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Michel VANLINT is back in the country
Winner semi-national from Argenton

Zoutleeuw - During the season Michel Vanlint is always at the top of the results of the national heavy middle distance. It's like magic where one stunt after another comes out of the magical hat. After many top-scores rumors are spread around even after his negative doping control. People wonder what Michel brought along out of the land of the rising sun and here he answered that he only brought his wife and daughter. We were the first to know how and why he can keep up those wonderful results throughout the season.

His first semi national victory was the best reason to break the silence and in fact these results are the confirmation of what insiders already knew for some time now. It's obvious that Vanlint is back again. He is the first fancier that succeeded to win the first prize on all four nationals in the Obrafo union of Tienen. For more than once he succeeded to shock his competitors with his beautiful results. With some pigeons which he received of some friends like Willem De Bruyn (Reewijk), Dewit Brothers (with their Janssen-pigeons), Steven Van Bremen (races of Desmet-Matthijs and Schaerlakens) all from Holland. In his own country he got some birds of the Herbots Brothers and Oliviers-Devos, with which he started the season of 2003. He will always remember these people for having faith in him. Other lofts with big names didn't believe in his success after an absence of 20 years but he already proved they were wrong. We surely want to let you enjoy his results of 2003 after his youngsters were released from Bourges, Toury, Argenton, Sens, La Souterraine and Vichy on which he always won the first prize in the Obrafo union. It would take a long time to mention all prizes but with all the doubles (national, provincial, CFW, Brabant) it gives us astonishing news namely; 16 first prizes, 8 times with first and second, 78 times within the top 10 of the results. Who has them better?

At the beginning of this season, they all hoped that Michel would let us down because the pigeons were played too many times, too far and there by they would be disturbed in their growing process. Don't they say that all things with 'too' is bad. Well I can say that people talked 'too' much. During the winter the birds in the Bogaerdenstraat 33 were properly prepared to score on the national flights till and with 600 km. Here and there some little details were adjusted because of experience Michel knows that everything depends on the details in the modern pigeon-sport. The new season started and it looked like time had stood still. Just like he ended the season of 2003, he started the next season of 2004. Soon enough all fanciers knew that also this was the season of Michel Vanlint. It's best to show the numbers because they say it all. The preparation flights on the heavier work from Laon, Soissons, Pithiviers and Toury already gave him three first prizes. It was for real on the flight from Vierzon against 231 others he didn’t only have the fastest pigeon but also 4-5-8-9-14-16-17-23-14-16-27-31-40-50-56. Then from Bourges with 1-2-3-5-8-12-27-29-31-35- etc…. From Blois he played everything down in all three categories (old-yearling and hens). We surely have to mention the most spectacular scores but first you better sit down. Yearlings (254): 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-11-17-21-24-27-38-39-42-50-61-62-69-72-75-82-84-85. With the old birds (255) he scored throughout the top ten, while with the hens he won 1-2-3-4-5-7-12-17-18-23-39 and 40. From Chateauroux he had 9 prizes in the first ten. Only the third race was left to the others (472 yearlings). Next the successful flight from Bourges with among others in the category of the hens ended up like this: 1-2-7-8-9-10-15-17-18-28-29-31-36. Montluçon was best with the old birds with following prizes: 1-4-7-9-13-14-16-17-20-23-26-32-34-39-44-47-51-55-64-65-72-76 (237 competitors).
La Souterraine didn't bring him a first prize but nevertheless he scored with 18 prizes within the top 20. Then again from Argenton with 1-4-5-6-8-9-13-21-25-30-34-42-68-69-75-79-114 with the hens and with the old birds it was good for 1-2-3-4-5-6-8-12-17-20-22-33-34-37-39. As you will already know it was the first provincial and semi-national prize. For four days on the loft and then up to Limoges and again Michel scored very well with 4-6-7-15-37,etc.... To be clear about it we only mentioned the local results but those who took a look at the provincial results will soon know that also there it was Vanlint everywhere.

