Verheyden Robert, "Pronounced winner national Bourges for youngsters 28 July 2007"

Robert Verheyden, Tielt-Winge (BE)

In Oostende Robert was crowned as the national winner from Bourges after defeating more than 31000 youngsters, but both he and his wife think in admiration of the twosome Lefevre-Weicker Aubange, who were the moral winners of this monster race.
Article 112 of the national sport regulations decided otherwise. This article deals with the transfer of pigeons and states:
"Every fancier who becomes the owner of a pigeon (if not acquired at an open sale), either obtained or bought, is compelled to transfer the pigeon to his own name within 30 days. In order to do this he has to contact the provincial division".

Lefevre-Weicker hadn’t done this and so after consultation with the KBDB (Belgian union for fanciers) they were removed from the results. 7 of their 9 pigeons had not been transferred, including two Dutch pigeons. We could discuss whether this article is unreasonable, seeing that a small number of national winners have fallen prey to this item. We think back to the tragic case of the Barcelona specialist René Bruggen. Next spring a start will be made on a new regulation. Let’s hope that common sense will prevail.

Robert and his wife are simple, correct fanciers who repeatedly pointed out the effect this incident had on their national victory. So as they say : "they don’t experience much PLEASURE from it ". Of course there was one pigeon faster, but their "613/2007"still left 31.428 rivals behind. It was truly a fantastic result, 3 youngsters before the14th prize nationally against more than 31000 pigeons.... who can beat that??

As in most cases, Robert comes from a family of pigeon fanciers.. He’s always been involved with pigeons. First through his father and now in the Heuvelstraat 97 in Tielt-Winge, the same street as another champion, namely Jef Vanwinkel who, by the way, also clocked early from the same Bourges. Robert’s brother Freddy also races independently in Eksel and has started building up a colony for the longer distances. Robert has two sons , but they don’t seem too interested in pigeons at the moment.
We could have given you more spectacular achievements, but Robert hates keeping track of the results. If Robert wants to know how many championships he’s won he has to count his trophies.... Since his computer crashed a few years ago he has never bothered with a new computer programme for his pigeons.
Robert has to work a few years yet before he can retire. He was one of the 400 employees at  Renault in Vilvoorde who was allowed to stay on after the dramatic closing 10 years ago. At the moment there are 250 workmen and 60 clerks. Robert works shifts and is pleased that he can now work the same shift. He starts work at 05.45h and finishes at 14.45h. This leaves him some free time in the afternoon to take care of his pigeons. There is no time to take care of the pigeons in the morning.  He can rely on his wife to take care of the youngsters and to let them fly. His shift work means that the pigeons are allowed to eat as much as they want.

National winner Bourges 2007 - youngsters

Lengthening the distance
. . .

The intention is to try for further distances, just like his brother Freddy.

The stock father is the 621083/98 who comes from the loft of Schroyens Itegem, brother-in-law of Houben. The 92nd national Perpignan and the 45th national Pau were bred from this cock by his brother Freddy.

Reinforcement came from :
Verbruggen Gommaire Scherpenheuvel, son "Kleine Geschelpte" with the mother line "Rode Bruggen" ... indeed ... from the line where14 were recently stolen from the Verbruggen lofts, with a daughter from "Witneus" Florizone Nieuwpoort.
Hebberecht Chris Evergem, from the best lines there are at the moment, "Hertog", "Pancho Super", "Broer AXL" and "Dikken".
From Eycken Robert Erps-Kwerps . . . . the 9th  national Bourges is a Van Eycken X Hebberecht and landed just 5 minutes after the national winner.
Further : Guylinx Wim, the owner of the Vanderwielen-pigeons from Boortmeerbeek. Vandevelde Maurice, Goyvaerts Louis, Rigo Vos ...

Preparation :
The youngsters are raced on both the natural and the widowhood system....and which is the best Robert?? . . . "I wouldn’t know" ...
The 1st  national winner, the "613/2007" was in love for the first time and was so motivated that she flew straight home to Tielt-Winge. It was the same with the 9th national winner, and the 14th national winner had a 3 day old youngster.
The week before Bourges the gang raced from Brilon. Even then they showed their rising form.
The result was : 1st, 2nd ,5th , 11th , 17th ,19th ,23rd, 24th , 25th, 27th , 35th, 36th , 45th , 51st , 52nd ,  67th, 75th , 77th , and 80th, with 19 prizes from the  24 entered against 275 pigeons. Provincially 16 from the 24 had a prize.
After Bourges the team had to race national Argenton, except the national winner who was somewhere else.
Up until the training the youngsters are allowed to eat as much as they like, and then barley and food which is easily digested is given in order to make them sharper and so look forward to flying. We noticed that this season Robert didn’t do to well in the speed races. The performances from further than Paris were much better.  Robert entered his pigeons for races in Germany and achieved some fantastic results. See for example Brilon, hardly a week before Bourges.
The breeders were paired on the 25th of November, but only the breeders and not the racers. These were allowed to brood for 4 days in April and were thus so trained.

The lofts

"Too many treatments lower the condition." says Robert. There is only a treatment given for tricho. and for the airways from Soludox.

For the last 3 or 4 years there has been no breeding with the racing pigeons. Because of this, they have only 12 to15 breeding couples. The racing team consists of 12 yearling hens and 4 old cocks. The cocks from the  raced widows  are not entered for races or are used as breeding cocks. About 70 youngsters are ringed.

Some achievements:
1st champion extreme middle distance youngsters "Sans Peur" Herent
5th champion extreme middle distance yearlings "Sans Peur" Herent
1st ace pigeon extreme middle distance youngsters "Sans Peur" Herent
2nd ace pigeon extreme middle distance youngsters"Sans Peur" Herent
5th  champion youngsters Brabantse Unie.

2nd National Vichy (Vaneycken X Vann Roy Frans)

La Souterraine 10 from the 12 nationally
Gueret 8 from the 8 nationally
Bourges 12 from the 22 Nationally

Since 2003, 7 X provincial classified ace pigeon.