Dirk Bonte (55) is the business manager of the bvba of the same name in Rijmenam, a village in the south of the province of Antwerp. For years he was devoted to the pigeon sport and athletics but since 5 years or so ago, the pigeon sport has been gaining the upper hand again, and how! As is befitting of a true athlete, Dirk’s start was done expertly and with a bang. Dirk explains: “The old base, originating from Verheyen from Merksplas and Jos Mees has been doing well for years, but due to athletics they had been receiving less and less attention. This meant it was time for a strict selection and for reinforcements, firstly from fellow-villager Patrick Verloesem.
Since my old base and the Vervloesem pigeons are both at their best during heavy weather from the greater middle distance, I was primarily searching for speed, sprinters who had that little bit extra, and I found those at Yves De Wit from Mechelen, who for 95% has Rudy Van Reeth pigeons on his loft. In 2017 and 2018 I bought a full group of young birds. This 2nd group (2017) and 3rd (2018) were tested on the races, and as soon as a pigeon showed they possessed skill and quality they were moved from the races and moved to the breeding loft.It was not always easy to stop these young birds from racing when they were bringing in top results, but I have no regrets, not even for a moment. The combination of my old base and those of Rudy van Reeth has been a golden decision. At Rudy Van Reeth it is his legendary ‘Pitbull’ BE07-6201777 that has a reputation as a super breeder, and I can do nothing more than confirm this. His descendents have been performing excellently.”
This is how Dirk created a foundation of top pigeons which have been earning him, only 3 years later, the joys of competing at the highest level in the sport: 1st National Bourges with “Miss Bourges” in 2020, the year in which he placed 11x top 100 National:
- Bourges: 1-22.505 yearlings
- La Souterraine: 8-9.469 old birds
- Argenton: 19-26.085 yearlings
- Bourges: 21-28.551 young birds
- Argenton: 22-4.606 old birds
- Tulle: 24-4.451 yearlings
- Chateauroux: 42-15.332 young birds
- Chateauroux: 45-15.322 young birds
- Chateauroux: 59-33.833 yearlings
- Bourges: 80-28.551 young birds
- Bourges: 85-28.551 young birds
“Almost Double”: the young hen BE20-6218434 did not just lose 1 or 2 minutes, but multiple when she arrived home from the national races from Bourges. Dirk: “Likely a bird of prey was cycling around in the area. Her behaviour was so strange, she came from the wrong direction without any speed and made some great circles before she struck down on the loft and remained sitting there, not moving, for some time…. I was convinced she was a latecomer from Sermaises before I went to check without any idea who the latecomer was. It would turn out that she was 2 minutes short for the 2nd National and 4 minutes late for the 1st National against 28.551 young birds. On the previous Bourges, I had earned the 1st National with the yearlings, without that regrettable time lose the 434-20 could have given me a double national victory in the same year at Bourges, hence the name “Almost Double”. Something extraordinary, is it not?”
BE18-6070263 (“Lady Bullet”) was pulled off the races after the 2 middle distance races in which she excelled. It was a great choice of Dirk to put her on the breeding loft because "Lady Bullet" is the mom of `Almost Double`.
Dirk likes to talk - and fully deserves to - about his success with “Miss Bourges” and “Almost Double”. “I remember like it was yesterday the training in the weeks before the National Bourges. The cocks trained well but the hens were in a completely different league. They rushed outside but only 5, or at most 10 minutes later they wanted to go back in. It made me nervous and in the week before Bourges, I basketted them twice for Ittre, some 40 kilometres. The first time I did this one by one, each separate, but the second time - on the day of basketting - in a group. I allowed them all together when they arrived home, after which they were once again separated. This way they ate well and they were calm when I put them in the basket. “Miss Bourges” raced home like the wind itself with the already known result.”
Dirk is unsure about the ideal system for his old birds. He has tried both Total Widowhood as only with the hens in the last 3 years. Both have their pros and cons, but for season 2022 he is going to keep going on the total widowhood. After all, you try both of the sexes and in the long term, you get a better idea about the potential of all your pigeons.
