Marc Verschelde (Zulte, BE) wins 1st Nat. Jarnac 3,979 old birds

This is a crowning achievement in a successful 50 year career in pigeon racing. It won't get any better.

The release in Jarnac had been disturbed by a heavy storm, making this a particularly difficult race. But Marc did not really mind; he was more than happy to accomplish a lifelong dream, winning a national victory for the first time in his 50 year career. It was probably the only achievement still missing on his palmares.

Marc Verschelde sees his 50 year career in pigeon racing rewarded with a national first prize

Marc became involved in the sport through his father at an early age. His father Omer was a pure sprint fancier, and he was quite a big champion. It was in this loft that his son Marc learned the ropes. He started racing his own pigeons in 1964 and he gradually evolved into a long distance and an extreme long distance fancier. He has quite a list of achievements, having won several provincial and zonal first prizes. The one thing still missing on his palmares was a national first prize, something every fancier dreams of winning. He managed to tick that box in the race from Jarnac last weekend.

The winning pigeon was the chequered Geschelptwitpen BE13-4060892 (now called Patrice, after the name of his assistant Patrice Desal). Unfortunately Marc had not seen him come home. He did not expect him back so early, since no other pigeons had yet been clocked over the shorter distances. He only heard a beep from his clocking device, and he saw that the clocked pigeon was a pigeon from Jarnac, his third nominated. The clock read 17:06’34”. He proved the fastest old bird over 634.916km, with a velocity of 1205.77 m/min.

The national winner is a summer youngster of 2013, which performed really well in the demanding national race from Poitiers in 2014. He also won a top prize in the national from Gueret this season, before winning a national first prize from Jarnac.

-Patrice BE13-4060892

 1st  Nat Jarnac    3,879 p. ’15
16th  Poitiers        340 p. ’14
388th Nat Poitiers 14,094 p. ’14
77th  Gueret          255 p. ’15

Sire: Zoon 1e Nat Dax BE11-4307016
From the winner of a 1st Nat. Dax 2010 of M. Bonne (purchased by E. Denys) x Daughter Yvon BE10-4070805 (from a cock bred from Yvon Deneufbourg x Granddaughter Pantani).

Dam: Kleindochter Schumi BE12-4218315
A granddaughter of two great stars in the extreme long distance, namely Schumi BE99-3282711 (see picture for the palmares) and Pantani BE97-3207264 (winner of a 1st Narbonne 162 p. and 37th Nat. 9,104 p., 1st Barcelona 269 p. and 92nd Nat. 13,659 p., 2nd Barcelona 251 p. and 209th Nat. 13,161 p.).

Click here for the pedigree of Patrice

Selection leads to better results

Marc Verschelde has adopted the same approach throughout his career. Your pigeons should have a chance to prove themselves but you should be very selective. Marc started the season with about 90 racing cocks (widowers). They are allowed to brood for a few days in January, are reunited for a few days during training (without brooding), and are then ready for the new season. This is when Marc starts the selection as well. Pigeons that do not behave as a widower, that do not follow the rhythm or fail to achieve results will be left behind. Or to put it differently, he seperates the wheat from the chaff.

The smaller the group of widowers becomes, the better they start to train, which results in a boost in performance. This has also led to great results in recent weeks, including a club victory from St. Vincent the week before Jarnac, as well as a great overall result from Brive:

St.Vincent Club    118 olds: 1-12-35 (3/4)
           Nat   3,037 olds: 6-137-611 (3/4)
Brive      Club  197 olds: 6-9-15-45-47 (5/6)
           Zone  3,703 olds: 99-162-319 (3/6)
           Nat   8,674 olds: 316-470-787 (3/6)

They continued to perform well in the race from Jarnac. After the national winner had landed at 17:06, Marc and Patrice had to wait long for their second pigeon. They eventually clocked two racing birds at 18:49 and 18:50, resulting in a total of three prizes with four basketed pigeons:

Jarnac  136 olds:  1-17-18  (3/4)
  Nat 3,879 olds:  1-344-355 (3/4)

By the time their next two pigeons were home, they had already started to celebrate their well deserved national first prize. This is a crowning achievement after a 50 year career in pigeon racing. Many congratulations Marc!