Vrancken – Berden (Kuringen)
1st National ace KBDB short distance youngbirds 2020

In Kuringen lives the combination Eric Vrancken and Marleen Berden. This husband-and-wife combination has been one of the champion racers in the combine “Midden Limburg” (a group of 18 associations). The last seasons it has been for our friends a pure rush towards the top of Belgian pigeon sport. It all started in 2017 with winning the 3rd Olympiad bird young birds, 2 years later, topper “Wout” was born who became 2nd Olympiad bird young pigeons Poznan 2019 and now in 2020 it is “bulls Eye” with “Rico” who brings several ace titles to Kuringen. In which as highlights:
1st National Ace short distance KBDB young birds
1st National Olympiad bird Cat.F – 2020
World’s Best Ace pigeon FCI Short distance (old – yearling and young together) 2020.

This last title counts not only for Belgium but also for all countries that participated in this competition. In other words, the highest podium that “Rico” could win. So, he does even better than his father who also won this title in 2019.
Maybe we can say that by winning these ace bird titles the circle for this colony has been completed, but personally I think that the motivation of Eric and the super class of pigeons that is present here is still capable of a lot.
Father Albert Vrancken was a good fancier. In the early 80s the two sons Erik and Willy built a pigeon loft behind the parental home where they started working together. In 1989 Erik started independently with pigeons at the current location under the name Vrancken-Berden.
They started with pigeons from father because both sons got half of the pigeons. The pigeons of daddy were reinforced with pigeons of brother Willy and Jos Claeskens (Loksbergen). At the end of the nineties Erik and Willy went to Pros Roosen (Kermt) and got pigeons with the Soontjens-origine with which they had great success. With this basis the young colony was further expanded.
Other investments were made in 2017. Then Erik was on the doorstep of Antoon Neven (Lummen) who is a real champion. Erik got there the father of “Wout” (Olympiad bird Poznan 2019) and the mother of “Rico” (1st Nat. ace pigeon speed young pigeons). Furthermore, there were pigeons retrieved from René Vervoort (Hulshout) and that was also a hit. The father of “Rico” is a cock of René Vervoort, and the 4th Nat. ace small middle distance is also a direct pigeon of René Vervoort.
Eric does not like many pigeons, he likes to have many lofts with few pigeons on them so he can control everything and observe everything well.
The Vrancken-Berden tandem arrived at the start of the 2020 season with 11 yearlings, 50 youngsters and 10 couples of breeders. No old pigeons are raced, and the 5 yearling cocks and the 6 yearling hens were raced on the classical widowhood.
The 5 yearling cocks were coupled for the first time at the beginning of March and after 10 days of brooding they were separated. In 3 to 4 stages, they were trained to 30 km. Due to the corona problems, they only started racing in 2020 on June 13.
Training is done twice a day. Erik keeps a close eye on the training of his widowers. A full hour of training is necessary, and this is systematically built up and when necessary, the flag is used. Training is an important part of successful racing because the widowers always show their condition.

On basketing day, the cocks get their hens in their box. In the beginning only for a short time but as the season progresses this becomes a little longer. But variation is motivation and sometimes all cocks get to see their partner, another time they only get the nest bowl and a rare time an empty box is opened. However, too much “fiddling” with the widowers can also be disappointing.

On arrival day, cocks and hens do not stay together for long. Those who do not arrive home on time do not get to see a hen at all. The cocks have a full program to finish and in a whole season they do not stay home twice.

The hens fly their last race at the end of August. After this last race, the birds stay separated. The first pairing takes place on March 15 and then they can breed youngsters. If the hens perform well at the first races in nest position, they are raced a few weeks longer on this position. If they do not do well, they are separated immediately and they are raced on widowhood.

The hens fly 4 short distance races and then they are always raced on races with two nights basket. Every week they go into the basket, otherwise they will mate with each other. At basketing, the hens almost always see their cock. Usually, they come together for half an hour. When they do not do their best, it can happen that they do not see their cock. After arrival of a race, they stay together until the next day.

