Passion and dedication lead to a splendid 2015 season for Willy and Ivan Baetens (St-Niklaas, BE)

Willy and Ivan added a provincial victory from Bourges II old birds and an impressive number of top prizes at provincial and national level to their palmares in 2015, which shows that their investments are starting to pay off.

Both Willy & Ivan Baetens have been involved in pigeon racing at a professional level, paying great attention to top quality and service. It is no surprise that the two passionate fanciers aim for the same level of quality in their own pigeon collection.

Willy built tens of pigeon lofts across Flanders when he was the manager of Bawibo. In the meantime his son Ivan became the market leader in electronic clocking devices with his Bricon company. The two fanciers made a living in pigeon racing, so they know exactly what goes around in our sport. This knowhow also proved useful in their careers as pigeon fanciers, where they wanted to play a leading role as well.

If you want to become a top level player capable of winning top prizes, you have to aim for the best, both in terms of accommodation, caretaking, and your pigeon collection itself. Willy and Ivan wanted to achieve great results both in the national middle distance, the national long distance and the international extreme long distance. They decided to invest heavily in a number of pigeons, to make sure they could compete at a high level in both the three disciplines (national longer middle distance, national long distance, and international extreme long distance). They clearly managed to reach their goal, and they became one of the leading lofts in the past few seasons. Their best results are included below the article.

The racing loft of the Bricon Loft of Willy & Ivan Baetens

A solid 2015 with a crowning provincial first prize from Bourges

Willy and Ivan had an outstanding 2015 racing season. They won several provincial and national top prize, and of course a Provincial first prize from Bourges II 1,257 old birds (and the fastest of about 12,000 pigeons provincial) with a grandchild of Gladiator of Bart Geerinckx, crossed with superstar Chipo (Baertsoen).
Click here for his pedigree.

The fanciers did great in 2015, with 5 first prizes in the club in the longer middle distance and the long distance (from Montluçon YL, Limoges II old birds, Bourges YL, Tulle olds and Bourges II olds), and top prizes at provincial (and national) level. We take a look at their provincial top 10 prizes of 2015:

1st Prov Bourges II     1,257 olds
2nd Prov Tulle          1,321 olds
6th Prov Chateauroux II 2,022 olds
7th Prov Limoges II     2,201 olds
8th Prov Brive          2,120 olds
8th Prov Montluçon      3,700 YL

The racing team is clearly in great shape; 1016 promises to be a great season as well.

Wittekop, one of the current stars in the breeding loft for the longer middle distance

Outstanding across the three disciplines

The fanciers moved to their current loft in Sint-Niklaas in 2003-2004, and from then on they started to increasingly focus on the national races. They obtained top class pigeons for each of the three disciplines, and they were kept apart in the breeding loft as well.

The team for the middle distance is mainly based on pigeons of the Chipo bloodline (with such stars as Houdini-Chipo-Blauwen As), which are paired to the finest pigeons of Bart Geerinckx: five daughters of Gladiator, a half sister of the Geerinckx hen Van De Wouwer, and a daughter of Witpen Wouters. These bloodlines were further strengthened with top class pigeons from their own collection: Wittekop and Messi (two grandsons of Gladiator) and Lady Bourges.

The long distance team is based around the top class line of ‘t Fenomeen, which was purchased in late 2012 during the PIPA auction of long distance champion Etienne Meirlaen. ’t Fenomeen was 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2010 and Best Long Distance Pigeon of Belgium over 5 national long distance races. Nestbroer Fenomeen also joined the team in 2015 after he was purchased in the PIPA auction of Casaert-Sénéchal, where he is already the sire of a 1st N. Zone Chateauroux. He plays a pivotal role in this breeding loft, along with two half brothers, an uncle and a nephew (Zoon Marseille). He is paired mostly to hens of Joost Desmeyter-Restiaen.
This is a breeding team with a solid future, as you can tell from their results in 2015. For instance, ‘T fenomeentje is the sire of a 23rd Nat. Limoges II against 8,305 old birds, and he and his brother were the best two yearlings in the one day long distance in 2015. His nephew (Zoon Marseille) is the sire of a 2nd Prov. Tulle 1,321 old birds in 2015. In the national race from Brive in the Entente Belge Willy and Ivan Baetens also won the first series at national level with their five first nominated. These are quite impressive and promising results.

The third and final team is focused towards the (inter)national races of more than 800km, including Barcelona. This team is still in full development, and a first generation of yearlings will be tested in 2016. These pigeons all have excellent origins: they are related to five First National Ace Pigeons Extreme Long Distance, which were purchased together with Joost Desmeyter: Witpen Rivaldo (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance 2012), Nico (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme long Distance YL 2014), Peggy (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance 2011), Pierre Mistral (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance old birds 2014) and Elsie (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance 2013).

