You need results from the grand distance, extreme middle distance, with yearlings and with youngsters. Raf and his son Lars possess all this. They know how to beat the best in the land. The complete result looks like this:
1. Raf and Lars Luyckx(Geel) 26,70%
2. Raoul and Xavier Verstraete (Oostakker) 35,46%
3. Schoors -de Waele (Adegem-Maldegem) 41,41%
And as reserve a.o. Marc de Cock, Provost-Spiers, Luc van Hoecke, Peter Bours, Marc and Franky Vandewalle, Norbert Ally, Jos Thone, Schreel R-D-D, Jos Joosen. Some very notable names, even world toppers, included in this list!
Raf and Lars were able to submit the following results with their 1st nominated pigeon (11/11):
Barcelona national 300th
Tarbes national 26th
Orange national 226th
Limoges 159th zone
Souillac 224th national
Argenton I 346th national
Bourges 2993rd national
Gueret 7th national
I will go into more detail over these pigeons later. However, these are not the only achievements of this father and son combination. In the Mol Long Distance club they won almost every championship (1st Super champion, 1st General champion extreme middle distance and 1st General champion grand distance) but also 1st and 2nd Ace pigeon in the Zuiderkempen (South Campine). In the list of Ace pigeons Grand Distance KBDB 2009 he was classified twice in place 24 and place 30. The 24th place was achieved by possibly his best hen in the grand distance, but each time she was nominated 2nd and did not count for the championships. Yet from Barcelona and Perpignan she was their first pigeon! ‘Miss Perpignan’ will be described at the end of this report.
This General championship is a marvellous performance in which the entire team (Raf, son Lars and wife Mieke) augmented with the weekly faithful supporters and veterinary surgeon Fernand Mariën, merit. Fernand Mariën also definitely played his part and I don’t mean just mean medically, but certainly with his pigeon knowledge!
The stock building to this peak
Raf came into contact with the pigeon sport via his uncle, Frans Giles. Raf helped with these pigeons for many years and regularly took a gamble with the Sprint races. In 1986 he managed to convince Staf Boonen to completely switch over to the pigeons from Raf and to race the extreme middle distance races. Miracle man Raf supported this fancier in word and deed and achieved top performances and 2nd champion of Belgium KBDB youngsters 1987. In 1988 Raf started building his own house and the first pigeon lofts were added a year later. In 1990 a start was made under the name Mieke Matheve, Raf’s wife. A few years later the name was changed to Luyckx-Matheve, and it was finally changed to Raf and Lars Luyckx. Lars is the now 22 year old son who helps when necessary. Lars works in education (mathematics teacher). Raf has always taught in the Urban Junior school Burgstraat and was my colleague for many years. In his final 6-7 years he was director, but he is now retired. But there is little rest. The pigeons have become a full-time activity.
In the early years the best pigeons came from Fernand Mariën from Tielen, Ludo Dams from Geel and Lanslots-Dockx from Merksplas. Raf bought several good pigeons from these last middle distance fanciers. In the winter of 1995 Raf bought a voucher from Lanslots-Dockx in an auction. Raf visited and was allowed to choose from 100 youngsters. Was he lucky or did he really know more than everyone else? It was a super pigeon. In the second competition that this pigeon raced he won first prize against 2100 youngsters. It was from Quievrain (120 km). The following week he had to go to Noyon (225 km) and didn’t even make the results. That’s why Raf pulled him back to Quievrain and he just couldn’t be beat. ‘The Red Ridder’, so as this pigeon was later named, became stock pigeon of the Qieuvrain-sort. The pigeons that were later obtained from Lanslots-Dockx performed well in the middle distance. Lancelot 604/97, a direct Lanslots-Dockx, raced as a yearling Quievrain 606p-20, Noyon 420p-64, Noyon 274p-25, Toury 1399p-76, Toury 1178p-10, Sens 1428p-8, Sens 1378p-50, Sens 919p-13, Toury 964p-31, Toury 671p-8, Orleans 685p-225, Sens 678p-3 and Marne 616p-11. Unfortunately this cock was later lost.
