Pierre & Patrick Philippens - Voeren (BE) National Champions Grand Middle Distance KBDB 2008

Voeren – Since the latest fusion of local authorities the new borough Voeren consists of Moelingen, 'S Gravenvoeren, St Martens-Voeren, St Pieters - Voren, Teuven and Remersdaal. With a surface of fifty square km and just over four thousand inhabitants and a handful of pigeon fanciers the borough has been put on the card.
The fusion was the cause of several riots to reattach the new borough to Luik. The borough borders on Luik and the Dutch Limburg.
Voeren is from Limburg, but geographically this is not logical. Today they can say that it is a peaceful community in untouched nature which is favoured by walkers and cyclists who like a rolling landscape. There are several sights of interest in each of the picturesque municipalities. Pierre is a retired teacher in his early seventies, he races in combination with son Patrick who is nearly in his mid forties and who in addition to studying economic commercial sciences is busy in his free time with the pigeons. When they were at secondary school, Patrick and his younger brother were given their own garden loft to infect them with the pigeon bug. And granddad is now motivating Robbe, the son of his youngest son, in the pigeon sport by giving him his own red pigeon. Pierre was brought up with pigeons because his father was racing pigeons in '28; He himself first starting keeping pigeons the year after the end of the Second World War. Pigeons without a name and in order to race better, Pierre thought about investing in some pigeons and went in search of pigeons that had already proved that they belonged to the best. Olympiad pigeons took the fancy of this champion.
Pierre and Patrick Philippens from Voeren will forever remain associated in our pigeon world with the national race from the Mont Ventoux. Moreover they won the two first editions (from the three that were organized) of this, for them 732 km long orientation race. The first year (2002) their only basketted pigeon won with a no less than 67 minute lead from his nearest stalker. With a velocity of 1097 m/min. the "Mont Ventoux I" was the only one above the cape of the 1000 m/min. It was not the first win for this two year old clapper, because prior to this he had already won Pithiviers (385 km) and Nevers (460 km) in "Indépendante Luik". He didn’t get it from a stranger because his father, the "Tramontane" represented Belgium as 1st Olympiad pigeon in Blackpool '99. The "Mont Ventoux I" is also father of no less than three provincial winners from Orléans, La Souterraine and Perpignan.
The previous year father and son repeated their stunt from the Mont Ventoux, well with a different widower, who was naturally given the name "Mont Ventoux II". Since the enrolment price was quite high, he was the only pigeon that Pierre and Patrick entered. Just like his predecessor, the "Mont Ventoux II" had a considerable lead, about 20 minutes on his nearest rival. "Mont Ventoux II" had already won three first prizes, namely from Brive, Jarnac and Béziers and managed to develop into a good breeder.

The honours list of Pierre and Patrick proves that the national title is no coincidence.
Since 2000 they have raced no less than 58 kings titles and 20 emperor titles at various levels: in the club, the district, provincial, interprovincial or in the championships of the specialised press. For example, they are very proud of their nine consecutive king’s titles in "Indépendante Luik", as well as their nine titles of general provincial champion, a record in our pigeon world. 2005 was a top year, because they won no less than 71 first places in all kinds of championships. Only in the national general championship K.B.D.B. did they have to submit to Marcel Aelbrecht. They were the only ones to classify themselves four times in the national top-12, including a 7th place in the grand middle distance, the championship that gave them the title this year. The grand middle distance, the people from Antwerp call it the small long distance, is without doubt one of the king disciplines, because you have to score in big races to be able to triumph here. In addition this is a championship that many top lofts aim for. The Voerenaars scored from Orléans (422 km), twice from Salbris (460 km), Argenton (558 km) and Clermont-Ferrand (587 km). From Montluçon (543 km) one of the main characters even won interprovincial as first nominated, yet the second nominated only raced a small prize, to show that both chosen have to be present. But later everything went better because the ten prizes that were sent in the direction of Brussels were average prizes won per 50.

