The top sports mentality comes naturally to Dirk. It shall come as no surprise then that he wanted everything ready in the recent weeks before the start of the national pigeon season. Around the beginning of May came the first big event when the pigeons partook in a race from Noyon (196 km for Dirk). Both as a colony and individually the pigeons showed their improving condition:
union 2.381 yearlings (21/25):
With 24 prizes over 30 old birds and 21 prizes over 25 yearlings in the race, it was immediately clear to Dirk that he was on the right path with his racers. The loft was clearly ready for more…
Setting the tone at Melun: Fastest bird at release against 12.507 pigeons
A week later the transition to the middle distance was made. Melun was next on the programme for the province of Antwerp, roughly 296 km for the pigeons of Dirk Bonte. The condition was clearly still improving because, with the same 30 pigeons as the week before, Dirk Bonte achieved some truly beautiful results. He had 3 pigeons in the top 10 of the local results, but also in the grand competition of Union Antwerp Dirk was unbeatable against the masses of competitotrs.
club 498 yearlings (20/25):
Union: 3.504 old birds (25/30):
Union: 2.080 yearlings (20/25):
Ultimately not a single pigeon from the Melun race was faster than ‘Speedy Hercules’, the name of the winner of the day with ring number BE21-6022691. He was the true ace of the racing crew on that day. That said, the entire loft performed excellently once again with 25 prizes over 30 old birds including the 1st, 19th and 43rd fastest pigeons out of the 12.507 partaking pigeons. It became a weekend that Dirk was sure to not forget any time soon.
This was however not Speedy Hercules’ debut, as a young bird he already proved himself with the fastest Sermaises against 757 pigeons. Furthermore, in his first season, he also achieved a 33. Noyon 339 p, 12. Noyon 375 p. and 38. Nanteuil 2.748 p. It has been obvious for a while that Speedy Hercules was the real deal. Yet it went wrong last year, at Auxerre (an Antwerpian provincial race for young birds) he disappeared for 8 days. It was a sign for Dirk to hold Speedy Hercules back for the rest of the season and grant him some well-deserved rest so that he could shine this season as a yearling. This decision was immediately rewarded in 2022 with the amazing Melun race!
If anyone has any doubt left about the qualities of Speedy Hercules we would like to refer them to his full sister, Almost Double, BE20-6218434. This amazing hen won as a young bird 21. Nat. Bourges 28.551 p. and 45. Nat. Chateauroux 15.322 p. However, at Bourges, she circled the loft for a few minutes and sat around. Which was incredibly bitter afterwards as she was only 2 minutes behind the number 2 national and 4 minutes behind the national victor… Who knows how much Almost Double could have achieved that day.
This wonder hen earned her name by almost giving Dirk a double national victory. Dirk Bonte was in 2020 the national winner of Bourges I yearlings with his Miss Bourges (BE19-6206910). The nervous behaviour of Almost Double (presumably because of a nearby bird of prey) sadly prevented this from happening.
Back to the ongoing season, because the most recent racing weekend of 2022 was another success for the fancier from Rijmenam. At the middle distance race from Sermaises (349 km) of the 14th of May, Dirk once agains cored big. Locally he won the first 2 prizes and within Union Antwerp, he won the 4th and 5th among the old birds and the 2nd and 3rd amongst the yearlings.
club 463 yearlings (16/27):
Union 3533 old birds (19/32):
Union 2078 yearlings (15/27):
A great start for Dirk Bonte this season! Knowing that his real goals are at the national middle distance races, it is shaping up to be a promising season. Dirk has the pigeons right where he wants them: Well trained and in perfect condition, and you can be assured that in the coming weeks they will keep on improving. We are eagerly awaiting the future beautiful victories that Dirk and his pigeons shall achieve!