1st Ace Pigeon of the "Route du Rhône" championship for Philippe THOLL-DOURTE (Etalle, BE)

A fancier since 1977, Philippe Tholl lives in Etalle (South of Belgium) and is the happy owner of one of the best pigeons in Belgium: the Ace Pigeon of the "Route du Rhône" championship.This championship is held over the 3 national races from the Rhône Valley (FR): Montélimar, Orange, and Marseille.

Philippe Tholl and his "Route du Rhône" Ace Pigeon ringed BE-7002560/06

For quite a while now, Philippe has decided to concentrate his efforts on long and very long distance races. The pigeon blood lines we can find in Philippe's lofts are: Germain Imbrecht (directly and also via Georges Breuskin), (+) Roger Coudou, Marcel Jonckheere, Charles Desplenter, Daniel Dutranoit (via Stany Philippe), Monseu-Miler, and Michel Muller from Fauvillers. Then, he recently introduced some blood from the Dieter Ballmann loft.

As he doesn't have a lot of free time to give to his birds, he chose the method of classical widowhood, and concentrates most on the preparation of his old birds. His loft composes of 28 old widowers, more or less 30 yearlings, 12 pairs of breeders, 12 pairs of feeders, and 120 youngsters are ringed every year. This could seem to be a large team, but you have to know that each year, around 40 birds are victims of hawk attacks.

Youngsters are raced at least twice in the local club. Sometimes more, depending on Philippe's free time. Yearlings are raced in the local club before going to national races like National Limoges and/or International Narbonne. They are not raced following the widowhood method, but simply as singles.
Old birds are raced as widowers until they are 7 or 8 years old. Their main objectives, of course, are the very long distance races and... the races from the Rhône Valley.
And it is precisely in the races from the Rhône Valley which this fantastic bird ringed BE-7002560/06 has won the title of Ace Pigeon!

The champion's wing

For sure, this beautiful bird has become the pride of the Tholl-Dourte loft. With an exceptional result of only 59 points, it has won the Ace Pigeon championship, but it had already won the 3rd Ace Pigeon of "Route du Rhône" championship 2 years ago! What an extraordinary bird! Moreover, following Pipa's results which report the number of birds basketted, it has won the 1st Ace Pigeon of "Route du Rhône" 2 times, in 2009 and 2011. We have also to add that this bird has been announced 4 times as the first Belgian pigeon in the national races. Incredible!

The father of this super crack is a direct son of the "Saint-Vincent" from Germain Imbrech (Bornival).
On the mother's side, we find a hen from Michel Muller (Fauvillers), with Noël Peiren origins.

The fantastic Ace Pigeon of "Route du Rhône" championship

Philippe's way to manage his loft is quite simple, but not so conventional: Middle of April, vitamins are given for 8 days. Then, a 3 days anti-tricho cure is given to the birds. The same scenario will be repeated in mid-May. No additional vitamins are given between these 2 cures. But later in the racing season, vitamins will be given individually to the birds, because within th same loft, all of them will not be raced in the same competitions and at the same time.

To feed his pigeons, Philippe gives them Versele Laga Sublime mixture. They are fed individually during winter season, but not during racing season. This leads to some jealousy and competition between the birds in the loft.

Finally, let's have a look to another star of the loft: "Petit Barcelone". For the moment, this bird is the 7th best pigeon in Belgium in the 3 last Barcelona races (261st, 299th, and 333rd). And in fact, he already won a 4th one! It means he has only missed one top result on next Barcelona to become one of the rare champions with 5 top results from Barcelona!

We wish Philippe, who spends a lot of his precious time working as Vice-President in his local club in Virton and as President of the regional association of "Groupement Sud Luxembourgeois", a lot of success for the years to come! Congratulations Philippe!

Some other highlights of the Tholl-Dourte loft:

- 8th Nat. Perpignan 2005;
- 1st Prov. Brive 2003;
- 1st As Pigeon Prov. 2003;
- 2nd As Pigeon Prov. 2006;
- 2nd Team of 3 pigeons in Marseille (replaced by Irun) 2007