Clocked at 17h04''28 for a distance of 821 km, the small hen of Didier (42 years) achieved an average speed of 1,358 m/min, enough to win the international victory in her category and to achieve the highest speed of the whole convoy of 19,353 pigeons! The bad weather conditions and the hot temperatures had no influence on her and she achieved a record speed in these flying conditions. She was the strongest of a group of a dozen pigeons coming from the area of the south centre of Belgium, all classified into the national top 50 with early pigeons clocked in Ressaix, Bracquegnies, Thuin, Estinnes, Bornival, etc. In fact, Chapelle is a village located next to the E42 motorway, between the towns of La Louvière and Charleroi. It's also there that lived, only a few metres from today's winner, an excellent pigeon fancier in the person of the late Jean-Marie Chapelle, who passed away too early in 2007. Didier came into contact with the pigeons in the '80's thanks to his grand-father but it is thanks to Jean-Marie, his neighboor and confident, that he owes his actual success. In fact, all his loft was built with the pigeons from his friend.
The pigeon loft of Didier houses 16 cocks raced on the classic widowhood system (8 old birds and 8 yearlings) and 5 racing hens, amongst them, the international winner. He has no breeeding pairs and so he breeds the new generation from his racers. They are paired in December and they can raise two youngsters. Then, they are on widowhood and are not paired anymore before the season. Concerning the preparation, the hen was basketed for Narbonne with a youngster of 10 days. Before her international triumph, she was raced in several sprint races, then Orléans, Bourges, Poitiers and Brive. Quite simple!
Didier asked his son to check the arrivals on PIPA so that they could learn a bit about the race. Four pigeons were clocked and amongst them the first Belgian pigeon, the old bird of Rémy Vantorre from Virelles. After a short calculation and without expecting what was going to happen, Didier came back into the house. Just after 17h00, while he wasn't outside to await the arrival, he looked at the garden in direction of his loft and he saw the tail of his hen who had just entered the loft. He quickly went to the loft to clock the pigeon (Didier has only one electronic pad and has to pass his pigeons above it). Ouf! Everything was finally in order but he said himself that several fanciers had lost a victory for less than this! After he verified the pigeon to his club, he sent his clocking time to PIPA and he understood quickly that he would be at the front of the result. Then came the happy ending in the evening with the national victory at first, and then the international one the next morning! What a happiness...
- Ma Belle (BE12-9076044)
2013: Orléans 81/1,039 p. Bourges 13/439 p. Poitiers 27/147 p. Brive 83/258 p. 2012: Soissons 48/453 p. La Souterraine 51/348 p.
The champ from Narbonne.
The eye of the international winner.
Except for the ring numbers of her parents and her grandparents, this glorious hen has no pedigree. Didier says that he doesn't even own a pedigree program. He doesn't care and, in fact, he is right. It gives him the possibility to practise his hobby without any pressure and to focus exclusively on the results of his beloved pigeons. During his selection, no pigeon is kept with a lack of results just because he is coming from a famous strain. If his level is not good enough, he disappears and that's all.
The victory of Didier, it's like the story of David against Goliath as he is at the head of a small colony. In addition, he take his satisfaction in seeing his pigeons coming back from the long distance races, no matter the result! This is the pigeon sport practised in the purest term, as we said it above. We hope that this aspect will be saved for a long time in the practise of our hobby! Didier, congratulations on this awesome victory!