The name of Joël Verschoot's amazing Armando still sends a wave of excitement through the pigeon racing community, first of all because of his sensational palmares: he was 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB 2018 (with a record coefficient) and 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB 2017, and he won a 1st-2nd-10th National. And equally importantly, he also made the international headlines as the pigeon that was sold to a Chinese pigeon collector Kai Er for a record amount.
Life after Armando
Many fanciers are expecting (or hoping) Joël Verschoot to slacken the pace a bit after his successful auction in March 2019. But that might not be quite the case. Joël is and has always been a very ambitious and very strong player. He breeds many pigeons, and he gives them every opportunity to shine by racing them very often. But at the end of the day, he only picks the very best ones.
This successful approach has led to many great results, and that same approach should set him up for great results in the future as well. Before his entire old birds' collection (from 2016 and older) went out the door, he bred a last round of youngsters from his best stock breeders, his greatest stars, for future use. And these form the basis for his future breeding and racing team. Not every pigeon will become a new star of course but it is fairly obvious that is new generation will have plenty of potential. After all, champions breed champions, and this pigeon family will be no different. Although you also need a bit of luck when trying out new combinations and breeding pairs.
Allround Champion Entente Belge, 12th Nat. Champion KBDB Long Distance YLs
Joël Verschoot's impressive achievements did not come out of nowhere. Like in his professional career, this is the result of hard work and many hours that are being invested in his favourite pastime. Hard work pays off. This is how he worked his way up the ranks in the national long distance competition in Belgium. And Joël will continue to work hard, in order to maintain his position in the future. It appears his efforts paid off already in 2019, the first season for his brand new racing team. He promptly won a title of 1st General Champion long distance, as well as 1st Champion long distance YLs and 2nd Champion extreme long distance in his own club, the very competitive long distance club in Rekkem. He was also 1st Allround Champion 2019 in the Belgian Entente, and he claimed a 2nd Tierce. Besides, he was 12th National Champion long distance YLs KBDB 2019 in the national championships KBDB. It goes to show that the fancier from Ingelmunster can rely on a group of highly talented newcomers.
The leader of the Verschoot racing team for 2019 was without doubt Baziel. This powerful racing bird was the first pigeon to get clocked in the 2019 edition of the national race from Angoulême, right in front of teammate and international star Armando. Baziel claimed a 2nd National yearlings (he was only beaten by an excellent racing bird of Norbert Ally). His teammate Armando won a 1st National in the old birds' category.
2. Nat Angoulême 5,030 p. ’18 33. Nat Montauban 5,408 p. ’19 92. Intprov Tours 5,864 p. ’19 148 Nat Jarnac 4,940 p. ’18 163 Intprov Blois 4,845 p. ’19 208 Prov Vierzon 3,085 p. ’19 385 Nat Argenton 19,859 p. ’18 424 Nat Aurillac 3,886 p. ’19 883 Nat Bourges 19,133 p. ’18
Sire: As 1 BE09-3135331
One of the top breeders from the old bloodlines, and also the sire of a 4th Nat. of 7,064 p. and a 45th Nat. of 22,384 p. He is a son of stock breeder As BE04-3176837.
Dam: Jabba BE12-3041978
A daughter of Apollo Rik BE11-3172350 Chris Debacker (grandson Bliksem Gaby Vandenabeele) x Saerke 06 BE06-3125852 (a direct Rudi De Saer)
Click here for Baziel's full pedigree
Super class breeding bird As 1: the sire of talented new racing birds Baziel and Bisty, and the grandfather of Power
Baziel is not a one trick pony; his full brother Bisty has quite a number of top results to his palmares as well:
72. Nat Angoulême 5,030 p. ’18 85. Nat Aurillac 3,886 p. ’19 93. Intprov Tours 5,864 p. ’19 313 Intprov Blois 4,845 p. ’19 452 Nat Souillac 3,737 p. ’19 837 Nat Montauban 5,408 p. ’19
This Bisty is another son of As 1 x Jabba (see pedigree)
It is no secret that stock breeder As has been the most valued bloodline in Joël Verschoot's pigeon loft. And 'As 1' (the sire of Baziel) is an exponent of that strain. And one of his grandsons (when paired to a half sister of Armando) has been particularly strong in Joël's racing team for 2019. His name is Power:
Top breeder Kleinen (a son of As 1 x Shakira): himself the sire of Power
25. Nat Limoges 9,578 p. ’19 57. Nat Limoges 7,236 p. ’18 76. Nat Libourne 2,893 p. ’18 254 Nat Libourne 4,605 p. ’19 343 Nat Tulle 6,206 p. ’19
Sire: Kleinen BE15-3006216
A brother and half brother of several Verschoot stars. He is a son of As 1 BE09-3135331 (the sire of Baziel, son of stock breeder As) x golden stock dam Shakira BE09-3127246 (click here for her breeding references)
Dam: Iba BE13-3003253
A half sister of Armando (from the same sire). A daughter of Pycasso BE08-3002243 (sire Armando) x Normanduivin BE11-3148461, a direct N. & F. Norman (granddaughter of Zorro and Lex, from sister Wonder Zhora)
Click here for Power's full pedigree
Iba (half sister Armando): the dam of Power
The star of the yearlings' team is future long distance star Arthuur. He completed three national long distance races as a yearling, in which he claimed three top results. Joël had high expectations for this bird for the upcoming 2020 season but the coronavirus is putting a spanner in the works. In any case, this is a promising newcomer bred rom the stock bloodlines:
48 Nat Tulle 7,155 p. ’19 104 Nat Limoges 10,699 p. ’19 123 Nat Libourne 4,354 p. ’19 156 Prov Chateaudun 4,748 p. ’18 246 Intprov Poitiers 5,720 p. ’19
Sire: Origi BE16-3008512
A son of one of the stars of Joël Verschoot in 2016, namely Noë BE14-3004506 (1st Prov. Tulle 1,306 p. ’15 and himself a son of Nestbrother Agen x Eva, or a pairing of grandson x daughter As, Joël Verschoot's golden stock breeder) x Marie BE09-3135352.
