Jacques & Freddy Vandenheede with their 2nd round of youngsters, Zingem (BE)
Together good for no less than 7 x 1° National victories
Introducing the Vandenheede family to the large pigeon public is like kicking down an 'open door'. The exploits that father, the late René Vandenheede, raced at the time, later followed by the sensational results from the lofts of his sons both by Jacques as by Freddy gave the Vandenheede pigeon world fame! Together they are good for no less than 7 x 1° National victories. A grand résumé in the pigeon sport which hardly, if any, fellow sportsmen can produce. The power grip that Freddy Vandenheede developed in 2006 in the Provincial championships still shimmers in the catacombs of the East-Flemish pigeon sport. Freddy won the 2° Prov Ace pigeon Middle Distance KBDB Old pigeons, classified no less than 5 pigeons within the first 5 Ace pigeons, 8 within the first 9 Ace pigeons and no less than 12 within the first 17 Ace pigeons provincially! Almost impossible to copy, let alone beat! In addition Freddy also achieved 4 x 1° Provincial victories (wherefrom 2 x 1° + 2° Prov., and 1 x the 1°,2°+3° Prov!) you can understand that the show of strength of the Vandenheede pigeon was 'overwhelming'! If you also learn that both Freddy (in 2002), and Jacques (in 2004) were laurelled as '1° General Provincial Champion of East-Flanders', n.b. the largest pigeon province in Belgium then there is no further explanation necessary to prove that we are dealing with one of the best 'Middle Distance' and 'Extreme Middle Distance colonies' in our pigeon world at the moment!
Father Rene became famous through his superiority in his chosen game: the 'National competitions' for youngsters. A tradition that was taken over and carried on by Jacques and Freddy, and where gradually the game with the old pigeons made its entrance to be more specific, the game with the hens.
The fact that many top lofts and other fellow sportsmen were particularly successful in the game with the hens in the 'Extreme Middle Distance' certainly played a role also the benefits that the game with the hens offers qua recuperation, calmer in the baskets, and basketting every week (less evident with cocks) but most of all, at the time that they started, the young hens performed better than their masculine colleagues in the Vandenheede-lofts then it is logical that you take your 'best horses' to war! And if at that moment it is the hens then the choice is easily made, and is completely rational!
Last season the young cocks manifested themselves more and more, that is why it is not illogical to ask oneself whether a chance should be taken with the cocks.
Of course, this demands extra work and care. To be able to manage this all alone is a demanding task especially for Freddy, who up until recently could rely on the help of his mother something which will not be possible in the future, because of her age and health. Because of changes in his professional career, Freddy has been forced to put more hours into his work meaning that he can't maintain the current situation. When you still want to realise your high ambition, then you have to make choices (because playing second fiddle is not for the Vandenheedes) either you have to specialize more (read: dropping certain things) or look for other solutions. That is why he and his brother Jacques put their heads together (Jacques has taken early retirement), and it was decided that they would work together and starting in the 2008 season they will race in combination under the name Jacques & Freddy Vandenheede.
The breeding pigeons will be housed in Jacque's lofts, whilst all the racing pigeons will live in the lofts of Freddy (Jacque's racing pigeons had already been moved to Freddy's lofts and started their 2008 season from there). The old breeding lofts and aviaries by Freddy were converted into racing lofts for the cocks because starting in 2008, both the cocks and the hens will be raced. In the future these cocks will work towards the Long Distance (read: National One-day Long Distance races), whilst the majority of the hens will stay active in the provincial races, although for 2008 Freddy and Jacques want to try a loft of hens in the Middle Distance... call it 'just testing the borders'! The cocks for 2008 are all yearlings, about 60 in total, in addition there are also 60 hens ready and waiting. Seeing that many fanciers stop racing the system of 'total widowhood', they won't use this method, but both cocks and hens will be coupled with steady 'stay at home' partners whilst the game with the youngsters can carry on just like before. Whereas they used to concentrate on the 4 National races for the youngsters + the 2 National Bourges races (end of View of the lofts where the breeding aviary + runs stood, and have now been converted into racing lofts for the cocks May and end of July) for the old pigeons where one was strongly dependant on the weather (especially with both Bourges where you can forget it if the wind is against you) .. they now hope to have a chance all through the year in the 'One-day Long Distance, which offers growth in the racing possibilities! Racing in combination is beneficial to both of them, you can't deny it. In the past they had to rely on family and friends to help (especially at the weekend) in order to keep everything running (for example, basketting the youngsters, bringing the clock etc).
