He added an additional 50 first prizes to his palmares, with most notably a provincial victory from Bourges. It goes without saying that the racing team from the Driehoekstraat has been performing at a high level throughout the season, in sprint races and longer middle distance races alike.
A success formula
Dirk Van Dyck had a golden generation in the 1990s, with a number of iconic pigeons, such as De Kannibaal, De Bourges and De Rambo. He has been equally successful in the past ten years, and one of Dirk's strong points is that he is always open to change. He is not afraid of a new challenge. A few years ago he followed the advice of Gaston Van De Wouwer and Bart Geerinckx, who both run a successful team of hens. A few years later we could not imagine Dirk's racing loft without a team of hens.
Dirk begins the season with 50 racing hens and 45 widowers, and the pigeons are raced in traditional widowhood, which means the partners stay at home. The hens compete in the shorter and the longer middle distance. About 15 widowers are basketed for the sprint races; the remaining 30 compete in the middle distance.
However, the teams are trained differently. The hens do not breed during the winter; they start training in mid-January around the loft. They are then paired for the first time on the 1st of March, and they get to raise a young bird. They are also trained during this period. Their youngsters are taken away when they return home from their first race from Noyon, and this is the start of widowhood.
The widowers do breed youngsters in the winter. They were paired on the 8th of December, and the pairs could breed a youngster. They are then separated again. The cocks in the sprint team are paired again on the 1st of March, and they brood for five days. The pigeons that will compete in the (longer) middle distance are paired again on the 15th of April.
Contrary to most fanciers that run a team of hens, Dirk's hens are raced in the longer middle distance only once every two weeks. In between the races they are basketed for Quievrain or Ittre, depending on the weather.
The stars of today
We noticed that the current generation of prize winners in Dirk Van Dyck's racing loft is still heavily based on the bloodline of De Kannibaal, combined with recent reinforcements, including pigeons obtained from Leo Heremans (Di Caprio), Bart Geerinckx (the lines of Gladiator / Acy), Leon Jacobs, Jan Hooymans, etc.
Queen became 1st National Ace Pigeon Old Birds KBDB in 2015, having won the following prizes:
Souppes: 1st against 1,210 pigeons (Zone West) and 3rd of 1,875 pigeons (Union) Souppes: 2nd against 1,201 pigeons (Zone West) and 2nd of 1,916 pigeons (Union) Souppes: 5th against 1,879 pigeons (Zone West) and 14th of 2,686 pigeons (Union) Melun: 5th against 1,250 pigeons (Zone West) and 9th of 1,985 pigeons (Union) Souppes: 1st against 842 pigeons (Zone West) and 3rd of 1,280 pigeons (Union) Souppes: 9th against 744 pigeons (Zone West) and 16th of 1,167 pigeons (Union)
The sire of Queen is a crossing of a son of Kannibaal and a granddaughter of De Jan of Leo Heremans. De dam is a daughter of Blauw Superduivinneke of Willy Joris-Andriesen (Asper, BE). Click here for the pedigree of Queen - her full palmares can be found here.
BE14-6241188 Little Queen
This wonderful hen became 3rd National Ace Pigeon Shorter Middle Distance KBDB in 2015, having won the following prizes:
Souppes: 1st against 849 pigeons (Zone West) and 1st against 1,409 pigeons (Union) Souppes: 5th against 1,315 pigeons (Zone West) and 11th against 2,091 pigeons (Union) Souppes: 8th against 1,381 pigeons (Zone West) and 20th against 1,987 pigeons (Union) Melun: 1st against 720 pigeons (Zone West) and 1st against 1,212 pigeons (Union) Souppes: 1st against 622 pigeons (Zone West) and 3rd against 950 pigeons (Union)
The sire of Little Queen is a direct Emiel Dillen. The dam is a direct Leon Jacobs (Tremelo, BE) from his provincial winner from Gueret against 1,661 pigeons (Brabant Union). Click here for the full pedigree of Little Queen - Her palmares can be found here: click here for part one and part 2.
BE08-6338005 Olympic Niels
Olympic Niels owes his name to his title of 3rd Olympiad Pigeon Nitra Cat. 1. He is a direct son of Di Caprio of Leo Heremans (3 x 1st prize, 2 x 3rd prize, etc.). He is an inbred pigeon to Den Bourges from his mother's side. His pedigree can be found here.
