less than 4 different national winners !! And you should know that each of those victories was won in really hard flying conditions because the highest speed was always between 1.033 m/min & 1.175 m/min. This loft is then full of pigeons able to make the difference by high temperatures and north winds, the hardest and fairest races in the world !
Which pigeon has left such a mark on the national races of long distance ? None

And in the others lofts ?
The quality of a loft is of course measured through its results but also by its capacity to export successfully in others lofts.
What about the Bourlard ? Well, we don't have to go deep in the past to get the answer.

Last year, the association Gyselbrecht-Madeira from Ruiselede (who bought the 'Limoges' after his national victory) had a wonderful result from Narbonne with the 5th, 82th, 93th & 95th national prizes against 6.428 pigeons. The first clocked pigeon was christened 'Prince René'. Here's why:

- 'Prince René' (BE 09-9107469)

1st interprovincial Narbonne 236 p. '11
2nd provincial Narbonne 965 p. '11
5th national Narbonne 6.428 p. '11 (1.006 m/min)
5th international Narbonne 13.779 p. '11
470th national Bordeaux 4.866 p. '11 (941 m/min)

This pigeon was directly ringed in the loft of René & Etienne in Harveng. His father is a direct son of the 'Limoges' and his mother is a half-sister of the 'Cahors' and then also of the 'L'As' (same father). They are all descendants of the 'Gyselbrecht Hen'.
(Click here to see his pedigree)
You should also know that the 82th national Narbonne also comes from a son of the 'Limoges' x a daughter of the 'Cahors'... and so again from this marvellous hen born in 1995 !

We stay in the village of Ruiselede but we will speak of another loft, that of Antoine & Rudi Desaer (national champions long distance KBDB 2010). A super pigeon won there a few top performances, he is called 'Super Pedro'.

- 'Super Pedro' (BE 07-3128123)

Co winner National Championship Long Distance KBDB 2010
14th national Souillac 7.045 p. '10 (1.220 m/min)
41th national Brive 17.446 p. '09 (1.086 m/min)
68th national Montauban 7.203 p. '09 (1.066 m/min)

The mother of the 'Super Pedro' is an inbred product to the 'Gyselbrecht Hen' because his father is a son of the 'Mimine' (1st national Orange 444 hens and daughter of the 'Gyselbrecht Hen') while his mother is a direct daughter of this amazing breeding hen!! 
(Click here if you want to see his pedigree)

It can't be a coincidence. We are here talking of one of the noblest bloods of the Belgian pigeon sport, that much should be clear. Class in its purest form...

René, Etienne, remember: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, .... 2012 ??