Kristof managed an agricultural business in the East-Flemish Zomergem until 2020. When he quit, he went out to look for something in which he could satisfy his will to win. Father Verstraete already had pigeons since Kristof was a small child. However, it never crossed his mind to start with pigeons for himself, until he did exactly that in 2020. Kristof had very little experience as a fancier and could hardly handle a pigeon. This newcomer took a look on PIPA and saw several auctions, including an auction of Vermeerbergen-Wilms from Mol. He saw that these fanciers had achieved fantastic results and decided to give them a call. When Luc and Robby heard that Kristof was planning to start racing pigeons and that he was still looking to buy his first pigeon, they decided to help him out. This is still the case, as both gentlemen give Kristof advice now and then.
The first steps in pigeon sport were made. Kristof built his lofts in the West-Flemish Wielsbeke and bought two super pigeons, a grizzly hen: Sister 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB (BE18-6243158) from Vermeerbergen-Wilms and Sister Louise (BE16-4129335) from PEC.
Of course this wasn't all for the highly ambitious Kristof. When he came across the name Tom & Marnik Van Gaver from Moortsele, Kristof decided he wanted to become just as good a fancier, and reached out to strengthen his lofts with their pigeons. Daughter Finn, Finn Tetske, All In Little Rocky and son Ricky were transferred to the lofts in Wielsbeke. He also reached out to other fanciers via PIPA such as Team BDS, Anthony Maes and Joël Verschoot. He was ready to start breeding and...racing. For the season 2022, we count 16 first prizes and several sensational results in which he leaves his competitors little chance. One of the highlights thus far was the double on Fontenay, winning 1st and 2nd Provincial against more than 9,000 pigeons! Both on the speed discipline as the middle distance races, Kristof's competitors know that he strikes hard every week. Also in the strong long distance club in Rekkem he has booked several fantastic results. He has won a.o.: 3rd Chateauroux Yearlings, 2nd Montoire against 1,105 p., 1st Club - 2nd Provincial - 8th National Souillac ...this same pigeons also won 64th National Tulle!!
Many sensational series in 2022
Verstraete has managed unbelievable series. What to say about the following results: Fontenay 399 Young birds: 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-11-12-13-14-19-21-22-....15 out of his 43 basketed pigeons in the Top 22!! Another time Kristof entered 77 pigeons against a total of 253 young birds: :1-3-4-6-7-9-10-12-13-15-17-18-19-19-... or on Toury with the same team : 3-4-5-6-7-8-9-14-16-17-19-21-...Orleans against some 300 young birds: 1-2-3-... Arras against no less than 730 young birds: 2-3-4-5-8-...also with the old bird and yearling teams it occasionally seemed like Kristof was a life long fancier, from Hannut for instance: 1-2-3-7-... against 420 old birds and yearlings. In short, the 'newcomer' Verstreate from Wielsbeke showed that he was a force to be reckoned with.
The largest surprise this year was New Louise (BE21-3046492) with 3 out of 3 on the National races : 16th National Argenton 5,166 p., 369th National Chateauroux 5,720 p. and 1,388th National Bourges against 10,366 pigeons. That she has a lot of breeding potential as well, is illustrated by her daughter Mega Louise who won 1st Clermont against 852 p. and 1st Fontenay against 253 pigeons.
The Verstraete colony performed outstanding from start to finish during the 2022 season. At the end of the season, when most are happy the season is coming to an end, Kristof struck once again on National Argenton. Just behind the first national of Luc De Laere, Kristof took 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th in the club in Rekkem against 692 pigeons. In tough conditions, Kristof's first pigeon to arrive was his Little Louise (BE22-3094119) followed by Miss Louise (BE22-3094120). Both are grandchildren to Sister Louise. At that moment Kristof knew his Sister Louise bloodline was golden! Both children and grandchildren are superb racers and Kristof is certain that more spectacular results will follow thanks to this quality stock.
Having only just gotten started, the "Loft Verstraete Pigeons" has already taken its spot at the top of national pigeon sport. With the quality that resides on his lofts, the future is looking exceptionally bright and Kristof can already look at 2023 with confidence.