Doing better than last year - easier said than done
Pigeon fancier Luc De Laere and his wife Sibille were facing quite a big challenge at the start of 2018. They were well aware that it would be difficult to do better than in 2017. Everyone agreed that last year was the best racing season in their career, which made it particularly difficult for them to set goals for the upcoming season. The Luc De Laere pigeons did have an exceptional 2017 season indeed, with 7 first prizes provincial, as well as 11 provincial second prizes. Good luck trying to be just as successful next year, let alone trying to do even better.
A season like this obviously shows that your breeding and racing strategy is well in tune, and that you have a highly talented team of pigeons. But that does not guarantee that you have a successful season. Your pigeons need to be in peak form in order to excel in provincial or national races. One and the same pigeon might just as well claim a 1st provincial or a 15th provincial in the same race and in similiar conditions. It often comes down to their fitness. A racing team in great shape can really step up their game a little. That is what Luc experienced at the start of the 2018 season.
Luc De Laere had quite a bit of bad luck in the early 2018 season. The pigeons had a great start with three first prizes from Arras but the cold spring and the chilly northerly wind had clearly had an impact. The majority of old and one year old racing birds did not have quite as many feathers as Luc wanted. Their noses were not that white, and their morale was not too good either. That explains why he skipped the race from Bourges. Things changed when Luc stared administering the well known yellow drops. But first he went through a rough patch, when the pigeons for the provincial race from Orleans (9th of June) had to come back, to be released in Arras instead. Some pigeons got hurt on the way, and his best old bird upto then, with 4 prizes in the top 5 to his name so far, never returned home. Luc then decided not to take any risks with superstar Jerommeke BE14-3070203, transferring him to the breeding loft instead. The team then turned their focus to the national races, and with great success.
The warm weather led to the team getting in very good form, resulting in several top prizes both at provincial and national level, starting with the national race from Argenton on 23rd of June. Among the pigeons that really excelled in 2018 are Little Prince, Berry and Sproets Rapido.
Little Prince: winner of a 1st Argenton 150 p. and a 46th Nat. 11,823 p. in 2018 (see pedigree)
One of the leading names in the yearlings' team was:
Winner of the following prizes in 2018: 2nd Arras 117 p. 2nd Clermont 186 p. 21st Nat Gueret 8,517 p. 43rd Prov Orleans 3,417 p. 521st Nat Argenton 19,859 p. In 2017: 11th Prov Argenton 4,079 p. 113th Prov Tours 6,741 p. 154th Prov Tours 3,478 p. 302nd Prov Chateauroux 3,982 p. etc…
Berry is a son of Strong Wittenbuik BE14-3070272, a Gaby Vandenabeele (from Playboy Wittenbuik x Strong Lady) x Klein Dul BE12-3116539 (a daughter of top breeders Accident Tieke x Justine Bliksem). Click here for Berry's full pedigree
The one year old star of this loft with 12 prizes in 13 races is Sproets Rapido. He did really well this season, winning a top prize in a national race three weeks in a row, in hot weather and a strong headwind.
-Sproets Rapido BE17-3021504
23/06/18 Argenton Nat 19,859 YLs 203 30/06/18 Gueret Nat 8,517 YLs 5 07/07/18 Chateauroux Nat 13,086 YLs 25
He looked well on his way to claiming a national ace pigeon title, and the idea was to have him race Argenton, Bourges and perhaps Chateauroux as well. An outbreak of the Newcastle Disease put an end to that. It put a sudden end to the season, since there would be no racing for four consecutive weekends, and it meant he was no longer a national ace pigeon candidate.
His nest sister Little Magic Lady BE17-3021503 became 2nd Interprovincial Ace Pigeon 2017 as a young bird, winning a 2nd Prov. Bourges 5,452 p., a 3rd Prov. Tours 1,483 p. (behind 2 loft mates), and a 66th Prov. Pontoise 9,111 p.
Sire: Sproet Tieke BE11-3115645/11
Himself 1st Ace Pigeon in Both Flanders. This fantastic racing bird made international headlines when he lost a national first prize from Chatearoux 2014 as the fastest of 40,000 pigeons, when Luc failed to clock his control ring in time. It was unfortunate that such a magnificent achievement led to nothing. Sproet Tieke had her revenge in the breeding loft: he showed to be an invaluable breeder, being paired to several different hens.
