Peiren Noël, "Golden Olympic summer"


The Long Distance season got to a slow start with postponed liberations, but when the international confrontations came, it started to look like a beautiful summer. Shiners such as Etienne Meirlaen, Erik Devlaminck, Van Ouwerkerk-Dekkers…and a few others were present. These unarguably included Noël Peiren from the West-Flemish Zedelgem. After Bourges (Gistel 347p: 6-7-8-12-14-16-17-25…) and Brive (Gistel 315p: 1-6-17-35-37-38-…) I knew enough. The pigeons from Noël grew to the greatest performances. From Pau (intern. 6828p: 85-1061-1453 3/5) and Montauban (nat. 5438p: 25-194…8/11) the first national and international top prizes were achieved, but the first real fireworks came from Barca and St-Vincent.
In the Long Distance club Gistel against 252p it was:
provincial 1603p: 2-5-11-30-54-…and national 11.484p: 21-33-70-153-309-…
The same day it was explosions from St-Vincent with the yearlings.
Noël only basketted 13 yearling hens but won in Gistel 296p: 1-4-14-69-78-96, began provincially against 1855p with 5-8 and nationally 8393p with 15-23.
A different team went to Tarbes and totally dominated the results.
Gistel 210p: 1-3-11-12-16-24-36-42-46 (20), provincial 1212p: 3-20-38-40-52… and national 4660p: 8-49-78-82-120-187… Nobody could tip on this result. (maybe a few German fanciers internationally, but I haven't got the result yet!).
Noël really wanted to shine in the last race of the year. He entered a team of 46 cocks and hens for Perpignan.
Result in Gistel 257p: 1-10-13-17-18-19-20-36-37-38-39….;
provincial 1442p: 1-39-55-64-66-69-74-141-146-150-158-224-226-268-282… national 7603p: 4-116-164-197-204-231-… international 5-…

After 6 provincial top 10 places it was now the first provincial from Perpignan. This was the icing on the cake. A new jewel in the crown of the emperor from Zedelgem. All this brute force gave 12 national top 100 places in 2008! Few could do better from Barcelona, St-Vincent, Tarbes, Pau, Montauban and Perpignan.

Hot under the feet
During the holiday months July and August you can find me on the Belgian coast nearly all the time. Report work is quiet and I fully enjoy all the peace and quiet at the camping in Nieuwpoort. The only pigeon visit that I then make is to Noël Peiren. This time I waited until after Perpignan to allow Noël to recuperate after the season.How does he manage it time and again?
I now want to know all the ins and outs and prepare a few questions in advance.

Since 2000 you race with the natural method from Barcelona and Perpignan. Why did you start doing this and have there been any changes made in the meantime?
At the time I used to visit the late Roger Florizone almost every week. At some point we talked about the exceptional performances of the Dutch in the international races with the natural method. I said to Roger "If they can do it in the Netherlands, then I can do it as well". I used this system for the first time the following year in 2000 and achieved a magnificent national result 13.659p: 7-178-313-338-398-406...(17/25). Since then I haven't changed anything with this system. During the winter months (until the New Year) all the hens sit in the large aviary. They have enough air, light and oxygen.
The nest hens remain in the lofts and fly out every day. The lofts are open all day. Rain, wind, mist, snow…there are not many days that the pigeons here don't fly. Nest cocks, widowers, late youngsters all outside all day long. The nest hens are allowed to leave the aviary after the New Year and are put into the loft where they resided as youngster and yearling. They are now also allowed to fly outside regularly, but not at the same time as the cocks of course. They generally fly out twice a week. They enter the other loft without any problems. Nest hens are coupled on the 15th of April. After brooding for a few days they are separated again and the hens are returned to their former loft.
They may possibly race a training race but then they are basketted every week. During the week they are regularly taken from home to train. I'm talking about twice per week. I always travel 60 km with the hens. The mating instinct is in full swing in that period because in that loft they are sitting in the living boxes of the youngsters. There is no special floor or anything. It all goes well, but plenty of racing and training is the way to do things. Both sexes then race national Bourges (end May) and are then coupled so that they can race Barcelona with small youngsters. This year I mainly basketted hens for Barca. I basketted 21 hens, only 2 nest cocks and 3 widowers.
Between Bourges and Barcelona all the nest pigeons (including the cocks) raced Ablis (300 km) whilst brooding. For the rest I let them train twice a week from 60 km. It is a lot of work, but it pays dividends. Luckily I found a system that enables me to transfer the pigeons from the trap straight into a large basket meaning that I don't have to get hold of them individually. Yet the natural system involves a lot of work. My wife Liliane only does the 'paper work' and all the pigeons are a lot of work. Believe me Johan, I'm glad when the season is over! After Barcelona the pigeons are coupled once again so that they are brooding when they go to Perpignan.
The nest cocks are only raced from Poitiers and are always entered for the training races from 60 km. I raced 46 pigeons from Perpignan: widowers, nest cocks and nest hens (only the 2-year old hens remained home). It was a lot and some of them had discarded 5 feathers but I wanted them to gain experience for the 2009 season.

