Van Horenbeeck Leo & Christophe, "1ste National Vichy 11.510 youngsters and also the fastest out of 14221 pigeons"

Some results 2004
01/05 Sens 416 old p. 2-8-39-41-48-91-127-128 (8/8)
15/05 Pithiviers 498 old p. 23-35-36-42-64-82-104-149 (8/8)
10/07 Limoges 532 2-Yls - Brab. Unie 1-16 (2/3)
7514 2-Yls 13-117
14/08 Argenton 3187 old p. National 5-98-279-479-540-656 (6/7)
28/08 Sens 113 Youngsters 1-8-13-17-28-31-32-33-34-35-37 (11/15)
11/09 Vichy 84 Youngsters D.& D. 1-10-11-13-21-27-35-46-49-50-93 (11/28)
11278 Youngsters National 12-121-131-202-285-421-485-733-767-796-1892-2036-2156-2415-2803 (15/28)

“Sans Peur” Herent:

We can’t deny, with its 120 members, that this is one of the biggest and most successful hive clubs in our country.
In 2003, likewise as in 2002, they hit a real winning streak of 3 national victories, one of those even an international one. So a certain amount of celebrations were already held in “Sans Peur” this year…

Van Eycken Robert Erps-Kwerps - 1st international – Marseille
Vanderheyden Wilfried – Kortrijk-Dutsel – 1st national – Beziers
Van Horenbeeck Leo & Christophe – Wijgmaal – Vichy Younsters

This successful composition was figured out by Wim Coel, the moving spirit behind “Sans Peur”. A nice website was created with activities, useful information and the allocation of functions.

A dynamic team of forty, mainly youngsters, is always stand by to be up and doing. They run the premises themselves, and that gives them, financially speaking, some slack.

Vichy: Vichy rounded off an eventful national year. In spite of the previous problems with a semi – disaster in Bourges, a difficult Argenton and a hard La Souterraine, 11510 youngsters and 2711 old pigeons appeared at the start. Due to the weather conditions, the pigeons were prudently released with a delay of 1 day on Sunday, September 7th. Despite the favourable predictions, only few pigeons reached more than 1200 meters. Especially at the end of the season, when the pigeons are already moulting, an extra night in the hive doesn’t play in our favour. The fastest of the whole flock was the youngster of:

Van Horenbeeck Leo and Christophe in Wijgmaal – Louvain.

The team Leo and Christophe are a father-son combination. Father Leo manages the youngsters, and son Christophe is responsible for the old pigeons. Christophe is a student in the third year chemistry at the university of Louvain. He only owes 12 widowers and notwithstanding he gained a lot of wonderful results. Around 70 youngsters are raised for personal use only.
It’s obvious that this is a rather small pigeon loft, but with an extra amount of quality.

Start: Since a couple of generations, the family Van Horenbeeck has been raising pigeons. Father Louis, now 89 years old, has said goodbye to the active game, but he is as proud as a peacock of the national title his son has won.

Leo has been playing since he was 12, he lived in Malines back then. They only raced in Quiévrain and Noyon. Brother Florent still plays in those surroundings. After moving to Wijgmaal, they changed to short – distance flights.
Of course, the first pigeons came from father, but Leo wanted more and the first serious reinforcement came from the champion of Brabant Albert Derwa Herent. A few direct descendants of Derwa, and immediately Leo was on the right track.
In 1996, Leo Van Horenbeeck was already appointed champion of the Cureghem Centre – youngsters. Later on, other pigeons joined in from Houben Itegem, and a couple of eggs , that he got , together with his friend Berke Derwa, from no one less than Gaby Vandenabeele, Dentergem. This happened in 1998. Further on in time, races like Willy Cammaerts Wilsele, Sierens-Vandenbroucke via Johan Vandessel Wijgmaal, and Van Avondt and son Haacht, Vanden Eynde Raoul en Hilaire Surinx, strengthened the team.

Season 2003:
Couples are formed of all pigeons on December 6. The youngsters are put in the dark immediately from 18h until 07.30h. Thanks to this system, most youngsters had only hurt 3 quills by the beginning of September. This darkening doesn’t happen only out of free will. Street Lighting was placed right above the loft of the youngsters, and because of that, there ‘s always light, day and night. To be sure that the pigeons know the difference between day and night, and to give them a good night’s rest, it is necessary to darken the place. Initially , starting in June, the youngsters use the sliding door. The male and female youngsters converge for a couple of hours before they are put into the hive. In the future they can build themselves a nest.

The little winner “Nicole” was named after Leo’s wife. It’s a crossbreeding of Vos-Jennes and Houben on fathers side, and the bloodline Vandenabeele on mothers side. In the mean time, the national winner has been sold, but the buyer allowed her to stay to lay a couple of eggs to guarantee the future.
Fortunately Nicoles parents still live in Wijgmaal.
Nicole flew twice a little price in Sens, then she went to La Souterraine, missed out, and after that the success story in Vichy followed. After La Souterraine, she didn’t go back to her nest, and Leo thought of a trick to inspire her. Nicole was given a little and young pigeon, four days before she was put in the hive again. At first, it didn’t seem to help, but after a while, when she had had time to adjust, she adopted her sprout. We all know the outcome:
1st national Vichy of 11510 youngsters.
The evening of the flock, 10 out of 17 youngsters got home.
Regional “in between the Demer and the Dijle” 284 pigeons – 1, 3, 7, 8, 26, 51, 57, 71, 89.
National 11.510 pigeons – 1, 83, 191, 204, 1725, 1849.

Medical guidance:
Twice a week Sedochol in their drinking water, and once a week a home made health elixir that holds Dutch gin, thyme, garlic and onion.
Once every 2 weeks, and also after the flock a short treatment against tricho and coccidiosis.

Partial honour roll 2003:
May, 31:
Sens yearlings: 60,120,203 out of 1111 pigeons
June,7: Châteauroux– Old pigeons Fleurus: 22, 45, 88, 132, 638 out of 6495 pigeons
June,21: Argenton yearlings semi-nationaal : 202e, 593e and 1.211 of 6.299 pigeons. 3/3.
July,5 : Limoges 2 derby Fleurus : 124 and 165 of 1.990 pigeons. 2/2.
July,5 : Limoges Old pigeons Fleurus : 106e, 189e, 227e, 243e, 303e, 429 and 677e of 3.938 pigeons 7/7.
July,12 : Limoges yearlings Fleurus : 94e and 270e of 4.352 pigeons. 2/3.
July,26 : Bourges youngsters Fleurus : 193e, 370e, 649e, 1684e, 1838e, 2217e and 2433 of 10.137 pigeons. 7/12.
August,2 : Sens youngsters "Sans Peur" : 31e, 112e, 204e, 208e, 211e and 273e of 868 pigeons. 6/8.
August,9 : Argenton youngsters Fleurus : 76e, 260e and 474e of 1.483 pigeons. 3/3.
August,9 : St.Vincent Old pigeons Fleurus : 25e and 119e of 518 pigeons.2/3