Vanoppen-Luyten Combination (Herk-de-Stad, BE) victorious in provincial race from Gien two weeks in a row

Patrick Vanoppen (52) and Carlo Luyten (54) have been racing as a combination in Herk-de-Stad since 2009. Their double provincial first prize from Gien shows that they have a strong group of breeders at their disposal.

Carlo Luyten (left) and Patrick Vanoppen (right) are on the same page

Here are the results of the provincial race from Gien on 23rd of June:

  • against 3,006 YLs: 1-4-6-31-76-82-113-140-200-203-205-281-454-490-510-661-696-748 (20/34) with 3 x 1/100, 12 x 1/10;
  • against 1,811 olds: 2-35-53-81-83-114-140-160-209-298-426 (12/13) with 1 x 1/100, 8 x 1/10.

The winning hen in the yearlings' race is Jennie (BE17-5127402). She did another race from Gien the week before, from which she recovered well. She did just two flights from Momignies in October as a young bird. Click here for Jennie's pedigree.

Nina is the grandmother of Jennie, the provincial winner from Gien

The other prize winners in Gien have an excellent pedigree as well. Krisje is for instance the dam of a 2nd Provincial old birds: BE16-2177378.

Krisje is the grandmother of 2nd provincial New Krisje

A group of 4,162 yearlings and 2,380 old birds were basketed for the provincial race from Gien on 16th of June in Limburg, and Patrick and Carlo had sent in no less than 74 one year olds. "Still, we did not dominate the provincial race, with 27 prizes per 10", Patrick points out. He explains: "Among our 74 yearlings there were 34 late hens that were not raced in their year of birth (2017), and which only competed in the sprint races from Momignies (twice) and Laon (once). In addition, we had 27 racing cocks that went from Soisson (210km) straight to Gien (404km). The remaining 13 pigeons, all hens, had done the whole calendar up until Gien. Racing hen Gina (BE17-5000206) took the first prize of 4,162 yearlings and she was the fastest overall. She was born in April 2017 and she only did two flights from Momigies in her year of birth. This is her palmares so far: Soissons 39/466; Melun 122/457; Blois 362/2.953; Gien 8/292 fed, 54/3049 prov. and finally Gien 1/6,542 fastest provincial.”

Gina (BE17-5000206) was the fastest of 6,542 birs in Gien

You can tell from her pedigree that Gina has some excellent origins. Her sire is Blauwe Kannibaal 08 (also the sire of a 4th and 5th national ace pigeon shorter middle distance), and her dam is a daughter of Kleine Kannibaal (one of the stock breeders of Vanoppen-Luyten). Click here for the pedigree of Gina, the winner from Gien (BE17-5000206.

The provincial winner is a half sister of such renowned birds as Pilona, Daniela and Trelouke. Pilona (BE15-2168202) won 3 national top 40 prizes, and she was 9th Nat. Ace Pigeon PIPA ranking Bourges 2016-2017, thanks to an 11th Nat. Bourges 8,348 pigeons in 2017 and a 38th Nat. Bourges 10,173 pigeons in 2016. She also claimed a 39th Nat. Argenton 4,582 p. in 2016. Pilona is a late youngster of 2015 that was raced only in 2016 and 2017. And she is also a full sister of Daniela and Trelouke. Click here for the pedigree of Pilona (BE15-2168202).

Trelouke (BE14-2327957) has several top results on her palmares: a 1st Trelou 292 p., a 54th Nat. Bourges 7,479 p. and a 191st Nat. Argenton 13,730 p. As is the case with her sisters Pilona and Daniela, Trelouke too is related to the bloodlines of Geerinckx, Kannibaal, and Pinocchio Houben. Click here for the pedigree of Trelouke (BE-14-23279577).

Daniela (BE15-2168028) won a 1st Interprov. Argenton 1,483 p. and 10th Nat. Argenton 4,582 p., as well as an 18th Prov. Sezanne 2,956 p. and 47th Nat. Bourges 10,173 p. Daniela is a late youngster of 2015 that was raced only in 2016 and 2017. Her pedigree features the lines of Geerinckx, Kannibaal, and Pinocchio Houben. Click here for the pedigree of Daniella (BE15-21680288).

Hens and cocks

The Vanoppen-Luyten combination used to be renowned for its racing hens. Patrick: "We are now racing cocks as well but they are not raced in total widowhood. We always have a few pigeons that stay home, although there are no fixed pairs. One of our biggest strengths is our natural motivation. If the racing birds train less than an hour, I will lower my expectations. Is racing in a combination more difficult? Well, we complement each other really well and we are always on the same page. We invest a lot of time in caretaking. I have to work during the day but I get a lot done in the loft every evening. I look after the entire breeding team. The lofts are thoroughly cleaned every 14 days, and that includes the gratings. The youngsters are trained for the first time in July, provided they are in good form and if the weather allows. A slight headwind and white clouds against a blue sky would be perfect. Our main objective is the yearlings' and old birds' competition."

The pigeons spend day and night in their aviaries, which are covered with a windscreen at night


"Our friend Eddy Noel is an expert in pigeons in general and pigeon feed in particular", Carlo explains. "He created and developed three different mixtures: a light, an energy rich and a racing mixture. There is a big difference between the three mixtures, and we use it depending on the type of race, their performance and our expectations for the upcoming races. The mixtures are purchased together with some other renowned fanciers", Patrick Vanoppen says.

Vanoppen-Luyten are fond of animals

Patrick and Carlo have a strong opinion about how pigeon racing is evolving: "We have a biological approach and we rarely use medicines. We use effective microorganisms (MEs) and monoglycerides (for instance Wonderpigeon or SB-special). This enhances gut health, which results in very high immunity, and this all but eliminates the use of medication. As far as the KBDB goes, we think the new board of management is on the right rack. We really appreciate the people that decicate their time to pigeon racing behind the scenes. I hope most people have understood by now that the new provincial chairman (im Kempeneers, Ed.) is really investing a lot of time and energy. It must be quite a task to release pigeons responsibly in the ever-changing weather conditions, caused by the climate change. A big thank you to him for spending so much time on this."