It was going to be a new challenge for Bart&Nance, the long distance races…after loads of successes on the middle distance and longer middle distance races they tried their luck on the long distances races. Two years later it is already bingo.
We all know the story of the big new loft in Oud-Turnhout, the rather difficult start up, the talk of the town. ‘Will it work out?’, ‘Such a big loft’, ‘Performing well on 2 different disciplines?’, … and so on…many talked about it, many had their doubts. Bart worked very hard to get the loft into a ‘performing loft’, both on the pigeons as on the loft itself. After the first year racing on the loft, Bart knew he would have to work hard, very hard to get things running. And he did. Together with his lovely and hardworking wife Nance they didn’t give up and didn’t give 100% but 200% of their talents to this new challenge!
Convinced that it would work out, convinced of the quality of their loft, convinced about the quality of their pigeons, they made it work. A new agreement was made with the Herbots family to try to make their long distance dream a success namely, every year they exchange 50 pigeons. So each year 50 ‘Van Oeckel-youngsters’ move to the racing loft in Halle-Booienhoven and 50 ‘Herbots-youngsters’ move to the Diamond Loft in Oud-Turnhout. A cooperation that is working out very well, but later a bit more about this.
Let’s have a look first of what these long distance races already brought them in 2017. For the fond races they started off with 95 year birds and 15 old pigeons, for the greater middle distance they had 72 year birds and 8 old ones. So in total the racing team existed out of 167 year birds and 23 old pigeons. Please note that the 95 year birds from the long distance loft weren’t selected as a youngster, they were just trained and could all take their chances as a year bird.
We will now talk only about the long distance pigeons. These were trained a lot before they went to the long distance races, they drove them about 4 times, went to 5 short distance races and 1 middle distance races and then the real stuff began. Bart showed me the flight schedule of for example the 1st provincial Narbonne (F-Wait), every long distance racer tells him he’s crazy, but it seemed it worked:
02/04 Quievrain 136km
09/04 Quievrain 136km
23/04 Noyon 240km
30/04 Noyon 240km
06/05 Quievrain 136km
14/05 Chevrainvillers 384km
20/05 Vierzon 505km
27/08 Chevrainvillers 384km
04/06 Limoges 700km
10/06 Quievrain 136km
17/06 Brive 732km
24/06 Quievrain 136km
01/07 Rest 0km
08/07 Noyon 240km
16/07 St. Vincent 973km
21/07 Quievrain 136km
23/07 Noyon 240km
28/07 Narbonne 922km , where he won the 1st Provincial !!!
So this pigeon raced in total 6,376km and this is without his trainings, amazing no?
As you can see they with the few results of Vierzon they started off having a lot of prizes, but just not early enough. It went like this until that very special day, Saturday 08th of July 2017 on Limoges…
20/05/2017 Vierzon 505km
Interprovincial 4,854 year birds
Interprovincial Vierzon 8,177 old
04/06/2017 Vierzon 505km
Provincial 1,889 Year birds
Local 307 Year birds
Provincial 1,131 Old
Local 151 Old
10/06/2017 Chateauroux 556 km
National Z 6,276 year birds
08/07/2017 Limoges 700km
1st National Limoges (700,952km) against 10,554b
National 9,149 old
22 – 574 (2/4b)
Provincial 720 old
1 – 42 (2/4b)
National 10,554 year birds
1 – 31 – 159-194-199-500-… (10/20b)
Provincial 983 year birds
1 – 4 – 12 – 15 – 16- 37 – 67 - 80 – 176 (11/20b)
15/07/2017 Jarnac 728km
National Z 1,059 old
1 – 29 – 89 - …(4/6)
Provincial 423 Old
1 - 27 - 71 - ... (3/6b)
National Z 1,183b
10 – 11 – 12 – 15 – 21 – 23 – 28 – 47 – 52 – 55 - …(18/39)
Provincial 517 year birds
22/07/2017 Libourne 814km
Provincial 426 Year birds
Provincial 351 Old
22/07/2017 Argenton 585km
National 11,407 year birds
Provincial 1,897 year birds
Local 133 year birds
28/07/2017 Narbonne 922km
National 4,247 old
Provincial 401 old
29/07/2017 Tulle 685km
National 9,573 year birds
Provincial 1,035 year birds
Local 91 year birds
Yes, you see it correctly, in these last 4 weeks they managed to win no less than 5 x 1st Provincial victories whereoff 1 National victory !!! And many other top prizes as f.e. 25 x top 20 Provincial over 4 races (Limoges, Jarnac, Libourne en Tulle) !!!!
