Mons, racing place of our "National Elio" isn't anything special, despite its more than 900 years and a place in the Unesco-Wereldgoedlijst. The Henegouwse provincial capital managed to beat a bank and win a nomination for "European Cultural City 2015". Luik put itself out of the game by having a very poor turnout by the arranged public meeting. It seems that the entire "Enthusiastic City" is still blinded by the achieving of the national football championship title. After years of doom and gloom the sleeping football giant exploded with the result being a vibrant public "à la méditerannée" party -as the late Toon Hermans would have said. The Hel van Sclessin swirled as never before, which couldn't be said about the Bergens football temple. In the midst of a sloping landscape of wide greasy fields, marked here and there by a deserted and dilapidated industrial buildings - a quiet testimony of a rich industry in the past- Givry lies waiting for us. The small village centre is desolate, cold and soaked through. What a difference to the warmness with which we were welcomed in the warm cosy living quarters of our sympathetic host where space was exchanged for a pigeon loft with right in the middle the imposing trophy that he took ownership of on the KBDB-podium in Oostende.
Jacques Jeunieaux, born and bred in Givry, has, together with his son-in-law Jérome with whom he has raced in combination since 2003, has put his village on the Belgium pigeon map. There were enough reasons for the specialist pigeon press to visit Givry which is known in archaeological circles as the finding place of countless valuable finds which can be traced back to the time of "Julius César"-when the "Gauls" who were the bravest of the Germanic people, tried to call a halt to the Roman rolling mill's conquest. But this is another story and would distract us too much, but one thing is certain, it seems as if the golden coins were sown underground in Givry. Now, more than 2000 years later we found pigeon gold in the form of the combination Jeunieaux - Lecocq.
Pigeon sport, it is clearly in the genes
He became interested in the pigeons at an early age because father has been a gifted fancier for years with an enormous amount of knowledge as a result of which good advice was freely available. A necessity at the beginning of a pigeon career, yet you have people who soon learn the "tricks of the trade". Jacques admits that in the early years he didn't really know what he was doing, quite the opposite. Yet this period of trial and error was obviously a long time ago. The pigeon sport career of our host rapidly changed with the millennium.. The performances of the 9163232/97 nickname "Le Crack" raced first provincial Ace pigeon in 1999, 2nd Ace pigeon KBDB Henegouwen 2000 with three victories to his name including a 23rd national zone and 95th national from Bourges. This star racer was obtained by father Max and has Gebroeders Janssen-blood. This brings us automatically to the stock forming of the current success colony.
Combination Casaert-Gebroeders Janssen-couldn´t be any more Belgian
It really couldn´t, because the distance Arendonk-Nechin stretches over the entire Belgian territory. So as already mentioned, the Janssen -pigeons were bought by father and crossed with those of Casaert from Néchin, unarguably one of the best performing colonies of the modern pigeon sport. The family Jeunieaux is, since 1997, yearly guests by Maurice Casaert and pigeons are regularly taken back home. So also in 1999 when disaster struck in the form of a voracious marten which struck unrelentingly. Seven selected Casaer-pearls had their heads bitten off. They have to be watchful every year.
The fact that the lofts directly adjoin the vast fields there is always the threat of a marten, a plague of rats or a falcon. More information regarding the ancestry of the Casaert-pigeons is not available because our guest attaches absolutely no value on pedigrees. He doesn´t want anything to do with all the paperwork. Also keeping records of the results is not his best feature. Luckily house friend Lievin was aware of the importance of the results booked last season and took care of the necessary paperwork. It would have been a shame if all that pigeon gold fell into the hands of the opponents and they unexpectedly took the honour. Becoming National Champion and in addition achieving the 2nd Ace pigeon title KBDB Small Middle Distance would look good on anybody´s visiting card.
Two full brothers manage the job
The 9120036/05 or the 2nd Ace pigeon KBDB 2008 developed into a rarely seen topper from Orleans and hereafter booked the following results:
His full brother, the 037/05 played his part in achieving the national title and this despite another murderous attack from the marten. A person would give up for less.
Pigeon sport without frills
Has by no means been pulled out of thin air in Givry. The classic widowhood has been practiced for years for both the old pigeon and the yearlings. The 23 head strong racing team (15 old and 8 yearlings) race the entire racing programme of the small middle distance without a break. The Bourges der Krijgsgevangenen is the final organ point of the season. The selection is based on the results. Whichever pigeon hasn´t regularly raced at the top will be removed. The young cocks from the 30 bred youngster ever year are basketted three times for raced above Paris. The wheat is then directly separated from the chaff. It is not just a matter of returning home. Two or three prizes are predetermined. It seems strict, yet in a natural way, dead fair. And who are we to comment, because Jacques has known everything about racing and preparation methods for years.