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Etienne Meirlaen (Deurle, BE) as dominant as ever in the extreme long distance

He has an Olympiad Pigeon for Poznan 2019, he is the moral winner of a 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Yearlings 2018, he has the best two pigeons of Belgium in the extreme long distance over three international races, and he has the best hen of Belgium over three international races.

In addition, he wins a 1st Prov. St. Vincent and a 1st Prov. Marseille, as well as several championship and ace pigeon titles KBDB 2018. It goes without saying that team Meirlaen can look back on a spectacular 2018 racing season!


A picture of Etienne Meirlaen and Thomas Gyselbrecht, in front of the farmhouse

An international star in the extreme long distance

To say that Etienne Meirlaen is a big champion and one of the leading names in the international extreme long distance would be stating the obvious. He is one of the big stars in the marathon competition and the international classics. We saw this again in 2017, when the Meirlaen pigeon breed was recognised as Belgium's number one in the extreme long distance. His 2017 season almost looked like an exact copy of his 2008 season, since his team won a 1st and 3rd National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB in both seasons: in 2008 with Cor and Asduivin and in 2017 with the iconic racing birds Diamond Anita and Provincial Pau. (And to add to that, Perpignanlady won a title of 1st National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance in 2009). And the best yearling of Belgium in the extreme long distance in 2017 could be found in the lofts in Deurle as well. And on top of that, they ended the 2017 season as 1st National Champion Extreme Long Distance KBDB and General Champion Belgian Entente. It was a crowning achievement after a fabulous 2017 season.

Yelena bloodline conintues to reign in 2018

The national ace pigeons KBDB from 2017 were given a special spot in the breeding lofts, which understandably impacted the racing team. As such, Etienne did not really know what to expect from the 2018 season. They did have a few promising newcomers in the team, bred from proven breeders, that were eager to fill up the space. The big goal for Etienne Meirlaen this season would be to try and match his results from 2017 as closely as possible. Although he knew it would be close to impossible to do even better. We have said it a few times already but 2018 has been one of the most demanding seasons in the history of our sport, especially due to the heat and the many races with strong headwinds. And these happen to be the weather conditions which the Meirlaen birds really thrive in.

It is not much of a secret: the bloodline of the invaluable stock dam Yelena has really pushed the Meirlaen pigeon breed to new heights in recent years. This is a bloodline that continues to deliver. It really showed in their list of achievements of 2018:

1st Ace pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance olds 2018 – 3 international races
1st Ace Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance YLs 2018 – 2 international races
1st Best hen of Belgium Extreme Long Distance 2018 – over 3 International races
1st & 4th Olympiad Pigeon Belgium Extreme Long Distance Cat E - Poznan 2019 
2nd Ace Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance olds 2018 – over 3 International races
5th National Champion Extreme Long Distance olds KBDB 2018
7th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance olds KBDB 2018
15th Nat Ace Pigeon Long Distance and Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2018
1st Provincial St.Vincent olds 2018
1st Provincial Marseille olds 2018

Let's have a look at the pigeons responsible for these fantastic feats.

1st Prov. and 2nd National St. Vincent with Olympic Monar 031

Etienne Meirlaen had been very close to adding another national win to his list of achievements, with a son Monar about to follow in the footsteps of his father. Unfortunately he had to settle for second place national in St. Vincent. However, it did result in a provincial victory.
Monar will go down in history as the proud winner of a 1st International Narbonne 12,605 pigeons in 2011. He was transferred to the lofts of Dr. Guo Weicheng (Great Wall) in China after being sold on PIPA in december 2012, as the most expensive pigeon of the lot. Over the years it became clear that his transfer meant a considerable loss in breeding value here in Europe, especially if you look at the potential of the sons and daughters of Monar (a son of Yelena):

- Sire Olympic Monar 031 BE13-4077031: winner 1. Prov & 2. Nat St.Vincent in 2018 and 1. Olympic Ace Cat E 2019
- Sire Olympic Monar 054 BE13-4077054: 1st Ace Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance olds 2018 – over 3 International races and 4th Olympiad Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB Cat E – Poznan 2019
- Grandfather Diamond Anita NL14-1040453: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance olds KBDB 2017
- Grandfather Provincial Pau BE12-4278314: 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance olds KBDB 2017
- Grandfather All-in-One BE13-4077161: 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014
- Sire of Monar’s Pride BE13-4077055: 9th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014

Two of Monar's most famous sons developed into two of the leading birds of 2017 and 2018, and their names are Olympic Monar 031 and Olympic Monar 054. They are in fact the last birds bred from Monar on Belgian soil, before his transfer to the far east. These two champions have quite an impressive list of achievements, making Team Meirlaen one of the best performing lofts at international level in 2018. They claimed several remarkable results and they claimed quite a few prestigious ace pigeon titles as well. Here they are:

