The family with their national winner
These fanciers switched to the extreme middle distance only two years ago and yet they have managed to win three provincial and one national win within this period of time. This is impressive. Besides they have used a cock with five first prizes, two second and three third prizes as a midwife to raise the youngsters of other breeders. This means they have great faith in their breeding and selection methods in the loft. One thing is sure: the loft of Michel and Robbie holds a few very talented birds.
First you walk, and then you run. That is the motto of Michel and Robbie. This means they started with the sprint races first, but when the number of pigeons in this discipline went down they decided to switch to the short middle distance. Since 2011 they have also been doing extreme middle distance races. No race is hard enough and they never try to find excuses. Their pigeons race in the front of the pack against such fanciers as Wouters-Coremans (Langdorp), a multiple national champion and winner of the golden pigeon. Yet Michel and Robbie have managed to basket 328 old birds last year who managed to win 209 prizes (which is about 60%) per ten. In 2012 they were victorious in no less than 20 races, including some impressive wins: Pithiviers against 575 pigeons: 1-3-4-6-11 (5/5) and Salbris Brabant Union against 1,308 pigeons: 1-2-4 and six pigeons clocked within the first 80 (11/13). Insiders were not surprised to see them take a national first prize.
It is time to present to you the true star in the lofts of Soeteye & Sons:
Not only did Guéretje beat 17,007 young birds, he was also the fastest of 20,386 pigeons
When the winner was basketed it was together with a hen and a cock in a single nest. When two dogs fight for a bone… The sire is Good Witpen 044 and good is an understatement: 47 prizes per 10 over 55 races is quite a good result by Good Witpen 044. This bird is one of a kind. The dam of Guéretje stems from Eric Govaerts (Baal), a good friend of Robbie. This is also important for Robbie: if he wants to purchase a pigeon he needs to have a good relationship with the fancier in question. In recent years he purchased pigeons off Dirk Van Dyck, his colleague at the bus company of Van Hool. This is what Robbie says about him: “He is a great fancier but an even greater person.” Last year Wim De Troy (Berlaar) selected two young birds out of a group of 35. One of them became the dam of the 1st prov. from Salbris B.U. Apparently the eye theory might be more useful than a lot fanciers would think. Robbie has also obtained pigeons (in random order) from Willy Meuris (Terlaenen), Raymond De Haes (Baal), Firmin Van Loock (Houtvenne), Cyriel & Karl Lambrechts (Berlaar), Dirk Vervoort (Heist o/d Berg), Frans Dockx (Schriek) and Luc Tielemans (Putte). These are all fanciers known for their strong and sometimes relentless team of racers. He would like to mention Engels J & J as well. “It is amazing how many small lofts have become successful thanks to them. Just look at the pedigrees of the winners of the last couple of seasons. They were in fact the first to congratulate us”, Robbie explains.
This article would not be complete without a picture of the eye of the winner
We were impressed with the quality of the pigeons, the drive of father and son Soetewye and the sharp eye of Robbie. I am confident that the best is yet to come for this family of pigeons. Should you have any questions about the so called eye theory, Robbie and Michel would very much like to share their knowledge. This is what makes them true champions.