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Leo Van Horenbeeck - Wijgmaal - 1 Nat. Champion Great Middle Distance Youngsters KBDB 2019

21 Nov 2019

National races with youngsters, 4 chances where you have to clock your first 2 signed 3x early to be able to become a National Champion. This was done in 2019 by the colony of Leo Van Hoorebeeck from Wijgmaal. Leo was busy having one of his best seasons ever with the 1st National (z) Limoges old birds and 1st National (z) Argenton with the youngsters, or in other words, all round top class on all races. Off course the title of National Champion is the icing on the cake as he had never won a national title before. He could taste from a national victory before and this in 2013 on Vichy and in 2017 on Argenton. An important given is that all the best pigeons aren’t ever being sold over here and can all move to the breeding loft in the hope that they will perform equally was as breeder then as a racer. 

Leo is racing from this loft since years now, his son Christophe used to race together with him over here but is running his own colony now in Schaffen, also with very good results. It is also the case that 40 youngsters from the first breeding round goes to him with as a consequence that Leo has to race a bit younger birds then normal. But when you have a look at the results this doesn’t make any difference. 

Highlights 2019

1 Nat Champion youngsters greater middle distance KBDB
1 Prov Champion youngsters greater middle distance KBDB
1 Champion youngsters greater middle distance Brabant Union
1 Nat (z) Argenton 4,796 youngsters
1 Nat (z) Limoges 1,928 old birds
2 Prov Ace bird greater middle distance youngsters KBDB 

Which pigeons do you basket on the races ? 

I race both widow cocks as hens. And this with a rather small team as 12 widow cocks and 20 racing hens take care of the results over here. 

The widow cocks are being coupled end of November together with the breeders and can raise a couple of youngsters. Afterwards there isn’t a second coupling but as from end of February it is time to start training again. Once the young birds are on sliding doors in the season, the widow cocks train together with the young cocks and the hens with the young hens. From then on they come out twice a day.

The widow cocks race especially the greater middle distance and long distance and this every fortnight. After Bourges II or maybe for a few the race after, they can retire for that season. 

In a matter of motivation they get to see their hen on the first 2 races before the race, just to let them get used on what is coming as afterwards the hen disappears and only a nest dish is being showed at basketing. At arrival they can always stay together until Leo comes back from the club and then he starts to take them apart. The period that they are together is about 3 to 4 hours. 

The hens have another schedule

I have 20 racing hens but this year there were 14 of them who were lesbian, Leo’s favourite game. Every year he tries to couple them as much as possible amongst each other and race them on a nest position during the season. Those who don’t want to pair up amongst each other are being taken out and will be raced amongst the youngsters on sliding doors. During the Winter period he will certainly breed an early round of youngsters out of the best hens who are being coupled to a widow cock or a breeder 

Afterwards they move to an aviary so he can control their urge to lay eggs a bit during Spring and the eggs they do lay are being taken away. The goal is that they make their 1st nest around the beginning of May, mostly they have 2 per season and when the youngsters are about 14 to 15 days they are being taken away and it just starts all over again. 

For their daily training he makes sure that they do train a bit, when Leo notices that they don’t train well enough, he will toss them once more extra to keep up their condition. When the season moves on they train together with the young birds and this does bring the swung back in again. 

The hens that don’t want to pair up go to the loft of the youngsters which they know well from the year before and will look on their own for a motivation to race. Mostly this is due to a young cock where they fall in love with in the middle of the season. The national zone winner from Limoges had her eye on a young cock but wasn’t paired up totally to him yet. 

The ladies do have to race each week or for a national race or for a shorter race that can variate between the 100 and 300km. At basketing they make sure that the couples aren’t being basketed together during 2 or 3 days. The season takes a little bit longer for them as for the cocks and Leo dares to race them even until the beginning of September. 

Are there any other special things you do? 

Well, 99,9% from us darkens the youngsters to race. I already start doing this from March until they stop racing. This from 18h00 in the evening until 7 o’clock in the morning. When I don’t do this I have a street light that shines directly on the lofts so the pigeons can’t keep their feathers and don’t know any rest. I don’t experience anything negative in doing this so I just keep on doing it. 


I breed yearly about 70 young pigeons, they are being darkened but not lightened. They start flying a bit quicker than the real youngster as they are a bit younger but I don’t have a problem with that. As from the moment they had Momignies and Soissoins they will go on the sliding doors system and train together with the old birds. They always come together before basketing for about 2 to 3 hours. By the end of the season I always place some shelfs and dishes on the loft so the motivation stays. At arrival they can stay as long together as the old birds can. 

