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The Thone Strain Of Racing Pigeons...
Author: Liam O ComainTitle: The Thone Strain Of Racing Pigeons
Date: 2005-04-07 19:58:32Uploaded by: webmaster
Jos ThoneWhen Britain made a break through in the international racing scene with Brian Shepphard winning the Dax International in 2003 the blood of the Thone strain from Belgium played a significant part in that victory; for the winner carried that blood in his veins. And when the same loft was 2nd International from Dax the following year (2004) that bird also carried the blood of the Thone family of pigeons. Significantly both pigeons are half brothers and the Sheppard family have seen at first hand the worth of the Thone strain.

Jos Thone is from Niel near Ars in Belgium (born 1961) and in Europe he is, in the opinion of many, the best pigeon racer at all distances. It all began from the moment that he entered his father's loft as a very young child and he spent a lot of happy hours looking at his father's pigeons. This love of the racing pigeon has never ended and it is that love plus an excellent intellect that is the basis of his success. In fact this early blooding ensured that the racing pigeon has come to dominate his life, as he has willingly admitted. He was also influenced by another successful fancier of his childhood and early teens Jan Grondelaers of Opglabeek. In fact it has been said that at the age of 12 the young Thone would stand admiring the pigeons of Grondelaers aware that what the latter fancier had achieved is what he, the observer, hoped to attain. A hope that time has realised.

As the years passed Jos was employed as the loft manager of the Thomas Peeters and Sons' loft in As, where, as an excellent observer, he acquired an amount of knowledge and experience which would act as a base for the fulfilment of his sporting ambitions. In due course he married Gaby the daughter of Thomas Peeters. After their marriage Thone started to build his strain with pigeons from his father in law plus birds that he obtained from other fanciers who were his friends. After about ten years Jos Thone had built his own strain.

In racing he had almost immediate success which continued as he and his wife welcomed the arrival of two sons and as his colony of pigeons grew to approximately five hundred. This was an increase from the original 300 in 1991 when he started but Thone with his scientific approach and iron regime keeps no duds. Every pigeon must fly or produce, to earn its keep and perch, in lofts that are perhaps the best structured in Europe if not the world. This has produced some great achievements: 1st International Barcelona Yearling 1993; 1st International Barcelona Yearling 1994; 1st, 2nd Euregio (Semi International) Barcelona 1994; 1st Belgium Barcelona hen 1995; 2nd International Barcelona hen 1995; and 1st International Barcelona 1996, 20,191 pigeons. He has been overall champion in the International Gouden Duif competition twice; World champion (Versele-Lage) four times, something no one has ever matched and has won the overall championship of La Colombophilie Belge six times, a competition everyone in Belgium can enter. In 2003 he won three provincial races Perpignan, Chateauroux and Vichy and over 30 x 1st from 100 to 1,100 km. In 2004 some of the results are as follows: 39 x 1st from 140 to 1100 km; 54 times in the first 100 National and International; 1st Brive; 1st Barcelona; 1st Bordeaux; 1st La Souterraine; 1st Orleans; 1st Laon; 1st Melun; 1st Nanteuil; 1st Argenton; 1st Chimay etc; 1st club, 2nd and 3rd prov; 4th, 12th and 37th National La Souterraine 16,436 birds; 1st prov, 6th National La Souterraine 3,096 Old Pigeons; 1st National Hens; 1st Semi- National 7467 birds; 4th National Brive 19,487 birds with Gouden Grijs; 1st, 5th Prov Orleans 7,061; 1st club, 64th, 95th National Argenton 23,078; 1st National Champion Cureghem Centre hens; 1st Overall Champion Middle Distance hafo ML; 1st Ace Pigeon ML Middle Distance Yearlings Fiona; 1st Ace Pigeon ML Middle Distance Old Pigeons Olympic Ginwa; 1st champion Middle Distance Yearlings ML; 1st and 2nd Queensland Cup Australia; 1st Prov Ace Pigeon y. fond KBDB Wilby; 3rd Nat. Olympic Pigeon Belgium All Round Olympic Ginwa.

The Thone lofts have so many champions that it would be impossible to mention them all but some of the greatest of the Thone strain are Poco who in her first year raced approximately 5,000 km with two of the races over 700 km, the last race was Brive, 720 km. As a youngster the mileage covered was enough to destroy her as a future racer but not this lady for in 1993 she won first prize International Barcelona in the yearlings category, a very hard race. Then in 1995, 1st National Barcelona with hens. Polanova 1st National Barcelona (yearlings) 1994. In 1996 Thoné and partner Willems won 1st International Barcelona with with Gerda. Then Arnold who was given to Valentin Vanheusden as an egg in 1997 won 1st International Barcelona.

Like the Sheppard success, many fanciers have won with the Jos Thone strain. As a fancier Thone, God willing, has many years ahead of him in the sport and as his two sons are keen the future looks bright for this modern strain of racing pigeons. In fact, like Aarden and a few others of the twentieth century Thone may become the strain of the new millennium. There is no doubt that his stock has the right genes which coupled with the fact that he is a master at the sport of pigeon racing what else does he require?

Liam O Comain

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