Vandenheede Freddy, "A name that sounds superb…"


Freddy VANDENHEEDE, Zingem (BE)


The name VANDENHEEDE has been a synonymous with top achievements in pigeon racing for more than 30 years. Late father René was at the very top during his whole career. Freddy took over in the early nineties and simply extended the success story of his father’s. He achieved incredible results, several provincial victories and national heights. The colony of Freddy VANDENHEEDE was honoured in 2002 with the title ‘1st General Provincial Champion KBDB East-Flanders’ and in 2003, Freddy obtained the closest place of honour as ‘2nd General Provincial Champion KBDB’ while brother Jacques was honoured in 2004 with the title ‘1st General Provincial Champion KBDB East-Flanders’; the titles sure were kept in the family! Let it be clear to everyone that the pigeons of Vandenheede have already written history this millennium and they clearly have dominated the Long Middle Distance and Distance races in East-Flanders, by the way the largest pigeon region in our country.

Iron origins
Freddy Vandenheede took over the helm of the colony after the death of his father back in 1994. Together with his mother, Freddy raced with the parental lofts for 2 seasons in the name of Mrs René Vandenheede.
Freddy took a sabbatical year in 1996 because he was building a new house with lofts and he had no time left for pigeon racing. As from 1997 he started racing with the new lofts in his own name and the competition has found that to its cost. The level of achievement of Freddy’s pigeons has been so high year after year and also often pretty destructive that some clubs adjusted their racing extent, or they even kindly requested Freddy to start racing elsewhere. The VANDENHEEDE pigeons were simply one size bigger or stronger than the ones from the competition. The sportive strength of these miraculous super pigeons occasionally made the competition gasp for breath.
These are pigeons with an extraordinary ability to perform and an undiminished drive. The foundation of these permanent successes has its origins in the inimitable breeding power ! This is an own strain of pigeons that has been formed over the years with the absolute ancestor ‘DE ZIEKEN’ 886/64 which was a pigeon that had been purchased at Mencke-Haelteman in Zandbergen and descended from the super couple ‘De KORTEN’ x ‘PAULA’ (which is a couple with a lot of blood of Santens from Oudenaarde running through its veins). ‘De ZIEKEN’ was the father of a whole series of top pigeons (racers as well as breeders), just think about ‘de VAN LOOY 209/66’, ‘DEN 100.000’ 309/76… etc. But it was especially ‘de JONGE ZIEKEN’ 4654895/79 who took over from his father and founded the present generation of super pigeons. He is the father of (among others):
- ‘het KRIJT’ 810/88 who formed one of the ‘top couples’ together with ‘ANTIGOON’
- ‘de KILIMANJARO’ 203/87 who formed another main couple of the present colony together with ‘EXPRESSO’
- ‘ARUBA’ 777/88 x ‘IGGY’ who were the parents of, amongst others, ‘PATROON’ (2nd Provincial Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance) who, for his part, was the father of ‘MILLO’ (1st National Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB, Eddy Leutenez)
This is the main line of pigeons from which nearly all the present top breeders and top racers are descending. They form the backbone of the colony together with some pigeons from De Rauw-Sablon, Lebbeke (1st National Champion KBDB Long Distance and 2nd National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2001), pigeons from Freddy’s brother Jacques Vandenheede, Dirk Nachtergaele-Zingem, Lucien Velghe-Zingem, Marnix Dhondt-Semmerzake, Dirk Vindevogel-Liedekerke and De Schepper-De Temmerman-Merelbeke etc… which were all obtained to strengthen the colony. This combination of fresh blood and the original iron strain of pigeons, breeds several excellent pigeons every year.

The Race
The old racing hens (about 35) are coupled by the end of November, early December and raise a couple of youngsters. They are separated on time to prevent the hens from laying new eggs. They are re-coupled early April and then the training races are started. The great difficulty with hens on widowhood is to avoid the pairing amongst themselves. According to Freddy this is a bit typical of the species. Hens that pair amongst themselves are immediately removed from the racing team and are put between the youngsters where they can nest to one’s heart content.
Freddy has no separate loft (like some kind of resting loft) where the pigeons can stay during the day; they simply live in the loft where they are locked up in their nest box. The hens are basketted nearly every week for a race of about 500 km and they always get to see their cock before they leave. They train 2 times a day and when the day of basketting is coming closer, they train for about one hour. According to Freddy, this is something one should be attentive to, because once the pigeons arrive from a training race they are immediately called. When the pigeons return from a race they receive a light mixture (super diet Versele Laga), nutrition is being built up gradually and eventually they are fed a racing mixture.
The youngsters are allowed to run around and they are free to nest as desired. That means that they can be basketted in ideal nest conditions for the national races for youngsters, which is the preferred field of activity of the Vandenheede team. They are darkened as from early March until about 5 weeks prior to Bourges! Due to altered professional activities (as a result of a promotion) Freddy had to put a lot of time and effort into his job during the season of 2004 so there was not much time left to spend on taking care of the pigeons. But they did not seem to care a lot though, please take look at their top achievements in 2004:


Bourges 324 pigeons 1,8,10,12,… (10/13)
Chateauroux 405 pigeons 17,19,23,26,… (7/9)
Chateauroux 561 pigeons 1,6,… (5/15)

