Youri Deblanc (Ronse) : one of the best long distance lofts from Belgium
15 Nov 2020
It all seems very simple when we, visiting Youri Deblanc (45y), listen to the execution of the plan that he took on a few years ago to race top on the distances from 400 to 900km. The pigeon infection he got dates from his youth years where he got it from his grandfather.
Youri is in the glory of his live…and also in the glory of growing his family. He is himself CFO of an international business group, his wife is a specialized doctor in a hospital and 4 young daughters fill the house. It all looks a bit of hocus pocus to keep these plates turning and when you are next to all this also very ambitious in your beloved hobby, pigeon sport.
A man with a plan
Youri is rather sober of nature and kind of straight forward. In the past season, we heard left and right in the hallways thinking ‘how can you make such an evolution in a matter of 2 years’ time’?
The results of the past 2 years didn’t show up out of nothing and served as a Royco Minute Soup. No, the plan has been made and thought off years ago, Youri was a hobby racer, but professionally he didn’t have the time for the care and guidance of a broad racing team.
He discovered the ‘Julien’ as base breeder ( a pigeon coming from Eric Vermander, Oekene) and by a good coincidence he met Marc Valepijn from Ronse. Marc is a guy with a lot of experience within pigeon sport, knows extremely well what selecting is and could already show a lot of results from his period at his parents’ house in Maarkedal (toppers on the extreme long distance) and at his own place in Ronse. Marc has a loft with a small basket and the selection has always been really hard. He built out a top strain of pigeons, together with Youri, around ‘Julien’ and could present very strong results from the middle distance to the national long distance….and this with about 16 widow cocks.
In the meantime Youri looked out for pigeons that fit in with the breeding line from the ‘Julien’ and built out bit by bit a superior breeding loft. Marc winded down pigeon sport a bit and Youri made a deal with Marc to bring the best pigeons onto his own breeding loft
Youri figured out for himself that with such quality it must be possible to get to the national top. The pigeons already had given very strong results both on the loft of Marc as on the loft of Youri. And to know what you could expect, youngsters from this breed were tested (and with success) at Patrick Grammens in Horebeke and in the season of 2019 at Kevin De Baere (De Baere-Deblanc).
Reculer pour mieux sauter… an iron strong breeding loft
…is a French saying which means that you sometimes have to go back first to get more power for a bigger leap. And Youri did this with pigeons of 2 or 3 years old, who achieved in setting national top results, and bring them early on to the breeding loft.
With ‘Julien’ as red wire through the breeding loft you can find at the moment 10 cock where off 9 raced top 10 national on distances of more than 600km. There are 20 hens coupled to these elite cocks which exist for 50% out of ‘Julien’-ladies and 50% from other lofts such as from his friend Eric Vermander from Oekene (where also ‘Julien’ himself comes from), Marc & Geert Pollin from Snellegem, Tom Van Gaver from Moortsele, PEC, and 1 top hen from Jos & Jan Loobuyck from Aalter. In the past he succeeded also with a hen from John Meurysse from Oeselgem.
Julien doesn’t fertilize anymore in the meantime but his high breeding value is showing in his children and grandchildren. The past 2 season national top was raced with children and grandchildren.
Youri’s credo is that he only accomplishes his breeding loft out of the best what is already on the loft, he doesn’t settle for less. Once new blood is in, 4 youngsters are being bred and being tested severely. If they are seem to be sufficient within the norms of the loft than they are being kept, otherwise they are out without any excuse. Especially the off spring of ‘Crack Julien’ (raced himself 6th National Montauban is very good and very promising.
The goal stays to only put pigeons on the breeding loft (both cocks as hens) that raced top 10 national. The goal for the racing team is to have only year birds and old pigeons that won top 100 national on the long distance or extreme long distance. A clear goal that surveys the quality really strongly.
How is this colony ran ?
