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D'Haenens Geert - Oudenaarde : 3rd National Champion KBDB Extreme Long Distance & Long Distance year birds

07 Feb 2020

Oudenaarde: To be honest, we are happy to have people like Geert Dhaenens amongst our acquaintances. Geert... cut out of the clay of the Flemish Ardennes...a guy where you can built a church on...a warm person, those where they don't make too many of any more. It is there for us a real pleasure that Geert was celebrated in winning the 3rd National Champion KBDB extreme long distance & long distance. And if  we here the story of Geert we would also like to sign the KBDB people ...according our modest opinion Geert is the school example of the group of people where the KBDB could win over the more necessary members.  Let's explain ourselves a bit more . Geert, 61 years, came just as many of his peers in contact with the beautiful hobby that pigeon sport is. Grandfather Jules Vergucht was in those days, and now we're talking the sixties, the feared champion of the area. With a small but qualitative team he could win over money from known fanciers such as De Smet Gebroeders. They pooled a lot those days and they looked more to the guy that won the 'warranty'  than at the guy that won the 1st prize. Grandfather Jules was stimulated and motivated by his neighbour  Felicien De Clercq, a fancier that probably never had a bad season. The proof that when you live in area with a lot of competitors, this will keep you focussed and which will make that the results go automatically crescendo.  
Geert had the ideal teacher with his grandfather Jules. Geertje became Geert and build out his own life path where the love and care for his family and his career at the KBC bank got priority on pigeon sport. More than 15 years pigeon sport was followed from a distance. 'My brother Antoine has been a fancier his entire life' explains Geert 'and this is how my love for pigeons sport never faded out. After a career of 38 years at the bank I could enjoy a settlement of an early retirement at the bank which I took on with both hands. From one day onto the other I had more free time...the children all left the house and started of their own family and financially one has to worry less as well. More spare time asks for a hobby and this is how I filled out a loft list.' The KBDB gained another soul...and to get back to our statement...according to us there are a lot of people such as Geert who learned to appreciate pigeon sport when they were young and now when they retire have time to really practise pigeon sport. With targeted campaigns this group has to be addressed as well. 


Geert continues telling his story:' In fact, I started to build out my breeding loft in 2013. The breeders resided at my place and the youngsters went all to my brothers' loft who raced them for me. My breeding loft exists out of about 32 couples and these were bought with the goal to have a group of pigeons that can set results from 400 to 700km and a second group for the races from 700 to 900km. I consciously bought pigeons for these distance and are being kept separately as well for that goal. The past 6/7 years I bought pigeons from following fanciers : Gaby Vandenabeele (16 original),  Rik Cools, Luc De Laere,  Annnick Goeteyn and Jos Goessen. Also from the strong old strain from my brother Antoine (based on Imbrecht pigeons) a few breeders are being coupled against these new strains. Other base names are  De Clercq-Vervaeren / De Smeyter-Restiaen, Marc & Geert Pollin, Herbots Gebroeders, Wilson Dekens and Dieter Ballmann. These pigeons were and are being crossed and also some individual pigeons from fanciers from my are contribute  (Nicky Devos, Eric Vansteenkiste, Youri Deblanc, Wilfried Bruyneel, John Meurysse, Jos & Jan Loobuyck,Pierre Vercamst, Eddy & Maarten Leutenez, Chris Hebberecht, Eric Limbourg, Bart & Nance Van Oeckel,Noë Decoster, Nouwen-Paesen (via Pedro Ruigrok)…).  And co-breeding was don with Stefan Mertens, Filip Porrez, Andre Vermeiren, Freddy Vertriest, De Ruyck-De Clercq.  The following strains were just recently bought and are still in the 'test-breeding': ” :  Flip Steketee, Piet De Vogel, Raf Van den Berghe, Ad Pegels, Marc Valepijn. Recent assets are a son to the 2nd best Limoges-pigeon over 4 races from  Lannoo-De Clercq (100 % Vandenabeele), brother “Mr Supreme” (1st nat Tulle, 2nd nat Argenton at Godfried Vanderstichele), “Reborn Benji” (16th nat Jarnac John Meurysse, grandson Benji Vandenabeele x Keikop Loobuyck), 2 hens from  Wilfried Bruyneel.