You haven't told us anything about the yearlings. You raced 13 yearling hens from St-Vincent I but which system do you race and what do your yearling cocks do? They don't actually have a system. I select a few yearling hens (13 in 2008) which I place amongst my youngsters. Seeing that I don't breed early, I don't have any cocks to pair them with. They remain free even though a few have paired up with each other. I let them brood. They are raced with the old pigeons, trained with the nest pigeons from 60 km.
The week prior to basketting for St-Vincent they flew Argenton. Then they go to St-Vincent and they do very well every year. I keep all the hens that return home. They don't have to win a prize, but it is a bonus if they do. I can't complain this year because I had two top pigeons in the top 25 national. The future is certain because only 1 of the 13 didn't return home. They will be allowed to taste Barcelona next year.
The yearling cocks are raced for the whole year as if they were priests. No hens, but entered regularly for short and middle distance races. Prizes are totally unimportant. The cocks don't have enough experience for St-Vincent and it is also a lot of extra work. I then have to train them again and they take too long entering the traps. It all just carries on with the hens.

Furthermore just widowers?
There are 50. They are coupled on the 15th of April so that they can brood for 10 days. Then they go into widowhood. I mainly race them from Brive, Montauban and Perpignan. Another team from Limoges, Tarbes and Perpignan. I also enter widowers for Souillac or Marseille. The two-year old widowers have raced well this year in the Middle Distance with the last race Limoges 214p: 4-7-19-35-36-50-54-56-64. I didn't enter them further for Perpignan. There is still some talent here. After the season the widowers are allowed to brood again and the novices are placed in the loft.

There is talent amongst the two-year old cocks! How do you select the pigeons because I can imagine that it is not easy with so many good pigeons in the loft?
No, they are not all good pigeons. If you race your old pigeons every year in the Grand Distance, they select themselves. The bad ones don't return home. The first selection occurs at a young age. When I wean the youngsters, I get rid of the rubbish. If I don't miss anything they don't even get the chance to come into the youngsters' loft. After the season I take two baskets into the youngsters' loft. One basket is for the poulterer and one for myself. I base my judgement on feeling and health. A pigeon either does or does not please me. It's as simple as that. Also the yearlings are not yet selected on their performances. I look at brothers and sisters that have performed well. All yearling hens that returned from St-Vincent are kept and the yearling cocks move to the nest loft or to the widowers until the boxes are full. It's not difficult is it? For the two-year olds I am stricter and they have to prove themselves. The hens are selected on their performances because they are entered for Barcelona. Cocks are given a less strict selection. Once the cocks are 3-years old they have to at least have earned 2/3 prize which doesn't necessarily have to be a top prize.

Describe a normal working day for you during the racing season?
Liliane directly answers this question with: 'Pigeons from morning until dark, hardly any time to eat!'. I have to agree with Liliane. I get up at 6.15 a.m. and at 7 a.m. I let the widowers out. During the hour that they are training I clean the loft and make sure they have fresh food and water. They are forced to train for half an hour; the flag is on the loft. My cocks are outside a lot in the winter and are used to sitting on the roof or being in the garden. This is no longer tolerated. It is sometimes necessary to use the flag until the end of June. For the second half of the training they are allowed to sit on the roof.
At 8a.m. the youngsters are let out, or should I say the priests (read yearling cocks). More the youngsters than the yearlings. This is only a few times per week. They don't obey me enough yet. The lofts of the nest pigeons are opened. They are not forced to train. The exception is when the pigeons have to be basketted for training. On those days they have to return home from 60 km. You can be certain that they know their way home! I'm then busy all day taking care of the breeding pigeons, cleaning lofts…
At 5.30p.m. the widowers have to train again but firstly all the other pigeons have to be back inside the lofts. If a few nest pigeons refuse to go back inside the loft then they are forced to train with the widowers. Then all sorts of small jobs or basketting the pigeons. In-between I receive many telephone calls and visits. My day is filled and sometimes too short.

You have been at the top for years. How do you stay there?
In fact not much has changed in the pigeon sport over the years. There were good pigeons and good fanciers in the past and they are still here now. A lot of names out the past are still my greatest rivals. I still mainly race with the same blood as in former days. There are other pedigrees here and there but theses are tested thoroughly first. The basis remains preserved and unchanged. The best pigeons always went to the breeding loft and I hardly ever sold top pigeons. My biggest trump card for staying at the top is probably that I stayed a way from the medicine cabinet. Maybe I can best explain by quoting an article from a pigeon magazine written by the well-known 'Gerry' Vandamme (races under the name Van Damme-Boddaert) : "Have you seen what a certain Noël Peiren (Zedelgem) has achieved? And don't give me any bullshit….if there's one man who I'm 100% sure won't make the veterinary surgeons rich, it is Peiren. You don't hear me saying that in the whole of Peiren's house there isn't a powder or a pill to be found…But you can definitely be sure that we have mentioned his weakest weapon. The Noël…just like his late father Georges, God rest his soul:for the whole of my reporter's career I have flirted with mother nature so that the pigeons could profit from the precious nectar of the 'natural wealth'. What do I mean? If you really want to know, take a ride in the winter- say November, December- to Zedelgem and you will see them flying from 9 o'clock in the morning to 5 o'clock in the evening, the Peiren-Artists. Whatever the weather, snow , fog , storm…Peiren commands in all weathers. And if it is too much ,you just have to say…the chopping knife is at hand. Real nature freaks, the Peiren-flyers and they make it obvious in the races"
(source De Duif)

