He is a renowned fancier both at home and abroad, and he has won pretty much every race on the calender. On our way to Wommelgem I kept thinking to myself: what is it that keeps a pigeon fancier like Bart Geerinckx motivated after so many victories? We got an answer to that question over the course of the day.
Smart Boy, BE13-6143490
Every single season, some promising newcomers come to the fore in Bart Geerinckx's pigeon loft, and 2018 was no different. Although there was something peculiar about one of the newcomers of 2018: racing bird BE13-6143490 stepped up last year but he had already been ringed in 2013. Even Bart, who is fond of racing his old birds and yearlings, considered this to be a fairly old pigeon already. However, he did not have too many options for the 2018 long distance races, so he opted for Smart Boy as the leader of this year's long distance team. Smart Boy had already earned his stripes in previous seasons:
152nd Nat. Bourges 22.687 p. 61st Prov. Brive 2751 p. 97th Prov. Gueret 3693 p.
Bart was confident that Smart Boy still had some great results in him this season, but he did not expect him to be that successful: "He arrived home from Limoges I with great speed, he really stormed inside." That is how Bart remembers Smart Boy's first major result of this season: a 3rd National Limoges of 15,789 old birds.
Smart Boy, BE13-6143490
"This race was apparently no big deal for him, and that's why I decided to basket him again for Cahors, two weeks later." He completed the 779km from Cahors remarkably quickly, claiming a 4th Prov. Cahors 671 p. "From then on, he had a good chance of winning an ace pigeon title." Limoges II was the next important race for Smart Boy, who delivered another great result: a 6th Prov. Limoges II of 510 p.
"I was thinking of basketing him once more for Tulle", bart remembers. "But with the race from Libourne coming up, he was clearly in excellent form. And they predicted good weather on Monday, with a northwesterly wind. With these prospects in mind, I opted to basket him a week earlier: he was basketed for Libourne instead of Tulle. And the race from Libourne was quite a success for Bart: he had three pigeons in the race, two of which finished in the top 8: he claimed a 3rd and 8th provincial of 386 p. However, Smart Boy did not come through that day, and he did not come home on Sunday or Monday either. Smart Boy was nowhere to be seen on Tuesday morning either, and Bart was about to lose all hope. "I suddenly saw him in the aviary in the afternoon. It was such a relief." He was given plenty of food to regain some weight and he looked quite good. "But he took a turn for the worse in the next few days. He looked quite dehydrated, so I took him to veterinary surgeon Karlo Van Rompaey, because I was afraid he would not survive. Karlo managed to get him back on his feet, and he was back to his old self about ten days later. I am still grateful that he managed to pull through", says Bart.
A close-up of Smart Boy's eye
Needless to say, Smart Boy has some excellent origins. Many of Bart and Jurgen's best birds can be found in his pedigree, including Wittekop Sylvester (twice).
Sire: BE05-6451851 Elfpender Leeuw
Bart is quite fond of this talented breeding cock: "I should have bred more birds from him." It says a lot about his pigeon's breeding potential. The facts speak for themselves. Elfpender Leeuw is the sire of Smart Boy and of Miss Argenton (1st Prov. and 3rd Nat. Argenton 6177 p.), 2nd Prov. Montluçon 2152 p., 3rd Prov. Chateauroux 1605 p.) and Big White (9th Interprov. Vierzon 6659 p. and 67th Nat. Chateauroux 25,263 p.).
Grandfather: Elfpender Leeuw is a son of thre renowneden 'Leeuw' BE03 - 6277418 of Marcel Wouters (Westmalle, BE), winner of an 8th National Ace Pigeon KBDB in 2004 and now a successful breeder.
Grandmother: The grandmother of Smart Boy and the dam of Elfpender Leeuw is Schoon Witpen Willy, BE03-6460053. She is a daughter of two top class breeders: Wittekop Sylvester x Willyke!
