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Astere Vergotte (Aalter, BE) takes national victory from Châteauroux against 21,515 yearlings with Fatima

Astere Vergotte was almost bound to take a national win one day, being one of the leading men in the competition who achieves impressive overall results every week, including regular top prizes. The deserved victory eventually came last weekend with a national win from Chateauroux!

This was a weekend full of surprises, and we have seen quite a few disappointed fanciers as well. Some pigeons had arrived at the loft without the fancier noticing, and some fancier simply had not expecting their pigeons from Chateauroux to arrive so soon. For instance, a number of fanciers had not yet installed their electronic clocking devices, and some were on their way to the club or basketing young birds. These are just a few of the stories of last weekend, which saw two fanciers miss the chance of a national win (Chateauroux old birds and Valence) due to the same reasons.

Excellent weather had been forecast last week, but things turned out differently. We did have high temperatures but there were heavy thunderstorms as well. Meteo France indicated it would be a close call to release the pigeons on Saturday, especially in the west, where thunderstorms had been forecast in the early morning. Those that have taken a closer look at the release details for Chateauroux and the corresponding cloud radar had probably noticed that a severe thunderstorm was developing to the west of Chateauroux, in the region of Le Mans, tours and Poitiers. A thunderstorm is usually accompanied by strong gusts or preceded by wind fields. This could explain the high velocity of the pigeons, which were driven by the storm, especially in the west. The severe effects of the storm around Wingene and Knesselare have been covered extensively in the national media. The pigeons were faced with bad weather as well, but most of them had returned home safe by the time the storm hit the area. Most of the birds had to fly through the rain however.

Astere Vergotte, the true winner

It was Astere Vergotte who claimed a deserved national win. He had the fastest one year old from Chateauroux and he was right in time to clock his pigeon and to report her arrival in his club in Eeklo, all within ten minutes’ time, as defined by the rules!

The fancier from Aalter was all set to await his pigeons from Chateauroux, even though he was not paying too much attention yet. It was his wife Astere who had heard a beep from the electronic clock. They were quite surprised, not expecting their pigeons to be home so soon. One minute later, their first pigeon was officially clocked, which resulted in a national win! Astere admits he owes a lot to his wife. He clocked his national winner at 11h31’55” after having covered 491.655km. His hen was the fastest yearling in the race with a velocity of 1808.11 m/min. Several other pigeons had followed in her slipstream, which means the team of Astere Vergotte achieved a magnificent overall result:

Chateauroux club Eeklo 767 yearlings:
1-2-5-11-15-54-71-87-97-179… (12/18 per 3)
Nat. 21,515 yearlings: 1-7-52-107-165-653-966-1288-1418… (14/18)

His second and first nominated pigeon took a 1st and 11th prize in the club, and a 1st and 107th at national level respectively.

Fatima takes the national win

Shortly before the official start of the national season, PIPA will traditionally publish a report on a renowned pigeon loft that has not yet been covered in recent weeks or months, despite having achieved great results. For 2014, PIPA had selected the pigeon loft of Astere Vergotte from Aalter. He has been performing really well for years and we expected him to take an important win sooner or later. We assume many of you had already noticed the impressive achievements of the Vergotte pigeons, just like we did (and we do not consider ourselves the number one experts). These pigeons are known for performing at a top level.

Astere had already won the title of 2nd Nat. Champion Longer Middle Distance KBDB in 2009. In addition, he won a 1st Prov. Orleans 3,205 young birds, a 1st Nat. Zone A1 Chateauroux old birds (with Anette), a 13th Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance Young Birds KBDB 2013 (with Blue Prince), and a 15th Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance Yearlings KBDB 2013 (Dahlia) in 2013. In other words, last weekend’s national win is by no means his first achievement.  You can reread our report about the ins and outs of the Vergotte pigeon family here (Dutch only).

As we mentioned in our earlier report, Astere races nothing but hens, which explains why his first national prize from Chateauroux was won by a hen as well. He took the national win with his hen Fatima, which is winner of six prizes in seven national races as a young bird. This race was her 10th consecutive race this season.

This outstanding hen has won quite a few prizes already; we take a look at her best results:
-Fatima BE13-4175059

In 2014:

Chateauroux   Nat  21.515 p. 1
              Club    767 p. 1
Clermont      Club    276 p. 7
Arras         Club    202 p. 7
Vierzon       Prov  3,848 p. 54
              Club    542 p. 9
Blois         Prov  1,572 p. 120
              Club    270 p. 16
Bourges       Club    790 p. 103
              Nat  24,019 p. 3975
Fontenay      Club    301 p. 64
In addition, she has won prizes from Arras and Clermont
In 2013:
Issoudun    N.Zone  2,602 p. 76
Orleans       Prov  3,205 p. 205
Gueret      N.Zone  1,913 p. 373
Argenton    N.Zone  3,297 p. 216 etc…

Sire: Herman BE07-4212728
A direct son of the great breeder Bonte Harley BE01-4263202 (sire of several cracks, including Mathilde, Lejah (7 first prizes and 21 prizes per 100), Bejah (8 prizes per 100), Herman, Staart Marieke, 4 Tweeën etc.) x Marita BE06-4114204, a direct Deschepper-De Temmerman (the dam of Lejah, Bejah, Nejah etc.).

Dam: Strikje Elke BE12-4162483
A daughter of top class breeder National Baron BE07-4212747, 3rd Ace Pigeon long distance young birds Meetjesland and sire of Francine (Prov. and Nat. ace pigeon KBDB in 2009 en 2010), Peggy, Dorine, Anette, and Nat. Ambas x Mynouch BE05-4071272, 1st Ace Pigeon middle distance 2006 Wingene (the dam of Francine etc.).
Click here for the full pedigree

Fatima is a magnificent pigeon from the collection of a great fancier, and she claims an impressive victory. Many congratulations!

Middle distance results in 2014:

03/5 Fontenay  523 olds:
8-18-45-57-95-98-113-132 (8/8)
03/5 Fontenay  301 yearlings:
1-7-8-15-18-39-40-42-64-67-78-89-92-101 (14/18)

11/5 Blois  361 olds: 4-10-15 (3/8)
11/5 Blois  270 yearlings:
13-14-15-16-19-37-48-58-79 (9/18)

18/5 Vierzon  1,240 olds:
117-123-171-177-262-284 (6/7)
18/5 Vierzon  542 yearlings:
1-5-9-10-11-13-15-18-46-48-61-65-70-168 (14/18)

24/5 Chateauroux 524 olds: 5-122 (2/7)
24/5 Chateauroux 537 yearlings: 4-43-70-77… (18)

31/5 Bourges 654 olds: 13-14-20-48-61-77-85 (7/7)
31/5 Bourges 790 yearlings:
6-7-10-26-30-42-54-55-60-61-69-82-87-103 (14/17)