Best Pigeons 2019

2021381/2019 Chequered hen
4 Prov Ace bird greater middle distance youngsters KBDB

  1                     Argenton                        654b
  1         Nat(z)                                       4,796b
56       Nat                                           23,258b
  2                     Chateauroux                655b
  4         Br.Un                                        2,722b
83       Nat                                           19,529b
  8                     Fay-Au-Loges               373b
58       Prov    Fay-Au-Loges            2,377b

Father 2073004/2011 Top racer
Won ao. 3 Prov Jarnac 232b, 6 Limoges 575b, 35 Nat Limoges 13,496b 

Gr.F. 2036079/2007 De 079
            Son to “696/05” Grijze x “085/05” Daughter super couple
Gr.M. 2246740/2006 Daughter Mosselman
            Daughter to “021/99” Mosselman x “033/04” P De Becker

Mother 2021056/2010 Top racer
Won ao 1 Soissons 396b, 158 S.Nat Chateauroux 8,092b, 331 Nat Bourges 30,748b

Gr.F. 2076092/2006 Top breeder
            Won himself 38 Nat Argenton 14,534b, 163 Nat La Souterraine 13,965b
            Son to “730/00” Blauwe P Verhaegen x “078/99” 1 Toury 1,197b
Gr.M. 2202072/2002 Daughter base breeding couple
            Daughter to “536/96” Stamvader x “061/97” Mother Witvlekje J Vandessel

2053067/2016 Blue hen
Direct Koen Van Laer

       1    Nat(z)  Limoges                       1,928b
     11    Nat                                               9,661b
     10                   Soissons                         710b
     12                   Argenton                        166b
     28                   Melun                              337b
     31                   Melun                              517b
     41    Br.Un    Argenton                       568b
   480   Nat        Chateauroux           14,762b
1532    Nat        Chateauroux           20,522b

Father 2090677/2006 Old Ring
Gr.F. 2061238/2007 Late James
            Son to  “026/06” Zoon Valentin A Derwa x “046/01” Super breeding hen
Gr.M. 10 Nat Bourges John Vandessel

Mother 2090671/2006 Old Ring
Gr.F. 2027255/2009 Blue
            Son to “180/06” A Derwa x “789/07” Flor Van Horenbeeck
Gr.M. 2027233/2009 Dikke Duivin
            Daughter to “899/07” J Coeckelberghs x “174/06” Daughter Flor 1 

2021376/2019 Grey hen

11       Prov    Fay-Au-Loges        2,377b
14                    Fay-Au-Loges            443b
31                    Fay-Au-Loges            373b
66       Nat(z) Argenton                 4,796b

Father 2073583/2010 Strain Robert Van Eycken x Stichelbaut

Mother 2125289/2016 Daugther Ace bird

Gr.F. 2299817/2015 Ace bird – Timmermans – Poels
            Ace bird Hageland Race 2015
            Son to “480/13” White pin C Reynders x “069/14” White M Wellens
Gr.M. 2020908/2008 
            Daughter to “328/05” Son Prov Argenton x “384/04” Blue

2125006/2019 Dark chequered cock
2 Prov Ace bird GMD youngsters KBDB 2019
Direct Gust Vandenbroeck

    67   Nat(z) Argenton                    4,796b
  319  Nat      Chateauroux           19,529b
1205  Nat      Chateauroux           22,476b


I trust on the Beyers mixtures the entire year trough. I give 100% Gaby Vandenabeele mixture until the 200km races. I do add pealed sunflower seeds, candy and peanuts to it. From then on I look how hard the weather will be and give then one or two days Brilliant. At arrival they also get the Vandenabeele mixture this together with proteins and electrolytes. 

The youngsters get after weening for one more month breeding mixture and I will switch onto the Gaby mixture after this month. 

I go to Raf Herbots or Stijn Rans for a medical check-up. The old birds had a cure against trichomoniases in Spring this year and this together with something against head diseases. The youngsters had the exact same but I treated them twice against trichomoniases. They also get after the season a treatment with Emdotrim against paratype but without an injection.  As extra’s I give mostly the products from HERBOTS or HERBOVET gamma. This is how they get on Mondays and Thursdays Herbosol in the drinking water and get yellow drops over the food on Monday. Next to this I also make a lot of use of Avidress from Röhnfried and apple vinegar.  

Best results 2019

Bourges 940 youngsters : 14,29,23,53,60,93,… 17/26
Chateauroux Br.Union 2.722 youngsters : 4,46,63,208,249,… 15/27
Argenton Nat (z) 4.796 youngsters : 1,66,67,117,285,296,346,… 
Montlucon Prov 708 old : 7,12,… 3/8
Montlucon Prov 1.063 yearling : 8,60,… 4/8
Limoges Br.Union 1.103 old : 1,33,57,… 4/6
Momignies 1.126 youngsters: 13,34,36,52,96,… 11/26
Etampes 793 old : 5,22,35,49,76,… 13/20
Etampes 394 youngsters : 7,10,23,39,… 9/13
Chevrainvilliers 5.681 youngsters e : 8,29,259,265,323,397,454,553,… 14/34
Fay-Au-Loges 829 youngsters : 8,27,32,63,79,79,… 19/28
Fay-Au-Loges Prov 742 old : 28,33,44,62,65,… 12/18
Fay-Au-Loges Br.Union 2.052 youngsters : 67,80,103,132,182,… 11/33
Blois Prov 3.050 yearling : 40,76,154,… 5/6
Soissons 953 youngsters : 5,7,8,58,59,… 13/21

Leo a big congratulation with the achieved results from the entire HERBOTS TEAM. 

Buelens Kim