The weather was beautiful, with excellent racing weather and a wind from the west, and especially a handsome number of participating pigeons… although in total 6.203 less than last year… but still a lot more than they dared hope for in the wildest predictions.
Especially on the side of the youngsters, since in all provinces the previous preparation races had not had the expected number of pigeons, then you can speak of a success with 37.090 youngsters at the start (-4.693 compared to 2008)! Many fanciers lost pigeons in the preparation races for youngsters… and what has gone, can’t be basketted for Bourges. Others race then somewhat ‘on reserve’, because Bourges is still Bourges… quite a short distance for such a mass of pigeons, as a result of which a more or less equal distribution of the prizes over the entire country is a utopia… whereby it is especially the ‘corners’ of the country that have a fight with ‘unequal weapons’. Then they look to the wind and weather predictions… and when they are not favourable they dare to ‘pass’, or only enter a limited team! Wind and mass have the majority share in the distribution of the prizes… and how shorter the distance, and how greater the mass… they are all the more a determining factor in the course of the race. Bourges is and remains a ‘monument’ in the grand middle distance happenings at national level, but also remains the race with the greatest inequality of chances at national level, one should be honest and dare to admit it!
With a light breeze from the western sector it was immediately obvious that the first pigeons should be looked for in the middle and/or eastern side of the country. That is quite clear … but does not affect the achievement of the winners, quite the opposite! The fastest pigeon fell in the province Antwerp in Vremde by the 5-star colony of Jos and Lars Vercammen, racing under the banner Hok Jos Vercammen! Without doubt they experienced in Vremde ‘the best moment’ of their lives when 2 Bourges clappers landed together at the trap at 12h38 from a distance of 479,692 Km, which meant the highest velocity of 1419 m/min from the 64.226 participating pigeons in this national Bourges… and of course double victory in the category youngsters with 1 + 2 National against 37.090 participants! Place 3 was claimed by the old National champion Gaston Van de Wouwer from Berlaar with 1414 m, for Lambrechts-Van Sprengel from Herentals it was place 4 with 1408, and Kris Cleirbaut from Bonheiden who accounted for places 5 + 6.
A victory waiting to happen
Not that we have a ‘crystal ball’ or other prophetic gifts, but the victory of the colony Hok Jos Vercammen was somewhat waiting to happen. Just over a month ago they won 1° Prov Argenton Old birds with superstar ‘Rolex’ and 2° Prov Argenton Yearlings with ‘Mambo’… 2 weeks later they surprised Antwerp with a resounding performance from Limoges for yearlings, whereby 3 pigeons were in the clock by the 34° National prize. The youngsters also showed flashes of ‘great class’ in the first races… the Vercammen-colony was obviously in the ‘winning mood’ , and it is not surprising that they performed ‘stunts’ from Bourges! It was 2 young cocks who signed for this masterpiece. These 2 winning cocks had already raced the following programme: 2x Quivrain(98km), 1x Noyon(208km), 1x Quievrain(98km), 1x Dourdan(366km) and then… straight to Bourges(479km). So they really weren’t experienced pigeons at all! This proves the point that pigeons that have the necessary ‘class’ and ‘condition’ are capable of anything!
In the end ‘Aladdin’ B09-6248081 was the first of the electronic antenna and so winner. He is a half-brother of ‘Betty’ who won 52° S/Nat Vierzon 4.640 p., and so son of ‘Bolo’ B06-6270152 who won 4° Melun 609 p, 4° Marne 304 p, 5° Noyon 535 p, 8° Toury 753 p, 10° Marne 533 p… (and is inbred to the famous ‘Etim’ as son of a coupling ‘grandson’ x ‘granddaughter Etim’ interwoven with the super lines of the top breeders ‘Lou’ and ‘Panter’) . Mother is ‘Polina’ B08-6174628 who is a daughter of the 8° Nat Ace pigeon KBDB, and 1° Ace pigeon Union Antwerp the ‘Leeuw’ x ‘026-Duivin’ 026/06 (coming out a brother of the ‘Leeuw’).
The winner 2° Nat. Bourges answers to the name ‘Jonge Panter’ B09-6248211 and is a son of ‘Amaretto’ B07-6221019 (a full brother of 2° Ace pigeon Union Antwerp ‘Expresso’ and of ‘Safari’ and ‘Milkshake’… and so son of ‘Morisko’ 271/05 x ‘Dolce 387/02’, a granddaughter of the ‘Kleine Panter’)… mother is super hen ‘Dina’ B08-6144028 who won 9° Nat Limoges 16.896 p, 1° Salbris 664 p. and 3° Prov 2.269 p, 2° Melun 1.104 p, 3° Melun 2.213 p… (a daughter of ‘Barco 35001’ x ‘Kitty 433/02’ who are also parents of ‘Bosko’ etc… ‘Barco’ is also father of ‘Nanjingwinner’ in China and grandson of the ‘Kleine Panter’).
The youngsters set down a very good performance from Bourges with:
In Long distance club St. Job: 669 youngsters: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10(1st nom. Tot 5000/2000), 14, 15, 17, 22, 23,... etc
The preparation "system" is something special. About 4 weeks ago a few old hens were put by the young cocks. They were allowed to "mess about" for 3 days. Before basketting for a race they were removed from the loft without seeing their partner. A question of keeping them calm. This was also the case by the basketting for Bourges.
Their 1° nominated (now named ‘Money Maker’) is a different case altogether. He resides in a loft that is raced with the sliding door system, but up until now he has never shown any interest in the ‘ladies’. He was only interested in his ‘perch’! He has always won per 10 up until now, including 2° Noyon 675 p, 52° Noyon 643 p, and 3° Dourdan-Angerville 565 p, 35° Angerville 1.478 p.! Two weeks ago Jos and Lars entered their pigeons for Bourges in East-Flanders. According to them they had no chance in Antwerp because of the predicted westerly wind. The provincial Bourges was cancelled and on the Monday the pigeons were liberated from Orleans, a matter of getting the participating pigeons into enough routine for this National Bourges. From this Orleans this ‘Money Maker 050/09’ was well ahead of the rest of the pigeons, even in front of the old birds that Jos had entered for the same Bourges-Orleans. A real topper… who has now won 10° in the club and will be classified at national level at about the 130° place against 37.090 youngsters!
Crowning of a super season
Hok Jos Vercammen raced magnificently in 2009, and... although the tranquillity around the lofts and the attention for the pigeons will be disrupted by the mass (press) interest in their double national Bourges triumph, they still have 10 days to get their business back in order, to get the train back on the rails in time! Their 2009 season can’t go wrong after their double victory from Bourges on the 25th of July, but with a few nice classics from Argenton, La Souterraine and Gueret on the agenda...there are a few more chances to give more publicity to their ‘top year’ by the larger pigeon public worldwide. Opportunities that they certainly won’t let lie in Vremde… now that the pigeons seem to have an exceptional top condition. We would like to sincerely congratulate the Jos Vercammen family on their stunt work and resounding victory from Bourges!