Meirlaen Etienne - Deurle (BE) 1° National Ace pigeon ‘Grand Distance’ KBDB 2009! 1° International Perpignan 3.841 hens

The winter period is an ideal opportunity to look back over the previous sport season, or to look forward to the forthcoming sport season, that is now rapidly approaching.

  When we look at the events which have taken place in the national long distance and international ‘grand distance races’… there was one thing that stood out in the ‘national top-100’ in all these national and international races… namely the ‘large number of pigeons’ that a certain Etienne Meirlaen managed to rank as national ‘top pigeons’! In nearly all the races this Etienne Meirlaen could be found with one or more top pigeons… and was more or less the only fancier in the whole of Belgium who was successful in this! A logical conclusion to all this is… that there in the lofts in Deurle – St.Martens-Latem there must be a luxury of class pigeons, of top racers. No wonder that such a man managed to achieve 1° National Ace pigeon ‘Grand Distance’ KBDB for 2 years in a row.

In 2008 Etienne Meirlaen was already the glutton with respectively the 1° and 3° National Ace pigeon ‘grand distance’ KBDB with his ‘Cor’ and the ‘Asduivin’. It was the same Etienne Meirlaen who now…  for the 2nd year in a row…  has managed to win this much sought after title of 1° Nat Ace pigeon ‘grand distance’ KBDB, this time with his ‘Lady Perpignan’… who excelled from Marseille and Perpignan. Definitely not easy in these modern times, where the competition on all level scan be ‘cut with a knife’… and record coefficients have to be achieved to be able to make a claim to one or more ‘national titles’ or ‘national Ace pigeons’! The ever fragile pigeon sport!  In addition to these ‘Ace pigeon titles KBDB’, Etienne was also allowed to climb the highest podium in several other prominent and much sought after championships (see list underneath)… and, championships are always the perfect reflection of the performances achieved over an entire season! That the colony Etienne Meirlaen belonged to the most laureate colonies of the land in 2009 was more than clear in the  number of championships that he added to his name in 2009!

‘Lady Perpignan’ winner 1° Nat Ace pigeon ‘Grand Distance’ KBDB ’09!
This "Lady Perpignan" B05-4344670, is a full sister of the "Marathon Lady 386/04", who in 2005, as a yearling hen, was also one of the best pigeons of our land in the international races, and managed to win the ‘Great Marathon prize KBDB East-Fl’… in the races from St.Vincent and Perpignan she even had a smaller coefficient than the 1° Nat Ace pigeon ‘Grand distance’ 2005 of that year!... This ‘Lady Perpignan’ was then a good match for her sister and was allowed to stand on the highest podium in Oostende as 1° National Ace pigeon ‘Grand distance’ KBDB 2009! The top performances from her honours list:
Perpignan    Club        155 p.    1
                  Prov       703 p.        1
                  Nat    5.547 p.    7
                  I.Nat    15.087 p.    15
                  I.Nat Hens    3.131 p.    2

Barcelona    Prov    2.036 p.    152
                  Nat    11.484 p.    634
                  I.Nat    23.708 p.    1673
                  I.Nat Hens    6.520 p.    478
Pau             Club        161 p.    15
                  Nat    2.036 p.    106    (and 31° Intnat Hens)
                  I.Nat    7.608 p.    324
Marseille     Club          67 p.    1
                  Prov        439 p.    2
                  Nat    3.586 p.    6     (0.167%)
Perpignan    Club        158 p.    1
                  Nat    7.478 p.    6     ( 0.080%)
                  I.Nat    18.354 p.    7
                  I.Nat    3.841 hens    1
This ‘international winner Perpignan hens’ managed with a total coefficient of 0,247% to win the title of 1° National Ace pigeon ‘Grand distance’ KBDB 2009. With which Etienne once again wiped all the existing records from the table. Last year Etienne also won the 1° Nat Ace pigeon ‘Grand distance’ KBDB 2008 with his ‘Cor’, with the up until then sharpest coefficient ever of 0.257%... an own record which he has once again shattered with his ‘Perpignan Lady’. Also the fact that one and the same fancier has managed to win this National Ace pigeon ‘Grand distance’ for 2 years in a row is possibly unique in the annals of our Belgian pigeon sport history… achievements that are starting to look like they belong in the ‘Guinness Book of Records’!
This ‘Lady Perpignan’ first showed her enormous class in 2007 when she won 1° provincial and 2° Internat hens from Perpignan. This year she had already won top from Pau, to then go to Marseille with ‘cracked eggs’. When she returned home she was given a 5 day old youngster, and 10 days later she was basketted for Perpignan with a 2 week old youngster… and each time she achieved a top performance, and ended in 6° place nationally in the general result, good enough for the 1° prize International Perpignan by the hens!
She comes from a real top line from which there have already been a heap of 1° prize winners and superior crack pigeons bred. So is she a full sister of the ‘Marathonlady’ (see above), who after her exploits as a racing hen has now grown to be a ‘golden breeding mother’ (generally coupled with the ‘Gouden Vleugel’)… so is she amongst other things, mother of the 57° Nat Tarbes 2009 and of the 73° Nat Libourne YL in 2009! A half-sister 134/03 (out the same ’Mother Marathonlady ‘ 851/01) is then in turn mother of that other super crack in the  Meirlaen lofts, namely the ‘Starlight’, who won:

