Matthias Coel (Rotselaar, BE) wins 1st national Argenton II against 19,305 young birds as the fastest of a total of 32,044 pigeons

It is for the second weekend in a row that a fancier in his twenties takes a national victory. Last weekend Ulrich Lemmens took the national win from Tulle and now the 26-year-old Matthias Coel can celebrate his national young birds’ victory from Argenton II.

It was a great day for Matthias Coel from Rotselaar in Brabant. He is just starting to realise what has happened last weekend when he was talking to us. It is a great pleasure to see this young fancier take the first prize. You cannot deny the fact that this new generation is the future of our sport. His BE13-2111134 was the fastest of 19,305 young birds, completing nearly 539km with a velocity of 1330.69 m/min but she was also the fastest of the entire group of 32,044 pigeons that had been basketed or Argenton II.


The Coel family was all smiles after the national win from Argenton. From left to right: his girlfriend Sylvia, Matthias and his mother Pascale

A different sport...

Matthias was an athlete when he was a teenager but when he turned 12 he realised that he did not have the talent for it. His parents kept a few pigeons in their garden that were used for cooking, for instance in soups or with French fries. A friend of Matthias told him that pigeons can also be used for competing in races and that is when Matthias promptly decided to quit athletics and to focus on a new hobby: pigeon racing. The pigeons that were used for cooking had to make place for true racing pigeons and Matthias gradually gathered a collection of excellent pigeons. Today he has a racing team to be reckoned with. In the past four years Coel managed to win the title of Ace Pigeon in the Union of Brabant four times in a row, which shows he has been continuously improving over the years. He is a young economics and sports teacher and he focuses mainly on the extreme middle distance competition with his young birds. The most important races in this category take place in the summer holidays, which explains his choice for this discipline. Matthias can always count on his mother Pascale, who helps taking care of the pigeons during the school year.

It was not easy for him to find his way in this sport without having fanciers in his family but he can always count on a number of friends that are involved in the sport as well. Frederik Motton from Tienen for instance is a successful fancier in his twenties as well and they can learn a lot from each other. Together they go and look for reinforcements and they purchase and exchange pigeons. Every season in the autumn Matthias pays a visit to the Dutch Bob Berendse, an eye theory specialist. He is given the task to compose breeding pairs for Matthias, based on their eyes. In addition Matthias can always count on Albert Derwa from Herent, who is always ready to help. “Albert does not tell me what to do and what not to do but if a problem occurs I just give him a call. Ten minutes later he will be in the loft to give advice and to offer a helping hand. It is great to be able to count on these colleagues, they are very important to me!”

BE13-2111134, 1st nat. Argenton II

The great looking hen that won the national victory in Rotselaar is in fact a direct Albert Derwa. The sire of this BE13-2111134, a magnificent blue coloured hen, is a direct pigeon of the Dutch Koen Minderhoud and is related to the bloodlines of Gaby Vandenabeel and Eddy Leutenez. The dam is a direct Willy Vos hen from Tielt-Winge and originates from the bloodlines of Marcel Aelbrecht, J&J Engels, Flor Vervoort, Patricia Verhaegen and Hilaire Surinx. Click here for the pedigree of the national winner.

As we said earlier, Matthias focuses mainly on the extreme middle distance races for the young birds. He does not keep track of the results in the sprint competition. He had 30 young birds in the loft this season and three of them really stood out, including the national winner. That is why she was basketed as second nominated. She won three prizes per ten in the three national middle distance races. Last week she also won a 109th national from Châteauroux before taking the win last weekend.

The young birds are played with the sliding door. The hen was closely paired to her cock, which stayed in the loft during last week’s Châteauroux. The cock of the 134-13 was waiting for her when she arrived home from Châteauroux, which might have motivated her to go home even faster. Medical guidance is kept to a minimum in this loft but they have to take action if necessary of course. Albert Derwa sometimes advises Matthias to give his pigeons a cure. Matthias thinks recovery is of primary importance. After the race the pigeons are given additional proteins, together with electrolytes and DHP’s Energy Booster. The goal is to have the pigeons fully recovered by Monday. He is less inclined to give vitamin supplements before a flight as he is mainly concerned with recovery after the race.

This national victory confirms Matthias Coel’s status as a coming man in the extreme middle distance for the young birds. He has already had a few Ace Pigeons in the Brabant Union and this national win is a crowning achievement. Congratulations!