When you take a look at the cartload of top prizes and the places of honour they won in various championships, some of you probably won't believe that it was possible. But it's true... In the province of Liège, the opposition was pretty tough in the long distance races with the Henry family, the Philippens father and son from Fouron and the brothers Caro from Lambermont. Most of the time, there was nothing left for the rest of their opponents...
- 1st Long Distance Champion Liège – Hesbaye - 1st Ace Pigeon Long Distance Liège – Hesbaye with 'The 17' (1023717/09) - 1st Provincial Long Distance Champion Liège - 1st Provincial Ace Pigeon Long Distance Liège with 'The 17' (1023717/09)
But, if you are objective, you can consider that the Henrys were simply the strongest this year. As proof, in Nandrin, the main objective was the national laurels ! Because when your loft is in a state of grace, everything becomes possible and the ambitions were logicaly revised upwards. Here is the balance:
- 1st National Champion Heavy Long Distance KBDB 2011 - 3rd General Champion KBDB 2011 - 10th National Champion Long Distance BDB 2011 - 8th National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2011 with 'The 17' (1023717/09)
As you can see, it was a true raid in the championships dedicated to the long distance! Let's specify that if they were more careful, they could have won a place in the national championship for the youngsters raced in the national races. Nobody did better in 2011.
- General Champion 'Les amis du grand fond' 2011 - European Ace Pigeon Heavy Long Distace with the '612/08' - Ace Youngster Noyau 1000 with the '848/11'
The Henry family with the cups received after their 'national harvest'.
In addition to this beautifull harvest, the west/south west winds that predominated this year were very succesful for a few lofts situated in the 'less in sight' area of our country. It gave them the possibility to let their talent speak! It was the case in the areas of Namur, Liège and Luxemburg. In Nandrin, the harvest in the national, zonal and semi-national races was nothing but sparkling, the cherry on the cake being the 1st National Souillac. We found:
1st National Souillac 5.667 p. 4th National Cahors 8.105 p. 12th National Souillac 5.667 p. 13th National Brive 2 years 3.995 p. 17th National Cahors 8.105 p. 30th National Brive 10.089 p. 38th National Tarbes 4.818 p. 57th National Marseille 3.179 p. 70th National Cahors 8.105 p. 93th National Tulle Y 6.345 p. 96th National Marseille 3.179 p. 144th National Barcelona 12.170 p.
Finally, 11 prizes in the national top 100!! In the zonal (out of the national top 100) and semi-national results, the balance is also exceptional:
86th Zone C Tulle Olds 1.700 p. 86th Zone C Guéret Youngsters 3.819 p. 91th Zone C Guéret Youngsters 3.819 p. 11th Centre & Est Jarnac Yearlings 4.505 p. 17th Centre & Est Moulins Yearlings 4.306 p. 33th Centre & Est Jarnac Yearlings 4.505 p. 97th Centre & Est Moulins Yearlings 4.306 p. 101th Centre & Est Jarnac Yearlings 4.505 p. 103th Centre & Est Nevers Youngsters 3.189 p.
The Henry colony is a well-oiled machine in which the 'fancier spirit' is well in sight. Here, it's all about the game, enjoying the good times spent with the family... and betting on everything that is raced. On this subject, Alain gets straight to the point: 'I'd rather die than basket pigeons without any money. The pigeon sport, it's all about this for me.' That's how the Henry pigeons are often basketted with golden wings with, sometimes, a nice gift for their owners. In fact, when they are doing the individual performance list of each pigeon at the end of the season, there is a column dor the amount of money won by the pigeon next to his performance list. You can also find a subtotal for the whole season and another for their career! Everything is thoroughly noted and is even take into account as a selection criteria! And you always have a good time in the 'petit Baimont' farm. I had the opportunity to witness the arrivals frpm Tulle national, the worst race of 2011, so I can testify. You can listen to the stories of the patriarche, Léon, when he explains his old exploits while Alain and Maxime never miss an occasion to tell jokes. We remake the world and we talk of all or nothing, that's also the social side of the pigeon sport!