STARLIGHT B06-4288140
08 Montauban    Reg    Club         182 p.      1
                          Prov     1.033 p.      2
                          Nat     5.434 p.      21
’08 Tarbes        Reg        177 p.      1
                        Prov         838 p.      1
                        Nat      4.660 p.      2
                        Intnat   12.537 p.       2
’09 Montauban   Club         248 p.     1
                         Prov      1.368 p.     3
                         Nat      7.203 p.     9
This ‘Starlight’ returned from Tarbes with a shotgun wounds… and Etienne feared for the life of this super pigeon! Luckily all the wounds have healed… yet Etienne wisely decided to put this wonder boy in the breeding loft. Just because everything looks okay on the outside, doesn’t mean to say that there can’t be internal injuries left over from these shotgun wounds… which could influence his further racing career, or in the worst case scenario mean that he wouldn’t return home… that’s why Etienne is not taking any risks with this ‘Starlight’
No wonder that the Meirlaen colony performs so well with such an enormous potential of top racers and ditto  –breeders in the lofts! To go into more detail one for one would be too much…
The new ‘upcoming celebrity’ is without doubt the 2 year old crack pigeon “T’Fenomeen” who in 2009 had already shown his trump cards. He is a crossing product of those other 2 top lines in the Meirlaen lofts, those of the ‘Marseille’ x den ‘Toye’ (out the ‘Invincible Montauban’, winner 1° Nat Montauban by M.Casaert)… a magnificent breeding line! In the races with real ‘pigeon weather’, say with a speed between the 1.000 and 1.200 metres… it is almost impossible to race against these pigeons. The ‘Marseille’ also won self 1° prize Marseille 3 years in a row (the 3° edition replaced with Carcassonne due to bird flu). The father of ’T Fenomeen is the top breeder  ‘Brother Marseille 612/05’… mother is the ‘Zwart Toye 025/06’ (daughter of the top breeder for the light long distance races: ‘Den Toye 644/00’). See here the performances of this new ‘long distance crack’:

-’T FENOMEEN B07-4278339
’09 Brive     Club       551 p.        1
                  Prov    3.077 p.    4
                  Nat    17.446 p.    10
’09 Cahors  Club       290 p.        1
                  Prov    1.246 p.    2
                  Nat    7.347 p.    9

’08 Limoges    Club       801 p.        2
’09 Bourges    Zone A    7.823 p.    26
’09 Limoges    Nat    27.506 p.    26

’09 Bourges    Nat    16.771 p.    91
It is clear that a family of ‘new top pigeons’ has arisen, which is certainly intending to release their devils in the coming 2010 sport season. The competition is holding its ‘breath’…
Outstanding in 2009
When we went to visit Etienne Meirlaen for a loft report a few years ago after the re-start in 2000… we directly realized that this was a loft unfolding into a colony of class pigeons. Not that we have prophetic powers, but you could just feel it… that in the near future this man had to be taken into account… that here a budding ‘new topper’ was busy. We are barely 5 or 6 sport seasons further and we can safely say that this Etienne Meirlaen has now grown to be a real ‘topper’, possibly our ‘national NR 1’ at the moment… in short,  about the greatest that Belgium has in both the ‘long distance’, as the ‘grand distance’…
Anybody who closely follows the national races can only come to the same conclusion… the results of the  ‘entire national racing calendar 2009’ proved this in both disciplines! No… not 2 or 3 best results, so as is the case by many lofts in certain reports… but the ‘entire national and international long distance calendar’, from ALL races! Whoever is of the opinion that they can equal this, let alone ‘better’ it… can always call us, write or send an ‘email’. We can tell you now… the chance that our ‘post clerk’ will have to work overtime, that our mailbox will be ‘full’,  or that our telephone will be ‘red hot’… is quasi nil and non-existent, and has as much of a chance as that our ‘rode duivels’ will win the World Cup… or that Tom Boonen will ever win the ‘Tour de France’! It is more or less impossible to race against this Etienne Meirlaen at the moment, his ‘dominance’ speaks volumes… some writers even dare to write about pigeon sport from ‘another planet’! For those of you who think that we are just writing ‘empty words ’… or to convince the last critics … look and see for yourself… because here they are … The naked figures from 2009!