Stock building
Two Olympiad pigeons as basis.
Pierre formed the basis of his colony when he bought a Van Rhijn-Kloeck-cock and a Pepermans-hen from Gerard Vliegen out Glons in '68. Both pigeons formed a golden breeding couple for many years. In the same year a few valuable pigeons were bought from Louis Van Loon. With these three pillars Pierre formed what they now call their old sort for the programme races. In the nineties they were joined by a few pigeons from Gaby Vandenabeele. "Ben", 5163442/98 was born out a combination Vandenabeele x old sort. In just two seasons this clapper won 9x 1st and 4x 2nd, so that he was easily delegated as 1st Belgian pigeon in category A (then still from 100 to 400 km) for the Olympiad in Kaapstad 2001. In the meantime the family of “Ben” has also played a big part in the successes up to and including La Souterraine (593 km).
A few years ago the speed of this pigeon was maintained with a few pigeons from the Comb. Verbree out the Dutch Putten.
In the seventies Pierre started taking more of an interest in the Long Distance. For this he bred the "Bordeaux" in '77 from a cock from Paul Gilmont (Vanbruaene x Gorin) and a hen from Marcel Englebienne. As a 2-year old this clapper won the 8th prize international from a quite difficult Bordeaux (only 10 day arrivals). The "Bordeaux" then raced another six times above the 900 km and classified himself each time within the first 31 national: 4th, 14th and 19th national Sint-Vincent (953 km), 9th and 31st nat. Pau (950 km) and 21st nat. Perpignan (920 km).
Who was ever better?
"Tramontane", 5106212/92 was born out a son x granddaughter of the "Bordeaux". It looks a lot like inbreeding, yet in his pedigree we also find the names Norman, Nouwen-Paesen, Lietaer and Julien Matthijs.
"Tramontane" raced an incredible honours list and when he was seven years old he was selected as 1st Belgian pigeon in the category long distance for the Olympiad in Blackpool '99 with an extremely low coefficient and this with top prizes from Brive, Cahors, Montauban, Perpignan and twice from Jarnac. "Tramontane" would later grow to be the basis breeder of the Philippens loft. In the meantime all ten grandchildren of the "Tramontane" have won a provincial classic and this from Orléans (422 km) to Irun (1003 km) in Spain.
The successes up to 600 km are the result of the crossing of the lines of "Tramontane" and "Ben". For the heavier work the line of the "Tramontane" was then coupled with other lines of the "Bordeaux" or other grand distance sort. So were a few valuable pigeons from the gebr. Frenken (Weert, NL) and Henri Mornard crossed in the pedigree for the grand distance.
The first products from the introduction of Vrösch-Meijers (Heerlen) are also especially hopeful. At the end of 2005 the first pigeons were bought from this combination, who had won international Barcelona in 2004, who with their "Etterbak" had the best Dutch Barcelona-racer over three years and who had bought many pigeons from Fons van Ophuizen. This year various yearlings from this sort performed extremely well up to Limoges (59th nat.) and Sint-Vincent (39th nat.). Also in the youngsters team – who also did extremely well – were several Vrösch-Meijers pigeons.
The following first prizes were raced by cross breeding:
1st/1.109 p. La Ferté (283 km), 1st/359 p. Bourges (476 km) and 1st/2.229 p. La Souterraine (593 km). There were also a few top racers bred from the sort Noël Peiren. So is the "Doublé", 1st prov. Bourges and 1st prov. and interprov. Montluçon, a half Peiren (x granddaughter "Tramontane"). Further is the 1st prov. Argenton '07 a pure Peiren and the 1st prov. La Souterraine '08 a half.

