The Legends Of Pigeons Racing

The Janssen Brothers of Arendonk, Belgium

The Janssens made history through the performances of their pigeons in the races, but nevertheless for what their birds achieved as breeders for the countless of fanciers that could eventually get their hands on a few specimens from this family of birds. All over the world you will find their pigeons, and there is no other loft in the entire world that has been as important for the development of the modern racing pigeon as the Janssen loft.

Here i found an article written by Julles Gallez in 31.01.2010 about the biggest racing pigeons fanciers of all time

People from all over the world come to the loft at the Schoolstraat in Arendonk. All are here, from the average Belgian fancier who can pay only 2,500 francs for an 8-day old youngster, to the rich Mexican or American, who is able to pay a thousand dollars or more, for a stock or race bird. The strain here at Arendonk has always been kept pure; the only outsider that was ever introduced into the collection came from Mons. Fabry, and was actually half-Fabry and half-Janssen! Aptly enough, it was known as the "Halve Fabry," but was later given another name! This was the only addition that was ever permitted to come into the loft. Actually, this is a strain that in 1973, had been in existence for more than 70 years, and has been cultivated as closely as possible, to the Uiens, the Wegges and the Gits pigeons. The birds in the lofts here are of one family.

Outsiders, who feel they know these pigeons thoroughly, will never be able to find the actual background of the breeding procedures as used by the brothers — simply because the Janssen Brothers have never told anyone anything! They are the only ones that know their pigeons and their strain! They are the only ones that know just how they proceed in their breeding program, every year—slate, red, clear blue, white and grey, red and yellow eyes, etc. etc. This is their secret weapon which permits them to breed pigeons of the same conformation, year after year... soft plumage, supple wings, round and swollen muscles, and always in the best of health.

The Janssen Brothers did not achieve their great world-wide fame through their incredible successes in the National long-distance races. Their fame comes chiefly from the achievements of thousands of pigeon fanciers in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, etc. who have used their birds at stock, and who have been abie to compete successfully in races up to and including 750 miles—especially in the Netherlands, where these long distances carry so much weight in the yearly events.

Dam: 6227956-54 - "Geschelpte Sjaboke."19. Sire: 6064914-56 - "Dikke Blauwe."Dam; 6238919-60 - "Witpen" of 1960.20. Sire: 1000863-60 - "Donkere" of 1960.Dam: 6500825-61 - "Goed Licht."21. Sire: 6498702-60 - "Vos van Boven."Dam: 6641781-60 - "Winterjonge."From the information submitted above, it is obvious that during the past quarter of a century, the Janssen Brothers have done considerable inbreeding.

They have thus succeeded in creating a strain of their own — a strain of which they alone know the standards and the procedures by which the stock-pairs are formed. Let us assume that the Janssen Brothers took a certain characteristic in the formation of the stock-pairs, then we would have to look for findings such as these:

- the blue with white and grey eyes;

- the dark-colored birds with grey and red eyes;

- the slate-blues, with red and white eyes;

- the reds and the mealies, with white and red eyes;

- the light checkers, with red, grey and white eyes;

- the blues, with yellow eyes;

- the light and blue barges with white, grey and red eyes.

Dam: 6178102-68 - Checker.10. Sire: 6588840-56 - "Blauwe Witoger."Dam: 6690780-68 - Checker hen.11. Sire: 6639902-62 - "Lichte" out of "Schone Lichte."Dam: 6687284-67 - "Blauw" out of "Blauwe Witoger."12. Sire: 6064914-56 - "Dikke Blauwe."Dam: 6599476-61 - "Schalie Blauw."13. Sire: 6235202-57 - A youngster out of "Bange."Dam: 6481115-58 - "Schalie" of 1958.14. Sire: 6238885-60 - Out of "Oude Donkere."Dam: 6498678-60 - "Blauwke" of 1960.15. Sire: 6184114-58 - Out of "Oude Schouw Man" (Old Show Man).Dam: 6235204-57 - "Schalie Blauw" of 1957.16. Sire: 6721030-66 - A late-bred out of "Oude Vos."Dam: 6329821-66 - "Licht" out of "Blauwe Witpen."17. Sire: 6584613-56 - "Geschelpte Winterjonge."

Dam: 6235204-57 - "Schalieblauwe" of 1957.

18. Sire: 6481935-59 - A youngster out of "Schone Lichte."

Dam: 6221482-60 - Slate Blue.2. Sire: 6500833-59 - Checker cock.Dam: 6616835-59 - Out of "Schone Lichte" of '58.3. Sire: 9615450-50 - "Oude Lichte," checker cock.Dam: 6481972-59 - Checker out of "Oude Bange."4. Sire: 9615448-50 - The "Oude Donkeren."Dam: 6235202-57 - The "Oude Blauwe Duivin."5. Sire: 6506833-61 - "Jonge Stier."Dam: 6616835-59 - Out of "Schone Lichte" of 1958.6. Sire: 6463380-51 - The "Oude Schalie."Dam: 6588859-56 - "Blauwke" of 1956.7. Sire: 6481099-59 - "Licht" out of "Oude Witpen."Dam: 6065931-58 - A voungster out of "Oude Donkere."8. Sire: 6584593-55 - The "Geschelpte Kleine Kop."

Dam: 6046932-61 - A Blue, out of the "Blauwe" of 1948.

9. Sire: 6498700-60 - "Dikke Witoger."

Their world-wide fame has never affected the Janssen Brothers, who are basically, simple people; they listen to the advice of others, when it is given,but always continue in their own fashion, when all has been said and done! In the long run, their own opinion is what guides them in the pairing, breeding,feeding and racing.

To this day, the number of pigeons that they keep is usually limited to under a hundred birds. In our records, we have found a list of hundreds of direct Janssens that were sold in public sales from 1950 up to and including 1971. We also have a long list of stock-pairs, as they were kept by the Janssen Brothers, and at random, we have written down a few.

Our intention here is to show that the Brothers, as successors of their late father, have not changed their methods during the past half-century! Please note carefully how these men have alwaysnamed and sold their pigeons.

6640579-64 - out of "Blauwe" x "Schalie Witpen" (Slate-colored Blue of 1960.

6511826-62 - out of "Geschelpte" 61 x "Lichte" out of "SchoneLichte" of 1958.

6511825-61 - "Jonge Stier" x "Schone Lichte" of 58.

6623988-61 - Out of "Oude Donkeren 50" x "Blauwe Duivin."

6498677-60 - Out of "Oude Witpen" x a youngster from "OudeDonkere."

6481961-59 - Out of "Oude Schalie 50" x "Blauweke 56."

6510745-63 - Out of "Geschelpte Wittekop 55" x a Blue hen of• 1961.

6697259-69 - Out of "Blauw Witoger" of 56 x "Geschelpte Duivin."