Dam: Mira BE17-3031030
A daughter of Zwalm BE14-4249682 (a direct M.&F. Vd Walle) x Amira BE15-3087562.
Click here for Arthuur's pedigree
We sometimes ask fanciers about their most favourite bird of last season, which can be difficult to answer. Or we ask about his most promising pigeon for the future. These questions are particularly difficult to answer for Joël, who had to develop an entirely new racing team from scratch. But he appears to have an entire generation of very talented pigeons at his disposal. One of the long distance stars that might become a favourite of him is without doubt Boy. He is a fantastic athlete with several great results to his name. He is a half brother of a 1st Nat. Agen.
90. Nat Limoges I 13,569 p. ’19 92. Nat Libourne 4,605 p. ’19 93. IProv Chateauroux 2,343 p. ’18 (19/5) 98. Nat Limoges 7,236 p. ’18 109 Prov Chateauroux 2,470 p. ’18 (15/6) 145 Nat Tulle 6,206 p. ’19 212 Nat Angoulême 5,030 p. ’18 234 Nat Cahors 6,903 p. ’19
Sire: Black Jack BE09-3127174
The sire of a 1st Nat. Agen ’13, and one of the stock breeders for Joël Verschoot. A grandson of stock breeder Costello (brother Champion of Chris Hebberecht), crossbred to the lines of golden Ludo hen Waerniers
Dam: Saerke 12 BE12-3120047
A top class hen straight from Rudi De Saer. She is a granddaughter of golden stock dam 't Goedje (dam of 2 x 1st Nat. winners and grandmother of 1st Nat. winner).
Click here for Boy's pedigree
That same stock bloodline of a 1st Nat. Agen crossbred to a 1st Nat. Brive (Cees) x 2nd Nat. La Souterraine (Annelies) of Joël Verschoot has also bred Bistro, another first prize winner. This is his palmares:
1. Clermont 355 p. ’19 2. Fontenay 461 p. ’17 12. Intprov Blois 4,845 p. ’19 54. Nat Angoulême 5,030 p. ’18 189 Prov Blois 3,367 p. ’18 207 Prov Vierzon 3,085 p. ’19 344 Nat Tulle 6,206 p. ’19 etc…
Sire: Thomas BE15-3006129
Winner of five provincial or national top 67 prizes. He is a half brother of a 1st Nat. Agen '13. Son of Black Jack BE09-3127174 (sire Agen) x Zavannache BE14-3004559 (daughter of Cees: 1st Nat. Brive '13 x Annelies: 2nd Nat. La Souterraine '13). This is the best of the best of the old Joël Verschoot bloodlines.
Dam: Karma BE13-3003274
Daughter of Norman BE12-3167442 (a direct Norman, and a son of Wonder Zhora) x super class breeder Saerke 927 BE06-3125927 (a direct Rudi De Saer).
Click here for Bistro's full pedigree.
Thomas (half brother of 1st Nat. Agen): winner of a 67th Nat. Brive, and the sire of Bistro
And how about the direct descendants of the fabulous Armando and Contador? Well, their direct sons and daughters went straight to the breeding loft. And the grandchildren of these phenomenal two superstars in the long distance are ready to enter the arena in 2020, assuming the lockdown gets lifted eventually.
Fit for the future
Joël Verschoot is all set for the future, with a young and talented racing team - including the stars of the team that we just talked about - and a brand new group of breeding birds, featuring direct descendants of such iconic Verschoot pigeons as Armando, Contador, Nopri, Barry, Harry, golden breeding dam Shakira, super class pair Brauwer x Twistertje, etc. He is all set for another series of highly successful racing seasons, and ready to surprise his opponents with some remarkable achievements. He is very eager to get back to racing, although the coronavirus is still keeping him at bay for the time being.
The descendants of superstar Contador are an important pillar in the breeding lofts