1st Champion Grand Distance KBDB 2009 Bernard Demeire - Zwevegem (BE)

For many years I was allowed to visit the national champion KBDB Grand Distance in my own province Antwerp. In 2008 it was the turn of André Colbrandt from Bottelare (East-Flanders) but this year I had to travel to the West-Flemish Zwevegem.

It had been many years since I had last been here. It was in the nineties by Norbert Sierens-Van den Broecke. Now I had to visit the Oude Molenstraat 1. Bernard was stood waiting for me and proudly showed his certificate from the KBDB. It is a great honour indeed to be able to add this championship to your name. With a coefficient of 29,3449% Bernard Demeire managed to narrowly beat Luc Van Coppenolle (29,9976%) and Roger Pierre (30,3344%). The list was further completed with De Smeyter-Restiaen, F. Norman, P. Bours, F. Struyf, Nihoul R. & G, N. Peiren, M. Vandenabeele, E. Limbourg and Schoors-De Waele. Nice company to leave behind you.
Zwevegem lies near the E17 motorway between the Schelde and the Leie. The city Kortrijk is also near. Yet, with its 24.112 inhabitants, Zwevegem is no small municipality. The co-municipalities Heestert, Moen, Otegem and St-Denijs also belong to it. The largest part is rural area. It must be lovely to live here.

The national championship is raced in the international races with the 1st and 2nd nominated. Bernard sent in the following results:
Barcelona national 13.502p: 213 (1st) and 1427 (2nd) 
Tarbes national 4.812p: 78 (2nd) and 401 (1st)
Perpignan national 7.364p: 207 (1st) and 328 (2nd)
Hereby he could use four different pigeons which I will write about later.
Bernard Demeire is now retired. He is 65 years old and took early retirement from the firm Bekaert when he was 56 years old

Begin and pedigree
Bernard’s father was not a pigeon fanciers, as is usually the case. His father was a farmer and sometimes pigeons landed on the farm. These pigeons were removed by fanciers from the area, who then tried to breed from them. Good pigeons were bred here and there regularly. The Demeire sons heard about this and they then also wanted to start racing pigeons. But this was harder than they thought. The pigeons couldn’t earn a single prize. The young brothers would have stopped with the pigeon sport, had it not been for the help of M. Casaert. With his help the Demeire brothers started winning prizes. The duo raced together for many years until Gerard got married and went to live further along the street. He began here under his own name, but they still had a joint breeding loft. He also directly changed his distance. As of then, both brothers raced the long distance and grand distance. The pigeons were disposed of and they invested quite heavily in new pigeons. Pigeons were bought from the following fanciers: Sierens-Van den Broecke, Fernand Decraene, Erik Devlamink, Dirk Haelvoet, André Verhoest, Robert Dobbelaere, Vincent Vandewalle, Etienne Devos, Roger Vereecke, P. & D. Houfflijn, Pierre Vandeburie, Koen Lietaert and Marc Verschelde. A lot of pedigrees from which the Demeire brothers could breed a lot of class. Gerard Demeire is still a very good fancier. The brothers know how it works!

In the meantime, each of the two brothers now has his own breeding pigeons. Bernard has 18 couples that will be coupled for the first time around the 5th of December. They will breed three rounds of youngsters. These will be trained well. The hens go to the races so as Tours provincial. They are no longer raced as yearlings.  By good weather the young cocks race up to 550 km (2x). It has to be good weather because Bernard doesn’t want to take any risks with his young cocks.
He only races widowers. He started his successful 2009 season with 38 old widowers, 20 yearling widowers and 18 two-year olds with little experience. These were the late youngsters from 2007. The yearlings only race up to 500 km with Limoges or Libourne as the last race. Overnight races with yearlings are not for Bernard. His two-year old pigeons are even spared and mainly kept to the 1-day long distance. They are only raced fully in the overnight once they are three-years old. The old racing style, but in my opinion still the best. Last year the widowers were coupled at different times. Some took part in the winter breed, whilst others were coupled for the first time in March and only allowed to brood. Did Bernard see any difference? None. So that is not the cause. Racing simply is usually best.
The hens are always shown before basketting. Not to enhance the motivation, but to prevent the shyer pigeons causing havoc. In this way, every pigeon can be basketted calmly. The oldest cocks are sometimes raced loft per loft to give them the necessary rest. Between the big races he tries to give the pigeons three weeks rest. There is sometimes an exception to the rule.
Bernard is ea fancier that likes to keep his lofts clean. His lofts above the shed are made of brick so keeping them clean is a necessity. Coccidiosis occurs regularly (Bernard uses the microscope himself to investigate this) and it is his worst enemy with the health of his pigeons. For the rest, Bernard is not a man that uses a lot of cures. A short cure against tricho and a treatment with Linco-Spectrin is given before the season. Every Sunday Bernard examines some pigeons himself. He takes samples of the droppings and slime from the throat. By an infestation of tricho or coccidiosis they are given a cure of 1/5 flagyl or appertex. For the rest it is a question of waiting for the great form which is the best remedy. This did not succeed initially in 2009. Bernard wasn’t worried and did not reach for the medicine, but once the sun started shining, the form came through. You can see what the result  was!
The feed here is very simple. For the entire year they are given 50% breed and 50% four seasons. Brewer’s yeast is added the whole year. A pure product and direct from the brewery. Every widower is fed apart in the living box. In the morning a level dessertspoonful and in the evening a heaped dessertspoonful.

