Team Jos Vercammen wins 1st National Chatêauroux with Mustang, the fastest of a total of 33,134 pigeons

I decided to pay a visit to the loft of Jos Vercammen in Vremde on Saturday 9 August to await their pigeons. Jos & Lars are among the favourites in every national long distance race, and so I knew I was in the right place.

When I arrived in Vremde, the first pigeons from Souppes-sur-Loing (357km) had just arrived home, and it appeared that most pigeons were coming from the east. This was not good news for the pigeons from Châteauroux. A short time later the first arrivals from Châteauroux were published on the PIPA website. Lars concluded that they would have to clock a pigeon before 13:08 for an early arrival. A black coloured cock suddenly appears at the sky shortly after 1 o’clock. “It’s a pigeon from Châteauroux”, Lars shouts. The pigeon is reported to the club and to PIPA, and it proves to to be an early arrival. However, the strong wind from the southwest led us to believe that the pigeons from the furthest lofts would have an advantage. Eventually, we learned that no other pigeon had been able to beat the team of Jos Vercammen.

Mustang (BE14-6175237) was clocked at 13:04'08". He covered 526.83km with a velocity of 1625.35m/min

Young birds' approach

All young birds are darkened until mid-June, but the pigeons had dropped a lot more feathers at this time of the year compared to previous seasons. This is due to the weather, which had disturbed their preparation. The young birds are divided over two lofts before the season, and the biggest group is always raced using the sliding door. The second group is raced in widowhood. Jos and Lars have started using a different motivational method this season: the widowers can see their hen only after the race, not before being basketed. The big advantage is that the pigeons are very calm when being basketed. “It took a while for the pigeons to get used to the system, but it has started to work out really well”, Lars explains. A few days before Chateauroux, an empty wooden crate was placed in the widowers’ loft before the hens could enter the loft. It was Mustang that claimed the crate together with his hen, and it has given him a lot of motivation!

Mustang, the loft's favourite

Mustang became one of this loft’s big favourites already at the start of the season. He was basketed for Quievrain twice together with almost 200 other pigeons, and he was the first pigeon back in the loft in both races. He was then basketed for Noyon (208km) before competing in the flight from Maxence (250km). All young birds were then basketed for Châteauroux (526km) one week later, a race that is almost 300 longer than Pont Ste Maxence! Jos admits this was a risky choice, but it proves that pigeons in good health can cope with anything. Besides, the winner is always right!

Top breeder Barco

Mustang is another grandchild of the now world famous breeder Barco, which has bred many champions for Jos Vercammen. You can find the pedigree of Mustang here. Today, Barco is the sire and grandfather of many successful racing pigeons, including:

Mustang (B14-6175237):
1st National Chateauroux (526km) 22,818 p.

Jonge Panter (B09-6248211):
2nd National Bourges (479km) 37,357 p.

Beauty (B05-6234009):
2nd National Argenton (555km) 21,299 p.

Bambina (B10-6052002):
1st Interprovincial Blois (462km) 2,462 p.
1st Dourdan (366km) 1,617 p.

Click here for an overview of the amazing achievements from the youngsters and grandchildren of Barco. The bloodline of Barco has achieved impressive results in different pigeons lofts worldwide. For instance, an impressive six cars have been won with descendants of Barco in 2013 alone.

The national victory and the provincial first prizes from Limoges II earlier this season make this a great season. Click here for the palmares of 2014. We have a few more national races coming up this year, and we would not be surprised to see the team of Jos Vercammen take a few more top results. I was fortunate to witness their national victory, and it was a great experience for me. I would like to thank the Vercammen family for the opportunity. Many congratulations Jos & Lars!