Fortunately, there are still certainties in life, and that is also the case in the pigeon sport and pigeon world. One of the certainties is that the Marc & Geert Pollin colony can not or at least hardly be wiped from the tables.
For more than 30 years at the top, an evolution from speed over middle distance to long distance, a record of achievements with national victories, ACE pigeons, Olympiad pigeons, winners in all top rankings from middle distance to long distance and still to be found alive and kicking on various stages each year.
Marc is also an excellent pigeon racer. What is a talent? What is the art of forming a pigeon strain? What feeling do you need to match or choose pigeons resulting in national front racers? It is hard to put into words, but each year, the results prove that some people genuinely have the knack of it. You can have a top pigeon one year, but reinventing oneself year after year and breeding new toppers is only for the happy few. Without blushing we can safely say that Marc has been the ultra top for years now.
In the corner of West Flanders, it is hit or miss
Many theses have been advanced concerning the position of the pens in function of the release site and the progress of the race. We all know that the weather, and the wind direction in particular, plays a decisive role in reaching the national top. Jabbeke (Snellegem,) where Marc, Geert and Diane live, is not really a top position for a national score. So it is hit or miss. If there is no wind, head wind or a strong east wind, their chances are very good. If there is a west wind (which happens quite often in our country) it is very tough to get into the leading group nationally. That is why Marc focused on the provincial flights first (in which he rose to fame in the early years). In these races, the odds are more or less the same and performances can be assessed in a more objective way. Nationally we can not deny that Jabbeke is not the best location on average. Still they have already taken five national victories (Limoges, Perpignan, Montauban, Saint-Vincent, Libourne twice) and various national top positions.
Season 2018 was a tough season with many heavy flights with high temperatures and north-northeast wind. With these weather conditions, the location definitely was not negative and Marc’s pigeons proved it. Weekly, early pigeons were clocked and some flights were really delightful (Jarnac, Tulle, Angoulème … etc).
The golden frame of season 2018
3rd General champion KBDB
3rd National champion KBDB long distance and heavy long distance yearlings
3rd National champion KBDB long distance old birds
5th National champion KBDB middle distance yearlings
5th ace pigeon KBDB great middle distance yearlings
5th National champion KBDB great middle distance old birds
1st provincial champion KBDB great middle distance yearlings
1st champion old birds Inter West Flemish
2nd Inter West Flemish champion yearlings
2nd General Inter West Flemish champion
1st champion great middle distance yearlings Bruges championships
1st champion over 600 km Union Gistel
1st champion under 600 km Union Gistel
A breeding loft with quality in abundance
Marc has always honoured the adage not to sell the trees but only the fruits. Of all national winners (7 in total) only one pigeon was sold, namely New Belgian Pride, 3rd national Agen, 1st national Libourne and KBDB ACE pigeon long distance yearlings. All other winners were maintained. A number of breeding lines were maintained based on a few top pigeons such as Mortifer, Dortmunder, Nai, Provinciaal Poitiers, Cadel, “12” and a few more. The last few years, these were complemented with Bruce, Montauban II, Joe, Nest brother Joe, 2nd nat Tulle, Provincial St Junien, Mister Joske. But flanked by a host of equally strong top hens. At Marc and Geert’s some hens are played as yearlings and old hens between the young pigeons, and with much success. So they formed breeding pairs with hens that regularly flew in the national top 100 on the heavy middle distance. They own a truly impressive breeding loft. In most cases, top-performance pigeons were matched with strong hens. So it is no surprise that new top flyers are born every year. We have been persuaded that, if all goes well, the coming years the colony will not be outplayed from the national top. The quality of the breeding loft has also led to good results for other fanciers (Norbert and Stefaan Ally’s national winner Neymar is a 50% Pollin, Team Dejaegher’s ace pigeon long distance Fury is a 50% Pollin, and many others in Holland and abroad succeed with this strong strain).
Some of the highlights of the 2018 season
Publishing the entire playing season would result in too long a list. The fact that they have excelled at more than a few races is reflected in the rankings at national and provincial level. This can only be achieved by racing a strong, discipline-wide season (the best proof is the 3rd place in the general Champions Ranking of KBDB). To give you an idea of what Pollin’s lofts can do, anyway, we give you the amazing results on Tulle and Angoulème national:
Angoulème (622 km) – yearlings
Regional 1, 2 ,3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 15, 18, 22 ,23, 38 (12/14) 127p
Zonal 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 19, 22, 48, 56, 66, 67 524p
National 8, 13, 15, 22, 27, 59, 62, 279, 320, 386, 391, 828 5,030p
Angoulème (622 km) – old birds
Regional 1, 2, 4, 9, 12, 15, 27, 35, 47 (9/14) 177p
Zonal 1, 7, 9, 11, 19, 27, 41, 107 490p
National 10, 39, 42, 45, 73, 123, 171, 662, 867 4,169p
Tulle (633 km) – old birds
Regional 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 15, 16 (9/10) 111p
Zonal 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 23, 34, 40, 43 267p
National 17, 20, 26, 31, 35, 268, 435, 489 4,169p
(9 out of 10 and 5 in 100 first national!)
With such results we can easily say it is ‘raining pigeons’!
Two new toppers in the racing team
Snellegem-Jabbeke has quality in abundance. However, we would like to put 2 of the new toppers in the spotlights:
1st West Flanders great middle distance ACE pigeon yearlings
5th ace pigeon KBDB great middle distance yearlings
He originates from the lofts of Pollin’s good friends: Denduyver F&K. They also own a lot of Pollin pigeons.
BE16-3025213 “Mr. Jarnac”
3rd national Jarnac 5,371 p
10th national Angoulème 4,525 p
1st national Brive (z) 404 p
His father is a son of middle-distance crack Mortifer and his mother is a Dutch hen from Van Boxmeer’s top middle-distance flyers (crossbreed Koopman x Vandenabeele)
The method Marc & Geert use to lead the pigeons to these results is not particularly innovating. Teaching the youngsters well, have them gain lots of routine as yearlings in their first flights and eventually play them on the distances that suit them best. Food from the Versele range, Kaukabam in the drinking water every day and veterinary checks whenever necessary (no medication if not necessary!).
Again, Marc repeated and stressed vehemently that pigeons that fly long distance and heavy long distance should be given sufficient time to recover. The fact that they are hanging around the loft ‘chatting’ does not mean that they have recovered. Many pigeons that have not sufficiently recovered perish on the battlefield.
No miracle methods, but excellent pigeons and outstanding players at Pollin’s. Yet another season to remember and the competition be warned for next year!
ARTICLE BY LIESBETH WEYNEN