As simple as possible
Since our hosts take part in all the disciplines, they try to keep the pigeon sport as simple as possible. They only race with sixty widowers. In addition one hundred youngsters are bred for the game.
The breeders, as well as one loft of widowers, are coupled at the end of November, whilst the other widowers are coupled loft for loft in December.
It goes like this:
The old widowers are removed from the loft on the day that the future yearlings are brought into the loft. They are then given a nest box and a hen. After five days if the yearlings are coupled and used to their nest box, the first old widowers are brought into the loft in the evening, together with his hen. In the days that follow one or two old couples are brought back into the loft. Since, during the winter breed – in order not to disturb the biological clock – there is no use made of lighting, the cocks and hens can raise their youngsters until they are ready to be weaned. If no use is made of lighting in the winter months the hens are not ready for laying for the second time. By some good widowers this second lay is allowed, but the eggs are immediately placed under other pigeons. After being separated the cocks are placed in widowhood, because for more than 10 years they have not re-coupled for a second time just before the sport season because father and son Philippens don’t want to slow down their widowers at the beginning of the season. They opt for a good basis condition at the beginning of April so that the widowers can easily take care of the bad spring races. Did you know that they only vaccinate the pigeons with the compulsory vaccination against Paramyxo in February and three weeks before that for smallpox. Prior to the sport season there is a five day cure against tricho, which is repeated in the middle of May after the first grand middle distance race from Nevers for the duration of three days. When it gets warmer, this treatment is repeated every 3 or 4 weeks and that’s it where medical matters are concerned.
The fact that they have healthy lofts means that a treatment for breathing problems and coccidiosis is not  applicable to the widowers. And whether it is sprint, middle distance or long distance, the racers always get to eat as much as they want of a good mixture, generally sport or breed, complemented with about 10% diet. This means that  there is more than enough food at their disposal, whereby the leftovers are removed every 2 or 3 days. In addition the minerals are refreshed once or twice per week. The hens are always shown before the basketting. A maximum of one minute and if the hen is not in good condition, then only a photo of her is shown, meaning that she is allowed to fly into the nest box and then the cock is immediately basketted. To keep the pressure to a minimum when they return home and so not to be taken by surprise by the preparation of the hens by an early return, there are no hens in the loft on a Saturday.
The sprint pigeons that arrive home on Sunday don’t always find their hen when they return home. All the hens generally come to the loft on Sunday afternoon for two hours, including those from the pigeons that have stayed at home. A hen is better for a cock that has rested. The Philippens are of the opinion that cocks that have been in the basket for a few days and have then to fly home are more in need of rest than of an hen.

Deal with the youngsters carefully
The youngsters are darkened from the middle of March until just after the beginning of June. In the past they were darkened until the longest day (21 June), but since this isn’t really necessary, they stop earlier so that they can race better in the trainings races. The darkening occurs in an old traditional manner, namely from 4pm or 5pm until the evening. There is usually a lot of work put into the training and they wait for good weather before entering the youngsters for the club races. This is not easy because they race the programme for the east of the country, which means that the distance is lengthened. This careful treatment means that very few youngsters were lost, everything included, less than 10%. This favourable result was also achieved by the fact that they have never been confronted with the so-called "youngsters sickness" in Voeren.
Apart from a blind cure with Cosumix Plus, when they judge that the condition of the youngsters is deteriorating in the Spring, they are not treated with antibiotics, except an odd youngster that is sprayed with Linco Spectin. But during the sport season the whole lot remains in good health, something which is represented in the results of the youngsters. In principle the young hens race the 4 national races, wherefrom last year 9 scored a 4/4. Some young cocks also race the national races, although the best are stopped after Argenton or La Souterraine.
The Philippens have their own way of training the pigeons. They take their youngsters to a fixed place fifteen km away, ten to fifteen times and also five times to twenty-five km away. The notable thing is that they always visit the same two places and this also with the yearlings and old birds; Between the national races for youngsters, the youngsters race a Belgian race during the week, on Wednesday from 25km. In addition 10 to 15 cocks are not entered with the first series. They are, as it were, kept as reserve, but they do race the second series up to Melun (319 km).

Thus they became national champion grand middle distance
The national championship grand middle distance was taken to Voeren with 10 prizes and a coefficient of 19,71 or an average of 10 prizes per 50 and then as follows:
01/6, Salbris (459 km) : 2.493 p. : 41 (1st nom.) and 4 (2nd nom.)
08/6, Orléans (422 km) : 872 p. : 1 and 67
12/7, Clermont-Ferrand (587 km) : 1.647 p. : 7 and 33
02/8, Salbris (459 km) : 592 p. : 23 and 13
09/8, Argenton (558 km) : 562 p. : 5 and 4
The five pigeons that signed for this championship stem from "Tramontane" or "Ben" or both.

