The fastest of 20,773 pigeons from La Souterraine landed in Beveren-Leie (West Flanders), in the loft of Jacques Verschuere. Jacques clocked his pigeon at 14h10’55”, which covered 534.180km with a velocity of 1158.99 m/min. This resulted in a national win in the yearlings’ category; it had a significant lead over the pigeon of Hans D’hondt from Semmerzake (1146 m/min) and Norbert Ally from Aarsele (1144 m/min), who settled for second and third. This was not the first important prize for the winning pigeon Geschelpte Doffer BE12-3098842. He had already won a top 100 prize in a similarly demanding race from Poitiers four weeks ago:
06/07 La Souterraine 179 p. 1 Nat. 11,237 p. 1 08/06 Poitiers Loc. 284 p. 7 Nat. 13,135 p. 73
This is obviously a pigeon with plenty of power, which performs amazingly well in races with an average speed of 1100 m/min, with a strong headwind from the northeast and difficult weather conditions. Jacques knew he could count on this pigeon, because he basketed him as first nominated. His origins indicate that he belongs to a family of winners. He is a grandson of the first provincial from Châteauroux from his father’s side (GF: Blauwen BE00-3200650), and a grandson of the first provincial Angoulême from his mother’s side (GF: Vooruit BE03-3073170). The dam is in fact a 75% Gaby Vandenabeele. This is yet another national prize winner with Vandenabeele origins, unbelievable! How many Vandenabeele pigeons have won a national prize this season already? We have lost count. Click here for the full pedigree of the national winner.
He is a young bird from the second round of 2012 and he only did a couple of sprint races as a young bird, just like most other young birds of Jacques Verschuere. He was only raced on a regular basis in the longer middle distance as a yearling. The national from Poitiers on 8 June was his first longer middle distance race after having been prepared in Arras, Clermont and Fontenay-sur-Eue. To prepare for the season Jacques had paired his racing pigeons just before New Year and they were allowed to raise one youngster. This means they were on widowhood in mid-February. There was no time for a second pairing because Jacques believed this would affect the moult of the wings.
Jacques focuses completely on the old bird competition on widowhood. He started the 2013 season with 47 racing cocks that were divided over about six lofts. He usually plans to race one loft after the other every two weeks but this is not always manageable in July and towards the end of the season. Sometimes he has to change plans, for instance when his pigeons need an additional week of recovery after a demanding extreme long distance race. He does not try to motivate his pigeons before they are basketed; they do not get to see their hens as Jacques likes to basket them quietly. He thinks the pigeons should not be too nervous and waste any energy. They should use all of their energy on their way home. His national victory proves that he is on the right track. In fact, the others members of the team did an excellent job as well:
La Souterraine Local 179 yearlings: 1-11-12-20-27 (5/9)
Provincial 1598 yearlings and national 11,237 yearlings: 1-… (with another five top prizes)
The first and 12th prize were won by his first and second nominated. Quite an achievement!
Impressive list of achievements
He put on his first loft coast after primary school and he was immediately captivated by the sport. He has been living in Beveren-Leie since 1981, when he started keeping pigeons. He gained success fairly quickly, winning a third national from Montauban already in 1986 with his pigeon Montauban 82 (grandfather of Vooruit, in turn grandfather of the first national La Souterraine). He also won a first provincial Bourges young birds in 1997 and he was second National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB in 1998. He formed a partnership with Bert Van Den Berghe in 2002, a very successful fancier from Wortegem-Petegem. This partnership won a first provincial Angoulême and a first interprovincial Châteauroux (both grandfather of today’s first national La Souterraine). Bert was and still is a great fan of the Gaby Vandenabeele line and he advised Jacques Verschuere to add some Vandenabeele birds to his pigeon breed. Today they are still part of the sound basis of this loft.
The last few weeks have shown that his pigeons are in great form at the moment. Last week he also won a first local prize from Argenton and they did a great job last weekend at national level. Congratulations on an impressive performance!
Some achievements at local level in 2013
06/7 La Souterraine 179 yearlings: 1-11-12-20-27 (5/9) 30/6 Argenton 275 old birds: 1-35 (2/5) 15/6 Montluçon 317 old birds: 5-21-80 (3/6) 08/6 Poitiers 284 yearlings: 7-9-15-22-23-32-37-62 (8/12) 01/6 Limoges 556 old birds: 15-38-46-124 (4/8) 01/6 Chateauroux 366 old birds: 26-29-99-109-111-117 (6/10)