More news

De Bock - De Smeyter (Kluisbergen) national top on heavy middle distance

17 Nov 2023

We visited before in 2020, in 2021 and now we are here again. Surely it is a good signal when the years of success follow neatly. On the previous visits we were visiting "Jelle De Bock", at the same location we are now visiting the new official tandem De Bock - De Smeyter.
Where close was already de facto several years the real tandem between Jelle De Bock and Joost De Smeyter, this has been officialised in the past year.
A strong tandem that has now officially entered the competition circuit in tandem. I was tempted to write something along the lines of "youth coupled with experience"...but I don't want to do Joost De Smeyter any dishonour by classifying him already with the older pigeon players. Joost's energy and drive to win are still splashing off and let's class him with the younger players for the sake of caution.

With Lena and the 1st national Bourges in 2020, the cork went off the bottle
It had been coming for a while that the start of 2017 with the pigeons on the lofts in Berchem (Kluisbergen) would be one that would count. From the start, very strong results were achieved and everyone who has anything or everything to do with pigeon racing felt that a top loft was in the making here.
With some very nice national tops, they already lunged for a national win and in 2020 it was hen Lena who flew the cork from the champagne bottle with the 1st national on Bourges.


Is it a bit of pigeon mathematics ? It is the sum of a loft that is brimming with the (already tested) quality of pigeons coupled with a strongly motivated but also finely tuned young player, who quietly pursues his place on the stage.
He is surrounded by people with a lot of experience (his dad, his father-in-law, Joost...) but goes his own way very well and does so with verve. Hen Lena (BE19-4169696) took the national victory on a very nice Bourges flight of 8,585 yearling birds. Looking at Lena's parentage, we find names such as Willem De Bruijn, Vanoppen-Luyten, etc....
The names are pigeons that were brought together by Joost on a breeding loft that, in terms of quality and skill, mainly focuses on the 200 km to 600 km races with an emphasis on the heavy middle distance races. To avoid dishonouring the breeders and at the risk of forgetting names, we refer to the pedigrees of the best pigeons further on in this report where several names can be found (yet there are names that stand out in terms of inheritance such as Willem De Bruijn, Bart & Robert De Clercq, Dirk Deroose (Super Marcel),....).

Jelle is a professional primary school teacher. Is there a more beautiful and noble profession than educating and preparing young children for the future ? The teaching profession also contains the word "wiser". And Jelle can certainly be classed among the wise. Quiet by nature, affable, observant, nothing boastful, and very well thought-out. I think this is one of the strengths of this loft and that is that nothing and never is forced.
Lena was not a one-day stunt. Apart from her achievements, it's a blink of an eye anyway when summarising the national tops achieved in a relatively short period of time :


Top 50 National 2018-2023
1 Nat. Bourges 8424 jaarse 2020
4 Nat. Bourges 25096 jaarse 2021
5 Nat. Issoudun 9777oude 2021
6 Nat. Argenton 13103 oude 2023
6 Nat. Vierzon 11574 jaarse 2019
8 Nat. Chateauroux 13098 jaarse 2018
9 Nat. Argenton 10632 oude 2022
10 Nat. Chateauroux 4003 oude 2022
13 Nat. Bourges 5294 oude 2020
14 Nat. Issoudun 9777 oude 2021
17 Nat. Bourges 8424 jaarse 2020
22 Nat. Bourges 34311 oude 2021
24 Nat. Argenton 20467 oude 2022
24 Nat. Chateauroux 13098 jaarse 2018
25 Nat. Chateauroux 24617 oude 2021
25 Nat. Chateauroux 4003 oude 2022
27 Nat. Vierzon 20956 oude 2019
29 Nat. Bourges 25096 jaarse 2021
31 Nat. Chateauroux 10317 jaarse 2021
33 Nat. Bourges 18729 jaarse 2023
33 Nat. Argenton 15210 jaarse 2023
36 Nat. Bourges 34311 oude 2021
39 Nat. Bourges 25096 jaarse 2021
40 Nat. Bourges 25096 jaarse 2021
42 Nat. Bourges 34311 oude 2021
43 Nat. Bourges 5294 oude 2020
47 Nat. Bourges 25096 jaarse 2021
48 Nat. Bourges 5294 oude 2020