Dourdan 549 pigeons 1,2,4,6,7,10,11,… (34/47)
Chateauroux 744 pigeons 8,11,18,25,40,46,… (19/29)
Argenton 710 pigeons 1,29,44,… (15/20)
Bourges 279 pigeons 5,9,10,12,14,27,… (9/14)

Dourdan 313 pigeons 1,2,4,5,6,8,9,11,14,16,18, 20,21,22,23,… (44/61)
Bourges (national) 4931 pigeons 3,29,31,44,50,54,59,74, (35/46)

Dourdan 804 pigeons 1,3,4,10,11,12,20,24,25, 28,31,37,39,… (50/91)
Dourdan 754 pigeons 3,4,5,6,7,8,13,14,15,16, 25,26,27,… (46/105)
Dourdan 658 pigeons 1,4,7,10,11,12,13,14,19, 20,… (52/128)
Blois 515 pigeons 1,5,11,14,15,28,31,37, 38,… (16/32)
Vierzon 3298 pigeons 4,8,101,643 (4/4)
Bourges 1247 pigeons 11,18,19,20,24,38,45,46, 47,59,62,… (40/79)
Blois 513 pigeons 4,5,10,15,26,27,33,41,… (21/38)
Dourdan 681 pigeons 1,3,4,5,6,8,9,11,17,21,22, 33,42,… (63/128)
Dourdan 371 pigeons 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10,11,12,13, 14,15,17,18,19,20,21,22, 24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31, 32,… (81/125)
Vichy 3848 pigeons 7,8,9,16,25,26,44,56,129, 130,… (37/58)

If you are a little bit acquainted with present pigeon sport, you will know that top results are solely possible if you possess true top pigeons, let’s say super pigeons, which are capable of ending at the top almost every week. So it is clear that the lofts of Freddy Vandenheede in the ‘Heulestraat’ are housing several real top-class pigeons. Just think of the marvelous ‘NODEESHA’ 292/02 who obtained the title of 1st Provincial Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB in 2003…and what about ‘JOEKSEL’ 680/00, winner of the 1st National Bourges in 2001, the top-class ‘TOB’ 257/01 who won the 2nd National Argenton or ‘WADOU’ 759/98, the 5th Olympiads pigeon South-Africa ‘Middle Distance KBDB’ in 2001 and of course, last but not least, the phenomenal top hen ‘FORTANINA’ 206/01 who was able to gather a true fortune of prizes, like her name suggests.
The powerful lists of achievements of these pigeons (cfr. pictures) speak for themselves. These are the pigeons that allowed Freddy to hang on at the absolute top of ‘long middle distance’ with old pigeons and youngsters and at the top of the ‘nationals’ with youngsters who have now become the ‘flag-bearers’ of the loft for the future.
By the way, these birds are not only at the basis of many provincial and national victories at the lofts of Freddy Vandenheede, they have also achieved excellent results at other lofts (see separate frame). A list that is continuously expanding and which is the living proof of the fact that the present generation of Freddy Vandenheede-pigeons is still part of the very top in Belgium… A tale that has been lasting for many years, that persists and of which the last chapter is yet to be written.

Important references at other lofts
94-4351318 ( son ‘Antigoon’ 80-4733093 x ‘Het Krijt’ 88-4426810 ) is the father of the 1st national La Souterraine 1996 ( 4040306/96 ), De schepper - De Temmerman - Merelbeke .
95-4057972 ( daughter ‘Antigoon’ 80-4733093 x ‘Het Krijt’ 88-4426810 ) is the grandmother of the 1st national Narbonne 2000 ( 4390272/99 ) 6927 yearlings, Marc De Cock Temse.
Pierre Mathijs - Achel achieved the title of 2nd national champion K.B.D.B. sprint in 1999 with 90 % descendants of Vandenheede Freddy - Zingem .
90- 4305466 ( son ‘Iggy’ 88-4013417 x ‘Aruba’ 88-4622777 ) is the father of ‘Millo’ who was the 1st national ace pigeon middle distance K.B.D.B. 1997 ( 4427015/96 ), Eddy Leutenez Semmerzake
99-4393519 ( grandson ‘Antigoon’ 80-4733093 x ‘Het Krijt’ 88-4426810 ) was co-winner of the championship long distance K.B.D.B 2001, De Rauw - Sablon.
01- 4352565 ( great-grandson ‘Zieken’ 64-4083886 x ‘Het Vuilke’ 69-4020849 ) won the 1st national La Souterraine 2001 out of 17 315 pigeons, Vandenheede
Jacques - Zingem
99-4065772 ( great-grandson ‘Kilimanjaro’ 87- 4021203 x ‘Expresso’ 89 - 4005443 ) won the 1st national Bourges 1999 out of 44 185 pigeons, Jacques Vandenheede - Zingem
The loft of Van Der Schans in Hamont-Achel has won the national championship long distance youngsters K.B.D.B. 2004 and became 1st provincial champion long distance youngsters K.B.D.B. 2004 partly thanks to the pigeons that descended from the super couple ‘Antigoon X het Krijt’.