Reginald Van Eylen and Jules Imbrechts (Boortmeerbeek, BE) win their second national victory in Argenton II 1,759 old birds

They had already won a national first prize from Tulle against 5,124 old birds in 2011, and 2015 sees them winning their second national first prize, this time from Argenton against 1,759 old birds. It was their first of two nominated pigeons that took an unforgettable win.

Reginald Van Eylen and his wife Rina


Argenton II has become one of those races any fancier is looking forward to. Weather conditions were great, slightly overcast and a slight westerly headwind, creating a level playing field. The strongest pigeons usually tend to stand out after about 515km or approximately 7 hours of racing. The Eylen-Imbrechts partnership had only basketed two pigeons and yet they managed to claim the win. Their winning pigeon was the talented Zoon Gilberreke (BE11-2070854), who kept his fanciers in suspense. "He always does that", said Reginald. "He will always spend a few minutes on the rooftop before actually entering the loft, even though he has no reason to do so. All the other pigeons head straight for the landing board when they arrive home."

Zoon Gilberreke likes to keep his fanciers in suspense

Like father, like son

"Like father, like son"; "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". This is a way of saying that a son has the same (good or bad) characteristics of his father. Well, the sire of Zoon Gilberreke was quite a special pigeon - we wonder if Philippe Gilbert has won as many races in his career as a cyclist. Gilberreke (BE10-2024663) has won at least five first prizes, and against a much larger pack than an average cycling peloton. In addition, he has won a large number of top 5 prizes. This shows that Zoon Gilberreke has great origins indeed. His tendency to not enter the loft right away might come from his grandfather, called Malterie (BE06-2156005). He was given this name because he had landed in a nearby malt house (300m away) twice as a young bird, instead of flying home. Reginald still decided to keep him, simply because he was a nephew of his national winner from Tulle.

When is the next race?

He is related to the national winner from Tulle on his mother's side as well, through his grandmother BE09-2031452. His grandfather on his mother's side is Louis De Schoone (BE01-2218231), a direct Louis De Leus (Boortmeerbeek, BE). "When we made the transition from sprint to shorter middle distance in 2000, the pigeons of our neighbour Louis De Leus would return home 15 minutes before we saw our first racing bird land." This explains why the partnership looked for reinforcements in the loft of De Leus. Click here for the full pedigree of Gilberreke. Gilberreke has quite an impressive list of prizes but his son proves equally talented. We take a look at his son's most important prizes:

Momignies: 6th/148
Angerville: 2nd/135
Quievrain: 6th/257
Angerville: 3rd/219
Blois: 33rd/1,181
Souppes: 17th/1,737
Soissons: 20th/688
Montargis: 8th/410
Bourges: 17th/5,691
La Souterraine 19th/234

Click here for part 1 of the palmares of Son Gilberreke, part 2 can be found here.

The wing of the national winner

A solid career

They used to be quite competitive as sprint fanciers and they quickly managed to become a renowned shorter middle distance loft as well, after what proved to be a somewhat difficult start. Only two years after their transition to the longer distance, they were able to take a national first prize in the race from Tulle. In 2015 they added a second national victory to their prizes, this time in the race from Argenton. "We had to wait until the race from Libourne to celebrate our season's first victory", said Reginald. But as you see, a season can still turn out great with just a bit of luck. The fanciers from Boortmeerbook have experienced this as well. Congratulations.


Proficiat met jullie mooie overwinning uit Argenton.
Francis en Bart Verdeyen

Regi en Jules,

Proficiat met deze mooie overwinning.
Het is jullie van harte gegund.

Ivo Persoons

Dikke proficiat mannen

Jullie hebben het echt verdiend


Jazeker, nen dikke proficiat voor deze trouwe sans peurders

een extra beloning voor de regelmatige topresultaten de laatste jaren !