There was no Racing Pigeon Fancier in our family, but one of my uncles used to own some fancy pigeons just for pleasure.
Until I was 13, I lived in an apartment in the Town of Caen.
When I was watching a movie, I was about 6 or 7 years, I heard about the Racing Pigeon in a short film. Apparently, this really stuck in my mind, because ever since I watched that movie, I have been fascinated by this sport.
My parents had a house built, and soon after, I set up a low-budget loft made of panels I picked up here and there. It measured 1m x 2m, and it housed one couple of pigeons. Shortly after, the first youngster were born. This gave me the opportunity to learn the basics of 'breeding Pigeons', health, feeding.
I was 13 at that time, and the formalities to open a racing pigeons Loft were still very complicated in France. So I began to breed pigeons from the fancy race 'Cauchois' and I achieved some results in the exhibitions. But it was always the sport that attracted me about pigeons.
I discovered the High Flyers from Budapest, small white pigeons from Hungary which flew at amazing heights during 5 or 6 hours. At that time, I also had two pairs of Oriental Rollers.
In 1987, I started my studies at the faculty of Medicine, so my father had to take care of pigeons. Little by little, he developed a passion for pigeons as well. In fact, he is currently President of the Combine, one of the most active in France.
In 1992, there was too much of a desire to race. I sold my High Flyers and Rollers pigeons and contacted the President of the local club of which I am still a member, the 'Conquerante de Thaon'. This is undoubtedly one of the best clubs in the Third region. At this club, we made our first steps with pigeons by 'Pierre Paul and Jacques'.
We were fortunate to have a super bird as our first gift, the F 206139-92 with Van Boxtel blood (mainly Janssen-A). It was our very first racer and he achieved outstanding results, including a first, a second and a seventh prize against approx. 2000 birds. He died in 2000 at the age of 18 : this demonstrates his extraordinary vitality ...
In 1993, we, together with some other clubs fanciers, went to the sale of Mr Robert PETILLON who had just won the 1st National Bourges 1992 / 10901 old pigeons with an original JC DEBIEVE bird. In this sale, I bought a daughter of an aunt of the 'Bourges'. In 1995, she bred 'Babar Olympiad', the first French ace pigeon Middle distance Olympiad in Blackpool in 1999 (pictured on the left).
In 1994, I bought a daughter of breeder No. 1 at the sale of F & P Savelkoul Rocourt (B), namely the B 1059208-94. This female gave excellent results, and she was the female of the super couple "18x208" whose blood still flows in some of our best racers, among others my '013-10', which is ranked 14th Ace Speed Combine in 2011.
Another nice introduction was the purchase of a brother of the BOURGES PATERNOSTER, who has won the 1st and 7th National Bourges with two brothers in 1997. From Yvon Deneufbourg, the breeder of the mother of Henri's Bourges, I purchased a brother of his two great pigeons. It had an excellent offspring here (picture on the left).
In 2002, I bought the house in which I live now. In 2004 and 2005, I played in a loft type DUMOVA of 15.5 m² for two years. My father continued to play at his home, and he achieved very good results. He won some prizes per ten, as well as a third place in the Federal Championship Yearling in 2005.
I had to pause for a few years until August 2009, when I made a comeback with the purchase of two pigeons via the website of the Herbots Brothers: a Kees BOSUA (son of Pepper) and an Andreas DRAPA (daughter of Blitz). I also purchased two pigeons in the total auction of Michel Debecker from Pellenberg (B).
In 2010, I raced with young birds again, some were from our old lines and some were bred from the two couples that we had bought earlier. After a great season, I finished 5th in the Championship of Combine just 4 points behind the 2nd... . In the Third Region's Championship I achieved a 6th place.
In order to change our habits and to suggest something else, I turned to Dutch origins through direct purchases from Steven van Breemen from Hilversum (NL), and I also made some purchases on the PIPA website : pigeons from Rens van der Zijde (Ludo Claessens & Ad Schaerlaeckens), Jan BUIS (Henri van Doorn), Nico Van Noordenne ( First Champion Holland Half Fond 2010 ), and C & G Koopman (line KLEINE DIRK).
These world-renowned Strains begin to pay off in the 2011 season, with very promising results. And the icing on the cake was the 8th French National Ace youngbird
I renamed my loft 'AVIATOR'S LOFT', the logo can be found in the photos.
In October 2011, a new recruit arrived : 'Julia'. She originated from the loft of Edwin Hoogland (NL), with origins from Verbree and Sangers birds. And as we all know, these are very good Dutch origins.
In 2010 and 2011, I had the chance to create two very promising breeding couples.
1 / 660 x 529 Debecker Lemmens
With the help of Marc Spalart, I bought two pigeons at the Total Auction of Michel Debecker (Pellenberg) when he left Belgium to settle in South Africa. The 660 is a pigeon with Ludo Claessens blood (lineage 'Voske 54') & OLIVERS DEVOS (line 'STEKETEE' & 'JARNAC'). He gave a beautiful and performing young female 'Dreamgirl Chocolate', which won the 2nd NAT Zone C Bourges 6226p, 35th Nat Argenton 6444p, and the 48th Nat La Souterraine 21258p!.
The 529 is the line of 'Spalart Lemmens' and is based on two pigeons from Lemmens P & F (Klimmen-NL). She is a direct daughter of the the basic '749' and '750 TROPHEE'. This line has been one of the strongest in the 3rd Region since 2000. They can be found in every performing loft here including all the best racers of Marc Spalart, who has been leading the One day long distance Championship of the 3rd Region for several years.
The 529 is an additional breeding hen with an offspring that has proved itself already ! She bred amongst others :
At Michel Debecker's Loft
B 2050064-07 'Argenton' 5th National Argenton '09 / 5043p
B 2050001-07 90th Nat Young Gueret '07 / 12586p
B 2050002-07 54th Nat Argenton Young '07 / 20844p
At Aviator's Loft
B9045103-10 8th St. MaureYB '10 / 873P, 8th PoitiersYB '10 / 466p
F005017-10 4th PoitiersYB 466p
F005681-10 24th at the Final race of the World Race Roye 2010
F014305-11 4th Ste MaureYB '11 / 1179p, 9th Angers YB '11 / 1262p
F014282-11 8th Ste Maure YB '11 / 1179p, 4th Poitiers YB '11 / 487p
F014304-11 57th St. Maure YB '11 / 1179p
2 / 'Brigit'x'Mundo'
As you can see in the results for 2011, this couple has given me three great youngbirds, namely 'Cosmic boy', 'Rubis' and 'Miss Poitiers'.
The cock 'Cosmic Boy' is Second Ace youngbird Combine 2011 with four awards in the Top 7 .... and 5 prizes in 6 flights. In the Poitiers race he landed in the same second as his nestsister and they clocked 1st and 2nd / 487 yb! This is another great performance for Rens vd Zijde's line and this time in France ! That sounds promising ...
Brigit is a cock from Rens of Zijde (Anna Paulowna - NL), and is the result of the crossing Ad Schaerlaeckens x Ludo Claessens. I bought it on Pipa at the Jewel of the Sky auction 2009
The Hen is 'Mundo', a daughter of "Blitz" of Andreas DRAPA (D), 3th Olympic Ace Ostende 2007. Along with the 529, she is my second best breeding hen.