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The Ebben combination (Boven Leeuwen, NL) outperforms its opponents in Quievrain with a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of 5,139 pigeons

Over the years, the Ebben combination has been showing to be among the best performers in the young birds' races. And they confirmed their status again last weekend with a brilliant result: they had a team of 14 birds racing against 5,139 fellow pigeons, and they scored a 100% prize percentage, including a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Willy (l) and Falco (r), with his daughter Renée and his son Linus

The Ebben combination consists of Falco, who, as you know, is a pigeon photographer (he is the owner of PigeonPixels), and his uncle Willy. Due to space constraints with both fanciers, the team races from two locations. They are racing a group of old birds and a number of young birds in the town of Beneden Leeuwen, as W. & F. Ebben. This team has been doing really well, as you can tell from their 7 victories NPO. Click here for some excellent results with the old birds by W & F Ebben in 2019. The young birds on the other hand are raced in the town of Boven Leeuwen as Comb. Ebben (under the name of their sons Linus and Kerwin). An additional 12 breeding pairs are kept here. Every year the best young birds are transferred from Boven-Leeuwen to Beneden-Leeuwen (about 1 km away).

The young birds' loft

With Falco moving house, this was the first season that the pigeons were raced from this new location. They had a difficult start, struggling with a few losses at home, a few birds of prey and a coli virus outbreak. Nonetheless, the fanciers managed to get the team up and running by the time the season really took off. The Grootmeesters competition (organised by Spoor Der Kampioenen), in which the ten best loft performances are published every week, based on their points average, sees the Ebben combination take three first prizes, as well as a 2nd and 4th place. This means they finished in the top four at provincial level in 5 out of 8 races. We take a look at the overall results in these five races:

Tienen 126 km 2,846 p.: 2-4-20-21-32-37-60-76-81-102-103-109-etc. (14/22)
 4th best loft performance Prov. 8
Bierges 144 km 2,001 p.: 25-59-60-62-77-etc (9/11)
 1st best loft performance Prov. 8
Niergnies 252 km 1,549 p.: 4-7-21-28-45-79-150-155-etc (12/17)
 2nd best loft performance Prov. 8
Nanteuil 363 km 1.879 d.: 4-8-11-24-30-45-47-61-67-130-154-185-etc (12/17)
 1st best loft performance Prov. 8

The best loft performance in the Grootmeesters competition, with the highest number of points this season, came on Saturday 25th of August in Quievrain. This race from Quievrain was quite a challenge, despite the relatively short distance (209km). There was a fairly strong southeasterly wind and a temperature of about 30 degrees. The first pigeon had a speed of about 1,318 m/min, with the last bird (1:4) arriving home with a velocity of 1,097 m/min.

Quievrain 209 km 5,139 p.: 1-2-3-4-5-7-8-9-10-92-168-206-525-529 (14/14)
 1st best loft performance Prov. 8

Overall result: 9 x 1:100 (65%), 12 x 1:10 (85%) and 14 x 1:4 (100%)

We will discuss the first five pigeons from Quievrain in further detail.

NL19-1466498 Odessa and NL19-1466499 Oreo, 1st and 2nd Quievrain 5,139 pigeons

The 1st and 2nd prize in Quievrain were won by the two sisters (nest mates) Odessa and Oreo. Both pigeons had shown their potential earlier on:

NL19-1466498:   1st Quievrain          5,139 p.
                4th Tienen             2,846 p.
                4th Nanteuil Prov. 8 Z 1,879 p.
                1st Morlincourt           56 p.
NL19-1466499:   2nd Quievrain          5,139 p.
              103rd Tienen             2,846 p.
              130rd Nanteuil Prov. 8 Z 1,879 p.

The sire of these two stars is Icarus, and he is a 100% Ad Schaerlaeckens (Baarle Nassau, NL). The dam is Hadenna, a daughter of crack Cyrus and a granddaughter of Olympiade 003 (Heremans). Click here for the pedigrees of Odessa and Oreo.

NL19-1466483, 3rd Quievrain 5,139 pigeons

This young racing cock claimed a 3rd prize, and this will be his fourth prize 1:10:

 3rd Quievrain 5,139 p.
62nd Bierges   2,001 p.
81st Nanteuil  1,879 p.
86th Tienen    2,328 p.

The 483 is another 100% Ad Schaerlaeckens. His sire is Lex, which won a 4th Niergnies (2,594 p.), a 4th Duffel (1,397 p.) and a 20th Bierges (3,094 p.) as a young bird. The dam is Ilze, and she won a 1st NPO Melun of 1,295 pigeons (and a 6th Nat. S3 8,389 p.) as a young bird. Together, Lex and Ilze have bred a whole series of talented birds. Click here for the pedigree of the 483.

BE19-6182888, 4th Quievrain 5,139 pigeons

The team obtained a number of pigeons from Fernand Mariën (Tielen, BE) and G&S Verkerk (Reeuwijk, NL) this season. Since there is not enough room to move these pigeons straight to the breeding loft, they are all being tested first. And a few youngsters from both fanciers have already shown their potential this season, including this 888 - click here for his pedigree. Meanwhile, a youngster of Verkerk has won a title of Pigeon Champion Sprint (3rd pigeon champion in the CC).

NL19-7001815, 5th Quievrain 5,139 pigeons

The 5th prize was won by the 815. This racing cock has a pink ring, which he earned in the Ladies League. This is his palmares so far:

  5th Quievrain 5,139 p.
 44th Niergnies 2,650 p.
 77th Bierges   2,001 p.
154th Nanteuil  1,879 p.
151st Quievrain 1,592 p.

The parents of this 815 are Diablo (grandson of Roosje, winner of 6 first prizes) x Kabira - as you can see here.

To conclude

With the upcoming NPO races and the national flight from Melun, all eyes will be on the Ebben combination. After all, their results from Quievrain really put them in the spotlight. This young birds' specialist will be considered one of the favourites for the next couple of races. However, the team from Boven Leeuwen will no longer be focussing on this discipline as of next year. Falco puts it this way: "I am tired of the issues that plague the young birds' competition: postponed starts, shorter races, regular cancellations, etc. These things prevent me from truly enjoying the young birds' races." As of next year, the lofts from Boven Leeuwen will be home to a team of old birds, just like their loft in Beneden Leeuwen. The combination will have a loft of just 6.5 metres wide at their disposal on both locations. They will be aiming for the one day long distance, and perhaps some ZLU races in the future as well. Judging from the achievements of the old birds in Beneden Leeuwen, we think the birds in Boven Leeuwen could be in for some excellent one day long distance racing.