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 The Vereecke Strain
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Belgium has produced many outstanding fanciers and strains at all distances but there is one family who is not perhaps as well known as it should be and that is the Vereeckes. A father (Jerome) and a son (Roger) partnership who has achieved outstanding results at both racing and breeding and whose bloodlines lie at the base of many fine families at the distance especially within their home continent. As the Belgian pigeon historian Jules Gallez wrote about the Vereeckes- 'For years they belong to the Belgian crack lofts and lots of people owes their results to the VEREECKE breed'. Belgium has produced many outstanding fanciers and strains at all distances but there is one family who is not perhaps as well known as it should be and that is the Vereeckes. A father (Jerome) and a son (Roger) partnership who has achieved outstanding results at both racing and breeding and whose bloodlines lie at the base of many fine families at the distance especially within their home continent. As the Belgian pigeon historian Jules Gallez wrote about the Vereeckes- 'For years they belong to the Belgian crack lofts and lots of people owes their results to the VEREECKE breed'.

As far back as 1969 the Vereeckes were masters at the races from Brive, Cahors, Bordeaux and Barcelona. Around this period they had great results from San Sebastian and Barcelona. For example they won the Marathon Championship, the General Championship of the Belgian Union as well as being the General Champions West Flanders Union and the Inter Provincial Union in 1970, the first time ever for one Belgian loft to win the three Championships. An outstanding achievement when one considers Belgium's pigeon racing history and the great masters of the fancy. The Marathon Championship involved races from Montauban, Barcelona and San Sebastian amounting to approximately 3,000 km whereas the Belgian National
Championship involved results from six National races at the distance. The Championship of West Flanders and the Inter Provincial Championship involved the results from 6 young bird races between 400 to 500 km and 14 old bird races between 550 to 950 km.

The father and son partnership grew up in the sport building their strain from four National winners namely De Figaro, 1st National Bordeaux 1960; De 90, 1st National Angouleme 1960; De Ijeren, 1st National Libourne 1960; and De Roste Tanghe, 1st National Angouleme 1962. The Libourne winner Ijeren was of the Stichelbaut strain and was made famous by the Vereeckes although bred and raced by M Deschamps- Van Hasten who was a Stichelbaut specialist.

From the above base numerous champions at breeding and racing were born. One of their great breeders being the Cattrysse 90 who sired both the Schonen and the Witpenneke who helped to win the above 3 Championships. Both were timed within 40 seconds to score 23th and 24th Brive National winning 87,010 B Francs. The same pair was timed from San Sebastian within 22 minutes of each other to take 20th and 36th positions in the International. Another of their favourites was the Bonten who scored 54th in the International from Barcelona. The above named Witpenneke also scored 90th position in the Bordeaux International.

Since the death of Vereecke senior Roger Vereecke continued on the strain's winning ways not only for himself but for numerous fanciers elsewhere. One aspect of his strategy was the purchase of outstanding bloodlines for example birds from Joseph Vandenbroucke and the careful blending of the latter with his own family. Thus ensuring outstanding representatives of the distance and marathon type of racing pigeons which has also ensured Vereeckes position of being at the top for over 30 years. Including in recent years many awards such as 1st Champion of Aces which included 6 National races in which 1st and 2nd selection count for the winning points. Here Vereeckes selection was clocked in every race of the 5 International races and 10 of 12 races in the National/International category. Such results reflecting an astute racing pigeon manager and strategist.

As I began the Vereecke strain may not be as well known as others on our journey but to remain at the top of Belgian pigeon racing for so long stamps it as being one of the most outstanding.


Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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