Yearling and old pigeons
Before all, Youri is, next to the fact that his wife and children who has to give in on family time during the season, his helpers Bart and Jeroen very grateful for the help in cleaning, preparing and basketing the pigeons. Without them would such a colony, in combination with his job, not be runnable. All pigeons reside on garden lofts.
The season of 2020 was started off with a racing team of 110 pigeons, where off 30 old pigeons and 80 yearlings. These 110 existed out of 60 cocks and 50 hens. The old cocks were raced on the classic widowhood. The old hens (a modest team of 12) were also being raced according the classic widowhood system. The yearling (both cocks as hens) were being raced on the sliding doors system and their motivation was mainly searched in the territory drift. On these lofts where the sliding door system was being practiced also motivation was set by changing the nest boxes and with straw onto the lofts.
The old hens (classic widowhood) where being raced on nest at the beginning of the season.
Youri emphasizes that according to him the system is subordinate to the quality of pigeons (and this especially on the extreme long distance and long distance).
In function to the specific way that season 2020 ran along the pigeons were being darkened and enlightened after the longest day. It stroke that the hens got faster the necessary form in comparison to the cocks after darkening.
The trainings for the pigeons on total widowhood is once a day, the hens on classic widowhood also once a day and from the end of May until the end of the season twice a day. The pigeons were being tossed on a regular base before the season until Rumes (border Belgium-France) and were being basketed as much as possible on the training flights from the club to get some race rhythm.
That the pigeons had the right condition is something that Youri noticed just after the borders with France were opened and a training flight on the middle distance on Monday was placed on the agenda. It was chilly, head wind and the pigeons had an average of 1,000m/m. His racing team came in really early and fell as hailstones out of the sky. The first official race out of Sermaises was also straight away a hit in the rose. The preparation was good.
During the season the hens are being tossed from Rumes once a week and every pigeons that goes in a basket is being released the day before basketing in Templeuve (Tournai). At arrival they get the change to relax and get food as much as they want until basketing.
They are being fed with two different brands namely the Aïda-strain where Youri really likes the Girl Power (the hens don’t get anything else). The hens can eat all they want during half an hour and then all is taken away. The hens aren’t being locked up in their boxes. The cocks get Galaxy Light from Beyers and are being fed towards basketing with Aïda Mix 3 and for the extreme long distance the Aïda Long Distance. The credo is that they have to eat as much as possible before being basketed. Also fine seeds and nuts are being given to fill up the tank. As side products there is the Omega+ oil from Aïda and the Aïda Conditioner Booster (especially towards the end of the season to remain enough power). The pigeons all get a portion as grit mix as extra separately in their box. At arrival everything is being set in place to have them recuperated as fast as possible with electrolytes and proteins.
Medically the pigeons get a check up on a regular base by the vet. Youri observes himself also from very close the behaviour and looks. Every four weeks they get a tricho pill on Sunday morning. To prevent contamination with coccidiosis they get twice a year on an individual base a cure. They don’t make use of yellow drops. The lofts were being adjusted in 2019 and the aeration above their heads really diminished. Since then the pigeons are much more clear in their heads and very less interference needs to be done. They never cure blindly before the season for head diseases.
The pigeons are being vaccinated twice a year against paratyphoid (end of October and in March). At basketing the eyes are being disinfected with an eye drop.
The past two years they didn’t breed early youngsters. An extension of the racing team at the yearling and old pigeons was made and to avoid that the combination with early youngsters would interfere the care, they didn’t breed early. About 100 youngsters were being ringed (born in March and beginning of June). End of the season they did about 3 times Noyon.
At the moment still 85 youngsters are present. These will be selected very strict. Youri isn’t sad about the fact that they have relatively less experience and will need to have a bit more patience next season and will ask a bit more effort at the beginning of the season…but was is good will show itself quickly is his conviction..
Goal is to wean about 13 youngsters in 2021 and to have about 80 on a national race to get a bit more experience as year bird.