Good organisation with sufficient flexibility
Everything is well thought-out in the organisation at Jelle. Lots of trial-and-error and in a good plan that serves as a basis for the whole year....but where, if necessary, changing circumstances can be responded to flexibly.
The beautiful garden lofts are a case in point. Constructed by the handy hands of Jelle's dad, it was found that the lofts where double windbreak netting was partly used as a front had less firm forme than the fully closed sections. And this was adjusted last season. The lofts face east, have fairly early morning sun..but on the other hand are also in the open, relatively close to the course of the Schelde

And as any practised cyclist knows, along the banks of the Scheldt...there is always wind. The lofts were made more dense with positive results.
About 150 youngsters are weaned every year. The breeders are pigeons from Joost De Smeyter's breeding loft. These breeders are paired very early and the first lay goes under feeders and at weaning to Joost's loft. The second laying (only a few weeks younger) comes entirely to Jelle's lofts and a third laying from the best couples as well.
The breeding pigeons are also partly housed in Jelle's (youngster) lofts and because of this, there is a big move when the youngsters are weaned. Then the breeding pigeons largely go to aviaries and the youngsters come to the lofts.
The racing lofts normally house 32 couples on total widowhood. After the racing season, the couples that still go on the race the following season are removed from the lofts, these nest boxes are closed, and the young cocks and hens that have to start as yearlings can occupy the boxes that become available. These nestlings are then allowed to conquer their territory for 2 weeks.
After these two weeks, the former residents come to the loft with their hens for about two days and after this weekend the sexes are separated. The rationale behind this is that the youngsters have their nest box almost fixed, the old cocks come back to the loft with their hens and focus on their hens and less on a territory fight with the new occupants. Well thought out, little fuss, and everyone pretty well bin fixed.

Approach during the season
In terms of feed and supplements, the Versele-Laga range is used integrally. There is good cooperation between Jelle-Joost and the staff of this group, there is regular consultation and adjustments where necessary.
Contrary to some lofts where hens usually only fly for about two years, here pigeons are kept until they are 4 years old. 
As mentioned before, the pigeons have already had a brood in autumn or are fry fixed anyway. In the breeding season (early), they are used as a breeding pair for laying and raise 2 youngsters as a pair (pairing end of December).
After this period, they normally always get one together at the weekend to avoid mating among themselves.
Training starts in mid-February and by early March the pigeons are flying an hour a day anyway. It is not really a problem to build up and maintain this. The feed in preparation and for the first flights in preparation is a mixture of Super Star and Gerry Plus (with the emphasis on Gerry Plus at this stage). For flights up to 300 km, they are fed a little more Super Star on the last day. During the season, the pigeons also train once a day (ifv the weather, in bad weather they stay in the loft). For the hens this is an hour flight, for the cocks it is half an hour flight and another half hour of playful training around the loft.
From the heavy middle distance flights (the flights on which the focus is put), the pigeons are given the Depure Plus and the start IC mixture when they arrive home. The following days this is Super Star + Champion and the last days before basketing Energy mixture.
As supplements, the pigeons get Respi-Top 2 to 3 days after the flight. Weekly Intesti-Top over the feed, Hemolit and towards the end of the week and before basketing oil (various forms) over the feed.
The pigeons never gather before basketing (no nesting dish either). The pigeons are basketed as quietly as possible and the reward awaits on their arrival home. Here, the gathering depends on the course of the flight and its intensity. 
Towards the end of the season and in order to finish the last national races, the pigeons are played on nests and, if necessary, not basketed for one week. Otherwise, they are always basketed between the national races.
On the medical side, Pascal Lanneau visits the pigeons every week during the season. His advice is 100% followed, with a preference for as little curative intervention as possible because Jelle is firmly convinced that this destroys the forme.