Which pigeons win championships?

3201117/05 De Narbonne
Blois ’05 2990p-89
Chateauroux ’06 5187p-649
Argenton ’06 4.479p-330
Tours ’07 2.267-128
Narbonne ’07 nat. 5057p-283
Marseille ’08 intern. 13.938p-2288
Barcelona ’09 nat. 13.502p-213 (Championship KBDB)
Perpignan ’09 nat.7.364p-207 (Championship KBDB)
The father of this cock is 3161461/01, directly from the total auction of André Verhoest from Waarmaarde. He was bred there from 3374963/90, a cock from F. Baekeland with a hen 3268057/98, pure Noël Peiren from Zedelgem. André Verhoest was a man with almost exclusively pigeons from champion Noël Peiren.  The mother is 3202962/04 ,a hen directly from Koen Lietaert out  André Brouckaert (Wervik) with a hen with Dutch blood (no further details available).

Barcelona ’09 nat. 13.502p-1427 (Championship KBDB)
This red cock was hastily removed from the loft to be entered for Barcelona. He was a late pigeon from 2007 and he was trained well in 2008 from Arras, Clermont, Tours. Barcelona was his first big race. Luckily for this Championship he didn’t fail. His father is the same as ‘the Narbonne’ (André Verhoest). The mother is 3048182/02’ from brother Gerard Demeire. She comes out the pedigrees Verhoest and Erik Devlamink (former champion grand distance KBDB).

Orleans ’05 566p-187
Tours ’05 245p-71

Chateauroux ’05 7206p-905
Argenton ’05 5458p-453
Limoges 17.456p-2107
Perpignan ’07 nat. 5547p-143
Brive ’08 nat. 14521p-501
Montauban ’08 5438p-809
Perpignan ’08 nat. 7603p-243
Brive ’09 17.456p-3298
Montauban ’09 nat. 7203p-376
Tarbes ’09 nat. 4812p-78 (Championship KBDB)
Perpignan ’09 nat. 7364p-328 (Championship KBDB)
The father of this crack is ‘3071964/02’, a crossing of Norbert Sierens x E. Devos. The mother is ‘3113580/03’, line  Roger Vereecke from Deerlijk. (line Kleine Felix )

3031396/06 De Roon
Chateauroux ’07 5174p-1202
Brive ’09 nat. 17.456p-478
Montauban ’09 7203p-273
Tarbes ’09 nat. 4812p-401 (Championship KBDB)
Father is ‘3008847/01’, bred from the sort from  Robert Dobbelaere. Mother is ‘3288049/98’, directly from Fernand Decraene out the line of Emiel Denys.

30478336/04 Darco Vereecke
Tours ’05 3076p-206
Brive ’06 nat. 9466p-874
Montelimar ’07 nat. 7873p-298
Orange ’07 nat. 6035p-304
Brive ’08 nat. 14.521p-2058
Tarbes ’08 internat. 12.537p-788
Tarbes ’09 12.849p-1778
He is a pure Roger Vereecke product. The father is ‘300987/03’, direct Vereecke and mother is ‘300841/03’, direct Vereecke. They are out the line of the Kleine Barcelona. ‘Good pedigree’, says Bernard. ‘I’ve done very well with them.’

Bourges ’04 nat. 480553p-5226
Nantes ’04 2638p-41
Poitiers ’04 1655p-1
Limoges ’05 nat. 17.456p-235
Tours ’06 1672p-360
Poitiers ’06 2374p-303
Tours ’07 1867p-345
Poitiers ’08 1687p-111
Poitiers ’08 1443p-87
Limoges ’08 nat. 11.995p-42
Ablis ’09 692p-89
Limoges ’09 2216p-440
And then lost in the following race. What a loss! This cock for smaller long distance came from a cock from Vanoverbergen of the pedigree Willequet. The hen also came from Vanoverbergen out the line of his Rambo.

Prizes 2009
Brive nat.   17.456 p :  478 – 1149 – 3298 (3/3)
Montauban nat.   7.203 p : 273 – 374 (2/3)
Limoges old nat. 11.869 p :  19 – 888 – 1513 (3/5)
Limoges yl. Nat. 16.893 p : 364 – 2251 – 2578 – 3461 (4/5)
Barcelona nat. 13.502 p : 213 – 1427 (2/2)
Tarbes nat.    4.812 p : 78 – 401 – 881 (3/3)
Perpignan nat.   7.364 p : 207 – 328 – 689 (3/3)
Tulle nat.    5.676 p : 156 – 176 – 912 (3/5)