In the area of the Waasland, to be more exact in the region between Lokeren and Dendermonde, a new 'pigeon virtuoso' has risen in Hamme under the name of Benny Steveninck. When we speak the name Benny Steveninck then we also have to mention his wife Carine in the same breath, as she carries most of the responsibility for the care of the pigeons on her shoulders, especially when Benny is at work. Benny (momentarily 47 years young) has worked for the last 28 years by the NMBS as a train driver, mainly on the line Dendermonde-Poperinge? which involves working irregular hours, with the necessary shift work. It is then his wife Carine who is his support and helping hand with the strict care of the pigeons? so that all the pigeons can be trained punctually, and their thirst can be quenched. A responsibility that in the middle of the season can easily take up to 6 hours per day? this, in addition to taking care of a family with 4 children. But it looks like help is on its way for the future? in the form of the youngest son, who is also showing interest in the pigeon sport. The saying: where a woman touches their face, the harder the pigeons race? is something which is certainly applicable here!
Benny moved into his new house at his current address in 1997, and started racing with pigeons independently in 1998. Prior to this he was active with his father in the family lofts, from where he was spoon fed the 'pigeon microbe'. The success train Steveninck, with literally and figuratively a 'good engineer' at the wheel, changed over to TVG-tempo when the miraculous "Chipo" ring B03-4329022 saw the light of day.
This powerful super crack was self 1° Provincial Ace pigeon Middle Distance Youngsters KBDB East-Fl in 2003, and won amongst other things, toppers so as:
Dourdan 614 p. 1
Dourdan 571 p. 1
Dourdan 375 p. 1 Dourdan 231 p. 1
Dourdan 1316 p. 2 etc?
From the beginning he also proved that he was worth his weight in 'gold' in the breeding loft, especially in crossing with a few hens originating from Michel Hautekiet from Ruddervoorde:
-In 2004 he was straight away father of "Den 100" ring B04-4138100, who became 6° National Ace pigeon 'Small Middle Distance' KBDB 2005
-In 2005 he produced the "Crack" ring B05-4323999 and he went as far as
1° Provincial Ace pigeon Middle Distance KBDB East-Fl 2007
3° National Ace pigeon 'Small Middle Distance' KBDB 2007
3° Provincial Ace pigeon Middle Distance KBDB East-Fl 2006
The following performances are included in his honours list:
Bourges Prov 1.687 p. 1 (in 2007)
Bourges Nat 12.898 p. 11 (in 2006)
Dourdan 782 p. 1
Dourdan 394 p. 1
Dourdan 453 p. 2
Dourdan 388 p. 2
Dourdan 279 p. 2 etc?
At the moment, by the start of the Middle Distance season 2008, it is the "Nest-brother Crack 998/05" who is taking the lead in the racing lofts of Benny Steveninck, and who seems to be well on the way to following in the footsteps of his striker brothers and father!
-In 2007 the "Chipo" became father of the "Vierzonneke" ring 07-4216899, who in the very first 'Grand Middle Distance classic' of the sport season 2008 straight away added the 1° Prov Vierzon 2.003 Yearlings to her name. This hen won the following honours list:
In 2007 as a youngster:
Momignies 623 p. 6,
Noyon 203 p. 20,
Noyon 99 p. 17,
Dourdan 1.066 p. 116,
Dourdan 1.424 p. 254,
Dourdan 684 p. 206
In 2008: Ecouen 406 p. 99, Dourdan 397 p. 20 and as star act of course 1° Prov Vierzon 2.003 Yearlings and 2° Intprov Vierzon 5.076 yearlings.
She is a daughter of "Chipo" coupled with the "Hautekiet 87" 987/04.
Benny only raced traditional widowhood with the cocks for 2 years? but for the last 2 years the widowhood game with the hens has also been added. For the current sport season 2008 there was in total a team of 23 cocks and 12 hens prepared, or a total of 35 old and yearling racing pigeons, in addition to 100 youngsters from the 1st and 2nd round. The 1st round is darkened until the 1st of June, while this is continued for the 2nd round until the longest day (being the 21st of June), after which the hens from the 2nd round normally work through the national programme for youngsters.
The yearling racing pigeons were coupled on the 20th of March, and were allowed to raise a nest of youngsters until they were 10 days old. Then everything was removed and at the beginning of May, or just before the first Middle Distance race from Dourdan? they were placed in widowhood. According to Benny Steveninck the performances with a nest were nothing spectacular? but once in widowhood the performance curve of the ladies shot up, resulting in winning the 1° Provincial Vierzon on the 18th of May against 2.003 yearlings with a daughter of "Chipo"! Once they have started widowhood the 'tendons' are thoroughly tested and the ladies have to train twice per day (morning and evening) for 1 full hour, directly after the widow cocks? In the beginning the flag is used, but after a while the 'ladies' know perfectly what is expected of them, and they train without any problem for 1 hour. Before they are basketted they are allowed to see their cock. In normal circumstances they race 2 'Grand Middle Distance races' (this year Vierzon + Bourges) in a row, and then a shorter in-between race (usually Dourdan, in exceptional circumstances Noyon). After Bourges II (from the end of July) they stay together, and race the rest of the national races with a nest (Argenton, La Souterraine and Gueret).
The widow cocks on the other hand generally race the Small Middle Distance programme from Dourdan, in order to end traditionally in July from Blois and Bourges II National. They too are also allowed to see their hens for a short while before they are basketted in order to motivate them further. All the pigeons are fed according to the 'modern system' of the firm Beduco-Elite. Pigeon sport without any frills, but based on a trusted stock of real 'top pigeons', whereby the powerful 'Chipo-line' completely demands the leading role, this in crossing with 3 other top lines. Very tame and sweet pigeons? that not only like to sit on the shoulder or head of their boss? but who have opened doors for him to top successes in the pigeon sport in the Middle Distance and 'Grand Middle Distance'! Benny & Carine Steveninck, in the province East-Flanders gradually developing into a 'monument' in the Middle Distance? with their 'Chipo-line' seem to be well on the way to world fame!
Performances 2008 up until now:
03/5 Dourdan Union 901 old 3,13,18,26,30,33,35 (9)
1.072 yearlings 17,35,41 (9)
10/5 Dourdan Union 743 old 3,4,5,6,11,49,180,189 (8)
1.035 yearlings 4,50,50,104 (7)
Dourdan 284 old 9,50,84 (3)
397 yearlings 5,20,29,35,43,51,55,62,74,97,132 (14) 18/5
Dourdan Union 411 old 8,17,26,161 (8)
752 yearlings 24,75 (4)
18/5 Vierzon Club 334 yearlings 1,7,12,65,77,78,81,106 (12)
Prov 2.003 yearlings 1,34,53,332,384,385,405 (12)
Intprov 5.076 yearlings 2 etc? (complete results not yet received)
24/5 Dourdan Union 267 old 2,3,11,13,15,21,90,92,102 (10)
451 yearlings 3,14,135 (5)
24/5 Bourges Club 292 yearlings 2,14,16,36,47,95,98 (11)