Deno-Herbots, "National Champion Middle Long Distance"

Steve Vanoverstraeten, Jean d'Haeseleer & Jos Deno.

12th national champion Yearlings
4th National Ace Pigeon Middle Long Distance

Although peace has returned for some years already in the Limburg region of Voeren, pigeons are still prowling around in the airspace of the Brabant region of Voeren. The team of Deno Herbots from Leefdaal could be held responsible. Leefdaal is situated in a rolling landscape between the valley of ‘IJse’ and the valley of ‘Voer’ between Brussels and Leuven. The small town of Leefdaal is surrounded by beautiful green scenery.
During the past season, the racing team of Deno Herbots succeeded in achieving the national title of long middle distance. Apart from that, the following results can be noted down in golden characters in the log of racing results:
12th national champion Yearlings - 4th national ace pigeon Long Middle Distance - 1 national victory Zone B (Argenton Y July 12, 2006) - 6 provincial victories - 70 first prizes
beside numerous other top prizes in races of 100 to 1000 km and top ratings in all kinds of championships.

The team of Deno Herbots

They started the season of 2006 with a racing team that consisted of 150 cocks and hens who showed their ability in races of 100 to 1000 km from May until mid August.
The loft list also mentions 55 breeding couples who produce about 300 youngsters every year.
For many years already, an entire team is behind this large group of athletes and the team has a clear division of tasks in order to steer everything in the right direction.
Captain of the team is Jos Deno. Since 1998, Jos has the support of Filip Herbots.
The team is completed by Jean D’Haeseleer and Eduard Van Herck. Jean is the biggest help and stay: he is in charge of a large part of the administration and puts the pigeons in their baskets. He is the one who creates a good atmosphere within this professional team.

National Championship
They already obtained a second position in the yearlings championship last year. There were two hens mainly responsible for this victory.
Pretty remarkable is the fact that they did even better this year as two-year-olds and they have achieved the first prize.
A truly exceptional performance.
We should also take into account that one of these two ladies (2211502/2004) was hurt this year at the start of the season. She only entered the arena a few weeks later. Apparently, this did not stop her from achieving excellent top performances.
These are the prizes of the two hens:

Participation national championship Long Middle Distance 2006

Nomber pigeons




Racing method 2006

One team consisted of 16 cocks and raced long and extreme long distance races on traditional widowhood. The Barcelona classic was clearly marked in their agenda and Jos and Filip were not disappointed: they achieved a 127th and 151st position in the national results with a 1st prov St Vincent (August 12, 2006) as a grand finale.
This year’s most impressive results were obtained in middle and long middle distance races. They achieved provincial victories and a chain of results in the races between Toury and Limoges. The crowning glory will be the national anthem (the Brabançonne) that will resound in Ostend during the national prize distribution.
The middle distance racing team consisted in fact of two teams. These teams alternated a long middle distance race (provincial or semi national race CFW) with a middle distance race: Toury (352 km) of the ‘Petit Club Fleurus’.
One team flew the long middle distance race while the other team did Paris. The roles were switched one week later and this system was applied until the end of the season.
Basketing happens in ‘Locale Unique’ in Waver. Both of the teams are put into the baskets on Thursdays. This club has some strong competitors among its members, such as Rene and Patrick Draye from St Joris Weert, Daniel Parijs from Ottenburg, Frans Stroobants from Overijse, Kamiel Hazaert from Neerijse, Roger Pierre from Pécrot and Jean Delstanche from Bierges. This year, they have been defeated by competition from the valley of Voeren.
Competition is tough indeed: Rene and Patrick Draye ended up in fourth position in the same national championship long middle distance.
The local results per three were often faster than the results of the ‘Brabantse Unie’ (Union of Brabant). The top of the results of the Toury races was fixed by the fanciers that basketed their pigeons in Waver.
During the start of the season, basketing happened once in Overijse on Friday for the Sens or Orleans race.
The team of Leefdaal is a feared opponent which was already clear last season, when they achieved a second prize in the national championship yearlings. The long middle distance races were not on the programme back then and they did not race their team on total widowhood (the hens however were raced on widowhood).
Last winter, they had a strong team of young pigeons left from the sport year of 2005 and decided to switch to total widowhood.
Results were a bit disappointing at first but the cocks put this right pretty fast. All of the provincial victories were obtained with a cock.
They did not participate in races from Arlon or Germany during the start of the season.

Pigeons that achieved the national title

Pedigree "Kim" : Klik hier
Prijzen "Kim" : Klik hier

Pedigree "Vuilke" : Click here
Prizes"Vuike" : Click here

Total widowhood

It is interesting to go deeper into this racing method. During the last few years, this topic set a lot of tongues wagging.

