Gert Noels after his national win from Jarnac with racing hen Lourdes
Gert is one of those few who does not come from a family of fanciers. Nevertheless, he has been keeping pigeons from the age of seven. "It took me a while to convince my parents to build a small loft for three pigeons, Gert remembers. "Since you had to basket your pigeons in a nearby bar at the time, I was not allowed to race until I was 18. I did my first races from a loft that I paid for myself with a weekend job." Gert spent several years racing in the sprint competition, before meeting Jos Thoné and Agy and Pascal of the then Verreckt-Ariën combination. They convinced him to give the national races a try. Jos Thoné turned out to be of great support, and it was under his guidance that Gert won five provincial first prizes from 2012 to 2016, as well as a 1st Provincial (and 9th National) Champion Long Distance Old Birds and an overall win the Kuznica One Loft Race Poland. Click here for an overview of Gert's best results since 2012, which include 19 provincial top 10 placings.
1st National Jarnac, his biggest win ever
Gert continued to deliver last summer: he won a 1st Provincial from Brive in 2016, and went on to win a 1st National Jarnac of 5,117 pigeons in 2017. "These were two very straightforward races, with a speed of just under 1,300 m/min from Jarnac and 1,062 m/min from Brive. We had weather conditions for strong birds", a happy winner told us after the race. Jarnac was in fact the most important win in Gert's fairly young career, won by a blue coloured hen called Lourdes BE16-2189226, which also won a 6th Soissons 793 p. and a 25th Prov. Châteauroux 2,943 pigeons.
The soft plumed Lourdes originates from some renowned pigeons from her father's side. Her grandfather 250/12 is a youngster of Claudio x daughter Olympic Wacko. Claudio won a 1st Interprov. and 2 x 1st Prov., whereas Olympic Wacko was an Olympiad Pigeon for Verreckt-Ariën. The grandmother comes from Joske (Thoné) x Marceline (1st Prov. Argenton with a 10 minute lead). Her grandfather from her mother's side comes from a son x dam Paulien, the number one breeding hen of Albert Derwa. Her grandmother from her mother's side is the aforementioned Marceline, in turn the dam and great-grandmother of a 1st Prov. montluçon, 1st Prov. Châteauroux, 1st Chimay, 2nd Sézanne, etc. Click here for the full pedigree of Lourdes.
Lourdes, 1st National Jarnac of Gert Noels
Stock pigeons Claudio and Marceline pave the way
Even though he switched over to the nationals just six years ago, Gert has proven to be able to compete with the best in this field. He owes this mainly to two breeding birds that have bred quite a few talented racing birds: Claudio and Marceline.
Claudio, multiple (inter)provincial winner and renowned breeder
Claudio was a highly renowned racing bird, having won two provincial first prizes from Châteauroux and a 1st Interprovincial Bourges. He originates from the Verreckt-Ariën breeding pair Dikke Lowet x Lang Lowet through both his parents. His sire Armstrong is 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Ave Regina, and the sire of a 1st Nat. Argenton and 1st Prov. Montluçon. His sire Old Houben is in turn the sire of two provincial winners. The dam of Armstrong is Elfke Dikke, a daughter of Dikke Lowet x Lang Lowet. The dam of Claudio is Cat Eye II, a full sister of the dam of a 1st Nat. Argenton. The sire of Cat Eye II was also the sire of 3 Prov. first prize winners and 2 Prov. second prize winners, as well as the grandfather of a 1st Nat. Argenton 6,177 pigeons. The dam of Cat Eye II is a youngster of Dikke Lowet x Lang Lowet, and the dam and grandmother of 2 Nat. first prize winners, 1 Prov. first prize winner and 2 Prov. second prize winners. Click here for Claudio's full pedigree.
Claudio's talents not only enabled him to have an excellent racing career, he also managed to pass on his talents to future generations. His descendants have won the following first prizes in 2016 and 2017 alone:
1st Nat. Jarnac 5.117 p. (great-grandchild, Lourdes) 1st Nat. Zone Châteauroux 5,939 p. (1st Prov. 2,114 p.) (for PEC Racing Team ADK) (grandchild) 1st Prov. Brive 901 p. (13e Nat. Zone 2,008 p.) (grandchild) 1st Prov. Châteauroux 897 p. (3rd Nat. Zone 2,980 p. and 21st Nat. 9,540 p.) (grandchild) 1st Chimay 410 p. (grandchild) 1st Argenton 192 p. (8th Prov. 1.354 d.) (grandchild) 1st Gien 168 p. (youngster) 1st Trelou 129 p. (grandchild) 1st Vervins 124 p. (16th of 2,100 p.) (grandchild) 1st Argenton 64 p. (6th Prov. 598 p., 29th Nat. Zone 2,664 p. and 64th Nat. 11,223 p.) (grandchild, sire Lourdes) 1st Sourdun 59 p. (grandchild)
Claudio, natural born racing bird for Verreckt-Ariën and now an invaluable breeder for Gert Noels
The other renowned breeder in the loft in Ham is the five year old Marceline BE12-5030122, a Thoné descendant. Her most important feat as a racing bird was a 1st Prov. Argenton 2,416 p. (and 21st Nat. 25,949 p.) with a ten minute lead. She is mainly related to some extreme long distance bloodlines from her mother's side: her grandparents are 378/98 (from 1st Intnat. Barcelona 1996 x 1st Nat. Bordeaux 1998) x Daughter Arnold (1st Intnat. Barcelona 1997). The dam of Marceline is Lundi, and she comes from Olympic Stallion (a son of 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Sprint The Netherlands and the sire of a 2nd and 10th Olympiad Pigeon Dortmund 2009) x sister Avril (Olympiad Pigeon Oostende 2017 and winner of 20 first prizes). Click here for the full pedigree of Marceline.
Just like Claudio, Marceline and her descendants have won quite a number of top results over the years, including:
1st Nat. Jarnac 5,117 p. (grandchild Marceline, Lourdes) 1st Prov. Montluçon 1,147 p. (5th Nat. Zone 3.457 p. and 29th Nat. 10,753 p.) (youngster) 1st Prov. Châteauroux 897 p. (3rd Nat. Zone 2.980 p. and 21st Nat. 9,540 p.) (great-grandchild) 1st Chimay 181 p. (11th 1,934 p.) (kind) 1st Vervins 124 p. (16th of 2,100 p.) (great-grandchild) 2nd Orléans 612 p. (youngster) 2nd Tulle 173 p. (youngster) 2nd Sézanne 161 p. (13th 1,674 p.) (youngster) 3rd Prov. Orléans 1,871 p. (youngster) 6th Prov. Tulle 650 p. (youngster)
Marceline, stock hen of the Jos Thoné breed and grandmother of a 1st Nat. Jarnac Lourdes
Seven years of plenty
Gert showed to be a very talented breeder also in his sixth season at nation level. According to a biblical story Gert now seems to be in his seven years of plenty, which are inevitably followed by seven years of famine. Well, we dare say that none of that will happen to Gert; he is likely to be just as successful in his eighth year of national races, mainly with the help of his large collection of Claudio and Marceline descendants.