Most pigeons had a tough day during the final national race of the season, and the fastest pigeon of Jimmy Van Kerckhoven was the only one capable of achieving a velocity of over 1200 m/min. Several pigeons have not been able to reach their home loft. Festina (BE12-2087940) was clocked at 18:23’32” after completing 566.036km with a velocity of 1195.35 m/min.
I visited this loft earlier this year after their national win from Bourges I, and I was convinced that this combination would take another national first prize in the course of this season, and they did last weekend. It must be great to start the season with a national victory (1st against 24,067 yearlings from Bourges I), and to close the season with another national victory in the closing national race of 2014.
Festina is a solid and good looking hen that feels great in the hand. She was well nourished when she arrived home. Festina had been raced in widowhood during the season, but all racing pigeons were kept together after Bourges II to be raced from the nest instead. She was basketed with a 7 days old youngster, and her partner was taken away on Tuesday, to make her feel more attached to her youngster. It proved an excellent move!
You can tell from her list of achievements (you can find her palmares here) that she has won no less than 23 prizes over the past two seasons, including a first prize from Guéret in the OBRAFO last year (she was also raced with a youngster that was seven days old).
The V shaped structure prevents the hens in widowhood
from pairing each other on the floor
When taking a closer look at the pedigree, we noticed that she is a cousin of Golden Francine, a hen that won the yearlings' race from Bourges I on 31 May 2014. Festina's sire Broken Wing (BE05-2117896) is a brother of the dam of Golden Francine (Het 318). They both originate from the Platinum Pair, which have bred several top quality racing pigeons and provincial and national winners. You can find her pedigree here. Broken Wing is also the sire of Miet, which took the win from Gueret against 3127 pigeons in the zone. He is also the sire of Mega Mindy, winner of several top prizes, and the grandfather of 941, winner of a second semi national from Montluçon in 2011. In other words: a top quality bloodline pays off eventually.
The combination was not entirely satisfied after the race from Gueret II, despite a national old birds' victory. The reason was that only 3 of a total of 74 young birds had managed to arrive home after the race. In fact, Toon would rather have had his entire team of young birds back in the loft rather than winning a national first prize. Olav finds it hard to understand that the release was postponed until 10:30.
Apart from that, I wish this highly motivated combination or quartet a few days of rest, before they can start enjoying their many successes this season. It promises to be a busy winter for them, given the number of celebrations they will be invited to.
The national winners with the annual fair in the background