All systems, also outside our sport, is the result of some years work and some purposeful choices. His obsessive approach runs throughout his life like a red wire. Take up the challenges and bring them to a good end is what he can do best. That's what he did in life and I'm sure that this man feels good in his own body. Already as a boy he was brought up in "prison" under the regime of a boarding school. At that time he spend his holidays to the pigeons in company with his deceases father. After his studies, he almost immediately started to work in a bank, which was the crown jewel of the financial world at that moment. The banking was in his blood from when he was just a boy and he took risks as well in his professional life as with the pigeons. When he got married, he managed to find a combination between the pigeon-sport and football. But once the time to hang your shoes on the hook will come for everyone. From that time on all his energy was put into his pigeons. The national top already learned to know this little man from Tienen. In 1971 he became 7th national Champion Long Distance KBDB, before some toppers like Delbar and Pol Bostijn. But one day it was too much with only a little colony and mostly a second day to wait for his feathered friends. For the first time in his life he threw away the key and closed the door and from that moment on he decided to turn over to the middle distance. A beautiful loft in Bost that was build by the team of Jos Deno but he designed it himself together with his friend René Somers (Oelegem), who was the pride owner of the legendary "Dokus". The loft had double glass in the windows but his house didn't. The so-called "pig-lamps" were used to guaranty a constant temperature on the loft. Besides he was also at the base of the commercialization of the heating elements which he tested on his own loft and which are still used nowadays. It was also the period of his Merckx (strain Van De Velde Maurice from Scherpenheuvel) which shows up sometimes because of his super results then. But then we come to 1980 when the colony was stolen totally and the loft went up in flames. This was the moment for Michel to stop definitely but after some friends talked him into it, he decided to start one more time. Some of his breeders stayed with his friend Albert Heylen and these were fulfilled with pigeons of some other friends. But once more he was there again. He created another loft in Orsmaal and together with Willy Henot he succeeded to play with a lot of success for some years. In 1982 a client of his became ill and when Michel looked back at the past years, he knew that this was the moment to change his life. Taiwan became his second home-land where he promoted the pigeon-sport for more than 20 years. Besides he also was an active loft manager of a successful colony, which he ended for some personal reasons. There he got to know his present wife and nowadays they are parents of a beautiful daughter. Nevertheless that little country by the North see kept pulling his sleeve and again he accepted may be the biggest challenge of his life and came back to Belgium to start again as a fancier. Again everybody thought him to be a madman but he managed to do very well and soon he already reached the top of our sport. According to Michel he has no secrets only success ends and starts with the pigeon-accommodation. Already at the beginning in Bost he remembers that he went outside with a compass in his hands to be sure that the loft was build at a south south-western direction. So before he returned to Belgium he already knew how to build his loft but it was much harder to find the right place. He found his present house by internet and when he first visited the house he immediately was attracted by the structure behind the house. Without taking too much notice of the house he immediately climbed on the roof of the structure and he knew this was "the place to be". Finally he found the place to build the L-formed loft of the late Jef Vanriel. Here Michel could build his dream. With some help of Philip Herbots he started and soon the impressive accommodation was there. Above the structure (which used to be a work-house) we now find a beautiful loft created by the master himself. Even an impressive bathroom is integrated in the building and here the racing team is treated after each flight; they take a warm bath and they remain here till they are dry. This to prevent infections of the head and the respiration area.

Too much of temperature differences have a big influence on the temperature of the body. Michel even gets up at night with storm to close his aeration wholes. It’s also astonishing that he doesn't want the help of one or more helpers with such a big racing team. He prefers to do it all by himself so when anything goes wrong he can only blame them. He's such a perfectionist , he even gets up at night to check the moisture of his birds. Sometimes he wonders what he's doing but the success is a big repayment. The more you do the more you get back. Every week again the pigeons get into the basket and in between they will get some private training flights too. To give him a little less work he also has an elevator, so as you read, it's all perfect.

Because he participates weekly, he can show many super results. I choose the "Blue White Feather", 2266281/03, which can be called his best heavy middle distance racer of the country. As a youngster she flew top from Toury (3rd and 10th) - Argenton (18th) - Sens (1st) and La Souterraine (828th against 4.003 competitors). This season started with 29th from Soissons and fulfilled with 5th from Pithiviers - 144th from Toury - 2nd from Bourges - 6th from Blois 7th Bourges - 4th Montluçon - 6th La Souterraine - 13th Argenton and finally 4th from Limoges. She never missed a prize and by a simple sum and with success a score of 6.767 kilometers in two seasons. Before the basketing the partners get together on regular times. The system can't be brought back to the full or total widowhood. It's a question of the right mix of changes. Exact times when it comes down to training, eating is in fact a rule on this loft. When it comes down to the feeding Michel follows the schedule of his vet Raf Herbots. Michel would feel guilty when he would only give them clean water and when he wouldn't follow the rules exactly. In fact we can say that Michel is at the base of this successful schedule. "When I was still in Taiwan, I had regular correspondence with Raf and I told him all I knew by experience". Nevertheless the pigeon is the one that has to do all the work. A good pigeon is 90% orientation and 10% can be noticed like a good wing, the muscles and the eye which is the mirror of the soul.
The most important is the feeling, which can't be learned anywhere, you have it or you don't. Simple but tough!

On his way of finding the good pigeons, he ran into the late
Jan Grondelaers. Already from the beginning we felt good with each other. In fact Jan was always ten years ahead and he was open to all kinds of new things and he wanted to try them out. Where all the others turned to the right, he turned left. But his results of the past surely showed us that he often was right. When the train of the evaluation stops, you have to get up. Don't wait till tomorrow because there will be no other one. We could write down many pages because Michel can continue for a long time now. In fact the Belgian pigeon-sport has closed its Lost Son back in the arms. We only want to wish him all the luck in our sport and to say it in the words of the master: "Pigeons are grateful creatures". They go into the basket and they hurry back home, which is their way to thank their boss for his care taking.
I'm sure that with his present energy and his long experience of many years we did't reach the end of the street yet.


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update 22-08-2013
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© 2004 Michel Vanlint
Michel Vanlint
Bogaerdenstraat 33 / 3440 Zoutleeuw
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