Guido Loockx (Tessenderlo, BE) performed successfully in 2013 as well

After a magnificent 2012, in which he won the title of National Champion Yearlings and the Gouden Duif Belgium, the difficult task of trying to perform equally well in 2013 awaited Guido Loockx. Guido succeeded in this, even though he says that often other birds than the first-nominated ones came home first.

Guido Loockx is very famous in pigeon racing. His super pigeon Pantani, born in 1996 and the main stock pigeon of his breeding loft, is probably just as renowned as the late former cyclist Marco Pantani. Ever since Guido's pigeons have been winning one first prize after the other. In 2012, he achieved, for example, the following results:

1st National Champion Yearlings KBDB
Winner Gouden Duif Belgium
1st Provincial Champion Yearlings Long Distance KBDB
1st Provincial Champion Youngsters Middle Distance KBDB
5th National Champion Youngsters Middle Distance KBDB
6th national ace pigeon middle distance KBDB
1st national ZC Montluçon old birds
1st national ZC Argenton yearlings
1st national ZC Tulle yearlings
1st provincial Gien I and Gien II
2nd national Montluçon old birds

It is not that easy to obtain the same results in 2013 but Guido made a successful attempt. He can't complain since he won two first prizes in zone C and had a 1st provincial (12th national) ace pigeon KBDB on the longer middle distance. A couple of Guido's top-table results in 2013:

1st national ZC1 La Souterraine
1st national ZC1 Bourges
1st provincial Guéret
2nd national Issoudun

Years of hard work

Just like it is for everyone else, Guido's success didn't come by itself. “After graduating from university and completing my military service, I took over my dad's family of birds," Guido starts. “Because my father was self-employed, he had too little time to occupy himself with his pigeons. We started racing together at our current location in Tessenderlo in 1990. A couple of years later, my dad quit because of health problems and from that moment on I've been racing our pigeons on my own." As mentioned above, Guido bred the ace pigeon Pantani in 1996. Pantani won, for example, a 1st national from Bourges and was Olympiad pigeon all-round in Blackpool, UK. Nearly all the pigeons housed in Guido's breeding loft are related to Pantani.

Top prizes as selection criterion

It goes without saying that Guido has now developed his own working method. Given the results it seems to be working. "I breed two rounds of youngsters for my own from about 40 breeding pairs,” Guido says. “These are trained well and participate in the sprint and middle distance races. I sometimes basket them for national races but it also occurs that they do not participate in the nationals for an entire season, for example if the weather conditions are bad.” The fancier from Tessenderlo admits that young bird racing is not a priority for him and that he particularly focuses on racing old birds and yearlings in the national longer middle distance races. “Therefore, most youngsters are kept and only have to prove what they're worth as a yearling," Guido explains. “Both hens and cocks are raced on total widowhood. Cocks are raced up to Argenton, which is organised around 15 August. Hens are basketed till the last national race from Guéret. At the end of each season, a selection is made.”

After that selection, only pigeons which have won real top prizes remain. "The number of prizes or the prizes per 10 are not taken into account. Only real top prizes are," Guido says. "My selection is based on performances, never on external characteristics. The wing theory, eye theory, etc don't mean a thing to me. Only results count.”

Four early breeding rounds

Guido Loockx also has his own breeding method. “At the beginning of December, all breeders are paired. The best ones are re-paired on a regular basis and their eggs are floated out under other pairs. That way I have four early rounds of youngsters from my best breeders instead of two," Guido explains. “I also breed with my widowers during winter. They all raise one round of youngsters. As of February and weather permitting of course, they can train around the loft daily.” The racing hens are not used for breeding before the season. “I try to let them be as much as possible during winter. They start training around the loft in February as well. They only get to see a cock once they arrive home from a sprint race somewhere around 15 April.”

In this way, Guido hopes to prepare his pigeons for yet another successful season.