The story about the foundation cock LITTLE JOE!

Saturday, July 19th 2003, the weather reports of the last few days seem to be right.  It will be a tropical day with a temperature of 35° C in France. In addition a North-East breeze and every fancier knows that this will be a hard job for the 20.786 pigeons on the classical long distance race from Marseille. We all know that Marseille usually is a difficult race because of the geographic position. The birds were released at 6.30 to start the long and difficult way home.
The tandem Baerts Henri and Guy did enter 3 pigeons for this heavy classic race inclusive a 2-year old cock, dark chequered by the name of LITTLE JOE. Already as a yearling, this cock had been noticed on a very heavy race from Jarnac (700 km) on which he scored well with a prize per 20, clocked the next morning around 7, again a prove that it was a very hard race.

On that same day of Marseille, there also was the race from Souillac and the first bird from that race had a speed of 1247 mpm but only 42 pigeons did more than 1200 mpm.
It was about 19.30 when Guy Baerts sat down on the stairs of the pigeon loft. The windows were still closed because they didn’t expect the pigeons yet. At the time, there wasn’t the possibility to follow the announcements on the internet. Only a few minutes later, his rest was interrupted when suddenly a pigeon fell on the roof and then tried to get inside. In a hurry, the window was opened and LITTLE JOE was clocked.

The pigeons had to be announced in the club of Obrafo Tienen but the person in charge wasn’t really ready for the pigeons of Marseille, because he still was busy with the announcements from Souillac. After the man was convinced that it really was a bird from Marseille, he wrote it all down.

Finally LITTLE JOE ended up to be 9th International against 20.786 pigeons. The second bird in the club Obrafo Tienen was announced 2 hours later. Only 200 pigeons of 20.786 entered arrived home on the day! The International victory was won by the late Robert Vaneycken with his BORIS, a bird that also marked the long distance world.

Because LITTLE JOE returned rather “fresh” after such a tough journey, his origins and his exceptional beauty, Baerts decided to move him to the breeding loft.
LITTLE JOE is a rather small bird but with an exceptional quality of feathers and an eye of which an “eye-specialist” once said that he’d never seen such a breeding quality before.
About his origins, we can say that he is an inbred product to the famous POCO DIEGO strain of Jos Thoné from As. Hereby we have to mention that as well his father as his grandparents on mothers side were received in loan of Jos Thoné.

It’s also a fact that one of the best long distance hens that Jos ever owned; GODIVA was a half-sister of LITTLE JOE and so you understand well why LITTLE JOE soon moved to the breeding loft. GODIVA won prizes like 1. Prov., 9. National Bordeaux; 1 Prov., 11. National Perpignan; 27. National Barcelona, 24. Inter-Prov. St-Vincent, etc…

Very soon they found out that they took the right decision when a daughter won 1. Prov. Montauban, 8. Nat. Montauban 6.187 pigeons. In very short time first prizes were won by his children from Bordeaux, St-Vincent, Tulle, Nanteuil…....

But what’s even more important: his grandchildren and greatgrandchildren all showed their exceptional qualities on the races… so LITTLE JOE was really a bird to found a new colony on.

Every week Baerts receives top references from all over the world but till now take a look at this fantastic list of results!

At the age of 14, LITTLE JOE is still full of life and he fertilises 100%, which is a quality not to underestimate.
This is the story of a very exceptional bird.
Best regards,
Guy Baerts & Jos Thoné

We send our greetings to both Guy Baerts and Jos Thoné Gino - thank you for the story about the foundation cock LITTLE JOE!

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