Praise to those who deserve it, but the origin of the pigeon success of Dirk Bonte can be found at his ‘Gouden Koppel’: BE98-6398714 x BE98-6398724, which has brought various super hens into existence, such as Prima Donna” (BE01-6157011), 2nd National La Souterraine 2002. And also “Miss Daisy” (BE03-6225810) was a super daughter of the Golden Couple. Her honours list is impressive:
1-664 Bourges prov hens 2004
2-738 Bourges reg. 2004
3-3456 Bourges prov 2004
1-209 Chateauroux reg. 2005
2-526 Chateauroux prov hens
3-2207 Chateauroux prov 2005
1-717 Bourges reg. 2006
2-3082 Bourges prov. 2006
1-8144 Bourges Nat.Z 2006
4-19.061 Bourges Nat. 2006
Also from the Golden Breedingcouple is Red Limoges” (BE01-6157044), winner 1st prov. Limoges 2003, but - which is more important for the actual pigeon performances of Dirk - This Red Limoges” is the father of “Redbull Triple One”, the current stockbreeder
This “Redbull Triple One” (BE10-6139111) has bred its fair share of top breeders and racers from which we shall show the following curated selection:
BE14-6257624 (Redbull’s 624 Son)
father of a.o. BE18-6146867 (My Favorite) with 1-458 Chevrainvilliers, 2-616 Pont St Maxence, 3-2180 Pont St Maxence, 4-2128 Chevrainvilliers, 5-280 Momignies
“Redbull’s 651 Son” is Dirk Bonte's very best breeder. His usual hen is BE17-6215071 (“Lady Pitbull Inbred”).
BE14-6257651 (Redbull’s 651 Son) is father of a.o. BE18-6146872 (Redbull’s Beauty) met 8-9469 La Souterraine Nat. , 3-306 Melun, 4-141 Vierzon, 6-118 Chateauroux, 9-173 Melun.
BE14-6257651 (Redbull’s 651 Son) is also the father of a.o. BE20-6218482 (Redbull’s 482 G.Son) with 1-296 Melun, 2-407 Fay-aux-Loges, 3-394 Bourges, 80-28551 Bourges Nat. and father of a.o. BE21-6022674 (Pitbull’s Heritage) with 4-4895 Melun (na 3 hokgenoten), 25-6660 Auxerre prov. , 21-5703 Melun prov.
Pedigree BE21-6022674 ("Pitbull’s Heritage")
Other noteworthy descendants of BE14-6257651 (Redbull’s 651 Son) are:
- BE16-6113068 (Redbull’s 068 Son), father of a.o. BE17-6165263 (Triple One), an exceptionally strong hen who raced as a yearling in 2018 1-1-1-2-4-5 on the sprint and smaller middle distance.
- BE19-6206949 (Red Star) with 1-215 Momignies, 2-2842 Fay-aux-Loges (after loftmate), 5-275 Argenton, 240-19529 Chateauroux Nat.
- BE17-6165285 (Redbull’s 285 Son), father of a.o. BE19-6206910 (Miss Bourges), 1st nationaal Bourges 22506 yrl on her first national race. In addition 5-102 Momignies, 7-215 Momignies, 17-2842 Fay-aux-Loges.
Pedigree BE17-6165285 (Redbull’s 285 Son)
Pedigree BE17-6215065 ("Mother Miss Bourges")
It is of course a blessing that in this bloodline the descendents continue the tradition of wonderful results. Of course, there is the 1st National, but in 90% of the top results, the ‘Redbull Tripel One’ is the connecting thread.
Dirk: “The recent season was slow to start. I had selected 28 hens who would not partake in the winter breeding. I had provided them with 12 box secured cocks according to the principal of, first to arrive gets the prize, who is later will have to wait in front of the closed boxes.
It did not work… but mostly I lost hens every week. After several weeks, and especially after the staying behind of `Almost Double` (She came back 14 days later) I stepped in. The very best were stopped. 8 well-performing hens I continued to play from the nest, the rest was removed.
After this change, the results improved and we still manage to win the 1st provincial Fay-aux-Loges against 1709 yrl with BE20-6218496 (Elle Fay). BE20-6218474 (Moderna II) achieved regional victories at Noyon and La Souterraine + the 17th national against 3118 yrl at La Souterraine and the nest sister ‘Elle Fay’ BE20- 6218495 achieved the 78th national at Chateauroux. I can keep my head high, but next season I will use a different approach.”
