Van Elsacker - Jepsen, Schilde
1st and 2nd provincial Châteauroux yearlings, 1st provincial Bourges old
The season of 2004 was again a season when the team of Serge Van Elsacker and Kirsten Jepsen made the headlines.Whether it was the middle distance in Union-Antwerp or the provincial races of Antwerp, they always had several pigeons that were at the top. Interestingly enough, the pigeons came in in a row one after the other. In 2002 they got 57 first prizes, in 2003 the season of fowl plague they had only 23 first prizes and this year they made it 46 times to the very top. It just keeps getting better and better every season. Let's take a look at their provincial victories: in 2002 there were three, in 2003 also three and this season they have brought home four provincial victories and as a bonus also a second national place! Up to now, it has been 33 provincial honour awards and three Zone first prizes! And we haven't mentioned their baskets full of ace pigeons, reaching the top of the national level.
Serge Van Elsacker and Kirsten Jespen were already in 1998 first national champions in the yearlings category and by that time they have stood already eight times in the spotlights while being decorated with champions ribbon. After the 2004 season we meet them back as the eight national champions of the middle distance and tenth national champions of the yearlings.
This yearling hen really shined on July 10 from Argenton.
In competition against 1012 peers she was the fastest one and still had an advance of two whole minutes. Her further results: 1, 28, 59, 53, 54, 80, 305 (20). In both general ranking and hens ranking against 230 carefully selected pigeons she made it to the top. If we take a look at her pedigree you'll know where her talents come from. Her father is the Jonker of 2000, born out of the Castor (Michielsen x Meulemans) also a first middle long distance ace pigeon in Union-Antwerp coupled with the Zus Pantani from Eric Berckmoes of Albert Marcelis and also the first ace pigeon yearlings in Union-Antwerp. Her mother is the Kramiekske Louis. In her veins streams blood of Stoces x Meulemans coming from Heinz Brune and son (Wesel, Germany). The Louis in her name refers to Louis Deleus (Boortmeerbeek).
On July 24 was Châteauroux yearlings on schedule and so was a provincial victory for Serge and Kirsten. Their pigeon the Mustang was more than 14 minutes faster than the second one in the provincial ranking. After that one they still clocked one on the 7th place (out of five basketted) in the competition of 690 yearlings.
In the meanwhile, in the category of old pigeons one of their representatives ended up on the 3rd place. That means that in the Union general ranking Van Elsacker-Jespen landed twice the first prize and on top of that also a second place. To add to all this joy, they also got a provincial prize of honour won against 4395 yearlings with an advance of 11 minutes.
This winner comes from the Indiana from Indiana Jones, which in 2000 won the first ace pigeon yearlings of Union-Antwerp and also the eight national ace pigeon of middle long distance. This ace pigeon was then coupled with Licht Jansen from the line of the famous 019 with the Jonge Merckx. The mother of the Mefisto is called Kirsten, from Dubbelen (Michielsen x Meulemans) with Blauwe Witpen 93 (Michielsen x Wouters).
This cock who flew in on a second position ( see above for the results from Châteauroux) and also second international against more than 4000 pigeons also has ancestors to be proud of. His father is the Extra 375, some call him simply the superbreeder, with some of his other off springs pigeons such as Magnum and Madonna. He came out of the parental nest of Michielsen x Janssen and Stoces x Meulemans.
The mother of the Mustang is the Schoon Brandje from Jos Leuris and son (Ulicoten, Ned.). She too has proved to be an excellent breeding hen with offsprings making the top rankings on races from Noyon to Châteauroux
End of July means still the great Bourges for the young pigeons. But we cannot forget the flight of the old pigeons and yearlings. It has not been the first time that we have seen the colony of Van Elsacker-Jepsen become the provincial winner in the competition of 1141 very carefully selected racers. The pigeon we would like to introduce to you is the Kilamanjaro, who won the first place in the B zone and also and second national place! This champion has already an impressive collection of fabulous results and we want to show you some of them:
Noyon: 1/1027 and 1/680, Dourdan: 1/354, 3/617, 5/515, 10/755, 10/647, Melun: 2/1212 and 14/1804, Toury: 7/338 and 13/384, Orléans 9/312. It is more than obvious why did he become the second ace pigeon of ZAV.
if you were guessing that this pigeon has a great family tree, you were right. His father is the Dubbelen (Michielsen x Meulemans) and his mother is the hen Lovely , a pure L.P. Taildeman (Brakel) who has gotten 42 prizes and among them also 29 per ten!
For your information the result of Bourges in St.-Job, 221 old pigeons: 1, 6, 11, 13, 15, 29, 33 (9) 367 yearlings: 1, 5, 8, 9, 13, 22, 25, 31, 35, 38, 43, 45, 51, 55, etc. 23/40 On the provincial level in the competition of 1141 old pigeons, it added up to: 1, 25, 46, 51, 69, 166, 187, and 354 (8/9) - 1904 yearlings: 2, 14, 18, 24, 30, 66, 79, 99 etc. 26/40. Nationally, again a topper. 10182 pigeons: 2, 122, 211, 220 etc. 14207 yearlings: 4, 65, 71, 89, 107 etc.