Dam: BE12-6042498 Dark Shadow
Dark Shadow stems from the successful original bloodlines of the Geerinckx pigeon breed. She is a daughter of Wittekop Sylvester, a world famous breeder and one of the stock breeders of this team, along with Gladiator 1.
Grandfather: Wittekop Sylvester BE02-6354241, a stock breeder and the sire of Argento, Miss Limoges, Black & White, Willow, Wit Willyke and several other top birds.
Grandmother: Iron Lady BE08-6259143. Only the best breeding hens are good enough to be paired to Wittekop Sylvester, and Iron Lady was one of them. She was a very successful racing hen (1st Prov. Chateauroux 2611 p., 2nd Nat. La Souterraine 4778 p., 3rd Nat. Argenton 5756 p.) and she is now a great breeding hen as well. She is the dam of Little Star, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance Yearlings KBDB 2015!
Son New Freddy, Smart Boy's successor?
Like we said earlier, Bart claimed a 3rd Prov. from Libourne of 386 old birds. This cock is well on his way to follow in the footsteps of Smart Boy in the long distance team. "I think this son of New Freddy has already earned his stripes. He is pretty much ready to join the breeding loft but you need your best birds in your racing team if you want to win races", Bart explains. We could not agree more, especially after taking a look at the palmares of this Son New Freddy, with ring number BE15-6020149:
2nd Prov. Brive 611 p. 3rd Prov. Libourne 386 p. 41st Nat. Montluçon 10,753 p. 19th Prov. Limoges 1,214 p. 1st Noyon …
Bart's best yearling from last year is called Super Yearling BE17-6024091 (for now). Judging from his achievements from 2018 and his excellent pedigree, we can say that he is quite a promising Geerinckx racing bird indeed. Bart thinks he has a lot in common with his world famous grandfather Gladiator.
The 2018 palmares of Super Yearling:
110th Nat. Chateauroux 13,098 p. - 17th Nat. zone 3737 p. - 5th Prov. 2394 p. 78th Nat. Chateauroux 4641 p. 8th - 1371 p. Melun 8th - 1071 p. Chevrain 11th - 974 p. Chevrain 7-733 p. Noyon
Super Yearling, BE17-6024091
Super Yearling's eye
The sire is Gladiator Star, a son of two top class pigeons of Team Geerinckx: Gladiator and Little Star.
Grandfather: Gladiator has been invaluable in Wommelgem since 2003, starting out as a successful racing bird (he was 2nd Olympiad Pigeon Porto 2005 and 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB 2004). And he was just as successful as a breeder. Luc, Bart and Jurgen, and many other pigeon fanciers both at home and abroad, have been getting excellent results thanks to the Gladiator bloodline over the years. This bloodline is indispensable in any top level pigeon breed.
Grandmother: Little Star. This pigeon became one of the new stars of this team after she won a title of 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Yearlings Longer Middle Distance KBDB 2015. In addition, she is a youngster of two fantastic racing and breeding birds: Blue Lagoon and Iron Lady. It goes to show that the Geerinckx pigeon is capable of breeding multiple generations of champions.
The dam is none other than Sweety, 2nd Olympiad Pigeon Cat. B Budapest 2015, as well as 9th Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance Yearlings KBDB 2013.
Grandfather: Lion. He is another super class breeder from the line of Leeuw of Marcel Wouters (Westmalle, BE), along with Witpen Wouters and Elfpender Leeuw.
Grandmother: Sister Fantasy, another excellent racing hen that turned into a top class breeder later on.
With so many top class birds in his pedigree, it was no surprise that Super Yearling made quite an entrance in 2018. We are eager to see what he has in store next season!
Fond of Argenton
Team Geerinckx has been particularly successful in the classic from Argenton for many years now. Think for instance of their national winners Luc BE09-6326192 (1st Nat. Argenton 12,466 p.) and Just Wait BE11-6226277 (1st Nat. Argenton 16,363 p.). The race from Argenton is often a magical moment for the team from Wommelgem, and 2018 was no different.
