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Vrancken – Berden, Kuringen shines with super star “Rico”: World’s best FCI Ace bird Short Distance 2020

14 Mar 2021

In the Limburg village Kuringen you can find the house of Eric Vrancken and his family. The past years the tandem Vrancken – Berden has been one of the highlights in the bigger competition of Middle Limburg. It started with the 3rd Olympiad bird youngsters in 2017, 2 years later super star ‘Wout’ was born who became 2nd Olympiad bird youngsters in Poznan 2019 and now in 2021 they really hit it of with ‘Rico’ who brought more than one ace bird title to Kuringen. In detail this means that ‘Rico’ in his super season won the 1st National Ace bird Short Distance KBDB 2020, then he also became 1st National Olympiad bird Olympic Hope Cat. F KBDB 2020 and World’s best Ace bird FCI Short Distance (old – year birds and youngsters all together). This last title isn’t only for Belgium but over all the countries that compete in this competition. This is how he is doing even better than his father who won this title for Belgium as well in 2019.
And now the circle is round as with 3,2,1, on the Olympiad competition during the past 3 years, but personally I think that the motivation from Eric and the super classful pigeons that are present are able to do so much more. 

Results of the championships KBDB 2017-2020

1st World’s best Ace bird FCI Short Distance ( old – year birds and youngsters together) 2020 
1st World’s best Ace bird FCI Short Distance Belgium with “White Man”
1st Nat Olympiad bird Olympic Hope Cat. F KBDB 2020 
1st Nat Ace bird short distance youngsters KBDB 2020
1st Prov Ace bird middle distance youngsters KBDB 2020 
2nd Olympiad bird youngsters 2019 Poznan
2nd Prov Ace bird short distance old KBDB 2019
3rd Olympiad bird youngsters 2017 Brussel
3rd Nat Ace bird short distance old KBDB 2019
4th Nat Ace bird middle distance youngsters KBDB 2020 
12th Nat Ace bird short distance year birds KBDB 2018

The beginning

Erik and his brother Willy learned all about pigeons from father Albert and now we’re talking about the eighties where they raced from the parental house. Afterwards, Erik started with his wife Marleen in 1989 on the current location where they still race their pigeons from. At the beginning it were especially pigeons from his father and brother and Jos Claeskens. Later he went to other Limburg top lofts for reinforcement like for example from the late Pros Roosen. Erik got the ‘Soontjes’ strain from this last one which he still doesn’t regret as he had a lot of successes with them already. The last 2 buys take care of the big success they are experiencing right now. The first one is from the colony of Antoon Neven from Lummen who raced really well and where Eric bought the father to ‘Wout’ and afterwards the mother to ‘Rico’ on an online auction from Antoon. The other colony is Rene Vervoort from Hulshout where he got ‘White Man’, a direct Vervoort pigeon that won himself twice a national ace bird title and also ‘Molleke Marie’ who became 4th National Ace bird Middle Distance KBDB 2020 and is also a direct Vervoort pigeon. Or how an unknown colony takes care of fantastic results and where the cooperation between these last 2 colonies is very nice. 

Mini colony with maxi results

Eric doesn’t like to keep too many pigeons, he likes to have many lofts with only a few pigeons on them so he can control everything and can observe everything really good. The bond between pigeon and fancier has a big influence over here on the results set.

The season 2020 was started off with 11 year birds and 50 youngsters. The group of year birds existed out of 5 widow cocks and 6 hens who were raced on the classic widowhood. This group is especially being raced on the short and middle distance. The hens do 4x a short distance race as preparation for the middle distance so they race afterwards always middle distance with 2 nights basket. But also here Eric isn’t afraid to set results as with a 3rd Provincial Sourdun against 1,736 old birds and a 3rd Provincial Sens against 1,171 old birds (doubles with year birds) he also has top results on this discipline. 


