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Really the best? (oct 28)

My 18-732 became 3rd NATIONAL Ace KBDB yrl. Middle distance in 2019. (Maegh). Does this also mean she (it is a hen) is the 3rd best of ALL Belgium indeed? Hmm. Not necessarily. If I had raced her in another Fed she might have been 1st. Or maybe 10th. What I mean is that the strength of the competition is also decisive. The quality of the birds in one area may differ a lot from the other.

The location is important for another reason as well. In 2019 fanciers from Flanders (the west of the country) have dominated the national championships long distance. This was not a surprise for most fanciers. Many races were held with Eastern wind, which makes it a lot easier for the birds in the west.

In the Netherlands fanciers first have the club result and then, form the same race, the result in the Fed. So they get two (or more) results for every race and studying them can be very educational. In my home town fanciers have the possibility to double their birds in two Federations, either in the Fed called ‘Hart van Brabant’ or in so-called Langstraat. The pigeons of Mr. S are ‘doubled’ in the Fed ‘Hart van Brabant’. See some results of 2018 below.  


-June 10th a race from Quievrain. The first pigeon of S ‘made’ 1.187 mpm. It won the 6th prize in the Fed Hart van Brabant (1.448 p), if the bird would have been raced in the other Fed, like some neighbours did, it would have won 1st against 1.265 birds.

-June 21st. The first two birds from Mr. S won 22nd and 24th in the Fed H v Brabant. In the other Fed (de Langstraat) they would have won 1st and 2nd. What a difference.

-August 11th. The first bird of S won 6th in the Fed HvBr (3.046 p). In the other Fed it would have won 1st against 3.000 plus birds.    

-August 18th, a race from Melun. S won 10th in the Fed (1.211 p), with this speed it would have won 2nd in the other Fed against (1.211 birds).

-August 25th, a race from Quievrain. S won the 6th in the Fed against 2.142 pigeons. With this speed it would have won 1st in the other Fed against 2.604 pigeons.

-September 8th. It is going to be boring, but the same story.

Thus it may happen that a pigeon that wins 10th prize in one Federation, would have won 1st if entered in the other Federation. It may also happen that somebody wins 10th prize in one Fed, while his neighbour who clocked 5 minutes later from the same race wins 1st prize in another Fed. Understandably it has much consequences for coefficients if quality differs so much from one Federation to the other. Or with other words. It is much easier to get a good coefficient for a National Ace if birds are raced in an area where competition is poor, not to speak about the commercial aspect. Because in in pigeon sport they are the WINNERS that count and are worth much money. Take also a very strong Combine like so-called ‘Diamant verbond’. The speed of a 1st prize winner in a neighbouring club would often mean an average prize in Diamantverbond.

In ‘Diamantverbond’ fanciers from Berlaar race and the area is known for its good pigeons. Stefaan Lambrechts was one of them but moved to another town where he can race in another Federation against many birds. In Berlaar he had no chance to have a National Ace Sprint, now in his new town he does have chances.

Hardly 5 kilometers from Berlaar is a little town, called Bevel. In Bevel is a club where the regional fanciers enter birds for the Nationals. What happened in 2018 is indeed bizarre as well. In Belgium the first National every year is a race from Bourges. Mostly that is a strange race and good birds get lost. Same in 2018. Fanciers who basketed in Bevel were not real successful. Since it was such a strange race? But that would change.

- Two weeks later was the national from Chateauroux. In Bevel 772 youngsters were basketed. 10 Of them won in the first 15 NATIONAL from 17.281 pigeons. The 135th prize in Bevel won 456th National! So still in the first 2,5%.

- Again 2 weeks later was the National from Argenton. In Bevel 766 young birds were basketed. The bird that won 10th prize in Bevel won 20th National against 16.496 pigeons. And it was a hard race.

- The following National was from Chateauroux. In Bevel 703 young birds were entered. Five fanciers from Bevel won a prize in the first 7 National (12.855 birds). The 40th prize in Bevel won 84th National. Isn’t it amazing? It often happened that the 1st prize in another club would not have been good enough to win a decent prize in Bevel.    

Now you may understand why I often say: ‘A good result or a 1st prize does not mean much to me. I want to know where it was won and against whom.’ ‘Tell me who are your competitors and I will tell you how good your pigeons are.’ Take also the great long distance races, such as Barcelona. The difference between the Netherlands and the others is gigantic.

In the 1970-ies the Steenbergen area in the Netherlands was known for its fantastic long distance birds. The fanciers there dominated International long distance races. It happened that a 1st prize Provincial from Barcelona in Antwerpen was clocked at a time that the same race was almost finished in Steenbergen. Still this bird from Antwerpen was sold to Japan for much money. A winner is a winner they must have thought. Not for me, though !!!