Club             551 p.    1,3,24,27,28,42,68,72,94,104,116,174 (14)
Prov            3.077 p.    4,11… etc.
Nat            17.446 p.    10,45,311,335,337,656,1096,1269,1595… and 12/14.

Lok            126 p.    8,10 (4p)

Club                290 p.    1,5,17,20,22,37,83 (7/9 per 3)
Prov          1.246 p.    2,9… etc.
Nat          7.347 p.    9,20, 203,247,278,441,952 (9)
Club        248 p.    1,12,14,15,56,64,65,66 (14)
Nat    7.203 p.    9,131,148,154… (7/14)

Nat       1.984 p.    106,159,319 (5)
I.Nat    7.608 p.    324,511,1260,1829 (5)

Club         67 p.        4,6,7,8,13,16,23 (16)
Nat    5.242 p.    106,123,155… (3 within the top 200 national)

Nat    8.935 p.    38… and 10/18

Club       307 p.        3,4,6,8,14,23,25,29,32,37,42,47,49,61,65,67,70,73,82,88,93,100,102 (37)
Nat    13.503 p.    149,211,350,365,578… etc.

Club        247 YL    2,4,5,8,15,17,19,20,21,22,40,42,46,49,53,54,59,68,70,76,83 (34)
Nat     9.442 YL    31,111,118,238,344,421,438,470,479… (already 9 in the top 500 Nat, and 22/34).
I.Nat  11.030 YL    32,119,126,262,382,467,488,523,534,580,1028,1061… (21/34)

Limoges (4 July)
Club        620 old birds    3,15,18,33,46,59,64,74,75,91,130,167,168,190 (19)
Nat    11.869 old birds    42,165,192,392,512,720,795,923,932 (9 in the top 1000 Nat and 14/19)
Club Derby        421 Two y    8,38,42,49,61,87,113,131 (10)
Nat Derby    6.138 Two y    102,424,468,537… (4 pigeons in the top 600 Nat from 10 p.)

Club       157 p.        2,5,6,7,13,14,15,20,23,44,45 (14)
Nat     4.822 p.    57,88,93,96,215,291,360,445,498,920,955 (14)

Limoges Yearlings
Club       802 p.        9,35,45,49,54,55,74,102,122,174,180,188,266 (13 op 18)
Nat    16.893 p.    250,846,951,1096,1192,1194,1530,1990,2359,2988,3150,3349 (18)

Club          67 p.    1,9,18 (5)
Nat    3.586 p.    6,543,779 (5)

Club        384 p.    2,7,8,40,48,49,52,56,84 (13)
Nat    7.597 p.    18,113,126,557,671,683,723,739,1058 (13)

Libourne YL
Club        270 YL 2,4,11,15,19,26,27,29,36,37,41,42,44,45,46,50,53,54,64,70,72,73,82,86 (37)
Nat    8.723 YL 25,73,215,275,331,451,458,478,571,642,779,789,817,823,828,899,912,932,1160,1261,1318,1342,1542,1613,2097 (25/37)

Club       196 p.        1,13,16,20,32,38 (12)
Nat    7.156 p.    8,209,235,335,483,597,1787 (12)
I.Nat    14.505 p.    9,259,292,431,666,831,2740 (12)

Club       158 p.        1,8,9,15,20,25,29,31,39,40,41,42,43,45,46,49,50 (17 op 26)
Nat    7.478 p.    6,206,208,573,735,852,1040,1126,1372,1380,1537,1539,1559,1613,1620… 16 of the 26 pigeons home in the evening)
I.Nat    18.354 p.    7,357,359,995,1306,1507,1823,1953… and 16/26
I.Nat Hens    3.841Hens    1,210,240,290,306,359,363,411,412,416,433,783

Club       230 p.        15,24,49,64 (8)
Nat    5.676 p.    94,166(2°nom),397,577(1°nom),1037,1204  (8)