Eyes and ears open
What strikes us during the conversation and visit is that Jelle is a good listener. He very clearly has his own approach but is not afraid to listen to the experience and pigeon knowledge of others. He surrounds himself with good teachers and observes his pigeons very well. Feet on the ground, level-headedness first and foremost, but above all a healthy motivation and a very great love for pigeon racing.
Some top pigeons - strong holders
Lena remains head and shoulders on the colony as the lady who took the national victory to Kluisbergen and brought eternal fame to the banks of the Scheldt. Her pedigree is to be proud of and the best is expected from her offspring as well (see info on this earlier in the report).

Den 809 (BE16-4139809)

 was a gifted flyer with tops at Chateauroux, Montluçon-national. He is a mix of the pigeons of Willem De Bruyn and Gaby Vandenabeele and the unbeatable line of the Super Blacks of Robert and Bart De Clercq.

Olympic Hope (BE20-4146108) or the 1st national Olympiad pigeon Cat G 2021. An honour to own such a hen. She flew top on all the heavy middle distance races she participated in, excelled in regularity and head racing. Her pedigree includes Willem De Bruyn, Bart and Robert De Clercq, Casaert, and Bernard Van Renterghem.


Meanwhile, this topper already proved her quality in terms of offspring with children who can also fly top with regularity. A half-sister Olympic Roche flew 3rd national on the final Chateauroux in 2023 on Joost's lofts.


1/718d. Argenton
 1/1756d. Zone A1…

6 Nat. Ace Mid. Dist. on 6 National races 2023 (Pipa Ranking)
4/279d. Bourges
7/517d. Chateauroux
9/205d. Pont
13/141d. Maissemy
14/675d. Argenton
26/632d. Argenton
28/863d. Bourges
36/871d. Argenton

2/863d. Bourges 
10/3238d. Zone A3
33/18729d. Nat.
3/712d. Pont
9/2504d. Pont
5/141d. Maissemy
10/257d. Maissemy
5/115d. Pont
7/183d. Pont
9/789d. Ecouen
34/2678d. Ecouen


44/13096d. National Chateauroux

Royal Roche (BE15-4088435)
Is a combination of De Bruijn with Team De Jaeger and sired several pigeons that flew 1st prize and above all sired the 1st national Bourges !

David (BE17-4016516) is a fusion of the success lines Willem De Bruijn x Bart & Robert De Clercq. He was the best pigeon over 8 national races and flew several 1st and 2nd prizes in middle and heavy middle distance.


He is also a gifted sire with several children flying top

1/616d. Orléans
2/1982d. Verbond
1/111d. Pont
2/135d. Pont
2/674d. Bourges
30/6113d. Prov.
2/469d. Orléans
6/1871d. Orléans
69/15308d. Prov.
2/257d. Maissemy
5/1595d. Maissemy
5/188d. Noyon
6/228d. Noyon
6/170d. Pont
7/594d. Ecouen
29/2052d. Ecouen
7/170d. Noyon
8/293d. Noyon
7/161d. Bourges
9/108d. Pont
13/279d. Bourges
14/312d. Noyon 

BE22- 4107473
3/291d. Pont
3/141d. Maissemy
10/953d. Maissemy
4/384d. Pont
18/1864d. Pont
6/215d. Orléans

3/114d. Pont
7/904d. Orléans
41/7093d. Prov.
7/141d. Maissemy 
18/257d. Maissemy


Grandfather of:

1/448d. Montoire
 1/4262d. Prov.
7/583d. Ecouen
 19/1628d. Verbond
8/404d. Pont
19/1081d. Verbond
22/357d. Pont
26/407d. Montoire

1/391d. Chateauroux
1/1724d. Prov.
3/243d. Orléans
 36/6814d. Prov.
5/521d. Chateauroux
8/3125d. Prov.
5/355d. Argenton
7/712d. Pont
7/292d. Bourges
10/106d. Bourges
14/904d. Orléans
 83/7093d. Prov.
29/2331d. Nat. Chateauroux


2/292d. Bourges

 42/4589d. prov.

