Only the greatest champions know how to get in top form right before the most important classics of the season, and this goes for cycling, football, and any other sport. Season after season the two brothers Freddy (56) and Jacques (71) Vandenheede manage to achieve excellent results in the national classics. The result is an impressive palmares with numerous provincial and national titles, as well as Olympiad Pigeons. They have turned the Vandenheede breed into one of the most renowned pigeon families in Belgium. In 2015 they added another seven national championship titles KBDB to their palmares:
3rd National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Yearlings KBDB 2015 4th National Champion Extreme Long Distance Yearlings KBDB 2015 6th National Champion Long Distance Old Birds KBDB 2015 7th National Ace Pigeon Long Distance Old Birds KBDB 2015 8th National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance Yearlings KBDB KBDB 2015 10th National Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance Old Birds KBDB 2015 13th National Ace Pigeon Long Distance Yearlings KBDB 2015
Between 2012 and 2014 they won no less than five national championship titles: they have been national champion, winner of national ace pigeon titles and they even won the title of General Champion of Belgium in 2012.
Click here for the impressive palmares of national and provincial titles
14 x 1st National
The current generation of Vandenheede pigeons is still heavily based on the old bloodlines of their father Rene, which consisted of stock sire Zieken and top class pair Antigoon x Krijt (they are the parents of breeding legend Freddy).
This breed combined really well with the De Rauw-Sablon origins of their Dream Couple (through super class breeders Frans, Limoges, Sjah and the line of Freddy). The combination has given numerous super class pigeons and provincial and national prize winners and ace birds. This racing team performed at an exceptional level, and went on to win many provincial, zonal and national first prizes. In 2015 Freddy and Jacques won their 14th national first prize so far: racing bird Memorial BE14-4000027 won the race from La Souterraine against 6,205 yearlings (click here for a list of their 14 national victories).
Memorial - a granddaughter of New Freddy - won the 14th national first prize for Vandenheede (see pedigree and palmares)
She won a 1st Nat. La Souterraine against 6,205 YL, as the fastest pigeon overall!
Looking after your best pigeons
National winners or national ace pigeons will never be sold; they always get a spot in the breeding loft later on. This has always been the strength of this breed. In fact, it would be quite difficult for them to find the same level of quality in other lofts. This also means that Freddy & Jacques have to set a high bar when it comes to finding new introductions to strengthen their existing collection. They will usually only obtain renowned prize winners and ace pigeons, such as New Freddy, Bender, etc.
Good quality pigeons are still the key to success; an experienced fancier is the second most important factor. The fancier has to understand what a pigeon needs in order to get ready for a race, and this can change every month, every week and sometimes every single day. It depends on the weather, the temperature and the type of race. This is what keeping pigeons is all about.
Like a whirlwind
The Vandenheede pigeons are born to win early prizes and to dominate races, even in the most disadvantageous weather conditions. To illustrate, we take a look at their results from Vierzon and Limoges 2015, which were quite impressive:
Vierzon: Club 263 p: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-18-21-22-23-24-28… (41/59) Prov 3,573 p: 3-16-24-29-36-52-54-64-76-76-106-110-115-130-189… (37/59) Limoges Yearlings: Club 132 p: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-21-22-23-25-26-27-30-31-33… (36/55) Prov 1,779 p: 2-3-4-9-16-18-27-33-34-36-39-44-46-49-60-65-81… (31/55) Nat. 6,272 p: 5-7-11-25-52-58-77-92-95-105-109-135-141-150-190-204... (28/55)
The Vandenheede pigeons are basically in a different league.
Their career began in the national young birds’ races. A team of old and one year old hens was introduced later on to compete in the longer middle distance. When Freddy & Jacques started working together in 2008, they also introduced a team of widower cocks for the long distance. They have been really successful in the extreme long distance as well, take for instance the race from Agen (Bordeaux). They basketed two pigeons for three consecutive seasons, and they won a first and second prize in the club each time. In addition, they all finished in the national top 67.
2013: Club 73 p. 1-2 (1134 m/min) Nat 5,283 p. 18-67 (2/2) 2014: Club 67 p. 1-2 (1281 m/min) Nat 3,180 p. 32-34 (2/2) 2015: Club 38 p. 1-2 (1238 m/min) Nat. 2,767 p. 22-31 (2/2)
In fact, three national ace pigeons were bred from these six prize winners: Ace Marsupilami I and II and Jerry James. They joined the breeding team only as one year olds, which is quite exceptional.
2015 was another great season for the two fanciers, and these just a few of many national top results last season.
Click here for an overview of their national top 100 prizes in 2015.
