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Guebs Andre (Bertogne) 1st Nat. Valence 5,469 old birds

09 Jun 2024

Frankly we are very grateful to "Google Maps" for its help. When we read on the online entries website that the winner of the national Valence flight registered in Bertonge (Longchamps district), we scratched our heads. I can assure you, if as a reporter you have just visited the national Argenton winner in Mol, it is quite a drive to the province of Luxembourg to go "dans le coeur des Ardennes" to congratulate the next national victor. 

It was already towards dusk when we arrived at Route des Ecoles No 1. Andre Guebs was sitting with a friend and his family enjoying the top performance his blue widower "Mustang" had just delivered. "On a déjà fait un peu la fête" were Andre's first words, who are we to prove him wrong...we would do just the same.

3rd National win

Geographically, it does not seem easy to hold our own in that area of Belgium on the national races and this was confirmed by national Valence winner Andre Guebs. "We have to rely on the Rhone races" Andre starts his story "Valence, Montélimar and Marseille are marked with fluor on the flight calendar here. Even more, we only basket the flights from the Rhône valley. For all other national races I pass" 

For those who think the name Guebs is not unfamiliar to the ears, well this Valence win is already the 3rd national win for Andre. In 1998 he won national and International Marseille against 19,966 old birds, in 2004 he won 1st national Marseille (and also 2nd national Orange) and now for the third time bingo at national level


The Valence national winner is blue widower "Mustang". He is part of a 29-strong widower team. This includes 20 old and 9 yearling widowers. Andre only plays with cocks on widowhood. During spring, part of the widowers' plough raised young and the other part did not breed. "Mustang" was in the group in the 2nd group. 

The preparation for Valence was also somewhat special. Andre says: "We have a lot of predatory birds here and that's why I never train my pigeons. Believe it or not but the old widowers go directly to Auxerre (292km). Afterwards they flew Nevers and their 3rd flight was already the national Valence flight. I know my system is very "hard" but it is my way of playing pigeons and the pigeons just have to adapt. As a yearling, "Mustang" had reeled off as many as 6 big middle distance races. So had some experience in its wings"

The basis of the Guebs colony is "own breed". The first pigeons came from fancier Constant Rahier (St. Georges) and these were always selected. The good pigeons were put on breeding and so the Guebs colony was refined into what it is today. 

On the menu are the mixtures of Van Robaeys. A "winter mixture" is fed as a basis and the last 4 days before basketing for an important race this is replaced by a Super Widowhood mixture.

Vet Schröeder is visited every year and all by-products are therefore from the Tollisan/Schröeder range.
Andre: "Of course, nobody expects a national win but despite the cold, wet weather, my cocks had the condition. I could see that from their daily training sessions. The gang was always splashing out. Pigeons were flying everywhere and as a fancier I really like to see that anyway."
Released at 7.20am, "Mustang" registered for a distance of 574km as early as 14h 30min and 39 sec. "I didn't see him coming as I was all but expecting the pigeons. It was friends who sent me messages of congratulations. The Pass system had done its job."


1st National Valence 5,469 old birds

Distance: 574km

Velocity: 1,333.35 m/m

Stefan Mertens