My initial pigeons were based on the old Brisbane families, which were good at the distance races. The cock I won Cobar 520 miles Open Fed (at 8pm on a very dark cold night) with back in 1987 was from this line and a very small amount of that blood can be traced back in today’s birds.
Back in those early days we all thought that the short races were just a lottery. That is until 1990 when the imports arrived on our shores. Up until this time all pigeon imports into Australia were banned, had been since the early 1940’s. What a difference these new imports made, sure there were many poor birds among them, no different to any other line of pigeons, but when you got hold of the good ones they made a mockery of the lottery theory.
I purchased a Janssen cock (Balco 90 1626) in partnership with a friend at a Rangeview Stud sale back in 1991. He was an inbred cock based on the long distance Dutch Janssens (1626 Pedigree) and I figured to mate him with the old family to get some speed in them. This I did, putting him with a Balfe Harrison hen that had bred a 500 mile Open Fed winner. I kept two cocks and a hen for stock from this mating. From one of the cocks, when he was mated with a Janssen hen from Rob Wilson, I bred QHS 98 555 BBW/FH (555 Pedigree).
I raced this hen for 3 years, she was clocked 10 ten times for several wins, pools & places, and she flew 650 miles as a yearling, she won champion and grand champion at a local pigeon show two years running and still I never put her into stock, Why, because I didn’t want to breed pied back then (neither of her parents were pied).
In 1992 my wife and I travelled to Thailand to compete in an international race. We finished 5th and collected $10,000 for our trouble, which was very pleasing. It was here that we met a number of interstate Australian fanciers, including Syd & Lesley Gard (CCF Champion Flyers for 2014) and a lifelong friendship developed between us.
In early 2000 we visited Syd & Lesley and I couldn’t help noticing a smoky white flight youngster in his race loft. Something about this young cock caught my eye. To my amazement Syd told me he had a youngster for me to take back, and proceeded to catch the very youngster I had been admiring MBRA 99 559 BPenWFC (559 Pedigree).
He was bred from a straight Staf van Reet hen from Riverview Stud mated with a straight Mueleman cock from Rangeview Stud, both acquired by Chris Fernandos (Sydney). These two pigeons I knew very well were top class. 559 developed into a magnificent Blue Pencil W/F stock cock. A colour that can found often among my birds to this very day.
In 2002 I finally relented and put 555 into stock, I mated her with 559 and as they say the rest is history. In their first season they bred me 5 club winners and today nearly every bird in my loft, that I call my day birds, carry the bloodline of these two great pigeons. They remain today my foundation No.1 pair and I look to maintain this bloodline at all times.
These pigeons will win for me at any distance and any velocity as long as they can get home on the day!
Over the years I have added crosses to the family but always breeding back to the base line, based on performance. Other Staf van Reets have been used, along with other Janssens and Muelemans with very good results, but by far the best cross so far has been the Gaby Vandenabeele birds.
A Gaby hen borrowed from Shaun Elliott, bred from UK Myrtle Loft Vandenabeeles’, mated to an inbred son of my No.1 pair (triple winning daughter of
the No.1 pair mated back to her sire 559) produced a very good stock cock QPF 06 641 Blue Pencil (641 Pedigree), who when mated with QPF 05 12800, a Staf van Reet hen down from the Rangeview Stud RS1, 2 & 4 lines (12800 Pedigree), bred my Mitchell 510 klms Open Fed winner and are the parents, grand parents and great grand parents to numerous top winners and placegetters.
One son of theirs, QPF 08 8106 Dark Pencil was clocked late on the day after an all-day fly from 615 klms for 11th Open Fed @ 1051 mpm and two weeks later from the same race point I clocked him again in the middle of the day for 5th Open Fed @ 1771 mpm. 8106 has bred many good birds including QPF 11 11085 Pencil W/F (11085 Pedigree) Cock who was clocked after dark at 6.26pm from a hard 680 klms Open Fed National (11 hour 41 minutes on the wing) to win the section and 8th
Open fed, beaten by lofts flying 30 klms shorter and clocking during daylight. This same cock had earlier landed with the club winner from 150 klms, topping the Fed @ 1214mpm, and again at 220 klms winning the club and topping the Fed @ 1046mpm. 11085 was lost the following year but beforehand he bred QPF 13 12117 BBH that won 1st Open Fed 450klms in 2014.
Another young Gaby cock bred by Shaun from his UK Myrtle Loft Vandenabeeles, that Syd & I purchased at the QPF Expo Squeaker sale in 2006, was Blue Bar QPF 06 519. When mated with a Mueleman hen, he bred my Roma 440 klms YBD Open Fed winner. The Expo Cock also left behind very good stock when mated with progeny of the No.1 pair, particularly Blue Bar Hen QPF 08 8112 (8112 Pedigree).
She was mated with 8106 to breed 11085 above and they also bred Blue Pencil Pied Cock QPF 13 379, who I clocked just after dark at 6.04pm from 739 klms for 5th Open Fed at 1064mpm. I clocked 379 again from the 739 klm National two weeks later for 4th Open @ 1297mpm, finishing in a headwind and only beaten by 3 lofts flying 20 to 30 klms shorter.
