All 25,381 pigeons in the Barcelona race had to bend to the will of Diego Barça, who swept to victory in the 2013 edition of the prestigious Barcelona race. This race saw an interesting development and we wish every Barcelona race would be as interesting as that of 2013. There were no extremely harsh conditions, no strong tailwinds with pigeons flying through the night or a disastrous race with many losses in which you need good luck more than anything else. This race will be remembered as a tough but fair one. We saw in the international results that the top prizes in all distances were won by pigeons from practically all regions:
1st int.: Roosdaal, 1057 km (Central Belgium) 4th int.: Poeldijk, 1190 km (Western Holland) 13th int.: Aldenhoven, 1103 km (Germany) 27th int.: Busingen, 964 km (France)
The pigeon that wanted to win this race needed all the features that can be found within a modern day long distance racing pigeon: a good basic speed in combination with great endurance and perseverance, as well as an excellent sense of orientation. There is no room for error. Even the slightest mistake could lead to loss. This year’s winner proved that he meets these requirements already in the race from Barcelona of 2011. When Luc got up in the morning of the 2011 race to await the arrival of his pigeons he thought he still had plenty of time to have breakfast. It was still dark and there was a slight drizzle. Luc assumed no pigeon would make the effort to fly home but he was wrong. Diego Barça had been waiting for Luc just under the roof of the loft. He won a first provincial prize against 1,550 pigeons and a 38th international prize in 2011, keeping 26,029 behind him.
"You were expecting to to see an exhausted pigeon?"
Luc is firmly convinced that his pigeons do not come home for their hen but for their territory. Diego Barço for instance was not only the leading man in his own box but also in the entire sputnik. When the widowers arrive home after their 60 to 90 minutes’ training Diego Barça would be the first to get to the sputnik to wait for the others and to scare them away. Sometimes Luc had to take him away because he simply prevented the other birds from entering the loft. The windows were opened for a few hours on the day of basketing, so that Diego Barça had to guard his own living box as well as ‘his’ sputnik. It seems that Luc does not find it necessary to basket his long distance pigeons quietly and calmly.
This pigeon was highly motivated when he was being basketed. In fact one of Luc’s friends said: “this pigeons looks very nice, he looks to be in great shape.” He looked clean and slick, like a pigeon in top form. I won’t surprise you that this type of pigeon is in high demand among pigeon fanciers. He has won a lot of to prizes but he has some excellent origins as well. He belongs to the line of Arthur of Alex Rans (winner of first internat. Bordeaux ’95) from his father’s side. The dam is a granddaughter of Laureaat of Dr. Carlo Gijselbrecht, winner of the first internat. Barcelona 1995. You can take a look at the pedigree of Diego Barça by clicking here.
On your marks...
About the fancier
Luc learned the ropes in the sprint and middle distance competition first. You have to crawl before you walk. After a while he started to lose his interest, even though he still liked these kind of races. He basketed a few pigeons for the extreme long distance and the results were not too bad. “It was a bit more exciting as well”, Luc explains. In 2003 he permanently switched to the longer distance competition. He purchased pigeons from Carlo Gyselbrecht (Knesselare, BE), Hugo Batenburg (Klaaswaal, NL) and the winner of Perpignan International 2008 I. Roobol (Zwijndrecht, NL). In addition he did a number of joint breedings with the Christiaens-Desmet combination (Roosdaal, BE) and Stijn & Jeroen Rans (Herent, BE). Stijn & Jeroen were second Primus Inter Pares 2008-2012 with the hen 2079666/05.
Luc won the championship Extreme Long Distance in the Union of Brabant in 2012 and he finished second in the prestigious PIPA IATP ranking, behind the successful Ko Van Dommelen (St. Philipsland, NL). It takes more than a collection of good pigeons to win a championship. They also have to be nominated in the correct order and it seems that Luc is quite good at this. It is remarkable how often his first nominated pigeon was actually the first in the ranking. Motivation is the key word here.
Luc and Carlo Gyselbrecht: two proud men
Despite the transfer of Diego Barça, which is named after Luc’s grandson, Luc still has plenty of talented birds in his loft for the seasons to come. Just take a look at the results of the 885/08, the 782/11 and the 767/11. It is obvious that Diego Barça was not the only exceptional racing bird in this loft. Now it’s time for Perpigan!