Husk in 2019, fully blooming in 2020
It was coming for a while but in 2019 a real super season was set with as coronation the 1st National Libourne old birds. A hard but honest race where the pigeons from Youri are at their best. But before that they already set an extremely strong season with :
1st provincial Limoges
1st provincial Libourne
1st national Libourne
2nd national zone Aurillac
4th national Limoges
3rd provincial Aurillac
5th national zone Aurillac
7th national Aurillac
It was scare full waiting in the COVID-19 season 2020, but from the first official race out of Sermaises on it was a full hit in the rose and it wouldn’t stop the entire season long. It became a fantastic season with very strong results.
9th National Champion Extreme Long Distance KBDB
5th ,24th ,26th ,32nd ,34th Ace bird Allround KBDB (5 notations)
2nd provincial Bourges
3rd national Bourges
3rd ,6th ,9th provincial Souillac
5th ,6th ,7th ,10th provincial Vierzon
5th provincial Limoges
5th national zone Chateauroux
6th national zone Argenton
6th provincial Chateauroux
7th provincial Limoges
7th national zone Chateauroux
11th national Chateauroux
12th national zone Argenton
12th ,13th ,19th national Souillac
1st ,2nd,5th,8th against 1,870b Sermaises (300 km)
That all of this is a good approach is something that the results show plenty. Not only national head results were set, but above that a high prize percentage was won. This emphasises the quality of the racing team fully..
What is the ambition ?
Winning a race is the ambition and the will to win helps to raise the motivation. Youri admits that seeing pigeons arrive that race head gives an adrenaline boost, but even more and bigger is the satisfaction that this is the result of a thought through breeding strategy and an approach that begins years or at least a year upfront. Will this couple give good pigeons? Do they eyes match each other? Do the pigeons compensate one another, and so on…are fascinating things that go much more back to the arrival of a pigeon. And sometimes you have to get lucky and discover a top pigeon such as ‘Julien’. But don’t have winners not just a bit more luck?
It stays Youri’s ambition to race top from 400 to 900km. That his pigeons can take on the extreme long distance proofs his 9th place in the general championship extreme long distance KBDB 2020. But it is even more his ambition to build a breeding loft with only pigeons that won top and go to the arena with products of them. Such an approach takes courage, but also a lot of commons sense and logic. Step by step, evaluating, adjust and don’t lie to yourself.
That this a good approach show the extra ordinary results of the past seasons and the spot that this loft has gained within the national top.
Congratulation from the Herbotsteam !
Resultats season 2020
13/6 Sermaises (293 km)
Club 363 old : 1-2-4-9-15-21-30-34-35-38-39-40-41… (23/37)
Club 178 yl : 1-4-6-7-8-9-11-13-14-14-19…(25/75)
Union 1870 b : 1-2-5-8-20-25-29-34-35-37-48-49-54-65-68-68-70-…(81/112)
20/6 Vierzon (407 km)
Club 448 old: 2-3-9-14-22-…(24/37)
Club 271 yl : 2-3-4-8-9-12-17-19-20-…(43/69)
