Of course, this is easier said and done. Afterall, first have to breed pigeons that can perform on that national and international level (read: top-10, at least top-20 nationally). Not simply 1 time, but multiple times in the same season. Because only then do you have a chance of getting one of the `National Ace Pigeons`. That is why Etienne Meirlaen coupled his two winners; the 1st National Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB 2008 and 2009 to each other, namely Cor x Perpignanlady. Their children have become the foundation of new winners and ace pigeons. The centrepiece of this foundation is naturally the golden stock breeder Yelena and her sons Monar and Montali. The exceptional LDHA genotype AA of Yelena has been optimally used through inbreeding and by crossing it with other top racers from phenomenal inbred breeding lines.
The golden stockbreeder Yelena and super son Monar
Especially the descendents of Monar (direct son Yelena) are phenomenal. Etienne could only breed a small number of yearlings from him before his ex-top racer moved to the other side of the world in 2013 after winning 1. Internat Narbonne 12.605 p. in 2011. However, Monar left excellent breeding material and phenomenal young talent behind on Belgium soil.
The current `Number 1` on the Meirlaen-breeding loft is `Superbreeder 214’, a direct son of Monar, coupled to a daughter of Marathonlady (a halfsister of Yelena and of `t Fenomeen). Among his direct descendants, we can find top races such as Provincial Pau (1. Prov Pau, 1. Prov St.Vincent, 3. Nat Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB’17 and 10. Nat Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB ’16), Provincial St.Vincent (1. Prov & 2. Nat St.Vincent 2.953 p. ’19) and All-in One (6. Nat Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance YL KBDB ’14).
Monar’s final moments at the breeding loft in spring 2013 resulted in 2 phenomenal wonder birds, namely Son Monar 031/13 who became 1. Olympic Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB Cat E – Poznan 2019 (unfortunately this talent either got caught by a bird of prey or died in an accident later that year), and his brother ‘Olympic Monar 054’, the 1st Ace Pigeon of Belgium Extremely Long Distance - measured across 3 international races 2019 (PIPA-rankings), 4. Olympic Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB Cat E - Poznan 2019, and 2nd best Perpignan pigeon of Belgium over 2 years 2017-`18
A daughter of Monar 074/12 was jointly bred in cooperation with Hugo Batenburg-Vd Merwe. She was coupled to a son of Diamantje (Diamantje was 1. Intnat Ace Pigeon Perpignan 2010-`11). It was a huge success because the result of this joint breeding was Diamond Anita, the 1st National Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB 2017.
That the powerful genes of the Yelena-Dynasty are still going strong in further generations and only result in more winners, top and ace pigeons, was proven by VIPau (grandson of Yelenka, sister of Yelena), an ace among aces as well as the winner of 1st Nat Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance over 3 international races 2019 (PIPA-rankings) and 12th Nat Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB 2019.
Last year, in 2020, Etienne Meirlaen ended with the silver, winning the 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance 2020 with Yelena’s Ace. This wonder bird’s mother is Miss Agen (1. Prov & 3. Nat Agen 3.180 p. in 2014), a direct daughter of superman Montali (son Yelena) coupled to a cock of Jan Hooymans (from Cor de Heijde lineage)
The highlight of 2021: winning 1. Intnat Agen hens
Another international victory could be added to the honours list of Etienne Meirlaen’s colony in 2021. This thanks to the super hen Miss Narbonne. She won as a yearling 1. Prov and 3. Nat Narbonne 3.580 p., and in 2021 she showed what else she was made off by winning 1. Intnat Agen Hens against 7.624 hens. It is no mystery where the talent comes from because Miss Narbonne was bred out of Son Olympiad 97 (a direct son of Yelena) coupled with a granddaughter of Monar. The newest international winner has supergenes!
Even more 1st National Ace Pigeons
The list above is staggering enough on its own, yet there is so much more. Whoever thought that we would be done by now thought wrong. The Meirlaen-colony is a treasure trove of national ace pigeons. It is incomprehensible that the KBDB removed the title of National Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB yearlings for several seasons (reintroduced in 2021). In 2018 Etienne Meirlaen had the best yearling on the international marathon races on his loft with National Gold (in actuality the 1. Nat Ace Pigeon GF YL KBDB). She became the 1. National and 2. International Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance YL over 2 international races 2018 (PIPA-rankings). She is a descendent of the other big name in the colony, that is at the foundation of the Barcelona successes, namely Old 7 Barca 240/03 (himself winner 7 x Barcelona, among which 68. Nat and 84. Nat Barcelona). National Gold is a granddaughter of him… crossed with the line Kimi Barca (7. Nat St.Vincent and 10. Nat Barcelona).
The final name in our series of ace pigeons is the other great hen of the colony, Best of Belgium, who is also the result of a crossing, this time between a full Sister Cor (Cor: 1. Nat Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB 2008) and Son Persufon, bought from Declercq-Vervaeren (originating from long-distance veteran Persufon De Smeyter-Restiaen). The Best of Belgium became the 1. Nat and 1. Internat Best Yearling Extremely Long Distance 2017 over 2 international races (Agen Narbonne) – PIPA-rankings, and 1. Prov Ace Pigeon Extremely Long Distance KBDB and 4. Nat Ace Pigeon Long Distance & GF YL KBDB 2017.
It is simply astounding how many 1st (inter)National Ace Pigeons and winners can be found at the colony of Etienne Meirlaen. Bred and played at their `own loft`! The result of a well thought out breeding- and ruthless selection strategy combined with the feeling and the skills of the man in charge. It seems easy when you are reading this… but that art is making it happen. A self-made story that led to huge successes and of which the final chapter is yet to be written. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Etienne Meirlaen’s loft is one of the very best, if not the best long distance and extremely long distance loft in the world right now! Who can do better?