Louis Van Paesschen (Humbeek, BE) takes the win in national classic from Bourges young birds

Pigeon fancier Louis not only had the fastest of 30,180 young birds, his first pigeon was also the fastest of a total of 48,326 pigeons basketed for Bourges.

The national race from Bourges II in the end of July took place in the first weekend of August this year, because the national calendar had started one week later. This is the race every middle distance enthusiast looks forward to every season. Barcelona is the most important race in the extreme long distance, while Bourges is the highlight of the season in the longer middle distance. It is also the start of the national long distance season for young birds, which includes six consecutive national flights.

There has been a lot of talk about this year’s Bourges, especially because the preparation of many young birds had been disturbed by the bad weather conditions in the past five to six weekends. A number of races in bad weather have posed a problem for many pigeons in their preparation for the six national races coming up. Many fanciers were not ready, meaning their young birds were not yet in top form. This national race from Bourges came too early for some, which is why a number of fanciers did not compete at all or only with a small team. This is a matter of reducing and spreading the risk.

The weather forecast for the weekend was probably another reason why many fanciers decided not to take too many risks. Surprisingly, the race from Bourges took place in normal conditions, except for an occasional downpour. The wind was blowing from the southwest, and the young birds’ classic from Bourges took place without much problems. All prizes in the young birds’ competition were won within one hours’ time, which is normal if not fairly fast for a national race from Bourges. However, we were informed in the course of the afternoon that the young birds that missed the main group had a fairly tough day.

Louis Van Paesschen is the fastest

The fastest pigeon in the race from Bourges was that of Louis Van Paesschen (28) from Humbeek in the province of Flemish Brabant, who clocked his pigeon at 11:46’17”. His pigeon did 453.592km with a velocity of 1672.02 m/min, which resulted in a national victory against 30,180 young birds.

Louis had basketed 14 young birds and 2 old birds for Bourges, and he admits he was not very confident. The young birds were not completely ready for the national races, but that did not prevent his blue coloured cock 169 from bringing the national win home to Humbeek. One week before Bourges, after 2 flights from Quiévrain and 3 from Noyon, his pigeons had completed their first middle distance race from Souppes, where they claimed a victory, as well as several top results. It seems they were quite fit already, and Louis knows that a pigeon in good form can always give a little more. This might explain his national victory from Bourges – we take a look at the overall results:

Bourges  Prov  4,383 YBs: 1-277-282-907 (4/14)
         Nat  30,180 YBs: 1-1334-1343-4867 (4/14)

Bourges  Prov    896 olds: 61-219 (2/2)
         Nat   8,005 olds: 318-1540 (2/2)

His young birds had been doing really well in the first middle distance flight from Souppes of 2014, one week before Bourges:

Souppes sur Loing 595 YBs: 1-3-16-18-27-35-47-48-99… (12/24)

His national winner from Bourges won a prize per ten from Souppes, before giving his all in Bourges:

-Schone Blauwen Bourges BE14-2238169

Bourges  Prov  4,383 p. 1
         Nat  30,180 p. 1
Souppes  Lok     595 p. 48

He is a solid blue coloured cock, with a slightly deep chest but very strong nonetheless. He stems from a son of the top class stock pair of Louis Van Paesschen. This pigeon family is home to eight brothers and six sisters bred from this pair, and each of them are performing really well. These pigeons include the winner of a 10th and 24th national, the winner of a 42nd national, a pigeon that won 7 first prizes and one that won 2 first prizes. This is quite a racing team.

Sire: Blauwen 769 BE10-2124769
A direct son of the stock pair Kopman BE06-2055320 (winner of a 1st Chateauroux, 1st Argenton, 1st Noyon and a son of Super Vlieger 069/98, winner of a 1st Prov. Blois, 3 x 1st Bourges, 2 x 1st Toury, 3 x 1st Dourdan) x Geschelpte Kweekster BE07-2165160, a full sister of the 5010/04, winner of a 17th Semi-Nat. Chateauroux and a 28th Nat. Bourges (and originating from Blauwen Roger Debusschere 244/03 x Bont Witpen 263/99).
Click here for the pedigree of the sire of the national winner

Dam: Schudding-duivin BE09-4155812
A direct Benny Schudding from Meldert (no further details available at the time the article was published). Louis obtained this hen through an exchange with Benny. Interestingly, Benny won a first provincial with the pigeon he obtained from Louis, and Louis has now won a national first prize with a direct son from Benny's pigeon. We assume they were both very happy about this collaboration.

Louis started racing his young birds with the sliding door three weeks ago, and there is one old hen among his team of young birds. It was this old hen that sparked the attention of the national winner from Bourges. Possibly, one of the other young cocks was interested in this old hen as well, which might have motivated Schonen Blauwen Bourges to go as hard as he could. Louis told us he did not really pay any attention to that. The sliding door was opened all afternoon before being basketed, and so they could pair up as much as they wanted.

From successful sprint fancier to longer middle distance champion

The national win from Bourges was the second national first prize in the career of Louis Van Paesschen, who had already won a first Nat. La Souterraine back in 1990. Louis got involved in the sport via his late father. Louis has always been self-employed, and so he did not have time to keep pigeons. However, he returned to the sport in the early 1980s, initially in the sprint competition, Noyon being his favourite race. He started competing in the middle distance and the longer middle distance in 1988, but he sometimes did an extreme long distance race as well. For instance, he won the Bronzen Vleugel title from Barcelona. He has won an impressive 22 provincial victories since 1988.

He started the season with 24 widowers and 46 young birds from the first and second round, which is a fairly small team of pigeons. Louis says he is too old to keep a large pigeon family, and he admits he actually thinks about gradually quitting the sport. He is starting to age and his wife’s health does not allow him to leave her alone for too long. He really enjoyed his national victory tough and it encouraged him to go on for a while.
“I made an interesting deal with my colleague Roger Debusschere from Lokeren, from whom I obtained several great pigeons in my career. Roger has purchased my entire pigeon family, including the national winner, his parents and their relatives. We agreed to keep the young birds of 2014 in my loft, so that I can race them in the yearlings’ category next season. This means I won’t have a lot of pigeons in 2015.” This allows him to continue racing pigeons for an additional season with a small family. Isn’t that great?

Congratulations Louis! Enjoy your well deserved national victory!