Bart and Jurgen win a 1st provincial olds and a 2nd provincial young birds in Argenton I. We will take a closer look at both prize winners.
Beautiful Star, BE17-6024072: 1st Prov. Argenton 3025 yearlings
Beautiful Star wins a 6th National of 19,469 p. This bird stems from yet another combination of top class bloodlines. Three of her grandparents are provincial winners. The fourth grandparent is none other than top breeder Wittekop Sylvester. With such a combination of bloodlines, you are almost bound to end up with a talented new racing bird, capable of winning provincial first prizes.
The sire of this provincial winner is Argenton BE04-6202115, himself 2nd Nat. Argenton 5208 p.
Grandfather: Wittekop Sylvester, BE02-6354241
Grandmother: Willyke, BE98-6185637
The dam is BE16-6033750 Sister Little Star, a full sister of 1st National Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance KBDB 2015 Little Star
Grandfather: Blue Lagoon, BE10-6143302. Winner of many top prizes, and the sire of Little Star 1 and some other stock breeders
Grandmother: Iron Lady, BE08-6259143. Multiple prize winner and a top breeder, just like her partner
Brother Queen James, BE16-6033507: 2nd Prov. Argenton 1457 old birds
He also wins a 15th Nat. Argenton of 11,653 pigeons, and he is the result of this team's fondness of Argenton. The two parents of this bird are in fact national winners from that same race. And that significantly increases your chances of success. That same pair had already bred Queen James, 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance old birds.
Brother Queen James
Sire: BE09-6326192 Luc: winner of a 1st national Argenton of 12,446 pigeons, which means he is also the sire of Queen James, 5th National Ace Pigeon Long Distance 2017
Grandfather: Blauwe Ijzeren, a top class breeder and the sire of Iron Lady, which is in turn the dam of Little Star
Grandmother: Eenwitpen Willyke, a top class breeding hen and the dam of Iron Lady
Dam: BE11-6226277 Just Wait: winner of a 1st national Argenton of 16,363 pigeons
Grandfather: V. Rapido I, an excellent breeder obtained from Patricia Verhaegen
Grandmother: Xena, winner of a 2nd Nat. Argenton 5034 p.
Click here for the pedigree of Brother Queen James
The pedigrees of these prize winners bring us back to where it all started: what is it that keeps Bart motivated? As many of you know, Luc, Bart and Jurgen have never sold their best racing birds. As a result, many of them developed into excellent breeding birds later on. If you take a closer look at the pedigrees of some of the team's best birds of today, you will be surprised by the number of top class breeders that they originate from.
"My ultimate goal is to combine as many national ace pigeons as possible in a single pedigree. These ace pigeons have something that most other birds don't have. I haven't quite been able to pull this off but I think it might be feasible in just a few years' time", Bart explains. "If you can then breed a youngster from such a combination, it is likely to be a pigeon that has an edge over its opponents", Bart explains.
It does look like Bart has spent the last few years trying to create the ultimate racing bird: his breeding loft is now home to such talented birds as Little Star, Acy, Blue Lagoon, de Luc, Just Wait, Sweety, Queen James, Gladiator, and Iron Lady, which he combines wich such renowned bloodlines as Nadine and New Freddy. Bart has invested a lot of time and effort into this project, which he hopes to accomplish in the long term. Meanwhile, he continues to win great results, which shows that he is on the right track indeed.
This pigeon loft combines an excellent collection of pigeons with a very accomplished fancier. And Bart can always count on the help of his good friend Jurgen, who helps with the caretaking as often as he can. We think it will be jus a matter of time before this team can produce the ultimate racing bird, founded on the bloodlines of former ace pigeons. We reckon team Geerinckx would be incredibly happy and very satisfied if they can pull this off. Luc, Bart and Jurgen are working diligently to try and accomplish their mission.