Dam: Perfecta BE13-3054671
6th Interprovincial Ace Pigeon Young Birds 2013. She is herself a full sister of the iconic racing and breeding bird Tiekes Bliksem BE11-3115713/11, which makes her a daughter of Perfect Tieke x Justine Bliksem.
Click here for the pedigree of Sproets Rapido
-Tiekes Bliksem BE11-3115713
He is the sire of 6 different first prize winners with 4 different hens:
1st Prov Chateaudun 3,594 p. with BE16-3053842 1st Prov Pontoise 18,184 p. with BE17-3021479 1st Prov Clermont 10,912 p. with BE16-3053822 1st Argenton 862 p. (15 min lead), 2nd Nat. Zone 7,382 p. with BE17-3021441 1st Pontoise 436 p., 9th Prov 12,690 p. with BE16-3053829 1st Fontenay 551 p., 6th Prov. 9,803 p. with BE17-3021502
This is quite a bloodline indeed!
An overwhelming success from Tours
After the Manchester Disease outbreak, which forced numerous lofts from around the region to shut down, including that of team De Laere, Luc tried to get back on track in mid-August with the young birds. And his comeback was quite impressive indeed.
18/08 Orleans 392 p.: 2-14-16-37-38… (9/18) 18/08 Chateauroux 566 p.: 6-18-24-28-34-47-50-55… (15/22) 18/08 Pontoise prov 9,630 p.: 3-80-81-149… (21/33) 01/09 Argenton 699 p.: 1-4-8-11-15-16-26-27-29-39-44-52-67-68-69… (28/56) Prov 4,194 p.: 2-9-25-43-79-81-129-138-146-179-206… (32/56, waarvan 16 per 10-tal)
Here are the three pigeons responsible for the top prizes won in Argenton (click on their ring numbers for their respective pedigrees):
-2nd Prov. Argenton: BE18-3080014: a daughter of Bijter (son Justine Bliksem) x Ingrid (daughter Perfect Tieke)
-9th Prov. Argenton: BE18-3080107: daughter Sproet Tieke x Bijou (daughter Justine Bliksem)
-25th Prov. Argenton: BE18-3080004: son Sproet Tieke x Perfecta
These fantastic results make it obvious that the young birds were in great form. They were equally successful in the interprovincial race from Tours on 8th of September, delivering another fabulous achievement:
08/09 Tours Prov 2,434 p.: 1-2-2-9-10-15-22-36-37-42… Intprov 2,835 p.: 1-3-3-10-11-18-30-50-51-57-109-121-123-125-167-204-205-217-257-273…
They had 20 prizes per 10 (1:10) and a total of 45 prizes with 65 basketed pigeons.
The young birds mainly responsible for this feat are closely related to each other, although there is one bird that stood out in particular: a blue coloured racing cock that claimed two top prizes in two weeks' time; a 2nd Prov. Tours and a 25th Prov. Argenton.
2nd Prov Tours 2,434 p. - 3rd Intprov. Tours 2,835 YBs 5th Clermont 845 p. 7th Clermont 579 p. 25th Prov Argenton 4,194 p. 35th Orleans 385 p.
He was my best young bird of the season, Luc De Laere said. This young racing cock, winner of 9 prizes in 9 races, stems from super class pair Sproet Tieke x Perfecta.
Click here for his full pedigree.
You can tell from the pedigrees of these pigeons that the Luc De Laere racing bird has what it takes to win races. This is a strong and successful pigeon family. The best birds from Tours all stem from a homogenuous pigeon family centered around many super class birds:
-1st (Int)Prov. Tours: BE18-3080020: a daughter of Bonten x Gabriëlla (a very strong breeding dam and a direct Gaby Vandenabeele, bred from Beauty Bond x Betsy). A full sister of supercrack Jerommeke.
