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Draye Rene & Patrick win 1st National La Souterraine 4.660 old pigeons ! New highlight in their career!


Rene & Patrick DRAYE, Sint Joris Weert


In the national La Souterraine at the end of August the old and yearlings race together for the first time this season in a national race together in the same category in the main race. A good decision that was made a few years ago, and which apparently the fanciers accepted positively. This year La Souterraine had 4.660 old birds which was a bonus of 330 pigeons compared to last season 2007 (this next to an increase of 2000 youngsters)! It was the champion colony of Rene & Patrick Draye from St.Joris-Weert, who were the national winners against 4.660 old birds. They clocked their winning pigeon at 15h14'34" from a distance of 558,858 Km… giving them a velocity of 1381,36 m/min. This meant they broke away from Marcel Creten from St.Truiden (1368 m) who ended 2°, ahead of the 'inevitable' Guido Loockx from Tessenderlo (1367,66 m, and also 2° National with the youngsters!).


Already years at the top
The colony of Rene & Patrick Draye has been at the top of the pigeon happenings in our land in the Middle Distance and 'Extreme Middle Distance' for years. They were crowned 1° National champion Middle Distance KBDB in 1993, then the next year they stranded at places 2 and 3… with wins including 1° Prov Ace pigeon Middle Distance 2000 (with their "Provincial 057/99")! Last season the performance curve was once again larded with a recital of top performances which ultimately led to the following important titles:

1° Provincial Champion 'Small Middle Distance' Old + Yearlings KBDB 2004
4° National Champion 'Grand Middle Distance' KBDB 2006
12° National Champion 'Yearlings' KBDB 2007

So, very vigorous… which perfectly reflects the authoritative game in their chosen discipline… the Middle Distance with the old pigeons. Because of the age of father Rene (76 years) and the lack of time that Patrick has after finishing work (Patrick works in insurance in Brussels), they made the decision quite a while ago to concentrate on the game with the old pigeons. The old pigeons then never train in the morning, whereas father Rene lets the youngsters out at about 3pm, so that Patrick can call them in when he comes home from work. Thus the first youngsters this year were not weaned until the 10th of April. These youngsters were trained with the intention of only giving them the necessary experience in their birth year… last weekend they had a Middle Distance race from Melun (35 prizes from the 55 nominated). They can repeat this next week and that should be enough.


Pedigree : Click here


The youngster's race from Melun this weekend was anything but smooth, that's why they wondered what to expect from La Souterraine. Patrick followed the exploits of the Olympic women's high jump finals on the TV. When Tia Hellebaut exceeded the 2m05 he went to report this to the 'waiters' in the garden, and to keep an eye on the pigeons, and 2 youngsters from Melun landed at the trap. Patrick went back into the living room to check if the only remaining rival 'Vlasic' had been successful in her 3° and last attempt at 2m07, and… failure! Patrick went to report the joyful news in the garden… Tia Hellebaut wins 'gold' for Belgium! His words were hardly out of his mouth when his 'gold medal' fell like a 'bullet' out of the sky onto the trap… a yearling hen from La Souterraine! The later 'national winning hen' against 4.660 old pigeons from La Souterraine, was promptly christened by Patrick as his "Tia"! The reason why is self explanatory…

This "Tia" ring 07-2079078, was in 2007 also the 'best youngster' of the loft, and won the following prizes:

In 2007:
22/7 Arlon              660 d.               47
29/7 Nanteuil      1.123 d.                 3
05/8 La Ferte       1.191 d.               25
11/8 Toury              182 d.               39
19/8 Sens                906 d.               59
25/8 Sens                239 d.               1
02/9 Laon                441 d.               1
09/9 Laon                454 d.               48

In 2008:
16/8 Melun             197 d.              8
23/8 La Souterraine 4.660 d.      1



A victory with a story. Patrick takes the risk every year at the beginning of July of taking a few yearling hens out of the aviary … in order to train them at great speed to get them ready for the autumn classics from La Souterraine and/or Gueret. So was his "Tia" taken out the aviary around the 8th of July and placed in the youngsters' loft. For the first 14 days she was allowed to freely fly out to get into the flying rhythm before being trained. It was the intention to prepare her for basketting for Gueret with an 8 or 10 day old youngster. She successively raced Momignies, Vervins, Soissons and Melun… and was now basketted for La Souterraine while brooding for 15 days. Just before basketting she had discarded her 6° feather and Patrick and Rene began to doubt whether their "Tia" would be able to manage such a performance, let alone… pocket the 'national title'! Being honest, against all pigeon logic! Where then are we with all the theories about darkening, lighting, almost daily training and training from pigeons at this time of the year… when a hen suddenly takes the national victory with hardly any competition in the wings, on 4 feathers and with a serious 'hole' in het 'wing' etc… So as you can see an exceptionally talented and 'classy' pigeon, which is seemingly 'super motivated' by her nest situation when she is basketted… is capable of a real 'stunt'! The rest is pure theory… although we can't of course generalise this, and just sweep all the experience under the carpet! By the way, this "Tia" is not just any old pigeon, her brothers and sisters also know what 'top racing' is, because her 3 brothers, who are at the moment residing in the racing loft, have all won a 1° prize, one from Soissons, one from Toury, and one two weeks ago won a 1° prize from Argenton and 25° National Argenton against 6.177 Yearlings!

The Draye colony is based for 75% on pigeons originating from Eric Limbourg from Brussegem. When possible, Patrick visits almost every week to 'watch over' the National Long Distance races! Because of this he became close friends with Eric Limbourg and companion Geert De Clercq, and multiple pigeons out the toppers moved from Limbourg to Sint-Joris-Weert, mainly out the Lines of the "Crack Aelbrecht" and the "Dubbele"! The national winner from La Souterraine "Tia" also stems out these Limbourg lines. Her father is the "Rolex" 534/02 who had already won 8 x in the 'first 10' including 1° Toury 3.190 p. (and son of the "Late 109/01" x stock mother "Beauty 102/87", mother of the 2° + 4° Intprov Toury 3.190 p)… the "Late 109" comes out 'Half-sister Wondertik Limbourg' and is also father of the "Max" who won 1° Limoges 369 p and 12° Nat Zone 2.469 p, and 1° Le Mans 319 p… (the "Wondertik" was Olympic pigeon All Round in South Africa 2001)! Mother is the "Schoon Geschelpt Eric 785/03", and half-sister of the "Lucky 85" who was 1° Nat Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2006 by Eric Limbourg! This "Tia" clearly doesn't get it from a stranger! Patrick Draye wishes to take this opportunity to thank his good friends Eric and Geert for the excellent breeding material that he obtained from them… honour where honour's due! We would like to congratulate father Rene and son Patrick Draye with this beautiful national victory from La Souterraine old birds!