Erik Peeters Westerlo (BE) is the 'new' National Winner Montelimar 2009, Maurice Martens now ranked as 11th!

The race from Montélimar threatened to be a copy of the race last year. Then it was anything but a smooth race. The organizers already had the weather as the major opponent. Both on Saturday and Sunday the many rain clouds above France prevented an early liberation…

Note from the editor: Normally the report about the national winner from Montélimar would have been published this morning, was it not for the fact that we received a message just before going to press… that there was something not right by the control of the National winner! So we telephoned Maaseik again, where virtual winner Maurice Martens explained everything to us. What appears… there was the threat that the pigeon would be removed from the results because Maurice hadn’t clocked his control rubber ring within the 10 minutes so as stated in the national sport regulations! Not clocked… because Maurice couldn’t clock it… because when the pigeon returned home it only had 1 rubber ring on its leg… and you can’t pull one out of your trouser pocket to clock it within the 10 minutes. Maurice told them about this straight away when he reported his pigeon to the club the ‘Olijftak’ in Maaseik! The local chairman Jacky Creemers came directly to Carry out the control, and confirmed that the pigeon had obviously flown, and was even wet from the downpour that they had had to face for the final kilometres… and of course he couldn’t find a 2°rubber ring anywhere!

The other side of the story is that the pigeons from the club were switched from baskets after they had been basketted (by who and where? Is not clear to us at the moment)… as a result of which it is not hard to imagine that a rubber ring got lost here or there! Certain sources quoted us names of other cheated fancier(s) where the pigeons only had 1 rubber ring on their leg when they returned home! Is this a cowboy story or not? In any case, if any other fanciers find themselves in this position, they certainly have to report it to their club or to the organizers.. in everybody’s interest, so that justice can be done!
In any case a strange story… because you could expect from a ‘national organiser’ that… when, after the basketting manipulations occur with the pigeons, in this specific case… placed in other baskets… that there would be some sort of control in the club concerned (read control of the rubber rings or if necessary re-ringing of the pigeons)! In as far as the organizers were informed of course… because in this case there was more than enough time for a control (read: 5 days) because the pigeons were not liberated until the Monday! Now… this is only the story that has reached us from Limburg… but at the moment still  no official confirmation! Whatever the truth may be… it should be possible to localize the baskets from the club in Maaseik and investigate them thoroughly… maybe they will find one or two rubber rings amongst the wooden shavings… it seems far fetched, but as a fancier you have to put yourself in the place of the duped Maurice Martens! It seems dead normal to us that all legal remedies should be dug up to solve this!

So we turned to those responsible at the KBDB… those who are busy with this investigation. As long as this investigation is going on they cannot or may not comment of course… that is perfectly normal. They have confirmed that the control took place yesterday afternoon by Maurice Martens. The pigeon was indeed at home, was let out as is stated in the regulations… so everything was OK up until then! They also officially told us that by the inspection of the clock, there was no evidence of the control clocking (which had officially had to have happened within 10 minutes)! So the national organizers, so as stated in the regulations, used the procedure, to remove this pigeon from the official result… based on Article 98 of the National sport regulations! The basketting office ‘de Olijftak in Maaseik’ had confirmed that all 245 pigeons had 2 rings put on by the basketting! Also the story of chairman Jacky Creemers was confirmed! These are the official details that the offices of the National Sportcomité have received to date. So far the official account from the KBDB-circles, through NSC-chairman John Goegebeur who will now instigate a further investigation. But the tale of the pigeons that were put into other baskets was not known in the KBDB-circles.

If the story of Maurice Martens is right and his pigeon didn’t have a 2° rubber ring on its leg… then it would be a great shame and an injustice to downgrade this man’s pigeon and so take away his national victory. But who is going to prove it?… And then there are the organisers, the KBDB- agencies and the NSC can’t do anything but adhere to the ‘national regulations KBDB’… how bad it may be for the fancier… who stands completely powerless! One would be in sackcloth and ashes for less!

The original report of the winner

The race from Montélimar threatened to be a copy of the race from last year. Then it was anything but a smooth race. The organizers already had the weather as the major opponent. Both on Saturday and Sunday the many rain clouds above France prevented an early liberation … and when it cleared above France from the west on the Sunday, the organizers had already postponed the liberation until Monday. On Monday a changed weather picture with fairly Sunny weather over the east of France, but threatening rain clouds from the west that would cover nearly the whole of France by the beginning of the afternoon and could reach our country from the south at about 5pm.  At 7.20am the organization of  ‘Club de Fond Wallonie’ gave the start shot for the 8.193 participating pigeons, which would once again have quite a  ‘difficult’ race. The emerging rain over France that also entered Belgium at 5pm meant that the first pigeons would fall in the east cantons of our country, where the pigeons could profit the longest from the good weather before joining their lofts. The western half of the country didn’t get a look in, although the youthful Bengt Haeck from Ronse had a provisional 35° place national (he basketted in Lessen) and Marc De Cock a 39° place national (with a probable provincial victory ) the East-Flemish coat of arms slightly still decorated… towards the close of day in the evening the prizes were not even raced per 10! The same scenario in West-Flanders and Antwerp… although the east did a bit better, understandable, seeing the racing conditions! After 2 weeks sovereignty of the Flanders, it was the turn of the other side of the country… that may and that ‘must’ even… so that everyone got his well earned piece of the pie in the end!

