Their average age is 63. Just like everybody, the premonstratensians aim for happiness, love and peace. They also yearn for company, experience and values that make life exciting. In the shadow of this beautiful monastery I come across Peter Bours. Peter is in his early forties and his name is mentioned in all sorts of results. 2009 was a magnificent year for him which resulted in two nice titles. In addition he was also 8th champion grand distance Cureghem Centre, 2nd champion Long Distance Cureghem Centre,4the General Champion Cureghem Centre, 2nd champion youngsters and 3rd champion grand distance old birds in the Brabant Union. In his club Testelt he was 1st champion extreme middle distance and 1st champion long distance. An all-round fancier who especially enjoys the long distance races, especially Barcelona. His results above the 700 km are impressive:
Montelimar national : 1126 and 1127 (2/2) against 10198 old birds
Cahors zone C : 20, 56 and 228 (3/3) against 2896 old birds
Orange national : 388 and 1220 (2/2) against 5237 old birds
Barcelona national : 122,1036 and 2604 (3/3) against 13502 old birds
Limoges zone C : 117 en 581 (2/3) against 2429 old birds
Tarbes national : 276 en 480 (2/2) against 4812 old birds
Jarnac : 58 against 3989 (1/2) old birds
Marseille national : unfortunately no prize (0/2)
Narbonne national : 522, 530 en 1606 (3/3) against 7156 old birds
Libourne zone C : 180 en 283 (2/3) against 2600 yearlings
Perpignan national : 297,453 en 1600 (3/3) against 7364 old birds
He also races with the youngsters, the total widowhood, but also with hens with a nest. Peter doesn’t actually have a breeding loft because he doesn’t like keeping pigeons that don’t work for their living. He is a man that likes to participate in every race. Peter respects fanciers that specialise in a certain category of the pigeon sport, but it is not for him. Pigeon sport is for the total package for him personally. And I have to admit…. He succeeds in full. When preparing this article I came across many similarities with the method and the passion of Raf Luyckx from Geel. I hold these fanciers high in my esteem because it is not easy!
The man Peter Bours
Peter (45 years) is a qualified PE teacher, but for many years has worked as a remedial teacher in Genk. Believe me, this is no easy job!
He has been involved with pigeons since he was four years old because his father (and brother) share the same passion. When Peter went into the lofts as a toddler, his father made it clear to him that he didn’t like it and so he was given his own loft to take care of. As a youngster Peter went to school with a tame pigeon on his shoulder. When this tame pigeon later died, he was so upset that he vowed never to make a pigeon tame again. Peter loves his pigeons but will not attach himself to a pigeon; he prefers a timid pigeon to a tame one. You don’t hear this often.
Peter was born on the maaskant but moved to Zichem. He raced together with his father for many years, followed by a few years with his brother Jean. Jean passed away last year and this was a tough nut to crack.
In 1991 Peter moved to Dilsen-Stokkem in Limburg. He achieved good results with just a few pigeons from Sprint to Orleans. In 1998 he moved to his current address in Averbode and switched over to all distances. He built a few small simple lofts and will add another one this year. The stock is built up together with father and brother. At the basis lie the descendants of the Gouden Grijze from Thomas and Norbert Peeters and the Willequets from Eugène Porta. This was supplemented with pigeons from childhood friend Erik Moors, Jos Thoné, Gommair Verbruggen and Remi Speltdoorn ( via middle distance cannon Eddy Schroeven from Molenstede).Of course there are also a few: from Kenji Schmitt, Jacobs-Debock, Roger Didden and an absolute class piece from Gerd Schotsmans, more over this later.
At the moment there are 125 pigeons residing in the lofts but almost half are feeding couples. The racing pigeons and the three breeding cocks are coupled at the end of November (Peter doesn’t actually keep breeding pigeons). The majority of the pigeons only brood for a few days and the eggs are then placed under feeding couples. A very small minority are allowed to raise the youngsters themselves. After this round of youngsters the majority of these feeding couples are removed. The youngsters are darkened and then raced separately. It is a matter of searching for pigeons that have retained their feathers for the last races. Next year Peter may darken for longer. The majority of the youngsters will then be raced in the national races, the others only Pithiviers and the late youngsters only Momignies. Peter is assisted in the care and darkening of the youngsters by neighbour Louiske because Peter has to leave home early for his work. Kenji Schmitt regularly takes the pigeons away to train them. Yet this does not take long because on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday there is the basketting, usually from the same lofts!
