Lixhe is a small town not far from Visé in the province of Liège, it is situated to the north-east of the city of Liège. It's also a border town as it has a direct border with the Netherlands. It is not the first time that a first national has been won here, but we must go back to 1999 to find another national triumph with the victory of the super chequered from the late Michel Fryns from Montauban. Since then, the few pigeon fanciers of the city have had no luck at the nationals.
Lucien Zecchinon, 67 years old, has been a pigeon fancier since 1960. He mostly enters his pigeons in the sprint & middle distance races and he has been racing like a champion over the years. He was crowned three times general champion at the famous Indépendante de Liège and he has already won two semi-national victories, respectively from Argenton in '85 and from Jarnac in '08. In addition, he was also general champion with the youngsters at the LCB championships in '04 and he has a few provincial victories to his name, often accompanied with a national top 100. Moreover, he also likes to basket his pigeons for a long distance race as was the case this year for Montélimar where he won the 64th national out of 6,718 pigeons.
Method & composition of the colony
His actual lofts consist of 50 widowers housed in three lofts, 20 breeding pairs, (as he said himself, a few good ones, a lot of lesser birds) for which the idea is to raise 90 youngsters each year. Concerning the origins of his lofts, Lucien still trust his old breeds based on pigeons from Verbruggen, Monseu-Miller, Jean-Louis Janne and from the Saya brothers. He also likes to swap some birds with his pigeon friends. For the youngsters, only the first round (composed of 40 pigeons) is raced but they are not darkened and not separated. Lucien tries to have a few pigeons in nest positions sometimes but that's all. That said it doesn't prevent him racing for the final victory as his title of general champion LCB proves. For his method, you have got to know that only one loft of widowers (the one of the 1st national Bourges) is paired at the begining of January and they can raise a youngster. The rest of the loft is only paired at the end of February, but they will only sit for 10 days before being put on widowhood. At the medical level, he pays a visit to his veterinary surgeon, Dr Marc Sturbois, who prescribes an antibiotic before the start of the season. If the pigeons are ill in the meantime, they will receive something but Lucien doesn't like treating unneccessarily!
With regards to feeding, all the pigeons are fed together, even the racers and even if the date of the basketing is coming closer. He always use the same mixture of corn too, the sport Hoebrecht, and after ten to fifteen minutes, the feeeder is removed. The pigeons are never given depurative. For the additional productcs, he often uses sédochol, powder of condition and vitamins and that's all!
- The Bourges (BE 10-1004381)
The 1st national in his box.
Clocked at 12 h 17 min 12 secs, the national winner flew the 472 kilometers at an average speed of 1,489 m/min, only a few seconds in front of the second prize winner, the pigeon from Greeven, clocked 28 seconds later at 300 metres more flying distance! It was certainly a win on the edge!
The 1st national of the old birds only made the 14th highest speed of the entire convoy of 58,069 pigeons from Bourges (beaten by 6 yearlings & 7 youngsters).
Father: 116/05, son of the 21 (super racer of the loft in the beginning of the new millenium) x The 41 (1st national Souillac 02 Van Damme-Boddaert x Sierens-Vandenbroucke hen)
Mother: 356/05, 100% Florent Verwerst from Nijlen
(If you want to see the pedigree of the winner, click here).
This first national then is the logical crowning of a career of more than fifty years in the pigeon sport! This citizen of Lixhe wanted to thank his pigeon friends (Jean Verbeeck, Claude Horelait, José Larivière, Alphonse Lequeu, Gilles Jérome, José Moremans, Frédéric Fortun, Rudy Lheureux, etc) for the good times they have spent together. Not really blessed this year at the national level, the province of Liège celebrates her national victory and it couldn't have been more beautiful as it went to a true pigeon lover, a real pigeon fancier who enjoys his hobby and not the stress and the worries! Congratulations Lucien, we hope that you will continue to live for your favourite hobby as long as possible!