With Ronny and Stijn Decoster from Roksem… a West-Flemish municipality of Oudenburg, located in the triangle Gistel-Oudenburg-Jabbeke at a stone’s throw away from our coast… it has once again been demonstrated how ‘nice’ our sport can be. As a dare amongst friends, they entered 4 yearlings for a national competition for the first time in their lives, the national top classic for yearlings from Limoges no less… without any real ambition, but more to test the horizon, to see where the possibilities lay for their pigeons… call it testing the ‘borders’ of ‘possibility’! And look… 3 days later they are proudly standing on the highest podium as national number 1… something which they didn’t even dare dream of in Roksem!
Despite the poor weather forecasts, the terrible weather which was predicted… a piece of autumn in the middle of summer… the organisers of the Belgische Verstandhouding- Entente Belge still had 14.673 yearlings at the start. And it could have been even more, because you heard the same story everywhere… many had kept a few pigeons (their ‘best’?) back, left them home because of the bad weather forecasts! Plenty of rain had been predicted for Saturday… although luckily this rain zone was later than the first forecast for the weekend, from last Wednesday and Thursday. Later everything changed to nice clear periods in the morning above France, and fluctuating clouds above our land, from which a drop of rain could fall at the end of the afternoon, but the real ‘waterfall’ was predicted at 15-16h on the coast, spreading over the rest of the country… which turned out to be right. Seeing as how the middle and east of our country could enjoy more favourable weather the longest, and seeing as how the wind blew strongly from the south-west, the national early pigeons were expected to land here first… and yet it turned out differently! The first storms made their appearance quite early from the west. At 9h to 9h30 the first rain fell in the region between Poitiers and Tours- Le Mans. Maybe the pigeons form the west had to deal with more clouds and storms, but they also made use of the strong wind (sometimes up to 70 Km per hour) ahead of the rain storms… as a result of which they could develop a higher speed that the pigeons from the east! This seems the most logical explanation… although the pigeons can’t tell us, which is more the pity!
The fact is that the fastest pigeon landed at the trap of Ronny & Stijn Decoster in Roksem, a record speed of no less than 1830,42 m/min… clocked at exactly 12h 16’ 17” from a distance of 606,388 Km. Speeds from the Limoges pigeons of almost 110km per hour which would ‘overheat’ many a speed camera on the way home! In places 2 and 3 national we see the brothers Freddy & Jacques Vandenheede from Zingem (1823,73 and 1822,98 m/min), just ahead of close neighbour and sport friend David Vermassen from Gavere (1822,07 m) in 4th place, whilst Andre Vaernewijck (with 1818,68 m) completed the national ‘top 5’!
First shot, direct hit!
As stated earlier, Ronny & Stijn Decoster participated in a ntional race for the first time, and had a direct hit! It was Bulls-eye with the first shot! They achieved 2 prizes from their 4 pigeons in the order of 4th and 3rd nominated (clocked at 12h57), in the club in Gistel-Zarren this gave in the doubling:
Limoges 507 yl: 1-59 (2/4) National 14.673 yl: 1… (here also certainly 2/4).
The Decoster family has enjoyed name and fame in the sprint and middle distance for years… their field of action was limited to maximal the provincial races from Tours, but was mainly races so as Arras, Clermont, Ablis. In Roksem only the ‘prizes’ won really count… lineage of a pigeon is noted down, but pedigrees are not for them. They built up their colony with pigeons from their now deceased father-in-law, and grandfather Georges Deceuninck from Jabbeke, supplemented with a few pigeons from sport friends out the area. Reviewing the couplings and ring numbers showed that their national winner is also built up for more than 75% out the sort from Georges Deceuninck. He didn’t actually have a name, but it didn’t take Ronny and Stijn long to find a name for their winner… as they promptly christened him as their ‘Georges’, in honour of their late father-in-law and grandfather to whom they have so much to thank. His lineage:
Father: The ‘Asduif’ B01-3204345
Comes directly from Georges Deceuninck, where he was ‘Ace bird’ in 2002 in the sprint in the club in Aartrijke!
Mother: ‘411-Duivin’ B09-3061411
Hen out a crossing Georges Deceuninck x A.Delaeter.
The ‘Georges’ B10-3068538 was a more than gifted prize racer, but without real highlights. As a youngster he won 9 prizes (2 x Arras and 7 x Clermont), in the first instance he was to take on the ‘grand middle distance’ this year, and after resting for 3 weeks he was basketted for Limoges… resulting in national victory!
Won in 2011:
Ablis 469 p. 60 Orleans 440 p. 138 Tours 421 p. 56 Limoges Nat 14.673 p. 1
As pure sprint and middle distance racers, Ronny & Stijn don’t have a large colony. With 16 breeding couples and 14 racing cocks (in classic widowhood), there are no more than 60 to 70 pigeons on the loft list in the winter! More is not necessary says Ronny, who has been in early retirement for a year, and so is responsible for most of the care… Stijn, who works in ‘building’, helps where necessary after his work. Both racers and breeders were coupled for winter breed… the racing pigeons raised youngsters, but were separated on time, before their hen could produce eggs again. They came together again at the beginning of April for 3 days, after which they were separated again, and could start widowhood! The pigeons in Roksem are given a lot of tea to drink to assist the health. The medical picture is in the hands of vet Wim Boddaert. For the rest it is pigeon sport without frills… good food, good training… with the intensity of the training as barometer for the form curve… and if the condition is okay, then top performances have to be achieved, so simple is it.
An instant party
Son Stijn was on the first day of his holiday, so the festivities could begin… with national victory from Limoges! Who knows, have son Stijn and father Ronny now got the taste for the ‘national long distance game’, because they were allowed to taste national victory…by their very first participation! It couldn’t be better! Congratulations!