The eight birds listed above are sons and daughters of the stock pairs thatare listed herewith. The thousands of pigeons fanciers who have introduced direct Janssens, were given a bill of sale, when purchasing, which listed the origin, name-stamp and signature of the owner. Anyone who could not show such a bill of sale should never say that he had in his loft, a truly "Made in Arendonk" pigeon! Seldom was the purchaser given a pedigree for his bird!

The information given was always the same as given in the list of the stock-pairs.

Here a few examples:

6624986-61 - Checker cock.

Sire: 6498702-60 - from Vos van Boven.

Dam: 6641781-60 - a late-bred youngster.

6511822-62 - Checker hen.

Sire: 6508840-56 - Blue, with white eyes.

Dam: 6238919-60 - Checker.

The following is a list of some of the stock birds from the loft of the Janssen brothers of Arendonk

1. Sire: 6445161-48 - Blue "48."

No matter what background we find in any particular stock-bird, it is a known fact that year after year, this loft produces truly magnificent pigeons; all have extremely soft plumage, glowing and expressive eyes with perfect color variations. Every specimen is in superb health, and of wonderful general conformation, and here, in this very line of thought, lies hidden their true breeding worth! The Janssen birds owe their fame to the part they played in the lofts of fanciers who used them as a valuable cross, such as the following:Hector Desmet; Charles Vander Espt; André Berte; Eugene Meulemans; Van Miert in Oud-Turnhout; Louis Van Loon, of Poppel; the loft of Gallez, in Meulebeke; Gerard Vanhee, of Wervik; Joseph Vandenbroucke, of Wielsbeke; Leon Mant, Corroy-le-Grand, and others. We could list many more, in the Netherlands and in Germany, who used the Janssens as a cross, with tremendous results on race-days. This is no idle attempt to advertise the Janssen birds, but merely to submit the facts. Needless to say, these wonderful pigeons have played a most important role, in adding to the fame of the Belgian Racing Pigeon.

For over years the Janssen Brothers have won the top prizes in the races.

. From 1935 to 1939 they won over 60 firsts, including: April 10, 1938 - 380 pigeons, shipped 17, they were 1-2-3-8-9-15-26-36-56-57-82-100; April 24, 1938 - 294 birds, shipped 12, they were 1-2-4-10-12-26-28

. From 1945 to 1951 they won 80 times first, including: May 5, 1945 - 682 birds, shipped 15, they were 1-2-4-5-6-7-18-25-30-42-92; August 29, 1949 - 526 pigeons, shipped 14, they were 1-2-3-4--5-6-7-13-17-28-31-65-96-174; May 28, 1951 - 700 pigeons, shipped 18, they were 1-2-3-4-9-12-23-35-38-39-62-85-142-170-185

. April 27, 1952 - 203 birds, shipped 12, they were 1-2-3-4-5-6-9-12-13-18-32-57

. 1953 - 28 times first

. 1954 - 30 times first

. 1955 - 32 times first

. 1956 - 30 times first

. 1957 - 17 times first

. 1958 - 15 times first

The pigeons were raced in the club as well in the region. Many fanciers, being envious, were happy to not have them as competitors. The result of it was thatthe Janssen Brothers were suspended in 1954. That was a hard judgment against them. They were punished just because their birds were too fast.

The Cattrysse Family

The Cattrysse Brothers had the greatest National and International reputation for long distance racing.They were the successors to Goosens,who was three times Champion of Belgium,Bricoux,Duray and many others.

The brothers were the National Champions of Belgium in 1949 for extreme long distance and won over 350 prizes and large sums of prize money .In 1949 they sold through an auction their first round of youngsters 147 in total for a large amount of money but nobody was surprised as everybody knew what valuable racing pigeons their loft had like Napoleon ,Bismark etc.The highest bid of the auction came from Hector Smet ,who was also one of the best fanciers in Belgium.

In 1950 the Cattrysse brothers were champions of the Colombophile Belge long-distance and in the National from Carassone,with an entry of 1003 racing pigeons the brothers were again on top with the first two birds and 20th .At that particular time the brothers were undisputably the greatest long distance specialists in the world.

The Cattrysse brothers were Oscar the eldest one and Gerard.The loft was situated in Moere in West Flanders ,a small village but very well known for the brothers success in racing pigeons.They operated a wholesale business dealing in grains.

The lofts were in the attic of a large building with large windows wich they used them for loft entry when pigeons were returning from the race.Four compartments were allocated to their Extreme Long Distance birds ,two for ordinary racers,one for breeders and one for youngsters.

Their racers were given the best perches close to the window.Any food that was left on the floor was brushed up the next morning and given to chickens .The floors were kept well limed.They kept about 180 birds in the loft.

The majority of the family,about three-quarters were blue in colour and blue pieds and about a quarter chequers and chequer pieds .There were no reds ,mealies,whites or blacks in colour. The strain went back as far as 1921, but it was not until 1926 that great success came their way ,with a pigeon called Grote Blauwen, meaning the big blue , a Wegge- Vandevelde and a hen from Piero De Knops Dax winners and the big blue were the foundation of the entire loft.

After World War II the brothers tried to produce a strain of really good long distance racers with marked qualities conformity and imagination which could also win in the short and middle distance races .

They succeded in producing the type of pigeon that could fly 10 or 12 and sometimes 14 hours on the wing and it was that type of bird which left the older and slower type behind .Two pigeons Sproete and Peetje of the original foundation re - founded the loft and all the great pigeons they reared were bred to their line .

The racing pigeons bred from the pair were in the main direct offsprings of the pair as no fresh blood had been introduced since 1940.They pursued line breeding for many years which some refer to it as inbreeding.Nearly every good long distance lofts in Belgium at some stage introduced the Cattrysse strain .

They kept the strain pure so nothing can go wrong .The Cattrysse birds mature slowly as it was only after the second moult that they improved .One of the birds introduced to the loft in 1932 was a small blue pied freckeld faced ,from Leopold Lamotte which was mated to Gebroken Poot ,the best cock in the loft at that time ,and bred very good youngsters of which Bolieke was one of Cattrysses well known Freckled Faces .

Those two pigeons won the Chateauroux race for two years in 1935 and 1936 which was for a special piece of bronze sculpture by the master italian sculptor Antonio Amorcaste .It weighted 47 kilos and could be won outright only in two consecutive nationals The brothers won it for the first two years in 1935 they were 1st and 2nd,and in 1936 they were 1st 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th and won the trophy outright.

Another very good year for the Cattrysse brothers was 1949-1950 when they won the Chmpionship of Belgium and seven Nationals.

Jan Aarden of Oosterhout


A lot can be said about Jan Aarden but here is a story i found written by Sjra Hendricks in 11.03 2003

We go back in time: 6 november 1893. In Oosterhout out of the mariage of Martinus Aarden and Lucia Schoenmakers is born Jan Aarden. The city Oosterhout, a few kilometers in the north of Breda was known in that time by his bakeries. Jan Aarden grew up and went to the first school at the Saint Paulus Abbey in Oosterhout. Already soon it was known that Jan Aarden was fascinated by animals and racing pigeons in particular.