In 1996 Raf bought another voucher from Lanslots-Dockx and once again it was bull’s eye. Another super pigeon. Raf then decided to buy 10 youngsters from these fanciers. Later pigeons regularly came to Geel from this duo. Another sort that does very well in this loft comes from Ludo Dams (Dams-Verwimp) from Geel. At the end of 1995 the pigeons from Ludo Dams were sold publicly. 12 pigeons were not sold because nobody thought they were good enough to spend money on. These 12 pigeons remained by Ludo Dams and because Ludo and Raf had been friends for so many years, Ludo suggested in 1996 coming and taking some youngsters from these ‘cast outs’. 10 youngsters moved to the Luyckx loft. These included a super hen who as a youngster was 2nd Ace pigeon Zuiderkempen and as a yearling 1st Ace pigeon in that same large district. She then became a super breeding hen.
Raf believes that standing still is going backwards. A few years ago he searched for pigeons that would do well in the grand distance. We left together to visit the long distance celebrity Noël Peiren and found what Raf was looking for. Raf obtained a super in the Grand Distance: ‘Miss Perpignan’. Joint breeding also occurred with Marc Vlaminck from Ramsel. His ‘Mont Ventoux’ was coupled with the Olympiad hen from Raf. They directly delivered 1st Ace pigeon grand middle distance in the Mol Long Distance club with more than 150 members. A few pigeons were also bought from Dirk Stessens (Mol). Dirk bought the entire loft Aloïs Verstappen-Van Reet and so has quite a lot of this earlier Mol gold in his loft. They form a solid basis for the longer work. Other good pigeons came from Ivo Renders from Geel. A man who performed magnificently with pigeons of own pedigree in crossing with pigeons Raf and Lars Luyckx. Raf also learned his future system of shutting the hens in the ‘cupboard’ from this man.
The best basis of this loft is formed by ‘Couple 2’, so as Raf always call them. ‘Couple 2’ has as cock ‘DODE (DEAD)
This cock has always raced middle distance and hardly ever missed. As a youngster he didn’t return from a middle distance race directly and came home totally emaciated. He weighed just 50 grams. Hence his name. He was bred out ‘395/98’, blue van Lancelot ‘604/97 (direct Lanslots-Dockx) x ‘985/97 late Blue donkey 90, pedigree F. Mariën. The mother of this basis couple is ‘6242345/97 Blue van Dure Berghmans. She came out ‘Dure Berghmans 683/90’ (Frans Berghmans from Mol) and was a very good middle distance racer and excellent breeder X ‘124/94’( 1st Ace pigeon Middle Distance Zuiderkempen youngsters 1994) out pedigree Ludo Dams. Unfortunately there is no longer a ‘Couple 2’, but Raf bred and raced with them for many years.
Raf is somebody who has tried many systems and has often been successful with them. He raced successfully for a number of years with hens between his youngsters. Was one of the first fanciers who specialised in the game of the youngsters. He is then involved in all branches of the pigeon sport. From 100 km to 1100 km, youngsters, old, yearlings, cocks and hens. He has other plans yet again for 2010. He will lock the young hens up in a cupboard. More information about this later
There a two simple lofts in the garden. The first one is for the widowers and the youngsters, the other for the hens and the breeding loft. It is not luxury, but everything has been constructed efficiently and slightly altered over the years. The hens (16 in 2009 wherefrom 9 yearlings) will be raced loose at the beginning of the season. Most of them didn’t participate in the winter breed, but youngsters were then bred from the best old hens. They are coupled in April with cocks that don’t race. During the second week of May the hens race a middle distance race for the first time whilst brooding for 6/7 days. When they return home the nests are gone and they go into widowhood. They are locked up in their boxes after each training. The hens train twice per day and many flags are used to ensure that they train. Next to this compartment is another small compartment with nest boxes. This is for the hens for the grand distance. Their widowhood is then interrupted so that they can have a nest for a certain chosen grand distance race. Roughly half of these hens only race extreme middle distance, the rest are regularly race a chosen grand distance race. When the hens are brooding they are only trained with the widow hens. They are taken from the loft, trained with the widow hens and then they return inside by their own loft. In this way, the nest hens train for a long time daily! The favourite position of a hen is small youngsters. Raf is someone who researches everything in great detail. A hen or widowers that have just raced grand distance are left in the loft for the first part of the training and only train for the last 15 minutes. This is so that they don’t slow down the training of the other pigeons.
