Joël has been officially retired since October 2016, which means he has plenty of time to to spend in his loft. Working night shifts and running a full-size pigeon loft can really drain you. It takes a man of steel to get through the racing season with no more than 3 to 4 hours of sleep a day. This is not sustainable if you are not extremely motivated. Joël managed to pull it off, and how. He was 2nd General Champion of Belgium twice (in 2011 and 2013), and he won three national first prizes: Brive 2013 with Gees, Agen 2013 with Agen, and Pau 2016 Suzanne. Joël had the Best Yearling of Belgium of 2016 with Jep over three national long distance races (PIPA ranking). This is quite a palmares.
Dominance from Tours
It goes without saying that Joël is now eager to get even better results as a pensioner. This pigeon loft combines a determined and passionate fancier with strong willpower and a team of highly capable racing birds that are in great shape. We saw a first hint of the Verschoot racing birds and their enormous potential already in the first few weeks of the national racing season.
A first outstanding result came on 20th of May, in the provincial race from Tours:
Tours club 305 olds: 2-3-4-5-8-16-23-24-29-42-51… (16/29) Prov 6,720 olds: 6-12-18-75-118-231-301-309-387… (17/29)
The 2nd and 3rd place (6th and 12th Prov.) were won by the first and second nominated, full brothers Barry and Armando.
The stars of this team were then lined up for Limoges, where Armando was again the fastest of the team in Ingelmunster:
Limoges club 401 olds: 3-9-13-43-115-132 (6/11) Prov 3,029 olds: 26-55-66-254-768-893 (6/11)
National hero in Brive
It was that same team that was basketed for Brive after completing Tours and Limoges. It proved a hard but fair race in sun-drenched conditions and a headwind. Apparently, this suited the strong birds from Ingelmunster really well. They dominated the race at national level with an impressive overall result. Here is a look at their overwhelming performance:
Brive club 236 olds: 2-3-7-8-11-12-24-34-43 (9/11) Prov 1,624 olds: 4-5-14-16-36-37-114-182-244 (9/11, preliminary results) Nat 9,123 olds: 9-10-26-32-67-68… (9/11, preliminary results)
The first and second nominated were again the fastest birds of the team, with Barry and Armando finishing in 9th and 10th National! It was a sweet revenge for Barry after he failed to get a good result in Limoges. These two racing birds stem from the same breeding pair and they both have a long list of achievements:
9th Nat Brive 9,126 p. ’17 6th Prov Tours 6,720 p. ’17 22nd N.Zone Bourges 3,461 p. ’14 29th Prov Tours 4,939 p. ’16 29th Prov Tulle 1,053 p. ’15 5th Fontenay 290 p. ’16 76th N.Zone Nevers 1,337 p. ’13 182nd Nat Montauban 3,990 p. ’15 313rd Prov Tours 5,697 p. ’14 Etc…
Sire: Picasso BE08-3002243
’11 Tarbes Nat 4,818 p. 53 Int 10,695 p. 174 ’09 Tulle Prov 718 p. 21 ’09 Limoges Prov 3,326 p. 22 ’11 Montauban Pro 1,393 p. 75 Nat 9,091 p. 124 ’11 Chateauroux 823 p. 26 Prov 5,500 p. 186 ’11 Limoges Nat 19,373 p. 1357 ’10 Chateauroux 2,211 p. 133 Nat 17,109 p. 592
His sire was well on his way to becoming a great racing bird but a wing injury ruined his chances. Fortunately enough he still managed to get back home, since he has been breeding several talented racing birds for the Verschoot pigeon breed over the years, including Barry, Armando, Mieke, Marike, Ramses, etc. Pycasso himself is a son of Biba BE07-3010152 (winner of an 82nd Nat. Montauban 6,822 p., 71st Nat. Pau 2,279 p.) x Dam Pycasso BE04-3176801.
Dam: Luna BE08-3002246
A top quality breeding hen, and the dam of a 15th Nat. Poitiers 13,813 p., a 61st Nat. Tulle 10,251 p. She comes from Chattel BE07-3010150 x Belleza BE05-3191901.
Click here for the full palmares and the pedigree of Barry
The other star of this loft at the moment is a full brother of Barry, the outstanding racing bird Armando. He had a top result in the first three races of the longer middle distance and the long distance in 2017:
10th Nat Brive 9,126 p. ’17 12th Prov Tours 6,720 p. ’17 85th Nat Limoges 14,924 p. ’17 9th Clermont 353 p. ’17 48th Nat Jarnac 4,167 p. ’16 18th Prov Tulle 1,306 p. ’15 94th Prov Gueret 1,952 p. ’15 Etc.
Armando originates from top class breeding pair Picasso x Luna as well.
Click here for the full palmares and Armando's pedigree
Picasso x Luna 246/08: the parents of Barry and Armando, the 1st and 2nd nominated from Tours and Brive
Contador, the fourth pigeon to get clocked from Brive, is quite a talented bird as well. Contador has several provincial and national top results on his palmares. Let's have a look:
32nd Nat Brive 9,126 p. ’17 5th Nat Jarnac 4,167 p. ’16 8th Nat Brive 5,952 p. ’16 12th Prov Gueret 1,952 p. ’15 19th Nat La Souterraine 6,205 p. ’15 49th Prov Tours 2,122 p. ’15 89th Prov Tours 4,939 p. ’16 92nd N.Zone Gueret 2,707 p. ’14 820th Nat Limoges 14,924 p. ’17 Etc…
Sire: Deprez BE05-3088024
Arguably one of the best breeders for Joël Verschoot. He is also the sire of Prof (1st Prov. Tours 1,355 p.) and Jord (5th Nat. Brive 8,331 p. and 27th Nat. Brive 11,130 p.), and the grandfather of Dos (1st Prov. and 3rd Intnat. Narbonne 7,859 p.).
Deprez comes from Kleinen BE00-3162836 x ’t Crackske BE04-3023042, or a crossing of Pol Lannoo x Gaby Vandenabeele x Luc Beernaert.
Dam: Cindy BE13-3003178
A half sister of super class hen Betsie. Cindy originates from several Vandenabeele pigeons, being a daughter of Sunny Boy 8 BE11-3172308 (Gaby Vandenabeele x Rik Cools via Mathias Dewilde) x Mira, the dam of Betsie (Gaby Vandenabeele x Norbert Ally).
Both Barry, Armando and Contador are excellent racing birds, and they the current leaders of the long distance team. Joël leads his team with an iron fist, which means he baskets and races his pigeons a lot. He then selects his team based on their results. In other words, Joël cares about the results and nothing else. He wants pigeons that perform well, irrespective of their pedigree or their parents. And we can't argue with that!
This selection approach allowed Joël to create a solid pigeon breed that is among the strongest long distance families in Belgium. His list of achievements says it all. He excelled in a demanding race from Brive at national level, with the same team that had already had a very successful race from Tours. We look forward to the team's next major achievement, which we think might come in Limoges. If Joël can manage to keep his pigeons in excellent form, then the changes are likely that he will have another outstanding result there. Congratulations on an outstanding performance in Brive!