Just like we often see it happen with pigeon fanciers, they bring their infatuation with pigeons from home with them. It was the same for Serge and he was slowly working his way to better and better prizes. In 1986 he became suddenly famous outside Schilde and surrounding villages by becoming the king of Union Antwerp. It wasn't just beginner's luck, because in 1998 he repeated this success again. And in 2002 he became also the king of the ZAV, which is short for the South-Antwerp Union.
It all started with Wezel in 1981, a pigeon bought at the total sale of René Michielsen from 's Gravenwezel. His son, the Den 23, has brought him higher up on the ladder of success. This cock became the father of Schalie and Lange Blauw, which represented our land at the Olympiad in Katowice. But he knew, that in order to keep growing, there has to come more fabulous blood and embarked on a search that lasted for many years. Back in the day, he visited his neighbours Willy Van Beirendonck, William Geerts and Maurits Bonte. That has helped the strains of Meulemans (Arendonk) and Stoces (Winterslag) to improve. If we look hard enough in their pedigrees, we can find there offsprings of the Klakduiven from Jos Leuris and son, from Alfons Nijs (Arendonk) and also from some of the better German fanciers ( Serge spent his military service in Germany and has brought his future spouse from there to Belgium). Further on it is Heinz Brune (Wesel) with some blood from Louis Deleus (Boortmeerbeek). And not so long ago also the Pantani from Eric Berckmoes (Brecht) and some very good pigeons from the Simons brothers (Ransdaal, Ned.).
Also in this loft pigeons are raced on widowhood. About ten years ago, Serge switched to total widowhood; cocks as well as hens have to fly. It actually means a double chance of winning and less pigeons! In the beginning of October the pigeons are divided according to their sex and in order to prevent attacks from birds of prey, they don't go out anymore. But to still be able to enjoy sun, a bath and enough oxygen in a safe environment, they are put in a large voliere.
The second week of December, the racers and breeders are coupled the bring up the first round. When the youngsters are removed from the nests, the racing hens are moved to a voliere. A second coupling takes place on March 20th , but they sit on the eggs for only 8 days. Depending on the weather, the 124 racers ( for the season of 2005 it will be 148) are trained. Before their departure for a race, the 74 couples get together for a half hour and after their arrival until the evening. Should one of the partners stay behind, there is always somebody from other split up couples to play fill in a place.
In this loft, the health conditions of the pigeons area always kept as a priority and thanks to many years of careful selection, the quality of the pigeons is excellent.
A first round counts about 150 youngsters and the second one brings still about 80. Young cocks and hens are put in one loft together. The second round is placed in a different loft to avoid any health risks. Pigeons are fed from a full bucket of breeding mixture. Once they start flying out, they get the breeding mixture in the evening, so that they stay in the air. When they are called back in the mornings, they get a treat or some peanuts. After three months they switch to a racing mixture, which is then given all season long. It means no purification or diet. The feed consists of 50% maize, 10% green peas and Tasmanian peas and the rest of wheat, cardi, peeled oats and sunflower seeds. The early youngsters are kept in darkness from mid March until May 1st. The same also for the second round, but since they are taken out of the nest until June 1st. During these dark days there is not training. Afterwards, they are trained slowly and carefully in small groups. This 46-year old perfectionist had a special trailer wagon made for this purpose. The firm rule is: if the pigeons are home before the master, he takes them further. A trip like that can add up to 100 km after about 20 times. If it is a bad flight, he takes the pigeon about 40km away, so that they can again get on a right track home. This can even happen several times. But he would never risk playing with eastern or north-eastern wind and definitely not with a steel blue sky!
From the middle distance up, the system with a sliding door is applied. The young cocks train only in the morning together with the widowers and the young hens with other hens. For both groups it is a good stimulant to fly. An hour an half before the basketting the sliding door is goes open. After arriving home they are together until Monday morning.
Not many fanciers like to share their secrets about how to keep a loft full of pigeons healthy and in good condition. Serge gives our readers and friends in sport some advice.
He advises three weeks after the youngster have been taken out of the nest a treatment against tricho for eight days, because young pigeons don't drink a lot in the winter and then it doesn't have much of an effect.
Around mid April it is good to treat again for five days and a bit later also against ornithosis. During the season it is good to give something against trichomones, ornithosis and against intestinal infections, such the not very pleasant adeno. If you use antibiotics, make sure you can see the results, otherwise stop the treatment.
This fancier, so passionately caring for his pigeons, almost managing them, has already seen one or the other in his career. But young pigeons are not are not pushed to their limits with all kinds of races and motivation. Serge likes a good loft of yearlings and certainly of old pigeons. He selects young pigeons, that had an excellent performance. Yearlings and two-year olds are selected through a basket. If he goes looking outside for fortification of his already so superb team, it can only be done with pigeons of excellent quality and origin. This means a strong back, large wing, a nice eye with a lot of colour and a full circle around the pupil. He also knows, that even from bad racers, good pigeons came come, just like his Bastaard has proved.
He hopes that for 2005 everything will go smoothly and that this time the first national will be registered electronically.