Mickael Mascart (Bruille St Amand, FR) 1st international of the rough Tarbes (Agen)

Ambitious, determined and serious. The race of Tarbes has just crowned a young blood with long teeth as France has many. I met Mickael Mascart wednesday evening and the stars were shining into his eyes, a few hours only after he clocked his international winner.

It was pretty hard! Initially scheduled for Saturday the 16th of July, the pigeons from Tarbes (or Agen, feel free to choose) were finally released the Wednesday 20th of July at 7h50. The fault was given to the capricious weather forecast when we remember the period of "All Saints" (in Belgium of course)! Are we really in July? If we take a look at the newspaper, yes. But it’s hard to believe them. After a first report right after the Saturday morning, while the race of Limoges for the yearlings was released and reached crazy speeds, the organisers couldn’t escape the gear that was destined for them. During four days, the rain and even the fog were at the appointment on the flight line and we had no other choice than to report the competition until better days. The responsible of the ’Entente Belge had sniffed the disaster and they decided to bring back the pigeons in Agen, hundred kilometers to the north of Tarbes. Finally, they took the difficult decision to release the pigeons Wednesday in the morning, without having a choice. The pigeons enjoyed merciful weather during the first kilometers and then it was a mix between rain zones and cloudy, mainly below Paris. The wind was blowing from the West. Even though the pigeons were well treated, there were a lot of pigeons going missing even while I'm writing these lines.
We should then ask ourselves why our Dutch friends had the possibility to basket their pigeons for Tarbes on Wednesday to already get a Friday release (with a liberation at 8 o'clock and more than hundred arrivals during the first day of flight for superior distance compared to ours) while, in Belgium, we basketted on Tuesday for a liberation Saturday only.
Hard to admit that, even though Belgium is the cradle of pigeon sports, it has no longer been, since many years, guarant for modern management, with the tools we enjoy in 2011. But that's another story.

Stop the considerations, make room for the international winner. Because he really deserves it. The victory of Mickael Mascart is another fresh taste for the pigeon peloton. Mickael is only 34 years old and he is without a doubt a part of the new pigeon fancier generation who is actually busy taking control of the pigeon sport. It's the proof that France has a big tank of talented young fanciers, mainly focussed on the international races and who no longer make their opponents laugh. After Michel Sinsoulieu on Pau, it's the second international French victory for the season of 2011.

In the center, Mickael, accompanied by his wife, his son, and a young fancier he helps

‘I was in the kitchen at the end of the afternoon. Then, i decided to look at the arrivals on PIPA around 16h30. When i saw that there were pigeons from the French short distances, I said to myself that it was time to grab the hens if I didn't wanted to be short. After having closed them in their box, I smoked a cigaret that I never finished! I saw my three years old cock falling quickly on the trap in the right direction. It was hard for my heart.’
Mickael basket in Belgium, in Tournai to be more precise. He never had a good relationship with the pigeon fanciers of his area. Quite the opposite. ‘No comment. It's been two years that I decided to basket in Belgium, and I think it's the best decision I've ever made. There, everybody is drinking a glass together, the atmosphere is good. That wasn't the case here.’
When he signalled his pigeon at the club in Tournai, they said it was the first pigeon that got announced. A normal thing due to the fact that he races against the farthest colony. But nobody was able to beat his pigeon!
‘I had phone calls all evening, even people that I never met congratulated me. My friend Thierry Masure (previous national winner of Tarbes in ’10) called me to tell me I was the winner. Me, i couldn't believe it.’

And yet, the ‘Tarbes’, freshly baptized as such, was the fastest of the entire peloton of 10.675 pigeons (a fall of less than 4.500 pigeons compared to the previous year but without the dutch pigeons).
Clocked at 16h58'15 for 730,795 kilometers, he booked an average speed of 1.332,96 mpm, good for the international victory! At the international level, he beat the Belgian winner, Rémy Vantorre from Virelles for 1.298, 85 mpm, an advance of more than 34 mpm. The French national winner, Claude Moreau from Ferrière, was third for a speed of 1.291,24 mpm. The top 5 was completed by Guy Fontaine frpm Havinnes at 1.281,62 mpm and by the combination De Smeyter-Restiaen from Melden at 1.278,67 mpm. There was also a strong presence of the German pigeons in the top 100.
Notice : due to the fact that he basketted in Belgium, Mickael won't be classified in the French national result. Anyway.