So as already said the palace of the racing pigeons at the abbey made quite some impression to mister Aarden. He spend lots of hours their and after a while he maintained the racing pigeons of father Paulus. Jan Aarden got passionated by the racing pigeons, he asked his father and mother dailly to build a pigeon loft at home. After a while his parents agreed. It was not big, not luxuourus... therefore his parents didn't have the money. But never the less Jan Aarden was king for one day. Now, the only missing piece in his kingdom were his pigeons.

His first couple of pigeons carries a beautifull story. In that time father Paulus raised the children with a system of green and red cards. For getting one red card, the children had to earn six green cards. A green card was a sign of hard work with the students. Jan Aarden was a very good student, he earned in no time six red cards. For six red cards the students got a book to read from father Paulus. But no so in the case of Jan Aarden, he wanted something else. He changed his six red cards for a couple of pigeons. And so a legendary story began: as pupil of father Paulus, Jan Aarden became the best and most famous racing pigeon fancier in the Netherlands all time. He's number one in the hall of fame when it comes to the long distance racing pigeon fanciers.

"Snelvliegers Oosterhout"

When Jan became 18, he became member of the club "Snelvliegers, Oosterhout" and he build in a short period of time a colony of very good flying racing pigeons. The pigeons he became from father Paulus were croppers and they were no good for racing. But the young mister Aarden had a big part of luck when he met Gerard Oomens in Breda. One of the six brothers, who stood at the beginning of an impressing racing pigeon career.

Jan, Harry, Antoon, Gerard, Koos en Jef Oomens were the stars before World War II and they were the champions for the flights of long and extreme long distance in the Netherlands. Jan learned a lot about racing pigeon sport with the brothers Oomens. From father Oomens he learned the trics of the racing pigeon sport. Jan Aarden became a favourite friend of father Oomens and so the first pigeons moved from Breda to Oosterhout.

Now Jan Aarden became in no time champion in his club in Oosterhout. On the short and middle long distance flights he was unbeatable and in the bigger organisation he even beated the Oomens Bros. with their own pigeons. The old bloodstrain of the Oomens Bros was original from Belgium racing pigeons. In that time his love was born for that type of pigeons. Decades later he tried again to breed back to that origin. You can say that Jan Aarden has been always more a bigger breeder than racer. Breeding very good racing pigeons was his passion.

"On his own wings"

Jan Aarden met in that period of time Jaantje Akkermans, the daughter of Toon Akkermans. On the twentieth july 1916 they married in Oosterhout. In that same year the new family moved to Teteringen a village between Breda and Oosterhout. They lived their for almost four years in a small house at the Hooge Steenweg. Jan Aarden build a racing pigeon loft in Teteringen and he removed his topflyers from Oosterhout to Teteringe.

In Teteringe Jan Aarden was not succesfull at all with his racing pigeons. He had no time to spend for his racing pigeons because of his family and his wor. In 1921, the family Aarden moved again in the coldest of the winter from Teteringe to Steenbergen. Jan rented a home at the Molenweg and his racing pigeons stayed in Teteringen where he sold his racing pigeons for no or a little of money. He concetrated himself only to his wife and children now.

In the spring of 1924 Jan Aarden moved again from the Molenweg to the Grintweg. But playing with the racing pigeons was of no order because his fourth child would be born. The youngest son of Jan Aarden, Anton Aarden was also very interested in racing pigeons and when Anton was 18, they became a combination father and son.

There was only ONE BIG DIFFERENCE... Jan Aarden became in Oosterhout very famous with his racing pigeons at the short and middle-long distance. But with the company of Anton they got very interested in the extreme long distance races. Anton was in that time very good friends with Willy Van Campenhout. This man had racing pigeons wich were very famous on the extreme long distance races. Anton was very interested and passionated by competing to the international San Sebastian flights. At the end Anton had won his "chat" and therefore Jan Aarden became also a long distance racer. Together with his son Antoon he drove to a couple of top racing pigeon lofts to get the good orgin for that distance.

"Henri Reij"

Jan Aarden knew that he had in Den Haag an old member of the family living their. His uncle Henri Reij, in that time a very knwon extreme long distance player. Henri was already for a few years the champion of the big organisation "Den Grootste Haagsche Bond". The stockbird of the loft Reij was "Ouden Vassart'. A beautifull red pigeon wich Henri had bought at the auction of the well known players Pauwels from the Sas of Gent. This pigeon came from the Belgian champion Vassart from Fleurus, one of the big sidelofts of Karel Wegge.

Henry Rey crossed his "Oude Vassart" with a couple of hens from Bricoux from Draaisma the man from Amsterdam and untill 500 kilometers you couldn't find any better playing nor racing pigeons. His best racing pigeons he became from crossing Schouten with Ost-Roe. From Jan Schouten, the champion from Rotterdam and specialist on the extreme long distance flights, Henry Rey got his best racing pigeons for the extreme long distance flights. He bought with Schouten the Limogesduivin an older sister of the famous "Blauwe Duif" one of the best racing pigeons before World War II. When he was nine years old, he won with Schouten the 14th National St-Vincent and the 18th National Dax.

A top pigeon. The millionair Schouten bought the best of the best from Jules Roeckaert who played for a very long time under the name Ost-Roe. Jan Aarden got from his uncle four pigeons, this was in 1934. With this four pigeons there was a six years old light checkered cock. He wasn't big and he had a very small figure. Jantje Aarden would import later one more of that kind to his racing pigeon loft. This cock became one of the best breeders of the father and son Aarden. They called him the "Reydoffer". Also his nestmate the "Oude Reyduivin" came to Steenbergen. She also became a good breeder of many toppigeons from father and son Aarden.

"Jules Roeckaert (Ost-Roe)"

The pigeons of Roeckaert had impressed the grandmaster Aarden so much that he went one year later to Borgerhout. Jules Roeckaert bought at the beginning of the century some racing pigeons from the grandmaster Eduard De Herdt from Kontich. From two direct De Herdtpigeons Jules bred his famous "Muschke". A fantastic racing hen and even better in breeding. She became the mother of the "Oude Lichte", he was paired to a hen of Emile Van der Avoort, who had almost nothing else than Roeckaert or Ost-Roe pigeons.

From this couple Jules Roeckaert bred his stockbird the "Goede Lichte". This cock, not big at all, was a truly all-round flyer and won first prizes from short distance untill extreme long distance. Sons of this stockbird the "Goede Lichte" became stockbirds at their time with several well known racing pigeon fanciers in the Netherlands and Belgium: In Belgium with Vincent Mariën, Merksem / Van der Espt, Oostende and in the Netherlands with Han Wassen, Rotterdam / Henry Rey, Den Haag / Fernand Schul, Roosendaal and last but not least the kind of Jan Aarden, Steenbergen.