These are his best results:
Etampes: 3rd against 1,717 pigeons Orleans: 6th against 918 pigeons Quievrain: 4th against 490 pigeons Dourdan: 4th against 1,258 pigeons Dourdan: 1st against 793 pigeons Melun: 5th against 629 pigeons Dourdan: 3rd against 803 pigeons Dourdan 16th against 1,332 pigeons
Natalia managed to win one of the last races still missing on Dirk's palmares: she claimed a national first prize in Bourges 2014 against 10,141 yearlings, after having already won a 6th Provincial Vierzon earlier in the season.
The sire of Natalia is a son of Di Caprio of grandmaster Leo Heremans, an investment Dirk has been really satisfied with. The dam is a direct Bart Geerinckx; she is a full sister of the sire of Acy, 1st Olympiad Pigeon Budapest Cat. C 2015 and 2nd National Ace Pigeon KBDB 2013 Longer Middle Distance. Click here for the full pedigree of Natalia.
BE11-6240027 Blauwe Kannibaal Junior
This top class racing bird has won two provincial first prizes: 1st against 1,322 pigeons from Montluçon and 1st against 1,100 pigeons from Salbris. He also won a 21st Provincial against 2,478 pigeons from Chateauroux. Both his sire and his dam are inbred pigeons to none other than De Kannibaal. Click here for his pedigree; his full list of achievements can be found here.
BE13-6122233 Kleine Jan
Kleine Jan won a 1st Provincial Gueret against 1,561 pigeons in 2014, and he also claimed victory in Zone B2 national against 2,247 yearlings. He finished in third place at national level.
Kleine Jan is a grandson of De Kannibaal from his father's side; the dam is a direct Jan Hooymans from a sister of Harry. Click here for the pedigree of Kleine Jan.
Palmares of 2015
Dirk Van Dyck competes in the sprint (Quievrain, Noyon), and the shorter and longer middle distance on a weekly basis, which makes it impossible to include his entire palmares in this article. We made a small selection:
Quievrain (350 yearlings): 1-5-7-9-… (5/7) Souppes (2,091 pigeons): 10-11-12-33-72-97-99-103-115-121-128-131-173-179-181-… (26/28) Souppes (3,403 pigeons): 11-12-13-41-98-135-137-141-157-167-169-184-191-253-261-263- 266-334-…… (28/32) Souppes (2,216 pigeons): 4-5-6-18-37-51-52-54-60-67-68-77-80-111-114-115-116-151-154- 162-166-181-217-… (30/32) Souppes (2,193 pigeons): 2-7-8-17-27-47-51-52-54-55-60-69-73-113-116-118-146-151-181-… (37/49) Souppes (3,350 pigeons): 2-9-10-20-26-35-46-64-69-71-73-75-84-86-95-100-155-159-162-195- 205-215-251-254-256-259-290-332-… (55/70) Souppes (2,292 pigeons): 2-7-8-11-16-19-26-36-38-40-41-42-45-46-52-53-84-87-90-108-114-131- 133-134-136-150-172-175-188-206-208-218-226-… (57/70) Noyon (348 yearlings): 1-3-4-15-… (6/7) Souppes (1,409 pigeons): 1-2-9-34-… (14/18) Souppes (1,916 pigeons): 1-2-3-9-19-38-98-108-146-.. (22/33) Melun (887 pigeons): 1-2-7-8-10-11-12-16-20-24-34-60-62-66-74-80-82-85-… (28/36) Montluçon (393 pigeons): 1-14-16-17-20-25-31-32-34-38-… (16/19) Noyon (675 young birds): 1-4-6-7-10-14-19-24-46-59-61-… (23/62) Pont (2,695 young birds): 14-15-26-61-63-80-100-105-112-114-123-130-137-166-168-187-187-219- 220-240-254-254-261-… (42/66) Bourges (2.228 pigeons): 1-62-101-118-123-216-… (14/23) Souppes (1,311 young birds): 1-2-4-5-8-31-33-42-45-47-51-52-69-79-80-88-90-92-98-106- 110-122-… (38/64)
A great champion
Pigeon racing is not just a hobby for the fancier from Zandhoven. It is passion, it is his life's work. He enjoys the support of his wife Anna and his daughter Natalia, who might perhaps follow in his footsteps one day. Dirk can be considered one of the most important ambassadors of pigeon racing in Belgium, and his pigeon Kannibaal has played a defining role in modern-day pigeon racing; numerous lofts at home and abroad are doing great with the descendants of Kannibaal. Still, Dirk has always been a modest man, a kind man with a heart of gold. But he is most of all a great champion.