Eddy and Maarten Leutenez (Kruishoutem, BE) perform outstandingly well with a very small team

It is quite a challenge to try and get the most out of a very limited number of pigeons. It is even harder to play a prominent role in the biggest classics in pigeon racing but it is something that gives Eddy and Maarten great satisfaction!

This has been the challenge for Eddy and Maarten Leutenez right from the beginning. They deliberately chose to work with a small group of pigeons when they made a new start in 2007 from Kruishoutem. It was somewhat inevitable as well: they did not have a lot of room to build a new loft and they do not have the time to take care of a lot of pigeons either, partly due to Eddy’s health problems and due to Maarten’s busy daytime job. They wanted everything to be manageable.

Eddy Leutenez has quite a reputation in our sport, as one of the very best pigeon fanciers in Belgium in the last 25 years. His list of achievements includes no less than six national first prizes, as well as four national second prizes. Eddy Leutenez knew what it means to be a top class fancier and he knew that you have to make sacrifices. This all came to a stop when lung problems forced him to end his career in 2003. It was a serious blow. His loft in Semmerzake closed its doors after a total auction.

A fresh start in Kruishoutem

Meanwhile, the Leutenez family had moved house to Kruishoutem. After four years without pigeon racing his son Maarten gradually started thinking about making a fresh start and that is what he did after he completed his studies. Eddy’s health had improved so he agreed right away. It was the start of a new partnership. Eddy was going to assist Maarten from the sidelines to help him find his way to the top. He would not enter the lofts or clean them, because his doctor had forbidden him to get into contact with pigeons. He can still see the pigeons make training flights around the loft. Sometimes one of their pigeons arrives home at the loft after having achieved a great result and this reminds him of some of his great successes back in Semmerzake. The feeling of winning a top result is what every fancier strives for and it is a feeling that is hard to describe to an outsider.

Eddy knew from experience that you can only become successful with top class pigeons. His proficiency and his knowledge allowed him to recognise pigeons that had the ability to become a champion one day. The next step was to create a new foundation based on a number of carefully considered purchases. The two fanciers have an eye for talent, they are not afraid to make large investments and they have been able to reap the benefits, which is great. This is why Eddy and Maarten have become a successful partnership.

Leutenez pigeons: strong, quick and smart

Pigeons need to be strong, quick and smart. That is the main requirement for the pigeons of this partnership. They have found this type of pigeon in the loft of Marc De Cock, who has a collection of international champions himself. Eddy and Maarten have obtained some of Marc’s finest pigeons but they also went back to their own pigeon breed, using for instance descendants of the bloodline of Milan. They also paid a visit to today’s coming star Benny Steveninck, who lives in the neighbourhood of Marc. Benny’s excellent Chipo bloodline was introduced in the loft in Kruishoutem in 2008.

In the 2009 racing season José Denoyette won a first interprovincial prize from Tours in very difficult conditions and Maarten & Eddy were impressed by this result. When Eddy was on his way to pick up his grandchildren from school he also passed along the loft of José to take a look at his winning pigeon. He was immediately impressed by this amazing racing bird! It did not take him long to close a deal: the winning hen Bolleken was moved to their loft in Kruishoutem and this pigeon soon formed the foundation for the renowned Bolleken bloodline. She played a key role in the breeding loft right from the beginning and her parents were soon added to the team as well. Today everybody knows what you can expect from a pigeon from the Bolleken bloodline: these are pigeons with big muscles, a lot of strength and explosive power, as well as a high level of intelligence!

The successful lines of Milan and De Rauw-Sablon

The line of Bolleken has been in the forefront in recent seasons but there is more: the old bloodlines of Eddy Leutenez and their De Rauw-Sablon pigeons have been very important in the loft in Kruishoutem as well. Both successful lines stem directly from the top class pigeon breed of Marc De Cock from Temse. We take a look back at these interesting bloodlines to discuss their impact on the Leutenez pigeon family.

Some of the best breeders are crossings of both breeding lines, which were bred from Federer BE08-4347712 (a grandson of Dream Couple De Rauw-Sablon) x Siska  BE08-4347741 (a granddaughter of Milan). You cannot underestimate the breeding value of Federer; he is without doubt one of the stock pigeons in this loft. We take a look at some of his most successful descendants:

-Goudhaantje

1st Interprovincial and 13th National Brive 11,130 p.
43rd  I.Prov.  Blois        5,142 p.
72nd  National Argenton    19,816 p.
102nd National Chateauroux 22,718 p.
110th National Chateauroux 20,517 p.