“I started very late with the young birds. I usually am late with training due to a lack of time. But every week there was something this summer. Usually, they race their first Quiévrain around half Juli. After 2x Quiévrain (port) and 2x Noyon they started their season at Nanteuil. They did not miss the start and they made it a short, but unforgettable season.”
Nanteuil 31/7 (752 young birds Zuiderbond Mechelen)
Nanteuil 31/7 (2.748 young birds Union Antwerp)
Sermaises 14/8 (757 young birds Zuiderbond Mechelen)
Sermaises 14/8 (2.225 young birds Union Antwerp)
Noyon 21/8 (344 young birds St Adriaan Haacht)
3-8-9-20-21-25-38(*)- (9/10) (*) Not chiped at homecoming, achieved 1st prize
Auxerre 21/8 (666 young birds Zuiderbond Mechelen)
Auxerre 21/8 (6.660 young birds Provincial)
Melun 28/8 (542 young birds Zuiderbond Mechelen)
Melun 28/8 (1.825 young birds Union Antwerp)
Melun 28/8: total release 4.895 younglings (top 100)
Melun 4/9 (424 young birds Zuiderbond Mechelen)
Melun 4/9 (5.703 young birds Provincial)
Pedigrees of the best young pigeons 2021
Dirk remembers a pretty little story concerning the race of Melun of the 28th of August: It became 1-2-3-4: The 4 fastest of the release against 4.895 young hens, a unique achievement in the province of Antwerp at the smaller middle distance this season. He explains: “I was waiting with my father for the pigeons when one arrived, I checked her time and just turned around for a bit when 3 more pigeons arrived, she took her time and circled for a small minute when she suddenly sped down, immediately followed by the other 3. Within 5 seconds I had all 4 of them. Because the hen BE21-6022623 ‘Pitbull’s GG Daugher’ wasted some time I thought she would be beaten, but luckily they had a lead.
The funniest part is that the 3 pigeons that arrived together turned out to be my best 3 young birds of the season BE21-6022670 ‘Earl Grey’; BE21-6022622 ‘El Condor Pasa’ nest brother of the victor and finally BE21-6022674 ‘Pitbull’s Heritage’. An extraordinary quartet.
The pedigrees of these young birds show their rich heritage. We wish to make use of this opportunity to shed some light on another noteworthy couple of top breeders: BE18-6070246 and 247/18 are nest brothers, and grandsons of Pitbull of Rudy Van Reeth:
Click here for the pedigree of BE18-6070247.
This breeding couple 246/247-2018 is coupled to the 872/18 and 830/18, two amazing performance pigeons and mothers of the very best performance pigeons 2021. We already discussed the BE18-6146872 earlier in this report. It is, after all, the “Redbull’s Beauty” (8-9469 La Souterraine Nat. , 3-306 Melun, 4-141 Vierzon, 6-118 Chateauroux, 9-173 Melun), and daughter of “Redbull’s 651 Son”, currently the best breeder of Dirk Bonte
Dirk: “Every fancier constantly makes new plans, and I find a certain joy in this! For 2022 I have selected 16 racing couples, 28 yearlings and 4 old birds which will be tested on total widowhood. The best young birds of 2021 were cocks, so it would be a waste to no longer utilize them. Usually, the plan is that 12 race on the smaller middle distance and the rest race the national races of the greater middle distance.”
“The young birds of the first round I am going to keep separate for the coming season in a different loft so I can ensure they get to train earlier so that by the time of the Bourges National they have enough experience. These young birds will be only minorly darkened or possibly not at all. Will be played from the sliding door from June onwards and shall receive extra lightning from half July onwards. I noticed in the last seasons that young birds need a strong foundation of races to be able to perform in the first 2 nationals. Ik basketed a number of young hens after 2x Quiévrain and 2x Noyon directly onto Bourges and Argenton and that was not a pleasant experience for me or the pigeons. I will never do that again: It costs too many birds and especially hurts the morale of the pigeons that have to go through that.
“The young birds of the second and third round I shall play as I have done in recent years, I shall start a bit later after enough (15-20) training races from 1km up to, usually, 20km. I rarely drive further than that. Darkening during spring, sliding door from start July and extra lightening from around half Juli. It does not come down to a single week. I no longer drive during the weeks, I prefer basketting them on a Wednesday for a (trainings)race from Quiévrain, even if the weather is a bigger factor that way.