It was in 2014 that the pigeon world got to know Francis Franssen. The 27th of June, it started with the race from Agen where the pigeons were released at 06h45. The wind was slow and blowing from the south-west. The conditions were good enough for the pigeons of Francis despite the unfavourable release point. The 1st pigeon to be clocked was in Arras (France), then the very first Belgian pigeons landed in the Luxemburg province. It was definately good to hope for a stunt in the west of the country. Geoffrey Mornard from Verviers (BE) clocked his international winner at 16h39, good for an average speed of 1368m/min… Mornard basketted in the same club than Franssen, a club where there were many early arrivals: Mornard once again, Gerard Adam, Brisbois-Faniel… All being old pigeons, no yearlings yet… And around 16h57, Francis was lucky enough to see coming in his 'Origui' (BE13-1001811). This cock showed his great condition on the previous races from Châteauroux and Poitiers where he won the 9. national zone as first nominated from his team of 11 pigeons... It was the first yearling to be clocked on the national level, with an average speed of 1332 m/min… At the end of the day, he was beaten by a pigeon from Arnold Staveaux (Glons, BE) that had been clocked only 1 minute later. Francis ended at the second national place, just before a pigeon of Etienne Meirlaen. It was a good day but it was also a close call for a first national triumph…
The 5th of July, another extreme long distance race was heald for the yearlings with the race from St-Vincent. Francis basketted a team of 32 pigeons who had been released at 8h30 with good weather and a south wind. On the flying line, the wind was blowing from the south west, which meant it was good once again for his area. At 19h, there were no pigeons yet announced in Belgium... but at 19h03, Francis saw a pigeon coming in like a bullet. The pigeon would be soon christened as 'St-Vincent' (BE13-1001833), being a full brother from 'Origui', the pigeon that won the 2nd national one week before… This time, Francis didn't miss the national victory… he was the first to clock a pigeon in Belgium for a distance of 941 kilometer and nobody would beat him this time. His national winner achieved an average speed of 1486m/min. The podium was completed by Eddy & Nic Didden and Hemelaers father & son, respectively 2nd & 3rd national winner.
A golden breeding pair gave birth to the St Vincent and Origui…
Francis was lucky enough to find and pair two super pigeons together, the cock being a pigeon he bought at the total auction of the late Heinz Seegmuller, the German champion who died the 31th of December 2018 from a stroke. This man was appreciated by many people around and he was the record holder of the most international victories on the international races as he won 6 times an international victory on races such as Pau, Perpignan, Marseille, Dax, Narbonne hens and Biarritz. He also added to his name no less than 10 national victories. However, he never won his favourite race: Barcelona. But in 2007, he realised a stunt when he classified 5 from his 25 pigeons into the first 66th international. Heinz amazed also the pigeon world when he bought the Kleine Didi from the late Etienne Devos for 250.000 Deutsche Marks. This pigeon just won the title of 1. National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB with results such as ao. 1. National Dax, 2. National Perpignan, 47. National Brive, … At the time, he was considered as the best long distance pigeon ever. His descendants did also a fantastic job in the lofts of Grossteinhausen and in all parts of the world. The favourite pigeon from Heinz was the super 'Kunz' (2. National San Sebastian, 11. National Perpignan, 13. National Marseille…) and he was a grandson of 'Kleine Didi'… Only the best pigeons from the market were good enough for Heinz who always prefered to buy directly the crack pigeons instead of their children. During his career as a pigeon fancier, he bought famous pigeons such as 'L'Exceptionnel' (1. National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB), the 'Driebander' (3. National Brive, 6-13-31-50 National Narbonne…), the 'Wereldkampioen', the 'Spijker', etc… Many people were then very successful with pigeons they purchased at Seegmuller and it was also the case for Francis Franssen as the 'St-Vincent' and 'Origui' are 50% Seegmuller's pigeons.
Indeed, the father of these two pigeons, the DV07-07883-2189, was born out of a son from the 'Dax' (1. International Dax) when paired to a daughter of 'Poco Diego', 1. National & 3. International Barcelona from Jos Thoné, then crossed on a daughter of 'Ballack' (ap. 9. & 91. National Pau, 22. National Marseille, 36. National Perpignan, 44. National Dax, …). This one was no less than a grandson of the 'Kunz' (2. National San Sebastian, 11. National Perpignan, 13. National Marseille, …), himself a grandson of the 'Kleine Didi' from the late Etienne Devos. The apple never falls far from the tree...
