Joost De Smeyter-Restiaen (Melden, BE) takes revenge with a 1st Int. Barcelona hens and 5 x top 25 national

Without even knowing, Joost basketed a group of infected pigeons for the 2017 race from Barcelona. This, combined with the demanding and unpredictable weather, caused him to lose quite a few experienced racing birds that day. He was out for revenge: he claimed a 1st Int. Barcelona Hens (2nd Int.) and 5 national top 25 prizes, with the help of top breeder Joost.

1st International Barcelona Hens (2nd Int. 15,707 p.)

The star of the show on 7th of July was the blue coloured hen BE16-4139838 Floorke, named after his daughter Floor. "Our vet Pascal Lanneau was on a visit just then, so I did not see our winner arrive home", Joost says. But his wife Elsie was on the outlook, and she saw a pigeon approach the loft. This bird did come from the right direction, as opposed to the two pigeons that had arrived home shortly before her; they turned out to be on their way from Limoges. Joost: "We were euphoric almost right away, because we knew we would be finishing close behind the first French fanciers if we clocked our first pigeon at 11 o'clock." Floorke arrived home at 10 o'clock, and she still looked fairly fresh, according to eye witnesses. "She is the fittest of the team by far, judging from how they look after the race", Joost explains. She was able to claim a 1st International Barcelona Hens and a 2nd International of 15,707 pigeons.

Cas with Cas (1st International Pau) and Floor with Floorke (1st International Barcelona Hens)

Floorke's pedigree has nothing but top quality bloodlines, including first of all top breeder Joost, 1st Int. Perpignan Yearlings 2003, which Floorke's dam Wonder Lady is heavily inbred to. She comes from a son of Joost (Persup, the sire of a 6th Int. St. Vincent - 2nd Int. Hens) x full sister Joost (the 640, the dam of a 3rd Int. Bordeaux and the grandmother of the 1st Best Belgian pigeon from Bordeaux 2011-2013). Joost is the grandsire of a 1st Int. Pau 2015 (Cas) and a 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Extreme Long Distance 2013 (Elsie). Floorke's sire is a son of Grand Cru, 1st Int. Bordeaux Yearlings 2006. Top breeder Grand Cru is the sire of a 2nd Ace Pigeon Europe Cup 2011 and the grandfather of the 1st Int. Perpignan Hens 2013, as well as the 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2015 (Laval). He was paired to breeding hen Chanel (Casaert-Sénéchal), which comes from Nasdaq (1st Nat. Souilac) x Blue Beauty (the dam of a 1st Nat. Brive). Click here for the full pedigree.


Taking revenge with a 5 x top 25 national

This year's international classic from Barcelona was a race for the really strong, taking place in the burning sun, in scorching heat, and with a north to north-easterly headwind. "Tough but fair weather, the perfect conditions for my pigeons", Joost explains. " I have won four international first prizes in my career, and all four were won with a speed of less than 1,000 m/min, by pigeons with great potential." The international victory from Barcelona with the hens can be considered a difficult race as well, and we were particularly impressive with the team's overall performance:

Club 138 p.: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-9-10-11-13-14-… (25/46, 12 per 10)
Provincial 1,484 p.: 2-4-5-8-9-14-26-35-42-43-54-58-59-81-83-95-117-130-142-147-… 
                      (25/46, 5x top 10, 16x top 100 and 20 per 10)
National  7,429 p.: 2-9-12-21-22-50-88-126-152-155-226-256-258-336-343-399-512-582-666-692-… 
                     (25/46, 4x top 25 and 20 per 10)

"I had basketed 46 hens, divided over two teams. One team had the hens paired to each other, the second team was raced from the nest. We had 35 birds that had a youngster of 3 to 6 days old, and one that was lagging behind, having brooded for 10 to 14 days. The pigeons have never done more than the middle distance. A group of 10 widower hens was basketed as well; they had completed Bourges and Valence but this was their very first race from Barcelona", says Joost. And yet he was able to claim a 2nd, 9th, 12th, 21st and 22nd National.

But what does this result mean to Joost? "Like a sweet revenge for 2017, when I basketed my pigeons without knowing they had gotten an infection. Everyone was talking about a tough but fair race, but I was not convinced, since the race saw a mix of sun, heavy rain rain, and thunderstorms." Joost lost several of his proven racing birds of 3 to 5 years old in 2017, so he did not have too many expectations for this year's race: "I had created a new team of pigeons to try and get to the highest level as quickly as possible, but I had never expected this young and inexperienced team to get such great results already. I am particularly proud that three of my five first nominated were among my first four finishers." Here is a closer look at the best pigeons from Barcelona, all finishing in the national top 25 and coming from the line of top breeder Joost:

  • BE16-4139838: 2nd National and 1st Int. Hens (the dam is heavily inbred to Joost)
  • BE15-4088191: 9th National (heavily inbred to Joost)
  • BE15-4088490: 12th National (Jellema x De Smeyter-Restiaen)
  • BE16-4139519: 21st National (inbred to Joost)
  • BE13-4290235: 22nd National (Hebberecht x De Smeyter-Restiaen)

Joost: "Like I said: these are racing birds with great potential. But it takes some proper caretaking to get you there. I use a diet of Versele-Lage, the I.C. Black Label system to be more specific (with black corn). I also use supplements of Belgavet, which I helped develop. Hugo Batenburg is using those same products. In addition, my pigeons always get Belgavet's Total Recovery when they get home. I also use Wonder Pigeon regularly throughout the season, which I am getting great result with."

The lofts where Joost took his revenge this year

Numerous descendants of top breeder Joost have claimed a national first prize

The one bloodline that has played a crucial role in this team is that of stock breeder Joost, 1st International Perpignan 2013 and breeder of numerous talented racing and breeding birds. It is quite obvious now that the descendants of Joost have been highly successful here in Melden. And besides the team's own stars, including Cas (1st Int. Pau), Elsie (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Extreme Long Distance), Floorke (1st Int. Barcelona Hens), Laval (2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Extreme Long Distance) and many others, Joost has bred several national winners for other teams as well over the past two years:

1st Nat. Brive Yearlings (Tom Van Gaver)
1st Nat. Bourges Yearlings (Maurice (Fils) Casaert)
1st Nat. Argenton Yearlings (Gustaaf & Jan De Bisschop)
1st Nat. Pau (Stijn & Jeroen Rans)
1st Nat. Perpignan (Stijn & Jeroen Rans)

Fanciers with a Joost descendant in their collection can really raise the bar.

De Joost, a top class breeder guaranteed to deliver

What if he wins a fifth national victory?

With Floorke, Cas, Elsie and Joost, each member of the family now has a special pigeon named afer him or her. So he can no longer turn to them for new names. What if another national or international first prize or national ace pigeon title is added to his palmares? "We will have to make another baby", Joost says in jest. "But first of all let's focus on the remainder of this season." We are eager to see what the team from Melden will be able to achieve in the coming few months. And if Floorke will still be part of the team, because Joost has not yet made up his mind.