Frans Burtin - Meerhout (B)

Frans Burtin - Meerhout <br>The Story of a retired passionate Belgian Top Class pigeon fancier.

It was more a coincidence that I heard from some friends that Frans Burtin at the age of 75 should have the intention of stopping completely with the pigeon sport I decided to contact him and I was really surprised to hear that Frans stopped racing already in 2005. Finishing in beauty, winning still the Championship in the Molse Fondclub for Yearlings on the fond flights. It was hard to believe that after such a successful carrier, winning from 1983 to 2005 : 14   General championships, 25 individual championships and 19 Ace pigeons in all kind of disciplines: from Sprint to Heavy Fond races.
This in  famous Pigeon Clubs in Belgium. Frans had build up an excellent reputation and the moment he decided to stop, at the end of the season 2005, in only 2 weeks time, from all parts of Europe, fanciers tried to become of his pigeons. In a few weeks 2/3 of his pigeons were sold. However he decided then to keep about 15 couples for himself for pleasure, because it was too hard to sell them all. He was very honest, telling that off course he kept the best for him. The reason to stop was very simple .He became practically at the same time two diseases. First off all at a certain moment he became dizzy and the doctor said that it was due to the syndrome of Meuniere  something in the ear that causes dizziness, and could be very dangerous standing on his loft. Also his sight became bad and the eye doctor said that it was due to Macola disease. So with pain in the hart he was practicly forced to stop racing, the moment his pigeons were still winning victory after victory. It was hard but a necessity, the more that becoming a new neighbour he wanted to avoid the troubles he encountered .So he stopped racing and continued to breed out of his about 15 couples  The demand for youngsters was greater then he could bread. Pigeons were asked from a lot of fanciers from all over Europe, from Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Austria, Italy even from Rumania and off course from Belgium. Now Frans is receiving every week tel. calls, mails and Skype messages from a lot of fanciers who became friends and are so lucky that they could have pigeons from his bloodstream.

This bloodstream he obtained with more then 35 years carefully searching for cross breeding with pigeons from the most repudiated Belgian fanciers. In fact the red wire through his loft are 3 main strains: “The red Prince” , “Elfje” and “The Fighter” with most of them, having at the origin, the famous Janssens from Arendonk pigeons. With “De schouwman” and the “Raket Hen” at the base., brought in with a hen he became from Ooms Deckx.from Dessel.  Frans is not willing to tell more of his extremely selective work he managed to do in order to become his famous and repudiated blood stream from his pigeons, beside the Janssen origine, I found the names of Sylvain Dhondt, Louis Thijs of Wiekevorst (again Janssens blood),  Flor Goris from Putte,  Menten Michel from Tongerlo, Jan Grondelaars and many others. Asking after his results in his successful carrier he is to emotional and he only says you can find it on my website. But he is still very proud showing the Trophies from his 6th National Primus Interparis on the Barcelona Flight (1100km) The five best results with the same pigeon, his 1997/6382297 in this race. From this pigeon still one direct son and 2 direct daughters are on his loft.. Speaking of China, he mentioned that in 2001 he took part at the Eyerkamp Beijing One loft race, with one pigeon obtaining the first Belgian, the 6th European and the 17th  General place of this race. His cosy garden house is off course completely full of all kind of Trophies from his long and successful carrier. Now he is happy to receive regularly comments from fanciers throughout Europe telling him weekly, the obtained results with his pigeons. He showed me for example the results of his Italian friends, the Loft Luppi Giorgio e Nicolo; Incredible results such as this year, the first race: the first four places, the second race: even the 13 first places, both with more then 2000 pigeons in the race.

No wonder that Jos Thone himself, dixit Giorgio, visiting this loft, said “I am not surprised I know the quality of Frans pigeons.” The same loft won in 2008 the 1° (2007/22380)and the 2° (2007/22365) National Ace pigeon yearlings from Italy with an Olympic nomination. Frans showed me the mail message where the Italian Fanciers thanked him, telling that both pigeons were bread out of Frans’ pigeons. Namely the 2007/22380 out of a son of his Ronaldo and the 2003/6440133 and the 2007/22365 being a son of his Charel, the 2000/6136548 bred by Boeckx Karel out of 2 national Ace pigeons. Furthermore they had the 5th national sprint champion Hens the 2007/22352 a daughter of Frans’ 2003/6440126. Really an Italian success story. The Italian friend always speaking about the Italian Burtin Loft. Frans showed me also an email from the Rumanian loft Mihai Niculescu from Bucharest stating that this Rumanian fancier won the second national long distance over 3 races with more then 8000 pigeons. This pigeon was bred out of Frans’ pigeon 2002/6495178. A lot of other mails of different fanciers from Germany, Austria, and the UK, thanking him for the good pigeons that helped them to make them champion in their clubs. He admitted that it has not been easy to take this decision to stop. About the remaining pigeons at his loft ,Frans told me that they should normally go to china, in fact the first round of 17 youngsters was already there. But he told me that he would be honest with his former clients, and tell them about his decision giving them  priority. Finishing the article not one week after my visit I phoned him and I was surprised to hear that all the pigeons were sold in Europe, but most of them going to his Rumanian friend. He was happy with the good arrangement he could make and hoped that the Rumanian loft, the Niculescu- Burtin loft , should have the same results as that from his Italian friends.

Furthermore he told me that his wife convinced him after all, to keep a few pigeons, and so he decided to keep his third round, and 2 sons out of his 99/799 and his 99/811, two cocks belonging to the best pigeons that ever were raced in the Molse Fondclub. This way, instead of a complete stopping, next year, Frans will have the pleasure, even if it is with only a few pigeons to breed and continue making friends. But most of all, he will have the pleasure, to enjoy the results of his many thankful pigeon friends. So at the end it is in fact not completely the story of a retired pigeon fancier.