It was via his brother-in-law that Victor made a comeback in pigeon racing after a long break. Initially he supported his brother-in-law during his illness. When he passed away Victor took care of the pigeons in his brother-in-law’s loft for a couple of years. He has been keeping his own pigeons in a loft near his house for a few years now. He was soon assisted by his grandson Jens, who does not only take care of administration. His grandfather Victor says he is a true pigeon fancier. “I think he knows a lot more than me. If there is no work around my loft he would go to the club to offer a helping hand.” The 18 year old Jens is not only fond of pigeons, he is also a committed young athlete. He has been Belgian Champion in the youth series several times as a shot putter. It appears he has a winning personality, which could explain their national win from Argenton against 22,428 pigeons.
Victor met de nationale winnares
The winning hen is Het Witgrijs (6101600/12), a direct descendant of the De Goede Zwarte (6203463/01), which Victor considers to be a good racer and an excellent breeder. You cannot underestimate his breeding qualities. Two sisters of Het Witgrijs, the 921 and the 922, turned Victor and Jens into the Long Distance Champions Yearlings of the prestigious Antwerp Long Distance Club.:
The 921 Bourges: loc.: 4/108; nat.: 427/16,895 Chateauroux: loc.: 1/56; prov.: 8/2,139 Montluçon: loc.: 21/102; prov.: 368/3,284 Montluçon: loc.: 1/91; prov.: 29/2,222 Blois: loc.: 1/21; prov.:27/505 La Souterraine: loc.: 3/20; nat.: 204/4,699 Gueret: loc.: 2/28; nat.: 87/3,415 The 922 Vierzon: loc.: 1/52; semi-nat.: 72/3,585 Bourges: loc.: 1/108; nat.: 241/16,859 Montluçon: loc.: 4/91; prov.: 125/2,222 Limoges: loc.: 3/65; nat. 625/17,735 Argenton: loc.:3/42; nat. 253/7,046 La Souterraine: loc.: 2/20; nat 145/4,699 Gueret: loc.: 1/28; nat.: 15/3,415
The eye of the winning hen
The sire of Het Witgrijs is a direct Geert Lambrechts (Hallaar, BE), which won the title of 4th National Champion KBDB Long Distance Young Birds in 2012. This illustrates the old truth that good quality pigeons are bred from good quality pigeons.
A small team
Victor and Jens are among those national winners that are successful with a relatively small group of pigeons. Their family consists of 12 breeding pairs but Victor admits this is fairly tight if you are planning to race the extreme middle distance and the short distance. He has a team of 15 hens and 12 cocks that are basketed for the races. They all have a partner that stays in the loft so they are not raced on total widowhood. They have already won a number of championships in 2012 despite the relatively small number of pigeons:
Long Distance Club Antwerp: 1st Champion Yearlings 1 + 2 Overall Champion Middle Distance 2000 short distance: 1st Champion Old Birds 1st Champion Yearlings 1st Champion Young Birds 1st Overall Champion
The lofts in Beerzel
We reckon Jens will think twice before going on holiday in the middle of the racing season again. A national victory is something that does not happen every day. Again, a national victory is something many of us can only dream of.