2/208d. Toury

 2/448d. Toury

5/391d. Montoire

 11/3781d. Provincial

2/684d. Ecouen
6/2650d. Ecouen
4/114d. Pont
9/255d. Vierzon
10/215d. Orléans
19/469d. Orléans
44/1871d. Orléans

A colony in full bloom 
A few more pages could be filled with pigeons that performed strongly and/or populated the breeding loft. The foundations of this colony are strong, very strong. The framing is at its best, the proofs are already extensively displayed and the motivation is top notch.
This is a colony in full growth and bloom. They are with a team that does everything possible to arrive at the start with quality top pigeons. They motivate and support each other in all this and in the short period of existence have established themselves at the head of the lofts that are nationally hot in the heavy middle distance. 
We certainly haven't seen the last of this yet. The top pigeons invariably move to the breeding loft only to widen the base, and that is still the best guarantee for the future.
All this will undoubtedly be followed up favourably with strong results in the coming seasons.
Congratulations from the Herbot team !

Geert Dhaenens

Best results last season 2023

Maissemy (105km)  Old birds 15/04/23                 
Club:     257         1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ,7 ,8, 9, 10, 18, 19, 24, 25,..  39/76
Combine             1595      1, 5, 13, 15, 16, 19, 30, 41, 41, 45, 83, … 32/76

Maissemy (105km)  Yearlings 15/04/23                 
Club:     141         1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,... 31/61
Pont (179km)  Old birds 30/04/23                            
Club:     553         1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 38, 46, 47, 48, 52,... 47/77

Pont (179km)  Yearlings 30/04/23                            
Club:     288         1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 25, 26, 27,...  37/62

Toury (312km)  Old birds 06/05/23           
Club:     181         1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, .... 44/77

Toury (312km)  Yearlings 06/05/23                           
Club:     93           1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, .... 34/62

Orléans (339km)  Old birds 13/05/23                      
Club:     469         1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 27, 29, 30, 31, 37, 40,… 48/76
Combine             1871      3, 6, 7, 8, 19, 23, 29, 31, 36, 37, 44, 61, 65, 66, 69, 89, 97, 124, 139, 142, 172, 174, ... 50/76

Orléans (339km)  Yearlings 13/05/23                      
Club:     215         1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, 19, 21, 22,...  35/61

Vierzon (409km)  Old birds 20/05/23                      
Club:     671         1, 6, 10, 21, 25, 28, 41, 46, 48, 53, ... 39/73

Chateauroux(459km)  Yearlings 02/07/23                            
Club:     406         2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 9, 12, 16, 19, 20, 32, 36, 38, … 19/23

Chateauroux(459km)  Yearlings 22/07/23                            
Club:     517         1, 2, 3, 7, 11, 14, 24, 25, 31, 33, 35, 38, 50, …  27/39

Pont (179km)  Young birds 30/07/23                       
Club:     592         1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 5, 9, 10, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 53, … 32/69

Bourges/Vierzon(409km)  Old birds 30/07/23                    
Club:     161         2, 5, 6, 7, … 6/11

Bourges/Vierzon(409km)  Yearlings 30/07/23                    
Club:     391         1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 24,…  28/39

Bourges/Vierzon(409km)  Old birds 13/08/23                    
Club:     279         1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 7, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22, 25, 27,… 29/41

Montoire(388km)  Young birds 02/09/23                              
Club:     448         1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 17, 19, 20, 32, 41, … 39/65
Provincial            4262      1, 5, 27, 30, 56, 62, 77, …   24/65