1034156/05 The Doublé "
The Doublé " won 21 prizes in 22 races starting from Orléans (422 km), wherefrom 16 prizes per ten.
See here the best prizes (without doubles):
1st Indép. Liège Pithiviers (385 km)
1st/596 p. prov. Bourges (476 km)
1st/2.314 p. interprov. Montluçon (543 km)
5th/562 p. Argenton (558 km)
7th/1.647 p. Clermont-Ferrand (587 km)
9th/875 p. Orléans (422 km)
11th/529 p. Nevers (460 km)
11th/320 p. Argenton (558 km)
12th/645 p. Argenton (558 km)
14th/353 p. Nevers (558 km)
26th/782 p. Bourges (476 km)
28th/1.255 p. Bourges (476 km)
41st/2.493 p. Salbris (459 km)
His father is an inbred product to the "Didi" via Noël Peiren, whilst his mother is the "Perpignan-hen", granddaughter of the "Tramontane". She was part of the team that was 2nd general champion of Belgium in 2005.
A daughter of the "Doublé" was 3rd provincial Ace pigeon youngsters in 2006 (after two loft companions) and classified from the four national races for youngsters. This year the only pigeon from the "Doublé" also won 9  prizes up to La Souterraine (593 km).
"The 34"
"The 34" has up until now won 21 prizes starting from Orléans (422 km) including the following top prizes (also without doubles):
4th/2.493 p. prov. Salbris (459 km)
4th/1.066 p. prov. Orléans (422 km)
9th/1.118 p. prov. Orléans (422 km)
10th/2.532 p. prov. Salbris (459 km)
3rd/205 p. Bourges (476 km)
6th/277 p. Melun (319 km)
19th/664 p. Pithiviers (385 km)
22nd/488 p. Argenton (558 km)
24th/932 p. Orléans (422 km)
24th/395 p. Bourges (476 km)
33rd/1.647 p. Clermont-Ferrand (587 km)
73rd/1.662 p. Châteauroux (530 km)
The "34" was bred from a son x a great grandchild of the "Tramontane". This clapper is from 2003 and has been unfortunate in not winning a provincial race up until now (2x 4th, 9th and 10th), because at the end of last year the four grandchildren of "Tramontane" who won a provincial race in 2007 (Nevers, La Souterraine, Perpignan and Irun) were put to breed.

1034100/04 " The blue Ben"
"The Blue Ben" has up until now won 47 prizes in four seasons, including 30 prizes in 2007 and 2008. In the past he mainly raced Sprint and small middle distance, but this year he was also raced in the grand middle distance. This delivered him the title of 1st provincial Ace pigeon middle distance K.B.D.B. Since his half-brother, "Flori Ben", was placed in the breeding loft after achieving his provincial victory from Nevers (fastest of 5.193 p. with a six minute lead), it was this year the turn of the "Blue Ben" to be motivated in a special way through a whole in the wall. He and his son (see further) were the bosses in the loft and liked to take a look at what was happening in the adjoining loft. This year the "Blue Ben" achieved two victories in Indépendante Luik and this from Trelou and Orléans against 872 pigeons with a velocity lower than 1100 m/min.
His father is "Ben", who over two seasons won 9x 1st and 4x 2nd and was 1st Belgian Olympiad pigeon in the Sprint and small middle distance in Kaapstad.
His mother is the "Blue from Nico", 1st Ace pigeon youngsters Indépendante Luik in 2001, self daughter of "Nico", 1st Ace pigeon old birds Indépendante Luik 2001, x half-sister "Ben".

1009056/06 "The Provincial Ace"
"The Provincial Ace" always raced together with his father the "Blue Ben". As a youngster he was 1st provincial Ace pigeon K.B.D.B. in front of two loft companions. This year he was 7th provincial Ace pigeon middle distance. Over three seasons he won 33 prizes, mainly per ten. His mother is a granddaughter of  "Tramontane".
"The 87"
"The 87", a pigeon that easily races at the front and which they have been careful with.
As a yearling he won 9 prizes:
1st/101 p. Melun (319 km)
1st/110 p. Bourges (476 km)
15th/2.749 p. Bourges (476 km)
2nd/161 p. Gien (410 km)
2nd/183 p. prov. Argenton (558 km)
He ended as 9th in the middle distance in the Belgian selection for the West-European counties cup in Dortmund. As a two-year old he didn’t really get going, but in the end won 8 prizes including the 4th/562 p. Argenton (558 km).
His father is the "Witte", with 4x 1st and grandson of "Tramontane".
His mother is a half-sister of "Ben" and "Bourges" and won 11 prizes in a row as a youngster, including 3rd prov. Nevers, 3rd prov. Argenton and 4/4 in the national races.
The "87" is father of the young hen which this year won the 3rd prov. La Souterraine (after 2 loft companions) and is one of the 9 young hens (from 25 hens in the first national race) that won 4/4 in the national races.

