It's all in the genes is a phrase that we hear often in pigeon racing. Genetics has been the subject of numerous debates, articles and studies. Champions breed champions or winners breed winners is another classic phrase. Like we said, it's all in the genes. Certain valuable traits are passed on to future generations through dominant breeding birds (either cocks or dams). And a fancier that can embed these superior traits into his pigeon family is likely to have a strong team for years to come. And this in turn will lead to strong performances, prestigious wins and championship titles, even at national level.
To put it shortly, breeding new birds from race winners and champions will increase your chances of success. Although you cannot expect to score with every shot. Interestingly enough, around 30 percent of the best male racing birds tend to develop into exquisite breeders later on, while it's the other way round for their female counterparts: about 70 percent of the best racing hens will be breeding highly talented descendants later on. That's right, the hens are in power. In my early years as a pigeon racing journalist I was fortunate to be invited to the lofts of the late Jef Vandenbroecke from Wielsbeke, who had Piet De Weerd come over once every season to inspect, select and pair his pigeons. He was in fact visiting the loft in Wielsbeke while I was there. I remember Piet saying something particularly interesting that day, something I would never forget: there are several lofts with outstanding racing cocks with prestigious races and ace pigeon titles to their name. On the other hand, the hens tend to be of mediocre quality in most lofts (and that includes some some great champions). And this has impacted the careers of many fanciers either in the short or medium term. Remember it takes two to tango. You need a proper match, and a combination of two super class bloodlines will always be your best bet. Like we said, you should pay just as much attention to your hens. After all, your hen not only provides genes, she will also lay the eggs. And the eggs contain important nutrients for the further development of the embryo and the young bird later on.
It is worth noting that hens were not being raced quite as often compared to today. There was a separate ranking for the hens simply because they were left being behind by the racing cocks. Today, in 2020, we see the exact opposite, with the hens seizing power in the longer middle distance, and increasingly in the long distance as well. The level of quality among racing hens is really beginning to show, and this has had an effect on the breeding loft as well. The Gevaert-Lannoo combination from Meigem-Deinze is a telling example, since almost all of their best racing hens developed into gifted breeding dams later on.
The Gevaert-Lannoo success story started when they obtained Chateauke, their stock dam.
Golden stock dam Chateauke BE05-3202164
This fantastic breeding bird is a daughter of the incredible Chateauke BE01-3116222 of Cools-Blancke, winner of a 1st Prov. Chateauroux of 7,347 p. in 2002 and a daughter of stock dam Frieda.
In her first year as a breeder, Chateauke BE05-3202164 became the dam of the winner of 2nd National Bourges BE06-4281858 (1st Nat. Zone Bourges 5,172 p., 1st Prov 3,276 p., 2nd Prov. Blois 2,710 p.). And she bred another very gifted youngster the following year: none other than Kaafje.
1. Intprov Bourges 446 p. 1. Ablis 830 p. 2. Prov Blois 2,352 p. 3. Nat La Souterraine 4,459 p. 8. Nat Bourges 16,771 p. 8. Prov Chateauroux 3,838 p. – 1. Club 326 p. 9. Prov Ace Pigeon KBDB East-Fl 2009 12. Prov Ace Pigeon KBDB East-Fl 2008
And Kaafje is in turn the dam of such fantastic racing birds as Blauwe Blikkaaf, Mojito and IT-Girl.
-Blauwe Blikkaaf BE11-42406087
1. N.Zone Chateauroux 735 p. 6. Prov Blois 1,085 p.
4. Nat. Ace Pigeon Master Award middle distance Versele 2010 1. Orléans 533 p. 13. Nat Argenton II 4,782 p. 57. Nat Argenton I 12,390 p. 68. Nat Gueret 2,745 p. 77. Nat Bourges 20,577 p.
1. Vierzon 610 p.
Kaafjes dynasty takes control
Chateauke is clearly an indispensable breeder, as you can tell from two other sisters of Kaafje:
-Sister 42 Kaafje BE10-4275442
3. Prov Ace Pigeon middle distance olds KBDB ’12 1. Orléans (360 km) 410 p. 1. Angerville (318 km) 764 p. 1. Blois (412 km) 234 p. 2. Argenton Prov (512 km) 687 p. 2. Angerville (318 km) 214 p. 3. Prov Blois(412 km) 547 p. 3. Montluçon (521 km) 537 p. Nationale top 100 : 9. Nat Argenton II '12 - 4,782 p. 20. Nat Montluçon ’14 - 14,230 p. 22. Nat Gueret '10 - 13,885 p. 74. Nat Argenton I '12 - 12,390 p. 93. Nat Argenton '11 - 4,126 p.
And there is another sister of Kaafje that has been increasingly leaving her mark on the Gevaert-Lannoo pigeon breed:
-Sister 05 Kaafje BE09-4338105
She is the dam of Prince 26 BE15-4146026:
6. Nat. Ace Pigeon YBs longer middle distance KBDB 2015 5. Prov. Ace Pigeon YBs long distance KBDB 2015 3. Best young bird of Belgium - 5 national races 2015
-> Prince 26 is in turn the sire of Princess Platina (winner of 23 x per 10 in 2017-’18)
Princess Platina BE16-4070132 wins:
1. Prov OVOU Chateaudun 524 p. 7. N.Zone Montluçon 2,656 p. – 1. Club 316 p. 3. Blois 408 p. 3. Bourges 180 p. 5. Argenton 787 p.