The youngsters are being bred in 3 rounds out of the breeders. Every round sits separated from each other and are being darkened from weening on to half of May ( 18h00 – 08h00 ). This was done as he likes to be ready from the very start with the youngsters and likes to compete against many pigeons in the Union of Middle Limburg. He never gives more light and when the condition goes back he stops. But now he has the idea for 2021 to darken one loft a bit longer than the rest so they can compete a big longer. 

When the youngsters train well around the house and really train away from the loft, they are being basketed. He spends a lot of time on this as he thinks he can get a lot of advantages out of this. They have to be home before me and especially the condition and the eager to get home has to be there. Before the season starts of I dare to race 10 to 15 times and during the season itself I take them once a week till 25km. 

The first 4 to 5 races they just race all together, from then on some couples have been formed and the sliding door system can start off. I keep busy in figuring out who is in which box with whom or which couples likes to nest on the floor so I can put carton boxes or shelves on these spots. Before basketing they can stay together for a few hours. 


When we held ‘Rico’ in our hands for the first time we knew it directly, a classful pigeon with huge muscles and a wonderful wing combined with very tight ventbones. Or what is ideal for this cock is that he is of the right size to combine more than one hen with. Curious what children out of him will do on the Herbots racing loft as ‘Rico’ went as an investment to the breeding loft of the Herbots company to become a new top breeder over here. When you read underneath which is the ‘worst’ result of him we are still speaking of the 8th price against 5,000 pigeons ! 

Also his brothers did it really well in 2020 which is very promising for 20221. 

BE 20-5031856 “Rico”
1 World’s best Ace bird FCI Short Distance ( old – year birds and youngsters together ) 2020 
1 Nat Olympiad bird Olympic Hope Cat.F KBDB 2020 
1 Nat Ace bird short distance youngsters KBDB 2020

1             Laon                      2,924b
1             Laon                         274b
2             Laon                      4,451b
3             Chimay                 3,654b
3             Chimay                    239b
8             Dizy                       4,982b
12           Vervins                 5,077b

Brother to ao. “801/20” 2 Laon 2,924b – 2 Laon 987b - 11 Laon 4,451b – 25 Vervins 5,077b 
Brother to “871/20” 2 Vervins 868b – 28 Vervins 5,077b 
Brother to “855/20” 17 Laon 4,451b – 24 Chimay 3,339b – 46 Chimay 3,612b 

Father BE 17-6214606 White Man – Rene Vervoort
Raced at Vrancken Berden
Super racer – 3 Nat Ace bird short distance KBDB 2019 – 12 Nat Ace bird short distance KBDB 2018 and
1st World’s best Ace bird FCI Short distance Belgium
Won ao. 2 Soisssons 4,153b ( 1-893b ) – 2 Chimay 1,791b ( 1-431b ) – 3 Dizy 2,682b ( 1-689b ) – 5 Chimay 1,319b ( 4-397b ) – 5 Chimay 1,557b ( 5-335b ) – 6 Soissons 2,229b – 6 Laon 1,488b – 9 Chimay 1,509b – 13 Laon 1,687b – 14 Chimay 2,629b – 19 Dizy 4,234b 

Gr.F. BE 14-6140411 Goede Witte - Rene Vervoort
                Won 6 Noyon 2,214b – 9 Souppes 1,460b
                Son to “BE 412-12” Last son base breeding couple x “BE 10-310” Van Opstal x Oosterwijck
Gr.M. BE 14-6095700 Rene Vervoort x Guldentops Wittocks

Mother BE 18-5040905 New Niki – Neven Antoon
Won 1st Ace bird middle distance 2018 – won ao: 3 Soissons 783b – 4 Soissons 1,917b – 6 Momignies 833b
Sister “468/16” Niki 1 Prov Chevrainvilliers 3,370b
Sister “017/17” Gilberta 5 Prov Gien 3,049b 
Sister “474/16” Evenepoel 1 Laon 1,370b – 2 Soissons 1,109b – 3 Momignies 1,214b – 4 Laon 3,322b – 6 Sezanne 1,179b – 7 Sourdun 1,447b – 7 Momignies 1,144b 

