Herbots Gebrs win first national Argenton old pigeons (2006)

Herbots Bros. J&R - Halle-Booienhoven
as well as the 20th, ...etc...
4th national Yearlings..etc...
Miet, Filip, Raf & Jo in front of the loft of the national winner.

While our Belgian athletes Kim Gevaert and Tia Hellebaut were winning gold in Göteborg a nearly similar thing happened in the empire of Herbots. Jo and Raf obtained the first national Argenton Old pigeons. Deno-Herbots in Leefdaal was hoping to win gold in the yearlings competition but eventually, they obtained bronze.
Their Dad, Filip, is doing the talking and he can speak about pigeons for hours, he’s a real pigeon encyclopaedia.
The speeds were observed for this Argenton race. The Herbots pigeon was the fastest with 1271 m/m, Steenbergen’s yearling in Herk-de Stad recorded 1270 m/m and the young pigeon of Charles André in Lobbes in the Walloon provinces of Belgium flew 1266 m/m.

The Herbots family has had some week… We are not at all surprised to see their recent performances: they have been dominating middle and long middle distance racing in Belgium for years now. Filip adds right away that Deno is doing just a little better in 2006 and he is one of the best if not the best middle distance racer of 2006. We have the opportunity to watch him play at the club in Wavre where he is simply blowing the competition away. He has already obtained 5 provincial victories. During the weekend of August 12, he also achieved Argenton and St Vincent. The competition is running for it.
An example: Toury, 832 old 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 18th, and 29 out of 41.
1184 Youngsters, 1st, 44th, ...etc...26 out of 62 and all this in a weekend with unfavourable wind.
Jos and caretaker Jan possess of their own breeders but they regularly trade with the Herbots breeding loft.

Argenton "THE" race of Herbots

The golden frame of Argenton
1st National 4096 Yearlings. Fastest pigeon in the game
1st National Old
4e, 6e, 11e National 3503 Yearlings
1st, 2e National Zone C
2e, 7e National Yearlings . Second fastest pigeon in the game
1st National 3733 Old pigeons. Fastest pigeon in the game

The national winner "Julian" and preparation

The national winner was named after the newborn son (August 1, 2006) of Caroline and Jo Herbots.
He’s a beautiful black cock who is not showing any signs of fatigue or exhaustion after the tough race of Argenton. Like all the other cocks he spent 4 hours with his hen before he was put into the basket. They also scattered straw on the floor of the lofts. But according to Filip, this wasn’t the sole motivation. He recently became boss over the floor which was noticed only after the pigeon returned, otherwise they would never have put him into the basket as 28th out of 31. “The hen is an important factor and counts for 20%. The territory however, counts for 80%”, so says Filip. They only studied the first 4 nominated with respect to the championships. The rest was basketed randomly. The same ritual took place with the hens about 2 hours before they were put into the basket. The entire team, except for the national winner who will be moved to the breeding loft, will fly the Bourges race in the week after Argenton. Fourteen days later, they will fly the national race of La Soutterraine. Some of the hens will probably also fly the Gueret race. The hens are raced on widowhood which means that the partners of the hens do not participate in competitions.

"Julian" 1st National Argenton 3733 Old pigeons

Pedigree = Click here
Picture father "Julian" : Click here

Palmares : Click here
"2267115/2005" 4th National Argenton 4093 Yearlings

Pedigree = Click here

Palmares : Click here

The lofts in the “Dungelstraat” are accommodating nice breeding material: no less than 28 ace pigeons are providing youngsters for the racing loft and of course also for the customers. An ace pigeon has to be qualified at least within the first 5 ace pigeons of the national championships KBDB to deserve a place in the breeding loft. If it isn’t, the pigeon simply carries on with its racing career. The breeding season starts around 4 or 6 December. Widowers as well as breeders raise 2 youngsters. By the end of March, the widowers are put together once more and are allowed to brood for three days. They ring about 200 youngsters for own use. If no disasters occur this amount is sufficient, if not, another 30 youngsters are bred. Previously, they did not breed during winter. They decided to start with a breeding programme during winter when master breeder Filip noticed that the pigeons that had bred at the end of the season kept little feathers instead of renewing all of their feathers. A problem that has now been solved.

The racing team consists of 61 widowers and 24 hens. The young pigeons are taken away to Gembloux (approximately 45 kilometres away) for three times in a week. The widowers and the hens go twice a week. Release of the latter is adapted to their training hours as much as possible. They don’t see their partner since this race is considered as a pure training race.
Filip would like to start racing long distance as well but there has to be a fundamental change before he can begin. Basketing also has to happen on Thursdays: thus, everything can happen all at once, they’ll have to disturb the pigeons less, it will normally be over by Saturday night and peace can return in the lofts.

The hens’ loft in which the 4th National Argenton yearlings is accommodated

General view of the lofts

Advice for modest fanciers
Try to restrict your colony to 15 widowers, 4 race pigeons and about 40 youngsters if you have to go to work every day. Specialize in speed, middle distance or long middle distance. You could also do long distance but the number of pigeons won’t be sufficient. Don’t concentrate too much on professional lofts. No less than 5 people are working at Herbots’ during the season. Miet and Mrs Jacqueline, Filip’s wife, are busy looking after the pigeons from 6:00 AM until approximately 8:30 AM. Their loyal caretaker Francois Jamaer takes over in the evening. Cois is a very good middle distance racer as well, there’s a 1st semi-national Argenton and a 1st national Limoges on his list of achievements.

The brilliant results of the Herbots loft could fill entire volumes. In order to avoid that we repeat ourselves, we’ll keep to the week that preceded Argenton
6 Aug Isoudin 1392 Youngsters 1st, 2nd, 7th, 12th, 24th, 28th, 38th, 45th, 51st, 60th, 80th, 85th, 98th, 102nd, 105th, 108th, 110th, 128th, 18 per ten and 23 out of 51 pigeons per 4.
1663 Old 9th, 10th, 14th, 16th, 31st, (‘Julian’) 36th, 67th, 93rd, 76th, 81st, 105th, 127th, 141st, 167th, 14 per 10 and 22 per 4.
1178 Yearlings 4th, 8th, 9th, 14th, 15th, 22nd, 26th, 36th, 37th, 52nd, 56th, 60th, 68th, (4th nat Argenton) 72nd, 83rd, 87th, 92nd, 18 per 10 and 21 out of 27 per 4.

Future of pigeon sport in Belgium
In spite of all the negative messages Filip believes that pigeon sport has a bright future.
He is convinced that there will always be about 30 tot 35000 fanciers. Every year, part of them pulls out but luckily there are new subscriptions as well. Team racing seems to be the solution. Filip believes that it must be possible to carry on for a long time by making clear agreements right from the start. Most of the troubles start when a national prize is obtained or when they possess an ace pigeon. To sell or not to sell? When things go wrong, money is very often involved.

The Van Marsenille Bros. visit the breeding lofts of the Herbots Bros.