From zero to hero… that might be a good way to describe the career of Benny Steveninck as a fancier, but he did not come from zero. Benny and his wife Karin have become one of the big stars in pigeon racing, no question about it. Their family of birds has become one of the best middle distance and middle to long distance lofts in Belgium, especially in races between 300 and 600 km. He is well respected by friends and foes for his spectacular results and his impressive, often dominant pigeons. However, some of his local opponents think he is a bit too strong, too dominant! It’s the dark side of fame… In many clubs, fanciers would rather not have the Steveninck pigeons participate in the races. Some fanciers say his pigeons should not compete because they seem impossible to beat.
We think those fanciers should ask themselves if Benny and Karin are to blame for the fact that their pigeons are so much stronger than theirs. Of course they are not! They owe their success to a combination of quality, a good approach, strict selection and taking the right decisions at the right time! You should keep in mind that Benny has decided not to sell his ace pigeons, even though some fanciers wanted to pay huge sums to get one in their loft. Instead he used his stars in his own breeding loft to breed a new generation of top class racers, which would in their turn become the parents of a new top quality generation. This is a choice every fancier has to make for himself and this explains why the Steveninck pigeons have become so successful. His decision to transfer his exceptional stock bear Chipo (1st provincial ace pigeon middle distance young birds KBDB 2003) to his breeding loft fairly quickly was a brilliant move. As a breeder Chipo became the main cock in this loft, breeding several national ace pigeons! The opponents of Benny had a hard time trying to beat the descendants of Chipo. Most fanciers were not amused, there is no denying it.
The Ludo Claessens of pigeon racing in Belgium
The success story of Benny Steveninck bears a striking resemblance to that of the Dutch grandmaster Ludo Claessens, who never wanted to sell his big stars either. Instead he placed them in his own breeding loft to breed future top birds. He would never breed pigeons just to sell them to others either. It was only when his loft became simply too powerful and the demand for his pigeons was too high that he decided to sell a round of pigeons. Now he sells a few birds every three years. He would only sell additional pigeons if he is convinced that they would not offer added value to his own loft and if they would be a good addition for the loft of the buyer. Benny Steveninck did the same thing: he would rather keep his top class pigeons in his own breeding loft instead of selling them. Of course his outstanding performances caught the attention of fanciers worldwide and soon the Steveninck pigeons were in great demand. That is why Benny decided to turn to PIPA to sell a few of his outstanding pigeons every year. There will a lot of interested fanciers; it is up to them to decide who will take one home.
2012: yet another impressive season
At the beginning of July Benny retired as a train conductor for the Belgian national railway company NMBS. We don’t know if trains will be running on time now but we do know that he continues his success story in 2012! This is no surprise: Benny is an excellent captain and his wife Karin is a great navigator. Their results of 2012 prove that they are indeed an outstanding loft. At the end of an excellent season they had a great result from Gueret, the final race of 2012. What else should we expect from Benny Steveninck?
Gueret local 249 young birds:
4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9- 13- 14- 18- 21- 26- 31- 33- 37- 41- 44- 46- 5O- 54- 61-63- 67- 70- 73 (24/45)
FCD 929 youngsters:
7- 8- 9- 10- 11- 12- 20- 21- 41- 49- 69- 80- 81- 102… (26/45)
Prov 3,670 youngsters:
6- 10- 11- 12- 13- 14- 19- 48- 49-…
Nat Zone B 5,726 youngsters:
(with a total of 26 prizes with 45 birds, including 16 prizes per 10 per 10)
Nat. 16.988 youngsters:
(Also 26 prizes out of 45, with 17 prizes per 10!)
