In the race from Narbonne Mon Antonissen has achieved what many fanciers can only dream of: to take a first prize and to beat the very best pigeon fanciers at international level. Mon has done it this Sunday from Narbonne. His Geschelpte Bordeaux, which had already won a 1st prize locally from Bordeaux (and a 3rd provincial) took the international win last weekend. He covered 914.227 km between Narbonne and his home loft in Schoten in 11 hrs 51 mins, which is quite an impressive feat. He was clocked at 20 h 06, which made him the fastest old bird at the international level with a velocity of 1285.83 m/min. This weekend’s winning bird has had a few successful seasons already:
-1st International Narbonne BE10-6117455
’12 Narbonne Nat 6,441 p. 1 I.Nat 9,072 p. 1 ’12 Bordeaux Nat 4,971 p. 363 (and 23rd Prov) ’12 Limoges Prov 1,014 p. 320 ’12 Merchtem Loc 109 p. 1 ’11 Bordeaux Loc 45 p. 1 Prov 824 p. 3 Nat 6,217 p. 106 ’11 Melun 3,008 p. 739 etc…
The history behind the loft
Mon Atonissen (58 years old and a former plumber) started the season with about 40 racing pigeons, 28 of which are still in the loft (including old birds and yearlings). The strength of his loft is that he selects throughout the year, he says. Any bird who cannot keep up is left behind or is eliminated. That explains why he never baskets a lot of birds, but he is often very successful with a small team of racers, winning high prize percentages.
The family is mainly based around stock that he has created himself. Many years ago Mon used to be a sprint race fanatic. In the 90s he came into contact with a fancier named Marx (he used to live in the local neighbourhood) who did long distance races. Mon met him at the club and Marx asked him if he wanted to help him with clocking the long distance birds. Back then the birds were clocked manually so of course Mon could use a helping hand. That is how they became friends and after a while Mon helped him in the lofts as well. Gradually Marx gave some of his pigeons to Mon: some were sold to him, some were given as gifts. Marx had pigeons with the lines of Geschifte Hofkes of Raoul Verstraete and he had some very good Lou Wouters pigeons as well.
Mon could get almost anything he wanted and these new pigeons did very well in the sprint races, so of course he was successful at the long distance as well. Meanwhile he has crossed some other long distance lines with them, but the old stock which he created himself is still the basis of the loft. This family has proved itself many times: they have won several titles including a 1st long distance champion Wijnegem 2011, a 2nd middle distance champion in 2010 and of course the international win from Narbonne. Keep up the good work!
For this championship in Wijnegem the youngsters raced counted as well however Mon used to pair his birds only in mid February so it was difficult for him to have some youngsters for the last races and to take some points there. So he changed his approach this season and paired his birds in mid December for one round of youngsters. The 14 breeding pairs and 40 racing birds have raised about 100 youngsters. After that the racers were not paired again before the start of this season, something he used to do in previous years. But he noticed that many of his birds had already dropped too many feathers before the last races of the season, for instance Perpignan. This season he did the first training tosses in mid March to make sure his birds are ready for the start of the season. Before basketing he never shows the hens. That is not needed at all, says Mon. There is always a nest bowl in the box during the week. I simply flip the bowl and then I basket the pigeons. Putting hens in the boxes is just too much of a hassle for me, says Mon.
In recent weeks the pigeons of Mon Antonissen have been in a very good shape: they had very good results locally and provincially in Wijnegem. He never baskets a lot of pigeons but they always have a high prize percentage (see below). For Narbonne he had basketed no more than six pigeons, three old birds and three yearlings. Three of them were clocked on Sunday evening, including his international winner, who was clocked at 20 h 06. Two of his yearlings were clocked at 21 h 40 and 22 h 02. These two yearlings were his first and second nominated; they finished 5th and 6th locally and 50th and 58th provincially (against 746 yearlings). His second old bird arrived on Monday morning and has just missed a prize, but he still has a chance of winning a national or international prize. The achievements of his yearlings this season makes him look forward to next season as well. He has a bright future ahead with these excellent yearlings. Congratulations Mon, enjoy your wonderful international victory!
The best results of this loft in 2012
29/7 Narbonne Intnat 9,072 old birds 1 (3) 29/7 Narbonne Prov 746 YL 50-58 (with 1st & 2nd nom. of three birds) 21/7 Salbris 30 p. 5-9 (2/2) 22/7 Souillac 44 p. 4 (1/2), Prov 694 p. 37 (1/2) 15/7 Limoges 90 YL 9-11-15 (3/9), Prov 2,383 YL 389-462-528 (3/9) 06/7 Barcelona Prov 1,267 p. 274 (1/1) 07/7 Montlucon 38 p. 2 (1/2), Intprov 1,426 old birds 31 (1/2) Montlucon 56 YL 1-9 (2/2), Intprov 1,881 YL 26-191 (2/2) 07/7 Brive Prov 944 p. 152-298 (2/2) 07/7 Libourne Prov 984 p. 261 (1/2) 30/6 Orange Prov 570 p. 115 (1/2) 30/6 Bordeaux Prov 23° and Nat 4,971 p. 363 (1/2) 23/6 Montauban 77 p. 5-17 (2/2) 23/6 Montlucon 1,253 old birds 167 (1/2) 09/6 Chateauroux Prov 1,862 old birds 299-409-500 (3/3) 02/6 Limoges Prov 1,014 p; 104-261-320 (3/3)