Due to the corona virus all pigeon fanciers had to sit through an unusually long winter. The lockdown pushed the start of the 2020 racing season back to early May, at which point fanciers were allowed to organise training flights again. The first official races took place on 13th of June. The big challenge for any fancier would be to have a racing team ready to deliver from day one, ready to compete for the win in the very first races of the season. Remember, pigeon racing is still mostly about winning races.
One of those fanciers that clearly had a strong start is Adrien Mirabelle from Ghlin near Bergen (Mons). He quite literally outperformed the entire field in the first official racing weekend of 2020 (13th of June), claiming a 1st-2nd-3rd-4th spot in St. Soupplets against 3,149 pigeons.
And the Mirabelle birds were also on top of their game the following weekend: they left their opponents behind for the second week in a row, winning a 1st-2nd-3rd-4th of 3,479 pigeons (and 150 competitors) in Toury, taking 32 prizes per 10 with 58 basketed pigeons. This is quite a performance! Let's go through the numbers:
13/06 St-Soupplets (177 km) – 3,149 p. (142 competing fanciers):
1-2-3-4-9-22-23-25-45-50-96-... (27/30 and 15x per 10)
13/06 Toury (291 km) – 2,492 p. (108 fanciers):
9-16-21-45-67-87-88-98-101-... (39/48 and 15x per 10)
20/06 Toury (291 km) - 3.479 p. (150 fanciers):
1-2-3-4-22-22-24-27-57-59-70-74-82-83-96-99-103-105-108-126-128-129-135-136-150-153-159-192-199-302-306-341-... (48/58 - 32x per 10 - 8x per 100)
20/06 Vierzon club (378 km) - 384 p. (35 fanciers): 2-11-23-31-... (6/8)
20/06 Vierzon club (378 km) - 196 p. (11 fanciers): 2-6-... (4/6)
This was an impressive start. The team is obviously in great form already. The race winner in Toury stems from the foundation bloodlines of the Mirabelle breed, and he already had a few top results to his name:
-Bleu Toury BE17-1042131
1. Toury IP 3,479 p.
6. Argenton 2,022 p.
7. Toury IP 1,071 p.
8. Nanteuil 1,061 p.
14. Soissons 702 p.
28. Bourges 1,186 p.
Sire: Father Cassius BE14-2342637
A renowned breeder and a son of the legendary Zodiac BE13-9010239: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon shorter middle distance KBDB, paired to Uma BE10-5181712 (a combination of Pros Roosen x Erik Limbourg). Cassius was 10th Olympiad Pigeon Cat. A Poznan 2019.
Dam: Wittekop Haze BE12-9014700
A daughter of Chipo’s Lad x Blue Haze BE08-9104854
The winner in Toury is a grandson of top breeder Chipo’s Lad BE09-6354561, a direct Bart Geerinckx from Wommelgem, and a full brother of a 1st Nat. Limoges of 11,869 pigeons. And he is a son of top breeder Wittekop Sylvester BE05-6052111 x Daughter Chipo BE05-4323802 (from Benny Steveninck). Unfortunately this fantastic breeder lost his ability to fertilize eggs around two years ago.
Chipo's Lad has been a factor in most of Adrien Mirabelle's greatest achievements; this is the palmares of his descendants:
2th-6th-8th-8th Nat. Ace Pigeon shorter middle distance KBDB
5th Nat. Ace Pigeon longer middle distance France
1st-2nd-2nd Prov. Ace Pigeon middle distance KBDB
1-3-4-22-23-34… Toury 3,479 pigeons
1-2-3-10-22… St.Soupplets 3,149 pigeons
1. Montluçon 3,169 pigeons
And another invaluable member of the team besides Chipo's Lad is Divock:
4th Nat. Ace pigeon shorter middle distance KBDB 2014
Gien 1,325 p. 1
Gien 727 p. 3
Gien 1,399 p. 5
Gien 469 p. 5
Nanteuil 655 p. 6
Gien 542 p. 8
Gien 1,383 p. 12
This outstanding racing bird - a nest mate of a 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB - is now the sire or grandfather of:
1st Intprov Argenton 2,022 p.
1st Intprov Chateauroux 2,337 p.
2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB
He is also the grandfather of several highly successful pigeons for Kevin Saudoyez and Andre Allemeersch.
With so many strong birds in his team, Adrien Mirabelle is set for another great season. And his pigeon family is obviously in great form already; his fellow fanciers from around Bergen have already seen enough after just two weeks of races. Adrien Mirabelle is well on his way to meeting the expectations as a national champion in both the shorter and longer middle distance. We reckon all neighboring lofts will be keeping an eye on the team Ghlin in the coming weeks.