Gino Clicque (Wevelgem, BE) is having another great season even after his record breaking sale

We are four months after his record breaking sale, in which all old and one year old Clicque pigeons were sold in auction, and Gino is already working hard to make his way back to the top. 2017 was proving to be a lot more than just a transition year, having already won two top references and several top results. But then the bird flu but a damper on the season.

1st National and 1st Provincial

Gino had sold all of his pigeons of 2016 and older on PIPA, leaving him with nothing but a group of young birds of 2016. This means we were expecting the best results to be coming from other Ginio Clicque based pigeon lofts in recent weeks, instead of from Gino's own racing team. And it appears that many fanciers have made a smart move obtaining a Gino Clicque pigeon, judging from these two references this spring:

In addition, the Clique descendants of Ronny Menten won a 2nd Provincial Châteauroux of 1,724 yearlings, a 7th Provincial Blois of 1,484 olds and an 8th National Argenton of 22,319 yearlings (8th fastest of 35,844 pigeons).

Gino visiting the Bellaert family, winners of a 1st Nat. Châteauroux with a 100% Clicque bird

Steady increase in performance

Make no mistake: Gino was not watching the season go by from the sideline over the past three months, quite the contrary. He did manage to win a 1st Provincial from Clermont 10,757 p. with a son of Golden Prince early in the season. This shows that the racing birds from Wevelgem were eager to work hard again this season. The pigeons gradually improved their form over the weeks, and their level of performance increased steadily as well:

22/04/17 Clermont Club 519 p.
149-153-154-156-164-171 (73/100) (25 per 10-tal)
22/04/17 Clermont Provincial 8,051 p.
1470 (46 per 5, 33% per 10)
29/04/17 Clermont Club 691 p.
228 (87/183) (41 per 10)
06/05/17 Clermont Club 547 p. 
176 (60/163) (23 per 10)
13/05/17 Tours Provincial 1,076 p.
310-312-314-317-346-347 (31/98)
20/05/17 Tours Provincial 3,353 p.
668-715-722-734-838-841-848-903-928-950-968-971-999-1022-1026-1034-1039-1042 (44/88) (15 per 10)
27/05/17 Bourges Club 489 p.
136-137-148-149-151-155-159-161 (70/175) (28 per 10)
27/05/17 Bourges Provincial 3,516 p.
1116-1125-1141-1142 (79/175) (30 per 10)
10/06/17 Châteauroux Club 831 p.
187-192-197-198-200-202-208-211-213-217-217-230-235-242-243-245-260-261-266 (77/158) (25 per 10)
10/06/17 Châteauroux Provincial 4,260 p.
1125-1151-1207-1260-1267-1278-1315-1337-1369-1388-1396-1412 (85/158) (37 per 10)
17/06/17 Châteauroux Club 500 p. 
115-137-162 (36/46) (18 per 10)
17/06/17 Châteauroux Provincial 3,084 p.
218-239-278-323-359-445-447-546-607-703-847 (39/46) (31 per 10)

Besides his 2nd Provincial Clermont Gino has also won a 4th and 6th Provincial Clermont, as well as a 5th Provincial Tours and a 6th Provincial Châteauroux, which shows that Gino is having quite a successful comeback in his 'year after'. Admittedly, Gino baskets a large group of pigeons for each race but he does have an impressive prize percentage and several prizes per 10 each tim as well, which is quite an achievement in itself!

Gino and his son Jasper will not be awaiting their pigeons in the next few weeks unfortunately

Spanner in the works

Even though the team had some promising results in recent weeks, the racing season has now come to a sudden halt. Gino, along with many of his Belgian colleagues, will have to try and keep the pigeons in decent shape with some training flights around the loft. A disappointed Gino explains: "A ban has been imposed on pigeon racing for the next several weeks due to the bird flu. I am fortunate enough to be allowed to let my pigeons train outside, since my loft is just 50m outside of the 3km perimeter (in which pigeons are not allowed to go outside)." The timing could not be worse, with his pigeons clearly in peak form. It was obvious that the team from Wevelgem had really targeted this part of the season, because in the past three seasons they were able to win a 1st National between mid and late June. "This is really unfortunate. I had won a great result in the provincial from Châteauroux on17th of June, winning 31 prizes per 10 with 46 basketed pigeons, and 16 pigeons in the top 100." This has really put a damper on his season, even though we are confident that he will continue to win several more top results in the near future. And we can only hope that this applies to all the fanciers that have been sidelined by the bird flu this season.