WHO DID EVER BETTER?
Four years of pigeon sport in Belgium and each year he does it again
Michel VANLINT , Zoutleeuw “MISTER ONE NATIONAL”
1 NAT. LA SOUTERRAINE 13.918 Youngsters
Fastest of 17.545 competitors !!!
His list of honour becomes bigger and bigger and I think no one did ever better in such a short time (8x1 National !) :
1 S/NAT ARGENTON 6.924 Yrl. ‘04
1 NAT. LA SOUTERRAINE 3.150 Yrl. ‘04
1 NAT. VICHY 2.460 Old birds ‘04
2 NAT. VICHY 2.460 Old birds ‘04
1 NAT. VICHY Hens ’04
1 - 4 - 6 - 9 - 10 - 31,.... BOURGES I 21.796 Yrl. ‘05
1-2-3 NAT. BOURGES I Hens ‘05
1 NAT. BOURGES 32.724 Youngsters
1 NAT. LA SOUTERRAINE 13.918 Youngsters
Fastest of 17545 competitors !
“A magician, an artist, a psychologist, … there are many words to describe this man who always belongs to the very best but nevertheless it becomes tougher and tougher” . With these words we opened the story after he won the national victory from Bourges Youngsters 2005. And … the whole pigeon world directed towards the Bogaerdenstraat 33…. How can this continue, where does he get them… all the champions visited him and tried to copy all the details… they filmed, talked and wrote and Michel kept on talking … it was very hard to keep his secrets. Nevertheless the effect was well guessed… his environment became sharper and sharper and thanks to the “Vanlint” system, the area changed into a golden triangle.
But … also by copying the system, many lofts turned out empty.
In only few words…
2006 was marked by very extreme weather conditions. The start of the season was very doubtful because we didn’t know when the border with France was open to our pigeons. This was also the reason why the middle distance flights were postponed to many of us and also Michel had a lot of questions. But when the group ended up in the basket for the first national flight from Bourges, he already scored at the top with his 20 Nat. Bourges against 11.252 Yrl. Nevertheless this national confrontation demanded a lot of feathers on many lofts because it was a tough flight and our birds didn’t have a lot of kilometres in their wings to fly at the top and to recover fast enough. Then Michel got the help of his very own system: hot bath massages, electrolytes and vitamins so that the group would recover as fast as possible. Next he choose for the full program of the Brabant Union and… at the end and at the publicity of the first championships, we find him among the Ace-pigeons (attention! : always on flights of more than 450 km ! )
The 1st Ace-pigeon Old birds was won by the 2200650-04 “Boris” and this with 7 prizes per 10, coëf 29,45
20/05 143 Toury 809 p
28/05 60 Bourges 331 p
03/06 47 Blois 1163 p
10/06 5 Chateauroux 3272 p
17/06 14 Le Mans 229 p
24/06 18 Montluçon 761 p
08/07 22 Argenton 2338 p
15/07 16 Toury 225 p
23/07 5 Chateauroux 447 p
29/07 3 Bourges 1247 p
26/08 91 La Souterraine 484 p
The 1st Ace-pigeon Yrl. was won with the NL. 1398656-05 “Carla”– 7 prizes per 10, coëf 21,79
11/07 28 Laon 732 p
17/07 11 Soissons 688 p
13/08 11 Argenton 949 p
20/08 30 Salbris 151 p
10/09 64 Vichy 640 p
28/05 50 Bourges 353 p
03/06 27 Blois 809 p
10/06 2 Chateauroux 317 p
17/06 42 Le Mans 1589 p
24/06 1 Montluçon 193 p
08/07 18 Argenton 258 p
15/07 27 Toury 839 p
23/07 2 Chateauroux 267 p
29/07 20 Bourges 449 p
05/08 124 Toury 563 p
Both of these titles tell a lot and they are the prove of a wonderful season of an excellent colony.
