Drive to perfection leads to national victories and national ace birds KBDB
Excelling in pigeon racing, it doesn’t come naturally. Performing at national and international level in long-distance racing for years on end always results from a solid base, meaning a successful strain and/or a family of surpassing racers. A good long-distance bird has few to no flaws. Long, supple, thin muscles and a thick and velvety plumage are indispensable for long-distance aces. If they can add a head which shows great character to that, a surplus of quality is mostly guaranteed.
Such fine specimens can be found in the lofts of long-distance champion Etienne Meirlaen, the man whose birds stood out in the last decade. A star performance we can say when taking into account the sale of all his pigeons of three years and older at the end of 2012, including first national ace birds KBDB, national winners and the parents of both.
Achieving less (top) prizes than before was to be expected yet the opposite turned out to be true. That proves that Etienne has a sound base in the form of high-quality strain at his disposal. A breed which allows Etienne to perform at a steady and, so it seems, increasing level. The absolute top in Belgium.
(Re)starting in Deurle
The foundations for the current success story of the Meirlaen birds was laid in 2000, when Etienne started racing again from his new home in Deurle, a municipal district of Sint-Martens-Latem, located south of Ghent in a haven of peace.
He bought an old manor, which he renovated in his leisure time. He was, however, at the premises every day caring for the horses which were stabled in the barn. As weeks went by, the idea of turning this barn into a nice accommodation for pigeons continued to grow. In the end, the stable became a pigeon loft. There was, however, one disadvantage: the new loft was west‑oriented, or the direction where rain comes from and where the sun only shines in the afternoon. Too damp and chilly during spring, too hot in summer and subject to big changes in temperature. Year after year Etienne worked on his loft to tackle the downsides and perfect the loft climate in pursuit of his goal: excelling during the long-distance and extreme long-distance season, say June up to and including the beginning of August when the last classics of the (inter)national long-distance season are held.
The list of honours of the Meirlaen birds, including several first national ace birds KBDB and first-prize winners at provincial and national level, proves that Etienne has more than reached his goal.
Etienne Meirlaen, born to win
Whoever knows Etienne personally can confirm that he is a perfectionist and a born winner. An ideal and probably necessary combination to get to the top. Not just in business but in pigeon racing as well.
He started racing pigeons again with a wealth of experience in 2000. He focussed on national long-distance and international extreme long-distance classics. His challenge? Breeding the modern long-distance bird, a pigeon that is capable of winning anywhere anytime. His goal was the dream of every long-distance fancier: winning national races and national ace bird titles. There are much easier challenges in life!
Such a dream can only be fulfilled with the best material. Etienne learned that from his first period as ace fancier. That is why he spent a great deal of money acquiring best-quality racers. Not to establish a breeding loft housing birds with a unique pedigree, however. The newly acquired birds had to prove their worth in the air first, even on long-distance races. The birds that were not fit for winning national top prizes were removed without blinking an eye. Only those pigeons that showed that kind of potential were allowed to stay. The first series of success was a fact.
After two to three years, Etienne know the strengths and weaknesses of his racers and breeders. He established his first strain and successful bloodlines which nowadays still form the basis of his family of birds. Some examples: Gouden Vleugel, the ace stock hen Marathonlady (mother to Yelena) and her sister Perpignanlady (1st National Ace Bird Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2009), the golden bloodline of Marseille and the Cor de Heijde pigeons with Luka and Cor (1st National Ace Bird Extreme Long Distance KBDB 2008) playing a leading role. You can find all of these birds under Strain Build-up.
All of them allowed Etienne Meirlaen to become a star racer at both national and international level in no time. To turn into an overwhelming victor in long- and extreme long-distance racing. And to be acknowledged as one of the best, if not the best of all, long-distance lofts of Belgium.
ADD: List Top 10 National & International
Among fanciers Etienne was known for his oft magnificent results, mostly on middle- and longer middle-distance races, with which he dominated his competitors for years on end in the eighties up to the mid-nineties.
When he was twenty, he became self-employed. His specialties: zinc, lead, plumbing and roofing. His business flourished, as a result of which pigeon racing often played second fiddle. Luckily for Etienne, his wife Yvette lend a hand and cared for the birds. When she was diagnosed with a pigeon lung and when Etienne’s business and shop continued to expand downtown Sint-Martens-Latem, increasingly less time was left for the pigeons. Since Etienne doesn’t like to do things by halves, he decided to say pigeon racing goodbye and sell his entire stock. It was the mid-nineties then.
In the meantime, his son Steven had started working in the family business, allowing Etienne to spend more time on racing pigeons again. Just perfect because he was also reaching retirement age. It eventually lead to his restart in Deurle in 2000!
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经过2-3年，倚天发现了他的赛鸽和种鸽存在优势和劣势。他建立了首支鸽系和成功血系，现在他们仍然是鸽系的基础。例如：“金翼号”（Gouden Vleugel），鸽王级基础种雌“马拉松女郎”（ Marathon lady，“伊莲娜”（Yelena）之母）和她的姐妹“波品纳女郎”（ Perpignan lady）获得2009年KBDB全国超长距离鸽王冠军，“马赛号”黄金鸽系和柯尔.迪海德（Cor de Heijde）的“卢卡”（ Luka）和“柯尔”（ Cor），其中“柯尔”获得2008年KBDB全国超长距离鸽王冠军，发挥了重要作用。你可以在血统构成栏目查看这些鸽子。
倚天以辉煌的成绩而闻名鸽坛，他主要参加中距离和中长距离比赛，80年代末至90年代中期他曾经在赛场占据统治地位。20岁时他开始自己创业。他的主业是瓦楞铁板, 铅, 建筑管路系统和屋顶材料。他的生意发展良好，因此赛鸽只能被放到次要位置，幸运的是妻子伊薇特Yvette 此时伸出援手帮忙照顾赛鸽，但是后来她被诊断出患有鸽肺病，而倚天的生意和商店也开始扩展到圣特马顿莱特,能够留给鸽子的时间越来越少。因为倚天做事不喜欢打折扣，90年代中期他决定暂时退出赛鸽运动，将全部鸽系出售。