Mornard Widow (Verviers, BE) wins the 1st International Agen !

Geoffrey Mornard from Verviers continues the work of his father Henri, with a 1st International Agen triumph. He is racing now under the name of Widow Henri Mornard.

Several years after my first visit, it is still a great feeling to walk through the gate of this famous house in Verviers (in the east of Belgium, +/- 50 km from the German border). This is a mythic place for the pigeon sport in the Liège area where Henri Mornard and Ernest Gurnay achieved such great performances in our sport. They won the first international Perpignan in the 90s. What a strange feeling to come back here and celebrate the magnificent performance achieved by the racers from this colony on the recent international race from Agen.

A winning come back

It has been several years that the Mornard family was racing from two different locations, far away from each other. Micheline, the mom and widow from Henri, was taking care of the pigeons housed in the lofts in Verviers. Her son, Geoffrey, moved to the area of Tournai (southwest of Belgium, 200 km from Verviers) because he met his current wife there! However, Geoffrey was missing his native area and decided to go back to Verviers in September 2013, together with his wife and his children. Nowadays, the whole colony is reunited again in the mythic loft of Gurnay. And the first results are already astonishing!

Geoffrey straight to the point 

It was a real pleasure to meet Geoffrey again. He became a father and a happy pigeon fancier enjoying now his love for the pigeon sport. I really enjoyed to talk with him and during our conversation, I immediately felt that his father transmitted his experience and love for the pigeon sport to Geoffrey. However, it wasn't that easy to bear his family name because everyone was expecting a lot from him, particularly his competitors. This was especially the case when his father suddenly deceased. He had to take care of the whole colony from one day to another.

The colony and the game 

For 2014, the colony has been built around 20 breeding pairs housed in a spacious aviary, while 51 widowers had to represent their loft on the entire programme of long & extreme long distances. Each year, 150 youngsters are bred to make sure the colony's future is assured. During my visit, there were 40 widowers left as a few of them were lost during the first races (2 very good olds were lost during the first training race). The number of empty widow boxes per loft is remarkable. Geoffrey added that it was a total difference compared with the past and he emphasized that the pigeons need to be selected on their natural health before being placed to the racing loft to, let's hope, achieve some super results.

For that reason, the medical guidance before the season is really limited and no blind cures are being done. « You don't need to make long studies to see if the pigeons are in good health or not » added Geoffrey, which is practically a shame as he maried a veterinary surgeon! It gives you an idea of the manager's philosophy: the quality of the pigeons, a good loft and a constant observation are most important to be successful in the pigeon sport.

Before this season, the pigeons were coupled twice in February and in March. Afterwards, they were put on classic widowhood and started to train and race between 100 and 450 km. The objective was to have them ready at the begining of June and the start of the heavy work. The whole team was then splitted in accordance with their condition and the (numerous) races programmed in the heavy middle distance, long & extreme long distances.

The acommodations 

Compared with the initial layout, several lofts were dismantled. A few lofts from the attic were transformed into bedrooms. However, Geoffrey has enough place with his 3 widowers compartments (75 racing boxes), 2 lofts for the youngsters, 2 aviaries for the hens and a big aviary where the breeding pairs are housed.

Agen : almost a double victory !

The victory of the family Mornard on this race is symbolic. It was thanks to the performance of a two years old mealy cock, brother from various super racers from the loft. Click here to check his pedigree.

As you can see, it's a descendant from the best lines of Mornard (Gurnay-Tossens-Matterne), crossed with a hen from Reiner Heynen - a close friend of the family - coming from the lines of Mornard-Denijs. However, I was really surprised when I handled the second clocked pigeon who won the 3rd national for old pigeons, because he is a late bred from 2013 (still with several nest feathers) ringed with an old ring! After a quick analysis, I noticed that if that second pigeon would have been ringed with a ring from the year of his birth (2013), he would have ended at the first place of the yearlings, which means that the Mornard loft should have won two national victories at the same time!

The winner's wing


When I left the house of the family Mornard, I had some questions coming to my mind and I promised myself to come back again to visit them… Indeed, the quality of the pigeons is really high and Geoffrey convinced me that he is only at the begining of a fantastic career in the pigeon sport. I will certainly come back in the future to talk again about the performances won by this sympathetic family! Congratulations! 

The family Mornard after the superb performance.


Félicitations a la famille Mornard

Le fils est fière mais le père la ou il est dois être encore +


Félicitations a Micheline et Geoffrey,Bonne continuation.
Le petit garçon ressemble fort a Henri.Belle petite famille.

Félicitation à Geoffrey et à sa maman pour cette exploit que tout colombophile rêve de faire un jour