At 6 p.m. they train with the flag! The hens train less easily but, in this way, they can still make up an hour. The hens are also taken away mid-week for a short training toss. But it must be said that the hens perform better than the cocks.


The youngsters are bred in 3 rounds from the breeders. Each round is separate, and they are darkened from weaning until half May (18h00 – 08h00). Eric stops the darkening quite soon, but this is mainly done because he wants to make top results from the start of the young bird season. For 2021, he has the idea to darken one loft a little bit longer to be able to compete a little longer.

When the youngsters train well at home the training baskets are taken from under the dust. Eric: “I spend a lot of time on this because I think you can really benefit from it. They must be at home when I arrive home and especially the urge/motivation to go to the loft must be there. Before the season, I dare to drive 10 to 15 times with the pigeons and during the season itself, I bring them away once a week up to 25km.

The first 4 to 5 races, the sexes are still mixed, from then on there are usually couples formed and the system of the sliding door can begin. I mainly keep myself busy with observing who is in which box or which couple nests where, so that I can place cardboard boxes or slanting shelves in these places. Before basketing, I allow them to stay together for at least a few hours.” Rico

When we got “Rico” for the first time in our hands we knew immediately, pure class, an exceptional pigeon with huge muscles and a beautiful wing combined with an exceptionally good, closed vent bones. We wonder what the children will do on the Herbots racing loft because “Rico” went after the racing season as an investment to Jo Herbots to act as a new topper on the breeding loft.

BE 20-5031856 “Rico”

1 World’s Best Ace Pigeon FCI Speed (old – yearling and young together) 2020
1 Nat Olympiad ace Olympic Hope Cat. F KBDB 2020
1 Nat Ace Speed young KBDB 2020
1 Laon 2,924b
1 Laon 274b
2 Laon 4,451b
3 Chimay 3,654b
3 Chimay 239b
8 Dizy 4,982d
12 Vervins 5,077d

His brothers also did very well in 2020 which is promising for 2021.

Brother of “801/20” 2 Laon 2,924d – 2 Laon 987d – 11 Laon 4,451d – 25 Vervins 5,077d among others Brother of “871/20” 2 Vervins 868d – 28 Vervins 5,077d
Brother of “855/20” 17 Laon 4,451d – 24 Chimay 3,339d – 46 Chimay 3,612d

Father BE 17-6214606 White Man – Rene Vervoort
Flown by Vrancken Berden
Superflyer – 3 Nat Ace pigeon speed KBDB 2019 – 12 Nat Ace pigeon speed KBDB 2018 and
1st World’s Ace pigeon FCI Speed Belgium
Won 2 Soisssons 4,153d (1-893d) – 2 Chimay 1,791d (1-431d) – 3 Dizy 2,682d (1-689d) – 5 Chimay 1,319d (4-397d) – 5 Chimay 1. 557d (5-335d) – 6 Soissons 2,229d – 6 Laon 1,488d – 9 Chimay 1,509d – 13 Laon 1,687d – 14 Chimay 2,629d – 19 Dizy 4,234d

Gr.F. BE 14-6140411 Goede Witte – Rene Vervoort

                Won 6 Noyon 2,214d – 9 Souppes 1,460d

                Son of “BE 412-12” Last son of breeding pair x “BE 10-310” Van Opstal x Oosterwijck

Gr.M. BE 14-6095700 Rene Vervoort x Guldentops Wittocks

Mother BE 18-5040905 New Niki – Neven Antoon

Won 1st Ace Middle Distance 2018 – won a.o. 3 Soissons 783d – 4 Soissons 1,917d – 6 Momignies 833d
Sister “468/16” Niki 1 Prov Chevrainvilliers 3,370d
Sister “017/17” Gilberta 5 Prov Gien 3,049d
Sister “474/16” Evenepoel 1 Laon 1,370d – 2 Soissons 1,109d – 3 Momignies 1,214d – 4 Laon 3,322d – 6 Sezanne 1,179d – 7 Sourdun 1,447d – 7 Momignies 1,144d