-Alejandro

46th  National Chateauroux 22,718 p.
95th  National Chateauroux 18,725 p.
237th National Souillac     5,667 p.
315th National Bourges     14,145 p.

-Bradley

51st  I.Prov.   Tours           2,874 p.
72nd  National  La Souterraine 11,236 p.
7th   Nat. Zone La Souterraine  7,450 p.
115th National  Gueret         16,988 p.

The Limoges 579 BE11-4307579 is another top class descendant from the De Rauw-Sablon breeding line; he is an inbred to long distance icon Limoges De Rauw-Sablon and a son of Dream Couple. In his first year as a breeder he became the sire of:

-BE13-4044049

4th  Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance Young Birds KBDB East Fl.
53rd Nat. Zone Argenton 4,379 p.

Elisabeth BE03-4411155 (a 100% Marcel Aelbrecht) has played a significant role in the build-up of this pigeon breed: she is the dam of Mauro, usually the breeding partner of Bolleken. This means she is an integral part of the amazing Bolleken bloodline. Elisabeth is grandmother of, for instance:

-Bolleke Nationaal

3rd  Best Young Bird of Belgium in the national races 2010
69th National Gueret 13,885 p.

-Bolleke Bourges

2nd   Prov.    Montrichard    306 p.
12th  National Argenton     7,046 p.
53rd  National Bourges     31,719 p.
240th National Gueret      14,362 p.

Click here for a detailed overview of the breeding references of the talented De Rauw-Sablon pigeons.

To conclude, we would also like to highlight the importance of Eddy’s own pigeon breed, based on the renowned bloodline of Milan, which was returned from the loft of Marc De Cock. The top class breeders Grote Milan, his nest brother New Superbreeder, Siska and Elrio originate from this breed. We have discussed the breeding results of Siska (paired to Federer) earlier in this article. She is a half sister of Grote Milan BE06-4370915 (they have the same dam), a grandson of top class pigeon Milan. He is the sire of: 

-De Zwarte Milan

16th  I.Prov.  Limoges      2,960 p.
57th  National Chateauroux 18,725 p.
62nd  National Chateauroux 22,718 p.
145th National Chateauroux 20,517 p.

-Bolleke Milan

5th  I.Prov. Blois          2,333 p.
21st I.Prov. Orleans        3,205 p.

-Bontje Milan

8th I.Prov. La Souterraine    767 p.

At the beginning of 2013 his own nest brother and top breeder New Superbreeder BE06-4370914 joined the team as well. He was purchased in the PIPA auction of Marc De Cock and he was already the sire of:

-Grandson Deep Impact

1st   Prov. La Chatre          4,675 p.
45th  National La Souterraine 17,017 p.
99th  Nat. Zone Chateauroux    9,112 p.
179th National Bourges        12,607 p.

-Brother 007/10

1st   Club     Bourges           249 p.
138th National Bourges        14,598 p.

-Beautiful 13

26th  Nat. Zone Souillac       2,296 p.
113th National Tulle           6,695 p.

-White 064

9th   Prov.     Bourges        1,294 p. (1st club 134 p.)
187th Nat. Zone Chateauroux    9,112 p.

Another important breeder in this loft is Elrio BE06-4370898, a direct son of Milan. Elrio is the grandfather of Lennie, a great champion of Camiel Verdonck from Nazareth:

-Lennie

1st Internat. Perpignan    16,893 p. (in 2012)
1st National Perpignan      6,661 p.

Click here to learn more about the amazing breeding line of Milan.

Each of these pigeons are amazing breeders that have allowed Eddy and Maarten Leutenez to become some of the most successful fanciers at national level in Belgium.

There is room for a total of only 20 breeding pairs in their loft, which has 16 breeding boxes. There is also a smaller loft that offers place for 7 other breeding pairs. There is a team of about 20 racing pigeons and between 50 and 60 young birds every season whose task it is to win top results. I think you will agree that this is quite a small group of pigeons, considering the current national calendar of the longer middle distance and the long distance. Still, Eddy and Maarten have been able to compete with the greatest champions of our sport, as David against Goliath. It goes without saying that their pigeon family in Kruishoutem is of exceptional quality.