Etienne Meirlaen (Deurle – Sint-Martens-Latem, BE) victorious winner of 1st Nat Cahors 8,401 old birds

Etienne is one of today’s most successful fanciers and has one of the most renowned lofts for the middle distance and middle to long distance in international pigeon racing. Now he has managed to add the national middle distance classic from Cahors to his already impressive list of achievements.

If Etienne Meirlaen was a cycling road racer we would say that he has won his classic race for this season, but in pigeon racing it is not easy to win such an important race every season. In recent years however, the Meirlaen pigeons do not seem to have any problems with winning out of turn. Cahors is said to be a demanding race year after year, so you need to have some very strong and talented pigeons to take the the red card.

The organisers of Cureghem Centre had 8,401 old birds at the liberation site; 300 more pigeons compared to last year. This makes it this season’s first national race with more pigeons than in 2011. We hope that this positive trend continues for the rest of the season. Due to heavy showers in central France the race was delayed for a day and the pigeons were eventually released on Sunday at 7h30. For the first few kilometres there was hardly any wind, just a light easterly. After a while on the wing the wind increased whilst the birds were in the region between Limoges and Chateauroux, this was a south west tailwind. It was a pigeon of the East Flemish fancier Etienne Meirlaen which managed to reach the highest speed (1323.99 m/min) and was clocked at 17 hrs 08 mins 06 secs over a distance of 738.917km. The Meirlaen pigeons were successful from Cahors, making some very good results:

Local  357 old birds: 1-7-15-22-25-47-63-72-86-102 (10 on 12 per 3)
Prov 1,759 old birds: 1-19-39… (provisional top-50)
Nat  8,401 old birds: 1… (and 3 pigeons in the top-80 national)

The winning pigeon is a two year old cock named Conar. He comes from a family of very successful pigeons. For Etienne, Conar was ready to do his first real middle distance race and he now he has taken his first win. These were his previous results:

-Conar BE10-4284640

’12 Cahors      Nat  8,348 p. 1
’11 Chateauroux Nat 16,479 p. 848
’11 Limoges     Nat 14,679 p. 1132
’11 La Chatre   Nat 21,180 p. 4292

The pedigree of Conar indicates that his win is not really a surprise: he comes from a line of pigeons that has bred numerous national and international top class racers. Click here for the full pedigree of Conar.

Sire: BE03-4133599 Blauwen Buysse… was purchased at an entire clearance sale of the late Robert Buysse, a Barcelona winner. He is a full brother of Mr Europe, winner of 1st West European ace pigeon long distance and a descendant of the line of Mistery (a 1st national Barcelona) and Bliksem (a 1st national Bordeaux). This Blauwen Buysse has become an invaluable breeder in the lofts of Meirlaen, being father of some very good middle distance racers:

- Rob, winner of

’05 Narbonne    Nat  6,033 p. 4
             Intnat  9,634 p. 5
’06 Irun-Tarbes Nat  5,252 p. 24

- Perpignan Queen BE05-4344752

’07 Perpignan Prov    703 p. 2 (behind loftmate Perpignan Lady)
              Nat   5.547 p. 10
           Intnat  15.087 p. 21
’08 Perpignan Nat   7.603 p. 6
           Intnat  17.624 p. 19
        I.Nat Hens  3.803 p. 5
’08 Barcelona Nat  11.484 p. 1621

- The Libourne, winner of Libourne Nat   8,729 p. 25

Dam: BE08-4298114 ‘Marathon Wing’… daughter of the renowned breeding couple Gouden Vleugel BE00-3274245 (winner of the Gouden Vleugel and the Barcelona Masters in 2006) x Marathon Lady BE04-4391386, which was the best long distance hen in our country as a yearling, winning

1st Grote Marathonprijs KBDB East-Fl ’05
12th Nat St.Vincent  10,020 p.
25th Nat Perpignan    3,796 p.
34th Internat Perpignan 4,666 p.

Reason enough for Etienne to give her a place in his breeding loft. This appeared to be a very good idea, because she has become an important stock mother in Deurle. Below you can read everything about the breeding value of this top-class hen.

Is this the most celebrated loft in Belgium?

