Gert and Frans Rondags (Grote Spouwen, BE): the big favourites for the title of Ace Pigeon in the Shorter Middle Distance KBDB?

It sure looks like it; their top class hen First Lady achieved a coefficient of 1.1, which is a significantly better result compared to last year’s winner of Marcel Wouters, who took the national Ace Pigeon title with a coefficient of 1.527.

Father Frans and Gert with their top class hens First Lady (154-10) and BE12-5043154

First Lady (BE10-5124154)

It looks as if the First Lady of Gert and Frans Rondags has been one of the best pigeons to have ever existed in Belgium and France. Only a few birds can compete with her or beat her. This amazing hen won 16 prizes in the sprint and the shorter middle distance and she did even better in 2013 with 21 prizes per three. The other pigeons could not hope of winning a top prize when First Lady was basketed. Just take a look at her results of 2013:

Mettet: 13th of 91 p.
Laon: 1st of 212 p, union: 2nd of 885 p.
Marne: 2nd of 170 p, union: 3rd of 895 p.
Melun: 1st of 167 p, union: 4th of 1058 p.
Gien: 4th of 165 p, union: 4th of 978 p, prov.: 8th of 5,599 p.
Marne: 1st of 71 p, union: 1st of 969 p.
Marne: 5th of 943 p.
Melun: 22nd of 826 p.
Melun: 1st of 60 p, union: 1st of 599 p, a 5 min. lead

She managed to win seven prizes per ten in 2012 as well. Her sire is Lewis. The Flanders Collection (Liedekerke, BE) purchased him at the total auction of father Rondags but Frans later repurchased him via PIPA. Lewis (BE05-5076817) is the winner of 11 first prizes and he was Ace Pigeon Zuiderbond in 2006. His grandfather, De Born, is winner of 11 first prizes and his nephew Den Tom managed to win no less than 16 first prizes.

They have sold their entire collection and yet they have managed to return to the top within a few years’ time. Many fanciers are wondering how they achieved this. When Frans and Gert decided to make a fresh start in pigeon racing they were determined not to stay in the background. They started looking for a number of top class pigeons, which they found in the loft of their close friend Paul Huls (Zonhoven, BE), who still had a few pigeons from the breed of their father. These pigeons had already proved that they can win top prizes. As we said they also obtained the outstanding racer and breeder Lewis. A Chinese fancier was really interested in buying that pigeon as well so Lewis turned out be quite expensive.

He paid a visit to Roth (Köln, DE) as well, who has a big collection of Günther Prange pigeons. He purchased 18 young birds, 13 of which were removed almost immediately. Four other young birds were lent to other fanciers and one bird was used in the breeding loft. She was the dam of First Lady and BE12-5043154, which was really successful as a one-year-old:

Marne: 1st of 288 p.
Marne: 1st of 274 p; gewest: 1st of 1,701 p.
Melun: 1st of 194 p; gewest: 1st of 1,146 p.
Marne: 1st of 275 p; gewest: 3rd of 1,351 p.
Gien:  4th of 288 p; prov.: 34th of 2,463 p.

That is how they do it. They make well considered purchases, they carefully select their pigeons and they take great care of their pigeon family. These champions have made it to the top again while other fanciers are wasting their time thinking about new methods or new medicines.

Racing method

Gert and Frans race both with the hens and the widowers but they are not on total widowhood. This means all the racing pigeons have a partner at home. Many fanciers are concerned about the amount of fresh air in the loft so they do everything to avoid overpopulation. Frans however has a loft with room for nine widowers but he has actually added 11 boxes so that 20 widowers can be housed in his loft. Now that there are so many widowers in a single loft they all want to defend their territory. These pigeons have been able to beat their opponents week after week, together with a team of 12 hens. These were the best results of this season:

Laon: 212 old birds: 1-3-4-5-8-9-10-11-16-17...(15/20)
Marne: 895 old birds: 1-3-4-8-9-10-16-32-33...(17/19)
Marne: 288 yearlings: 1-3-6-8-9-37...(8/20)
Vervins: 321 yearlings: 1-2-3-4-12-16-24-29-31 (9/18)
Marne : 1701 yearlings: 1-4-5-13-19...(14/23)
Bourges: 123 yearlings: 1st; zone: 733 yearlings: 4th (1/2)
Villers: 332 young birds: 1-2-4-6-7-10-11-12-15...(17/29)
Villers: 507 young birds: 1-2-4-6-7-8-9-13-15-16-17-18...(25/38)
Orleans: 214 young birds: 1-3-6...(4/8)

They have already won a total of 37 first prizes with descendants of the 23 breeding pairs of this loft.

Mars and Venus

Many fanciers try to do better every season but Gert and Frans are happy as long as they can maintain their success throughout the years. It would be nearly impossible for them to do better every season; they would be way too strong!