The "Goede Lichte" from Jules Roeckaert was paired to several hens. With the "Donkere Cluytmans" he gave the stockbirds of Van Rey and Vanderespt. And with her daughter "Blauw Cluytmans" he gave the stockbird of Fernand Schul, Roosendaal. The racing pigeons of Cluytmans were from origin of Isidoor Claes, also a racing pigeon fancier from Antwerp. But the best youngsters gave the "Goede Lichte" with the "Goede Blauwe" from his townmate Flor Lenaerts. This "Goede Blauwe" hen was unbeatable on the short distance and became a stockbird of Roeckaert.

From this couple Jan Aarden bought a magnificent cock: the "Blauwe Ost-Roe". This cock seemed to have tremendous breeding capacities. He became stockbird with Jan Aarden. And not only the pigeons of Jan Aarden such as we shall see in the future. Jan bought with Jules Roeckaert also a light checkerd hen "Belske". The "Belske" was bred out of the "Leon" a red cock from Leon Van der Sande who bred together with Ost-Roe.

The father of the "Leon" was the "Goede Lichte" and the mother of the "Leon" was bred closely to the "Goede Blauwe" from Flor Lenaerts. The mother of "Belske" was the "Blauw Cluytmans". A sister of "Belske", the "Goed Duivinneke" was bought later on by De Scheemaecker Bros. "Goed Duivinneke" became there one of the stockbirds. After World War II, Jan Aarden loaned via Wagemaker a cock with De Scheemaecker Bros wich was bred closely to the "Goed Duinneke".

Jan Aarden also bought an older heavy inbred hen, she called "Duveltje". She flew with Ost-Roe as young bird in the strong organisation Union Antwerpen 30 early prizes. Roeckaert bred her from one of his best breeding hens, the "Fille", a red hen from townmate Theo Van Hove. The "Fille" was a product of partnership-breeding and came out of the "Goliath" from Ost-Roe a son of the basic couple "Goede Lichte" with the "Goede Blauwe" and the "Oud Licht", a daughter from the "Oude Lichte", the stockbird of the race Roeckaert since 1919. The father of the "Duveltje" was the "Goede Lichte" himself.

Before World War II Jules Roeckaert had a very strong extreme long distance race and he was in favor of inbreeding. He was a normal man, wich never searched for publicity. By his fine art of breeding he build a race at the Oede Koevenstraat in Borgerhout wherefrom many racing pigeon fanciers have been taken the fruits. His name wasn't that famous in the years 1920-1930 but his pigeons could compete with the best of Belgium. Jan Aarden had noticed this.

The third visit of Aarden wasn't so far out of his neigbourhood. A trip with the family was linked to a visit of the specialist on the extreme long distance races in Zeeland: Leo De Cock from Hulst. Jan Aarden had noticed there a beautifull 2 years old dark checkered hen, wich became one of the stockbirds from the father-son combination Aarden. She was named the "Vetkont". This hen was from the origin Staf Dusarduyn and Marquinie from Sas out of Gent. Father and son Aarden bought that same year a hen from the Belgian extreme long distance racer Bremdox. The duo Aarden wasn't succesfull with this new blood of Bremdox. Also the blood of Tinus Vermeer wasn't a succes.

"The breeding couple before World Ware II of Jan Aarden: three musketeers"

"Dikke Blauwe" NL 36-37251

"Fietsvlieger" NL 36-37252

"Schoone Blauwe" NL 37-2128

Father: "Blauwe Ost-Roe" B 34-621537, further information about the "Blauwe Ost-Roe" can you find in the previous text.

Mother: "Oude Reyduivin" 3-28-C-1523, further information about the "Oude Reyduivin" can you find in the previous text.

"Two basic couples"

The base of the breeding loft of Jan Aarden was made at the end of the 1930 by the blood of Ost-Roe, the blood of Henrey Rey, the superbreeding hen of De Cock, the "Campdoffer" from Willem Van Campenhout and in 1938 their was also the two pigeons of Hermansen from Antonie Wagemaker and Tiest Stok. Jan Aarden formed with this mixture a very hard flying loft. His breeding capacities ware based on his natural talent, his large experience and his grand know-how of the geneology. He was in favour of inbreeding. His two basic couples had some same bloodstrains.

First Jan Aarden coupled "Blauwe Ost-Roe" with the "Oude Rey-duivin". A great succes in this combination. The most famous son of this couple was the "Fietsvlieger". He won from Noyon with seven minutes in advance to the rest of the concours. The Aardens won a bike with this prestation. After the WWII the Fietsvlieger came back to the loft Aarden and bred some magnificent birds. His nestmate "Dikke Blauwe" was a very good racing pigeon and was superior in breeding. A year later he bred the "Schoone Blauwe" out of this couple. This racing pigeons got always first prizes on the club olympiads. The "Dikke Blauwe" died in World War II, but the three musketeers became very important to the rest of the Aarden-story after World War II.

The second basic couple was composed out of the "Reydoffer" and the "Belske" from Ost-Roe. Also their youngsters knew how to make perfect prestations. The "46" was the best son out of this couple, in the young bird competition in Steenbergen he won the young bird competition with the 1st, 9th, 14th and 45th price. A full sister of the "46" was the "Orleanske", the "Orleanske" won three years at a row very early prize from Orléans.

The "Fietsvlieger" was coupled to the "Vetkont" of De Kock. And with this couple the third basic couple was formed and bred some fine and good racing pigeons. The most famous hen out of this couple was "De Verkeerde Duivin" one of the best racing pigeons ever on the Aarden loft.

The "Dikke Blauwe" coupled Aarden to "Duveltje" from Ost-Roe and the next good breeding couple was formed. Out of this fourth basic couple was born "Mooike".

The breeding concept of Jan Aarden was very clear: the base line of his colony was formed on the sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of the "Goede Lichte" from Jules Roeckaert. In the years 1938 and 1939 nobody could fly to the breeding products of Aarden. In 1939 already Jan Aarden played his racing pigeons on widowhood.

For the first time to St. Vincent

On a certain Willem Van Campenhout visited Jan Aarden. He was very impressed by the quality of the Aarden pigeons. Jan Aarden found Bordeaux to far for his pigeons but it was Willem who convinced Jan to play for the first time from St. Vincent. Jan and Antoon basketed four pigeons from St.Vincent. Jan Aarden had basketed the "Verkeerde Duivin", "Schone Blauwe", "Dikke Blauwe" and "Mooike" to St.Vincent. The flight was very hard... 136 pigeons came true on the same day from the 2183 old birds. There was rain on the whole flightline.

