Any fancier dreams of winning an international first prize. Still, his international victory was hanging by a thread. There is the so called gummi ring that acts as the only control mechanism. It is stricly speaking quite useless, and it involves a lot of extra work for the clubs. Still, it had almost cost him his international first prize. He quickly wanted to clean his lofts before awaiting his racing birds from Agen. Fortunately he kept an eye on his electronic clock from time to time, and he suddenly noticed that his first nominated had returned home, being clocked at 17:20'12". He quickly put the gummi in the control device, and his pigeon was clocked correctly, all within 15 minutes' time. He was the first pigeon in the club, and he would eventually win the national and international first prize yearlings. Gunther was wondering what would have happened if he had not taken the time to check his clocking device? Would he have clocked his pigeon in time or not? An international first prize can be lost before you know it.
His pigeon completed 808.723 km with a velocity of 1303.25 m/min, the highest speed in the yearlings' category, even at international level. He was the first of three nominated pigeons, and each of them has won a prize:
Agen club 109 yearlings: 1-7-13 (3/3) National 2,776 yearlings: 1… (3/3) Internat 4,485 yearlings: 1… (3/3)
Gerardo takes the win
Gunther (48) runs his own fruit and vegetables store, and he considers pigeon racing a great way to destress from everyday life. Pigeon racing only became his number ons pastime in 2007, when he quit playing football. It was a comeback to to the sport, as he got passionate about pigeons at an early age. In fact, both his father Eddy and his grandfather Georges were passionate pigeon fanciers. Does it surprise you that Gunther used to spent a lot of time in the loft of his father and grandfather?
His father Eddy is a good friend with Gerard Serraerens, and the two exchange quite a few pigeons every year. The international winner from Agen, Gerardo BE14-4066385, is also based on the bloodlines of Gerard Serraerens, as his name suggests. He had been basketed for a number of national races as a young bird, and he managed to win a decent prize from Tours (Prov. 1113/5,637) and Gueret (Nat. 4014/16,619), but he did not win any top prizes.
Sire: Vader Gerardo BE12-4002403
He comes from two pigeons of Gerard Serraerens, the BE11-4303846 (a combination of the great lines of Barcelona Rambo, winner of a 1st Intnat. Barcelona for Vrosch-Meijers x Prima Donna of Van Ophuizen-Marell) x Hen BE11-4303844 (from a brother of a 286th Nat. Barcelona x a sister of a 30th Nat. Barcelona).
Dam: Moeder Gerardo BE12-4002432
Bred from a cock of Gerard Serraerens, the BE11-4303843 (nest brother of the dam of Vader Gerardo) x Casier-hen BE10-3051740, a direct Roger Casier from Lissewege (bred from Inteelt Trutje of Jan Theelen x Donkere Barcelona De Ceuninck-Van Houcke).
Click here for the full pedigree of Gerardo
Since this was the first season in which Gunther was also racing with (one year old) cocks in widowhood, they were basketed until the shorter middle distance without actually being clocked. The goal was to find out if they were able to cope with the distance. Next up was the national race from Chateauroux, where Gerardo failed to win a prize. He made up for it in the race from Agen, with an impressive international victory. As some would say: a talented pigeon will never miss two prizes in a row.
From middle distance to extreme long distance
Gunther was initially aiming towards the longer middle distance and light long distance, but he also wanted to give the extreme long distance a try. As a result, he invested in a number of marathon pigeons as well. He came to the fore as a fancier by winning a 1st Prov. Limoges 4,753 yearlings with Ellie back in 2012. He conintued to win prizes, including a 1st Prov. Chateauroux 5,133 young birds and a 1st Zone B1 Chateauroux 3,653 young birds last year, as well as the title of Golden Ring long distance Waasland 2014 and Bronze Ring light long distance 2014. It showed that his pigeon family was performing at a high level, and it made Gunther Smet the coming man in the Waasland region.
The international victory from Agen yearlings shows that his loft is on the rise indeed. He will be a name to be reckoned with in the near future. Congratulations Gunther!