The triumph of the Henry family is mosty due to the work of Maxime. These words are coming from the mouth of his ancestors. Maxime is the guy that wakes up every morning to clean, train and feed the pigeons. In short, what we commonly call a 'CARER'. Maxime, can be considered as a survivor that hooked up to life thanks to the pigeons. After a terrible car accident during his youth, the doctors were not optimistic, he awoke from his coma after a phone call between Alain, who was at his bedside, and his grand-father Léon. They were talking about whether to basket the youngsters for the weekend. Maxime woke up and made the decision for them! Needless to say, there were a lot of tears from the whole family. After his stay in hospital, Maxime directly got back the taste of life whilst becoming more and more involved with the pigeons and he cwas able to develop his pigeon fancier talents under the advice of his father and his grand-father who let him decide what was good or not. Nowadays, a few days before 2012, he is at the head of the whole colony. Léon gives his view, has the role of the advisor with accurate ideas. During the season, Léon and his grandson often yell at each other. That's when Alain enters the game. He lowers the tempers, moderates the minds. He has mainly the role of the brake. At the head of a farm, Alain doesn't have a lot of free time to take care of a colony. He also takes care of the bets, an activity that he particularly likes.
A golden find
In 1992, the Henry Léon colony was put under the spotlight when the 'Médaillé d'Or' won the victory in the tough International race from Perpignan with a 30 min lead (1 hour at national level). This pigeon, aged two years, won here the 20th single prize of his young career (and we are talking here about an extreme long distance pigeon), it describes perfectly the very tough regime imposed by the Henrys on their pigeons. 'We are probably the only long distance colony in the world to race the youngsters, as well as the cocks, in the 4 national races for youngsters. And you know what ? They are not darkened. And if they have moulted a few pens, they just have to come back by foot.'
A method that purely contradicts the fact that the long distance pigeons need to develop slowly before being exploited to the fullest. But we should shade this point of view. After a few decades of hard selection, do they not simply own one of the strongest strains of the international pigeon sport ? To meditate over.
But let's get back to the subject. This 'Médaillé d'Or' is in fact a direct pigeon from the late Jos Vandenbroeck. As a smart guy, Henry, who was the captain of the boat, rejected the numerous offers he received from the far east and the young international winner didn't leave Belgian ground. He finally moved to the breeding loft of the great champion Roger Vereecke where he became, a.o., the grand-father of the 'Tarbes', 1st national Pau '09 and 14th national Tarbes '08 by Vereecke, but also of the 'Marseille' from which the performance list is available below. The Henrys didnt own a lot of direct children of this super breeder. But his parents were kept and his brothers and sisters were put into the breeding loft. And that's were the vision of the patriarch of Nandrin took all its meaning from! Henry: 'I think that if you want to be successful in the pigeon sport, you need to find a golden pair. Some will never find it during their whole career, some will. I think that we are a part of this second group.' Actually, we find back the blood of this superior pair in most of the pigeons of the colony. Of course, it's often in fifth, sixth generation but new reinforcements are so rare in Nandrin that we could finish with this: the parents of the 'Médaillé d'Or' were indeed a golden pair!
Lets have a look at the best pigeons of the season.
- 'The 17' 1023717/09 (+-10.500km/prize in 3 years)
1st Ace Pigeon Long Distance Liège-Hesbaye
1st Provincial Ace Pigeon Long Distance Liège
8th National Ace Pigeon Long Distance RFCB-KBDB 2011
Best Belgian pigeon in 5 long distance races in 2011: Limoges, Cahors, Brive, Souillac & Tulle (Steve Van Overstraeten)
2011: 09/04 61th Momignies - Alliance 453 pigeons 01/05 1st Epernay - Soc.Avant 172 pigeons 21/05 2nd Bourges - Soc.Avant 467 pigeons 21/05 26th Bourges - Provincial 2.398 pigeons 21/05 49th Bourges - Liège Hesb 3.302 pigeons 21/05 134th Bourges - Interprov 5.630 pigeons 04/06 21th Limoges - Ramilies 309 pigeons 04/06 403th Limoges - Interprov 5.269 pigeons 19/06 1st Cahors - Ramilies 163 pigeons 19/06 1st Cahors - Obrafo 418 pigeons 19/06 3rd Cahors - Liège Hesb 738 pigeons 19/06 4th Cahors - Zone Est 2.892 pigeons 19/06 4th Cahors - National 8.105 pigeons 09/07 29th Brive - Provincial 480 pigeons 09/07 102th Brive - Zone Est 2.448 pigeons 09/07 334th Brive - National 10.089 pigeons 24/07 10th Souillac - Zone Est 1.319 pigeons 24/07 12th Souillac - National 5.667 pigeons 06/08 6th Tulle - Provincial 241 pigeons 06/08 166th Tulle - National 5.124 pigeons
'The 17' a few minutes after his arrival from Souillac.