The birds were sent free on saturday, on tuesday the race was closed. At three o' clock in the afternoon the first national was known. Jan Aardens first pigeons was his second signed "Verkeerde Duivin" and came around six o'clock in the evening. She won the 59th national. Jan Aarden was now convinced about the quality of his racing pigeons because the "Verkeerde Duivin" wasn't tired at all. The "Dikke Blauwe" won the 95th national price. But the Aarden family made a mistake they tought that the flight was closed... Monday "Schone Blauwe" and "Mooike" arrived and would have won still nice prices. This was the start of a very nice nevery ending story...

Maurice Delbar


Maurice Delbar, the man who lets others speak, is the most successful long distance racer of this time (1935-1940). He has an unbeatable long distance strain that has achieved results with those of Bricoux and Duray on a line to be.

He is a master of the Pyrenees Flights in irresistible rush home he keeps the head, never the sport so overwhelmed by his results as between 1935 and '40. Its main competitors are champions with his pigeons fly, pure as Berlengee, Dath, Delvinquiere, Dusarduyn etc. either crossed. The breed Delbar is so rich in pure class that intersects with everything, in the first place with Janssen. After the war, mainly in the Netherlands and Germany, with great success.

Delbar is an example of a good guy. Cool is the word, it's everyday language among the Transvaal Boers. He was a broad-shouldered, healthy-looking, strong sports figure tall figure with head and stout sinewy neck. One would rather believe he professional cyclist or long distance runner than had been the owner of a textile dye (Apprêtuur). He gives the impression of someone who extent the good gifts of life knows how to enjoy summer duift he, in winter he hunts (on large game).

The hunters of the Ardennes consider him as one of themselves, among the wild boar tracteert he specifically bears on old lead piping. He has a collection of these carbines Madame Willy Herman in Céroux Mousty, at the mysterious Rudolf Lake Turkana today at Abyssinian lions hunt, to rivals. He was a matchless marksman! The pigeons of Delbar excel in three respects: beautiful eyes, unprecedented - so perfect-throats and bears strength.

For the rest are simple animals, quiet by nature, a bit crude, like bears in socks that do not know to keep their power, although not rude, with remarkably little nose meat. No fairing or aerodynamieke forms: powerhouses to which nevertheless dosed with their energy reserves efficient. In the travel basket they do not interfere with fighters, they find a place not far from where food and drink and go hang on a wing lie, if possible to sleep. eyes and muscles and nerves of steel - that was the secret of Maurice Delbar. His pigeons fly purely on their blood and wealth stamina.

If they skillfully fed and well equipped, there is no end to their power. The locomotives are, once in the air suspended, they must meet the caravan or pull and drag, such as the way the Gerrit Schulte, in its great days was, to a piece by the forces of his opponents bombing, with the heaviest caliber, to they go ... The muscles are in mighty Bindels, across the ridge, loose living, tough and elastic as fine natural hevea. When we "Little Light" had held, he was clammy and "sweaty" - although a dove no sweat glands - and in form so the basket to go to St. Vincent with wind on the head.

Of Dax in 1935 won Delbar, nationally in the Entente Beige: July 2, 11 and 13, he had four of them. For many who thought they were good, it was to scare to death. He put three pigeons in Aalst, interprovincial at Angouleme: 1 2 and 3, they were the only ones there on the day of liberation came through, so piping hot it was so heavy the wind blew on the head, this record is I know, never equaled.

In '37 he put six pigeons National Narbonne on the Mediterranean Sea, brothers and half brothers, in the building of the race he had not looked at age and kinship, he had them inbred a la Janssen: 1, 2, 4, 5, 9 and 18.Er sixteen pigeons flew, but it was a different time, whom knaak in his pocket was a bacon buyer and that there were not many. The sjarels had no money to pay for their food Quievrainisten, crisis and austerity was all that the clock hit. In '38 six on St. Vincent National Entente Beige: 1.3, 5, 13 and 14. "My God - said Ferdinand Schul Roosendaal, who was the strongest player of long distance Netherlands - are ours than just daksch ...? Excuse the ugly word, he will devour us all with skin and hair."

After the war, Maurice same famous, closely inbred pigeons. Hector Berlengee, himself no pigeons by the war had brought had been in 1944 twenty youngsters, he let her pick out everything there was! The mother of his 1st international Barcelona in 1949, the "Blue Berten" was a pure Delbar, his father also, I got them when she was twelve years old yet purchased, audience in Brussels, and the mother of the "Good Greys", two hens of '44.

The mother of the "Berten" was a full sister of the mother of the breed Aarden in Steenbergen, a Delbarduif that the Haagdijk Breda hand was a Deguffroy Wingene, ie race Delbar, through Charles Vanderespt, who already easily could come. The young like that Aarden received was from the year '45, he has never been better, she was the grandmother of the "38" and "49", the cock which she at first associated with sat was a pure Delbar of Tiestje Stick to Halsteren. His name was "sick", for it seems to have Wagemaker Tholen and Ko Nipius to Middelharnis him from Ronse meegbracht. I'm also not there.

The third strain of bird breed Delbar in Steenbergse breed is a dove of L. Dekkers Etten. The Zeeland-Flanders Staff Dusarduyn to Groede and Bram van Gijs, beast copper Breskens reason to Delbar and took everything away with what was to their liking. Especially Staff has done wonders with it: three times the first national Dax ...

The French cigar manufacturer Bazelmans to Zeelst in Eindhoven, had everything his heart desired, that was before the war has been. Maurice was a generous man who had compassion with losers. He could not say no. A sort of Robin Hood was he, who had had a lot of money into paying for others who had not and he gave pigeons for a pittance or for nothing. I once wrote that generosity is avenged, there came a time when even he with much good anymore could shake like plums from a plum tree that is purple and blue looks.

In '47 he became an official national champion of Belgium distance and extreme long distance. I think it was in '48 that he was the 2nd national St. Vincent de Liège won, with a northwest wind. And all the money out there to pick up were a bourgeois fortune was. I called him to congratulate him and his son Mick said: "Dad was so after death cases". He lay with recorder, to him under the stairs of his duivenkot, it was a high, steep staircase with smooth worn wooden stairs. His best two pigeons were in those years the "Bon Bleu" and his son, the "Balloon" .

He gave me a couple of uneventful notes a sister of the "Balloon", she was in the loft of Albert Baekelandt, butcher to Wakken, with the "Insert" from Huyskens-Van Riel, also our loft in Wielsbeke, the mother of the 2nd international price of Barcelona. Delbar gave me, because I dove "Geren saw as" a red hen, daughter of 'Red Barcelona "of Danhaive to Basecles, with another sister of the" Balloon ". That red hen, the "700" had a sister, a checkered from the same litter.

Who was the mother of Delbar's 1st National Angouleme against six thousand pigeons, in '59 or '60, late in the season, I think even on 1 September. The "700" was a cross-Bricoux Delbar, it took as her the dog. The intersection Delbar-Janssen was in the lofts of many national champions, in several countries, primarily the Netherlands, equally successful. In fact it was much easier because there is much more superior Janssen's in circulation than Bricoux. Where did it come from Delbar race ? Out of the blue it was not. If I'm going to drill the sources of the unbeatable long distance strain Delbar, I must now eighty years deep.