Maurice Martens from Maaseik virtual winner
It was soon clear by the first reports that it was going to be anything but a smooth race… because it was rough from the start. The national victor was also soon obvious because when Maurice Martens from Maaseik, who races one of the greatest distances from Belgium with 732,979 Km… registered his pigeon at 15h49, he had the highest velocity of around 1440 m/min. That was higher than his Waals sport friends had already registered… and seeing that Maaseik is close to the Dutch border and the furthest distance for this race… it was directly clear that Maurice Martens could be declared ‘national winner’. The nearest rivals were Erik Peeters from Westerlo with 1425 metres, Francois Bovy, Romsee with 1417 metres, and Jos Joosen  with 1414 metres!
In Limburg the champagne corks could pop in the Maurice Martens household! Maurice also clocked a 2° top pigeon at 16h54 which achieved a provisional 67° place national (national prognosis). Towards the end of the evening 4 Montélimar pigeons were in the clock (pigeon 3 and 4 followed at 18h12 and 20h05), and on Tuesday morning the fifth pigeon had already been clocked at 7h52 and early afternoon all 10 Montélimar racers had reached home safely. The first five have already been classified in the regional prizes, this number can rise nationally!  Provisionally a victory and classification, with reservation, as indicated above!

Maurice (a retired metal worker) is a passionate long distance racer. He started the 2009 season with 42 widowers that were raced following the classic widowhood. In the blood of his long distance racers flows the noble long distance blood of, amongst others, Peter v.d.Eijnden from Deurne (NL), Nouwen-Paesen from Peer (B), Casteels from Antwerpen etc…  He tries to practise the pigeon sport in as simple a manner as possible, without too many frills. His way of working is a lot like a copy of the Dutch model! There the long distance racers are allowed to raise a youngster after the season, ‘dirty brood’, after which the  pigeons are allowed to stay together until around the New Year, with an open loft… ideal for letting the pigeons peacefully moult! Then the pigeons are separated and not re-coupled until the end of March and after a few days brooding the widowhood starts. Before the coupling the ‘man in white’ is honoured with a visit, and on his recommendation the pigeons are either treated or not treated. The Montélimar racers are given the national Bourges as preparation for this race… before they are basketted they are not allowed to see their hen, a question of peacefully basketting the pigeons! Circumstances that motivated the three year old cock from Maurice Martens, the ‘Chequered B06-5177817’, enough to sign for ‘national victory’! He also stems from a crossing of the basis lines P. v.d.Eijnden x Nouwen-Paesen! The father of the national Montélimar-winner B99-5066228 is an inbreed product out ‘Son x Mother’! The son is a coupling of a ‘Peter v.d.Eijnde x Casteels hen (origin Meulemans x Van Loon)… and was then here coupled with his own mother, the ‘Casteels hen’, where out then the father of the ‘National Montélimar-winner is bred! The mother of the national winner is a direct Nouwen-Paesen ring 5277463/99. According to Maurice, in the past this pigeon had also achieved early prizes in other races several times.
Heartfelt congratulations to the Maurice Martens family with this magnificent performance from Montélimar, and hopefully everything will come good… and they will be declared official national winner! Whatever the end decision is… we can only close with the idea… that justice has to be done!


Toen iedereen nog met een gummi speelde kwam het toch ook regelmatig voor dat een duif zonder gummiring thuiskwam. Meestal was de duif in de mand met de poot (gummi) ergens blijven hangen zodat de gummi ofwel brak ofwel gewoon van de poot schoof. Deze kon dan soms, met veel goede wil en indien dezelfde manden in hetzelfde lokaal terecht kwamen, terug gevonden worden. Soms was deze ook gewoon verdwenen.

Wat de heer Martens overkwam is dan ook heel goed mogelijk en gebeurde dan ook volledig buiten zijn wil om. Hem hiervoor zulke zware straf opleggen zou dan ook onverantwoord zijn.

Om herhaling van dusdanige feiten te voorkomen zou het dan misschien ook beter zijn dat de inrichters van dergelijke vluchten een controlestempel in de vleugel van de duif aanbrengen i.p.v. een gummiring. Deze stempel indien bv tweemaal aangebracht kan dan ook niet meer zomaar verdwijnen. Bij thuiskomst kan dit kenmerk dan ook gemakkelijk door de eigenaar hetzij telefonisch doorgebeld worden, hetzij op een papiertje gewoon geklokt worden.