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Tom & Marnik Van Gaver (Moortsele, BE) end their 2018 season with a balance above their expectations

With a national victory on Brive and the best Belgian long distance yearling with 5 prizes (PIPA Rankings), Tom Van Gaver & his father Marnik just passed their first big annual test with a brilliant note. However, it was not a foregone conclusion. Let's go back to an unforgettable year for this combination of the Gent area.


Marnik & Tom Van Gaver

With about fifty yearling cocks forming their racing team in 2018 (most of them being unexperimented), they really had no clue about what to expect in Moortsele. Tom & Marnik were facing two choices: to race them thoroughly in total agreement with the philosophy they adopted over the last few years (with the risks that it can bring) or to prepare the future calmly, allowing the pigeons to gain enough experience to face the coming seasons.

As Tom likes to play, they chose for the first solution. The goal was to test them on the 5 main long distance races reserved to the yearlings (Brive, Limoges, Jarnac, Tulle & Angoulême) to have a better idea about what the pigeons were made of. The pigeons were prepared in this optic and were basketted 7 times on a great middle distance race to have enough kilometers in the wings. Then the serious things could start. We directly propose you the results booked on these five national races:

Results won on the 5 national long distance for yearlings:

23/06 Brive (665 km)  
Club 126 yls: 1-2-3-4-5-7-9-10-11-13-16-17-…
National 4.384 yls: 1-11-21-42-45-68-96-164-165-173-245-253-… (22/35)

07/07 Limoges (631 km) 
Club 267 yls: 1-3-6-8-11-14-21-25-… (13/26)
National 7.236 yls: 26-38-209-237-283-395-486-555-… (9/26)

15/07 Jarnac (650 km) 
Club 126 yls: 1-2-4-5-6-8-9-21-22-33-38-40-42-… (13/18)
National 4.940 yls: 87-96-135-139-140-189-232-… (13/18

29/07 Tulle (620 km) 
Club 263 yls: 2-3-5-8-13-21-22-23-37-50-58-60-… (17/22)
National 5.326 yls: 65-86-149-210-286-414-415-454-… (15/22)

04/08 Angoulême (660 km) 
Club 89 yls: 2-3-4-5-6-7-12-14-17-…(12/18)
National 5.030 yls: 29-31-33-81-132-158-356-488-… (10/18)

In the KBDB provincial championships of their province, Tom & Marnik also made a strong impression. You've got to know that the East Flanders province has the biggest amount of fanciers with more or less 5.000 members, which made it the biggest pigeon province of the belgian kingdom. While they only had a team formed of unexperimented yearlings and their young birds, father & son were really strong:

1. Inter-provincial champion youngsters FVOV - OVV 2018
2. Prov. Ace KBDB East Flanders Long Distance OLD&YL 2018 (1. best YL)
2. Prov. Champ. KBDB East Flanders Middle Long Distance YB 2018
3. Overall champion KBDB East Flanders 2018
4. Prov. Ace KBDB  East Flanders Middle Long Distance YB 2018
9. Prov. Champ. KBDB East Flanders Long Distance OLD&YL 2018

Raf takes the national victory on Brive

If the first results won on the training flights were encouraging, everything suddenly accelerated at the end of the month of June. In fact, on the first national long distance flight for the yearlings (the first of the five targets), Tom & his father directly won the national victory against 4.384 yearlings. Their pigeon also booked the 5th highest speed from the 13.690 pigeons in the race (old pigeons + yearlings). This victory has been won by 'Raf', a pigeon from the late Raf Den Haese who became really close to Tom. 'Raf' was also the favourite pigeon of Tom because his behaviour in the loft was really special and this attracted his attention. For Tom, it was also the best option to pay a tribute to his deceased friend. But this victory also gave them enough confidence to finish their season in an astonishing way.

- 'Raf' (BE17-4163570)

1.   Brive nat   -  4.384 p. '18
75.  Blois prov  -  2.480 p. '18
772. Bourges nat - 19.133 p. '18
...

Click here to check the pedigree of 'Raf'.

On that same national race of Brive, the rest of the team did a great job to get a global top performance:

23/06 Brive (665 km)  
Club 126 yls: 1-2-3-4-5-7-9-10-11-13-16-17-…
National 4.384 yls: 1-11-21-42-45-68-96-164-165-173-245-253-… (22/35)

Click here to check the report that we published right after the 1st national Brive.

- 'Charlie': Best Belgian long distance yearling with 5 prizes (PIPA Ranking)

Before the basketting for the last long distance flight of the calendar, Angoulême, Tom & Marnik had several yearlings in their team who won 4 prizes on 4 baskettings. But the hardest was going to happen: nobody knew it at the time but the race from Angoulême would be particularly tough as it was organised during the hottest weekend of the year. Father & son had 18 yearlings in the race and they classified 4 of them into the national 100 against 5.030 pigeons. Five of their pigeons won their fifth prize on this race. Among them, there is 'Charlie' who became the 1st Best Belgian Long Distance Yearling with 5 prizes (PIPA Ranking).

- 'Charlie' (BE17-4077403)

1. Best Long Distance Yearling from Belgium with 5 prizes (PIPA Ranking)
1. Châteauroux reg -   320 p. '18
   52. Provincial  - 4.708 p.
38. Limoges II nat - 7.236 p. '18
42. Brive national - 4.384 p. '18
64. Tulle national - 5.323 p. '18
81. Angoulême nat  - 5.030 p. '18
135. Jarnac nat    - 4.940 p. '18
...

'Charlie' is a pigeon bred by Sam Bostoen from Adegem.
Click here to check the pedigree of 'Charlie'.

