Embregts-Theunis (Hoeven, NL) is off to a flying start

We reckon everyone has noticed the impressive start to the season of Embregts-Theunis, who excelled in almost every single race. Making headlines with his size of racing team would be any young fancier's dream.

In great form

It was obvious that the pigeons were in great form early in the season, and you can tell from their results so far that they will be able to hold on to their current form. Here is a look at their results in the rayon and at provincial level:

Quievrain 143 km. 1,713  p.              
17-19-24-26-27-30-34-36-39-41-54-72-80-86-8994-96 etc.(58/33)

Quievrain 143 km. 1,981 p.               
2-3-4-8-9-11-12-13-14-28-35-36-37-38-39-40-42-51-74-86-87-88-91-98-99 etc.(58/45)

Peronne 216 km. 20,806 p.                
17-19-20-51-54-55-56-81-129-181 etc.(58/51)

Peronne 216 km. 2,228 p.                  
1-2-3-10-11-12-13-14-17-24-25-26-30-34-36-41-42-59-60-67-69-85-90-92-94-98 etc.(58/51)

Peronne 216 km. 21,225 p.                
28-50-182-188-247-248 etc.(56/31)

Peronne 216 km. 2,255 p.                  
9-12-30-32-38-39-68-69-79 etc.(53/33)

Peronne 216 km. 6,866 p.                 
13-21-68-70-88-89-189-191 etc.(56/32)

Pont-St.-Maxence 289 km. 22,709 p. 
4-6-8-9-45-59-70-78-114-129 etc.(56/44)

Pont-St.-Maxence 289 km. 2,373 p.   
1-2-3-4-11-12-15-17-23-26-27-28-29-34-29-34-36-39-40-43-52-64-76-77-82-83-84-87 etc.(56/44)

Morlincourt 248 km. 5,020 p.
5-9-10-41-55-64-69-74-140-143 etc.(44/23) 

Melun-Andrezel 356 km. 19,405 p.  
30-40-69-75-87-89-111 etc.(55/35)

Melun-Andrezel 356 km. 6,357 p.     
11-16-27-34-36-45-118-126 etc.(55/33)

Issoudun 546 km. 7,219 p.               
7-41-81-178 etc.(18/12)

Issoudun 546 km.  837 p.
1-6-9-20-25-39-51-59-63-69-105-108 etc.(18/13)

Pont-St.-Maxence 289 km. 1,161 p.   
4-7-9-10-11-28-45-53-65-91-99-150 etc.(43/15)

Pont-St.-Maxence 289 km  3,464 p.   
20-36-47-52-57-129-198 etc. (43/14)

Peter Embrechts is straightforward: “We haven’t done anything special really. I think pigeons have to gain fitness by doing a lot of miles. We trained them three times, and then we basketed them for a 145km flight straight away. Last year we used a similar approach.” According to Pieter, it does not really matter if they are cocks or hens, they all come home with the same speed. He does not believe in showing the partners before basketing either. The pairs spend one night together, no matter the duration or the difficulty of the race.

Pigeons showing their early form

Team Embregts-Teunis breeds a new generation of very successful descendants every single season, as you can tell from the palmares of the following three birds:

NL17-3714984 Maximal Rocket

The pedigree of Maximal Rocket, ring number NL17-3714984 speaks volumes. Last year he won the title of Best Young Bird Sprint in The Netherlands (1st with 4 prizes) in the PIPA rankings 2017. This pigeon became the number one eye-catcher in The Netherlands, getting great results in races of between 60 and 299,99 km.

Price Race Province 2 Distance Number of birds Coeff
3 Quievrain Ray. 2 De Blauwe Doffer   142.678 8,257 0.036%
12 Peronne Brabant 2000 216.261 11,758 0.1021%
19 Morlincourt-Noyon Brabant 2000 248.253 15,027 0.1264%
16 Pont St Maxence Brabant 2000 289.097 11,447 0.1398%

Click here for the pedigree

NL17-3715060 Bingo

Top class bird Bingo has quite a pedigree as well.

Click here for the pedigree

NL17-3714981 Dragon Girl

Racing hen Dragon Girl put herself on the map as well.

Click here for the pedigree

Here is a look at the palmares of the three racing birds this year.

Ring number

Date Race Number of birds Price
NL17-3714984 7/apr Quievrain 5,249 59
  14/apr Quievrain 5,899 29
  21/apr Peronne 2,228 2
  5/may Pont St Maxence 22,709 4
  12/may Melun Andrezel 6,357 36
  19/may Morlincourt 5,020 10
  26/may Pont St Maxence 1,259 6
  26/may Pont St Maxence 4,053 49
  5/jun Pont St Maxence 7,279 2
NL17-3714060 7/apr Quievrain 5,249 73
  14/apr Quievrain 1,981 3
  21/apr Peronne 20,806 20
NL17- 3714981 7/apr Quievrain 5,249 55
  14/apr Quievrain 1,981 40
  21/apr Peronne 20,806 129
  5/may Pont St Maxence 22,709 59
  26/may Pont St Maxence 7,279 36

Peter now has about 8 racing birds in his collection that are about equally strong, while his pigeon collection is mainly focused around a few important breeders. His most prominent breeders in the past were Dragon Rocket and Witbuik, and their place has now been taken by their descendants Superrossi, Fast Rocket, Last Lady, Space Girl, and of course the Millennium-pair, which bred several talented racing birds in a short period of time.

Belief in allrounders

This team races in double widowhood with 28 pairs. The cocks have a one hour training flight every morning on weekdays, the hens are trained in the evening. The latter ones are trained with the flag, an approach that has given great results, says Peter. “I am a fancier who has competed in almost every single race in recent years, except for the overnight long distance. And that is because I believe in allrounders. We built some new lofts in 2007 and that is when I started to adopt this approach. One part of the team goes on to race the middle distance, the other part will be racing the one day long distance.”

Peter Theunis, a fancier who believes in allrounders

Lofts and diet

Peter increasingly suffering from pigeon dust over the years. That is why his lofts are built in such a way that they can be opened during the day, with sliding doors. The resulting space is protected with windbrek mesh, so as to try and keep the wind out.

Peter uses his own mixtures: the Champion Mix and NPO mix, in a 4:1 ratio. If a demanding race is coming up, he tends to increase the portion of NPO mix for his racing birds, which is slightly richer.

Darkening, lightening and the use of natural products

The racing birds were darkened up until the third week of April, which is just long enough to keep their feathers. We start to lighten them after the longest day, up until the final race. “I have not raced the natour for a couple of years now”, Peter explains.

Peter does not use any product to enhance their pigeons’ fitness. The goal is to keep the pigeons in excellent form using nothing but natural products. All pigeons get some Naturaline with extra garlic every other day. And Peter adds some Belgasol to their drinking water after a race as well.

The west

Peter concludes: “Our loft is located all the way to the west, which makes me hope for a northeasterly wind every time. A northeasterly or easterly wind is possible as well but it is a fact that the wind is often a deciding factor in a race. We have a westerly-oriented loft even in the Entente. I often check the weather forecast before the race but I still think my pigeons should be able to cope with anything."