In addition, the Gevaert-Lannoo breed has won numerous first prizes at club level from Orleans (olds & yearlings), Chateauroux III (yearlings), Issoudun (olds) and Argenton III (olds). It shows that the team is in great form indeed.
A fresh start in 2017
Paul and Carlos were facing a serious challenge at the start of 2017, and a step into the unknown. The reason is they sold their entire racing team of olds and yearlings and their unflown youngsters in a PIPA auction in the wake of a highly successful 2016 season. They entered the new year with a small team of summer youngsters that had been trained once from Fontenay. This was an inexperienced group of birds, and all they knew about them was that they had a good pedigree.
Still, even a pigeon that comes from your best breeding birds is not guaranteed to deliver. Creating a new team of successful racing birds was their biggest challenge, and sooner rather than later. This was easier said than done with a collection of just 12 pairs of racing birds and 16 breeding pairs, and with 45 to 50 youngsters. They have always stuck to this number: "This is all we need. At our age we want pigeon racing to feel like a hobby", Paul said in jest. "We do not want to be lugging around tens of baskets or hundreds of pigeons. We prefer working with a small number of pigeons with great potential. Working with nothing but the best has been the key to success for us." Who are we to disagree?
The fanciers were understandably very careful with their young pigeons in the early phase (their initial training flights). One difficult race could be enough to set you back for the rest of the season, let alone a disastrous race, hence a soft touch approach. If you start from scratch any mishap can be fatal, says Paul, and this is why they decided to skip the national race from Bourges in late May (despite decent weather conditions), opting for two additional provincial races from Orleans and Chateauroux instead. They then sent one half of the team to the national race from Chateauroux on 10th of June. Their strategy paid off, and the pigeons were more than ready for the major races. Here is a brief look at their results:
10/6 Chateauroux 1,071 yearlings: 10-15-16-17-35-54… (8/12) 17/6 Chateauroux 757 yearlings: 13-18-20-32-35-51-61-74… (11/16) 24/6 Argenton 787 yearlings: 9-13-20-28-32-33-44-78… (15/17)
It looked like the team was up and running, but then came the disastrous provincial race from Tours, where one half of the team competed in. They still managed to win 8 prizes with 12 pigeons but many racing birds pushed beyond their limits, probably due to the long flight, and not knowing if they would get back home at all. It explains why most of the racing birds went to Orleans the following week. It was the right decision, given their results in the next few races:
08/7 Orleans 194 yearlings: 3-5-7-10-17-20… (en 11 op 11). 08/7 Chateauroux 378 yearlings: 4-32… (4/5) 15/7 Blois 382 yearlings: 7-9-18-19-22-41-46-54… (13/14) 22/7 Blois 206 yearlings: 2-3-7-14… (8/8) 22/7 Argenton 319 yearlings: 7-12… (5/8) 29/7 Blois 222 yearlings: 2-17-24-33 (4/4)
They had been close to a first prize a few times already, and August proved a very successful month: they started to claim a few first prizes and eventually they were victorious at provincial and zonal level as well.
1st Prov. Orleans yearlings and 2nd Nat. Zone Chateauroux III
The impressive performance on 13th of August at club level got even more special as it turned out they also won the provincial first prize yearlings:
13/8 Orleans 106 yearlings: 1-2-3-4-5-7-21-23 (8/8) Prov 612 yearlings: 1-8-15-44-46-68-115-130 (8/8)
The winner of the provincial first prize is racing hen Ivanka BE16-4070112. She is a daughter of Master King BE12-4175097, winner of 2 first prizes, a 33rd Nat La Souterraine 7,176 p. ’14 and 39th Nat. La Souterraine 4,144 p. ’13. Master King is also a full brother of a 1st Prov. and 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB 2010 (son of King Gaby,a grandson of Bliksem Vandenabeele x Chateaufideelke). The dam is Sister Caraat BE14-4032116 (from Bliksem Rik, another grandson Bliksem x Red Nationaal hen).
Click here for the pedigree of Ivanka.
They were very close to claiming another first prize in the national race from Châteauroux III but they had to settle for second in the zone instead:
14/8 Chateauroux 98 yearlings: 1-9… (3/3) Nat Zone 842 yearlings: 2-72 (2/3)
It was Dolce BE16-4070098 that took the win at club level, as well as a second place in the zone. She was inbred to a stock dam of the Gevaert-Lannoo pigeon breed: she comes from Chateauke BE05-3202164 from a pairing of son x granddaughter Chateauke: Crayonné Witpen Fideel BE08-4280370 (from Fideel Etienne x Chateauke) x Dicapria 84 BE15-4146084 (from Son Di Caprio Van Dyck x Sister 100 Kaafje, a daughter of Chateauke).
Dolce claimed a top result five weeks in a row:
1st Issoudun oude Club 71 p. (14th Prov. 518 p.) 2nd Nat Zone Chateauroux III 842 p. ( 1st Club 98 p.) 6th Nat Chateauroux III 4,389 p. 5th Nat Zone Bourges II 2,381 p. 125th Nat Bourges II 12,449 p. 14th Prov Blois 2,147 p. 17th Nat Zone Argenton III 660 p.
1st Nat. Zone Argenton III yearlings
The team of yearlings completed the provincial race from Issoudun in between the nationals of Chateauroux III and Argenton III, and they won a 1-2-8-9-14 against 71 olds (7 out of 12). This shows once again that team Gevaert-Lannoo was on a winning streak in August, and this culminated in another zonal first prize in the yearlings' race from Argenton III in the last week of August:
26/8 Argenton III 87 olds: 1-3-6-7-11-20 (6/6) Nat Zone 660 olds: 1-10-17-19-58-94 (6/6)
This first prize was won by a small yet muscular hen called Twiggy. This is her palmares so far:
1st Nat Zone Argenton III 660 p. 32nd Nat Argenton III 3,966 p. 9th Argenton I 797 p. 35th Chateauroux 1,091 p. 16th Tours 573 p.
Remarkably enough stock pair Dikke Antoon x Chateauke appears in her pedigree three times. Her sire is Ensor BE14-4032050, and he is bred from the best racing x the best racing hen of 2014: Blikkaaf (grandson stock pair) x Sister (42 Kaafje, direct daughter stock pair). The dam is Amber BE12-4175014, winner of a 1st Prov. Argenton 6,097 p., a 6th Nat. Argenton 25,949 p., a 1st Angerville 362 p., a 1st Arras 119 p., a 49th N.Zone Poitiers 3,342 p. etc. She is a daughter of Brother 14 Kaafje (son stock pair) x Gabytje, a direct Gaby Vandenabeele as a daughter of Tsaar (winner of a 1st Prov. Argenton 2,226 p.).
Click here for the pedigree of Twiggy
Ensor x Amber: the parents of Twiggy, winner of a 1st Nat. Zone Argenton III
These are very talented racing birds that should enable Paul and Carlos Gevaert-Lannoo to create a new team of champions for the longer middle distance. These pigeons are ready to deliver every single week. If there is one secret behind their successful team, it would be to breed and race with nothing but proven first prize winners and ace pigeons. The pigeons of Gevaert-Lannoo will continue to excel for many years to come.