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Freddy and Jacques Vandenheede (Zingem, BE) win 1st National Libourne Yearlings

They did it again: Freddy and Jacques claim their ninth national victory from Libourne since their collaboration in 2008. This year's race from Libourne was by no means a walk in the park.

Freddy Vandenheede showing his national winner from Libourne (Jacques is not in the picture)

The pigeons had a fairly tough time in the weekend of 22nd of July. Despite a fairly strong south-westerly wind, which favoured most pigeons, speeds were rather low in this race. The pigeons arrived home a lot later than expected, which is mainly due to the rain and the heavy showers which the pigeons had to endure or try to evade. The pigeons from Libourne got a lot wetter than they excpected, some got their first showers immediately after the release. Fortunately enough most pigeons managed to surge ahead thanks to a solid headwind, albeit with some difficulties. You can tell from the racing times from Libourne, which was still open after 2 hours and 30 minutes. By the end of the day many pigeons were still on their way home, most of them yearlings.

Freddy and Jacques Vandenheede win the yearlings' race

The Vandenheede brothers were victorious once again in this year's flight from Libourne, claiming a national victory in the yearlings' race. The brothers now have 9 national first prizes on their palmares since joining forces in 2008. If you take into account the years prior to their collaboration, you end up with an impressive 16 national first prizes won by Freddy and/or Jacques Vandenheede.

Like in most places, the arrivals from Libourne did not go very smoothly in Zingem.  A total of 69 pigeons were basketed for Limoges (20 olds and 49 yearlings). Even the national champions Vandenheede had to wait for an hour and 15 minutes for their first old bird to arrive after their first yearling, even if this was the national winner, which shows that something was not right. Some things happen over the course of a race which a fancier has no influence on, including heavy rain. Still, the brothers had already clocked 12 yearlings by that time, which led to an excellent overall result:

Libourne Club 107 yearlings: 1-2-3-4-7-8-9-11-12-13-14…. (26/49)
Prov.  776 yearlings: 1-3-8-9-14-23-25-36-41-43-52-56-68-78… (24/49)
Nat. 3,948 yearlings: 1-5-25-26-36-75-90-116-157-169… (26/49, preliminary results)

The national winner is a blue coloured cock, now called Palma de Jacques (since Jacques was absent). He was clocked at 14:51'34" after completing 729.182km with an average speed of 1651.35 m/min.

-Palma de Jacques BE16-4065358

 1st Nat. Libourne     3,948 YLs
70th Prov. Chateauroux 4,740 YLs

Sire: Turborakklet BE15-4130077
A half brother of the 7th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2015, and winner of a 6th Nat. Montélimar 3,624 p., 4th Prov. Valence 792 p., 4th Prov. Cahors 1,483 p., 15th Nat. Gueret 9,815 p. He is a son of Turbo BE06-9048374 (2nd Nat. Orange 5,237 p., 4th Nat. Orange 4,865 p., 6th Nat. Souillac 7,315 p., 6th Intprov. Bordeaux 2,728 p., 19th Nat. Orange 4,466 p., a direct Nihoul Roland & Guy) x Raklette BE10-4101088 (from Marcelino BE07-4093008 x Ranonkel BE05-4045124: 2 x 1st Prov. Blois).
Dam: Magna BE13-4050333
A half sister of Annelise, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance KBDB 2013. A daughter of Sjah BE02-4478695, a direct De Rauw-Sablon (son of legendary breeder Limoges 261/91 x Goudklompje 874/98) x super class breeding hen Morgane BE05-4246519, the dam of Miracle Ace: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2013, and Annelise: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance KBDB 2013.
This is an excellent pedigree indeed! Click here for the full pedigree of Palma de Jacques.

Freddy and Jacques underline their reputation as grandmasters in the national races, to say the least. They had already won three provincial first prizes earlier this season from Valence, Chateauroux and Limoges, and this national victory from Libourne is the icing on the cake. Or would they be able to add another win to their palmares in the closing long distance races or perhaps the young birds' classics in the next few weeks? You never know with the Vandenheede pigeons, which are a breed of winners.

Congratulations Freddy and Jacques, and good luck with number ten.