We should underline the fact that only 16 yearlings in Belgium successfuly won 5 prizes on the long distance national flights. Among these sixteen yearlings, we can find 5 pigeons from Tom & Marnik Van Gaver with the following ranking: 1-7-11-13-15 Best long distance Yearlings with 5 prizes (PIPA Ranking).

Some other pigeons from the 2017 generation we will put in the spotlights winning their 5 prizes on the long distance flights with a very nice 100% at the end.

- 'Ricky 77' (BE17-4156077)

7. Best Long Distance Yearling from Belgium with 5 prizes (PIPA Ranking)
1. Limoges II reg    -   267 p. '18
   9. Provincial     - 2.138 p.
   26. National      - 7.236 p.
1. Blois regional    -   170 p. '18
   43. Provincial    - 2.480 p.
3. Tulle regional    -   263 p. '18
   23. Provincial    -   923 p.
   86. National      - 5.323 p.
173.Brive national   - 4.384 p. '18
21. Noyon regional   -   567 p. '18
25. Vierzon regional -   282 p. '18
29. Bourges regional -   350 p. '18
...

Click here to check the pedigree of 'Ricky 077'.

- 'Blue Finn' (BE17-4077398)

11. Best Long Distance Yearling from Belgium with 5 prizes (PIPA Ranking)
10. Angoulême prov  -  1.374 p. '18
   31. National     -  5.030 p.
23. Jarnac prov     -    637 p. '18
   139. National    -  4.940 p.
8. Blois regional   -    170 p. '18
9. Vierzon regional -    282 p. '18
   70. Provincial   -  3.854 p.
16. Châteauroux reg -    320 p. '18
20. Bourges reg     -    350 p. '18
   994. National    - 19.133 p.
454. Tulle national -  5.323 p. '18
555. Limoges II nat -  7.236 p. '18
895. Brive national -  4.384 p. '18
...

Click here to check the pedigree of 'Blue Finn'.

The young generation under the spotlights

A new start obviously implies new hopes for the future and it is quite logical that all eyes are focussed on the young generation as the future is mainly based on them. It is then very important to test the pigeons you bred as you will have the possibility to built your future racing team but also (and especially) to select the pigeons housed in your breeding loft. When it's time to test the pigeons, you can trust Tom. At his place, everything must fly on its own way, which is intensively. The pigeons born in 2018 were toroughly tested and they were entered to a dozain of races, including some national races.

17/06 Noyon (165 km) Local 604 YBs:
2-3-6-18-27-28-31-31-33-49-50-69-70-74-75-78-80-… (39/53)
21/07 Blois (415 km) I-Prov. 1.635 YBs:
5-8-16-17-27-35-48-56-83-84-85-105-123-130-… (25/40)
28/07 Orléans (366 km) I-Prov. 1.470 YBs:
5-6-11-13-14-15-34-45-49-57-117-119-120-.. (25/42)
18/08 Chateauroux (485 km) (Z.)Nat. 5.438 YBs:
9-21-62-64-106-166-218-220-325-416-586-… (22/38)
25/08 Issoudun (466 km) Club 154 YBs:
1-2-3-5-6-8-10-11-15-16-29-35-39-44-52 (15/26)
01/09 Argenton (514 km) (Z.)Nat. 6.398 YBs:
39-108-147-225-237-338-398-465-484-509-555-…(25/40)
08/09 Blois (415 km) I-Prov. 3.441 YBs:
65-86-100-130-159-230-240-242-305-349-459-488-514-652-657-672-673-784-859-... (19/37)

Several of them quickly came to the fore and Tom & Marnik have great confidence in them. Here they are:

- 'Dark Davy 308' (BE18-4058308)

4. Provincial Ace Pigeon Middle Distance YBs KBDB
3.  Châteauroux  -   396 p.
    9. Nat. Zone - 5.438 p.
2.  Issoudun reg -   154 p.
6.  Noyon reg    -   603 p.
17. Orléans Prov - 1.635 p.
45. Orléans Prov - 1.470 p.
...

This pigeon was bred by Davy Neyrinck
Click here to check his pedigree.

- 'Son Magic Bart 812' (BE18-4070812)

2. Bourges reg  -   687 p.
   9. Nat. Zone - 5.694 p.
3. Blois reg    -   252 p.
225. Nat. Zone  - 6.398 p.
...

His nestsister won ao. 15. Orléans provincial 1.470 p. & 39. Argenton national zone 6.398 p.

Click here to check his pedigree.

'Ricky' & 'Finn'

When he took the decision to race as a team with his father, Tom knew that he would have to start this new adventure directly with the best pigeons available, if possible with pigeons that already proved their worth, in the breeding loft or in the racing team.
Now in the breeding loft, these two pigeons already delivered their first top breeding references and the future looks bright with their input.
They are of course the current leading figures of this racing team anno 2019!

9. National Ace Pigeon GMD Yl KBDB 2014
1. Guéret provincial   -  2.027 p. '14
   6. National         -  9.815 p.
8. Bourges I nat zone  -  4.055 p. '14
28. Limoges I national - 15.009 p. '15
32. Limoges I national - 14.937 p. '17
50. Jarnac national    -  4.167 p. '16
88. Jarnac national    -  3.879 p. '15
...

Click here to check the pedigree of 'Ricky'.

1.  Tulle national zone - 2.761 p. '16
    9. National         - 7.322 p.
7.  Vierzon provincial  - 7.057 p. '17
12. La Souterraine zone - 2.545 p. '16
...

Click here to check the pedigree of 'Finn'.

In conclusion

After reading this report, you can conclude that nothing was gained in advance but that through hard work and obstinacy, the magic happened directly. Tom & Marnik are on the right track to regain the performance level that allowed them to be considered as a high valued Belgian loft that added their name to ao. 1st National Champion Long Distance KBDB in 2016.