The widowers (16 in 2009) are coupled in the winter. When the youngsters are 14 days old, the hens and youngsters are moved to a different loft. Rest settles over the racing loft. Raf races them in normal widowhood. The cocks are raced in the extreme middle distance to grand distance. Every week Raf finds pigeons that are in form for certain races. He is a real specialist at it. He used to have pigeons that he only raced in the sprint or middle distance, but that is no longer the case. The grand distance was added and he dropped the other small races. It is also logical with this number of pigeons. You can’t race everything with a maximum of 32 pigeons.
The youngsters remain together until in July. They are darkened from the beginning of March to the 10th of June. Light is used at the end of the season. Raf used to race his youngsters with the sliding door and he also raced some youngsters with a nest at the end of the season. Next year, however, he is going to try something else. In the first loft he will race 12 young cocks in widowhood. In the second loft are loose young cocks. In the third loft there will be late youngsters and all the hens will be in the fourth loft. After each training they are allowed to eat and drink and then they are locked in a cupboard.
Raf is a fancier who still uses lure pigeons by the homecoming. He always has two ready in the basket which are let out when a pigeon is in sight. His oldest lure pigeon was from 1994 and with pain in his heart he had to part with this faithful hen at the end of this season. She showed the way to the loft for many years but now she was worn out. Pigeon lover Raf could not even kill his pigeon, he let someone else do it. He felt so bad.
There is no difference in the feed for the old birds and that for the youngsters. By the homecoming they are given depurative with brewer’s yeast and garlic oil for two days. Then up until the day of basketting the entire range of sport mixtures from Mariman mixed together. On Monday and Thursday apple vinegar is added to the water. On Sunday there is Aviol and Tuesday is vitamin day. The medical guidance lies completely by veterinary surgeon Fernand Mariën from Tielen. He is visited monthly but during the last weeks of this season even weekly. From Argenton in August he had raced so badly that he immediately visited veterinary surgeon Mariën. He took 12 pigeons with him that would normally have to race from Blois the following weekend. Mariën was resolute in his determination. They had tetany and were not allowed to race. At Raf’s insistence he then chose three pigeons which were the least sick for Blois, the others were cured. Raf won 3-6-7 in the Mol long distance club. The following week he returned to race La Souterraine. Fernand Mariën nominated one pigeon that he had to set as 1st nominated. By basketting Raf decided to follow his own idea and nominated this pigeon third. Which one arrived first? Indeed, the one that Mariën had nominated. The following week it was Gueret and Raf once again took a few pigeons to Mariën. He nominated a different pigeon than Raf as 1st nominated. This time he listened to his veterinary surgeon and just before the pigeons were due home from the race he told the pigeon watchers:”If my first nominated arrives now then I know nothing about pigeons and is Fernand Mariën a miracle man!” A few minutes later his first nominated dived towards the trap and won 7th national against 14.245 pigeons. You can understand that everyone was laughing with this statement. With this, the General Championship was saved because he needed a great top prize in order to have a low coefficient. The pigeon that Raf had chosen only earned a small prize and so the championship would have certainly gone to Raoul and Xavier Verstraete. Thank-you Fernand Mariën!
General Champion KBDB
This beautiful small hen comes from Dirk Stessens from Mol. Baker Dirk bought the total loft from Alois Verstappen (-Van Reet) in 2003. The youngsters from these pigeons moved to Ludo Dams in Geel, the old birds were sifted by Fernand Mariën. In the end, these 20 remaining pigeons were bred with. Over the years Raf was able to obtain several pigeons from here, including this hen.
2008 Barcelona 11484-383
2008 St. Vincent 2377-19
2007 Irun national 8967-983
2007 St. Vincent 39/124 Mol, too late nationally
2009 Barcelona national 13.503-300 (General Champion KBDB)
This year she missed from Perpignan, from Momignies 8/220, strange but true!
