Freddy and Jacques Vandenheede are a very coherent team
Vandeheede from Zingem has become a household name both at national and international level. And it looks like they will continue to hold an excellent reputation for years to come, although their home town Zingem will soon be merged into the town of Kruisem. "As of January 1st 2019 we will be living in Kruisem", Freddy says smiling, "but I doubt our pigeons will ever notice the difference." Freddy (58), who works as a school principal, began his long awaited summer holidays. "I am fortunate enough to be able to spend a lot of time with my pigeons in the coming months." Freddy and Jacques (73) are a very coherent team. "There is not really a division of duties but broadly speaking we could say that Jacques looks after the breeding birds, whereas I am mainly responsible for the racing team. And we help each other when necessary. I see to it that all the work is done before I head to work. Jacques makes sure that everything is set up by the time I am back home. This adds great dynamic to our team."
The one year old BE17-4200024 claimed the third provincial first prize for this team in East Flanders, with a speed of 1163.82 m/min, covering 543.838km from Gueret to Zingem, beating 2,228 yearlings. The yearlings' team is showing to be in great form with 22 prizes with 38 pigeons, starting with 1-3-7-12-23-36-40-45. This makes for yet another very successful year, in the wake of an exceptional 2017 season, where they claimed 2 national first prizes, 8 provincial first prizes and a title of General Champion of Belgium and General Provincial Champion KBDB East Flanders.
The winning one year old from Guéret is Small Pip, a blue coloured hen, and this is her palmares so far: Guéret 1st Prov. 2,228 p. and 2nd Nat. 8,517 p; 133rd Nat. 19,133 pigeons Bourges; 14th Prov. 3,854 pigeons Vierzon.
The blue coloured hen Small Pip claimed a provincial first prize for the team in Zingem
The intelligent look of Small Pip
Guéret was already the team's third provincial first prize of 2018. "And yet I think the race from Brive is our best performance of the season so far. We had a 2-4-12-21-23rd of 2032 old birds at provincial level, and a 13-17-34-71-73-84 national of 9,278 old birds, or a 14 out of 18. In addition, we won a provincial 5-24-37 Brive of 811 yearlings; and a national 8-73-121-210-236 of 4,384 pigeons.
Moon Pearl (BE16-4065119) finished in 2nd place provincial (410 old birds) and in 10th place national of 4,652 old birds. This blue coloured racing cock has an excellent palmares already.
Racing bird Todie (BE17-4200015) claimed a 2nd provincial yearlings in East Flanders. His sire was auctioned on PIPA last year, and he attracted quite a few potential buyers. Two second places in East Flanders, is this something to be disappointed about for Vandenheede? "By no means. We had only basketed two old birds and two yearlings for this race. And we have already had some outstanding results at provincial level. We are definitely happy with those two places", says Freddy.
Todie won a second provincial Montelimar
Mattheo (BE05-4045392) is one of the many high quality bloodlines of team Vandenheede that deserves a mention. This blue chequered cock is one of the leading names in the renowned breeding loft. He is for instance the sire of Annelise (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon longer middle distance KBDB 2013) and of Tommeke (2nd National Guéret 11,894 p.). Matteo is also the grandfather of Small Pip, which has just won the provincial race from Guéret. Long story short, Matteo is a name to be remembered. Novastar is another grandchild of Mattheo, and winner of a 3rd Prov. Gueret 2,228 p. and a 13th Nat. Gueret 8,517 pigeons on 30th of June.
Novastar is another grandchild of Mattheo, one of the big names in the Vandenheede breeding team.
A demanding 2018 season
It goes without saying that Freddy & Jacques Vandenheede are having another great season. They claimed their first provincial victory of 2018 on 8th of June: Chateauroux old birds. They had already won several other top results as well, including a 2nd Prov. Vierzon 7,368 old birds, a 5th Prov. Limoges 3,111 olds and a 2nd Provincial & 2nd Zone Valence, on the same day as Chateauroux. Meanwhile the team continues to add top results to their palmares.
"We are really having a fantastic season, both with the old birds and the yearlings, and with the hens and the cocks. We used to focus primarily on the young birds but there are simply more yearlings' and old birds' races these days, and we sold our first round of youngsters this year on PIPA. It means we do not ask as much from our young birds; their main objective now is to gain some experience. Keep in mind that the pigeons are going through a difficult season now, with a lot of northerly wind and high temperatures. This will have an impact on your birds in the long run, because they are forced to go all out. Believe me, these efforts will stick for a while", says the national champion from Zingem, who continues to make history almost every single week.
And there is more: the most expensive pigeon in our Season Final (14,600 euro) came from Freddy & Jacques Vandenheede. And they also had the highest average sale price with 7,100 euro. Impressive!
General Champion of Belgium KBDB
The 2017 season was a great success across the board, resulting in numerous championship titles and ace pigeons at provincial and national level. It is true that the fanciers from Zingem like to basket large teams but winning titles is still mostly done by your first and second nominated, and ace pigeon titles can only be won by your biggest stars. Here is a look at their most important titles last year:
1st General Champion of Belgium KBDB 2017 1st General Provincial Champion KBDB Oost-Vl 2017 1st General Champion FVOV 2017 2nd Provincial Ace Pigeon Middle Distance olds & YLs KBDB 2017 2nd Provincial Champion Middle Distance & Long Distance olds & YLs KBDB 2017 5th Provincial Ace Pigeon Long Distance olds & YLs KBDB 2017 5th Provincial Champion Long Distance olds & YLs KBDB 2017 6th Provincial Ace Pigeon Long Distance YBs KBDB 2017 10th National Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance olds KBDB 2017 1st King in the club Union & Liberté Gent 2017