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 The Horemans Strain
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Many in the English speaking world maybe ignorant of the Horemans strain and indeed in the world of many vernaculars. Yet according to the sports historians it is a strain that many strains are indebted to and in fact it has been likened to the strain of the great Karl Wegge.

Corneel Horemans had the reputation of bringing many to the sport as members and also actively sought public support for the fancy.One source intimates that in relation to club and fed racing Corneel believed that after the first 4 positions the record of arrivals should be restricted to each bird of those out of the initial 4. In other words he desired to give everyone a chance to appear on the returns sheet in a reasonable position rather than see one member allocated 7th 8th 10th and so on. Which has been referred to by another source as 'the gluttoninous ego of our sport'.

Initially Horemans raced in the company of his brother Josef in Ranst, Belgium, and they did reasonably well. It was then that the strains base was laid and the foundation consisted of Pittevils and Wegges.There then followed a sale of most of the birds in 1906 but with the remainder Horemans seriously started again in a place called Schoten (Belgium) where they experienced good results at the distance especially at the end of the 1914/18 War. The successes then involved the outstanding racing by a hen of a fancier named Desirant. Sometime near- to this period the partnership also obtained 2 squeakers from Vincent Marien of Antwerp which left their mark in the strains development.

In the beginning of the 1920s Corneel Horemans started with a loft of his own and great success was to follow his decision to go it alone.Then as a close inbreeder he succeeded in breeding many outstanding pigeons. During the 2nd World War the Nazis took control of his pigeons but he received 20 birds at the end of the conflict and upon breaking in 19 of those the success returned to the Horemans.It was then that Victor Desmet blood was brought into his strain although the Desmets originated from the Horemans initially.

As usual the space is not available to refer to all the great breeders and racers of the Horemans but let's look at a few. De Oude Vos was a great racer and turned into a great breeder. With 2 x 1st, 3 x 2nd, and 2 x 3rd amongst other positions in Nationals he also sired Witpen which reached the heights of Belgian pigeon greatness and would be considered as an icon of the sport amongst sports historians.There was also Little Red Eye who recorded 6 positions in the first 100 in Nationals.Through being a bad trapper this bird lost 2 x 1st.Then The Rode who along with Zwarte 34 won 1st and 2nd in the Angouleme National. Just a few of many who at the crawling stage of the sport contributed to the emergence of the modern racing pigeon. Yes I have no doubt that although far removed from the period of the Horemans that this Belgian was an artist in the sport.It is he and others who remain in our gratitude forever.

Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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