Gr.F. BE 12-5007019 Terpstra – Cousins Antoon

                Won 1 Nanteuil 668d – 1 Marne 407d – 1 Vervins 367d – 1 Vervins 360d – 1 Reims 211d

                Son of “BE 07-041” 3 x 1st x “BE 02-194” 2 x 1st

Gr.M. BE 13-5000209 Lore – Cousins Anthony

                Won 1-2-2-3-…

                Daughter of “BE 05-367” Boonen 3 x 1st x “BE 05-181” Mother Lore

Superstar middle-distance in 2020 was BE 20-6023328 “Mormelke Marie”.
1 Prov Ace Middle Distance young KBDB 2020
4 Nat Ace middle distance young KBDB 2020
24 Prov Sens 6,047d (2-300d)
31 Prov Melun 8,101d (1-405d)
33 Prov Fay Aux Loges 6,470b    
48 Sezanne 3,589d

Father BE 15-6292350 Rene Vervoort – Brother to father “White Man”.
Rene Vervoort x Vanopstal Van Oosterwijck
Mother BE 16-6052300 Sister of White Man
Mother is a sister of “White Man
Gr.F. BE 14-6140411 Good White – Rene Vervoort

                Won 6 Noyon 2,214d – 9 Souppes 1,460d

                Son of “BE 412-12” Last son of breeding pair x “BE 10-310” Van Opstal x Oosterwijck

Gr.M. BE 14-6095700 Rene Vervoort x Guldentops Wittocks


Nutrition and medical guidance

Feeding is an art, says Erik Vrancken. Widowers that come home on Saturday get “full tank” sport mixture (Subliem Versele-Laga) + “Soontjes-mixture” (lighter mixture) and there are electrolytes in the drinking water.

From two nights in the basket, the widowers and hens always get 4 days of sport mixture + “Soontjes-mixture”. On Wednesday and Thursday, it is “full tank” sports mixture. In the morning they feed a little less but in the evening the pigeons must eat well. Every day they also get a pinch of candy + fat mixture (small seeds). On Monday and Tuesday, vitamins are added to the feed. On Friday morning they are still fed plenty of sports mixture.

The yearling hens follow approximately the same feeding system as the cocks. In the morning, they are fed a little less (more “Soontjes-mixture”) and in the evening they should also eat well.

When the youngsters arrive from a race, they only get “Soontjes-mixture” until Monday. On Tuesday, they get “Soontjes-mixture” + sports mixture + moulting mixture (Subliem Versele-Laga). On Wednesday it becomes more sports mixture and less “Soontjes-mixture”. On Thursday and Friday morning it becomes 100% sport + moulting mix.

Once a month Erik takes his pigeons to the vet for a check-up. Before the start of the racing season, the pigeons are treated against trichomonas for 6 days. During the season, this treatment is not repeated. However, the “yellow drops” are administered through the feed after returning home.

On the advice of the vet, during the season, the pigeons were treated against respiratory infections for 7 days. Eye drops are administered on basketing and arrival day and in case of injuries to the eyes.

Best results 2020

Laon 290b. : 1,2,3,… 8/10
Dizy 783b : 1,5,8,15,… 9/11
Vervins 446 youngbirds : 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,… 21/28
Laon 354 youngbirds : 1,2,3,4,5,9,10,11,12,14,… 24/28
Laon 987 youngbirds : 1,2,4,5,10,… 15/34
Laon 793b : 1,2,3,… 7/10
Vervins 5,077 youngbirds : 9,9,12,15,23,25,28,31,… 16/28
Dizy 4.,982 youngbirds : 8,9,25,28,32,… 25/28
Chimay 3,654 youngbirds : 3,4,19,20,32,36,… 19/31
Vervins 1,730 youngbirds : 7,8,9,11,16,18,20,22,… 16/28
Laon 2,924 youngbirds: 1,2,4,6,11,43,… 16/34
Laon 4,451 youngbirds : 1,2,3,4,5,10,11,12,13,15,… 24/28
Sens Prov 1.,171 old : 3,… 2/2
Sourdun Prov 1,736 old : 3,… 2/2
Sourdun 4,284 old : 20,22,39,… 5/6