In the years before the First World War was that in the Walloon hamlet Jolimont the young doctor Bricoux forged the weapons which he made ​​his opponents along in the sand would bite, at that same time it was in the region of the Flemish Ardennes with Kwaremont, the Calvary and the Edelare, so well known from the Tour of Flanders, Oscar Delbar, Maurice's father gave the first color and verve to the name, which is in full glory would shine in the firmament of the pigeon world. Papa Oscar, who is eighty-three years old, had already "over seventy years" a fondman where not to chew on it was not his "Blue Four", above Paris the terror of the whole region.

It came as far as Oscar was committed to him St. Vincent then fully identified as St. Vincent de Tyrosse the flight program. That was in '13, the last year before the war. At that time the cards were different now. The West Flemish boerkens had a lot less in the porridge lumps. But the "Four" won the 4th prize nationally and he might even shinier feats have done if no war had become. During the war years was farmed. Unfortunately, however, was the fame of the "Great Blue" the Germans have heard. On a fateful day in 1918 an army truck to the door that all birds oplaadde and wegvoerde to Germany. Nobody believed at that time that they have ever had a feather would look back.

Father and son Delbar however it did not sit. The gates of hell would they what they had robbed, go back. Immediately after the Armistice in November '18, contacts were made ​​with the Allied Occupation Forces in the Rhineland and miraculously six hens were found, including five daughters of the "Blue Four". They were crossed with the variety of Depreter Putte in Mechelen. Putte is to be right on the main road from Mechelen to Heist op den Berg and Hallaar, not far from Koningskooikt and Lier where traditionally the best pigeons have been.

I have to say that Depreter pigeons had none other than Charles Tucked and Simon Frank (Hallaar). If it is true and the good will have been the kind of "Four" is honored with improved than deteriorated. There were other capital pigeons to Ronse. Doves strong player Moreels Brussels, French race Deloof to Ledeberg (Ghent) and pigeons of one of d'Hondt Gavere, not far away. A few years later, two great breeders of A. of Oppens in Ronse (race Portois-Rasson) and one of Valeer Portois, the father of Joseph himself, the blood still further. French Deloof Who was and whence he came, no one knows better than the Sas van Gent veteran Gust Marquinie, who before the war of 'Fourteen repeatedly mixed up with.

It was pure Knight of Dendermonde (Tucked-De Herdt) and pigeons Paul Sion - all good races of the world - and Mayor Julien Commine at Leers-Nord (Vandevelde-tucked-Fache). French was the international judge of poultry. His friends were Jean Heyvaert to Opwijck (Deleted) and Henri Christeijns in Beveren-Oudenaarde (Deleted). And do not forget the Depuydt's Aartrijke, not far from Moere and Devriendt! So we see that a man like Maurice Delbar more or less the same blood flows cultivated such as Dr. Bomb. And even when dr Bricoux.

Tucked Charles, if you consider all that, the man who left an indelible mark on the long distance strain of the 20th century. Few elite families control the big Nationals is an adage that nothing has lost its topicality. Despite subsequent blood breeder Delbar quite a lot in the beginning crossed. Especially with pigeons from Eduard Rasson to Espierres and Jef Portois in Ronse. He was a noble man and a gentleman. He possessed in the twenties outside normal breeding hen, the "Princess", daughter of the "Bordeaux", on a zwaire interprovincial first flew ahead. His son nest brother of the "Princess" which won the second flight. Clearly can not. The "Princess", by Maurice "golden eggs" laid.

Delbar has also crossed with Hector Desmet, with Charles Vanderespt and Oscar Devriendt. Special mention deserves a hen of the French lover with its Flemish name of Felix Outryve (Roubaix). Delbar got a sister of his famous "St. Vincent", who had the nickname of the "Villa" and not to the Mexican captain, but because of the fact that he was on the Pyrenees the first international flight plus a spacious villa'tje won. That is different from a carpet beater or a hand brush.

According to Maurice was that pigeon Van Outryve of his (Delbar's) kind, he has been times that he played more in France than in Belgium. I want to write a few lines about the Portois of 67-4034217. He won 1st nat. Brive in 1972 and 5 internally. San Sebastian in 1972. In Opsomer The Merlier in Maarkedal he is the grandfather of 1st nat. "Argenton" 80-4321030 against 2141 pigeons.

As Huyskens-Van Riel twenty years later would have had Maurice Delbar in '28 two breeding pairs in the hands, which champions emerged on the assembly line. They were

1) the "Wittepen" 26-2204993,

2) the "Good Breeder" 28-4199357,

3) the "Princess" 25-21111418 and

4) the Wittepen hen "Depreter" 28-2523831.

The "Good Breeder" (2) was a son of l and 3.

Much to his regret, Maurice of this couple kot not full grown boy, for he has done the numbers 2 and 4. He had these two pairs bred violence and the boy over and over again accompanied then he - like the memorable Narbonne in 1937 - all for years Nationals broken play. Because against these birds were not flying.

Of these four breeding pigeons, two males and two females, the solid basis on which the breed Delbar was built, only one had flown, the other had never sat in the basket. That was the "Old Wittepen" number 1. That he was quite clear in the lines, it is suggested by the fact that his brothers, the "Jabot", the "Witoger", the "Witteneuze" etc. were great champions. Delbar's six famous cocks ! From the numbers 2 and four, six males and three females, one of which is already better than the other, I will refer to as A - tm F. Letter A was the "Little Blue", I did not known, at least not remember him ever in the hands had to have.

Maurice stopped him short, because he was so hard came down Paris, when he was worn, the reins celebrated, the same would Hector Debou in 1968 do, to his surprise, flew his "San Sebastian when international forward one hour on that hot Spain Flight, with a crossed Delbar, through Depoorter of Deerlijk "Little Blue" Delbar, Angouleme 6 Bordeaux 5, Dax 13, Bordeaux 2, Pau inter prov. 2, Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux in 1935 International Belgium-Holland 5, there flew 2,456 pigeons, which are the same only 6 days could reach their loft. sunny hot wind on the head. Vanderespt Charles in Ostend, won the first international with his pale cock "Belgium-Holland," It was a good stepfather said Charles.

Jules Vermaut in Wevelgem, which died young, founder of the lofts Labeeuw and Vanbruaene, won the second prize. I think Cattrijsse, Depuydt and Duguffroy or old Kamiel van den Abeele in Astene, with whom Delbar even once "swapped" has the half dozen full made. From then on began Maurice seriously the long distance to play. LetterB was the second cock from the miracle torque, a blue, he is the famous "Biarritz". Whole Belgium and the Netherlands there have for years with awe discussed the "Small ", twice winner of 1st National St.Vincent, for his boy were generally the highest prices.

