The month of July is the big exam for all long distance fanciers, with five long distance classics in a row from Limoges, Aurillac, Libourne, Souillac and Tulle, both for the old birds and the yearlings. The outcome of these five races will eventually determine the national championship winners and the national ace pigeons long distance KBDB. Both the long distance fanciers and their pigeons will be feeling the tension now, because this is their moment of truth. Judging from their results in Limoges, the pigeons of Gino Clicque appear to be more than ready.
A top team for Limoges
Team Clicque had opted for a large selection of birds for the prestigious long distance classic from Limoges, with as many as 31 old birds and 91 yearlings. Basketing a lot of pigeons is not much of a challenge but winning many top prizes with them is easier said than done.
Given the adverse weather forecast in Limoges both on Saturday and Sunday, the race organisers of the Belgian Entente - in agreement with the KBDB, and in the interest of the pigeons' wellbeing - decided to advance the race to Friday. It proved the right decision, since we saw heavy rain and thunderstorms around Limoges on Saturday, as well as mist and fog on Sunday, which slowly cleared. And the flight line was far from ideal; you could tell from the troubled races from Argenton in The Netherlands (both on Saturday and the postponed release on Sunday) and Noyon in Belgium.
The pigeons from Limoges started their trip back home on Friday, in sun-drenched weather and perfect race conditions. That did not make for an easy flight however: the warm temperatures above France (> 30% in the afternoon) and a moderate breeze from north to east-northeast, gradually turning to west-northwest in Belgium, meant that this was a rather demanding race for the more than 20,000 competing birds. This is often referred to as honest racing conditions, which resulted in speeds of 1178 m/min. This is the type of weather in which the great champions can really shine, and show their full potential. Needless to say, the Gino Clicque pigeons seized the opportunity with both hands.
The team of yearlings was particularly strong; they claimed several top prizes at national level. And they were very close to winning another national first prize as well, but the first prize eventually went to Jo Bauters's Salvatore. The team had to settle for 2nd national instead. They did win a provincial first prize in West Flanders, and they had an excellent result overall, with 11 Clicque pigeons claiming a spot in the national top 100 (with 9 yearlings and 2 old birds). Let's take a look at the numbers:
Limoges club 469 yearlings: 1-4-5-6-7-9-1,-12-13-15-18-20-24-29-33-36-39-40-41-46-47-48-49… (43/91) Provincial 2,133 yearlings: 1-6-11-12-13-20-32-37-40-50-66-78-97… (24 pigeons per 10 and 44/91) Nationaal 10,783 yearlings: 2-13-22-23-24-52-78-86-93-112-139-162-213-258-297-343-369-374-376-403-410-448… with a total of 46 prizes with 91 pigeons, including 33 per 10 Limoges club 417 olds: 7-11-16-22-30-40… (16/31) Provinciaal 1,947 olds: 36-50-66-120-170… (16/31) Nationaal 9,661 olds: 71-100-138-273-401-520-707-826… (8 per 10 and 17/31)
1st Provincial and 2nd National of 10,783 yearlings
The yearling that was close to winning a national first prize has some excellent origins indeed. He is a grandson of the winner of a 1st Nat. Limoges paired to a 3rd Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance young birds KBDB, and his dam was a 4th Prov. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance. In other words, a race winner paired to an ace pigeon has now bred the winner of a provincial first prize from Limoges.
-Blauwen 084 BE18-3003084
1. Prov Limoges 2,133 p. ’19 – 2. Nat 10,783 YLs 100 Prov Vierzon 1,473 p. ’19 190 Prov Tours 2,434 p. ’19 195 Prov Chateauroux 2,429 p. ’18 379 Prov Bourges 2,932 p. ’18 433 Prov Blois 3,583 p. 563 Prov Chateauroux I 3,472 p. ’19
Sire: Son Mario 747 BE17-3061747
A son of Mario BE11-3172003, winner of a 1st Nat. Limoges 7,221 p. (in 2014) and an 88th Nat. Argenton 7,046 p. Mario was paired to Jessica BE14-3028123, a 3rd Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance young birds KBDB 2014 (and a half sister of Adel, co-winner of a title of 1st Nat. Champion Longer Middle Distance KBDB).
Dam: Happy Zora BE14-3090076
Herself a 4th Prov. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance, having won a 7th Prov. Tours 1,722 p., an 8th Prov. Bourges 523 p., an 8th Prov. Tours 1,416 p., a 68th Nat. La Souterraine 2,548 p. and a 115th Nat. Chateauroux 25,126 p. She is a daughter of Brother Happy 18 BE13-3031607 x Zora BE10-3163723 (which is also the dam of Alexandra, a 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon KBDB and 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance young birds KBDB).
Click here for a full and extensive pedigree of the 1st Prov. and 2nd Nat. Limoges
This adds to a total of 19 first prizes in Wevelgem in 2019 alone, with as many as 3 provincial first prizes:
1st Prov Fontenay WVOU 5,983 olds 1st Prov Bourges 2,228 yearlings (and fastest of 5,572 pigeons – olds and yearlings together) 1st Prov Limoges 2,133 yearlings
The team concluded this successful weekend of racing with a double win in the young birds' race from Clermont on Saturday, and a great result in the national longer middle distance race from Montluçon:
Montluçon Prov. 1,444 yearlings: 7-21-40-68-168-192-219-438-468 (9/16) Montluçon Prov. 1,295 olds: 63-122-350-356-370-392 (6/12) Clermont club 1,226 young birds: 1-2-9-11-12-14-18-20-28-29-32-35-36-37-39-44-50-53- 60-67-67-80-99-99-103-104-106-109-114… (and 77/ 212)
Team Gino Clicque can look back on the weekend of 5 and 6 July with great satisfaction. They have every right to enjoy the afterglow of a great weekend. It boosts your confidence, and it can help you build up towards another great result in one of the upcoming longer middle distance and of course long distance classics over the course of this month. The pigeons of Clicque are clearly determined to continue to produce great results this season. Pigeons that are in great form at the moment of truth have plenty of options, and that applies to the Clicque pigeons in particular. They have an appetite for victory now, and we are eager to see if they can live up to the expectations in the coming few weeks. We will definitely keep an eye on the lofts from Wevelgem. Congratulations to Gino, Jasper and the entire Clicque team.