Gr.F. BE 12-5007019 Terpstra – Neven Antoon
                Won 1 Nanteuil 668b - 1 Marne 407b – 1 Vervins 367b – 1 Vervins 360b – 1 Reims 211b 
                Son to “BE 07-041” 3 x 1st x “BE 02-194” 2 x 1st 
Gr.M. BE 13-5000209 Lore – Neven Antoon
                Won 1-2-2-3-…
                Daughter to “BE 05-367” Boonen 3 x 1st x “BE 05-181” Mother Lore

Super star on the middle distance in 2020 was BE 20-6023328 “Mormelke Marie”
1 Prov Ace bird middle distance youngsters KBDB 2020
4 Nat Ace bird middle distance youngsters KBDB 2020

24           Prov      Sens                      6,047b ( 2-300b )
31           Prov      Melun                    8,101b  ( 1-405b )
33           Prov      Fay Aux Loges     6,470b  
48                           Sezanne             3,589b

Father BE 15-6292350 Rene Vervoort - Brother to father “White Man” 
Rene Vervoort x Vanopstal Van Oosterwijck

Mother BE 16-6052300 Sister White Man
mother is a sister to “White Man” 
Gr.F. BE 14-6140411 Goede Witte - Rene Vervoort
                Won 6 Noyon 2,214b – 9 Souppes 1,460b
                Son to “BE 412-12” Last son base breeding couple “BE 10-310” Van Opstal x Oosterwijck
Gr.M. BE 14-6095700 Rene Vervoort x Guldentops Wittocks


Eric believes in the Versele Laga mixtures. He can’t tell us how much he feeds as everything is on feeling. He makes use of 3 different types of mixtures and these are: Sport Sublime, Moulting Sublime and Zoontjes-mixture. The youngsters get this last mixture at arrival from a race until Monday. Afterwards he switches on to a mixture of the 3 kinds together which he makes even a big heavier on Wednesdays and on Thursday- and Friday mornings it is 100% Sport Sublime and Moulting Sublime together. 

Eric feeds twice a day but in the morning a bit less as in the evening and every loft also gets a portion of candy together with a fat rich mixture. 

Before the season starts off the racing team is being cured against trichomoniases and in 2020 he treated once for airway diseases. They also get electrolytes in the drinking pot on Sundays. During the season he goes for a check-up every month but as he has so few pigeons on the loft he mostly sees it when somethings wrong. Also during the daily training I watch the pigeons. With only 5 widow cocks you can tell immediately when one trains less as the others. 

Best results 2020

Laon 290b : 1,2,3,… 8/10
Dizy 783b : 1,5,8,15,… 9/11
Vervins 446 youngsters : 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,… 21/28
Laon 354 youngsters : 1,2,3,4,5,9,10,11,12,14,… 24/28
Laon 987 youngsters : 1,2,4,5,10,… 15/34
Laon 793b : 1,2,3,… 7/10
Vervins 5,077 youngsters : 9,9,12,15,23,25,28,31,… 16/28
Dizy 4,982 youngsters : 8,9,25,28,32,… 25/28
Chimay 3,654 youngsters : 3,4,19,20,32,36,… 19/31
Vervins 1,730 youngsters : 7,8,9,11,16,18,20,22,… 16/28
Laon 2,924 youngsters : 1,2,4,6,11,43,… 16/34
Laon 4,451 youngsters : 1,2,3,4,5,10,11,12,13,15,… 24/28
Sens Prov 1,171 old : 3,… 2/2
Sourdun Prov 1,736 old : 3,… 2/2
Sourdun 4,284 old : 20,22,39,… 5/6

Eric, a big congratulation with these amazing results from the entire HERBOTS TEAM. 

Buelens Kim