Thierry & Guy Defrêne (Onoz, BE): National Champion Sprint KBDB 2011

The least we can say is that this year the fancier from the province Namur will have played a big role in the national championships. With the title going to Nihoul in the long distance championship, for Alain Hoornaert with the long distance Ace Pigeon, it's now the turn of the Defrêne father and son to climb the highest rung of the podium, but this time for the national Sprint championship. A title we saw coming seeing the regularity of this loft over these last few years, most of the times where the national championships were concerned.
You can easily judge for yourself! As proof: 
1st National Champion Sprint KBDB '11
2nd National Champion Sprint Youngsters KBDB '08
2nd National Champion Sprint KBDB '10
5th National Ace Pigeon Sprint KBDB '11
12th National Champion Sprint KBDB '08
1st Reserve National Championship Small Middle Distance KBDB '05
1st Reserve National Championship Yearlings KBDB '07
1st Reserve National Championship Yearlings KBDB '09
1st Reserve National Championship Extreme Middle Distance KBDB '09
2nd Reserve National Championship Sprint KBDB '07

At provincial level, we see:

1st Provincial Champion KBDB Namur '11
1st Ace Pigeon Sprint Old birds KBDB Namur '11
1st Ace Pigeon Sprint Yearlings KBDB Namur '11
1st Champion Sprint & Middle Distance Youngsters KBDB Namur '11

A wonderful balance! Let's add to this the title won by the Defr^nes in the Bricon Trophy category sprint!
To be crowned as national champion, Thierry & Guy have sent in 12 prizes (won in 6 races with their first 2 nominated) for a total coefficient of 16,6440%. Second place is won by Etienne Stassen from Dilsen-Stokkem (21,7487%) and in third place we find the specialists of the combination Stickers-Donckers from Lille (24,1415%), a combination which was well in sight this year with two national titles in the other championships connected to the Sprint! This gives more worth to the title of the Defrênes. Here are the results sent in from the colony of Onoz:

Date   Race         Number pig  1st nom  2nd nom
09/04 Vervins  -   226 pigeons :  4th & 5th
23/04 Soissons - 1.062 pigeons : 18th & 7th
30/04 La Ferté -   422 pigeons :  3th & 13th
07/05 Melun    - 1.933 pigeons :  8th & 27th
04/06 Vervins  -   237 pigeons :  1st & 5th
31/07 Melun    -   276 pigeons :  1st & 5th 

Thierry in front of his national trophies.

This combination has existed since the middle of the '80's and is formed by Guy (80 years) and Thierry (44 years). Guy, the father, already owned pigeons in the past but he stopped his pigeon activities. After moving to Onoz, Thierry asked his father to race and it was the beginning of their beautiful adventure! Readers must know that for the last two years Guy's involvement has been quite limited as he was often hospitalized. For the last month he has even been placed in a nursing home . So, there is only one man left at the wheel: Thierry. Working at the S.P.Wallon, Thierry is also a municipality adviser at Jemeppe-Sur-Sambre in addition to his post at the provincial committee of Namur... as well as a post at the national sporting committee. A tight schedule and sometimes he doesn't even have enough time from the 24 hours available in a day to take care of his colony. That's why, during the season, he takes a day off every Thursday & Friday. The day of the basketting, he goes to 3 or 4 different clubs to basket his pigeons. During the month of June & July, his weekends are fully booked as he races all the flight lines. In Onoz, pigeons are coming home from the morning until the evening !

An All round colony
When you take a look at the championships won in the sprint over the last few years, you could quite logicaly think that we are talking here about a 'sprint colony'. But it's not really the case. The Defrêne colony is competitive in all flight lines, as well as in the long distance races. Thierry explains : 'We have always liked to enter our pigeons for sprint races and it won't change. As my geographic situation allows me the possibility to enter my pigeons from different directions, I am able to choose the best coefficient available. That's good for the championships... However, my loft is built on origins able to fly further and then... i simply love to race! So, we race everywhere we can!' They built the lofts (visible below) themselves and they are very functional. Since their construction in the '80's, they didn't get old. In this colony, both the cocks and the hens are raced in total widowhood. The old cocks (51), are housed in a loft of more than a dozen  metres where each window has a mini aviary, which offers the possibility of giving the pigeons a bath but also to provide oxygen to the pigeons. The 42 hens are housed in only one compartment. Why is the number of the cocks differents to the number of hens? Simply because there are no fixed pairs. It's like the slidding door with the youngsters where the number of each sex is not really important. Where the youngsters are concerned, 140 rings are bought each year and they generally raced in the sprint races. Last year, the old racing pigeons were separated around Halloween 2010 and they were not coupled again before the beginning of the season, something which will change this year as they will be coupled around March. You can see that the system is not fixed.
The breeders (around 30 pairs) are coupled at the begining of December. In the breeding team, we can find old glories from the colony as well as pigeons directly purchased from Van Avondt, Lambrecht-Lismont, Surinx-Pletsers, Herbots frères, Van Elsacker-Jepsen, Geenen-Peeters, Fourmanoir and, for 2012, a few pigeons from M & Y Vandermissen.
- 'The 068' (BE 09-8006068) 