The father is ‘5242949/02, via Dirk Stessens but a direct from Edmond Tournier from Lommel. His father is ‘NL978/97’(pedigree Wijfelaars via Frans Derks) and mother is ‘331/97’ (Loots Henri and Bart, 1st national Argenton). Mother of this beautiful hen is ‘5254949/02’, also via Stessens but a direct Tournier out ‘’NL303/97’ Frans Derks pedigree Kuypers and Theelen X ‘247/98’ Frans Derks but 100% van der Wegen. A lot of long distance blood in this pigeon.
6120357/04 Chequered Verstappen
This pigeon also comes directly from Dirk Stessens. His father is ‘6490461/99’ (Staaloger Verstappen –Van Reet) and mother is ‘6073933/01’ (Verstappen van Reet out a direct pigeon from Etienne Devos from Deerlijk). He has a nice honours list in the long distance:
Hardly ever raced because he was coupled with a racing hen. Trained at the end of the season and he won Salblis provincial 443p-136, La Souterraine national 3444p-713 and Vichy provincial 350p-131. That was promising and Raf added him to the widowers.
Bordeaux provincial 407p-136
Carcassonne provincial 401p-131
Montelimar: missed and returned home monday
Bordeaux provincial 472p-7 (1st in Zuiderkempen against 124p)
Irun provincial 514p-30, international 15627p-531
Cahors provincial 514p-19, national 5441p-192
Tarbes provincial 511p-76, intern. 12537p-2618
Tarbes provincial 522p-1, national 4812p-26 (Prize General Championship)
Perpignan provincial 734p-41, national 7478p-437
Bordeaux prov. 637p-10
Orange national 226th against 5242 pigeons (prize general championship KBDB)
He arrived home so tired from this Orange so that Raf didn’t race him anymore. The father of this cock is 6401142/03, a direct son of ‘Couple 2’. The mother is 6373332/99. She comes out ‘Expensive Berhgmans 683/90’ X ‘Blue As 124/94’ (1st Ace pigeon Middle Distance Zuiderkempen 1994).
This is a hen that always earns a prize. She is never given a nest, but races the whole year in widowhood. She was 1st Ace pigeon extreme middle distance 2009 in Mol Long Distance club.
Her performances this year are:
Limoges 135p-10, zone 4331p-159 (prize General Championship KBDB)
La Souterraine 58p-10
Her father is ‘6120389/04’, direct out ‘Couple 2’ and her mother is ‘6120306/04. This hen was jointly bred with Marc Vlaminck from Ramsel. His famous ‘Mont Ventoux’ was coupled against Raf’s ‘Olympiad hen 861/01’. Raf had indeed a pigeon in the Olympiad 2003 in Lievin. This hen ‘6182861/01’ won in 2002 the first prize interprovincial Vierzon against 589 pigeons. Raf represented our country for the Olympiad category all-round. In this category 3 results are needed under 400 km, between 4 and 6 results up to 500 km and between 1 and 3 results above the 500 km. All this with the same pigeon, earned within two years. The hen 861/01 won the following prizes:
Noyon (227 km) 500p:1
Pithiviers (387km) 2348p:3
Sens (353 km) 2362p:83
Orleans (424 km) 1222p:21
Bourges (491km)567p:3 ( 168th nat. 42763 pigeons!)
Bourges (491km)134p:1 (78th nat. 13116 pigeons!)
Chateauroux (542km) 374p:7
Chateauroux (542km) 393p:4
Tours (524km) 292p:6
The same hen also raced as a youngster 1452p:10, Sens 1166p:11, Sens 2362p:83, Vierzon 199p:4, Argenton 23493p:410, La Souterraine 17315p:1287. As a yearling she also performed from Argenton 3642p:234, Tours 274p:8 and the famous La Souterraine from 2002 288p:71. I don’t think there are many better pigeons flying around in Belgium. In the lineage of this super lady I see as father ‘Vleugel 360/98’ out ‘Dure Berghmans 653/90 (directly bought by Frans Berghmans out Mol, a very good middle distance racer by this fancier) X Blue As 124/94 (1st Ace pigeon youngsters in large Zuiderkempen in ’94. As mother I see Blue Lancelot (a direct Lanslots-Dockx from Merksplas of the pedigrees W. Van Beirendonck X Verhoeven).