The first pigeon from Gueret was Yamina, a full sister of Lucky 77 BE10-4128077 (1st Loc 384 pigeons and 9th prov. Chateauroux 4,612 pigeons, third Bourges 273 pigeons and 40th prov. 1,294 pigeons, 5th Blois 496 pigeons and 22th prov. 2,144 pigeons, 8th Vierzon 1,027 pigeons and 67th prov. 4,366 pigeons. Yamina is an excellent racing pigeon as well:
La Souterraine 1,009 p. 2 Prov 4,611 p. 2 Gueret FCD 929 p. 7 Prov 3,670 p. 6 Zone B 5,726 p. 30 Nat 16,988 p. 44
Sire: Inbreed Michel BE08-4359197… a son of superstar Chihaut 98 BE05-4323998, winner of a 2nd prov. & 3rd nat. Ace pigeon middle distance KBDB 2008, a 4th prov. ace pigeon middle distance KBDB 2009, a 7th prov. ace pigeon middle distance KBDB 2007 (a son of stock bear Chipo 022/03 x Blauwwitpen Hautekiet 989/03) coupled with Mother national BE07-4372474, mother of the 1st provincial Gueret '08 and 1st national Limoges yearlings '09 (a full sister of Blauwwitpen Hautekiet 989/03 and another descendant of the Hautekiet stock couple of Benny Steveninck).
Dam: Daughter Blue Dream BE09-6128352… a direct August Wouters and a daughter of his 1st national ace pigeon sprint 2009, a pigeon with ten first prizes in two years' time!
The second finisher from Gueret was a daughter of the 1st national Limoges 16,896 yearlings and a 1st prov. Gueret 3,067 young birds, namely Gueret BE08-4216930 (which stems from Brother Chipo BE07-4216994 x Mother national BE07-4372474) x Blauw Gyselbrecht-Madeira BE10-3165974 (a daughter of Bourlard 389/09 x Daughter Le Limoges 092/08). This Daughter Gueret was winner of:
- Daughter Gueret BE12-4048045
Gueret FCD 929 p. 8 Prov 3,670 p. 10 Nat 16,988 p. 68 Angerville 907 p. 86 Bourges 1,896 p. 242
To conclude we will also take a look at the results of his old bird team, just to give you an idea of the strength of this loft. We have selected some of the best birds from his team of racing cocks and a bird which we think is the best hen of 2012. Their impressive list of achievements underlines the quality of the Steveninck pigeons today.
- Raymond BE09-4188036
12/05 Angerville 1 843 25/05 Bourges LOC 1 264 FCD 2 887 FVOV 2 3,703 Nat ZB 2 7,898 Nat 8 20,589 02/06 Chateauroux LOC 10 281 FCD 21 764 FVOV 186 3,889 Nat ZB 81 5,671 Nat 491 16,479 17/06 Montlucon LOC 4 180 FCD 8 840 FVOV 43 3,984 Nat ZB 244 6,083 16/07 Bourges LOC 2 112 FCD 4 495 FVOV 8 2,087 29/07 Bourges LOC 1 94 FCD 2 433 FVOV 2 1,418 Nat ZB 53 3,403 Nat 198 1,0035 11/08 Argenton LOC 4 56 FCD 5 197 FVOV 36 687 Nat ZB 30 1,495 Nat 100 4,782
Raymond is a truly outstanding champion and one of the big stars of 2012. Throughout his career he has won three second provincial prizes from Bourges. A quick look at his pedigree explains why he is so successful:
Sire: Chihaut 100 BE04-4138100… he was 6th national ace pigeon middle distance KBDB 2005 and 2nd substitute Olympiad Ostend 2007 category B. He is a son of superstar Chipo 022/03 (1st Prov. ace pigeon middle distance KBDB 2003) x Blauwwitpen 989/03, which is the dam of the 3rd Nat. ace pigeon middle distance KBDB '07 and the 6th Nat. ace pigeon middle distance KBDB 2005 (bred from the stock couple Hautekiet: Vale Hautekiet 509/01 x Blauw Hautekiet 815/02).