Top pigeons 2008
15th national Pau 2008
He was bred from 'Diplomaat 563/94' (brother other top pigeon 'Electriek 284/94' or the father of 'Wondere Peiren') who self won the 5th national Montauban by friend Gerard Viaene. The parents of 'Diplomaat' are 'St-Vincent 3402120/87' (St-Vincent Vanbruaene X Sproetekop Vanbruaene ) X Blauw 3376705/85 (from son 1st intern. Barcelona 1984 from Vanbruaene x sister 2nd nat. Ace pigeon Long Distance 1984). They are also grandparents of 'De Wondere Peiren', the super pigeon that won everything in the Netherlands by Saarloos.
The mother of '975/01' is a direct daughter of 'Artiest-Barcelona 946/90'(1st provincial West-Flanders Barcelona 1993 , 2nd national and 4th international)
3324011/04: 25th nat. Montauban 2008
His father is a son of '583' (sort Artiest x Bordeaux Dereere).
The mother
is a full sister of 'Darco'.'Darco'3278563/95 was a real topper. In 1998 he won Cahors nat. 11.090p:76th and Dax intern. 10.511p:249th, in 1999 Cahors nat. 13.093p 382nd and Dax intern. 12.880p:82nd and Cahors nat. 11.838p:80th.
His father 'Dax II 3298167/91' won in 1994 2nd international Dax 6779 pigeons and his father 'Dax 3376883/85' won 213th national Cahors, 829th international Perpignan, 73rd international Perpignan, 11th international Dax, 8th national Dax, 90th national Dax and 252nd national Dax. If you line up the prizes from Da
grandfather 11th international, father 2nd international and son 82nd international.
3183362/06: 21st national Barcelona 2008
Her parents won together 9 times from Barcelona.
The father '683/99' (national 124-1292-1572-1715-2218) is a son of 'Diplomaat 563/94' with '978/97' (daughter Arties-Barcelona 946/90).
The mother '905/01'(national 13-685-926-1571) is out '661/95 Apollo'(Montauban '98 nat. 7764p-109, Narbonne '98 nat. 7325p-346, Montauban '99 nat. 8774p-687, Narbonne 99 nat. 6228p-32.)
3183524/06: 33rd national Barcelona 2008
Her father is 'De Pau' (41st nat. Pau) from the Florizone pedigree.
The mother is the breeding wonder'060/01', borrowed from Johan Kempen (from Geel and now racing under Vangeel-Kempen) from the pedigrees L. Kurvers and Muller.
3219225/05: 70th national Barcelona 2008
This hen also won 231st national Perpignan 2008.
Her father is 'Prins Barcelona 3263157/97'. He won in 2000 from Barcelona national 13.659p-7th and international 26.597p-15th.
The mother is '3263054/97 daughter Artiest Barcelona' (313th national Barcelona '00).
3196147/07: 15th national St-Vincent I 2008
She comes directly out 'Diplomaat 563/94' and '375/00' (granddaughter '136/92', 5th international Barcelona by Johan Kempen)
3196168/07: 23rd national St-Vincent I 2008
Her father is '110/99'. His wins include 7th and 36th national Beziers and is a full brother of 'Darco 563/95'.
The mother is a direct from Cor de Heyde from Made NL. Peiren and De Heyde swapped a few pigeons to mutual satisfaction.
3183480/06: 8th national Tarbes 2008
The father is 'De Zitter', a full brother of 'Wondere Peiren NL717/96'(6th nat. Bergerac, 8th nat. St-Vincent and 12th national Dax in the space of a year).
The mother is '500-duivin' (daughter of Diplomaat 563/94)
3183334/06: 49th national Tarbes 2008
His father is the national victor from Bourges 2004. This cock '194/01' is a son of 'Darco 563/95'.
The mother is '046/02'. Her wins include 95th national Barca 2005 and 101st national Perpignan 2005 (again directly out 'Prins-Barcelona' x '054/97').
3233890/04: 78th national Tarbes 2008
Was clocked from Perpignan 2008 as 1st nominated at 20.40 (result not yet known).
His father is 'Prins Barcelona 3263157/97'. He won in 2000 from Barcelona national 13.659p-7th and international 26.597p-15th.
The mother is once again '054/97'a daughter of 'Artiest-Barcelona'.
3183513/06: 82nd national Tarbes 2008 Bred from son 'Marseille' x pedigree the late Florizone and the late Jef Vandenbroecke (Wielsbeke).
3219196/05: 5th international Perpignan 2008,4th national , 1st provincial West-Flanders This cock was bred out two direct pigeons from Chris Hebberecht from Evergem. A few years ago this East-Flemish champion asked if he could exchange a few pigeons. Noël agreed and chose the cock '4417738/04' and the hen '4456781/03'.
These are the parents of the new provincial champion from Perpignan.