Vandevoorde-Verlinden win thé young pigeon classic of Bourges against 26.732 young pigeons (2006)

Vandevoorde-Verlinden Baaigem (BE)

The Team "Vandevoorde-Verlinden” together with Thomas Gyselbrecht

Pigeon sport really runs in the family in Baaigem: father, mother, son and brother-in-law form the team of Vandevoorde-Verlinden since 1989. Officially, the team consists of Kurt Verlinden and his brother-in-law Dirk Vandevoorde but in actual practice dad and mom Vandevoorde are part of this team just as much. The tasks are very well shared: dad cleans out the boxes, mom is in charge of feeding the pigeons and taking them out. The two brothers-in-law are mainly occupied with breeding and training of the young pigeons. To train the young birds, they both take 2 weeks off at the end of May. This 2-weeks-leave is indeed necessary if you train young pigeons like Kurt and Dirk do. They don’t want their young pigeons to have contact with the young birds from other lofts so they decided to take their pigeons away for about 15 times. They also make sure to release their pigeons together with clubs located in their neighbourhood so that the birds learn to break free from the mass at an early age. They are not taken away with the club until they can fly approximately 150 km.

The winner

‘ Dennis’, winner of the 1st national Bourges young pigeons, was put into the basket for Bourges as 1st nominated (out of 30). They took several factors into account before they decided to basket him first. Firstly: he won an early prize twice in the last 3 races (all Dourdan): the 16th – 417 p. and 24th – 465 p.. But there were also many other young pigeons that were remarked during the preparation races. They took the final decision after observing the racing loft. ‘Dennis’ was thé big boss of that loft. There are about 10 other pigeons in that same loft but he wouldn’t allow any loft mate near the right side of the loft which was the side he considered to be his as well as about 4 boxes and some shelves. An additional fact is that this bird simply is an exceptionally beautiful pigeon of medium, maybe small, size but extremely well-muscled.

Pedigree "Dennis" : Click here

Tips from an expert

Kurt and Dirk got in touch with a great master, Jef Van Winkel, last year. They obtained some pigeons and got acquainted. Jef is known as someone who shares his knowledge and experience with other fanciers and he did so with Kurt and Dirk. He gave them the tip to prepare the pigeons differently for important races as far as feed is concerned. Previously, Kurt and Dirk barely attached importance to increasing the feed of the pigeons. In the last 2 weeks before a race they used to give the birds the typical young pigeons mixture. But this year, they decided to spend some more attention to this factor and they gave the youngsters for instance some extra cribbs maize and peanuts. This year as well they fed the birds 3 times a day and the feed box was taken away after approximately 20 minutes: “That way, they continue eating”, says Dirk. In the past, they left the feed box in the loft and the birds were fed only twice a day, which is an important difference.
Jef also took a look at the lofts in Baaigem and provided Kurt and Dirk with some observations which immediately answered some of their questions. They had achieved super results had and obtained many first prizes in 2003 and 2004 but 2005 was a particular bad season with lots of rain: a bad summer in general… Kurt and Dirk didn’t know why that season was such a bad one but Jef understood why, because the summers of 2003 and 2004 were extremely hot and had a pretty normal course. Thanks to these conditions, the pigeons were able to get in better shape since the lofts were made of concrete and were situated northeastwards which means that the lofts have a bit of sunshine in the morning and stay cool for the rest of the day. So in general, 2005 was not really a nice year to be living in the lofts. 2006 however, will be one of the hottest summers ever so that’s undoubtedly one of the reasons why Kurt and Dirk are performing so well this season: a hot summer is ideal for the lofts in Baaigem.


After they have raced Noyon two times, the young pigeons are on widowhood until mid August. The more the season progresses, the more time they can spend with their hen when they return from a race. The young pigeons are darkened as of the end of February until the 21st of June from 6 PM until 8:00 AM. Furthermore, the young ones also race Dourdan 3 times before they are off to Bourges. Normally, Kurt and Dirk will be entering all their young birds for every young pigeons race this season.

As we mentioned before, they recently got some pigeons from Jef Van Winkel. They started in 1986 with pigeons from their uncle René Van de Velde (Semmerzake). Over the years, they achieved pigeons from Roger Vindevogel - Dikkelvenne (1st Nat. Argenton ’93), Willy Van Laere – Kalken, Ingels & Sons – Laarne, Van Aelst Luc – Zingem and Bolangier Roger – Merelbeke. The father of the winner was bred in their loft and descends from a pigeon of Willy Van Laere X a hen of Roger Vindevogel, strain of his 1st Nat. Argenton against 32.361 young pigeons. The mother of the winner is a hen which they only just obtained last year at Luc Van Aelst’s in Zingem and it has resulted in immediate success.