Now one of them can stay and take care of the lofts whilst the other goes to the club for basketting, the clock etc In this way the work is halved, and two heads are better than one, but most importantly two people notice more what happens in the loft, there is more eye for detail. Matters that are often overlooked by 1 person through lack of time or other reasons are now seen! If we dare to make an 'impish prediction' when 2 top champions of the calibre Jacques and Freddy Vandenheede team up together then the closest rival will have to be wary. Because instead of racing 'against' each other, they are now allies.
Let's take a look at the results from Gueret 2007 as an example, which in ideal racing weather is flown with a velocity of around 1100 metres.
In the club, 403 youngsters were basketted for this Gueret, wherefrom Freddy and Jacques independently scored the following: Jacques: 2,4,6,10,15,27 (and 27/54)
Freddy: 3,7,8,9,12,13,17,18,22,23,29 (and 29/57)
When we put the results of Freddy & Jacques together, so as it will be in 2008, then we get the following result Gueret 403 youngsters 2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,12,13,15,17,18,22,23,27,29 and 56/111!
This would be just ' monumental', such overwhelming mastership!
Who knows will there be more of these 'spectacles' waiting for us in 2008?
View of the lofts where the breeding aviary + runs stood, and have now been converted into racing lofts for the cocks
It needs no explanation that the joining of both lofts had the advantage that there was a stricter selection necessary, especially for the breeding loft because the number of the breeding team had to be kept within limits. There was only room for the very best breeding couples, say 'the best of the best' from both breeding lofts
The 'class' and 'quality' in the Vandenheede breeding lofts has probably never been as great as by the start of 2008. The very strong pigeon strain that the Vandenheede family has built up over the years, and with which they have reached heights including 7 x 1° National victories, in addition to countless 1° Provincial and other victories was strengthened last season with the addition of the 'De Rauw-Sablon'-pigeons. A 'golden connection' that started somewhere in 1994 when Freddy came in contact with Etienne De Rauw and Frans Sablon. The result was that pigeons were exchanged from the 'top breeding couples' from both lofts! This is how Freddy came to own a son of the 'Dream-couple' De Rauw-Sablon which gave him great success while a son out the top couple Vandenheede, being "Antigoon x 't Krijt" left for Lebbeke. He grew to be a giant of a breeding pigeon, and received world fame under the name "Superkweker Freddy" 032/94. He was, amongst other things, father of the following super pigeons:
- The "Dromer" 4393519/99, superior racing pigeon in the lofts of De Rauw-Sablon with the following top performances to his name:
'99 Bourges Nat 44.185 p. 503
'99 Argenton Nat 22.151 p. 1798
'99 La Souterraine 1 Nat 14.957 p. 1189
'99 La Souterraine 2 Nat 9.061 p. 369
'00 Bourges Prov 3.575 p. 93
'00 Chateauroux (3/6) Intpro 6.832 p. 73
'00 Chateauroux (17/6)Intpro 6.838 p. 141
'00 Argenton Intpro 7.452 p. 15 (Club 1° Prize from 339 p.)
'00 Limoges Zone 8.715 p. 36 Nat. 23.550 p. 120
'01 Bourges 1 Nat. 21.593 p. 108
'01 Chateauroux Prov. 3.799 p. 193
'01 La Souterraine Intpro 5.466 p. 371
'01 Limoges Derby Zone 2.950 p. 46 (Club 2°prize from 165 p after loft partner) Nat. 8.882 p. 166
'01 Bourges 2 Zone 4.774 p. 38 (Club 1° prize from 146 p) Nat. 12.161 p. 84
This "Dromer" was bought at the total auction of De Rauw-Sablon by Gerard Koopman from Ermerveen (NL), where he is grandfather of the 1° Nat St.Vincent 25.807 p. in 2007
He is also grandfather of "Blue Ace 095/03" who was 2° Nat Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2007 in the lofts of Erik Limbourg.
View of the racing lofts
- "Mr Expensive" who in turn is father of the 1° Nat Orleans NPO 9.670 pigeons by Gerard Koopman in 2007
- Another "Brother Dromer" is father of the "Lucky 77" who was 1° Nat Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2005 by Erik Limbourg.