How is this system being applied in Leefdaal?
The cocks and hens in the racing loft are coupled in January when moult is over. The eggs of the breeding pigeons are put underneath the racers and they are allowed to raise these youngsters. Then, they are separated and may not go on the nest to start the season. The birds are coupled once again for a few days in April but they are being trained immediately during this period and are not allowed to go on the nest.
The cocks are staying in the racing loft, the hens in the resting loft.

the racing loft with a resting shelf in front of the nest box

the resting loft for the hens
The cocks are sitting on a resting shelf in front of their closed box during the entire sport season. According to Jos this makes the pigeons crave for their box.
Training the cocks and hens (twice a day) happens separately. The pigeons are allowed to enter the racing loft where they receive food and drink. The cocks stay in the resting loft of the hens while the ladies are training round the loft. Once they have terminated training, they can enter the racing loft where there’s food and drink waiting for them. Afterwards, the hens are lead back to the resting loft, which is located right beside the racing loft (by that time, the cocks have left the resting loft). Then, the hens are locked up in their rest boxes. There are more boxes than there are hens. This is to avoid that the hens have a fixed resting box, are confronted with eachother each day and start to ‘fall in love’.
The hens do not get any food or drink in these boxes. During the hot month of July, the team of Deno-Herbots noticed that the birds were not or barely thirsty when they left their box.
Once the pigeons have returned from a race, the resting and racing loft is being protected with a cloth which is hung on the inside.
The team of Deno-Herbots drives to Quiévrain on Tuesdays and Thursdays in order to complete the training schedule. Cocks on classic widowhood and young pigeons also have this midweekly training race on their agenda. Cocks and hens return home together but are separated immediately.
Before the pigeons are put into the baskets, the boxes –which are also closed during the week in the season– are opened and cocks and hens can be together for about one hour. When the birds return from a race, they will not find any free or single cocks or hens in the loft as a reward for their early arrival. Mrs has to wait for Mr or vice versa. Only when both of them have returned, they are locked up in their nest box.
When the last race is over, the couples can stay together. This year, they were separated again after a couple of weeks (when they still had little youngsters of 8-12 days old) to stimulate an easy moult.

In order to keep up with the rhythm and the work that result from such a group of pigeons one needs a team. As you probably already will have noticed, this is a close team of fanciers who are cramming the male and female athletes to perform professionally and excellently during the weekend.
All these efforts have been amply rewarded during the passed seasons and success is a great motivator to continue on this course.

Two pigeons that have achieved the national championship are living in these simple lofts

The loft of the cocks that are not raced on total widowhood. The limited space reduces the number of fights


Medical aspect
Raf Herbots is in charge of medical support and planning.
The pigeons get a vaccination against paratyphus (colobovac) at the end of the season (November).
The obligatory vaccination against paramixo is of course on the programme as well and the pigeons are vaccinated in the course of January.
The airways are treated with Doxycycline only at the start of the season.
On a regular basis, an individual tricho treatment with spartix is given to the pigeons.
The young pigeons get a paramixo injection when they are weaned and the paratyphus shot at the age of 8 weeks.
Up until now, there has been no vaccination against smallpox.

The pigeons only receive sports feed during the sport season, a purification mixture is never on the menu. Their diet is being completed with Herbots products.
Since 2006, a mixture of peanuts, cheese and sheep’s fat with seaweed is on the daily menu of the male and female athletes.
This powerful supplement provides the birds the extra fuel they need to complete a heavy training and racing schedule and it is being used by some Dutch top racers for some years already, by the way.

Origin of the breed
According to Jos, the absolute base is a good structure of the breed. The old breed of Jos has been reinforced during the past years and just recently, he mainly got some pigeons of Gommaire Verbruggen, Gaby Vandenabeele, De Rouw Sablon, Roger Florizoone, Jef Houben, W. Bolting, Maurice and Yvan Vandersmissen and Robert Van Eycken.

Ambitions for 2007
The composition of the racing team for next season has already been fixed.
16 old widowers (classic widowhood) will be crammed for the Catalan classic: the Barcelona race.
Two racing teams (cocks and hens) consisting each of 30 old pigeons and 24 yearlings on total widowhood will be alternating a middle distance race with a long middle distance race just like this year. Please note that there will be some three-year-old pigeons participating as well.
Apart from that, a team of 33 cocks and hens will be ready this year to participate in one day long distance races on total widowhood.
In 2006, part of the racing team consisted of yearlings with Florizoone roots and these birds will be racing one day long distance races in 2007 as two-year-olds.
The races in which they did not participate last season are on the programme this year.
Furthermore, there are 15 yearlings in this team which Deno-Herbots plans on calling in for the long distance programme.
Beside the young birds of 2007, this gives a total number of 172 old pigeons and yearlings for the next season.
Deno-Herbots has the ambition to cause just as much turbulence in the sky above the valley of Voeren in 2007 as it did in 2006.

All the excellent performances this colony has put up are clearly the result of a professional team that combines lots of time, means, energy and experience. During the past two years, this team has won pretty much everything there is to win.
The base is a sportive selection of pigeons who have been in the top of the results for months thanks to good planning, optimal care and support and a professional training and feeding schedule. The finishing touch will be the tricolour brushstroke on stage in Ostend.

"Den Argenton" 4th national Ace pigeon KBDB 2006 Middle long distance

Pedigree "Argenton" : Click here
Prizes"Argenton" : Click here