Results 2007 :

05/5, Orléans (422 km): 875 ob.: 2, 9, 27, 55, 56, 91, 107, 167, 168, 181, 185, 195, 240, 250, 252, 259, 270 (17/25)
19/5, Nevers (460 km): 1.166 ob.: 1, 25, 26, 29, 37, 42, 57, 71, 85, 95, 130, 165, 166, 167, 168, 202, 245, 280, 299, 383 (20/25) – fastest from 5.193 p. with a 6 minute lead!
02/6, Salbris (459 km): 288 ob.: 2, 3, 8, 22, 25, 33, 41, 48, 52, 58, 66, 67, 69, 80 (14/16)
30/6, Bordeaux (805 km): 446 yl.: 2 (1/2) - 20th internat. 7.738 p.
14/7, Siegen (166 km): 198 yl.: 1, 2, 5, 7, 11, 14, 16, 19, 20, 37, 40, 43, 48, 49 (14/17) 148 ob.: 1, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 32, 33, 34, 39, 48 (16/19)
22/7, Irun (1003 km): 1.856 ob.: 1, 185 (2/2) - 7th internat. 15.627 p.
27/7, Narbonne (870 km): internat.: 9.326 ob.: 112, 240, 398 (3/3)
30/7, Melun (319 km): 458 young.: 1, 4, 6, 8, 13, 17, 36, 37, 39, 42, 45, 87, 94, 98, 99, 131 (17/25)
04/8, Perpignan (920 km): 364 ob.: 1 (1/2) - 72nd internat. 15.087 p.
05/8, Pithiviers (385 km): 266 young.: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 31, 34, 41, 61, 65, 72, 86 (15/24)
13/8, Argenton (558 km): 183 yl.: 1, 2, 13, 14 (4/4)
25/8, La Souterraine (593 km): 383 ob.: 1 (1/2)
2008 :
04/5, Trelou (243 km): 620 yl.: 2, 2, 10, 25, 26, 27, 29, 39, 42, 55, 114, 132, 170, 179 (14/18)
24/5, Pithiviers (385 km): 232 yl.: 3, 4, 6, 13, 15, 22, 25, 30, 36, 37, 41, 61, 65, 76, 77 (15/15)
01/6, Salbris (459 km): 290 ob.: 1, 2, 11, 38, 55 (5/5) 2.493 ob.: 3, 4, 41, 225, 389 (5/5)
08/6, Orléans (422 km): 1.460 yl.: 1, 55, 105, 213, 214, 223, 246, 265, 289, 387, 400 (11/18) 872 ob.: 1, 43, 45, 67, 134, 166 (6/11) - 2 fastest from 2.332 p.
09/6, Montélimar (695 km): 719 ob.: 4, 42, 69 (3/3)
14/6, Montluçon (543 km): 2.314 ob.: 1, 389, 568 (3/4)
05/7, Limoges (641 km): 526 ob.: 1, 145, 148, 169 (4/4)
06/7, La Ferté (283 km): 1.109 young.: 1, 2, 5, 6, 25, 30, 44, 45, 46, 47, 55, 56, 60, 62, 63, 80, 92, 122, 154, 168, 169, 171, 174, 179, 194, 209, 215, 236, 238, 239, 240, 242, 275, 323, 337, 350, 359, 368 (38/69)
12/7, Clermont-Ferrand (587 km): 1.647 ob.: 7, 33 (2/3) 1.627 yl.: 22, 47, 94 (3/3)
12/7, Limoges (641 km): 1.323 yl.: 6, 27, 132 (3/3)
13/7, Melun (319 km): 697 ob.: 3, 6, 20, 22, 27, 29, 54 (7/7)
19/7, Orléans (422 km): 1.090 young.: 3, 5, 19, 24, 26, 60, 61, 63, 65, 79, 95, 107, 152, 158, 159, 176, 181, 202, 205, 210, 214, 218, 226, 262, 269, 277, 279, 312, 342, 350 (30/56)
19/7, Souillac (726 km): 916 ob.: 11, 127, 183 (3/3)
22/7, Marseille (816 km): 1.416 ob.: 37, 381 (2/2)
27/7, Bourges (476 km): 359 young.: 1, 13, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31, 34, 35, 39, 51, 52, 58, 68, 75, 77, 81, 86, 92, 93, 104, 106, 107 (25/50) 816 yl.: 7, 9, 22, 202 (4/4)
27/7, Narbonne (870 km): 494 ob.: 8, 29 (2/3)
02/8, Perpignan (920 km): 558 ob.: 8, 134 (2/2)
08/8, St.-Vincent (953 km): 155 yl.: 3, 27 (2/2)
09/8, Argenton (558 km): 204 young.: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 19, 21, 23, 25, 28, 29, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 42, 47, 48, 51, 52, 55, 57 (27/39) 562 ob.: 4, 5, 8 (3/4) 580 yl.: 11, 14, 17, 18, 20 (5/5)
23/8, La Souterraine (593 km): 2.229 young.: 1, 2, 4, 5, 14, 15, 17, 18, 36, 42, 69, 80, 81, 82, 87, 104, 119, 120, 122, 131, 164, 166, 178, 192, 197, 203, 239, 251, 291, 333, 378, 399, 465, 521 (34/40)

