Vanoppen-Luyten - Herk-de-Stad (BE) win provincial competition from Gueret in Limburg 2010

The last grand middle distance race was a tough one for the most eastern Flemish province due to the set ENE-wind.

In Limburg the victory with the old birds goes to the trio Vanoppen-Luyten from Herk-de-Stad ahead of Ivan Stockmans from Lummen, who 2 weeks previously was provincial winner from La Souterraine. In addition to the 1st, they also won the 3rd provincial and provincially they had 11/18.
The winning pigeon is not just any old bird. He is a cock which raced with a 14 day old youngster and 2 weeks previously won the 9th provincial from La Souterraine with a very small youngster.
His father is a crossing Schellens x Vandersmissen, the mother an inbred product out the Ameye-line of the Gebr. Van Gilbergen. The sister of this pigeon also won a first prize earlier from Toury. For Patrick and Carlo this is a nice close to a strong season with 21 x the 1st prize. What makes it special is that the provincial victory coincides with Patrick’s birthday.

The pigeons by the Vanoppen household were well under way at the beginning of May.
Witness, the 21 first prizes, whilst they usually only race 1 race per weekend. From the beginning of May until the beginning of September they raced between the first 3 in the club every week.
2010 was then super, but in 2009 they raced possibly even better with the highlight being 5 pigeons in the top 60 national from Bourges. In the Cocks’s Flanders Flying cup they were flagged as 5th best from the Flanders and provincial as 2nd after the in 2009 sublime Guido Loockx from Tessenderlo.
In the PIPA-ranking the titles were 2nd and 3rd best yearling 2009 from Bourges 1 & 2 and Argenton I.
The 3rd classified pigeon was also flagged as 10th in the combination Argenton + Limoges. Which gave him a lead as best yearling 2009 from Belgium in these 4 national races. He was therefore given the name “Belgium’s Number One” “Belgium’s Number One”.

Patrick, Carlo and Niels are very proud of the performances of their feathered friends. As full-time workers they don’t have much spare time for their pigeons. Patrick is 44 years old and is director of a secondary school. Carlo, 45 years old is a nursing home administrator and Niels works from 5:15 – 18:30 every day as a fitter of central heating and sanitary installations. Everything has to be done then in the evening after work and that is usually after 17h30.
Patrick is founder of the loft and has been a pigeon fancier since 1982. Firstly together with grandfather Pol Celis, later with late brother Geert as a brother duo.
At the beginning of the 90’s no less than 6 provincial and 1 semi-national victories were achieved.
In 1993 renovations took place in Herk-de-Stad. It soon became apparent that through the passing away of brother Geert it was impossible to race with the pigeons and so a duo was formed with friends for life Irène and Roger Struys-Beelen in Mehaigne. And with success!
In 2003 their “Perfect” won 2nd national Ace pigeon KBDB middle distance, followed by a 2nd place in the national championships middle distance KBDB 2004.
In 2005their “Olympic hero” represented Belgium in the Olympiad in Portugal.
Under the impulse of son Niels a new start was made in Herk-de-Stad in 2005 as Vanoppen P. & N.
In 2009 Carlo Luyten joined the team and that was the beginning of the trio Vanoppen-Luyten.

In the meantime Gueret is the 9th provincial victory.
In 2007 the 1st provincial was won from Argenton and in 2008 Melun interregional (= entire Limburg). From Bourges 2 they stranded this year in 5th place national and 2nd national zone C, 31 seconds behind the national winner.
In 2008 they won the 6th national Ace pigeon DVK with “Claudia”. For the last three years they raced an average of 5% 1/100, 30% 1/10 and 60 a 70% prize in the races between 300 and 600km.

The foundations of the current colony were laid during the years which were raced in combination with I. Beelen. Their pigeons then lie at the basis of the current colony. The pigeons are still exchanged every year. Thus the first round of youngsters 2009 moved to Mehaigne and they felt it there!
Almost every week the 30 first prizes or more were won in the club with the highlight being the 58 first prizes from La Ferté. Probably unprecedented in Belgium!
Over the last few years the breeding loft was reinforced with a son of the “Pinocchio” from J.L.N. Houben, a pure Engels cock, 3 grandchildren of the “Kleine Dirk” from Koopman via Koen Van Roy, a grandson of the “Kannibaal” from Dirk Vandijck via Patricia Verhaegen and 3 children of the “Siddhartha” from J. Dewinter.
All these pigeons produced top racers!
So are 3 grandsons of the “Kleine Dirk” already father of one or more first prize winners including the 5th national Bourges. The son of “Pinncchio” produced the 11th and 21st national Bourges and Argenton and flows through the veins or more than 50% of the colony.
A pure Engels cock is father of the 6th national Ace pigeon Middle Distance DVK, the “Kleine kannibaal” produced the 2nd best pigeon of Belgium over Bourges1 I & II plus Argenton I. Each of the 3 children of Siddhartha always produced a 1st or 2nd provincial including the 6th national Argenton.

Every year the breeding loft is – with success – supplemented with strongly selected inbred pigeons from the above mentioned basis pigeons.
That they race strongly there in Herk-de-Stad hasn’t escaped the notice of the doping hunters either. Every year they are visited by these gentlemen, but of course the result is always negative.
At the Vanoppen residence the pigeons are kept as naturally as possible and there is a strong selection of the naturally healthy pigeons. The silky soft plumage and the ever good health are always remarked on by the visitors.