Yet I have never liked the" Small "though he was undoubtedly Delbar's favorite - Bare to Anderlecht made ​​a famous photograph of - and though he was always accompanied by the best breeding hens, even the best breeder was. I've always had the impression that the "Biarritz" and "Dax" - 1st prize international Narbonne - no less than the "Small". The "Biarritz", in close consanguinity, three wonderful birds given, all three in 1937. One is to Adolphe Plisnier gone in Waterloo, director of the Banque de Bruxelles. A, hen, to Hector Berlengee farmer and mayor of his village Aspelare in East Flanders, which is red colored bulls thousand pounds bred. And the third to Charles Vanderespt to Ostend.

"They knew they good to use" - says Maurice in the preface to his sale in Kortrijk in 1945. Charles put a daughter of his "Belgium-Holland", and built there, in the context of his own race, which mostly consisted Vandevelde of Oudenburg, a Delbar-distance trunk along on this veteran of many battles decades did stand against the violence of the men of the coast. And the "Dax"? Oger Delvinquiere, Mayor-butcher to Blandain at Tournai, had a son, who was the father of the 2nd prize international Barcelona 1949, the 1st prize won by Berlengee with his "Blue Berten ", a pure Delbar.

The" Biarritz "Paris itself was down a sincere luierik. It had been very heavy, katsjoe wanted to end up in the recorder. He won again the 7th of Orleans, but when the sparrows were therefore roast of the roof. Compared to his formidable brothers has he two major prizes: Dax 7, Biarritz 1st. At Madrid he was never employed, he had perhaps ahead of the first win. The "Biarritz" was greater in and powerful piece of construction than the others. It is only exceptionally that such ge bears and bulls of power encounter. At such a good hen and pigeon breeds ge a room full of champions.

I was talking about the "Berten" of Berlengee, the conqueror of the "unbearably heavy" Barcelona in 1949. That I once encountered the kweekkot Hector Desmet, I think in '52 or '53. Hector "complained" about it so hard that he grew. Said "I had only my old Horemansen like the kind of mines Block train ... But these are no longer there. " I went in with her ​​and we drank a cup of coffee. I said, "Take a Janssen Arendonk, who was still there and they breed all year half a dozen super pigeons, where every bad breeder, n'importe of whatever race, with other minds is ".

" Tiens "- was the reply -" I must look to ponder. " Gerard Vanhee did, but they took a decision. The "Wittekop" of Van Miert from Turnhout was the result. And one example among many. letter C, the "Dax" of Delbar was a brilliant, lichtgeschelpte witslag cock, with his brother, the "Barcelona" the cleanest and rassigste of all, which is already the middle distance hard prompted. I am not exaggerating when I say that in my life many outstanding long distance pigeons in hands had.

When I think about it and I let the birds that the deepest impression on me have, pass in review that is the "Dax" of Delbar with the highest recorded, 'Twas the "Dax" in 1938, on Pigeon Olympiad Godesberg on the Rhine, in the historic Dreesen, the 2nd prize. Pity Henri Bare the " Dax "never got the lens has. Here are some results: Dax 2, Dourdan 6 Poitiers 4, Dax 14, Bairritz 3 Doublage national 10, Narbonne, nationally and internationally 1, St. Vincent 2 doublage National 1. The descendants of the "Dax" are distributed throughout Europe.

Himself Maurice him, in spite of the big money that was offered him sure never to sell. He is on the loft died in the winter of '45. letter D is the "Bariole", he wore the ring 19-61035 old, but was born in '32. The "Bariole" was a cock with a duivinnenkop. The "Dax" and "Bariole" lay of eye, of expression and of construction - no color - as two drops of water on each other. His best performance: 16 Bordeaux, Angouleme 21, St. Vincent 21, Narbonne national and international 2 13 St. Vincent, St. Vincent 21. Also the "Bariole" on the lofts of multiple champions national winners seated. letter E is the "Barcelona" a brilliant blue wittepen of iron physique, one of the most beautiful birds, purely on quality and on theatrics that ever existed.

He won ao Barcelona 4 Bordeaux 30, Biarritz 2, Lourdes National 14 International 5, 9 Pau, Biarritz National 9 Narbonne national and international 4, St. Vincent 12, National 5 etc. Horrible results on distance and extreme long distance and all with descendants of only one pair breeders. Finally, the icing on the cake l

Letter F , the "Little Light" 32-4293562, the famous pigeon Delbar's emblem has become. I think he was seventeen years old, how many sons and daughters he has given is not an approximate estimate. Fifty or sixty in 1950 there were certainly still alive. In turn, they become stock pigeons in the lofts of the genes they bought or received. Aarden was one of them, it lives on in the race Delbar Steenbergse race through the stamduifvan '45 through Oomens-De Weerd and "Sick" of Stick and a cock of C. Dekkers Etten. The dove from Breda was a granddaughter of the "Little Light", by the Gebr. Duguffroy to

Wingene they descended from Delbar's "Biarritz". Judging by the feeling in the muscles of the "Sick" sat with him breed of Kamiel van den Abeele in Astene, which far and heavy always the best worth.

On the memorable Holland-Belgium in 1935 won van den Abeele 6th prize.

Prizes letter F, the "Little Light": Bordeaux inter-provincial 12 Angouleme 10, Chateauroux 10, Angouleme 2, Biarritz 17 National 9, and the St. Vincent's St. Vincent 4, St. Vincent 3, St . Vincent 10, St. Vincent 2, l St.Vincent, St. Vincent l, two hours and ten minutes ahead nationally, "Has won a fortune" - Delbar said, - "and should be considered as the best pigeon of the country ".

Interestingly, in conclusion to ascertain what policy of cultivating Delbar there with such wonderful cocks after loved. Which hens he crossed and how the result was.

Failure was not easy, you know. It is striking to note that - for those once in possession of such birds - breeding in blood is easier and a significantly higher rate than good yields in the intersection. Through experience in the school with his father wise, crossed Maurice usually with rather old hens, which it was established that they had been given good, the best I will mention:

The brilliant breeding hens of Delbar . 1) a gray hen of '34 , purchased at the auction of one Alexander Chardon at Haine St.Pierre, daughter of his "Vieux Gris" from '28 with the old breeding hen Deschrijver (Roux), on both sides Bricoux. Also in this context the names of Rousseau Jemeppe that the race had the aanvliegers Dr. Lejeune to Rabozée through Collin, and Vandevelde's Moulart at Frasnes, not of Uccle where Duray it filed suit and even name Gaston Reijlandt, the West Flemish cordonnier (shoemaker) who was in Brussels to live and them there are storks great leather gave: "He patted boldly on the nails in the soles and heels as the head of his opponents who did not like ... ".

The gray hen Chardon has been associated with the "Small" and has excellent boy given. A daughter of this couple was accompanied by the "Good Gray" half Bricoux. Here comes one of the best pilots of Spain after the war continued, the famous "Gray" by Hector Berlengee to Aspelare. I bought his mother and the mother of the "Berten", two small Delbar-hens of the year 1944. But when I got ahold of them were now eleven years old. 2) a hen of the "Fijnen" by Gebr.

