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Vale Barcelona of Jan Ceusters (Berlaar, BE) lives up to its name

Jan was First National Champion KBDB Extreme Long Distance in 2012 and he has now won the title of Best Barcelona Pigeon over three years with his Vale Barcelona (BE08-6284507).

Jan and the BE076122905, the dam of Vale Barcelona

No Primus title

Despite this title Vale Barcelona will not be competing for the title of Primus Inter Pares, simply because Vale Barcelona had not been entered for this competition by mistake. This is unfortunate, because he would have been one of the likely candidates as the winner of the following prizes:

2011: Nat: 201th against 12,170 p, Int: 529th against 26,068 p.
2012: Nat: 111th against 11,706 p, Int: 246th against 25,320 p.
2013: Nat:   7th against 10,685 p, Int:   9th against 25,382 p.

Jan does not blame anyone, he knows that “we all make mistakes.” Jan made a big mistake himself a while ago by letting one of his best breeders escape from the loft. To make things worse he also had an unexpected visit from a polecat, which is a type of carnivorous predator. This polecat reduced his breeding team from three to zero but Jan was not put off by that.

Vale Barcelona, Best Barcelona racer 2011-2012-2013 in the PIPA ranking

A small breeding team

As we said, Jan has only three fixed breeding pairs but all racing pigeons raise one youngster before the season as well. The less successful pigeons (pigeons that have not had the chance to prove themselves) are given a youngster from a stronger racing pigeon, which means they can raise two youngsters. After the season he rings another pair of youngsters from all pigeons that have made it through the winter. In other words, it is possible that a father and his son are born in the same year, which was the case for Vale Barcelona (BE08-6284507) and his sire Geschelpte (BE08-6284528). This Geschelpte has quite an impressive pedigree: his sire is a half brother of Biscaya, 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 20007 of Guido Van Den Bulcke (Balegem, BE). Vale Barcelona, which Jan obtained from an egg from his neighbour Herman Van Den Broeck, inherited his pale colour from his mother’s side. Click here to take a look at the full pedigree of Vale Barcelona.

De Narbonne (BE09-6279222)

De Narbonne

One of the other stars in Jan’s loft is De Narbonne. This pigeon tends to circle around the loft for several minutes before actually landing on the roof, because Jan had not been careful enough with him after one of his races. But that does not seem to keep him from winning top prizes:

Narbonne 2013

Prov: 20th against    505 p.
Nat: 327th against  5,215 p.
Int: 491st against 11,448 p.

Narbonne 2012

Prov:  8th against   635 p.
Nat:  90th against 3,583 p.
Int: 109th against 9,072 p.

The dam of De Narbonne, Blauw Witpen (NL07-1054295), is also the grandmother of Vale Barcelona. Click here for the full pedigree of Narbonne. De Narbonne will now be paired to the dam of Vale Barcelona, to make up for the loss of his breeders.

The wing of De Narbonne

Like a bolt

The arrival of Vale Barcelona had not gone unnoticed, as he timed his landing well in advance. Neighbouring middle distance fanciers had all witnessed him arrive at the loft. Jan called to report the arrival of his pigeon but the operator already knew that “Jan’s Vale Barcelona has arrived home like a bolt from the sky.” This was quite a triumphant race and his pigeon showed no sign of fatigue. “The first thing he did was to visit his hen”, said Jan, who paired his Vale Narbonne to a sister of De Narbonne at the end of the season.

Is this the first picture of a future Primus Inter Pares?


Jan had to give up his dream of winning the title of Primus Inter Pares with his Vale Barcelona but he has quite a few close relatives (including five brothers and two sisters of Vale Barcelona) that are waiting to take a leading role as well. Jan’s no-nonsense approach and his high quality breed offers plenty of possibilities and we expect to hear more from him in the next few years. Click here to reread our report about his title of First Nat. Champion Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2012.