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Arno Van Den Berghe (Ophasselt, BE) took a place at the top thanks to his Golden Lady

Young Arno Van Den Berghe, who is currently a final-year student, was lucky to have a wonder pigeon in the loft, from the beginning. His Golden Lady allowed him to immediately take his place at the top of the national heavy middle-distance races.

Like many, Arno encountered with pigeon racing through his father, the speed races were the chosen field then. However, when father became too busy after taking over the family business (butchery), it was his grandfather who helped taking care of the pigeons together with Arno. But it soon turned out that the ambitious Arno was actually more involved with the pigeons than father and grandfather, so he decided to race under his own name from 2016. Because Arno was given the time and space to fulfil his ambitions, after a couple of successful seasons the step was taken to leave the sprint races for what they were. The wish to try it on the longer distances had been there for a while and so Arno moved to the middle-distance and also occasionally raced 1 or 2 pigeons in a national contest. It became the ambition to excel on races of 400 to 750 kilometers. However, the pigeons in the loft at that time could not cope with the heavier work, so Arno started looking for the right material. The search brought him to Gert Huysmans from Balen, a fancier who did excellent on the national races. This soon proved to be a golden move as both parents of Arno's later super pigeon Golden Lady moved to the lofts in Ophasselt.

The special story of Golden Lady

Then, in 2020, there was the actual start and he played on the new lofts in Ophasselt for the first time. Among the group of young pigeons was an inconspicuous one with the ring number: BE20-4008636. At that time, nobody could suspect that this little hen would have all eyes on her, the following season. In 2021, when the yearlings were played for the first time, the focus was fully put on the provincial and national races. At the first provincial race from Vierzon, that inconspicuous youngster from the previous year immediately won the 1st Provincial against 4,543 yearlings (also fastest of all participating 11,858-pigeons)Golden Lady (BE20-4008636) immediately showed her enormous potential.

From then on, she went full speed ahead and usually was the first pigeon to arrive at the Van Den Berghe lofts in the weeks that followed. A month and a half after winning Vierzon, the impossible came true: Golden Lady won the 1st National from Chateauroux against 10,317 pigeons and again she was the fastest of all, this time of 17,416 pigeons!! Important detail: Vierzon was raced with a strong south-westerly wind which made the speed almost 1700 M/min while from Chateauroux they had to work hard because of the heat and northerly wind (speed :1094 m/min). Obviously, this meant that her racing career was over immediately, as her exceptional performance allowed her to breed with the very best in pigeon racing, such as with iconic pigeons like Porsche 911 and Prince Porsche of the PEC (PIPA ELITE CENTER).

Golden Lady: the flying phenomenon

A huge setback

When Golden Lady returned to her own loft after staying with PEC for several months, she was paired with a cock from Arno’s breeding loft. However, when she was about to lay her first egg, Arno found her deathly ill one morning. The vet did everything possible to save Golden Lady, but all efforts were in vain; less than 24 hours later this super hen died ...

An extremely unfortunate story, because as a result of this, only 6 children of Golden Lady were born.

After this disappointment however, Arno did not give up and started building a Golden Lady line. It was therefore only a matter of time before the first top pigeon would arise from this. And it soon became clear that this honour would go to Floke (BE22-4009210) . She is the first 'racer' from the Golden Lady family, because she is the very first child from nest brother Golden Lady (BE20-4008637) coupled with a direct hen of Gino Clicque from Wevelgem. As a passionate winner, Arno wanted to test how far the strain of Golden Lady could go and therefore decided to race Floke (after she had already made some great results in the long distance) to Limoges (615 km). And yes ... Floke won the first prize! One can immediately conclude that the Golden Lady line can stand its ground on the long-distance races.

Achievements of Floke :

1st Vierzon 295 p. (9th Prov. 3,239 p.)

1st Limoges 176 p. (34th Prov. 2,451 p. and 15th Zone 1,217 p.)

2nd Chateauroux 287 p. (12th Prov. 3,125 p.)

77th Zonal Argenton 2,263 p.

12th Souillac 306 p. (88th Prov. 1,652 p.)


Floke : winner Vierzon and Limoges

It cannot be more clearly demonstrated that Arno Van Den Berghe has a goldmine at his disposal with his Golden Lady line. Anyone who can draw from such a line of topclass pigeons can look forward to a bright future, as evidenced by a few 2023 results:

15 x 1st prize local

10 x top-10 Zonal

14 x top-10 Provincial

7 x top-100 National

The lofts of Arno on which he already achieved great results.