2009: 30/05 Chimay 1st/118 loc 14/06 Lescaillière 7/251 loc, 9/471 S.Avant 18/07 Vierzon 318/1020 CFW 08/08 Argenton 198/1236 L-N-L 22/08 La Souterraine 3/118 Loc, 5/477 Prov, 14/1163 L-N-L, 521/4501 Zone Est 05/09 Guéret 33/405 Prov, 70/968 L-N-L, 841/3974 Zone Est 2010: 11/04/10 Gedinne 71/273 loc 18/04 Sugny 1st/220 loc, 8/595 S.Avant 25/04 Rethel 95/928 S.Avant 22/05 Bourges 37/497 L-N-L, 610/4390 Zone Est, 05/06 Châteauroux 1014/3311 N.Direct 20/06 Montluçon 133/613 L-N-L 11/07 Jarnac 33/516 Prov, 48/786 Lg-Hesb, 43/972 L-N-L, 66/1514 N.Direct, 247/3714 C&E
Father: 'Father of the 17' (BE 07-1037480), son of the 'Albi' (66th national Albi '06) himself son of the 'Crack 110' who flew the 36th national Marseille as well as the 67th national Perpignan and who is an inbred product of the 'Médaillé d'Or' because his father is the '32' (pigeon born in '98), probably one of the best pigeons of the colony because he won the 14th national Perpignan as well as the 91th national Castres before becoming an exceptionnal breeder (see later).
The mother of the 'Father of the 17' is a grand-daughter of the 'Petit Félix' from Roger Vereecke.
Mother: 'Sister of the 1st National Souillac '11' (BE 06-1033143), pigeon that also won the 17th national Cahors '11 from 8.105 pigeons. On father's side she is a grand-daughter of the '104/00' which won 12 single prizes in races of more than 600 kilometres. He is himself a descendant of a full brother of the 'médaillé d'or', 1st International Perpignan '92. Her mother is in turn a descendant of the Vereecke and Vandenbroeck pigeons which played a big role in the building of the Henry colony. She is a great grand-daughter both of the 'Baron' and of the 'Zieken', so two of the best breeders that Roger Vereecke owned during his career. The 'Baron' flew: Narbonne '98 national: 101/9.104 p., Brive '00 national: 29/27.081 p. and Perpignan '00 international: 94/18.426 p. After which he became father of the 'Marseille' which won Orange '05 national 126/6.751 p., Montélimar '05 national 625/10.195 p. Marseille '03 International 215/20.786 p. and finally, in 2006, Carcasonne national 3rd in 3.942 pigeons and 5th international from 10.323 pigeons as well as the 114th national Aurillac from 6.611 pigeons. You should know that the mother of this 'Marseille' is a daughter of the... 'Médaillé d'or' ! The 'Zieken' was the basis pigeon of the late Jos Vandenbroeck and he is the grand-father of the 'Didi', 1st National Ace Pigeon Long Distance at the end of the 80's at Vandenbroeck.
But the story of this pigeon could have been more beautifull! Let's go back a few months, to the begining of August to be more accurate. The crack of Alain Hoornaert is almost sure to climb the highest rung of the podium of the National Ace Pigeons Long Distance KBDB/RFCB. At this moment, there is only one national race left, Tulle, and only a dozen pigeons are still able to beat the pigeon of Hoornaert (who has stopped for definite), to win an early prize from Tulle. The '17' is the closest pigeon able to beat the coefficient and he is prepared for this race as it should be. Alain: 'He was in exceptional shape and we were very confident. Too bad that the pigeons were released in the conditions that everybody knows...' And he won't come back in this very controversed race. But you should know that the '17' arrived at 20h20 in rainy weather while the night was closing in. He won the 166th national prize. 'He still flew a few minutes around the loft and was in exceptionnal condition... like when he was basketted. Who knows what would have happened if the liberation was more fair..'
