Perpignan Old Pigeons


  • 01 Aug 2023 00:00
  • 04 Aug 2023 00:00
  • Old Pigeons

Milovic Mirko & Darko: Essen: 1st National Perpignan 5,722 old birds

"Donkere 38"
1st National Perpignan 5,722 old birds

Distance: 991km
Velocity: 1,097.75 m/m


The weather gods are not fickle, rather they are firm in their fickleness. For the first few weeks of the pigeon season, the wind blew constantly from the northeast with warm temperatures on top. It was becoming a grueling season. 
The pigeons had to fight flight after flight to get home well and the selection was becoming rock hard....until the weather turned and we constantly found ourselves in a period of rain, lots of wind and lots of wind from the west and southwest.
Such a change in weather also manifests itself in a marked change in pigeon races. Other pigeons ? Other flights ? In each case the course is different and it is other regions that get the advantage or disadvantage. But that is peculiar to pigeon racing and...fortunately we cannot determine the weather yet.
Perpignan 1 week in the basket
Brought in on Monday as the last classic within the program of the heavy long distance, it was no weather to release the pigeons in Perpignan. The weather was always changeable and especially the north of France was plagued by wind and lots of rain.
Then the baskets remained unopened until Monday morning. The weather over the entire flight line was good and clear and the international flight from Perpignan could be released.
As the pigeons progressed, they would get more tail wind and everything suggested that pigeons would arrive smoothly in Belgium in the evening. Nothing was less true...the first arrivals in France suggested that it would be more difficult than expected. Some pigeons could prepare their loft in Belgium but these were the areas closest to France. So it would be Tuesday before most pigeons could prepare their loft.
The morning sun has gold in its mouth
This was also the case with the Milovic family in Essen in the Antwerp Kempen region. The tension was palpable, 21 pigeons were basketed for their favorite field, the long distance.
Son Darco (35 years old) had just left on vacation (vacation after the last race and before school resumes at the beginning of September...). Due to the postponement of the flight, he was not home for the arrivals from Perpignan.
Mom Jadranka and dad Mirko (in their home where the pigeons also live) would "do the honors". It was still dark on Tuesday morning when suddenly a pigeon was sitting on the ground in front of the light of the lofts and the aviaries in front of it, waiting to reclaim its nest box.
With a careful approach, daddy Mirko opened the door of the aviary and then carefully guided the little dark-shelled dove to the loft. You can see all this in the video that is also included in the presentation. You can clearly see from the speed at which the cock walks across the perpetuation site that it is happy with its homecoming.
The improbable becomes true, the 1st national is in. They don't have to doubt for long because they live almost on the border with the Netherlands and pretty soon it becomes clear that no pigeon will achieve a higher speed. 
With a minute speed of 1,097.75 meters per minute (and taking into account the neutralization period), the Dark 38 of 2017 is the first pigeon of 5,722 pigeons for Belgium and wins gold on the flight from Perpignan.
Because of the wind and the speed at which the pigeons were chased, the Dutch get the upper hand, but this does not diminish the performance of this small strongly built cock.
One goal, topping the long distance
At that time, father Mirko already had pigeons in Yugoslavia, high flyers, and also made nice successes there. When they came to Belgium, there were first half long distance pigeons (2002). Mirko was helped from the beginning with eggs from Filip Herbots' racers for the middle-distance races.
After a few years, he developed a great fondness for the very long distance races and decided to go for it (2012). After some detective work, pigeons were obtained from Gubbelmans in Limburg and they were helped with a lot of advice and top pigeons from Albert (Berke) Willems in Eisden-Maasmechelen. These pigeons form the strong basis of this loft. In a later phase and more recently some pigeons were obtained from Batenburg-Van de Merwe, Frank Zwiers, Koen Van Haarlem.
The aim, given their location, is to breed pigeons that fly long in the evening and are also alert early in the morning.  And apparently this has succeeded anyway with this national victory on Perpginan. The pigeons are started on widowhood and then paired up for the long distance races. As yearlings Agen and Narbonne and from the age of 2 onwards full time racing. In recent years, many top national prizes have been won in Essen, which proves that this strategy works and pays off. The winner (De Donkere 38) was basketed when breeding. His origin is on the father's side and a cross between the pigeons of Berke Willems and those of Gobbelmans. The mother is back a Willems hen with a dash of long-distance blood from the Desbuquois brothers.  In any case, this origin is a good one as it produces national winners !

A special thanks to Berke ! It's all a bit uncomfortable....a first national race, the emotions, son Darco who is supporting from his holiday resort, visitors, photos, descendants of Perpignan...and yet everyone is welcomed with a big smile, good coffee and some snacks. The Milovic family is celebrating and rightly so! Stories are told and there are emotions. But very special Mirko emphasises the role of Berke Willems, who really helped them with advice, deeds and pigeons. Who believed in them unconditionally and did everything to get them to the top. Worth a more than big thank you ! While Darco is enjoying his holiday with his family, it is more than enjoyable at the home base in Essen.  A nice culmination of many efforts.

Congratulations from the Herbot team !

Geert Dhaenens



Dhaenens Geert