Just phenomenal how this Etienne Meirlaen has ploughed through this sport season 2009… as a rolling mill! Performances which firstly result from the thoughtful purchases made for the restart in 2000 … and secondly, the extremely strict selection method that Etienne has kept to from the outset. He was started with a round of the youngsters from Van Damme-Boddaert, the late Antoine Van Hove etc…, and a few pigeons from the ‘old sort’ which were bought from sport friends… pigeons for which quite a bit of money changed hands, but that initially were not used as breeding material … but firstly had to race, to prove what they were capable of in the races. So that he immediately had an insight into the quality of the acquired pigeons… and he could couple the best pigeons with each other  (read: good x good), and only after the first breeding results had been tested in the races…were the very first pigeons placed in the ‘breeding loft’ for good! And the selection… was brutal … we vividly remember when in his begin years, Etienne entered a team of yearlings for  Narbonne and Perpignan (later St.Vincent)… to test his trainee ‘extreme long distance racers’ and ‘Barcelona pigeons’. Any that didn’t race per 10 AND return home ‘fresh’… were put into the aviary the following day, with destination … ‘mothers kitchen’! No mercy! When this method of ruthless selection continues to be applied for a few years in a row… it is no surprise that there out a team of real ‘class pigeons’ arises that nowadays dominate the international ‘grand distance races’… and where out then the  1° + 3° Nat Ace pigeon 2008 and the 1° Nat Ace pigeon ‘Grand Distance’ KBDB 2009 have been created! Remember that many (read: the most) sport friends amongst us, in such a way of action.. would  immediately… have no pigeons left! It is the merit of the entire Meirlaen-team that they have, via this brutal and ruthless manner of action, climbed to such top performances! It is easier said than done … try to copy it!
More targeted purchases followed, wherefrom a few with direct success in breeding! Even if the gun has changed shoulder in recent times. Where Etienne originally made ‘Barcelona’ the main objective, and for which he usually only entered his best pigeons… for the last 2 seasons the team has been divided, so that he has experienced ‘routiners’ and top racers available to strive weekly for top performances in ‘all’ national races… the ‘routiners’ that are supplemented weekly with upcoming talent of 2 and 3 year olds! In contrast to the past then, when the ‘routiners’ went to Barcelona and/or Perpignan, and the other races had to make do with the younger generation of long distance racers… pigeons that can often achieve the ‘fine top national, but can also miss terribly… long distance racers know this better than anybody!

A strategy that has served him well… but was the motivation for the ‘success story’ that was noted down today the day anno 2009! Whoever can put such miraculous racers and ‘super cracks’ as the ‘Gouden Vleugel’, the ‘Marathonlady’, the ‘Cor’, the ‘Asduivin’, the ‘Perpignan Lady’, the ‘Marseille’, the ‘Luka’, the ‘Starlight’… in the breeding loft year after year, without affecting the performances… has to have a hell of a strong loft full of breeding and racing pigeons! Without doubt one of the best, if not the best loft of long distance and extreme long distance pigeons from the West-European hemisphere at the moment! 1° National Ace pigeon ‘Grand distance’ KBDB 2 years in a row doesn’t just happen… It proves the exceptional ‘class’ and ‘top quality’!
Our congratulations to Etienne, wife Yvette, and carer ‘Aline’!

The ‘title wins’ from 2009
To avoid extensiveness we have limited ourselves to the championships in which a 1° or 2° place was achieved, in other words ‘gold’ or ‘silver’…

1° Nat. Ace pigeon KBDB 2009
1° Intnat Ace pigeon Extreme Long Distance (over 2 races)
1°General National Champion IFC 4000
1° Prov Ace pigeon ‘Grand distance prize’ KBDB East-Fl.
1° Champion ‘Grand distance’ Cureghem Centre
1° Champion Old birds + Yearlings FVOV Provincial
1° Jan Breydel Marathon
1° Masters Award ‘Grand distance’ (Versele Laga)
1° European cup (1° Belgian)
1° Grand Slam ‘Champions League’ Yearlings
1° Internat. Championship 2009 – 10 nominated IFC 4000
1° Marathon Yearlings ‘Fondclub Eeklo’
2° Grand Slam Steeple
2° Grand Slam Decathlon
2° Bony Club Fond NL
2° Intnat Ace pigeon IFC 4000 (over 3 races)
2° Nat. Ace pigeon IFC 4000 (over 4 races)
2° Nat. Champion with 1°+2° nominated 2009 IFC 4000
2° Long Distance champion ‘Fondclub Eeklo’
2° Marathon champion ‘Fondclub Eeklo’