Robert Van Eycken (BE) Candidate 2° Nat. Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2009. Winner 1° Ace pigeon Belgian Verstandhouding !

The area around Erps-Kwerps, commonly known as the ‘chicory region’, is described in the history books as an administrative and economical centre on the ‘axis’ Keulen-Brugge-London. Today there are still 2 castles from that time.


The beautiful churches of both ‘united’ villages, various chapels which find their origin in the Middle ages, in addition to many other historical attractions. In later times the region was well-known for its fruit and vegetables, especially chicory… The ‘chicory pies’ from the bakers of Erps-Kwerps are still a well-known delicacy.
Pigeon sport expert Robert Van Eycken (80 y.) also earned his keep with the export and sale of vegetables (chicory and cabbage) and fruit. Every two days he travelled to and from Paris with the lorry, and with the loading and unloading in between, it was sometimes ‘tough going’… which resulted in Robert having a ‘bad back’ which even now prevents him from being able to clean the lofts. The majority of the pigeons sit on conveyor belts, the floors are cleaned by a pigeon sport friend (Freddy Uytterhoeven). But the care and the basketting… Robert does this himself as much as possible. During his busy working years (years 1962-’88) was he forced to leave the pigeon sport for what it was … but with the well-deserved ‘pension’ approaching he started again in 1988. The field of action in the starting period situated itself in the Middle Distance races… for this he bought pigeons from Alberic De Veseleer from Tollembeek.

The ‘Alex’, the ‘Bijou’, the ‘Blitz’ (2° Nat Limoges and line Filip & Norbert Norman) were the toppers in the early years! Pigeons were later added from Gaston Devooght from De Haan… the lines of the ‘Wouter’, ‘Vechter’, ‘Aldo’, the ‘Boerinneke’…  formed the solid foundations  on which the current long distance successes of Robert Van Eycken are still based, with which he has climbed to national victories and top classifications. Later the famous De Rauw-Sablon pigeons joined them (Robert bought a.o. the top couple Herve x Marthe), the lines ‘Perpignan King’ from Kurvers-De Weerd… but very successful crossingings were made with the bloodlines Wynands & Son, and Cor de Heijde. Noble long distance blood with which Robert has achieved the highest triumphs up to national level! The Belgian flag has already been waved 3 times in Erps Kwerps with national victories from:
1° National Bourges 1995
1° National Marseille 2003 (and 4° International)   
1° International Marseille 2004

Very high performances, which didn’t escape the notice of the men with ‘bad’ ideas. Because in September 2004 Robert was visited by thieves, who robbed him of virtually his entire breeding team… as a result of which Robert was forced to transfer a few of his best racing pigeons to the breeding loft, who, along with his ‘Boris’ (winner 1° Intnat Marseille 19.721 p. 2004, and who luckily escaped the attention of the burglars) would ensure the further expansion of the colony. From that moment on, Robert turned his attention to just the national long distance calendar. The Van Eycken colony was possibly ‘temporarily’ beheaded, but soon came back unmercifully, and how!
Zo zal Robert straks in november opnieuw mee de ‘nationale podia’ kleuren in Oostende… een certitude hierbij is alvast zijn supercrack ‘Contador’, die (als alle prognoses kloppen) als 2° Nationale Asduif Fond KBDB 2009 zal gerangschikt staan. In November Robert will once again adorn the ‘national podium’ in Oostende… a certainty here is his super crack ‘Contador’, who (if the predictions are correct) will end as 2° National Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2009.

National figurehead
The colony of Robert Van Eycken has now grown to one of the leading lofts of Belgium in the national long distance and grand distance races. The performances over the last few seasons hasn’t only proved this, also the luxury of ‘upcoming talent’ that the Van Eycken colony bathes in at the moment, opens good perspectives for the future… health permitting, Robert adds laughingly!
Figurehead of the moment is without doubt the ‘Contador’ ring B06-2173589, who self descends form ‘Son Boris 509/05’ (out the 1° Intnat Marseille 19.721 p. in ’04: ‘Boris 226/00’ x ‘Signorita 660/00’) x ‘Granddaughter Marseille 466/05’ (out the son of the top couple ‘Boris x Boerinneke’: the ‘Kleine Marseille 408/03’ x ‘Lydie 827/03’, daughter 1° Nat Ace pigeon Grand Distance KBDB by Roger Vandycke: the ‘Kartouche’).

