Karlo Van Rompaey and his wife Ines
The race from Bourges was expected to be postponed to Sunday (or later). Weather conditions along the flight line looked fine but there were heavy clouds in the region of Orleans and Blois, where the weather did not seem to improve. Fortunately skies eventually started to clear by 11 o'clock, so that pigeons could be released at 11:35.
There was a strong wind blowing from the west, so most fanciers knew that the earliest national prizes were likely to be won by pigeons from the eastern part of Belgium. Other lofts were not likely to play an important role in this race, except for a few early prizes at club level. This is quite common.
It was the vet Karlo Van Rompaey (35) who to took the national old birds' victory, clocking his winning hen at 16:48'35". She had completed 463.459km, making her the fastest old bird with a velocity of 1477.94m/min.
Prima Dora leads the way
It was a wonderful looking blue coloured hen has left her opponents behind in the national race. She was only basketed twice for Momignies and Chimay as a young bird. Last year she only competed in the shorter middle distance competition as a one year old, as well as in the national race from Bourges II on 1 August, where she won a 362nd national against 10,141 yearlings. She demonstrated her excellent form earlier this season with a first prize from Laon in the beginning of 2015. We take a closer look at her pedigree:
-Prima Dora BE13-5008346
1st Nat Bourges 18,864 p. 1st Laon Club 203 p. 1st Laon Regio 430 p. 4th Laon Club 254 p. 5th Sourdun Club 253 p. 75th Sourdun Mid-Limb 3,120 p. 5th Gien Club 149 p. 86th Prov Gien 4,271 p. 6th Reims Club 249 p. 7th Sourdun Club 596 p. 9th Sourdun Mid-Limb 2,482 p. 9th Sourdun Club 353 p. 97th Prov Sourdun 2,845 p. 10th Sourdun Club 112 p. 62nd Sourdun Mid-Limb 1,601 p. 362nd Nat Bourges II 10,141 p. (2014)
She is an outstanding racing hen that managed to claim victory in what was only her second national race! She originates from an excellent family of top class pigeons - click here for the impressive palmares of some of her (half) sisters. This is her pedigree:
Sire: Edu BE11-5047135
A direct Verreckt-Ariën, being a son of Eduardo BE007-5035394 (winner of at least 4 national prizes per 100) x Zus Armstrong BE04-5006079. Armstrong became 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Ave Regina (and a daughter of Old Houben 442/95 x Elfke Dikke 428/98, a daughter of stock pair Dikke Lowet x Lange Lowet for Verreckt-Ariën).
Dam: Poulidora BE10-5025053
A great racing hen and winner of 2 provincial first prizes (2nd prov. Tulle 587 p. and 2nd prov. Souillac 442 p.). She is a daughter of Gregoir BE07-5116052 (from the loft of Geert Gregoir) x Daughter Josephine BE070-5194582 (Josephine is a full sister of Jos, 1st Nat. Bourges 9,896 old birds in 2005).
Click here for the full pedigree of Prima Dora
There is quite an interesting story to the sire of Prima Donna. One of the best clients in Karlo's vet practice is the successful Verreckt-Ariën combination from Tessenderlo. Karlo contacted Pascal Ariën in late 2010 about a possible cooperation, in which Karlo would focus entirely on the old birds' competition. Karlo's early young birds were moved to the loft of Verreckt-Ariën, while a third round from the best breeders of Pascal and Agy was in turn transferred to Karlo's loft. The total auction of 2011 suddenly marked the end of the Verreckt-Ariën combination. It was decided together with Pascal Ariën to bring the traded pigeons to the breeding loft, which proved a smart move: the sire of the national winner from Bourges is in fact one of these pigeons!
Young and ambitious
Karlo Van Rompaey was almost destined to become a top class fancier. He started taking care of pigeons in his grandfather's loft at a very early age, showing to be a keen observer and an excellent caretaker. This might explain why he successfully completed his veterinary studies. This has undoubtedly given him a significant advantage in his career as a pigeon fancier.
Karlo started off with pigeons of his grandfather, which performed really well in the sprint and middle distance from day one. This resulted in this loft's first major achievement, the national first prize from Bourges against 9,896 old birds in 2005 with Jos BE03-5181206, a pigeon that would later develop into a stock sire.
Karlo's first national victory had given him a motivational boost. He started to focus increasingly on the provincial and national classics of the middle distance. His busy vet practice does not leave him much time to spend in the loft but that changes nothing about his goals: he wants to win national top prizes. The following list of national top ten prizes shows that he knows what he is doing.
1st Nat. Bourges 18.864 p. 1st Nat. Bourges 9.896 p. 2nd Nat. La Souterraine 4.698 p. 3rd Nat. Chateauroux 12.071 p. 3rd Nat. Chateauroux 6.005 p. 4th Nat. Bourges 13.588 p. 4th Nat Argenton 9.970 p. 4th Nat Chateauroux 6.005 p. 8th Nat. Gueret 15.007 p. 9th Nat. Argenton 7.691 p. 9th Nat. Chateauroux 5.884 p. 10th Nat. Chateauroux 6.005 p.
You could tell from this season's earliest races that the pigeons of Van Rompaey were in great shape. Their impressive national first prize from last Saturday is a crowning achievement. Many congratulations!
The best results in some of the training flights leading up to Bourges:
19/4 Laon 254 olds: 1- 2- 4- 5- 6-7-12...19/32 324 YL: 1-8-15-16.... 29/54 10/5 Laon 203 olds: 1-2-3-4-6-8-14... 18/33 327 YL: 1-2-4-5-8-9...36/92 (late youngsters were basketed as well) 16/5 Gien 242 olds: 2-4-7-14-15...16/31 213 YL: 1-2-3-4-5-6-10... 25/48