- ))----dfkdkdkd--- -
- 'Son of the 32' (BE 08-1032612)
European Ace Pigeon Heavy Long Distance 2011 2011: Prize from Sugny, Rethel, Limoges 3rd Barcelona - Local 163 pigeons 7th Barcelona - Provincial 373 pigeons 8th Barcelona - L-N-L 811 pigeons 17th Barcelona - Noyau 1000 1.670 pigeons 19th Barcelona - Noyau Direct 1.854 pigeons 54th Barcelona - CFW 3.630 pigeons 144th Barcelona - National 12.170 pigeons 348th Barcelona - International 26.066 pigeons 3rd Marseille - Obrafo 215 pigeons 19th Marseille - Provincial 282 pigeons 69th Marseille - Noyau 1000 1.143 pigeons 84th Marseille - CFW 1.718 pigeons 96th Marseille - National 3.179 pigeons 223th Marseille - International 10.654 pigeons Price on Perpignan
Let's add that in 2008, he won his prize in each of the 4 national races dedicated to the youngsters and it seems that it didn't dazzle him. Even better, it looks like he's becoming better as the years goes by, like a good old french wine! In 2010, his season was stopped because of the diptheria!
Father: 'The 32', super crack with 14th national Perpignan and 91th national Castres. His father is a full brother of the 'Médaillé d'Or'! His mother is a hen from Louis Duchene. Let's specify that this '32' is presently in the 4th generation into the pedigree of the '17', but also father of the '110/00' which flew the 36th national Marseille '03 as well as the 67th national Perpignan '03. This '110/00' is in turn father of the '335/01' which flew the 22th national Perpignan '03.
Mother: '083/06' (BE 06-1033083), 100% Roger Vereecke hen and descendant of the line of the famous 'Félix' !
In addition to this European Ace Pigeon Européen Extreme Long Distance, the Henry family also win the 1st Ace Youngster Noyau 1000 with a young cock that was not, as we suspected , spared.
- 'The 48' (BE 11-1036848)
2011: Price on Gedinne, Sugny, Rethel, Reims, Nanteuil, Melun 166th Nevers - Noyau Direct 1.178 pigeons 736th Nevers - Centre & Est 3.189 pigeons 2nd Bourges - Local 131 pigeons 22th Bourges - Provincial 1.302 pigeons 33th Bourges - L-N-L 1.889 pigeons 103th Bourges - Noyau 1000 3.676 pigeons 466th Bourges - CFW 9.071 pigeons 3rd Argenton - Local 120 pigeons 10th Argenton - Provincial 588 pigeons 11th Argenton - L-N-L 1.100 pigeons 23th Argenton - Noyau 1000 2.372 pigeons 160th Argenton - CFW 6.567 pigeons 346th Argenton - National 20.383 pigeons Price on Laon 85th La souterraine - L-N-L 970 pigeons 122th La souterraine - Noyau 1000 1.814 pigeons 7th Guéret - Provincial 360 pigeons 10th Guéret - L-N-L 801 pigeons 46th Guéret - Noyau 1000 1.422 pigeons 345th Guéret - CFW 4.113 pigeons
In total, more than 3.625 kilometres/prize only in 2011 !! For next year, this pigeon will probably fly the double amount of the kilometres!!
Father: '160/05' (BE 05-1026160), son of the... '32', so the father of the European Ace Pigeon introduced above !!
Mother: '942/09' (BE 09-1023942), 100% Luc Van Coppenolle hen via C. Chevalier (unknown origin).
After having been busy during 6 months this season, the Henrys entered the 'winter season' of the dinners and celebrations. Being on the road each weekend, their body will have to face a tough challenge and the beer must be consumed to make it work. After that, they will go on holliday to a ski resort, a well deserved week to recharge the batteries, something that should help them to face the new 2012 season with as much success than in 2011. In any case, that's all we wish you! Congratulations.
The 1st national Souillac 2011 in full effect.
His mother, grand-mother of the '17' and of...
... his successor?
Another brother of the 'Souillac', co-winner of the national title of Heavy Long Distance.
One of their favorite pigeon.