Dam: Eline’ BE03-3056334… this is a direct Cools-Blancke, winner of a 1st Nat. Zone A, Argenton 960 pigeons, a 6th prov. Torus 2,977 pigeons, a 20th Prov. Blois 5,246 pigeons and a 43rd Prov. Chateauroux 4,061 pigeons. She is a daughter of Witneus Bliksem 171/01 (bred from Bliksem 062/98 x Bieke 029/00, winner of seven first prizes and a 2nd prov. Chateauroux 7,183 pigeons) x Fryda 770/99 (a daughter of stock couple 2 Cools-Blancke: Frans 137/95 x Alfoncine 182/94).
The superstar of the team of hens is first prize winner Els. These were the results of Els in 2012:
9/06 Chateauroux LOC 3 242 FCD 10 918 FVOV 37 4,660 17/06 Montlucon LOC 1 406 FCD 2 1,467 FVOV 14 5,335 NAT ZB 22 7,809 NAT 55 22,384 30/06 Argenton LOC 1 392 FCD 2 1,268 FVOV 11 5,548 Nat ZB 146 8,766 NAT 264 22,875 29/07 Bourges LOC 6 154 FCD 13 684 FVOV 13 2,177 Nat ? (not yet confirmed) 4/08 Vierzon LOC 1 34 FCD 1 163 FVOV 9 761
As a young bird she had already won a 55th Nat. Argenton 22,384 pigeons, an 82nd Nat. Gueret 14,362 pigeons etc. This first prize winner is one of a kind.
Sire: Blauwwitpen Vanhoutte BE04-3104150… a direct Willy Vanhoutte from Wevelgem, bred from Brother Figo 099/99 (a full brother of the legendary Figo Reynaert, winner of a first Nat. Bourges 2001) x Hen 054/03, winner of a 10th prov. ace pigeon middle distance young birds 2003.
Dam: Dochter Chipo BE07-4216998… a full sister of the 3rd nat. ace pigeon middle distance KBDB. She was winner of a first prize from Noyon 348 pigeons, a 10th Argenton 2,007 pigeons and a 30th prov. 4,526 pigeons, a 59th prov. Vierzon 5,076 pigeons, a 43rd Bourges 1,900 pigeons. This means she is a direct daughter of stock father Chipo 022/03 x Blauwwitpen Hautekiet 989/03.
An impressive feat! It clearly shows that the team of Benny Steveninck has an abundance of top quality pigeons. He has one of the most valuable breeding lofts in Belgium, especially for the middle distance and the middle to long distance. We think they will be at the top for quite some time. If Benny & Karin continue to win top prizes like that nobody will ever be able to match their list of achievements. Just like Philippe Gilbert at the world championships Benny Steveninck is always there when the important prizes are won, especially in the important longer middle distance and middle to long distance races on the national calendar! A true champion will not fail at the important moments.
The national Top-100 for 2012
What follows is an overview of the top-100 places won by pigeons of Ben Steveninck in 2012!
8 Nat Bourges: Raymond 4188036/2009 19 Nat Bourges: 4008915/2011 grandchild Chipo 55 Nat Argenton: Els 4008909/2011 grandchild Chipo 66 Nat Bourges: Yamina 4129977/2010 Daughter Dram Pair 44 Nat Gueret: 4048077/2012 Daughter Draem Pair 45 Nat Argenton: 4188899/2009 Son Chipo 74 Nat Argenton: Rooney 4188093/2009 Son Chipo 73 Nat Argenton: Crack junior 4216055/2008 Son Crack 71 Nat Argenton: 4007057/2011 Jan Papens-Geerickx 68 Nat Gueret: 4048045/2012 Daughter Gueret 69 Nat Gueret: 4048073/2012 half brother Gueret 77 Nat Gueret: 4048991/2012 grandchild Crack 80 Nat Gueret: 4048027/2012 Sister Double 28 Inbreed Hautekiet 100 Nat Argenton: Raymond 4188039/2009