Eddy Leutenez is a household name in our sport. He is winner of no less than six national prizes, as well as an impressive number of provincial victories and other first prizes. It was thanks to his impressive overall results and his outstanding performances in many races that he was often described by journalists as superstar or stuntman Leutenez. In the 1980s Eddy made his career amid a young and promising generation of new fanciers from the region around Oudenaarde and Zingem, ready to become the new champions at national level. Every week they were battling for the first prizes at club level, and even at national level. The region would soon be referred to as the “golden triangle”.
However, his career prospects were disrupted by health issues, as Eddy started suffering from airway and respiratory problems. After further examination he was strongly advised to stay away from pigeons as much as possible and to avoid dust. This was a hard blow, and Eddy Leutenez decided to quit the sport in late 2004, auctioning his entire collection. Health comes first. In fact, he also moved away from Semmerzake to live in the town of Kruishoutem, away from the competition and the pigeon clubs.
This is not what his son Maarten had in mind. He had developed a fascination with pigeon fancying in his youth, and he was determined to get into the sport after he finished his studies in nursing. His dream of becoming a professional football player had been thwarted when he was diagnosed with glandular fever, and so he wanted to start keeping pigeons instead, with the support of his father. A new loft was built in the garden, and a breeding loft was installed above the garage. They were all set for a successful comeback on a smaller scale, due to limited space.
Their own breed, new bloodlines and ... Bolleken
To prepare for a comeback, they agreed to work with their own successful bloodlines, which they obtained back from neighbouring lofts. The line of the inevitable Supercrack and Milan (obtained back from Marc De Cock) provided the initial basis for their breed, along with pigeons from the lines of De Rauw-Sablon, the Chipo line of Benny Steveninck, as well as a number of excellent pigeons from successful fanciers from around the region.
There is no denying that the Leutenez family knows how to recognize top quality pigeons, without having to consider the origins or pedigrees. The only thing that matters is the level of performance of the pigeon itself and its closest family.
José Denoyette (Ooike), a fancier from around the region, won a first interprovincial in a tough race from Tours with a significant lead. Eddy Leutenez happened to pass along the home of José after picking up his grandchildren from school, and he stopped by to take a closer look at the amazing hen that took the win from Tours for José. He was speechless when taking the prize winner (she has already won three first prizes) in his hands. He has seen quite a few top quality pigeons in his career as a fancier, but this was something else. Putting his money on the table, he tried hard to convince José to sell his pigeon. Eventually, José gave in and his hen moved to the lofts of Leutenez in Kruishoutem. Her name was Het Bolleken. Her parents would eventually be transferred to Kruishoutem as well, and it proved the start of an impressive number of successes, with Eddy and Maarten competing at a top level thanks to the Bolleken descendants. Today, approximately 70 to 80% of the Leutenez breed is based on the outstanding bloodline of Bolleken. It is great to see a single bloodline have such an influence on today’s competition. It proves once again that a talented pigeon is not necessarily related to world famous bloodlines.
This is an interesting story which we will discuss in detail later on, simply because it illustrates that you can create a successful pigeon breed around one highly talented pigeon and its descendants. This is something many fanciers try to achieve season after season. We promise to go into further detail in a future article, but we will start by taking a closer look at one of today’s stars of the successful bloodline of Bollekens:
1st Tulle club 125 p. 2014 6th Prov. Tulle 1,310 p. 2014 10th N.Zone Tulle 2,295 p. 2014 16th National Tulle 5,976 p. 2014 3rd Angerville 360 p. 2013 4th Angerville 254 p. 2013 4th Angerville 211 p. 2013 4th Limoges 215 p. 2014 14th Prov. Limoges 1,943 p. 2014 62nd Nat. Limoges 7,221 p. 2014 6th Clermont 281 p. 2013 8th Clermont 115 p. 2014 9th Angerville 315 p. 2013 9th Clermont 368 p. 2013 10th Clermont 170 p. 2013 27th Vierzon 895 p. 2014 107th I.Pro Vierzon 8,394 p. 2014
Sire: BE11-4036002 ‘Limo Eagle Eye’ (M. De Cock)
GF : BE07-2135106 ‘Eagle Eye’ !
GM : BE03-4290068 ‘Daughter De Limoges’ !
Dam: BE11-4232129 ‘Bolleke 129’
A full sister of the amazing hen ‘Het Bolleken’
(you can find the pedigree here)
A splendid 2014
We are late August now and the least we can say is that the pigeons of Leutenez have had another excellent season. The season was started with 4 old birds, 33 yearlings and about 70 young birds, which have won one top prize after the other on a weekly basis. You can find an overview below.
This pigeon breed has been really successful in a number of other lofts as well. For instance, a Leutenez pigeon won a 5th prize in the Final Race from Tours Belgian Master, which resulted in the title of 3rd Ace Pigeon. The dam of this prize winner is a full sister of the legendary Bolleken, the highly talented and invaluable breeding dam we talked about earlier.
