Gaston Van De Wouwer (Berlaar, BE) claims provincial first prize from Argenton II

We already know that the pigeons of Gaston Van De Wouwer have what it takes to win top prizes, which they proved by winning yet another first prize.

Gaston’s provincial winner is another descendant of Kaasboer, the pigeon that brought great success to his loft in Berlaar. The winner from Argenton is related to Kaasboer both via his dam and his sire.

The legendary Kaasboer

The surprising Nafi

Gaston calls his first prize winner a lucky shot, but we do not know a lot about this hen yet. Gaston decided not to basket his team of young hens too often this season. A group of 40 young hens did only a few races, and they were basketed for Argenton immediately after completing Souppes-sur-Loing. Nafi (BE14-6072202) belongs to this team of young hens. There were two races in which the pigeons returned home in the basket, simply because the weather had been too bad. The only thing they learned from these flights is to drink enough. Nafi had already won a prize, but that was not enough for Gaston to tell if she would actually become a successful racing bird. This hen will now have a few more weeks to achieve another good result, but she will be part of next year’s team of yearlings anyway. She has excellent origins and she has now one top result on her palmares. Click here for the pedigree of Nafi.

The parents of Nafi: BE10-6031714 Luc (left) and BE11-6119158 Femke (right)

The eyes of BE10-6031714 Luc (left) and BE11-6119158 Femke (right)

The young birds are doing really well, and they had an excellent overall result from Argenton:

Provincial 4,017 p.
National  27,267 p.

Gaston won a few prizes in the yearlings' race as well. In addition, he is this year's champion with the yearlings in the long distance club of Antwerp.

Young birds

It is not surprising that the fancier from Berlaar is now focusing on the young birds’ races, because his young birds will provide the team for next season. Gaston closely follows their performance, so that he can come up with a talented team for next year. However, he adopted a different approach for his young birds this season, using the sliding door. In previous seasons, he would always pair an old cock to a young hen, but he had too many pigeons this season. Keep in mind Gaston runs the loft on his own. You can tell from his results of 2014 that the approach with the sliding door worked out very well. The young cocks have no more races this season, but the young hens will be basketed for the last three national flights of the season, to compete for the titles. The goal is to then compose a team for next season, which will consist of 8 to 10 cocks and a maximum of 20 hens. Gaston looks for pigeons that have either won a top result (for instance, Nafi’s first provincial), a prize per ten, or that have never missed a prize. Gaston told us there is a good chance that some of the pigeons that never missed a prize will eventually develop into highly successful pigeons. One of them is the hen that won a 6th provincial (BE14-6072208):

21/06 Sourdun Pr. 1,739 p. : 473rd
19/06 Sourdun Pr. 1,548 p. : 14th
02/08 Bourges Pr. 4,438 p. : 573rd
09/08 Châteauroux Pr. 3,652 p. : 13th
16/08 Argenton Pr. 4,017 p. : 6th

She never missed a prize. This pigeon is not part of the 40 strong hens’ team, but she joined the team of cocks, along with three other hens. Interestingly enough, none of these four hens has ever missed a prize. Could this be another successful motivational method? It seems Gaston Van De Wouwer is always up for surprises. Is it thanks to his impressive pigeon breed or to a highly experienced fancier? We think it comes down to a combination of both: a very proficient fancier we can learn a lot from, combined with a pigeon breed of excellent quality.

We look forward to his next important victory!