Please meet the 1st national and provincial prize winners:
1st National Year birds Limoges – 1st Provincial Limoges
BE16-2146311 ‘National Limo I’ – Original Gebr. Herbots
1st Provincial Old Limoges + 1st Provincial Old Jarnac
BE15-6059368 ‘Limo Diamant’ – Granddaughter ‘Zwarte Diamant’
1st Provincial Year birds Libourne
BE16-6056168 ‘Liesje Libourne’ – Ggranddaughter ‘Zwarte Diamant’
1st Provincial Old Narbonne
BE15-6059449 ‘F-Wait’ – Granddaughter ‘F16’
These first prize winners were followed by many loft mates who also won amazing prizes. Bart & Nance didn’t win only the 1st provincial old birds on Jarnac with their ‘Limo Diamant’, but also the 2nd – 3rd – 4th – 8th - … year birds:
2nd Provincial Jarnac – BE16-6056098
Direct child ‘F16’ coupled against a pigeon from F&N Norman (BE14-3127580) that was bought at an auction from ‘Vlaams Fond Goud’ in 2015.
3rd Provincial Jarnac – BE16-2146310
This is a nestsister of the 1st National Limoges 2017 ‘National Limo I’ – original Gebr. Herbots. According to Bart even better as her sister, she stopped racing this season as she got home injured but she will be part of the racing team next year !
4th Provincial Jarnac – BE16-6056201
Out of the ‘F888’, he is a son ‘F16’ coupled against ‘Golden Lady’ BE08-6031083, she won 4th National La Souterraine, 4 Provincial Blois, 4th Provincial Montluçon, 7th Provincial Tulle, 11th Provincial Souillac, ….On mothers’ side it is a grandchild ‘Miss Turbo’, she won 3 x 1st in a row Ace pigeon in the Long distance club of Oud-Turnhout (’05-’06-’07) and is also mother and grandmother of several top racing pigeons f.e. 1st NPO against 14,502b @ Pieter Veenstra
8th Provincial Jarnac – BE16-6056432
Direct child of top breeder ‘Gaston Jr’ BE08-6031121, he won himself a.o. 1st Provincial Salbris and is father of a.o. ‘Super One’ (4th National As/As bird LCB’13) and ‘Super Two’ (3 National Argenton against 11,215b – best youngster 2015 over 5 national races), both raced at K&K Herbots in Velm and is a half-brother ‘F16’ (same mother)
Within the first 13 arriving year bird pigeons from Jarnac there are no less than 7 pigeons out of the strain of the ‘Zwarte Diamant’, either direct children ‘F16’, either grandchildren ‘Zwarte Diamant’
Another top pigeon on their loft is BE16-2146231, another original Herbots pigeon. This on won:
4th Provincial Limoges 1,043b 700km (also 31st National Limoges against 10,325b)
7th Provincial Libourne 437b 606km
14th Provincial Jarnac 526b 728km
94th Provincial Tulle 1,058b 685km
And this 4 weekends in a row, strong, very strong !!!
Way of Working – Motivation
How do they keep their floc under control? First off all, you need a good strategy. Their loft is built up with 6 departments, 3 on the left-hand-side for the greater middle distance races (2 for the youngsters and one for the old pigeons) and 3 at the right-hand-side for the long distance races (also 2 for the youngsters and 1 for the old pigeons). In between the 6 departments you can find 4 motivation rooms (they like to call them ‘cuddling-rooms’). From the youngsters, only the first round can go in to the motivation rooms, the other rounds of youngsters are just being trained without extra motivation in their birth year.
Their live is based on chaos, so it is obvious that they make use of a chaos system for their pigeons as well. No week, no day has the same schedule, it always depends on the weather, on the performances, on the circumstances, ….
One thing Bart did was before the race to Agen (04/07/2017), is that he took out all the bad performing pigeons, so many couples were being broken and most of them had to go and look for a new partner. After this change, the pigeons start to train like crazy and the fairy tale began namely 5 provincial victories in a matter of 21 days of time!
Feeding and guidance
Bart makes use of the Beyers mixtures Galaxy Light, Galaxy Energy and Diet, the schedule he follows depends on the weather, the race they have to go to and so on, again here not always the same. They also get a lot of peanuts. In a matter of side products, they make use of the Herbovet gamma, Herbots products and minerals from Dr. Mariën. At home coming they get Herbots Recovery and Herbosol, on Monday Herbo Elite Pigeon, Optimix and brewers’ yeast is given. Every Tuesday they also give Yellow Drops. Sometimes they get 5 days in a row Herbobeets in the drinking water. Medical advice is given by Dr. Raf Herbots.
Bart & Nance, an immense big congratulation on this marvellous season, your hard work is paying off, let’s keep this up!