Emile DUPONT from Herseeuw
an "ACE" from West Flanders
This is a again a proof that to race well you don’t need to have luxurious lofts – lofts like a castle. The most beautiful establishments don’t always house the real champions.
Having said that, we can say that the loft of Mr. Emile Dupont was modestly equipped, just like many others.
Although the entrance is wide, it is not as wide as the large windows that are often to be seen on widowers’ lofts.
To sum up, common and simple equipment.
Mr. Dupont believes and also applies in the real life the idea, that a loft has to be healthy, which means good air and light circulation, healthy feed and plenty of freedom for the pigeons. A pigeon is a bird that requires plenty of possibilities to move. Daily flight exercises are the best "trainings" for keeping the pigeons allert and the muscles lean.
How to succeed on short distances
Mr. Dupont has achieved his best results with cocks flying with a youngster 8 to 17 days old, or between two eggs in the nest, or during sitting on the eggs.
But this is not all, because the fancier has to know in the first place the character of every pigeon very well. That enables him to make good use of pigeons physical condition and health.
Concerning the hens, generaly they fly very well at the end of incubation time or with little youngsters. But there are exceptions to every rule. Mr. Dupont had a fine hen, who when raced while sitting on eggs never made a prize, but when she had small youngsters in the nest, one could have been sure that she would bring home a prize, even three Sundays in a row. That is how she won three first prizes in eight days: on Sunday, on Tuesday and then on the following Sunday.
And here’s another exception: one hen would always miss the prizes when she had youngsters only several hours old in her nest. That is why Mr.Dupont raced her as follows: As soon as she was sitting on the eggs for five days, he gave her a youngster for five minutes before basketting; only in this was the hen unbeatable and would always be one of the first five. This was for sure one of the best hens in the country.
These two examples show that preparing a pigeon for participation in races can sometimes be a very complicated issue.
Mr. Dupont was never really in favour of making the youngsters fly too much in the year of their birth. He raced them solely on small distances and uncoupled, with the intention to train them and not to make profit out of them.
How to succeed on long distances – The worries and suggestions
As a convinced nest or natural racer, was Mr. Dupont afraid that he cannot meassure up to the widowers, specifically on the distances from Orléans and Tours, that represent only a small group of the fanciers in Flanders. That is why he has recently hesitated to take part on long distances such as Angoulême and Bordeaux. They do not receive much attention in Flanders, even less than the middle distance flights. (Remark: we are talking here about the years BEFORE the World War II)
In his opinion, big flight can be dangerous for fanciers, who just like him practise nest racing and he prefers to not play with that kind of fire.
He is probably right.
What more, one cannot underestimate the middle distance flights in Flanders. We will give you some examples:
Take the Tours flight of Dottenys of June 11, 1939. This can be reffered to as the most beautiful flight of the country. The limit was 4 pigeons per fancier, 739 pigeons took part. International circumference was 25 km. Various "aces" from North France took part on that one. The total input came up to 293.500 fr.
Let’s take now the international flight from Orléans, set up as a celebration of the 90th anniversary of founding the "Cercle Union" in Roubaix, on June 25th, 1939. This flight consisted of 1.800 pigeons. The basketting office in Roubaix had 470 pigeons and a total amount of financial inputs was 46.000 fr. The basketting office in Herseeuw : 786 pigeons with an input of 112.000 fr. Basketting office in Lille: 544 pigeons and 31.200 fr.
Because of bad weather the flight didn’t go through on June 25th. The liberation took place on June 26th, which was a Monday, in the morning. Despite the bad weather, the 360 prizes to be won where claimed within 30 minutes and Mr. Emile Dupont was the one to take the first place as well as the 27th and 51st.
He has achieved a wonderful Belgian victory.
And here is how Mr. Dupont summarizes his own method:
To begin with, healthy and abundant feed is necessary. A pigeon that works has to be well taken care of. A good pigeon never eats too much.
Make sure, that the pigeons don’t exhaust themselves by feeding their youngsters. As soon as the young pigeons are 12 days old, they are partly fed by Mr. Dupont who gives them every morning and every evening pigeon beans, which were allowed to soften in water. The pigeons are separated from their parents when they are 18 days old. Then they receive for 3 or 4 days several beans, afterwards thay have to take care of their feed themselves.
Taken care of in this way, pigeons from good strains keep their condition and on top of that: they are more capable than the pigeons on widowhood.
And it is also much easier to prepare a pigeon in a “natural way” for participation in a race than a widower.
A naturaly raced pigeon flies more easily at the top, while the widower has to have clear and nice weather.