Souillac 2601p-91, national 7597p-224 (prize Championship KBDB)
The father is ‘64011115/03 Favourite Lars’ comes directly out ‘Couple 2’ but lay dead in his box in 1997. The mother is ‘6120327/04’, a daughter of ‘Kloeke’ from Alois Verstappen X 211/98, a direct from Lanslots-Dockx.
She was one of the better yearling hens in 2009. She won:
Argenton national 346th (Championship KBDB)
Father is ‘6155760/07’ out ‘392/04’ x ‘306/04’ out Mont Ventoux x Olympiad hen. The mother is a direct hen from Ivo Renders from Geel. The ‘6120392/04’ won a.o. 1st provincial Limoges 2006. He is a super cock who was unfortunately lost from Heidelbert, one of the ‘Germany races in 2007.
Marne La Vallé 790p-34
Bourges 515p-25 (national 21.940-937)
Chateauroux 519p-41 (prov. 4249-386)
Limoges 263p-7 (national 17.456p-119)
Limoges 2-j 199p-11
This beautiful blue cock has a great deal of Lanslots-Dockx blood. The father 6182860/01 ‘The Blue from Lanslots ‘98’ won a.o. 1st Tours 161p and nice prizes from Argenton , La Souterraine and Gueret. He was bred by Raf out ‘395/98’ (out stock pigeon 604/97, a direct Lanslots-Dockx) X ‘856/99’ (old sort and pedigree Ludo Dams). The mother of Limoges is ‘6356676/00’, a direct Lanslots-Dockx but not raced until September 2004.
The old hen 573/05 comes directly out ‘Couple 2’ and has a fantastic record. This year she won two prizes from the General Championship KBDB from Soissons and Bourges. Her total honours list 2009 looks like this:
6085967/09 Vaal Stessens
Pithiviers 314p-4 (Championship KBDB)
Bourges 647p-90, national 37.357p-2993 (Championship KBDB
La Souterraine 226p-72
Father ‘6463964/98’ is the famous ‘Dax’ from Alois Verstappen-van Reet. He won 1st provincial Dax somewhere at the beginning of 2000 because I visited him at the time. A lot of Karel Meulemans pedigree in this cock. The mother of ‘Vaal Stessens) is a direct daughter of the ‘wonder couple 2’ from Raf and Lars Luyckx.
6085964/09 Mister Gueret
Gueret national 14.245p-7
Father of this cock is ‘6155724/07, direct from Ivo Renders but out the cock ‘Couple 2’ with hen 856/03 Ivo Renders. The mother is 6225575/05 out ‘Hoppele As Qieuvrain’ (super racer from Qieuvrain for many years out old pedigree x Lanslots-Dockx) X Olympiad hen.
To close, I may not and cannot deprive you the best hen in the loft:
‘Miss Perpignan 3067067/02’
Vierzon 413p-54 (prov. 3240p-437)
Brive 269p-10 (nat. Dv 1232p-66)
Perpignan 80p-6 (provincial 631p-69)
Bourges 540p-131 (nat. 26.679p-4888)
Brive 256p-40 (prov. 1490p-298)
Perpignan 78p-5 (national 7611p-403)
Bourges 353p-87 (nat. 19.061p-2703)
Perpignan 114p-12 (missed national)
2008 :not basketted, only from Bordeaux and she won a small prize
Barcelona national 13.503p-57
Perpignan national 7478p-274
What a beautiful honours list this year for a 7 year old hen!
This hen comes via Johan Kempen directly from wonder loft Noël Peiren out Zedelgem. Her father ‘Barcelona Strubbe 865/04’ is 100% Florizoone and won a.o. 1268th national Barcelona and 949th national Perpignan. Her mother ‘071/99’ comes out ‘242/96’(brother 1st national Barcelona Florizoone) x ‘302/96’.