Serge Dhondt (Deinze, BE) on his way to the national top

We have seen some impressive results on the right bank of the canal in Deinze in 2012. So it was time to pay a visit to Serge D’Hondt, winner of quite a few second prizes.

Serge knows quite a lot about pigeon feed: he has been coached by Eddy Noël, a food expert for Matador. He also knows how to inspire and to motivate people. It is quite clear that this is someone who fancies pigeons with a lot of commitment and vision. He invests in pigeons with great origins and he tries to get the most out of them. It illustrates the ambition of Serge Dhondt as a pigeon fancier. Of course great results were to be expected sooner or later and 2012 was the year in which he showed that he is on his way to the top Nationally, with a few remarkable results:

7th national Ace Pigeon Middle Distance Young Birds KBDB 2012 
2nd provincial Champion Middle Distance Young Birds KBDB 2012
2nd provincial Ace Pigeon Middle Distance Young Birds KBDB East Flanders 2012
2nd provincial Argenton 1,090 yearlings 2012
2nd provincial Montrichard 2,178 young birds 2012
2nd provincial Pau 2011
2nd provincial  Argenton 1,019  yearlings 2010

The basis

The basis consists of great pigeons. He is in his early forties and at the beginning of this century he had a dream that is now about to come true. Serge came into contact with one of the best long distance pigeon families in Flanders: Cyriel and Dirk Martens from Deinze. They got along well and the young Serge could take some yearlings from the loft of Cyriel to Deinze. These were mainly Martens pigeons and a few Carteus pigeons.

A special introduction was Voodoo from Cyriel and Dirk Martens, a grandson of top class breeder VC Carteus 95. This outstanding racing pigeon has won many top prizes and Serge decided to continue to basket him for the national long distance races. As a result he was one of the two pigeons from Deinze that won the title of 10th National Champion Long Distance KBDB.

After a successful 2008 season, that same Voodoo proved a great addition for the team of breeders. In 2012 Serge won the 7th National Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB with the pigeon Celientje. Her grandfather was Voodoo!

Blue Princess

This true princess performed exceptionally well in Deinze for two seasons in a row. She had only just done her first training flights as a youngster of the fourth round and she immediately showed her talent as a yearling. At national level she won a 3rd nat. Argenton against 7,358 pigeons, 18th nat. Chateauroux against 20,139 pigeons and she won the title of First Ace Pigeon in the well known long distance club of Eeklo both in 2010 and 2011. She also won a second Ace Pigeon cat. B in the FCI Continental Cup in Budapest.

Judging by her origins we think the best is yet to come for her. We notice the bloodlines of VC Carteus 95 in her pedigree. The dam of Blue Princess is a daughter of Electric of Dirk and Cyriel Martens, the nest brother of Voodoo.

In 2012 this excellent hen was moved to the breeding loft and she has already bred some very strong young cocks. Lucky Prins for instance, inherited the racing qualities from his mother, winning a first Fontenay against 515 pigeons (with a three minute lead) for John Meurysse in his year of birth, as well as a 15th Fontenay against 536 pigeons. One youngster of 2011 from a late son of Zwarte Prins was trained for the races and he won two first prizes in Oeselgem in 2012. He is now the big favourite for 2013 there.

The first results of the introduction of Meirlaen pigeons are very promising. The half brother of Fenomeen for instance, bred a few youngsters that performed well right from the start. In fact they will be basketed for the long distance races for yearlings in 2013. Their good friend Etienne Meirlaen paid him a visit and he liked what he saw.

The 2012 season

Serge knows what he is doing. His results of the past three seasons prove that he is now on his way to the top. Since 2009 he has won an impressive 51 first prizes but he is successful at provincial and national level as well with a small team of racing pigeons that have won the following prizes:

Click here for an overview of the prov. and nat. top 100 results

This means expectations were high for 2012. In the preparatory races in April and May the racing team demonstrated their form:

7/05  Clermont       172 p.: 1-3-10-13-24-29-34-44-46…(14/21)
12/05 Angerville     439 p.: 1-2-11-14-15-18-20-24-34-66-71…  (18/25)
12/05 Angerville     957 p.: 3-6-27-34-40-44-47-57-59-80- …(15/30)
19/05 Angerville     469 p.: 6-9-15-39-53-55-90-97-107…   (9/19)

Still, the focus was on the national races so we will run through his extreme middle distance season, which was very good with several top prizes and an impressive prize percentage, despite an unfavourable location at national level.

