Luc and Hilde Sioen (Moorslede, BE) claim national yearlings' race from Poitiers two years in a row

Winning the same national race in two consecutive years is an all but impossible task to most fanciers, and yet Luc and Hilde have been able to achieve this with Willemina, a half sister of their winner from last year’s edition of Poitiers. Their pigeon took the win with a 10-minute lead over the second national yearling in the race. It was already the fifth national first prize for Luc and Hilde.

Hilde, specialised in the middle distance

Luc and Hilde have been in a combination for a few years now, but they basically manage their own group of pigeons separately. Hilde takes care of the middle distance team, while Luc is responsible for the extreme long distance pigeons. In fact, they hardly ever visit each other’s lofts and they do not know a lot about each other’s pigeon collection either. Luc and Hilde started the season with 22 hens, which were paired on the 1st of March and started the season with a big youngster in early May. They had a number of great results right away, which showed that there was plenty of talent. Willemina, the winning hen from Poitiers 2014, started the season with some bad news. She arrived home injured after the first flight from Clermont, which forced her to stay home for a few weeks.
As a result, the national flight from Poitiers was only her third race of the season. In her second race of 2014, the flight from Chateauroux, she finished in 53rd against 607 pigeons, while winning a fifth prize in the hens’ category. The race from Poitiers was expected to be a tough one, and she was only tenth in the basket due to her troubled start of the season. This was quite a mistake. She claimed the victory against 14,109 yearlings, as the fastest of 20,486 pigeons from Poitiers.

The loft of Luc and Hilde Sioen

The wonderful lofts and the beautiful surroundings amid a spacious garden would make you think that this is a big collection of 200, 300 or even more pigeons. Surprisingly enough, that could not be further from the truth.

They have only 22 old/one year old hens, 12 for the long distance and 10 for the middle distance. 34 young birds from the first round are raced, and some more youngsters are added to the team in the course of the summer. The pigeon breed is mainly founded on the lines of Willem De Bruyn from Reeuwijk and Rik Hermans, who provided a round of summer youngsters from their best breeders. These newly added pigeons were free to pick a partner and no distinction was made between the two bloodlines. This means their current collection consists for 45% of De Bruyn pigeons and 45% of Hermans pigeons. They obtained a number of pigeons from Rik Cools as well, who taught them a great deal about the hens’ competition. Pigeons of Georges Bolle were purchased to form a team for the extreme long distance, and the first race with youngsters from these Bolle pigeons was an instant success. We have a look at some of their excellent results of last year:

Fontenay  116 p.: 1-2-3-4-10 (10/19)
Fontenay 268 p.: 4-7-8-11-19-21-23-26-28 (11/15)
Orleans 145 p.: 1-3-4-5-7-10 (13/18)
Fontenay 376 p.: 2-3-5-7 (15/18)
Chateauroux 4,107 p.: 5-9-11-12
Poitiers nat. 13,134 p.: 1-4-57-76-77
La Souterraine nat. 11,236 p.: 23-30-69-97
Tours prov. 2,297 p.: 11-15-64-71-73

Willemina, inexperienced but highly talented

Willemina is a hen born in late February 2013. She was carefully trained as a young bird, completing just two races: Clermont (200km) and La Souterraine national. She won a 28th prize against 462 pigeons from La Souterraine at club level. Her first flight of the 2014 season from Clermont was no success, because she arrived home injured. It was decided to treat her with great care, which is why she was only basketed for Chateauroux one time (53rd against 607 pigeons) before joining the flight from Poitiers. Willemina is a niece of Nomi, the winner of Poitiers 2013. The grandfather of the two pigeons is Willem De Bruyn’s Jeroen, a pigeon with a proven record. Jeroen was first Ace Pigeon in The Netherlands and a full brother of Schanulleke, 1st Olympiad Pigeon in Poznan. The dam of Willemina is Maria-Anne, another Willem De Bruyn pigeon. Her dam, Daisy, is winner of a 1st Nat. Bourges against 12,905 p., a 40th Morlincourt 12,272 p., and a 58th Strombeek 6,684 pigeons. This explains why she is such a great talent. You can find her pedigree here.

Results of 2014

These are just a few of the best results of 2014:

Fontenay  prov. 7,568 olds: 3-10-19-70
Fontenay prov. 5,735 yearlings: 16-20-24-32-63-77-85
Clermont 255 olds: 4-12 (2/2) Fontenay 265 olds: 1-28 (4/4)
Tours 504 olds: 2-7-30-31-32 (12/20)
Tours 147 yearlings: 2-4-7-11-14 (9/9)
Bourges 340 olds: 3-16 (9/16)
Bourges 202 yearlings: 3-7-9-10-14 (9/23)
Fontenay 182 olds: 1-6-7-15-16 (6/6)
Bourges prov. 2,899 olds: 43-63-64… (5/7)
Bourges prov. 3324 yearlings: 36-79-120-121…(5/7)
Chateauroux 618 olds: 1-7-33-59…(9/13)
Chateauroux 607 yearlings: 2-15-23-43-53 (9/21)
Poitiers club 521 yearlings: 1-4-10-34-58
Poitiers national 14,094 yearlings: 1-9-82-409-884

We wish Hilde and Luc all the best for 2014 and for the seasons to come.