The beautiful honours list of ‘Contador’ includes the following toppers:

In 2006:
Bourges    Prov    4.221 p.    683
Argenton    Nat    14.534 p.    2613
In 2007:
Toury        Club       686 p.        37
Vierzon        I.Prov    10.616 p.    1191
Blois        Prov    2.836 p.    165
Le Mans    Prov    2.096 p.    461
Argenton    Club       263 p.        1
        Prov    1.854 p.    23
St.Vincent    Club         88 p.        1
        Prov       669 p.        2
        Nat    6.521 p.    30
        I.Nat    7.515 p.    31
In 2008:
Toury        Club    1.038 p.    21
Vierzon        Prov    1.647 p.    354
Brive        Prov    1.328 p.    67
        N.Zone    4.189 p.    121
Montauban    N.Zone    1.520 p.    196
        Nat    5.438 p.    821
Limoges    Prov        841 p.    86
        Fleurus     2.742 p.    216
Souillac        Prov        454 p.    87

        N.Zone    2.373 p.    382
In 2009:
Soissons    Club       278 p.        9
Pithiviers    Club       257 p.        1
Brive        Prov    1.545 p.    2
        N.Zone    4.800 p.    7
        Nat    17.456 p.    169
Montauban    Club         227 p.    1
        N.Zone    2.069 p.    5
        Nat    7.203 p.    22
Limoges    Fleurus    2.933 p.    7
        N.Zone    4.331 p.    23
        Nat    11.869 p.    92
Souillac        Fleurus    2.021 p.    3
        N.Zone    2.601 p.    3
        Nat    7.597 p.    6

Candidate 2° National Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2009

This ‘Contador’ is without doubt the best long distance racer of Belgium over the sport season 2009, who flew ‘fine top’ in all the 4 national races in which he took part (each time with a coefficient of ‘0,…%’), is something which is only reserved for real ‘top athletes’. Robert isn’t even considering stopping with his ‘long distance crack’, he intends to include him in the racing team for 2010.
Of course, there is more than just ‘Contador’, several other top racers in the ‘long distance’ and ‘grand distance’ play an important role. There are:
-‘Andy’ ring B07-2141440, son of the ‘De 581’ ring 581/06 (a 100% pure De Rauw-Sablonduif) x ‘Anna 318/00’ (daughter of ‘Son Bernard 135/99’, line 1° Nat Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDN ’98 x Olympade Bazel ’97… x ‘Diane 428/97’, sister of the 3° Prov Ace pigeon Brabant, of the 1° Bordeaux etc…).




This ‘Andy’ clearly doesn’t get it from a stranger and has already won:
In 2008:
Toury        Club       320 p.        25
Bordeaux    Prov       312 p.        15
        Fleurus    1.218 p.    49
        I.Nat    9.027 p.    462
Jarnac        Prov       583 p.        25
        L.F.    5.488 p.    375
St.Vincent    Club       158 p.        15
        Eureg    1.499 p.    261
In 2009:
Montelimar    Club       299 p.        2
        Prov    1.361 p.    5
        Fleurus    2.317 p.    14
        Nat    8.232 p.    47
Orange        Club        214 p.    25
        Nat    5.237 p.    667
Marseille    Prov        394 p.    1
        Nat    3.586 p.    9
        I.Nat    11.833 p.    37





‘Franck’ ring B06-2173202, is a son of the ‘Toreador 691/04’ (a 100% Vanbruane via Gebr. ’t Jolijn) x ‘Behekste 116/02’ (daughter of the ‘Max 046/95’ x Blauwke Rode Ring 911/98’). This chap has already won the following prizes:
In 2007:
Vierzon        Club       350 p.        36
        I.Prov    10.616 p.    1603
Blois        Prov    2.836 p.    475
Le Mans    Club        343 p.    1
        Prov    2.096 p.    4
In 2008:
Toury        Club    1.038 p.    81
Brive        Fleurus    4.828 p.    808
        N.Zone    4.189 p.    740
Montauban    Prov        379 p.    15
        Fleurus    1.639 p.    39
        N.Zone    1.520 p.    66
        Nat    5.438 p.    376
In 2009:
Pithiviers    Club        633 p.    4
Vierzon        Club        361 p.    6
Brive        Prov    1.545 p.    15
        N.Zone    4.800 p.    64
        Nat    17.456 p.    537
Montauban    Prov        580 p.    37
        N.Zone    2.069 p.    103
        Nat    7.203 p.    468
Limoges    Prov       956 p.        62
        N.Zone    4.331 p.    439
        Nat    11.869 p.    1393