The mother of the two cracks from Franssen is the BE10-1044336, being a direct daughter of the 'Super Orange' (BE06-1028455), a racing cock that booked super performances at the age of two years with ao. 5th national Orange and 370th national Souillac in 2008 and then 52th national Orange and 114th national Souillac in 2009. Francis had a plan to let him fly on the marathon races in 2010 and 2011 and the less we can say is that it was a very successful decision as he won the 24th national Perpignan in 2010. In 2011, he was entered for the first time on Barcelona and he won directly the 120. national against 12.170 pigeons (288. International 26.068 pigeons). Unfortunately, he never made it home from the same race in 2012… When he became father of the '436/10 hen, he was paired up with the 'Pau hen' (BE08-1004432) that won herself the 1. Provincial Pau in 2010. Later on, she would also become mother of the 5. International Bordeaux.
The 'Super Orange', grandfather of the two cracks from Franssen.
The St-Vincent & Origui quickly showed their worth in the breeding loft…
Francis understood right from the beginning that he had to make plans for the future with such pigeons. He then decided to get rid of his old base and to invest in new purchases. He started with some directs De Smeyter-Restiaen pigeons with ao. a daughter of the 'Cas', the pigeons from Luc Herbots with a half-brother of the 2nd national Barcelona 2011, the Meirlaen pigeons with a daughter of his 1st national Cahors, the Depasse-Lardenoye with a daughter of 'Big Bird' (9th Best Eropean pigeon on Barcelona 4 yeas), the Lefevre Frederic strain with the line of the 'New Laureaat' Batenburg-Van de Merwe, the pigeons from Caro Jean-Marc & Alain with the line of the 'Montauban', Thoné Jos with a half-sister of the 1st International Barcelona Vangenende and a daughter of 'Galax' (1st International Marseille), the brothers Desbuquois with a son and a half-brother of 'Maximus' (1st Best Belgian pigeon on Barcelona 2012-2013) and also the pigeons from the line of the 'New Ace' from Wilson Dekens via the PIPA Elite Center.
In fact, the 'St-Vincent' built himself a solid list of references since his entrance in the breeding loft:
He is for example grandfather of the following prices:
7.-16.-21. National Zone Libourne yl 2016 – 392 Pigeons 27.-128.-162. National Libourne yl 2016 – 3697 Pigeons
He is also double grandfather of 'Mister Brive' (BE17-1097092):
2. National Zone Brive yl – 404 Pigeons 3. National Zone Limoges yl – 542 Pigeons
But the Franssen pigeons also achieved great results in some other lofts. In fact, the 'St-Vincent' is also grandfather of the '213/16' for Guy & Michael Regnier (Presgaux, BE):
1. National Zone Limoges vieux – 1.433 Pigeons 1. Provincial / 17 IP Vierzon – 9.260 Pigeons 2. National Perpignan – 3.915 pigeons 16. International - 12.770 pigeons
'Origui' is at his turn grandfather of 'Miss Brive' (BE17-1097118):
1 Nat Zone Brive yl – 404 Pigeons ...
In 2018-2019, the grandchildren of the 'St-Vincent' and 'Origui' booked the following performances for Francis :
1.-2.-6.-9.-10.-12.-13. local Barcelona 2018 8.-11.-24. prov. Barcelona – 205 pigeons 2018 3.-6.-10.-17. local Barcelona 2019 8.-30.-82.-127. prov. Barcelona - 424 pigeons 155.-535.-1406. Nat. Barcelona – 7,301 pigeons 161.-426.-1189. Int. Barcelona hens – 5,104 pigeons 1.-2.-4.-5.-8.-11.-14.-16.-17.-18. prov. Brive YL - 155 pigeons 1.-2.-8.-12.-20.-24.-28.-32.-33.-34.-37.-39.-40. Nat. Zone Brive – 404 pigeons 2.-3.-13.-16.-23.-26.-33.-34.-35.-37. Brive YL - 392 pigeons 2.-6.-8.-19.-20.-21.-25.-27. prov. Limoges YL - 249 pigeons 3.-4.-5.-6.-7.-9.-10.-11.-12. Bourges YL - 136 pigeons 3.-7.-11.-23.-24.-25.-30.-31. Nat. Zone Limoges YL - 542 pigeons 9.-16.-23.-38.-39.-41.-50.-52. Limoges YL - 614 pigeons 26.-31.-43.-58.-80.-83.-87.-95.-etc. Chateauroux YL – 1,791 pigeons
Best performances of the Franssen pigeons in other lofts:
1. Nat. Zone Limoges 2018 Regnier G-M 2. Nat. Perpignan 2019 Regnier G-M 19. Nat. / 46. Int. Marseille 2018 Christian Bouhy 26. Nat. / 54. Int. Marseille 2019 Reynckens Raymond 32. Nat. Perpignan 2019 Depasse-Lardenoye 4. Provincial Ace Extrem Long Distance 2019 Reynckens Raymond
We wish Francis all the best for the racing season 2020…