Another son of 8106 x 8112 is Pencil Pied cock QPF 11 11026 that landed with his sister to win the club and top the Fed from 300 klms @ 1049mpm and again landed with his sister to finish 2nd Open Fed from a very hard 440 klms race @ 1008mpm, beaten into 2nd place by decimals.
11026 bred Blue Bar Pied Cock QPF 13 301 placed 2nd Open Fed from 565klms @ 1352 mpm. His nest mate Blue Bar Pied Hen 302 was placed 6th Open from 739 klms @ 1320 mpm and clocked again from 1045 klms at 2.45pm the second day for 7th Open @ 767 mpm, only 20 clocks presented. I know this contradicts my “on the day” statement, but I had mated 11026 with a Burton Hansenne hen from Brian Daley that was related to his Townsville Open Fed winner, only bird to ever fly the 1080 klm on the day, being clocked at 11.18pm at night.
I expect 11026 to be the star of the stock loft in the years to come! 11026 also sired QPF 14 428 BBH who placed 1st Fed from 300 klms and won 1st Open Fed at 450 klms in 2015.
It was Syd again who sent me a Koen Minderhoud Vandenabeele hen bred by Jack Vanderlinden from South Australia. She has Minderhoud’s best cock, the ‘103, a grandson of the Wittenbuik on both sides of her pedigree. I called her Keon 1 (SA 05 36863 pedigree). Mated with an inbred cock from the No.1 pair (double winning son of the pair mated back to his dam 555), she bred me a club bird of the year on the hard North route Blue Bar Pied Cock QPF 08 8091 (8091 Pedigree).
He in turn bred my Morven 615 klm Open Fed winner, when two birds hit the board together after a 9 hour 7 minutes, electronically timed 2 seconds apart to win the Fed @ 1123 mpm. The other bird was bred from a granddaughter of the No.1 pair and went on to breed my Marlborough 600 klms Open Fed winner in 2015. I have 4 direct children of Koen 1 in the stock loft and several grandchildren, all of whom are producing for me. 8091 also sired my Marlborough 600 klm Open Fed winner in 2015.
Syd also sent me two youngsters he bred from a pair of Gaby’s from Keith Saggers, a “nice” hen and a “plain” cock was how he described them. The Plain cock (MBRA 10 2439) mated with a direct daughter of the No.1 pair (QPF 06 6041) bred me two Open Fed
winners, plus an equal Fed winner. The Nice hen turned out to be a small cock and Syd wanted him back, so we swapped, he got the small cock back and I got the nest mate hen, who I called the “Replacement” Gaby (MBRA 10 1936). I mated her with 8091 the Bird of the Year to breed the Morven 600klm Open Fed winner above.
My Federation only recognises the first bird clocked. In other words you can only take one prize per race (and quite rightly in most cases to keep everyone happy). There have been times where multiple birds have arrived together at my loft and in a lot of cases I would have preferred to clock a different bird but it is the first bird on timing pad that takes the honors when using the Benzing M1!
I acquired two cocks from Jason Stig (Sydney) that he generously bred for me from his Hereman Ceusters crossed with his very good Staf van Reet/Soonjtes. Both these cocks have been very good crosses for my family, one cock sired equal 1st Open Fed from Morven 600 klms in 2014 and 1st Open Fed Miriamvale 388 klms in 2015.
The hen that was equal 1st Open from Morven 615 klms also placed 2nd Open Mitchell 510 klms and is the dam of 1st Open Fed Marlborough 600 klms in 2015. Very good pigeons that cross well with mine and keep the winning family line!
I am always looking for the next good pair, if you stand still in pigeon racing you go backwards and that means I need to keep adding to the stock loft, testing the youngsters and moving forward with my proven stock at all times! You can waste your years trying to breed back, trying to recreate yesterday’s champions, I leave them in the background of my current champions, where they rightly belong!
In 2015 my three best pair of stock bred three Open Federation winners for me.
8091 (a grandson of my No.1 pair) mated to 12021 (a granddaughter of my No.1 pair and my best race hen in 2013) bred 1451 BBWFC (1451 Pedigree) who landed with my clock bird (electronically timed) at 222 klms for 2nd club, 5th Sect, 9th Best in Fed @ 1173 mpm.
1451 again landed with 1411 for 1st Club, 1st Section & 1st Open Fed at 388 klms @ 1235 mpm and then I clocked him at 600 klms for 1st Club, 1st Section, and 1st Open Fed @ 1099 mpm. Top effort on a hard day and an unfavourable easterly wind and 9hr 3mins on the wing…
Another of the best pairs was 11026 Snowy (in-bred great grandson my No.1 pair) mated with 11064 (a Gaby/Meuleman/Janssen cross), they bred 428 BBH (428 Pedigree) placed 1st club, 1st Section and best in Fed at 300 klms @ 1254 mpm and then 1st club, 1st section, 1st Open Fed at 451 klms @1206mpm
The other top pair for 2015 was 1989 (a cross from Jason Stig’s Hereman Ceuster/Saffy Soontjens) mated with 6092 (an in-bred granddaughter of my No.1 pair) they bred 1411 (1411 Pedigree) placed 2nd Club, 2nd Section 2nd Best in Fed at 300klms @ 1203 mpm and then placed 1st Club, 1st Section & 1st Open Fed at 388 klms @ 1235 mpm.