In the first few weeks, the young birds have been very successful in the longer middle distance and the long distance as well, albeit with a different approach. The young birds from Kruishoutem are usually raced with the sliding door, but this method was not used right away this season, to avoid losses and to make sure all young birds would start pairing. This helped motivate the pigeons in the early season. However, the young birds of Leutenez were so motivated that Eddy and Maarten did not want to take the risk of changing the method used. As a result, all young birds were kept together throughout the season instead of being raced with the sliding door. They only had to add in a few more training flights, because young birds that are paired with each other tend not to work very hard when being trained at home. That is why the pigeons were taken away regularly to release them away from the loft, to force them to train regularly. Meanwhile, some nest boxes were placed in the loft, in the hope of achieving the preferred nest position for La Souterraine and Gueret. This should motivate their best racing birds to gain another great result in the closing races of the young birds’ season.
This is something we look forward to. Good luck Eddy and Maarten, we will be watching you!
The achievements of the young birds' team in the longer middle distance:
19-07-14 Bourges (436km) 100 p. : 1-2-3-5-6-7-9-10-11-13-14-16-… (22/63) 19-07-14 Bourges Inter-Provincial 1.576 p. : 2-3-13-36-43-… (TOP-50) 26-07-14 Blois (406km) 198 p. : 1-2-3-4-5-12-14-15-17-18-19-… (26/44) 26-07-14 Blois Inter-Provincial 2.713 p. : 4-5-8-11-26-… (TOP-50) 02-08-14 Bourges (436km) 500 p. : 1-2-6-11-19-… (16/48) 02-08-14 Bourges Provincial 6,970 p. : 6-22-… (TOP-50) 02-08-14 Bourges National 30,180 p. : 42-107-324-… 09-08-14 Chateauroux (477km) 339 p. : 3-4-6-7-12-13-19-25-… (25/46) 09-08-14 Chateauroux Provincial (477km) 5,133 p. : 32-35-41-… (TOP-50) 09-08-14 Chateauroux National Zone A2 5,234 p. : 26-27-34-47-149-150-…
Some of the highlights of 2014 in the old birds' and yearlings' races
19-04-14 Clermont (191km) 115 p. : 8-15-… (3/4) 17-05-14 Vierzon (428km) 895 p. : 27-… (2/4) 17-05-14 Vierzon Inter-Provincial 8,394 p. : 107-… 07-07-14 Limoges (627km) 215 p. 4-… (2/4) 07-07-14 Limoges Provincial 1,943 p. : 14-… 07-07-14 Limoges National 7,221 p. : 62-… 01-08-14 Tulle (614km) 125 p. : 1 (1/2) 01-08-14 Tulle Provincial 1,310 p. : 6 01-08-14 Tulle National Zone A 2,295 p. : 10 01-08-14 Tulle National 5,976 p. : 16
05-04-14 Arras (89km) 108 p. : 1-10-11-17-20-21-22-… (11/33) 12-04-14 Clermont (191km) 122 p. : 3-5-6-8-12-14-15-17-20-… (13/31) 19-04-14 Clermont (191km)191 p. : 1-10-20-24-25-28-… (16/25) 26-04-14 Clermont (191km) 212 p. : 3-5-7-12-15-15-19-… (16/29) 03-05-14 Fontenay (319km) 94 p. : 7-9-10-13-20-22-23-24-… (16/20) 11-05-14 Blois (406km) 196 p. : 3-16-65-… (5/6) 11-05-14 Blois Inter-Provincial 1,572 p. : 55-141-… 17-05-14 Vierzon (428km) 458 p. : 9-15-42-51-55-63-65-… (17/29) 17-05-14 Vierzon Inter-Provincial 3,848 p. : 27-48-167-217-223-280-287-… 31-05-14 Bourges (436km) 411 p. : 26-55-57-64-66-71-85-… (18/25) 31-05-14 Bourges National Zone A2 4,055 p. : 82-312-315-385-393-406-… 07-06-14 Chateauroux (477km) 449 p. : 6-15-22-44-47-56-66-68-… (18/24) 07-06-14 Chateauroux Provincial 4,407 p. : 25-72-124-255-265-323-356-373-… 07-06-14 Chateauroux National Zone A2 4,125 p. : 32-75-123-252-260-331-366-381-… 07-06-14 Chateauroux National 21,515 p. : 88-219-349-763-790-… 14-06-14 Poitiers (537km) 211 p. : 2-5-12-15-16-19-28-… (14/24) 14-06-14 Poitiers Provincial 4,023 p. : 33-58-137-185-197-268-344-… 14-06-14 Poitiers National Zone A2 3,699 p. : 31-61-151-199-207-291-364-… 14-06-14 Poitiers National 14,094 p. : 79-162-398-530-558-823-… 07-07-14 Limoges (627km) 214 p. : 10-19-28-… (5/8) 07-07-14 Limoges National 6,907 p. : 267-401-603-… 18-07-14 Brive (659km) 113 p. : 6-13-26-… (6/8) 18-07-14 Brive National 3,850 p. : 229-… 01-08-14 Tulle (614km) 118 p. : 2-3-12-… (5/8) 01-08-14 Tulle Provincial 1,292 p. : 4-11-… 01-08-14 Tulle National Zone A 2,004 p. : 17-33-210-… 01-08-14 Tulle National 5,731 p. : 32-55-352-…