Christian & Cyril Harchies (Warchin) :
1st national ace fond KBDB 2021

Even though the 2022 season has just kicked off, it can still be incredibly rewarding to look back at memorable performances of last season or seasons past.  The strong performances of the past, the super performances in some cases, are a golden motivator to do everything in your power to achieve great performances in the future as well.

A golden father-son combination

Warchin, a district of Tournai, where it is quiet and good to live, is the home of the Harchies family.  Father Christian (49) has never moved more than 100 meters from his parental home and, together with his wife Cathy, has built a house next door.  With their two sons Cyril and Thibaut, they live in the pre-villages of the beautiful region around Tournai.
In pigeon sport, Father Christian and son Cyril found each other, but also Cathy and Thibaut are the most loyal and ardent supporters within the family.
In 1989, Christian started with the pigeons on his own on middle-distance and from the beginning with a lot of success. You either have the feeling or you don’t, rarely this is a knowledge that can be sharpened by a lot of experience, it has to be a bit of a talent in you. Christian is a modest, quiet guy but a good observer and with a clear view on the pigeon sport.  Christian works in the three shifts system which requires some tricks and flying to keep a certain regularity in the care.
Son Cyril raced some years on his own name, but since a few years father and son are a more than successful combination. By joining forces, it is easier for Christian to combine the organization of the care with his day job. The skills of the cheerful Cyril as a youngster are certainly not to be underestimated!

1st national Montauban, 1st and 2nd national Bourges

What is good comes fast and in 1996 the 1st national Montauban was won. Christian participated in this national race with 1 pigeon, and it was immediately the main prize.  The highlight however was in the year 2010 when he won the 1st and 2nd national Bourges old birds.  With this great performance, Christian joined the gallery of a few top players who could write a 1st and 2nd national on their list of honor…. and there are only a few like that!

These pigeons with which they made the beautiful weather, were from the strain of Louis De Leus from Boortmeerbeek, a pigeon of Wilfried Van de Maele and from good racers in the neighborhood, and with this, a basis was formed that until now is woven into the pigeon strain.

A healthy and sober ambition adorns them

After 3 national victories and a lot of top results, the 2021 season saw the culmination of pigeon racing, namely the KBDB ace pigeon long distance.  In the pigeon world it is well known that this is one of the most coveted titles that can be obtained. Pigeons that achieve this are real cracks (more about this later). But all this has not gone to the head of the Harchies family at all. A sober simplicity adorns them, it is a hobby…. and a passion, but that does not mean that you have to run away from your shoes.
They are fully aware of the relativity of these achievements and give it the place it deserves: a beautiful crowning of a lot of effort and motivation.
Their colony of pigeons is manageable and can be catalogued as a hobby. There are 23 breeding couples and the season with the widowers is raced with 70 cocks (50/50 old and yearlings).  This racing team is spread over 5 departments on garden lofts and partly on lofts above the outbuildings of Christian’s parental home.

About 150 youngsters (spread over 3 rounds) are bred for our own use.
The pigeons are coupled in mid-December (both breeders and racers) and the eggs of the best breeders are put under racers. With the racers, after 18 days the hens are taken away accompanied by 1 youngster and the cocks continue to raise 1 youngster.  After this period, the racers are fed a pure mixture (without corn) until the start of the season.
In April, the racing team is coupled for three days (depending on the weather and in function of the training) and the pigeons are trained (10 km, 10 km, 15 km, 40 km).  The target and focus are on the national flights and this as well on the heavy middle distance as on the day long distance.

Apart from good pigeons, no secrets
The care in Warchin is quite close to the classic we all know more or less from the past. The pigeons train once a day in a “free way”. From the national opener on Bourges, they get a nest dish before basketing (but never a hen).  From the 2nd Chateauroux for old and yearling pigeons sometimes a hen is shown for basketing.
At the beginning of the season, the pigeons are fed with Versele Gery Black (on speed and middle distance) and with Champion Plus Versele Black as soon as the important races start. The feed is heavier during the last 5 feedings before basketing.
The pigeons are fed in a common feeding trough. After each training they get some candy and a grit mix, followed by some classic food.
As far as supplements are concerned, they have had very good experiences with Red Pigeon products such as Red Pigeon Royal Tea, which they receive once a week. On arrival at home electrolytes from Red Pigeon and for 2 days Immunol from Schroeder.  One day a week the Joost-mix from Belgavet and Extra Energy from Schroeder.  Oil is also regularly administered over the feed.
In February, the vet Nicholas Schoonheere carries out a general check and this examination is repeated 10 days before the 1st race from Limoges.
The youngsters are vaccinated 3 times and also receive a smallpox vaccine.  To remain free of paratyphoid, all pigeons receive a cure every year for 10 days in the drinking bowl, but they are not injected with a vaccine.