Heavy long distance and nothing else
Mickael is keen of pigeon. He was 4 years old when he found a youngster on the ground while he was walking to school. He brought it back home and his father built him a small loft to house his little friends. When he was 10, he decided to enter the competition. However, his training took him a lot of time.
‘Nobody was a pigeon fancier in the family and, from the fanciers of my area, nobody decided to help me. I had to learn from my own. I read the books of Léon Petit which I found on the flea markets. I entered my birds in the CALC and the federal races but that's all.’
Installed at his current address since ‘06, in the number 253 of the Gustave Delory street, Mickael gave a new direction to his hobby. Since 2008, he decided to focus only on the heavy long distance races. If we take a look at the origins, he still breeds from his old sort, that he crosses with pigeons coming from Vanhaverbeke. This last one owns pigeons from Pollin, Florizoone and Decherf. Let’s mention the pigeons of Marcel Lekeuche from Maubray (in whom Mickael works as a loft manager 1x per week) and the Depauw from Esplechin.
‘I had to take a pause to finish the work in the house but my lofts were finished before the house!’ Some wonderful garden loft with aviary in front of the youngsters section as well as an up to date gear for the entire loft accomodation. Mickael really likes to take care of his pigeons and of his lofts. That’s what his wife told us ! As he took a profesional pause, he has a lot of free time to take care of his colony. And the work always pays!

Method – 1 test per year
Mickael has his head on his shoulders and he races with everything except the mass. His team consists of 14 olds, 11 yearlings, 12 breeding pairs completed by fifty youngsters. The pigeons are coupled at the end of the month of november. The racers are raising a couple of youngsters after what they are directly put in the widowhood. Mickael uses the system of the classic widowhood. The pigeons are taking the road step by step with a few speed races, two federal races and then a heavy middle distance race before being basketted in only one heavy long distance per year. Only one. A team was raced on Barcelona, another on Tarbes (7 pigeons) and the last one on Narbonne in a few days now. The manager focused his effort in the heavy long distance program since only three years and he is still seeking to select his team even if the respect of the pigeon is above everything. 
Before the basketting, the pigeons are never shown their hen or the cup. He prefers to basket his racers as calm as possible. The ‘Tarbes’ is an extremely calm pigeon who posed as a model for the pictures.
The pigeons are training twice a day, one hour in the morning, one hour in the evening. A this subject, Mickael really sticks to his schedule.

The 'Tarbes' (FR 273528-08)

13/05/2009 Tours fédéral 29/1.205 pigeons
07/06/2009 St Julien fédéral 1.373/6.947
3/07/2009 Soustons 8/280 pigeons
Basketted for Marseille international the 20th of july as a yearling but he missed
5/06/2010 St Julien 423/13.210 pigeons
17/07/2010 St Rambert 100/4.544 pigeons
Miss on Perpignan the 31th of july
21/05/2011 Montrichard 77/1.555 pigeons
12/06/2011 Chateaudun 59/1.370 pigeons
19/06/2011 Nanteuil 14/707 pigeons
20/07/2011 Tarbes 1st International 10.675 p.

Here is one of the most beautiful aspect of the pigeons sport: a young guy who believes in it, he swear to himself that the time will come but without knowing when it will happen. In Bruille St Amand, lady luck came to fill with joy the life of a young family still busy with the work in the house. Something that could help create vocation and support those who already entered the battle.
Mickael, you are a part of the premature of our sport. A lot of people are running all their life after a national victory and you already booked one while you still have all your life ahead of you, who knows, to win a second one. You are now under the spotlight of the international pigeon sport. Enjoy. Our congratulations !


bonjour;avant toute 1ere chose felicitation cousin pour ton 1er ineternational.une petite chose qui et domage c'st que dans ton article tu dit que jamais personne ta aide durant tes 1ere annee de colombophile pourtant ton oncle joseph ta baguer plusieur fois des jeunes et tu vener le voirpour avoir des conseille.bon bref cela n'est pas grave en tout cas tu a un sacre champion a la maison felicitation.sylvain.....................

Y a des téléphones pour cela ..

Félicitations a toi mickael ! Un superbe exploit que ton Meunier a la réalise ! Un travaille de tous les jours qui paie, félicitations a vous deux ! Comme disait Thierry au local (on s est croise) super humble et sympathique Comme tout ! A la prochaine au local on se boira une bonne jatte a t santé !


je suis Adrien, c'est moi qui ai réalisé le reportage.

Mickael m'a peut être mentionné votre père lorsque nous nous sommes rencontré, je ne m'en souviens plus et dans ce cas ce serait de ma faute si il n'est pas cité dans le reportage.

Vous devez bien vous rendre compte qu'il était très ému et, dans des moments pareils, on oublie peut-être l'un ou l'autre détail.

Vous devriez cependant être content de ce qui vient de lui arriver. Je suis d'ailleurs sûr que vous l'êtes.


Adrien M.