-2nd Prov. Tours: BE18-3080004: son of Sproet Tieke x Perfecta
-2nd Prov. Tours (ex-aequo): BE18-3008136: a daughter of Tiekes Bliksem x Julia (daughter Gabriëlla)
-9th Prov. Tours: BE18-3080122: daughter of Baron Junior (son Justine Bliksem) x Libelle
-10th Prov. Tours: BE18-3080007: daughter of Bonten x Gabriëlla (sister of 1st Prov. Tours and Jerommeke)
-15th Prov. Tours: BE18-3008003: son of Sproet Tieke x Perfecta
-22nd Prov. Tours: BE18-3080017 (winner of a 24. Prov Orleans 4,168 p. and 46th Prov. Orleans 2,690 p. earlier on): daughter Bonten x Gabriëlla, and thus a sister of 1st Prov. Tours and Jerommeke.
Super class breeding hen Gabriëlla: the dam of supercrack Jerommeke, and of a 1st-10th-22nd Prov. Tours 2,434 p.
What is particularly remarkable is how the descendants of Gabriëlla (a hen that is a direct Gaby Vandenabeele) have really been on the rise. Gabriëlla is on her way to following in the footsteps of Justine Bliksem, really stepping forward as a fantastic breeding dam. Paired to Bonten BE12-3116505, she is the dam of supercrack Jerommeke, and of a 1st -10th -22nd Prov. Tours as well.
Superstar Jerommeke: he got a well deserved spot in the breeding loft of De Laere in mid-2018. Will he be the team's new stock breeder?
1-2-4 Provincial in the closing national race from Chateauroux
It looks like the 2018 season will come to a close a bit too soon for the De Laere pigeons; this pigeon breed is obviously in great form these days. They showed their form again in the last national race of 2018 from Chateauroux. The local competition in Fondclub Rekkem (local doubes) saw a walk-over like they had never seen before:
15/9 Chateauroux club 391 YBs: 1-2-4-5-7-8-9-10-11-14-15-16-18-22-23-25-32… en 32/60 Prov 2,429 YBs: 1-2-4-10-15-16-32-33-35-51-53-54-65-91-94-108-129-162-164…
The team had 23 pigeons per 10 (1:10) at provincial level, with 36 prizes won by 60 basketed pigeons.
The provincial winner is a grandson of the iconic breeder Bliksem of Gaby Vandenabeele, paired to the invaluable Tieke bloodline of Luc De Laere:
-1st Prov Chateauroux: BE18-3080131: a son of Brave Bliksem BE06-3008203, a direct Gaby Vandenabeele (from Bliksem x Aagje) x Chippa BE15-3070895 (inbred to stock breeder Tieke).
-2nd Prov. Chateauroux: BE18-3080106: a daughter of Inteelt Junior BE10-3181439 (grandson of stock birds Tieke and Justine Bliksem) x Daughter Tulle BE15-3126582 (herself 1st Nat. Zone La Souterraine 1,018 pigeons).
-4th Prov. Chateauroux: BE18-3080107: winner of a 9th Prov. Argenton and a daughter of Sproet Tieke x Bijou (daughter Justine Bliksem)
-10th Prov. Chateauroux: BE18-3080072: a son of Perfect Boy BE16-3053765 (winner of 2nd Prov. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance KBDB) x Jermainneke BE17-3021528 (1st Prov. Blois and a daughter of Gabriëlla).
After an overhelming result from Tours we saw an equally impressive performance in Chateauroux.
The pigeons have been in great shape at home, and the De Laere bloodlines have yet again excelled in other lofts as well. A good example is the loft of Andrea Fabriani, an Italian fancier who has two national ace pigeon candidates and an Olympiad candidate with racing birds Bomba and Mattia (click here for their achievements).
Stock breeder Tieke x Vandenabeele pigeons: a success formula
Combining the bloodline of the team's own stock breeder Tieke with mainly pigeons of Gaby Vandenabeele has really enabled this team to increase their performance. The descendants from these pairings allowed Luc De Laere to become a nationally renowned player in the longer middle distance and the light long distance in no time. He increasingly left his mark on the competition in recent seasons, claiming several provincial first prizes and other top results. This is a pigeon family in full bloom, ready for a few more great seasons!