The preparation to La Souterraine
Michel was well motivated to compete to these national flights; on the National flight from Bourges at the end of July he opened against 10.759 old birds with a 15th and 42nd place – or two old birds within the national top 50 and this against more than 10.000 pigeons! With the yearlings he just got out of the top 100 but he already started with the 143rd prize against 12.898 competitors. Those who are able to score like this, will be happy for the rest of the year and his year would have succeeded, but the environment always wants more and this was not enough for Mister One National. Two weeks later there was the National flight from Argenton and also here he clocked three pigeons within the first 60 on national level with the 11th, 36th, 59th Nat. Argenton against 3735 old birds. And again there was the question, the urge of the other fanciers who always want more, they put some pressure on the situation but in fact this was also a kind of motivation to the master. All they need are very good results on national level and let’s be fair, this is not a game of 100 km around the tower of the church but those who go and wait for the pigeons in the Bogaerdenstraat are used to get spoiled and they expect to watch some national winners. Now was the time for Michel to try something else.
At that moment, after Argenton, more pigeons came together and after a few days he slowly put some eggs beneath them and in between Argenton and La Souterraine, they got into the basket on several days of breeding. The Sunday before La Souterraine he was busy all day to put some youngsters under neat his couples. And… for sure, after a lot of patience, they excepted the little ones and this also happened to the present national winner "Christina"
Father and Mother...
Before this wonderful result, she was there every week too and we found her on the prize-lists of Toury , Bourges and Argenton ….
Besides the youngster in the nest bowl, under the carton box, she was also there to expand her territory. The boxes got closer together, the jalousie was driven to the top and the pigeons were ready. The last few weeks his wife, Yu-Chin, could finally enjoy the presence of Michel after eight and daughter Linda also had the opportunity to lean in the arms of her father one more time. Nevertheless they both support him in what he does because they both know that this is all very important to Michel. But by his obsession to win he completely gets isolated from the rest of the world.
Good to know
- Selecting pigeons:
Because of his profession in Taiwan where Michel selected out many pigeons for his Taiwanese friends for 20 years. This gave him the image of the “ideal type” of a pigeon but nevertheless he has it in his fingers and his first impression is very important, they have to be well closed at the back and the bird must have a certain vitality. Also the throat is important because it has to breath through it, very soft and rich feathers and a nice big wing with good muscles, which have to take care of it that the wing can do its job. The eyes have to be well closed so the pigeons are less capable of getting head-diseases. The eye must be vital and to breed with, he prefers the richness of the colour with a good circle.
- Quality and descent:
All good pigeons have one thing in common, they all come out of good families. As they always say that good blood never lies. But even if they come out of good pigeons and they don’t have the good qualities, they won’t do.
- Training takes care of good condition but too much is bad:
The “Vanlint” system still stands for training at home twice a day for about 45 minutes till an hour. After these flights in the morning and this on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday they are taken away in the trailer for a flight of about 40 km. But here it’s the task of the fancier to notice where and when he has to do what. In the month of July, which was extremely hot, many fanciers made mistakes and several good pigeons stayed away because they couldn’t fulfil the system.
- Competition every week again
By handling the total widowhood, the pigeons have to fly a competition flight every week and this of a distance of 350 till 600 km. Hereby only the best remain on the loft, it’s a strong selection but those that can handle this tough game must be of good quality and it’s out of these birds that you can breed winners. (for exemple: the present national winning hen comes out of two racers of the Vanlint team).
- A good medical guidance and natural by-products.
Just like with any other athletes, also here they take good care of the pigeons. After every flight Michel gets in contact with his vet Raf Herbots and he follows his advice very punctual. Here he mostly uses natural products like Zell Oxygen, Beer yeast and Optimix.
- Giving attention:
Here in Zoutleeuw the pigeons are treated like children and Michel knows very well that, especially the hens, ask a lot of the fancier. He always tries to give them what they need, he talks with them, gives them a lot of attention so they have a good feeling.
To end with:
Again Michel stands on the highest level which is very important to him. So when he notices that his system only sharpen the other competitors we have to be careful that he doesn’t turn into a “pigeon whisperer”, so the few tips he already told us, would be the last.