The hens are move to the aviary behind the racing loft and are raced in widowhood. They have to participate in all kinds of races every week. 9 hens (6 old birds and 3 yearlings) are coupled in such a way that they are in a certain position for basketting in the grand distance. When they have youngsters for the first time, the first big race is about to take place. This gives them enormous motivation. Between these hens with a nest there are also young cocks because this loft contains the entrance to an aviary. When the hens are ready for their daily training Peter removes these hens and lets them train with the hens in widowhood. The hens in widowhood (21)train every day for an hour and enter the loft through the trap that is also the entrance to the aviary. When they return home they enter into the loft of the cocks. They know this very quickly. Peter always ensures that he has a few cocks and hens at home for when the pigeons return from a race. He thinks of everything.
The cocks train twice a day. At the end of the season the racing pigeons are allowed to brood for a few days. Peter likes to get the youngsters into the racing loft as soon as possible and the brooding helps them to get to know the boxes.
For the feed he gives Beyers and Zoontjes and only feeds them lightly on Sunday and Monday. Yet this doesn’t last long because on Tuesday or Wednesday there is the basketting.
Prior to the season Peter pays a visit to Dr. Norbert Peeters and follows his advice. The green powder for tricho is a good product but ‘strong’ stuff and the use of this is limited to keep them in condition. The message is cure as little as possible.
Our host swears by tea (from Rudi Hendrikx). Other products so as vitamins and brewer’s yeast are mixed with oil and mixed through the food. Only then is Peter sure that they consume the product.
Top pigeons for the championship
2057150/07 chequered hen
This beautiful hen won two prizes for the championship grand distance. She was raced from Barcelona with a nest and from Perpignan in widowhood. From Barcelona she won national 13.502p-123 and from Perpignan national 7364p-297. As a yearling she won St-Vincent national 8393p-346. Her father is ‘321/03’, one of the three super breeding pigeons in this loft. He didn’t go into the breeding loft but the eggs were always put under other couples in order to obtain enough youngsters. He won self a.o. 1st Vierzon and comes out ‘354/01’ (Bours-Verbruggen) X German hen from H. Bolander. The mother of ‘150/07’ is from A. Bils out son Primus x Barca-hen.
2190305/03 chequered hen
In total this hen won 10 prizes in 11 long distance races whereby Barcelona ’07 national 12.612p-222, Barcelona ’08 national 11.484p-1135 and Barcelona ’09 national 13.502p-2604. From Perpignan ’09 she won national 7364p-457.
She comes out the second super breeder ‘984/00 oude grijze’. He came out cock ‘468/98’ from T & N Peeters and hen ‘082/97’ from J. and Erik Moors (WPC Hoeselt). The mother of ‘305/03’ is ‘921/01’, grey from J. and Erik Moors.
2141870/05 grey hen
She has the same father as the previous ‘984/00’ but the mother is ‘433/04’, from K. Schmitt of the pedigree Veulemans-Preuveneers. In 2008 she won 637th national Barcelona and in 2009 276th national Tarbes and 522nd national Narbonne.
5033537/05 dark hen
This one is a direct J. and Erik Moors of the pedigree Schreurs-Hauben. This pedigree horse won for the time being Perpignan ’07 645p-28, Barcelona ’08 nat. 623 and Barcelona ’09 national 1036
2057116/07 Blue cock
This cock is out the third super breeder of this loft. It is ‘2141860/05’ from Gerd Schotsmans. In his career 31 prizes per 10, only missing twice.
In 2009: 10th Momignies 378 p
148th Soissons 575 p
46th Pithiviers 695 p
103rd Bourges 9061 p
586th Chateauroux 10198 p
397th Argenton 9901 p
486th Bourges 11756 p
He is of the pedigree Noël Peiren but no further details are known. Peter kept racing this cock in the extreme middle distance because then he is ‘certain’ of his prize. He daren’t basket him for the longer distances. With his lineage he should do well and with success because this blue cock 116/07 won in 2009 Cahors 2896p-228 and Narbonne national 530.
The mother is ‘846/05’ (chequered white pen x G.Naulaerts).
Argenton national zone C 16.984p- 251
La Souterraine 4581p-155
This magnificent youngster comes out super breeding pigeon ‘321/03’ x ‘44/05’ , via Jean Bours.