- The "Kastaar" ring 4393541/99 is also a full brother of the "Dromer", with the following honours to his name: '99 La Souterraine Nat. 14.957 p. 18 View of the racing lofts
'99 Bourges Nat. 44.185 p. 605
'00 Noyon Lok 143 p. 1
'00 Chateauroux FCD 1.016 p. 51
'00 Chateauruox FCD 899 p. 74
'01 Limoges Nat. 8.882 p. 230
'01 Bourges Nat. 12.161 p. 310
'01 Toury 424 p. 13
'01 La Souterraine 618 p. 57
'02 Limoges Nat. 16.945 p. 196
'02 Bourges 1 Nat. 23.952 p. 1828
'02 Bourges 2 Nat. 11.689 p. 618
'03 Limoges Nat. 16.504 p. 41 etc
This "Superkweker Freddy" (Super breeder) was bought at the auction of De Rauw-Sablon by the superstar of Limburg, namely Pros Roosen from Kermt where he is now father of
- the super crack "Blauwen Prins" 5065642/04 who achieved the following top prizes:
2° Prov. Vierzon 6.928 p. '07
4° Nat. Bourges 12.754 p. '05
11° Nat. Bourges 10.759 p. '06
- the top racer "Fantast" 5100731/06 who as a yearling won no less than 4 x top in 6 races with: 6° Laon 538 p. 12° Nanteuil 4.806 p. 19° Melun 1.832 p. 33° Prov Gien 5.031 p.
-The "Geschelpte Vierzon" 5100716/06 won self 2° Prov Vierzon 953 p.
-The "Kleindochter Freddy" 5100715/06 (nest sister of the "Geschelpte Vierzon") won self
97° Nat La Souterraine 18.953 p.
351° Nat Argenton 14.534 p.
You can't find a better example of how the Vandenheede pigeon lies at the base of national and international top successes in the pigeon sport!
In the Vandenheede lofts the "Zoon Dream-Couple" (better known as the "Frans 875/94") turned into an excellent breeder, whereas in the auction of De Rauw-Sablon, Freddy managed to get hold of the superior "Limoges"!
In the meantime, the Vandenheede brothers exchanged a few pigeons with Frans Sablon, and the men of Zingem hoped that via the input of these De Rauw-Sablon-pigeons (in crossing with their old stock) they have laid the basis, to later shine in the One-day Long Distance with the old pigeons!
A striking example of this is current top breeder "Liberty" ring 4376312/02, who is a son of "Moby 228/01" (son of the "Frans 875/94" x "Joeksel 680/00", winner 1° Nat Bourges 4.225 p. Zone A, and 3° Nat 16.119 d) x "Lily 376/94 (mother of Liberty, Tobija, Athena etc ).
The "Liberty" won the 'Golden Oscar 2002' as best youngster in the National races, with the following performances:
La Souterraine Nat 13.708 p. 19
Argenton Nat 17.010 p. 31
Bourges Nat 40.471 p. 286
This "Liberty" is in turn father of 2 powerful top racing hens, both 1° Provincial winners, answering to the names of "Martine" and "Hadise".
A few highlights from the honours list from both ladies look like this:
- The "Martine" ring 4045032/05 won:
'06 Orleans Club 290 p. 1 Prov 2.242 p. 1
'05 Dourdan Lok 472 p. 6
'05 Orleans Lok 328 p. 8 Prov 1.668 p. 29
'06 Chateauroux Prov 1.683 p. 23
'05 La Souterraine Nat 15.406 p. 597
- The "Hadise" ring 4112231/06 did it like this:
'07 Chateauroux Prov 8.538 Old 1 Prov 4.409 YL 1
'07 Vierzon Club 322 YL 1 Prov 4.115 YL 10 Intpro 10.616 Yl 34
This proves that the combination Vandenheede x De Rauw-Sablon, is more than a successful marriage, or so as we said earlier a 'golden connection', that obviously lies at the basis of top successes worldwide and on which Jacques & Freddy are rightly placing a lot of hope for the further expansion of their colony in the future and hope to achieve top successes in the National One-day Long Distance races. Nobody doubts that the Vandenheede-brothers won't be successful in their aims, what with a loft full of such extraordinary 'top class' pigeons and supported by their enormous expert knowledge and experience!
The now underway 2008 season will no doubt give us a few 'hints', over what we can expect for the future! We wish Jacques and Freddy much success with their new challenge as tandem in de pigeon sport!