-Olympic Monar 031 BE13-4077031

 1st Olympiad Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance Cat E 2019 
 2nd  Nat St.Vincent 2,758 p. ’18 – 1st Prov. 477 p.
25th  Nat Pau        2,135 p. ’17
72nd  Nat Pau        2,581 p. ’18
78th  Nat St.Vincent 3,053 p. ’17
141st Nat Libourne   5,024 p. ’15
213th Nat Brive      5,952 p. ’16

Sire: Monar BE08-4298283
Winner of a 1st Int. Narbonne 12,605 p. and a son of Father Marseille BE00-3127222 x golden stock dam Yelena BE06-4288297.
Dam: Granddaughter Queen Tony NL08-1652926
A direct Cor de Heijde (Made, NL) from Son Queen Tony BE07-6164035 (a direct Frans Bungeneers from Queen Tony, 1st Nat. Barcelona 13,066 p. in 2005) x Daughter Diamantje NL04-0429730.
Click here for the pedigree of Olympic Monar 031

Olympic Monar 054: Best pigeon of Belgium 2018 extreme long distance - 3 races

The national ace pigeon title extreme long distance KBDB is won over the course of two races. As it turns out, the Meirlaen pigeons do you one better: the best two pigeons of Belgium in the extreme long distance across three international races, in an unusually difficult 2018 season, belong to team Meirlaen.

The winner of this prize is also one of Etienne's favourite birds. This explains why he was basketed as 1st nominated in most etreme long distance races. His name is Olympic Monar 054, and he is another son of Monar. This is his list of achievements:

-Olympic Monar 054 BE13-4077054

 1st Ace Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance olds 2018 – over 3 International races
 2nd Best pigeon from Perpignan in Belgium 2017-2018
 4th (Res) Olympiad Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance Cat E – Poznan 2019
 8th  Nat Perpignan      3,966 p. ’18
45th  Nat Perpignan      4,620 p. ’17
63rd  Nat Perpignan      4,191 p. ’16
67th  Nat Pau            2,581 p. ’18
105th Nat St.Vincent     2,758 p. ’18
105th Nat Perpignan      5,254 p. ’15
316th Intnat St.Vincent 11,569 p. ’17
350th Intnat St.Vincent 10,643 p. ’16
co-winner of title of 1st Nat. Champion Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2017

Sire: Monar BE08-4298283
Winner of a 1st Int. Narbonne 12,605 p. and a son of Father Marseille BE00-3127222 x golden stock dam Yelena BE06-4288297.
Dam: Black Silk BE10-2155244
This is a fantastic bloodline, and a direct Desbuquois brothers. This dam stems from an inbred pair: half brother x half sister (from the same sire). Her parents are Roger Barcelona BE03-2010062 (winner of a 1st Nat. Barcelona 11,802 p. in 2006) x Daughter Emiel BE08-2092295. They both stem from Den Emiel BE98-2448595. Black Silk is also the grandmother of a 1st Ace Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance Yearlings 2018 for Etienne Meirlaen.
Click here for the full pedigree of Olympic Monar 054.

This is quite a talented bird indeed! His racing career is now officially over, and he has been transferred to the breeding loft instead. This loft is home to quite a number of ace pigeons indeed.

1st Prov. Marseille and best hen of Belgium in the extreme long distance - 3 races

Etienne Meirlaen had the second best pigeon of Belgium over three international extreme long distance races in his collection as well. The winner of this second place is a hen with a 1st Prov. Marseille to her name. This makes her the best hen of Belgium over three marathon races.

-Phenomenal Ace BE14-4261020 (hen)

 1st  Best hen of Belgium Extreme Long Distance 2018 – over 3 international races
 2nd  Nat. Ace Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance 2018 – over 3 international races
 1st  Prov Marseille       179 p. ’18 – 73rd Nat. 2.336 p.
34th  Int Marseille Hens 2,130 p. ’18
28th  Nat Montauban      2,124 p. ’15
78th  Nat Pau            2,581 p. ’18
80th  Int Narbonne Hens  4,799 p. ’16 – 95th Nat. 4,092 p.
119th Nat Perpignan      4,620 p. ’17
144th Nat Perpignan      3,966 p. ’18

She was inbred to the fantastic ’t Fenomeen, and she is a granddaughter of golden stock dam Yelena.
Sire: Son Fenomeen BE12-4286862
A direct son of racing star ’t Fenomeen BE07-4278339 x golden stock dam Yelena BE06-4288297 (the dam of Monar, Montali, Montauban, grandmother of 1st Olympiad Pigeon and 4th Olympiad Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Cat E – Poznan 2019, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance 2018 over 3 international races, etc). Top class racing bird ’t Fenomeen has won the following prizes:

 1st Best Long Distance Pigeon of Belgium 2010 – 5 national races
 9th Nat Cahors   7,347 p.
10th Nat Brive   17,456 p.
15th Nat Cahors   8,651 p.
23rd Nat Limoges 10,448 p.
Etc…

‘t Fenomeen is himself a son of top breeder 612 Brother Marseille BE05-4344612, a full brother of Marseille an a half brother of Monar and Montali.
Dam: Half-sister Fenomeen BE11-4278390
As her name suggests, she is a half sister of ’t Fenomeen (from the same sire). She is a daughter of top breeder 612 Brother Marseille BE05-4344612 (a full brother of Marseille, half brother Monar, Montali…) x Asduivin BE04-4391334, herself 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2008. 
Click here for the pedigree of Phenomenal Ace 

Olympic Monar 054 and Phenomenal Ace: the best cock and the best hen of Belgium, or the best two pigeons of Belgium over 3 international races in 2018. It does not get any better!

