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Yelena: the golden stock dam in the Etienne Meirlaen pigeon breed (Deurle, BE)

To most fanciers, Etienne Meirlaen will always be associated with stock dam Yelena, the invaluable stock dam that was responsible for numerous fantastic results over the past decade. She turned the Meirlaen family into an internationally renowned breed.


Etienne Meirlaen and his wife Yvette at the national KBDB's awards ceremony with descendants of Yelena

The fantastic breeder Yelena has had a role in many of Etienne Meirlaen's great successes over the years. In fact, many long distance and extreme long distance fanciers consider this magnificent hen to be the world's best breeding hen of her generation. And she deserves to be called a 'super class breeding hen'. There are few breeding birds whose breeding references include both an international first prize winner, a first national ace pigeon, and a 1st Olympiad Pigeon. And there is a lot more; we haven't even started yet. Here is a look at the most prominent achievements at national and international level:

-Monar BE08-4298283 : 1st Internat. Narbonne 12,605 pigeons in 2011
-Diamond Anita NL14-1040453: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Olds KBDB 2017
-Son Monar 031 BE13-4077031: 1st Olympiad Pigeon KBDB Cat E. 2019
-Phenomenal Ace BE14-4261020 (hen): 
    1st Best hen of Belgium Extreme Long Distance 2018 – over 3 international races
    2nd Best pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance 2018 – over 3 international races 
-Provincial Pau BE12-4278314: 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance olds KBDB 2017
-Olympic Monar 054 BE13-4077054:  
    4th Olympiad Pigeon KBDB Cat E. 2019
    1st Best pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance in 2018 - over 3 international races
-All-in-One BE13-4077161: 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014
-Monar’s Pride BE13-4077055: 9th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014

Yelena: a golden stock dam with exceptional breeding genes

The success story of the Yelena dynasty can be traced back to her dam: Marathon Lady BE04-4391386. She was the best pigeon of Belgium in the extreme long distance in 2005 as a yearling. Unfortunately, she did not win the title of 1st National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB, simply because this title could only be won by old birds, not by yearlings. And there was no separate ace pigeon title for the yearlings either. Keep in mind Marathon Lady did have a lower coefficient than the 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance in her two races in 2005. In other words, this pigeon did not at all get what she deserved. But she made up for it in the breeding loft, where she became the dam of Yelena. This is Marathon Lady's excellent palmares:

-Marathon Lady BE04-4391386

 1. Big Marathon prize KBDB East Fl. 2005
12. Nat St.Vincent 10,020 YLs
25. Nat Perpignan   3,796 YLs

Marathon Lady is also a full sister of Perpignan Lady: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2009 for Etienne Meirlaen. This is no coincidence.
In the winter of 2005-2006 Etienne came to an agreement with Raoul Verstraete for a joint breeding with Marathon Lady and Topstar (the number one breeder in the Verstraete lofts). This combination of top quality bloodlines led to the birth of the fantastic Yelena BE06-4288297. And the potential of this combination became evident later on: DNA research showed that Yelena carried the highly rare LDHA genotype A/A (the AA combination is extremely rare: it is found in less than 1% of all pigeons, and mostly in champions and ace pigeons).

Over time, Yelena developed into the driving force behind the Meirlaen breeding loft, with Yelena's direct descendants winning an impressive number of top prizes. This is their list of achievements, just to give you an idea:

      1. Olympiad Pigeon Belgium 2018 – Cat E in Poznan - Poland with G.son ‘Yelena’ 031/13
      4. Olympiad Pigeon Belgium 2018 – Cat E in Poznan - Poland with ‘Olympic Monar’ 054/13
      1. Int. Narbonne 2011 - 12,605 p. with ‘Monar’
      1. prov. St Vincent 512 p. / 2. Nat. / 7. Int. 9,544 p. in 2018 with ‘G.son Yelena’       
      1. Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2017 (‘Diamond Anita’)
      1. prov. St. Vincent - 515 p. / 11. Nat. 3,053 p. in 2017 (‘Provincial Pau’)
      1. prov. Pau - 266 p. / 11. Nat. 1,661 p. 2016 (‘Provincial Pau’)
      1. prov. Agen 659 / 3. Nat. YLs 2014 – 3,180 p. with ‘Miss Agen’ 
      1. Best pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance 2018 –  3 international races ('Olympic Monar’)
      1. Best hen of Belgium Extreme Long Distance 2018 – 3 international races (‘Phenomenal Ace’)
      2. Best pigeon of Belgium Extreme Long Distance 2018 – 3 international races (‘Phenomenal Ace’)
      2. Nat. Ace Pigeon cat. E Europa Cup Dortmund 2012 met Monar
      2. Olympiad Continental Cup Budapest 2012 (cat. E) met ‘Monar’ 
      2. Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Belgium over 3 int. races 2018 with BE14-4216020
      3. Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2017 with Provincial Pau
      3. prov. Perpignan - 795 p. / 7. Nat. 4,620 p. in 2017 (‘Provincial Pau’)
      4. Nat. Montauban 2011 - 9,091 p. – 1. club with ‘Montali’
      5. Nat. Montauban 2010 – 6,654 p. – 1. prov – 1. Club with ‘De Montauban’
      6. Nat. Agen YLs - 3,173 p. - 1. prov. - 1. club with ‘Mona’
      6. prov. / 25. Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2017 with ‘151/13’
      7. Nat. Barcelona - 7,847 p. / 27. Int. 16,759 p. (‘Diamond Anita’)
      7. Nat Perpignan – 4,620 p. in 2017 with Provincial Pau
      7. Int. winner Thailand OLR / 1. Belgian bird with ‘321/16’
      7. Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014 with ‘All In One’
      7. Nat. Montauban 2014 - 5,935 p. with ‘Yelco’
      8. Nat. Perpignan 2018 – 3,966 p. / 21. Int. 12,339 p.
      8. Nat. Jarnac - 4,559 p. (‘981/14’)
      9. Nat. Cahors - 5,267 p. (for Batenburg-VD Merwe)
      10. Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2016 (‘Provincial Pau’)
      10. Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YLs KBDB 2014  (‘Monar’s Pride’)
      10. Nat. Perpignan - 4,620 p. / 35. Int. 14,673 p. (‘Diamond Anita’)
      10. Nat. Montauban 2012 - 6,822 p. with ‘De Montauban’
      11. Nat. / 13. Int. Narbonne – 13,335 p. 2010 with ‘Monar’ 
      12. Nat. Montauban 2010 - 6,654 p. with ‘Montali’
      13. Nat. Narbonne - 2,835 p. / 38. Int. 8,360 p. (‘Monar’s Pride’)
      13. Nat. Pau - 2,135 p. 2017 / 1. prov. / 1. club with ‘Nestsister Montalisa’
      14. Nat Agen - 3,180 p. with ‘All In One’
      16. Nat. Barcelona - 7,74 p. / 54. Int. 16,759 p. (‘Yelbar’)
      20. Nat. St. Vincent – 3,053 p.
      22. Nat. Agen - 4,405 p. / 37. Int. 11,930 p. (‘111/13’)
      24. Nat. Perpignan - 5,254 p. (‘Nestsister Montalisa’)
      25. Nat. Pau 2,152 p. (‘031/13’)
      And the winners of a an 8.-16.-28.-28.-29.-30.-31.-45.-48.-52.-56.-57.-63.-63.-64.-
      67.-70.-73.-77.-78.-81.-81.-83.-84.-89.-89.-91.-92.-95.-96.-96.-98.-100.-102.-105.-
      110.-114.-118.-119.-120.-124.-132.-136.-136.-139.-141.-141.-151.-158.-183.-212.-
      213.-229.-235.-238.-241.-257.-260. Prize national

This is nothing short of impressive; this is something we rarely get to see! It clearly illustrates why Yelena is now generally considered the world's best breeding hen of its generation in the long distance and the extreme long distance.


Monar: winner of a 1st Internat. Narbonne 12,605 p. in 2011
The sire of a 1st and 4th Olympiad Pigeon KBDB Cat E. 2019


Olympic Monar 054: 1st Best pigeon of Belgium 2018 Extreme Long Distance - over 3 international races
4th Olympiad Pigeon KBDB Cat E. 2019


Diamond Anita: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance olds KBDB 2017


Provincial Pau: 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance olds KBDB 2017
10th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance olds KBDB 2016


Phenomenal Ace: 1st Best hen of Belgium 2018 Extreme Long Distance - over 3 international races
2nd Best pigeon of Belgium 2018 Extreme Long Distance - over 3 international races (after loft mate Olympic Monar 054)


Montali: Belgium's best pigeon from Montauban in  2010-2011 - over 2 seasons
A top class breeder and one of today's stock breeders for Team Meirlaen