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Ulrich Lemmens (Balen, BE) is on his way to the top with a 1st nat. yearlings and a 2nd old birds Tulle

The 26-year-old Ullrich Lemmens has had the same dream throughout his childhood. He was destined to become a successful pigeon fancier. His dream has come true and he has been a fulltime pigeon fancier since 2009. He had an exceptional 2012 season and he proved his talent with a national victory this season!

Ulrich Lemmens had always dreamed of turning his hobby into a professional career one day. Nothing could stop him on his way to a successful career and he was not afraid to spend money on a number of carefully selected pigeons. He composed a team of pigeons around his outstanding stock sire De Gust, which he paired to the best pigeons from the breeds of Frans Rondags, Dirk Van Dyck, Patrick Sons, Peter Stakenborg, Ronny Faes, Piet Van Meeuwen, PEC (PIPA Elite Center) Bart Geerinckx, Bart & Nance Van Oeckel and Ivo Renders. The latter three have been of great help for Ulrich and they sit together regularly to talk about their hobby. A number of Olympiad Pigeons and national Ace Pigeons have been added to the family from Balen in recent years as well. These additions are now starting to pay off; Lemmens surprised many by having the best two young birds of Belgium in the national races: Willam was the best young bird over three national aces and Young Freddy was the best young bird in four national races. Ulrich demonstrated last week that his pigeon breed has a wide basis and his impressive results with his young birds last year were no coincidence. It was the start of a wonderful career in pigeon racing. Jozefien BE12-6036013 was the fastest of 6,974 yearlings and she also beat all 14,307 pigeons from Tulle last weekend, with a velocity of 1443 m/min over a distance of 673km!

Ulrich Lemmens, his girlfriend and his parents, enjoying the national victory. Ulrich can always count
on his father Jef when he needs a helping hand in the loft

Jozefien, BE12-6036013, 1st national Tulle yearlings

This great looking chequered white-headed hen has completed quite a few kilometres this season: she has already won five national prizes per ten in the first extreme middle distance races before she took the national win from Tulle this season. Last year she won two national prizes per ten as a young bird as well. This proves that last weekend’s national win was not a lucky shot. We give you some of her best results:

Tulle nat.                1/6,974 (snelste van 14.307)
Bourges I nat.       1,144/13,588
Châteauroux I nat.     753/19,691
Argenton I nat.      2,007/22,463
Gueret I             1,324/16,988
La Souterraine I zone C 217/2,466

La Souterraine nat.    424/19,155
Argenton zone C         191/6,630 

We can tell from Jozefien’s pedigree that she originates from a number of outstanding pigeons. She is a granddaughter of the stock sire of Lemmens, De Gust, which won a 1st nat. Zone C Limoges, 1st prov. Bourges. De Gust is also (grand)father of several top class racers including Thor (6x1st prize), Unlucky Gust (1st prize 145 km, 78th nat. Brive), Kenji's Best (fastest of 5,000 pigeons from Pithiviers, 18th nat. zone C Gueret 3,084 pigeons), Aukje (6th nat. zone C Gueret), Gitta (78th nat. Bourges), Julia (1st Ace Pigeon Long Distance Club Mol), Rihanna (2nd Ace Pigeon Long Distance Club Mol) and the 392-12 (42nd nat. Châteauroux, 244th nat. Argenton, 330th nat. Gueret). Click here for the pedigree of Jozefien.

German Steel, DV0634-11-495, 2nd national Tulle old birds

Ulrich had nearly enjoyed a double success last weekend. His best old bird was only 5 m/min slower than the national winner of Ivan Vanvuchelen from Grazen, which means the fancier from Balen could have won two first prizes. German Steel, winner of the second old bird prize, is a direct Rainer Leisegang bird and has some excellent origins. The sire, Dwight, is a direct Pieter Veenstra, and a brother of Yasmine. The pedigree of Dwight includes no less than four different national Ace Pigeons and an Olympiad Pigeon. He was an inbred Kannibaal of Dirk Van Dyck, originating from Dirky, Kleine Dirk and Golden Lady. The dam of German Steel is a direct J & J Engels and an inbred to their Den 178 and Den 231. Click here for the pedigree of German Steel. German Steel proves that great origins will ultimately lead to great results, for instance in 2013:

Tulle nat.     2/7,333
Cahors nat.   20/8,570
Momignies       12/595
Montauban prov. 57/645

These pigeons are regularly put to the test. German Steel, for instance, had already completed Bourges, Limoges, Cahors, Montauban, Souillac and  Tulle. It seems his busy calendar did not prevent him from winning the second prize from Tulle.

Not paired

The old birds of Lemmens are raced on total widowhood. After the last national young birds’ race of Gueret 2012 the pigeons were moved to the aviary. The first training flights take place from the aviary in January and they are placed in the widowers’ lofts for the first time on the first of April. This is usually quite a chaotic scene. There are an equal number of cocks and hens in the loft three weeks before Bourges I and pigeons are free to find a partner during two nights. During the season it sometimes occurs that a pigeon does not come back from a race, which means his hen has to look for a new partner. Jozefien had not been paired but Ulrich had noticed something about her and he made good use of it to get her really motivated. Jozefien had moved to a living box from one of his cocks and she fiercely defended her new space. Ulrich placed five additional hens in the loft to motivate her even more and one of these hens wanted to sit in the box of Jozefien. Ulrich placed her in one half of the box and Jozefien was furious when she was basketed. We know the result!

He leaves nothing to chance when it comes to keeping his pigeons in good health. His birds are closely monitored by his vet Raf Herbots, who provides medication only when needed. Ulrich expects a lot from his pigeons so he uses nutritional supplements regularly. He always adds some Brockamp CMP to the drinking bowl when they are basketed, as well as some De Weerd Belgasol. He provides a drop of Koehoorn and an eye drop of Fucithalmic as well. When the race is over Ulrich uses Recup from Koehoorn and Protein Plus from Backs. After the races from La Souterraine and Brive, say the first part of the season, his pigeons received a portion of beet juice for three weeks. The birds are decalcified for three weeks with the Preflight mixture and then they are given an extra portion of Overload Mixture (Ronny Van Tilburgh) in the last three days before Tulle. Ulrich would normally basket his old birds and yearlings for the national races starting from Bourges II but he decided to keep them at home due to the predicted storm. Instead he basketed his racing team for six sprint races between La Souterraine/Brive and Tulle just to keep them fit. The entire team was raced in a few flights of 145km before being basketed for a 211km race on Sunday.

This was a great weekend for Ulrich Lemmens, who took the first national victory in his career. We assume this will not be his last important victory; he is really making it to the top, even at international level!