Marcel & Gunter Vercammen (Vremde, BE) 1° Nat. Montluçon 22,672 yearlings and fastest of 40,104 pigeons

It was a narrow win with a margin of just over three seconds, but Marcel and Gunter Vercammen have finally won a national victory with yearlings from Montluçon. Their winning pigeon was actually the fastest of the 40,104 competing pigeons!

It was Spirit who finished the 554.486km in 13 hrs 57 mins 16 secs at a speed of 1470.70 m/min, winning the national of Montluçon. Spirit narrowly beat the team of Van Hove-Uytterhoeven from Putte, whose ace pigeon reached a speed of 1470.49 m/min, but they had to be satisfied with a second place. Marcel and Gunter have also won the fourth place; Rene and Patrick Vervloesem managed to finish third national.

Spirit triumphant

Marcel & Gunter Vercammen entered the 2012 season with 14 widowers (cocks) and 12 racing hens. Both of them are raced in classic widowhood with the partners staying at home. The cocks usually race in the middle distance races of Union Antwerp whereas the hens fly the classic races of the longer middle distance up to light long distance. Their winning pigeon, Spirit, is a youngster from the third round of 2011. As a youngster she was darkened to make her keep her feathers a bit longer, but she did not race any further than Quiévrain, because she performed very well from there. So Marcel & Gunter only let her race that distance, which made her a bit inexperienced. But in 2012 she showed some nice performances from Noyon and Melun, but it was a difficult decision whether to enter her for Bourges or not. The two fanciers from Vremde believed a provincial classic would suit her better, to prepare her for the national races later on. Eventually they did enter her for Bourges but she did not perform very well. She only arrived in Fremde the next morning, but she looked very fit. After a week’s rest she raced the provincial Chateauroux and she had learned her lesson: she took a 7th provincial prize. A week later she was basketed for Montluçon and we already know the rest of the story: she took a national win!


-SPIRIT   BE11-6044135

29/04 Noyon               767 YL 44
12/05 Melun             2.131 YL 77
09/06 Chateauroux Prov  2.478 YL 7
17/06 Montlucon   Nat  22.672 YL 1

Spirit was also the fastest of 40,104 pigeons. In her pedigree we find the old stock of the pigeon family of Marcel & Gunter Vercammen with the successful lines of Rapido, De kleine and Tornado, crossed with some reinforcements. She stems from an inbred of Den 58 (a son of the Gommaire 706/03 line Kletskop x Geschift 42) from a coupling of Grandchild of Den 58 x Daughter of Den 58.

Sire: Dicky BE09-6249893

which was immediately placed in the breeding loft as a son of super hen Blue Ace (Ring BE08-6143915), which has had the following successes:

In 2009: 
Noyon             521 p. 7
Etampes         2,843 p. 16
Etampes         2,376 p. 12
Bourges Prov    4,376 p. 2
        N.Zone 10,535 p. 11
        Nat    22,499 p. 67
Bourges Prov    3,293 p. 1
        Nat    16,535 p. 11
In 2008:
1st Ace pigeon middle distance youngsters
Marne           1,319 p. 2
Pithiviers        875 p. 3
Melun           1,456 p. 13
Marne           2,172 p. 14
Pithiviers      1,728 p. 23

This Blue Ace is a daughter of Tornado 502/05 (which is a daughter of Rapido) x Maxima (a daughter of Kleine). On the father’s side Dicky is a grandson of Den 58.

Dam: Laat 891 BE09-6249891, a full sister of Ella, a top hen with a 4th Dourdan against 1,482 pigeons, 7th Dourdan against 1,036 pigeons, 19th Dourdan against 1,835 pigeons. She is a daughter of top-class breeder Den 58 658/04 x Gastona 064/08, which is a direct Gaston Van De Wouwer (a granddaughter of super breeder Kaasboer).

For the basis of their breeding stock they used pigeons from Rene Verdonck (which originally come from Jos Van Den Bosch), Karel Meulemans, Flor Van Loock (a son of Orleans and a daughter of Super Vaal), Frans Van Beirendonck (purchase of Kleine 459/98, which is a grandson of Bosduif, a 3rd national ace pigeon), Van Hove-Uytterhoeven (lines of Golden Boy and via the purchase of Cupidoke, a 17th national Argenton), Gaston Van de Wouwer (Kaasboer line)…  From these purchases the stock couples Zilveren 830/93 x Schoon Genopt 726/93 and Kleine Cupido 037/90 x Chana 257/95 were composed! If you would like to know more about the entire stock of this loft you can re-read the article that we wrote after their provincial win from Bourges in 2009.


The hens seize power

It appears that the hens are very successful in the lofts of Marcel & Gunter Vercammen, a trend we have also noticed in other longer middle distance lofts! Their hens were paired in the middle of January and they raised a large round of youngsters. At the beginning of April they were paired again and they could breed for about five days, in which period the training started for them. Usually they fly two times a grand middle distance race in a row after which they have a week to recover, only racing from Quiévrain. Not as a training race but to maintain the ritual with the hen, says Marcel. Otherwise the hens would pair with each other, which we want to avoid at all costs! Another possibility is to race three flights (500-600km) in a row, but only in favourable weather conditions. Marcel always has a few pigeons at home as substitutes for the next week.

Usually they also race from Argenton and Limoges (as yearlings) before being paired in two different teams with two weeks in between. The aim is to have a racing team with a perfect nest position for the national races later in the season, from Bourges II to Gueret. As long as they are in widowhood the cocks get to see their hen for about half an hour just before they have to leave for basketing. When they arrive home they can usually see each other all evening, sometimes even until the next morning after a hard training race. At the beginning of the week they do not train very hard, but when they approach the day of basketing and the pigeons tend to fly for about 15 to 20 minutes after their release, Marcel knows that they are in a good shape. Marcel thinks a pigeon that flies up to 500km and more a week does not need the training of an hour or an hour and a half. When the pigeons fly off in the days before basketing, Marcel knows that everything will be fine!

For the feed Marcel and Gunter make use of Vanrobaeys mixtures. To enhance their pigeons’ form they also use the Röhnfriend products, which consist of electrolytes after a race in the form of Avipharm, vitamins with Gervit-W and finally RO-200 as a fitness boost. Before the season the pigeons receive a treatment for tricho for five days and then a soludox treatment for a week. About two weeks ago Marcel took his pigeons to the vet for a check-up, but everything seemed fine. The pigeons looked very good and were very fit, which led to their national victory in Montluçon.

Their lofts house about twenty breeding couples that raise about 100 to 120 youngsters. This is necessary because there are a few electricity wires close to the loft, killing a number of pigeons every year, says Marcel. At the moment they have about 80 youngsters in the loft, divided into two groups and motivated by using the sliding nestbox doors. The first group is darkened until May and their main goals are the races up to and including the national from Bourges at the end of July. Then it is time for the second group to come into action; this group is darkened until the middle of June and then races the other national races. The first group is already partly trained by then. The losses were kept to a minimum as 45 of the initial 48 youngsters are still there. This Sunday they raced their first Noyon, winning the first prize already. This victory heralded their national win later that day.

It is clear that Marcel and Gunter Vercammen do not race a large number of pigeons; they rather opt for a few very talented ones that were selected at the national classics. They were close to victory a few times with for instance a 1st and a 2nd provincial Bourges etc. But this time they finally grabbed the national win from Montluçon. This calls for a celebration!

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