Duguffroy to Wingene who was accompanied sat with a hen of wandje Rasson to Espierres, farmer and champion on the long distance, he had the good mayor of Julien Commine at Leers-Nord 3) a light hen "Petit Bijou" of '32, received of his friend FelixVan Outryve (France), the sister of his "Villa", 4) the loft Delouvroy good breeding hen from the in Ronse, blue bird the size of a chicken, by Delbar purchased when she was nine years old, public Kortrijk 5) two hens of the breed Camiel Van den Abeele in Astene in Ghent (koeboer), famous long distance racer, from his old "Witoger-Biarritz-hen".

A brother of this hen gave the loft Cyril Norman Oeselgem the 2nd National Carcassonne in 1952 (found in the loft), 6) a hen from Hector Desmet at Geraardsbergen, race Bricoux-Havenith (t Scheer). In my view, the "Little" the best data in 1944, along with the ancient culture of breeding hen Delouvroy. Charles Vanderespt was special to the "Courrier" hen who come to buy. "No," said Maurice, "I'll do it and you will have what is your enthusiasm". The best breeding hen, after the old "Depreter" however been the "Good Blue" 35-4202076.

It has grown with sons of the "Small", the "Dax" etc. Close inbreeding, but almost all of it came was good. But almost everything was sold or given away ... In the Netherlands Delbar's famous pigeons crossed with all races and with all good racers, from near and far. One of the best crosses was on the loft of Alfons Metsaars to rows, with one of his two famous Janssen-cocks, the '18 and '19; via dental Of Meulen at Zandvoort came the "Gull" result of which has created a furore in the loft of Dr. Linssen in Helmond.

That excessive "white" in gepluimte the "Seagull" came not from Janssen because they had not that color, which was in Arendonk traditionally done systematically, the "Dax" of Delbar was a "witslag" with a series of white pens. Maurice has never looked at such things. If square had been the best, he wasted no time with growing round. On the loft of Dr. Linssen I prefer the "Son of the twenty" of the "click", which grew with everything. But that was not a cross but a pure Janssen Arendonk.

Alois Stickelbaut

We all acknowledge that strength, courage, and endurance are qualities necessary to participate in distant or marathon pigeon racing. Well even the name Stichelbaut itself speaks of these qualities and in its hay day the Stichelbauts were spoken of in the same manner as the Jan Aarden’s. The reference to their 'hay day' should not imply however that the Stichelbauts influence is dead nor that there are no pure or near to pure representatives of the breed at this period of time.

For the son of a fancier friend of Alois Stichelbaut races as near as pure representatives of the strain in Belgium, today. That father and friend of Stichelbaut was Daniel Labeeuw of Bissegem and today Daniel's son Frans has the purest colony of Stichelbauts according to knowledgeable fanciers or champions of the strain.

But what was the origins of this great pigeon racing strain of Belgium? Alois Stichelbaut was a flax dealer who when he bought two pigeons in 1922 from the loft of a deceased friend, Alfons Derumeaux, could not have imagined that he was laying the basis of one of the greatest racing strains that the world of pigeon racing ever experienced. Nor could he foresee the success that he personally would experience especially during the years between 1930 and 1940.

In truth he was laying the basis of a strain that, aside from their successes at racing, would contribute to the formation of great strains such as the brothers Vanhee, Vereecke, Descamps- Van Hasten, Marcel Desmet, and Leo Bostyn amongst others. And that the blood of the Stichelbauts would run in the best of the Vanbruaene and Cattrysse, etc,.

In addition two birds from his uncle Camiel Christiaens were added to his loft as well as some more from Vincent Marien and A Vandecandelaere. The above names may mean nothing to the modern fancier or reader but in their day they were considered the best of flyers. From the pigeons of Vandecandelaere the traditional bronze markings associated with the Stichelbauts apparently derives for the latter fancier had a loft mainly of birds black in colour.

Another boost to the family arose from Stichelbaut agreeing to cross his birds with a famous Bordeaux flyer of the time named Armand Declercq. The latter arrangement of crossing the best birds in each loft improved both families and was a major development in the growth of the Stichelbauts.

Alois Stichelbaut was a severe culler and as a result he never kept too many birds which led to him not sending many pigeons to the races. This contributed to a late development in the acknowledgement of his loft as one of the best at the time. In any case he was not a person who sought the limelight and remained in the shadows of others such as Bricoux and Sion.

Nevertheless the foundation purchased since 1922 saw the appearance through cross breeding of three outstanding pigeons namely (A) the Old Crayonne which was from Derumeaux and Marien breeding; (B) the Old Scallopede (a cock) again from the Derumeaux and Marien stock; (C) and a cock bred from crossing A and B and a pigeon of Armand Declercq.

Of the strain there were many famous racers and winners amongst whom was 'The Old Bordeaux Hen', a black bronze who from 1932- 1936 won 14 positions from 1st up to 44th in important races and was the mother and the grand- mother of first class pigeons for Stichelbaut as well as other fanciers. Another noted bird was ' De Goode Blekem' which won 25 prizes, 15 of the prizes being in the first ten positions. Another noted racer was 'The Good Black Cock' who won 19 prizes, including 8 in the first ten.

Sadly after years of success breeding and racing a clearance of the strain was held in 1946 raising 145,000 franks. But unlike many families this was not to be the demise of the Stichelbauts for a native of Lauwe purchased many fine representatives of the strain, kept the family pure and advanced it. This was a retired butcher called Michel Descamps- Van Hasten. A survey of his lofts in 1973 confirmed that the stock was 100% Stichelbaut in origin.

This shrewd fancier kept crosses to a minimum and the latter included birds from a pure loft of Stichelbauts owned and cultivated by the Labeeuws of Bissegem. Sadly in due course the Michel Descamps- Van Hasten collection of racers and breeders came under the hammer and in six separate auctions were sold for five million franks.

An end to the Stichelbauts? No! For it was then that the mantle of progressing the strain was placed upon the shoulders of a well known racer and breeder of the Stichelbauts namely Daniel Labeeuw. In retrospect Labeeuw and Descamps- Van Hasten it canbe said were the vehicles for the continuation of Stichelbauts pigeon enterprise which began in 1922.

Through their managerial skills based upon good horse sense they brought the strain forward as its representatives won at national and international level throughout the world. And in our world wide pigeon racing community wherever you go today the art initially carved by Alois Stichelbaut has left an indelible mark. Such is genius.

In this tribute to Alois Stichelbaut and his strain I think of the thousands of fanciers throughout the globe who have experienced a unique joy arising from clocking a pigeon of this particular family to win, or come near, or to satisfy in races where hope is prevalent and where no one is usually let down.

brought to you by Dacian Busecan .

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