Golden framework 2000 - 2008
58 titles of 1st General Champion (1st King)
20 titles of Keizer (each time King 3 times in a row)
2nd National General Champion K.B.D.B. '05
1st National Champion grand middle distance K.B.D.B. '08
Winner of 25 provincial K.B.D.B. races
Winner of 2 national time races from the Mont Ventoux in 2002 and 2003
2nd nat. Béziers '01, 2nd nat. Bourges '05, 3rd nat. Irun '07
1st General Champion "Fédération Visé" 00, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08 (7x)
1st General Champion "Basse Meuse" 00, 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08 (8x)
1st General Champion "Indépendante Luik" 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08 (9x)
1st General Provincial Champion K.B.D.B. 96, 99, 00, 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 08 (9x)
1st General Champion "Luik-Haspengouwen" 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 08 (7x)

There were further several titles of General Champion won in:
- Optica - Grand Cercle de l'Est
- Amis du Grand Fond
- Interprovincial races
- Interprovincial K.B.D.B. Wallonië
- "La Colombophilie Belge"
- "The Belgische Duivensport"
At provincial level K.B.D.B. against 1.500 members they this year won 5 of the 10 titles: 1st general, 1st middle distance old birds, 1st middle distance yearlings, 1st champion provincial races, 1st Ace pigeon middle distance, but also 3rd long distance, 4th Ace pigeon youngsters
 5106212/92 "Tramontane",
5106212/92, was bred out son x granddaughter of the "Bordeaux" (7x top-31 nat.) and was self 1st Belgian Olympiad pigeon long distance, father of "Mont Ventoux I" and grandfather of 10 provincial winners from Orléans (422 km) to Irun (1003 km). 4 of the 5 pigeons that won the national championship stem from "Tramontane".
5163442/98,flew 9x 1st and 4x 2nd and was with this 1st Belgian Olympiad pigeon sprint and small middle distance. In the team that won the national championship there is a son and a grandson of "Ben".
"Bourges", 1003427/03, is a half-brother of "Ben" and grandson of "Tramontane". He ended 2nd in de Belgian selection all-round for the "West-European counties cup" in front of two loft companions. There is no mention in the photo of a whole series of top prizes including 1st/383 p. La Souterraine (593 km), 3rd/364 p. Bourges (476 km).
"Robe Papa", 5128777/02, is a grandson of "Tramontane" and raced the 1st/1.856 p. interprov. Irun (1003), 3rd nat. and 7th internat. 15.627 p. Winner of the medal from King Albert II. His son won 2nd prov. and 20th internat. Bordeaux (805) 7.738 p. and his daughters 4/4 and 3/3 in the national races for youngsters.