Serge Dhondt (Deinze, BE): How the marriage of two famous long distance strains brought quick success...

Deinze – It’s a rainy and stormy Thursday morning, a few days after New Year, when we rush to Deinze. Today we are visiting a fancier who has been building his long distance loft during the last years. From the beginning on, in 2007, he showed off in the strong long distance clubs Eeklo and Meulebeke.

Arriving at destination, we see a sign “Racing pigeon products Dhoca”. This is the place. Our host Serge Dhondt and his partner Chantal give us a warm welcome as the start of a long, but very fascinating afternoon.

The start

Serge started pigeon racing in the mid nineties in Nevele. Serge is in his early twenties and newlywed. He combines his day time job in the carpentry with pigeon racing. But when starts his family there is only limited time left for his passion. So he decides to take a different turn.  In order to combine all his activities and have enough time left for his family, Serge starts a racing combine with his uncle Dirk. The racing tandem was fun and successful. However, when his nine year old son Laurens gets interested in pigeon racing, Serge turns back to individual racing in 2007 out of the current lofts in Deinze. At that time they had two fine youngsters and they completed the loft with late breds from thé champs formation from Deinze….

Cyriel and Dirk Martens

Their friendship started in the early nineties when a lost youngster trapped the Martens loft. The first Martens breed that joined Serge’s loft was “Late 028/98”, a full brother of “Rouchke” (38th Nat. Limoges, 69th Nat. Souillac) and “R4” (82th Nat. Limoges, 29th Nat. Montauban). All sons from the “C91”, a 100% Georges Carteus out of “Bonten Barcelona” x a daughter of the famous “Limoges”. The “Late 028/98” was mated to a hen from Jozef Van den Berghe. The first long distance couple was born.

Then Serge bought another pigeon that determined the present: “Voodoo” from Cyriel and Dirk Martens in the Jewels of the Sky I in 2005. This super already had nice records when it was weaned over to race on Serge’s loft in 2007. And “Voodoo” delivered, as part of the couple that got the title “10th National Champion Long Distance K.B.D.B.” in 2008.

In the next years, some more pigeons from Cyriel and Dirk make the move to Serge’s loft. Foundation cock “VC Carteus 95” is a super breeder. All winners of the last few years are crosses with this golden bloodline.
“VC Carteus” produced nice offspring on the lofts of Cyriel and Dirk Martens:

  • “Zizi” (9th Nat.Cahors, 11th Nat. Narbonne)
  • “Jumbo” (3rd Nat.Beziers, 2nd Nat. Montauban, 36th Nat. Dax)
  • “Plattekop” (39th Nat. Brive, 75th Nat. Pau)
  • “Kleinen”, “Zeppos” and many others.

Anno 2011, “VC Carteus” is father or grandfather of more than 40 prizes top 100 national on long distance and extrem long distance races.

“Blue Princess”

Serge continuously looked for the best. During his searches, he dropped an eye on a nice blue cock out of the “Mr. Europe”’s bloodline (Robert Buysse †) and “Tee” line from Emiel Denys. Serge was charmed by the cock and didn’t hesitate to buy him. He anticipated well. This topper was mated with a beautiful hen (pure line breeding “VC Carteus”) from Cyriel and Dirk Martens. It resulted in a silky soft blue hen, he named “Blue Princess”. She was tossed the same year she was born, and reached her height in 2010 with best result 3rd national Argenton from 7 358 yearlings. In 2011 she was crowned 2nd Ace pigeon cat. B in the FCI Continental Cup in Budapest!

Spiring 2011, the father of “Blue Princess” was coupled with the grandmother, a daughter “VC Carteus”. It resulted once again in a super racer. Both 2nd round hens performed very well and one of them closed the 2011 season with 13th Nat. Gueret against 14 362 younsters.  “Blue Princess” is now transferred to the breeding loft and both sisters will be raced from the hens loft in 2012.

photo father Blue Princess + mather Blue Princess

Etienne Meirlaen

The above confirms what Serge had figured out since a long time.
When you take a closer look to the pedigree “Father Blue Princess” you will see he is a half brother (same father) of the “Pau duivin” from Etienne Meirlaen (Sint-Martens-Latem). This super breeding hen is on Meirlaen’s loft mother and grandmother of the famous Marseille dynasty:

 - 9th Int.Nat. Narbonne 14 457 pigeons
 - 21st Nat.Marseille 3 911 pigeons
 - 46th Nat. Marseille 4 398 pigeons
 - 72th Nat.Marseille 5 738 pigeons
 - 8th Nat.Brive 17 456 pigeons
 - 9th Nat.Cahors 7 347 pigeons
 - 26th Nat.Bourges 27 506 pigeons

The blood line “VC Carteus” from Cyriel and Dirk Martens combines extremely well with the Marseille blood line. So it is pretty obvious that Serge went to his friend Etienne Meirlaen. Today the breeding loft houses for half Meirlaen youngsters, all from the extraordinary Marseille line, of which:

  • Daughter “De Marseille”
  • Daughter “Broer Marseille”
  • Son “Blauwe witpen”, brother “De Marseille” and “Broer Marseille”
  • Half brother « Fenomeen », best long distance racer 2010 on 5 nationals and grandson « Pau duivin »
  • Granddaughter “Mont-Ventoux”, out of sister “Marathon Lady”
  • Son and daughter inbred super breeding cock “Den Toye”
  • Daughter of 6th national Barcelona 2011 (12 170 pigeons)

Not words but deeds

Serge clearly knows what he is doing. His results from the last 3 seasons clearly proof he is on the road of success. He won 36 first prizes since 2009. On provincial and national races he obtained the following top results:

3° Nat. Argenton yearl.        2010  7 358 p.
11° Inat.Souston yearl.hens    2009  4 176 p.
13° Nat Gueret jongen          2011 14,362 p.
13° Nat Pau                    2011  2,279 p.
18° Nat Chateauroux oude       2011 20,517 p.
30° Nat Souston jaarl          2009  9,442 p.
30° Nat Perpignan              2010  6,257 p.
31° Inat Souston jaarl         2009 11,030 p.
39° Inat Perpignan             2010 15,756 p.
45° Nat Argenton oude          2011  3,498 p.
60° Inat Pau                   2011  8,555 p.
81° Nat Bourges Jaarl          2010 14,145 p.

2°  prov Pau                   2011    397 p.
2°  prov Argenton              2010  1,019 p.
4°  prov Gueret                2011  3,103 p.
4°  Prov Montrichard           2011    340 p.
4°  Prov Chateauroux           2011  4,571 p.
4°  Prov Argenton              2011    452 p.
8°  Prov  Bourges              2010  2,159 p.
10° Prov Perpignan             2010  1,003 p.
10° Prov Montlimar             2009    886 p.
10° Prov Souston               2009  2,065 p.
12° prov Orleans               2010    308 p.
14° prov  Bourges              2011  1,955 p.
14° Prov Blois                 2011  1,448 p.
15° Prov Bourges               2011  1,955 p.     
16° Prov Blois                 2009  2,352 p.
19° prov Vierzon               2010    872 p.
22° Prov Brive                 2009  3,080 p.
24° Prov Blois                 2009  1,944 p.
26° Prov Blois                 2011  1,184 p.
27° Prov Argenton              2011  2,144 p.
29° Prov Blois                 2011  2,755 p.
31° Prov Montlimar             2009    886 p.
31° Prov Perpignan             2009  1,106 p.
33° Prov Montauban             2009  1,368 p.
34° Prov Souston               2010  2,043 p. 
36° Prov Argenton              2011  2,483 p.
36° Prov Libourne              2011  1,565 p.
36° Prov Pau                   2011    397 p.
37° Prov Tarbes                2010    861 p.
38° Prov Blois                 2011  3,090 p.
39° Prov La Souteraine         2011    496 p.
40° Prov Cahors                2009  1,248 p.
41° Prov Blois                 2009  2,352 p.
42° Prov Blois                 2009  2,352 p.
44° Prov Argenton              2011  2,483 p.

Hens and cocks

In 2011 different breeding rounds in 8 couples gave a nice loft of youngsters. The 1st and 2nd round were tested intensively on the national races with youngsters. The best hens out of the different rounds were selected, and supplemented with weaned youngster hens from John Meurysse (Oeselgem) to complete the team for 2012.

Eight cocks will be selected as yearling on classical widowhood for a future long distance career.

Nutrition and supplements

Serge runs a business in pigeon racing products and is the main supplier of Matador nutrition and the Backs product range. So it is not to our surprise that he focuses on good nurture and supplements.
The Matador racing system is based on rich feeding after the race, cleaning on the day after the race and rebuilding to the next race. This is the foundation of Serge’s care together with Dhoca-zym beer yeast, proteins, minerals and TS6 plus.
From the medical side, the pigeons get the usual and obligatory vaccinations and during the racing season the vet weekly checks for canker.  Medication is administered only when required. Treatment for respiratory infections is only considered when the performances drop and after consulting the vet.

Feeling, touching…whispering

A closer look to Serge when handling the pigeons reveals a person with the “feeling”. He observes, weighs, feels, touches and has a very clear picture of the perfect racer and breeder.
A short illustration from when Serge went to pick out 5 young raced hens from John Meurysse. The pigeons raced Gueret on Saturday in Oeselgem. The 5 birds were nicely transferred and about 2 weeks later the 5 hens all won prizes on Arras… on Serge’ s lofts in Deinze.
Could Serge be a pigeon whisperer?


Serge is ambitious and so he should be with the results obtained on his loft and numerous top quality racers. With the fresh blood of “Blue Princess” in the small, strictly selected breeding loft, the expectations for 2012 are high.
The core pigeons from Cyriel and Dirk Martens and the golden Marseille line from Etienne Meirlaen, spiced with James Bond offspring from his friend John Meurysse. This is the recipe for the future.
I am anxious to see when Serge will have thé ultimate super result by winning a national race. I am confident it will not take that long!

Good luck, Serge.