This is an interesting question, especially when we consider the list of achievements and the numerous titles that have been won in the past 5 to 6 seasons. We have selected some of his most prestigious wins at national and international level, which makes for an impressive list:

1st + 3rd National ace pigeon ‘grand distance’ KBDB 2008 (with Cor and Asduivin)
1rd National ace pigeon 'grand distance’ KBDB 2009 (with Perpignan Lady)
1st General Champion Belgische Verstandhouding 2011
1st International Narbonne 12,605 pigeons 2011 (with Monar)
1st National Cahors 8,401 pigeons 2012 (with Conar)
1st + 2nd ace pigeon extreme long distance Olympiad Budapest 2011
2nd National champion middle distance KBDB 2010
5th National ace pigeon middle distance KBDB 2010 (with ’t Fenomeen)
Best pigeon in Belgium over five national races (with ’t Fenomeen)
Winner of ‘Gouden Vleugel’ 2006

The only question remaining is whether someone has done this before and whether anyone will be able to equal his achievements?

Etienne has some exceptional pigeons in his lofts, for instance Cor, Perpignan Lady, Monar, Starlight, t Fenomeen, de Asduivin, Yelena, Marathonlady, Gouden Vleugel, Blauwen Buysse and of course the Marseille. He has some exceptionally good breeders in his lofts and he has one of the most talented breeding lofts for middle distance and extreme long distance in Belgium. With such a collection he is assured of future success: in pigeon racing, an ace pigeon is very often a descendant of another ace pigeon and a champion is usually a descendant of another champion, etc. So Etienne Meirlaen has a bright future ahead!

However, before the beginning of the 2012 season Etienne believed that his pigeons would be performing a bit less competitively than usual. After all, it is not an easy task to breed national winners and ace pigeons year after year, season after season. If you decide to transfer your best pigeon from the racing loft to the breeding loft every season it should be no surprise that the racing loft is understocked from time to time. It is difficult to fill the empty spaces in the racing loft, especially in the middle distance category.

But still, Etienne Meirlaen manages to have plenty of first-class racing pigeons in his team year after year and that is not only his merit. It also proves the quality of his breeding loft, which is obviously able to breed excellent champions every season. The interesting classics are coming up and his pigeons have found their best form right in time, having already won the 1st national from Cahors. We wonder what else the amazing Meirlaen family has in store for us this season. There is a good chance this won’t be his only important win in 2012. Many congratulations to Etienne, Yvette, Aline… and the entire Meirlaen team!

The most important breeds of B04-4391386 MARATHON LADY

She is mother and grandmother of:

1st   Intnat Narbonne   13,779 p. ’11 
1st   Nat Cahors         8,401 p. ’12 
1st   Prov. Poitiers     2,568 p.
1st   Prov Montauban     1,294 p. ’10
4th   Nat. Montauban     9,091 p. ’11
5th   Nat Montauban      6,654 p. ’10
11th  Nat Narbonne       6,330 p. ’10
12th  Nat Montauban      6,654 p. ’10
13th  Intnat Narbonne   13,335 p. ’10
13th  Nat. Montauban     9,091 p. ’11
14th  Nat  Narbonne      7,027 yl ’11
38th  Nat ZA Argenton    8,935 p.
52nd  Nat. Montauban     9,091 p. ’11
53rd  Nat ZA Limoges     7,823 p.
57th  Nat Tarbes         4,812 p.
60th  Nat Tarbes         4,576 p. ’10
73rd Nat Libourne       8,729 p.
92nd  Nat Perpignan      6,257 p. ’10

She is also a full sister of Perpignan Lady’ BE05-4344670, winner of:

1st Nat ace pigeon KBDB Grand distance 2009 (0,24%)
Perpignan   Prov 703 p. 1
           Nat 5,547 p. 7
        I.Nat 15,087 p. 15
    I.Nat Hens 3,131 p. 2 
Barcelona Prov 2,036 p. 152
          Nat 11,484 p. 634
        I.Nat 23,708 p. 1673
    I.Nat Hens 6,520 p. 478
Pau          Lok 161 p. 15
           Nat 2,036 p. 106 (and 31° Internat. Hens)
         I.Nat 7,608 p. 324
Marseille     Lok 67 p. 1
            Prov 439 p. 2
           Nat 3,586 p. 6 (0,167%)
Perpignan    Lok 158 p. 1
           Nat 7,478 p. 6 (0,080%)
        I.Nat 18,354 p. 7  
    I.Nat Hens 3,841 p. 1

The winner of the 1st Nat Cahors is also a descendent of this amazing breeding loft!