Visiting Armando’s father with the youngest pigeon fancier in the country: “The most important thing? You must love to see your pigeons”

At nine years old, Vintage Glorio is perhaps the youngest pigeon fancier in our country. We took it to the pigeon house of Joël Verschoot, the man who single-handedly put pigeon sport back on the map thanks to Armando’s record sales. “For girls like Vintage to follow in their footsteps? Better ads than Armando.”

She is barely nine years old, but Ingelmunsterse Fientje Glorieux is totally obsessed with the sport of pigeons. Along with her father Evan Glorio (45 years old), she was ready for her second season among her now seventy friends.

Papa Ivan built a pigeon with his own hands and she managed to get her first pigeon across the road. The first places of honor are now a fact, “although I realize I still have a lot to learn,” smiles the mischievous girl, who is in the fourth year of Het Vlinderbos in Ooigem and who does gymnastics for at least fourteen hours a week at Gym Izegem.

Sports is also the common denominator within the family, because mum Amy Nairt (34 years old) is a more than worthy amateur boxer. “Pigeon sports fit perfectly on that list,” the family says. “We want to do a little bit better every year. We are at the beginning of our path.”

1.25 million euros

Jol Verschoot (66) who has gone down a solid road is Joël Verschoot (66). Coincidence or not: also a purebred Angelmonster. Vintage and Jewel doves are in full swing…or better: pigeon journey Barely five kilometers from each other, but one of Belgium’s best pigeon breeders Rahat is one that licks your thumbs and fingers.

I give my product three of my eggs. This is how I want to give it a go – Joel Verchot

The icing came on the cake on March 17, 2019, when Armando put up the auction for an astronomical sum: 1.25 million euros. This animal made it by far the most expensive pigeon ever and since then Joel has enjoyed worldwide fame in the pigeon world. “They called me Eddie Merckx for pigeon sports,” he smiles.


In November 2020, New Kim, Gaston van de Weer’s pigeon from Perlar, beat Armando financially and set the record even steeper with 1.6 million, but this news hardly lifted a grain of sand from the three-year storm that has hit Armando. caused in the past.

“That’s right,” nodded Joel, who has been around for more than half a century section sitting. “Armando has put our sport back on the map. I consider this our greatest achievement.”

The cup in the living room

Fientje frankly listens to Joël’s stories, as we pass the Verschoot Pigeons Loft, as the loft is officially called.

At the entrance are two large plexiboards with all the details about Armando and Contador, that other absolute award winning bathroom that has been altered for a hefty sum. “I’m still a kid as a pigeon crab, but if I could have a pigeon like Armando butt

Joel Verchot is ready for the penultimate season

Joel Verchot is working on the penultimate bathroom season. “After that, my son Dieter (37) will take complete control,” he says. “My wife Annie and I have four sons, and the microbe has been completely inherited by the dieter.”

“After my final season, we’ll be selling what we have so he can get started. On January 1, 2024, it’s up to him, but I’ll stay on board, to support him. A new chapter, but at the same time I’m glad we’re writing it like that.”

“Our Verschoot Pigeons Loft has a bright future ahead and I will continue to be active in the bathroom world.”

Vinci rolls her eyes at her partner in crime My father is Evan. “That would be something,” he laughs. “We are really pleased with the progress we’ve made in such a short time. During its first season, Vintge finished seventh in the starts. This trophy is a living room staple. But what we’re seeing here… Cheers.”

We continue our journey through a house of about 550 pigeons and arrive at the breeding house. “Here sit the sons and daughters of Armando and Contador,” Joel says. “We let them mate and sell the young. They find their way all over Europe and even the Far East.”

Ventje admired Joël Verschoot's cupboard full of opulence.
Ventje admired Joël Verschoot’s cupboard full of opulence. © JOKE COUVREUR

Joel sees that Vintigi doesn’t know where to look first. He says “Come”. “I’ll show you the separate compartments.” Vintage gets on the spot with a pigeon and immediately notices how kindly she treats the animal. Joel Packet. “You can see that she loves the pigeon,” he says.

“This is the cornerstone of exercising well. Rule number one: you have to love the bathroom. Without passion you will get nowhere. I should disappoint anyone who is just looking for (quick) money. You swapped good years with much worse and a long time for that.” Stab† I often wondered what I was doing, but passion always trumped the proportion.”

The moment the pigeons land after an untold journey – Vintigi and Ivan Glorio

Vintigi and dad Evan agree. “It’s for us to have fun. The moment the pigeons come home after the race is indescribable. It’s our children’s land, isn’t it? And we really do pamper them.”

“That’s the right attitude,” Joel pats his back. “Ninety percent of all pigeon keepers have to invest their money, five percent break even, and another five percent earn from it. That says enough, doesn’t it.”

bathroom whistle

We leave the elevator behind and move to the large grass in front of bathroom hotel† Joel pulls a small whistle from his pocket. “I’ll call the pigeons that are now circling upstairs.”

After a few raucous notes, we see a sea of ​​fluttering wings harmoniously landing on the loft panels. “Fantastic view,” Ventje says with happy eyes. “We have to buy that too.”

“A trick I saw in China,” Joel reveals. “I was tempting my pigeons with my voice, but because of that they only knew me sound† By using a whistle, someone else can take over this task.”

Fientje Glorieux with her father Evan and mother Amy and Joel Verchot in Joel's bathroom.
Fientje Glorieux with her father Evan and mother Amy and Joel Verchot in Joel’s bathroom. © JOKE COUVREUR

For Vintigi, visiting Joel is a dream come true, but Joel is equally happy. “It is youth violence like Vintge who holds the future of our sport in their own hands.”

“You can’t believe how happy I am to know that kids and guys want to start from scratch. This is a better ad than Armando, I think. You know? I’m going to give Vintage three eggs. My way of giving it a boost.”

Vintigi and her parents are elated. “A great gift. When we come across Joël at De Duivenwacht at Café De Kluisberg in Lendelide, we will surely treat him for a pint.”

Joel Greens. “Not necessary. The best gift is that Vintge continues to play with pigeons for the rest of her life.”


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