The Remarkable Story of "Golden Lady" From Arno Van Den Berghe: An Icon in Pigeon Racing

The Remarkable Story of "Golden Lady" From Arno Van Den Berghe: An Icon in Pigeon Racing

Jan de Wijs

In pigeon racing, there are rare moments when a pigeon rises to make history. One such moment occurred in 2020, when Arno Van Den Berghe competed for the first time from his new lofts in Ophasselt.

Among his young pigeons was an unassuming female with ring number BE.20-4008636. No one could have predicted that this pigeon, later known as ""Golden Lady"," would become a true legend.

The Rise of a Champion
In 2021, when the yearlings were first raced, Arno focused entirely on the provincial and national flights. "Golden Lady" made her mark during her first provincial flight from Vierzon. Against 4,543 yearlings, she flew to first place and was the fastest of all 11,858 participating pigeons. It was clear that this pigeon had exceptional talent.

B.20-4008636 Golden Lady, Arno van den Berghe

But this was just the beginning. A month and a half after her victory in Vierzon, "Golden Lady" made an even greater impression by winning 1st National from Chateauroux against 10,317 pigeons. Again, she was the fastest of them all, this time against 17,416 pigeons. This achievement forever etched her name in the annals of pigeon racing.

These victories were remarkable given the challenging weather conditions: a strong southwest wind during the flight from Vierzon and heat with a north wind during the flight from Chateauroux. Yet, "Golden Lady" demonstrated her versatility and endurance under various conditions.

A Short, But Glorious Career
Following her exceptional performances, "Golden Lady" was immediately retired from racing to breed with the very best pigeons. She was paired with icons like Porsche 911 and Prince Porsche from the PIPA ELITE CENTER (PEC). However, when she returned to her own loft and was about to lay her first egg, she became seriously ill. Despite frantic efforts by the veterinarian, "Golden Lady" passed away within 24 hours. This tragic loss meant that only six offspring were born from this extraordinary pigeon.

A New Generation
Although losing "Golden Lady" was a significant setback, Arno did not give up. He began building a line that would carry her name. One of the first successes from this line was "Floke" (BE.22-4009210), a descendant of a nest brother of "Golden Lady". "Floke" quickly proved that "Golden Lady"’s genes lived on, achieving impressive performances in various races, including a victory from Limoges.

Performances of "Floke":

- 1st Vierzon against 295 pigeons (9th Provincial against 3,239 pigeons)
- 1st Limoges against 176 pigeons (34th Provincial against 2,451 pigeons, 15th Zone against 1,217 pigeons)
- 2nd Chateauroux against 287 pigeons (12th Provincial against 3,125 pigeons)
- 77th Zonal Argenton against 2,263 pigeons
- 12th Souillac against 306 pigeons (88th Provincial against 1,652 pigeons)

Jan de Wijs, Pacing Pigeons, Genesis, Vanguard
A Promising Future
Arno Van Den Berghe holds a true goldmine with his "Golden Lady" line. The results from 2023 showcase the potential of this lineage:

- 15 times a 1st prize locally
- 10 times top-10 zonal
- 14 times top-10 provincial
- 7 times top-100 national

The story of "Golden Lady" and the successes of her offspring highlight that pigeon racing is still very much alive. It is an inspiring tale for every enthusiast who dares to dream big. Arno’s perseverance and passion are exemplary for everyone in the sport. The legacy of "Golden Lady" lives on and promises a bright future for pigeon racing.

Keep an eye on this name, and remember that I told you this will be a big name in the sport!

Until the next blog,

Yours In Racing Pigeon Passion,

Jan de Wijs
Blogger & Racing Pigeon Expert

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