Etienne Meirlaen (Deurle, BE) wins 1st Prov Marseille.

This 1st Provincial and 3rd National puts this top colony in the international spotlight again, in the extreme long distance.

To say that the Etienne Meirlaen colony belongs to the absolute international top in the extreme long distance is like kicking in an already open door. Every sporting competitor knows that it’s asking for trouble with the Meirlaen pigeons in the extreme long distance. The 2022 sports season, which is in full swing, seems to be no exception. The international race from Marseille marked new heights for the Meirlaen colony, winning 1st Provincial, resulting in a podium placement and bronze at national level, with a 3rd place National. The results:

Marseille club 16 p.: 1-3-4-5 (4/5)

     Prov 328 p.: 1-36-49-10 (4/5)

     Nat 2,326 p.: 3-223-319 (3/5)

With the 2nd and 1st nominated being the first in the clock, in places 3 and 223 National.


Mistral ensures provincial victory from Marseille

It was the 2nd nominee who took care of the provincial victory. Last year in 2021, this Mistral already won plenty per 10 (1:10) from Marseille. Earlier this year he also won 72nd National Pau-Bordeaux. In the provisional ranking for National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB (with 2 races still to go), this Mistral is now in second place. He previously also qualified in the national races from Bourges, Brive, Limoges and Souillac. This Mistral comes from the core of the Meirlaen colony with a lot of winner- and ace pigeon blood in its veins.

-Mistral BE18-4216189

1.Prov Marseille 328 p. ’22 – 3. Nat Marseille 2,326 p.

72. Nat Pau-Bordeaux 3,734 p. ’22

38. Argenton 610 p.'22 – 1520 Nat Argenton 20,467 p.

136. Nat Marseille 1,882 p. ’21 – 697. Intnat 10,830 p.


Father: Grandson Marseille BE13-4257825

Won a 6th Nat. Agen 3,524 p., 7th Intnat Agen 6,042 YL, 117. Nat Cahors 6,903 p., 214. Nat Brive 9,278 p… and is also an excellent breeder and father of the 3rd Nat Marseille, 85. Nat Narbonne , 136. Nat Marseille, 142. Nat Marseille… etc. He is a grandson of supercrack 'Marseille'.

Mother: Granddaughter Perpignanlady

Comes from Son Perpignanlady (Perpignanlady won 1st Nat Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2009) x Zus Cor (Cor became 1st Nat Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2008.

What preceded

In the 4 weeks of the extreme long distance that preceded this Marseille, the pigeons already showed good results, with beautiful series and 1st prizes… with 1-2-3-4-5th on Pau-Bordeaux and 1-2nd prize from St.Vincent-Tarbes at local level, and top prizes up to national level. The performances in the extreme long distance in 2022 so far:

Pau-Bordeaux club 134 p.: 1-2-3-4-5-7-8-9-11-12-14-15-20… (17/41)

 Nat 3,734 p.: 26-27-31-40-44-72-85-93-126-142-182-184-250-268-387…

with 14 pigeons winning nationally per 10 (1:10) and 17/41

Agen club 245 p.: 5-6-7-10-15-28-34-43-45-56-63-68-76-81 (14/22)

 Nat 6.657 p.: 116-118-119-170-322-572-633-754-776-969… (13/22, of which 7 per 10)

Barcelona Nat 6.560 p.: 207-257-302-336-341-504-567-609-678-700-757-830-941…

with 8 pigeons per 10 (1:10) and 17/31, of which 9 of the 10 first nominated pigeons.

St.Vincent-Tarbes club 80 p.: 1-2-6-9-13 (5/12)

  Nat 2,892 p.: 24-49-199-343-417 (5/12)


Beautiful series. Although Etienne himself has some reservations about this. Especially looking at the planning prior to the races of the extreme long distance. The national Limoges (beginning of June) used to make up the preparation for the extreme long distance. From there, the team was split up, with the 2-year-old birds being sent to Montauban, and the older, more experienced flyers going to Pau (or Agen). The old toppers (cocks) normally completed the 3-part Pau-St.Vincent-Perpignan. From around 2 years ago the national Limoges has been delayed by a week and Montauban even completely disappeared from the calendar. This prompted the need for a different preparation. The pigeons now completed Vierzon-Argenton as preparation for Pau… on which a  part of the 2-year-olds were now also used. And that's not exactly ideal, experience shows. The 2-year-olds still lack the experience to make these big steps/leaps in distance. Etienne definitely wants to tinker with that for the future. What’s the bet that next winter he will hatch a race plan for his 2-year-old cocks?

From that point of view, the approach with the yearling cocks already looks slightly different. They finished Tulle (with 6 nights basketed… released on Tuesday) and Souillac (no Narbonne for the cocks, but for the yearling hens). Here is where the yearling cocks showed all their class:

Tulle Nat 6.842 YL: 160-163-178-226-234-271-303-354-410-448-517-539-589-663…

  with 14 pigeons per 10 (1:10) and a total of 30/53

Souillac Nat 4.637 YL: 43-121-131-186-247-266-339-362-393-447…

  with 11 pigeons per 10 (1:10) and a total of 23/53

The closing national Libourne will possibly not succeed anymore, due to the feather position at basketing for Souillac (most yearlings had just lost their 4th feather, they were still breeding in March). Although 2 flights above 700 Km would have been ideal to thoroughly test their distance suitability and mordant.

So, even for (inter)national toppers such as Etienne Meirlaen it is often a matter of thinking and tinkering with the system, and the way of preparation, in order to have the pigeons gain competition experience for later. Responding to the situation and to the flight calendar that is on the agenda. And especially seeing what the best program is for the pigeons to shine later in the extreme long distance.

Although many will dream of the honours list in the extreme long distance that this Etienne Meirlaen has already managed to race together, with 1st National victories, and 1st National Ace pigeons Extreme Long Distance KBDB and a cartload of victories at local and provincial level. At Marseille, this series of 1st Provincial victories of his was again expanded. We’re wondering if the Meirlaen pigeons in top form, on the 2 closing classics from Narbonne and Perpignan, know how to use their wings for even more stunt work. But he already has this highlight with the provincial victory from Marseille…. A huge congratulations to him!