The highest honour was claimed by ‘De Rode Chateauroux’, a beautiful cock belonging to the 65 year old butcher Wim Raben. This pigeon is no one-day wonder, because he also 3rd National province East Netherlands from National Blois. Not many yearlings can achieve such performances!
Wim Raben, born in the nearby village Nieuw-Dijk, has lived all his life in and around Didam. He has been active in the pigeon sport since 1986. He is a member of the local club ‘De Rode Doffer’, where he is the ring administrator. In previous years Wim raced the whole programme. He now mainly concentrates on the 1-day long distance and overnight long distance. ‘You are busy with the pigeons all week and in the sprint it is all over in a few minutes. In the middle distance, and especially the 1-day long distance you can enjoy the arrival of your pigeons for longer’, says Wim.
At the Kapelstraat 4 only the cocks are raced according to the classic widowhood. Twelve cocks are reserved for the middle distance (3) and 1-day long distance (9). Wim battles the overnight long distance with twenty-four cocks. The basis pigeons for the programme races are Gebr. Janssen pigeons via the Comb. Kuiper from Hoorn and the own old sort of the ’77 line’, which is Meulemans x Borgmans. These pigeons always perform well and several large championships have been won. The basis pigeons for the overnight long distance come from the Gebr. Limburg, Zuidveen and master Wijnacker from Hengstdijk. The most eye-catching performance in the grand distance is the 1st National Ruffec in 1995.
Last year Wim was the victim of ‘the black mat disease’ by his youngsters. Only a few survived, those that were born in a loft where there were no black mats in the dishes. Included amongst these was ‘De Rode Chateauroux’, who has been on teletext twice this season. That the pigeons were already in good shape this year was proved with, amongst other things, a 2nd in the province, which was raced in the middle distance.
Winner : ‘De Rode Chateauroux’
The winning pigeon is truly a wonderful cock. Well muscled, soft plumage and difficult to hold. What a wringer. And it is almost impossible to photograph him. He misses nothing. His father is the NL 07-1681486, a pure Gebr. Janssen pigeon via the Comb. Kuiper from Hoorn. The mother is the NL 02-5216891 out the very successful old ’77 line’. The ‘891’ was self also a real pointer with, amongst other things, a 3rd Tessenderloo against 13.300 pigeons. When the pigeons were due to arrive home from Chateauroux that afternoon, Wim predicted: ‘if you want an early pigeon it will have to fly with the youngsters from the north of the country’. This came true, because at 14h48 four pigeons landed on the roof of the loft, out of the right direction. It was ‘De Rode Chateauroux’ accompanied by three youngsters, who quickly flew up again. It was the first report in the NIC ‘De Rode Doffer’. But then the long wait began, because we are one of the shortest distances in the province East Netherlands. At a quarter past six it was obvious that Wim had first prize. Two doping inspectors called the next day. They took dropping samples from all the lofts to be sent to Ghent to be analysed. They also asked a lot of questions, including questions about the use of medicine. The results of the analysis will take four weeks.
Preparation and care
‘De Rode Chateauroux’ was coupled at the end of February. After brooding for a few days he was put into widowhood. He trains twice a day, without the flag. At the beginning of the week the pigeons are given Zoontjens mixture. The last three days sport mixture from Beyers, supplemented with peanuts, nibbling seeds and rice. Before the start of the racing season they are given a tricho cure and the day before basketting the pigeons are given a spoonful of ornimix. Further what garlic and vitamins. On the Wednesday before a 1-day long distance race the pigeons are taken to Nijmegen. When they return home they are allowed to stay with their hen until 15h00. On the day of basketting only the dish is turned over. This means that the pigeons are calm when basketted. A new element in the care is that lighting was used by the pigeons for the first time this year. Also Wim only raced the last three small middle distance races and was stated on teletext twice!
Wim Raben is a quiet and modest man, with a great love for his pigeons. He also has the firm support of his caring wife Liza, who helps when necessary and also takes care of the pigeon administration. Both are pleased with, and proud of, their ‘Rode Chateauroux’, a real crack with which they also hope to shine next year. Congratulations!