The old strong basis supplemented with …
The broad old basis is this formed by the pigeons of Louis Deleus from Boortmeerbeek which were purchased long ago. Out of these pigeons the Vieux Roux was born who descends from the line of the 1st national Montauban. He is the progenitor, father, grandfather of several top birds and this line still inherits very well.  Later and more recent additions are Joost Desmeyter, Wilfried Vandemaele, Gino Clicque and the tandem Murez-Maréchal.  
Because of the strong inheritance of the old lines, one is very cautious with the strong in crossing of new blood.  Each contribution is well observed and evaluated if it means a reinforcement of the team.

“Le Patrick” (BE19-1097345) 1st national ace long distance and 1st national Limoges

A top pigeon like only a few have been born and have flown. That is the title we may certainly attribute to Le Patrick.  He succeeded in winning the title of 1st ace pigeon long distance KBDB 2021 with a coefficient of 0.1956% which is exceptionally low.

This very sharp coefficient was obtained with:

– 1st national Limoges 6,986 b
– 7th national Limoges 15,547 b
– 12th national Brive 8,807 b

A stuntman ‘hors categories’.
What is given with good intentions has a good chance of succeeding….is certainly applicable here. In 2019 Patrick Dubois from neighboring Gaurin Ramecroix asked Christian for some rings.  They have known each other for a long time and exchanged some pigeons before.  They were relatively late bred youngsters but could be trained to a limited extent the same year.
One of these youngsters later became the very best pigeon on the day long distance races 2021 with a national victory, some national top results and the title of ace pigeon on top.
A beautiful story that once again emphasizes that pigeon racing is not an exact science and that sometimes success or failure depends on details or well-intentioned initiatives.
In any case, it is a happy event for both parties that such a pigeon was able to develop into a true crack.
Who thinks that this was an outlier for the Harchies family is wrong. Apart from the exceptional performance of Patrick, who outclasses everybody and everything, there are also a number of top-flyers present on the lofts.
Toppers like Michel, le 320/20, le 580/20, Michel II, le 711/19, New Milito and le 336/20 made sure of a very good year 2021.  The national and zonal top prizes are here below

Top 100 national 2021

1st national Limoges 6,986p.
6th national Châteauroux 10,317p.
7th national Limoges 15,547p.
10th national Châteauroux 10,317p.
12th national Brive 8,807 p.
13th national Issoudun 14,758p.
16th national Châteauroux 7,099p.
22nd national Châteauroux 24,617p.
28th national Châteauroux 10,317p.
40th national Argenton 14,787p.
61st national Châteauroux 24,617p.
74th national Périgueux 3,783p.
88th national Argenton 21,282p.
88th national Issoudun 9,777p.

Top 10 national zone 2021

1st national zone Limoges 2,153p.
2nd national zone Châteauroux 3,431p.
2nd national zone Châteauroux 1,448p.
3rd national zone Limoges 5,350p.
3rd national zone Argenton 2,251p.
3rd national zone Issoudun 1,848p.
4th national zone Argenton 3,107p.
4th national zone Châteauroux 1,448p.
5th national zone Châteauroux 1,222p.
7th national zone Châteauroux 1,448p.
8th national zone Issoudun 1,282p.
9th national zone Châteauroux 3,431p.
9th national zone Brive 3,144p.
10th national zone Argenton 3,107p.

Everything but a one-day flight!  With a 1st national Montauban, 1st and 2nd national Bourges, 1st national Limoges, national ace long distance, nothing more needs to be proved. It is a top loft, and the prospects are good to very good. There are a number of fixed values, but young talent announces itself.

Keep an eye on them for the season 2022, but in the meantime, you can still enjoy an exceptional year 2021!