Barcelona Old Pigeons


  • 03 Jul 2023 00:00
  • 07 Jul 2023 00:00
  • Old Pigeons

"De Catalaan" of Desplenter Marc (Kortemark) wins 1st Nat. Barcelona (B) against 6,533b.

"De Catalaan"

1st National Barcelona 6,533 old birds

Distance: 1,057km

Velocity: 1,143.92m/m

Clocked the day of release at 22h. 24min and 36 sec

What goes through your head, how hard does the adrenaline rush when you gradually realise that you, with your top pigeon, are winning, or have won, the national victory on Barcelona ?
That's what I thought when I drove into the yard of the beautiful house of Marc Desplenter in Kortemark on Saturday morning. Quite early on Saturday morning it appeared that his Wacko Eddy had achieved a real stunt. A top pigeon, no doubt, with already 2 national tops in the 2022 season, winning Barcelona national.
Marc (62 years young) is used to being busy and to dealing with stress and has been through tougher times in his professional life. Successful manager (his son Yoni is now the 3rd generation) of the Chantilly restaurant in Torhout, he and his family are experts in dealing with unforeseen circumstances.....and yet he was extremely proud of their performance. Pigeons are his hobby...his passion and then emotion sometimes takes over from reason...which is the beauty of a hobby.
His phone buzzes every other minute on average...and customer-friendly as Marc is, everyone is treated in a friendly and pleasant manner. Congratulations all round.

A lubricated tandem with focus on the long-distance races
Fortunately, in these hectic hours Marc can confidently leave the care of the pigeons to his companion Freddy Simoens (62 years old). Freddy is a pigeon fighter of many wars, he already has some national victories to his credit (including the 1st national Limoges with the Baert-Simoens tandem). Freddy is a real soigneur and can read pigeons.
When Marc started with the pigeons in 2018-2019, he wanted to do it well and focus on the heavy long distance. He too made rookie mistakes by investing heavily in pedigree pigeons...which have since been parted with.
It keeps searching to start with the right base. Until he took over a large part of the pigeons from Eddy D'Heedene who said goodbye to pigeon racing. Eddy had proved enough that he could play top on the heaviest races with a small colony and there was a breeding line that had already produced several top flyers.
And it is these pigeons that now make up the bulk of the breeding colony of this lubricated tandem. Freddy is present "whole days" for the care. Marc can already confidently leave the running of the restaurant to his son Yoni and may already escape from the hustle and bustle to come and enjoy the peace and quiet of the pigeon hobby.
The lofts are nicely woven into the garden and near the home of Marc and his wife. The lofts are good and healthy and, together with Freddy, are maintained to perfection. The colony consists of 13 couples of breeders, 22 old birds and about 45 yearling birds. They wean 70 youngsters for their own use. The objective is the long-distance races and both the youngsters and the yearlings are trained for the heavy work from the age of two.
The racers do not breed before the season, they are allowed to breed for 5 days at the end of March and after the season they are allowed to raise 1 youngster and breed "dirty" again to moult quietly.
The youngsters are not darkened and are only taught well, taking care of the future and not playing too wild. As yearling pigeons, they are meant to finish Agen and Narbonne (if the pen position allows) and then the biggest selection is over.
At basketing, cocks do not get to see any hens and are basketed as quietly as possible. During the season, there is a fortnightly medical check-up but so far the necessary interventions in the 2023 season have failed to materialise. As feed, Beyers feed is used with a feeding schedule at the last 6 feedings.

De Catalaan is a crack
o 19th club 260 b (2022)
o 31st prov 863 b
o 72nd nat 3,734 b

o 1st club 369 b (2022)
o 4th prov 918 b
o 9th nat 2,899 b

o 1st club 313 b (2023)
o 1st prov 1,187 b 
o 1st nat 6,533 b

He arrived for a distance of 1,057 km at 22.24 hrs in Kortemark and covered the distance Barcelona to Kortemark day by day and at a minute speed of 1,143 m per minute. What an achievement !You can already come home with that as a 3 year old pigeon ! A real crack.It is a very beautiful pigeon in the hand. Slim and slender with soft plume and little weight and a very strong pigmented eye.A real heavy long-distance pigeon. On its father's side, it has the strong breeding line of Eddy D'Heedene's loft Bungeneers-Polder-Batenburg. His mother comes directly from the super loft of Dieter Ballmann from Amel and is a daughter of his Barcelona-crack hors-catégorie Champ, coupled with the bloodlines of Rudi Grün. Dieter Ballmann's loft is, besides very strong performances on its own loft, supplier of several top pigeons on other lofts. The heaviest long-distance blood can be found in the pedigree of this top pigeon.

Barcelona my dream
This statement many a long-distance fancier has in his head, cherishing a silent dream of ever scoring a top on this flight.....but victory is even a sky higher. This is what De Catalaan achieved on the lofts of Marc Desplenter and his keeper Freddy Simoens. A colony under construction that already showed last season that it has a lot to offer and this season crowned it with this national victory. 
The healthy, relaxed ambition has not diminished, quite the contrary. It will be an incredible boost to continue doing everything possible to keep the banner high in the future. We are convinced that we have not yet seen the last of this loft. But in the meantime, it is floating on the zegeroes' cloud after this victory at Barcelona.
Congratulations from the Herbots team !
Geert Dhaenens


Geert Dhaenens