Now I would like to mention that I can always can go with my questions to fanciers such as  Gaby Vandenabeele, off course my brother  Antoine, upcoming talent and established value Eric Van Steenkiste. How I got in contact with Gaby Vandenabeele ? Well...I had a question concerning a product from  Röhnfried and I just send an e-mail to the known champion out of Dentergem...'Sir, I have a question...' and within the shortest period of time I got a kind reply and from one thing came another. 


This came in 2018...a group of youngsters that weren't being transferred to my brother but stayed at my place to be raced by me.  I told my friends with a smile 'let's see what the youngsters out of my 'paper' breeding loft can do. The parents all have an amazing pedigree but that isn't a guarantee to get top results. Luckily this isn't the way pigeon sport works. Well...I was more than satisfied with my first season. I won a few 1st prizes and was proud of my first cup that I received as champion of the Flemish Ardennes young birds (1st and 2nd signed) raced on 6 races over 350km. 

Seen that I only have a modest accommodation I was looking for an extra loft. Several prize offers were asked at the loft builders but disappeared in the waste bin when I got the chance to buy the loft from Marc Bogaert. Together with my brother we went to check out the 18m long loft  and from the first moment both my brother and I got a good feeling with it. It clicked...or you might even was love at first sight. The necessary schedule to break down and rebuild the loft was made and via this way I want to say thanks again to all people who helped me with it. Without them it surely didn't work out and thanks to them it all worked out perfectly and now I can show off with my marvellous second hand loft.  


The season of 2019 was started off with a group of 25 widow cocks. In February the could check out their new loft and could choose a box. During this period they got a mixture of 50% breeding + 25% paddy rice and 25% barley. In the drinking water they got at least 3x a week Naturaline with some extra garlic in the drinking pot. On 25/03 they were being coupled on advice of Gaby Vandenabeele I let them breed over. During this period they were being trained and prepared for the first races. Once the first pigeons left their nests aside they were being separated and the widowhood became a fact. Oh yes...what set me at ease was that my pigeons looked really well...this showed that my loft was a good loft and that is really important in order to get results on paper during the season.

In a matter of motivation they only got to see their hen at the beginning of the season with as goal to learn them the game but once they knew how it worked I only gave them their nest dish. The last two long distance races they were being motivated in an extra way by giving their hen the day before basketing during a longer period of time. 


The goal is to keep the medicine cupboard closed the entire year trough and to keep the pigeons healthy in a natural way. Everything begins and stands with a good loft and that is for the fancier himself to practise his knowledge. Only some side products which I give a lot are the former mentioned Naturaline + garlic and Avidress. These two I even dare to give more days a week together. Other side products are giving a bit on feeling. This is how I have 'fresh brewers' yeast from the brewery', Atemfrei, Blitz (from the greater middle distance on), Optimix and Aminovit (Herbots) are always at my disposal. When I feel it is necessary I give one of these products during several days in a row. 

In a matter of feed I give during the season 'Champion Mix' composed by the known Dutch champions Embregts-Theunis. This is being replaced the last few days by a vet rich mixture 'NPO mix'. On the widow cocks do get the first days the 'Vandenabeele' mixture from Beyers. Making the widow cocks eat more along basketing is approaching is very important and that's why I like to give them extra portions of pealed sunflower seeds, candy seed, hempseed and peanuts. The widow cocks are being fed separately with a soup spoon and on the floor there is always paddy rice and barley available. 

Off course I don't leave everything run his course and when necessary I will interfere in a medical way. Before the start of the season all pigeons get during 5 days BS (Belgica De Weerd) and before the first greater middle distance race they get a 3day cure with the 'White noses red' (Belgica De Weerd). During the season the racing team got a few check-ups by Domien Van Acker (Belgica De Weerd). And so they got in 2019 once a 2day cure against trichomoniases and once they were treated with  “Belga Thai”. This last product has been given until the day of basketing. Aside this I can always get the advice of Raf Herbots.”

Geert sips of his good coffee and continues talking: 'and you know what was the most important racing team didn't have one bad race in they never had to 'start over' which made that they stayed in good rhythm and that they had the good rhythm from the beginning on was proven on their first provincial race out of Orleans where they won the 1st prize at the club and 3rd Provincial. During the entire season they kept on training very well...also very important if you know what I mean.' 

Geert… thanks for the nice receiving and a lot of succes in 2020

Stefan Mertens