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The Story

-     Youth.


Since my youth there where pigeons in my live. Both my grandparents kept pigeons on their farms. My grandparents did not raced the pigeons but they raised them for consumption or just kept them for fun. At the age of 8-9 the interest in pigeons grew. I spend hours and hours at the farm and at the pigeon lofts. I found it amazing how out of a little pigeon egg new live got created and was even more amased of the different kind of colors wich grow out of the little ones. At that time I had no idea that people were racing pigeons for sports...

-          Racing pigeons as a sport.

However a few years later, under the impulse of two uncles who at that time also started racing, I set the first steps in 'pigeon sports'. Mid 70s a loft was built at the parental home where in the beginning only fancy  pigeons were kept. In 1975 real race pigeons came to the loft, and in 1976 I participated my first race. More.. I participated the big national Bourges race. I was 12 years old at that time and did it all on my one. Of course,  the quality of birds was not what it is today but one of the two participating pigeons at Bourges got ranked on the local result. Although is was at the tale of the ranking ... it was the starting shot for my love for national races.

-          National  win with 'Koosje'.

It took until 1987-1988, meanwhile a new modern loft was built, that I started racing on a regular base.  In 1990 the youngsters raced a first complete season including the big 4 national races (Bourges, Argenton, La Souterraine I and La Souterraine II). After exchanging with friends better pigeons came to my loft. In 1992 Michel Eyletten, a friend of me and still one of the best fanciers I know, gave some young pigeons to me. ‘Koosje’  became a super hen. She was bred out ' Jonge Koos ' (Michel Eyletten) and in 1994  she was the fastest pigeon overall on the national race from Argenton! National victory…! The fancier Vanonckelen was from that moment on a known name J.

-          Period 1992-2003.

In this period the focus was on the provincial and national races (races up to 600 km). Other strains (oa. Jos Thoné) got crossed with children of ' Jonge Koos '. Provincial victories and (semi-) national successes were booked with a small team. In that period an average number of +/-35 youngsters and 12 old and yearlings birds were raced. Because of professional circumstances I took a break in the period 2004-2009. The pigeons were housed in that period at the loft of my father-in-law Modest Schots (racing Schots-Vanonckelen). Schots –Vanonckelen is also a success story, they collected some provincial victories and one semi-national victory!

-          2009:  a new start under the impulse of Jos Thoné.

In 2009, after a break of more than 5 years, I started racing again and this under the impulse of Jos Thoné. Through some free gifts and purchases of Jos Thoné some quality pigeons came on my lofts. Today, 95% of the pigeons directly or indirectly are Thoné pigeons. Also the successes returned, some provincial victories and national top 100 results followed. Jada and Aprilla both scored a provincial and today they are part of the new base of my breeding loft. In 2012 and 2013 I will start racing yearling  and old pigeons again. Soon I hope to continue this story…


Wish you all 'a good race'... and enjoy the pipeon sport.


Greetings Marc