-‘Son Boris 010’ ring B07-2141010, is a son of superman ‘Boris 226/00’ (winner 1° Intnat Marseille 19.721 p. ’04) x ‘Tonia 079/97’ (granddaughter ‘Aldo’: 1° Nat Pau 2.144 p. by Gaston Devooght).
This ‘Son Boris 010’ has the following performances on his honours list:

In 2008:
Chateauroux    Prov    1.430 p.    277
Limoges    Prov    1.055 p.    195
        N.Zone    5.830 p.    902
        Nat    16.012 p.    2129
In 2009:
Pithiviers    Club       257 p.        8
Brive        N.Zone    4.800 p.    861
        Nat    17.456 p.    3705
Limoges    Club         399 p.    6
        Prov         956 p.    17
        N.Zone    4.331 p.    130
        Nat    11.869 p.    469
Limoges Derby    N.Zone    2.941 p.    78
        Nat    6.138 p.    285
Souillac        Fleurus    2.021 p.    167
        N.Zone    2.601 p.    295
        Nat    7.597 p.    788

-‘Jonge Crack’ ring B08-2211722 is a son of the ‘Schone 519/05’ (son of top pigeon ‘Wouter Boy 225/00’ x ‘Favorietje 684/03’ Cor de Heijde) x ‘Daughter Blauwe Vanoppen 200/003’, direct H&R.Wynands-Maastricht (out stock bear ‘Blauwe Vanoppen 833/88’ x ‘ Daughter Beer 344/99’ Vd Wegen).

The ‘Jonge Crack’ is an upcoming talent with already the following honours list as a yearling:
In 2009:
Soissons    Club    1.933 p.    15
Pithiviers    Club        249 p.    30
Vierzon        Club        277 p.    25
        I.Prov    4.640 p.    811
Issoudun    I.Prov    5.848 p.    156
Chateauroux    Prov    2.476 p.    343
Bordeaux    Prov       302 p.        13
        Fleurus    1.268 p.    38
        I.Prov    3.098 p.    108
        I.Nat    9.316 p.    392
Libourne    Prov        974 p.    11
        N.Zone    2.948 p.    23
        Nat    8.723 p.    113
A powerful series of top racers included then in the Van Eycken-colony. The season was started with 45 widowers. They were allowed to brood twice before the start of the season, firstly in the winter period and a 2nd brood just before the start of the season (read: March-April). The racing pigeons are not allowed to breed after the season, however the eggs of the toppers are placed under pigeons that are destined to disappear…who then raise the youngsters of the ‘top racers’. The hens are not shown before basketting…

they used to be, but Robert stopped. He explains why via the following anecdote: 4 or 5 years ago 2 pigeons were destined for Brive. The widowers were let loose for their daily training, while the aspirant Brive racers remained indoors and were allowed to see their hen. When Robert put them into the basket, 1 of the 2 pigeons was not to his satisfaction at all… the pigeon was not interested in his hen. So he went in search of an alternative by the other racing pigeons who had just finished training. Robert searched for and found another clapper who he thought to be extremely suitable for Brive. This pigeon was quickly shown its nesting dish for 2 minutes, before being basketted for Brive. On Saturday it was this pigeon that reported home first in Erps-Kwerps and brought with him the 1°prize Provincial Brive! Why then spend a lot of time and effort in showing the hens, when you can achieve such a top performance without showing the hen?... asks Robert. You can’t argue with that!
For the rest, Robert  visits the vet twice a year, in October… and again a month before the start of the season (end of February- begin March). The pigeons are purified before the start of the season, in other words… made free of ‘tricho’ and the ‘airways’ are purified. Then you don’t have to bother for the rest of the season, says Robert. Just a tablet now and then for ‘tricho’ 8 days before basketting is usually enough to complete the season without any problems! After the racing season there is a cure of 10 – 12 days with ‘parastop’… so that the pigeons can moult without any problems… where the first basis is laid for the coming sport season! A course of action that has brought Robert the necessary successes again in 2009, with, in addition to winning the 2° Nat Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB, further titles such as:
1° Long Distance Old Birds Brabant Union 2009
2° Ace pigeon Long Distance Brabant Union 2009

And who knows what other ‘prominent titles’ will come to light later! Despite his 80 years, and the accompanying physical troubles, Robert Van Eycken is and remains a monument in our national long distance world, a man with a very strong stock of pigeons! A very demanding stock… the future will prove it!