1st Provincial Ace Pigeon Sprint KBDB Namur '11
5th National Ace Pigeon Sprint KBDB '11

In 2011:
09/04 Vervins 5/226
23/04 Soissons 18/1.062
30/04 Nanteuil 2/258 (*)
07/05 Melun 8/1.933 (*)
14/05 La Ferté 4/387
04/06 Vervins 1/237 (*)
11/06 Melun 1/535 (*)
18/06 La Ferté 34/398
26/06 Melun 5/380
02/07 Nanteuil 1/156 (*)
24/07 La Ferté 6/194
31/07 Melun 1/276 (*)

16 single prizes, 12x per 10. (*) = results sent in for the national championship ace pigeon sprint.

9 single prizes, 5x per 10!
15 single prizes, 11x per 10 with La Ferté 1/522, Nanteuil 1/248, Melun 1/1.255. Good enough for the 4th place Provincial Ace Pigeon Sprint KBDB Namur '11

Father: 'Blue Van Avondt' (BE 08-2236312), as his name suggests, directly purchased from Henri & Dany Van Avondt from Haacht. He's a son of the '702/02' which won, a.o., Sens 3/1.111 p. and La Souteraine 69/2.048 p. He is a super breeder as he is the father of the '333/03' (1st prize Pithiviers) and of the '248/07' (3rd Provincial Ace Pigeon Extreme Middle Distance '07). He is himself son of the 'Goede Blauw' which flew 2x top 150 national from Bourges.The mother of the 'Blue Van Avondt' is the '554/01', a direct hen from Herbots, niece of the 'Number 1' and grand-daughter of the famous 'Den 155'. This hen is also the mother of the '325/03' which won the 8th national Argenton.
Mother: 'Blue Van Avondt' (BE 08-2236318), daughter of the couple '300/04' (Engels x Verbruggen). The '300/04' is a son of the pair 'Goed Blauw' (already introduced in the pedigree of the father) x '883/06' (sister of 'Nicky', 1st National La Souteraine 13.727 p. '02).

- 'The 909/10' (BE 10-8015909)
1st Provincial Ace Pigeon Sprint Yearlings KBDB Namur '11

In 2011:

1st  La Ferté 529 pigeons
1st  Soissons 257 pigeons
2nd  Nanteuil 154 pigeons
2nd  Vervins  100 pigeons
3rd  La Ferté 312 pigeons
4th  Melun    125 pigeons
7th  La Ferté 365 pigeons
9th  Melun    735 pigeons
11th Vervins  161 pigeons
14th Vervins  189 pigeons
28th Melun  1.323 pigeons

15 prizes and 11 per 10 !

Father: 'The Serge' (BE 07-6066466), direct Van Elsacker-Jepsen (Schilde) and son of the pair 'Nevada' x 'Miss Marple'. 'Nevada' is a son of the crack 'Hermelijn' which was crowned as 8th National Ace Pigeon Middle Distance '01 while 'Miss Marple' is the product of a crossing 'Van Loon x Hufkens x Meulemans'.
Mother: 'Chequered Geenens-Peters' (NL 08-1889250), third class origins for this hen because it's a mix of the cracks which made a peutation for themselves in the Belgian pigeon sport in the 20th century ! Her father is the '433/02', a direct Houben from Itegem out of the couple 'Enrico' x 'Alvira'. 'Enrico' is a son of the 'Chipy' (1st National Bourges Houben) x 'Katia' (daughter of the 'Jonge Artiest', the basis pigeon of the Itegem's loft). 'Alvira' is herself a full sister of the world famous 'Kleine Didi' from Etienne Devos, a pigeon that we give any further introduction.
The mother of this Geenens-Peters hen is the '462/06' from the pair 'Son Kleine Dirk' x 'Chequered Van Dyck'. 'Kleine Dirk' is a true icon because he is the N°1 pigeon by Koopman (1st National Ace Pigeon National NL '99, grandson of the 'Kannibaal' Van Dyck) while the 'Chequered Van Dyck' is a semi-sister of this same 'Kannibaal' because her father is nothing less than the 'Rambo', father of the 'Kannibaal'

Les installations 'made in Onoz'

A few results in middle & long distance

1st Interprovincial Argenton 1.649 old birds
3rd and 85th Interprovincial Dijon 3.474 old birds
19th Interprovincial Bourges 5.638 old birds
11th Interprovincial Châteauroux 1.005 yearlings
170th Semi-National Montluçon 7.700 yearlings
85th Semi-National Moulins 4.306 yearlings
25th Semi-National Jarnac 4.505 yearlings
89th Zonal Souillac 1.319 old birds
83th Semi-National Nevers 3.189 yearlings
113th Zonal Bourges 4.253 old birds
77th Zonal Tulle 2.107 yearlings
92th Zonal Argenton 1.512 old birds
58th Zonal La Souteraine 1.420 old birds

Thierry, Guy, congratulations on your exceptionnal season and good luck for the coming year !