Best yearling of Belgium in the extreme long distance 2018

And there is more! Just like last year (Best of Belgium), the country's best yearling in the extreme long distance from 2018 (a one year old hen) lives in the lofts of Etienne Meirlaen. Etienne was about to win the title of 1st National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Yearlings KBDB for two years in a row. Unfortunately for him the KBDB decided to merge the long distance and extreme long distance yearlings in a single ranking two years ago. It feels like comparing apples to oranges, and the best yearlings in the extreme long distance do not get the appreciation they deserve with this new system. Most extreme long distance fanciers are now hoping that the new board of the KBDB and the NSC will rectify this in 2019.

The winner from 2018 is quite a talented hen as well, and she has excellent origins too.

-Marathon Ace YL BE17-4214173 (hen)

 1st Ace Pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance Yearlings 2018 – 2 International races
10th Nat Agen YL       4,078 p. ’18
50th Int Agen YL      11,572 p. ’18
22nd Int Agen Hens     4,563 p. ’18
16th Nat Narbonne YL   3,017 p. ’18
50th Int Narbonne YL   6,423 p. ’18
65th Int Narbonne Hens 4,056 p. ’18

This highly talented marathon bird is a daughter of Halfsister Olympic Monar 054 BE12-4286743, and she is herself a daughter of super class breeder Old 7 Years Barcelona BE03-4364240. This breeder won 7 top prizes from Barcelona, including a 68th and 84th Nat. Barcelona, and he is a direct descendant of Laureaat Barcelona Gyselbrechts from his mother's side. This line also bred Lloyd, winner of a 1st Intnat. Barcelona 2018 for Team Freddy De Jaeger. The dam is Black Silk BE10-2155244 (Desbuquois Brothers), which is also the dam of Olympic Monar 054 (see earlier). 

This ace pigeon yearlings adds to an already impressive collection of ace pigeons from 2018. The pigeon lofts from Deurle are now home to an astounding collection of ace birds.

Meirlaen pigeons excel in other lofts as well

It takes more than just getting great results at home to be considered a top class loft. If you really want to stand out, your pigeons should be able to deliver in other lofts as well. And that is what the pigeons of Meirlaen did. They have even won a number of national first prizes for other teams.

Here is a summary of the best results of the Meirlaen breed in other lofts this season:

-Team Freddy De Jaeger: winner of a 1st Internat. Barcelona 2018 (the sire is a direct Meirlaen pigeon, a grandson Old 7Y Barcelona and Marseille: see pedigree)
-Mark Gilbert (UK) wins a 1st Nat. Poitiers 2018 (the dam is Daughter Starlight, a direct Meirlaen: see pedigree)
-Mark Gilbert (UK) wins a 1st Nat. Pau 2018 BICC (with a son of Starlight: winner of a 2nd Intnat. Tarbes 12,549 p. for Etienne Meirlaen). This pigeon was basketed again for St.Vincent, now as 2nd National St.Vincent, beaten by a teammate. Click here for the pedigree of this champion
-Mark Gilbert (UK) wins a 1st Nat. St.Vincent 2018, now with a granddaughter of Starlight (her dam is a daughter of Starlight, see pedigree).
-Jeff & Catherine Cooper (UK) wins a 1st Prov. and 2nd Nat. Pau 2018 (the dam is Daughter Starlight, a direct Meirlaen)

This team had plenty of references, so we have only included the national or international winners.

The Meirlaen pigeons have exceptional breeding potential indeed: they deliver long distance and extreme long distance champions and ace pigeons on a steady basis, both at home and in other lofts. A Meirlaen racing bird is always tough to beat, especially in their discipline of choice: the extreme long distance. This is the best of the best!

Results in the international races in 2018

Pau        Nat 2,581 olds: 13-67-72-78-95-224-275-312-465-608-642 (11/13)
Agen       Nat 4,477 olds: 88-127-133-178-242-521-878 (7/10)
Agen       Nat 4,078 YLs:  10-47-121-139-154-159-255-260-284-286-290-349-395-397… (22/35)
Barcelona  Nat 7,438 olds: 68-147-194-324-327-346-512-742… (12/32)
St.Vincent Nat 2,758 olds: 2-87-105-117-143-163-188-208-415-489 (10/15)
Marseille  Nat 2,336 olds: 73-123-322-341 (4/5)
Narbonne   Nat 3,017 YLs:  8-16-75-86-102-142-172-217-239-243… (14/29)
Narbonne   Nat 3,506 olds: 102-166-187-213-334-669 (6/9)
Perpignan  Nat 3,966 olds: 8-22-26-107-144-382-499-637 (8/11)