Getting the most out of your breeders
The pigeon family from Zingem has been breeding new cracks, national ace pigeons and national first prize winners every single season, which tells us a lot about the level of quality in their breeding loft. We take a look at the super class pigeons that managed to win a national ace pigeon title in 2015:
-Jerry Lee BE14-4000097
3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YL KBDB 2015 2nd Ace Pigeon PIPA Ranking Long Distance Yearlings – 4 races 2015 2nd Ace Pigeon PIPA Ranking Long Distance & Extreme Long Distance YL – 3 races 2015 13th Nat Montauban 2,124 p. ’15 21st Nat Libourne 5,890 p. ’15 141st Nat Limoges II 6,272 p. ’15 416th Nat Jarnac 4,559 p. ’15
He is a son of Luc BE08-4224263 (from the loft of Luc van Coppenolle) x Juliana BE07-4093401 (a great breeding dam of Jules Mannaert).
Click here for the pedigree and the palmares of Jerry Lee.
-Jerry James BE14-4000297
8th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance YL KBDB 2015 2nd Ace Pigeon PIPA Ranking International Races YL 2015 31st Nat Agen 2,767 p. ’15 38th Intnat Agen 4,524 p. ’15 49th Nat Narbonne 3,345 p. ’15 73rd Prov Vilemandeur 3,156 p. ’15 10th Zone Tours 6,327 p. ’14 58th Prov Villemandeur 6,060 p. ’14
A full brother of Jerry Lee, and thus bred from Luc x Juliana.
Click here for the pedigree and the palmares of Jerry James
-Sky Rakette BE13-4050286
7th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance Old Birds KBDB 2015 6th Nat. Montélimar 3,624 p. ’15 (1st Club 46 p.) 49th Nat. Valence 6,542 p. ’15 (1st Club 102 p.) 81st Nat. Libourne 5,024 p. ’15 (1st Club 59 p.)
A daughter of Skylift BE08-4095126 (winner of 13th Nat. Limoges I 16,893 p., 4th Prov. Souillac 1,934 p., 10th Limoges II 4,489 p., 35th Nat. Brive 11,130 p.) x Raklette BE10-4101088 (from Marseille bloodline of M. Aelbrecht x Ranonkel, winner of 2 x 1st Prov. Blois).
Click here for the pedigree and the palmares of Sky Rakette
-Lily Rose BE12-4186393
10th Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance Old Birds KBDB 2015 1st Angerville 598 p. ’12 10th Prov Issoudun 3,162 p. ’15 (1st Club 162 p.) 14th Zone Bourges II 1,792 p. ’15 15th Zone Chateauroux I 3,150 p. ’15 27th Zone Montluçon 2,686 p. ’15 37th Zone Gueret 4,003 p. ’15 177th Nat La Souterraine 4,161 p. ’15 10th Nat Gueret I 7,681 p. ’14 11th Zone Bourges II 993 p. ’14 (1st Club 52 p.) 81st Nat Poitiers 12,379 p. ’14 30th Zone Argenton 4,800 p. ’13 32nd Nat La Souterraine 11,236 p. ’13
She is a full sister of Memorial (1st Nat. La Souterraine 6,205 p. in 2015) and a daughter of Calypso (son New Freddy, and grandson of Limoges De Rauw-Sablon) x Nest sister National Ace Pigeon 016/07.
Click here for the pedigree and the palmares of Lily-Rose.
Best pigeon from Cahors 2014-2015 PIPA ranking
The national race from Cahors is traditionally a tough flight for the long distance racing birds. It is also the first race of the season that covers more than 700km. Freddy and Jacques had Belgium's most successful racing bird from Cahors in 2014-2015 in their team with Windtalker.
1st Best Pigeon from Cahors 2014-2015 PIPA Ranking 1st Zone Cahors 2,048 p. ’15 (1st Club 75 p.) 10th Nat Cahors 6,576 p. ’15 79th Nat Cahors 7,140 p. ’14 14th Nat Tulle 7,350 p. ’13 (1st Club 57 p.)
He is a son of Faun BE02-4376254 (a direct daughter of stock breeder Frans, a son of Dream Couple De Rauw-Sablon) x Celinda BE09-4319456 (from David Vermassen).
Click here for the pedigree and the palmares of Windtalker.
All you need is a top quality breed
Freddy and Jacques Vandenheede have been among the most successful Belgian fanciers for quite some time now. They have a collection of top class pigeons that enabled them to become a nationally renowned loft. The two fanciers learned from experience that good quality pigeons can be found anywhere. You can only discover them by having them compete in many races and in the important classics. This fairly straightforward approach has allowed the fanciers from Zingem to achieve great results season after season. Freddy & Jacques are fortunate to have a team of top class pigeons with a slight edge over their closest opponents. This is the story behind two passionate pigeon fanciers.