Provincial 7838 old : 5-10-89-111-218-374-…(21/37)
Provincial 4218 yl: 5-6-7-39-49-70-116-155-157-201-…(40/69)
27/6 Sermaises (293 km)
Club 322 yl : 5-6-11-12-13-16-17-24-…(26/51)
Club 408 old : 6-7-12-13-14-17-21-24-…(28/57)
Union 970 : 18-19-46-48-50-54-63-…(32/57)
4/7 Limoges (610 km)
Provincial 4335 old : 5-45-102-280-349-364-…(13/24)
National 15979 old : 18-152-361-955-1159-1202-1347-…(11/24)
4/7 Chateauroux (460 km)
Club 408 yl : 2-4-11-15-17-19-22-24-…(35/75)
National zone 9511 yl : 5-24-96-162-178-190-193-247-253-313-321-…(28/75)
11/7 Argenton (500 km)
Club 172 old : 1-7-9-12-…(7/14)
Club 294 yl : 1-4-5-9-13-14-15-16-17-19-22-23-26-…(38/68)
National zone 4574 old : 6-57-111-149-…(6/14)
National zone 7262 yl: 12-38-54-102-126-140-146-183-185-224-292-…(25/68)
18/7 Limoges (610 km)
Provincial 3085 old : 69,81,83,129,195,…(15/20)
Provincial 2945 yl: 7-16-28-32-35-50-52-60-84-91-…(32/55)
National 10319 old : 275-319-323-454-653-…(13/20)
National 9756 yl: 27-56-94-104-111-162-166-197-274-297-371-394-459-460-490-…(27/55)
18/7 Pau (890 km)
National 2919 : 262-349 (2/3)
24/07 Agen (780 km)
Provincial 1375 old : 17-107-237-372 (4/4)
Provincial 1456 yl: 56 (1/2)
National 5140 old : 44-322-723-1183 (4/4)
National 5955 yl: 213 (1/2)
1/08 Souillac (660 km)
Provincial 1895 old: 9-44-68-228-464-…(8/14)
Provincial 2071 yl 3-6-17-25-31-38-41-45-45-62-69-180-185-216-…(25/45)
National 6668 old : 12-102-155-571-…(8/14)
National 7514 yl : 13-19-64-86-98-112-119-128-128-169-187-529-538-633-683-702-…(25/45)
1/08 Gueret (530 km)
National zone 2123 old : 19-353 (2/3)
National zone 3649 yl: 213 (1/1)
8/08 Bourges (420 km)
National 5294 old : 136-348-724-…(5/7)
National 8424 yl: 3-22-43-116-137-139-215-290-301-328-352-430-588-…(16/19)
8/08 Aurillac (660 km)
Provincial 663 old : 10-121-122-158 (4/4)
National 2849 old : 47-479-483-645 (4/4)
15/08 Chateauroux (460 km)
National 6306 yl: 11-72-426-529-1036-1043-1246 (7/9)
15/08 Brive (650 km)
National 3755 old: 58-81-83-130-305-362-365-780 (8/9)
National 4238 yl : 28-62-175-185-269-284-359-400-422-451-490-628-664-855-867 (15/18)
15/08 Narbonne (850 km)
National 4454 old : 484-498 (2/2)
Highlights Season 2019
1/6/2019 Limoges national 13.569 p : 94,383,910,945,957,967,990,2872,3005 (9/15)
15/6/2019 Cahors national 6.903 p : 64,193,388,1505 (4/6)
15/6/2019 Argenton provincial 4.481 p : 4
22/6/2019 Montauban national 5.408 p : 53 (1/2)
22/6/2019 Argenton national 15.235 p : 69,705,972,3086,3088,3621 (6/7)
5/7/2019 Limoges national 9.661 p 4,113,204,449,451,474,637,920,1990,2032,2391 (11/17) – 1st provincial East-Flanders 2.200 p
13/7/2018 Aurillac national 3.888 p : 7,16,459 (3/6) – 2nd National Zone
21/07 Libourne national 4.624 d : 1,127 (2/3) – 1st National
29/07 Souillac national 3.739 p : 164,346 (2/5)
Orleans 11/5 – Prov 2.721 yl : 72,103,105,130..
Vierzon 18/5 – Nat Zone 3.357 yl : 125,207,230,255,274,288..
Bourges 25/5 – Nat Zone 4.302 j yl : 26,61..
Issoudun 1/6 – Prov 4.054 yl: 43,47,104,117,127,148..
Chateauroux 8/6 – Nat Zone 6.645 yl : 19,61,64,105..
Argenton 15/6 Prov 4.986 yl : 15,113,133..
Limoges 5/7 Nat 10783 yl :69, 721,…
Issoudun 21/7 Nat zone 2780 yl: 22,66,73…