26/05 Bourges    554 p.: 5-8-12-21-22-27-28-38-43-60-68-74-…   (14/16)
         Prov  3,470 p.: 30-71-114-180-181-239-240-282-300-…
       Zonaal  5,193 p.: 57-129-204-319-321-418-421-498-525-714-… 
       Nat.  16,859  p.: 81-202-377-635-637-856-862-1024-1102-1663-…
2/06  Chatearoux 628 p.: 3-6-11-13-31-34-39-42-99-104-138-…   (14/15)
         Prov  3,960 p.: 28-37-61-69-174-181-217-241-…
       Zonaal  6,962 p.: 108-137-200-212-466-487-560-609-…
       Nat.   15,902 p.: 120-152-224-239-600-635-744-831-…
16/06 Montlucon  743 p.: 1-14-15-20-28-29-46-76-82-141-…  (11/18)
         Prov  5,335 p.: 10-170-174-232-291-302-465-…
       Zonaal  7,828 p.: 13-237-244-318-429-444-687-…  
       Nat.   22,875 p.: 238-1220-1242-1476-1795-1841-…
23/06 Tours      154 p.: 1-3-9-12-33-34-41 (7/13)
         Prov  4,165 p.: 7-28-88-131-694-710-879 (7/13)
23/06 Tours      121 p.: 1-3-9-10-33-34   (6/16)
         Prov  2,533 p.: 9-43-111-145-604-615 (6/16)
15/07 Limoges    984 p.: 36-171-194-201-207-259-268 (7/11)
         Prov  4,573 p.: 280-899-987-1011-1045
4/08  Vierzon    761 p.: 26-32-36-44-45-50-59-66-… (10/14)
11/08 Argenton   263 p.: 1-5-9-12-13-15-20-27-32 ..  (10/10)
         Prov  1,090 p.: 2-21-35-41-48-56-68-90…
          Zon  2,005 p.: 7-45-67-77-83-94-123-183…
          Nat  7,046 p.: 9-63-116-137-151-183-245-402-464

Young birds

The eight breeding pairs of Serge bred a select group of young birds, supplemented with a few young birds from his good friend John Meurysse. In fact the two pigeon families are increasingly merging together: they exchange pigeons and they do joint breedings regularly. Serge usually keeps the hens from a round of young birds; John keeps the cocks to basket them as widowers.

Even though the young bird game is not a priority for Serge we noticed that some of his young birds did great in 2012. This is of course very promising for the future; it proves that he has a good quality generation:

30/06 Angerville   699 p.: 15-26-27-28-29-52-74-75-76-77-80-… (20/30)
07/07 Angerville 1,199 p.: 3-6-7-8-25-26-60-61-150-157-230-… (15/30)
21/07 Angerville   578 p.: 1-3-5-11-12-13-23-26-28-51-72-74-… (22/24)
4/08  Vierzon      610 p.: 21-22-23-36-45-86-139-157-195-217 (10/17)
           Prov  4,058 p.: 193-194-202-336-397-…
11/08 Orleans      693 p.: 5-6-10-39-63-86-124-137-179-195-…(13/14)
           Prov  4,049 p.: 64-71-92-398-582-…
11/08 Argenton   1,021 p.: 20-38-190 (3/6)
          Prov   6,097 p.: 68-180-1173 (3/6)
          Zone  10,695 p.: 152-386-2094 (3/6)
          Nat   25,949 p.: 198-590-3157 (3/6)
18/08 Montrichard  443 p.: 1-11-12-22-50-63-64-140-151 (9/13) 
          Prov   2,178 p.: 2-51-63-107-251-335-336(7/13)
25/08 La Souteraine 710p.: 17-58-73-93-340-352-353 (7/12)
          Prov    4611 p.: 86-394-475-…
          Zon     7450 p.:68-373-454-…
1/09  Clermont    311  p.: 2-4-12-13-19-19-20-29-30-44-49-51-…(24/34)
2/09  Momignies   185  p.: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-25-28-… (34/40)
8/09  Clermont    237  p.: 3-13-14-16-52-77-78-86-87-88-103-… (14/20)


The feed: oregano and oregano

Serge thinks you cannot really go wrong with feeding your pigeons, as long as the feed is of decent quality. Soft plumage is what characterises most good pigeons and it is the result of a balanced diet. When he has a successful season the use of medicines is usually very limited. Serge thinks this is because he feeds his pigeons oregano. This is a tonic herb that improves resistance and it is added to the feed on a regular basis, in the form of oil.

I have a dream

Serge’s dream is to create the ultimate versatile pigeon that can excel in races of between 100 and 700 km. This means he is very demanding for his breeding pigeons; every physical flaw should be avoided. Thanks to his close friendship with Cyriel and Dirk Martens and superstar Etienne Meirlaen in recent years Serge has had quite a few champions in his hands. As a result he knows perfectly well what a national winner or ace pigeon looks like. In addition he has started a small project with Eddy Noël in 2013, which they are both very enthusiastic about. There is no doubt that we will hear more from this in the seasons to come.

The ultimate goal: a national first prize after a long list of second prizes

A fancier always wants to make progress. That is why Serge keeps on looking for other pigeons that can further improve his existing breed. For instance he purchased a half sister of Gauda at the auction of Norbert Ally. This pigeon is often considered the best young bird of Belgium in 2012. In addition some of his own ace pigeons are moved to the breeding loft every season; pigeons that know how to fly in the front of the race. For instance he added Blue Princess to his select team of breeders in 2012 and as we said earlier, this pigeon already proved herself as an excellent breeder: a second place in the provincial championships KBDB, a second prize provincial ace pigeons, a second provincial from Montrichard, a second provincial Argenton, etc.

On our way home we took a look at his list of achievements and we concluded that 2013 might be another great season for the princes and princesses from Deinze. Maybe one of them will become the king in 2013?