-Sister 05 Kaafje is the grandmother of Eden BE19-4050486 for Van den Abbeel - Van Paesschen-Lebbeke
1. Best young bird of Belgium Longer middle distance YBs '19 – across 4 national races 5. Prov Ace Pigeon middle distance KBDB 2019
-Sister 05 Kaafje is also the dam of superlady Princess 95, a powerful race winner that claimed a 1 x 1st Provincial, 3 x 2nd Provincial and 4 x 1st Club in three consecutive weekends. Here are some of her best results:
-Princess 95 BE15-4146095
1. Prov. Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB Olds & YLs 2016 1. Prov Bourges 1,963 p. – 1. Club 443 p. 2. Prov Orleans 2,083 YL – 1. Club 228 p. 2. Prov Orleans 1,582 olds – 1. Club 180 p. 2. Prov Chateauroux 1,943 p. – 1. Club 388 p. – 12. Nat 9,540 p. 2. Nat Zone Bourges 1,890 p. – 1. Club 324 p.
Princess 95 is mother to Crown Princes, that is mother to the new superstar in 2019, New Rudy 15 BE18-4091015, winner of:
1. Vierzon 289 p. - 75. Nat 11.574 p. 1. Toury 378 p. 1. Fontenay 170 p. 1. Ace pigeon Middle Dist. Fondclub Eeklo 2019 9. Prov Ace pigeon Middle Distance KBDB 2019
Princess 95 is full sister to another great racing bird, Prince 05:
-Prince 05 BE16-4070005: 7. Prov. Ace Pigeon middle distance KBDB young birds 2016 (see pedigree)
The new generation: Platina, Olympiad Ivanka and Enable
And we are not done yet. Not at all. There is a new generation - their current team - of fantastic racing birds that is related directly to golden stock dam Chateauke; this generation stems straight from the Chateauke bloodlines.
To begin with, Chateauke is the grandmother of Perfecta BE13-4035080, the dam of the fantastic racing and breeding bird Platina.
1. Prov. Ace Pigeon middle distance YBs KBDB 2015 5. Nat. Ace Pigeon shorter middle distance YBs KBDB 2015 Chateaudun Prov 4,634 p. 15 – 1. Club 590 p. Villemandeur Prov 2,885 p. 20 – 1. Club 345 p. Fontenay Club 748 p. 3 Fontenay Club 412 p. 4 Issoudun Prov 2.874 p. 25 Nat 11.984 p. 96 Arras Club 384 p. 9 Fontenay Club 737 p. 24
Chateauke is the grandmother of Master King BE12-4175097, which is the sire of Olympiad Ivanka
-Olympiad Ivanka BE16-4070112
1. Olympiad Pigeon middle distance of Belgium Cat. H – Poznan 2019 4. Prov. Ace Pigeon middle distance KBDB 2018 1. Ace Pigeon longer middle distance olds & YLs Fondclub Eeklo 2018 1. Prov Orleans 612 YL ’17 – fastest of 936 p. (olds and YLs) 1. Clermont 221 p. ’18 2. Fontenay 682 p. ’18 8. Prov Blois 2,648 p. ’18 – 1. Club 408 p. 15. Prov Bourges 3,385 p. ’18 – 3. Club 786 p. 22. Nat Argenton 11,823 p. ’18 – 2. Club 552 p. 27. Pro Chateauroux 3,305 p. ’18 – 3. Club 606 p. (16 June) 27. Prov Orleans 1,220 p. ’18 54. Nat Chateauroux 8,634 p. ’18 – 3. Club 613 p. ( 7 July)
Chateauke is the grandmother of Barones 60 BE17-4176060: 1st Ace Pigeon middle distance YBs Fondclub Eeklo (winner of a 1st Clermont 452 p., a 1st Issoudun 98 p. etc). See pedigree
And on top of that, Chateauke has also bred three grandparents of Enable, a highly talented racing hen that helped the Gevaert-Lannoo combination claim a long-awaited national victory in 2019:
In 2019: 24/8 Argenton Nat 5,159 p. 1 25/5 Chateaudun OVOU 996 p. 19 Chateaudun OVOU 672 YL 12 15/6 Argenton Prov 4,986 p. 22 22/6 Argenton Nat 22,826 p. 836 29/6 Chateauroux Prov 2,355 p. 63 13/7 Argenton Prov 1,947 p. 41 21/7 Issoudun Zone 2,780 p. 40 In 2018: 29/7 Toury Club 391 p. 1 21/7 Blois Prov 1,635 p. 3 15/7 Orleans Prov 2,445 p. 30 15/9 Chateauroux Zone 4,035 p. 51
This seems like an inexhaustible source of top quality birds, based around the bloodlines of such renowned cocks as King Gaby and Bliksem CEO, and such powerful breeding hens as stock dam Chateauke, the fantastic racing and breeding bird Kaafje, and the new stock dam Platina, alongside the promising breeders Ivanka and Enable. These are all pigeons with fantastic genes and superior race winning abilities, with which Gevaert-Lannoo are likely to deliver for the next several years.