It all started with the creation of a young, strong and high quality breeding team. The pigeons in this team are either bred from two ace pigeons or from an ace pigeon paired to a youngster of another ace pigeon. The youngsters of these ace pigeons are then paired to each other, and their descendants are in turn put to the test in the racing season. The 2016 racing season will give us an idea of the level of quality of this team of breeders, since their descendants will now be raced for the first time.

A solid foundation

Ivan Baetens did not make any rash decisions when he created his pigeon family. He came up with a solid foundation for every discipline, based on national ace pigeons, proven prize winners and cracks. It was a successful approach, and it resulted in many provincial and zonal victories. A national first prize has always been one of his ambitions. Is this perhaps his main goal for 2016?

The highlights of 2015

19/4 Noyon (195 km):
460 olds: 7,29,122,131,181,194,213 (7/9)
670 yearlings: 3,16,31,32,63,121,140,177,244,247,248,252,263,274 (14/20)

09/5 Souppes sur Loing (347 km):
566 olds: 42,64,81,106,166 (5/8)
647 yearlings: 8,11,12,20,21,76,98,210,252 (9/20)

16/5 Souppes sur Loing (347km):
480 olds: 3,22,29,51,100,135 (6/8)
783 yearlings: 2,5,70,79,127,133,142,149,152,153,200,270 (12/23)

16/5 Vierzon (465km):
338 olds: 7,14,21,32,50,74,110 (7/10)
Prov. 6,298 olds: 97,207,389,739,1045,1535 (6/10)
304 yearlings: 20,30,42 (3/3)
Prov. 3,573 yearlings: 425,590,894 (3/3)

24/5 Issoudun (493km):
386 yearlings: 4,5,17,21,65,75,77,89,91,117,123 (11/25)

30/5 Bourges (470km)
347 olds: 8,36,57 (3/6)
448 yearlings: 10,12,15,18,29,51 (6/22)

30/5 Limoges (664km)
160 olds: 6,21,30,31,52 (5/8)

06/6 Chateauroux (516km)
391 olds: 12,24,36,59 (4/6)
615 yearlings: 18,21,36,69,104,132,139,162,164,165 (10/26)

20/6 Montluçon (547km)
223 olds: 3,4,6,32 (4/6)
Prov. 2,171 olds: 31,36,39,... (4/6)
Nat. 11,056 olds: 155,186,194,... (4/6)
401 yearlings: 1,4,5,7,25,42,53,60,77,116,128 (11/14)
Prov. 3,700 yearlings: 8,17,24,53,... (9/14)
Nat. 16,982 yearlings: 89,128,174,343,... (9/14)

20/6 Limoges II (664km)
102 olds: 1,7,12,15,29,34 (6/7)
Prov. 2,201 olds: 7,... (4/7)
Zone B 3,568 olds: 9,172,248,313,688,789 (6/7)
Nat. 8,305 olds: 23,... (4/7)
203 yearlings: 27,28,53,58 (4/8)

28/6 Argenton I (544 km)
172 olds: 24 (1/1)
Zone B1 3,383 olds: 213 (1/1)
314 yearlings: 6,19,67 (3/3)
Zone B1 6,099 yearlings: 61,169,804 (3/3)

11/7 Chateauroux II (516 km)
151 olds: 3,9,44 (3/4)
Prov. 2,022 olds: 6,46,... (3/4)
Zone B1 3,045 olds: 9,87,697 (3/4)
National 10,933 olds: 60,... (3/4)
359 yearlings: 7,21,24,36,41,54,68,112 (8/11)
Zone B1 5,700 yearlings: 178,468,503,... (7/11)

11/7 Brive (694 km)
105 olds: 3,8,13,15,20 (5/7)
Prov. 2,120 olds: 8,37,135,171,293 (5/7)
National 8,674 olds: 68,169,471,580,1.011,2.076 (6/7)
183 yearlings: 7,14,16,20,30 (5/5)
Prov. 2,336 yearlings: 60,135,187,218,372 (5/5)
National 9,049 yearlings: 249,488,674,781,1.274 (5/5)

18/7 Bourges (470 km)
59 olds: 6,9,10 (3/3)
135 yearlings: 1,9,11,13,15,25,31,34,43 (9/14)
Prov. 2124 yearlings: 13,... (8/14)

25/7 Tulle (648 km)
99 olds: 1,4,7,13 (4/7)
Prov. 1321 olds: 2,24,51,... (4/7)
184 yearlings: 2,11,47 (3/5)
Prov. 1998 yearlings: 21,... (3/5)

01/8 Bourges (470km)
108 olds: 1 (1/3)
Prov. 1257 olds: 1 (1/3)
228 yearlings: 5,20,26,56,67 (5/7)
Prov. 2,388 yearlings: 22,... (5/7)