My main motivation was to meet the Gyselbrecht clan! They came to the conclusion that, in life, you need to conceive and visualize the spirit of the pigeon sport with your family.
That's why I took the road to the office of PIPA in Knesselare, Belgium. My friend Pierre Thorel, who is also my partner, came with me to pay a visit to the Gyselbrecht family. That day, we met Dr Carlo Gyselbrecht, his sons, Nikolaas and Thomas, and Frederick Leliart.
We were warmly received and we had the opportunity to visit the infrastructure of the famous PIPA offices as well as the pigeon loft with explanations from Carlo and his partner Frederick Leliaert. These 2 men have an impressive honours list and they decided to join forces last year. We paid them a visit to learn more about their ambitions!
Frederik Leliaert entered the pigeon sport thanks to his father. He was directly hit by the pigeon bug..... He took his first step in the pigeon sport in 2004, helped by his neighboor and friend Dees van Kerkhoven. Since then, he became more and more serious, determined, observer and strict with his pigeons ! In the end, he was one of the biggest champions of the ZLU after he won astonishing performances that will make the others fanciers jealous!
It's quite remarkable that Frederik Leliaert, with his 'mini loft', has already won three national races in only 4 years time, as well as an international victory !
1st International Bordeaux 7.213 p. 2007 with ‘Dees’, and 1st National ZLU against 3.992 p. 1st National Narbonne ZLU 3.816 p. 2008 with ‘Dees’. 1st National Bordeaux ZLU 3.835 p. 2010 with ‘Horus’ (full brother of ‘Dees’) ‘Eduardo’ NL09-3909177 - 1st Ace pigeon ZLU WHZB 2010
11th Nat. Narbonne ZLU 3.850 p. (904 Km) 17th Nat. Tarbes ZLU 2.950 p. (931 Km) 94th Nat. Bordeaux ZLU 3.835 p. (769 Km)
We also had the opportunity to meet the whole PIPA team and to take pictures of them!
From let to right: Carlo, Nan (redaction), Adrine (probationer)
The PIPA IT-team
The administrative/financial team
The administrative/financial team
The auction team
The shipment/logistics team
What we really wanted to do was to take hold of as many pigeons as possible, mainly pigeons auctioned on PIPA as well as a few breeders. We had a really nice feeling with these. My friend Pierre and myself, as real strangers to the extreme long distance races, appreciated looking at the Gyselbrecht and Leliaert pigeons.
In fact, they explained the building up of the marvelous Gyselbrecht line where the Vanbruaene, Brouckaert and Van der Wegen bloods lie at the basis. Of course, you need to add the line of the 'Laureaat Barcelona'!
'When you really want something', added Carlo during our talk, you must continue to search and nothing can make you stop.
Carlo Gyselbrecht is the owner of this pigeon sport institution known worldwide! He is a great veterinary surgeon and he has specific knowledge of the pigeons. He is a man who believes in himself, confident of his capacities and his modern vision. Dr Carlo is a true ‘specialist’, someone with an extraordinary experience in veterinary medicine!
All these attributes are working together in perfect harmony to ensure that nothing is neglected, nothing is taken for granted and that everything is taken into account. Instinctively, he appreciates the fact that everything must be in the right proportion if you want to be successful.
Carlo was and is still caracterized by his fineness, his attention to the details and his precision. It's no surprise that his favourite hobby is to breed top pigeons from his breeding lofts where 30 breeding pairs are housed.
We could even say that it is like an obsession and his fascination for the racing pigeons, which he firstly developed with his father Rémi, was quickly transmited to his two sons Thomas and Nikolaas who, as we all know, created PIPA.
Dr Carlo will, due to his mastership where the breeding is concerned, become the only one responsible for the breeding lofts. During his career, he purchased a lot of famous long distances strains:
In 1983, he bought pigeons from André Vanbruaene, the Belgian champion. During more than 50 years, Vanbruaene was at the top of the pigeon sport in Belgium. In the '80's, he was racing so strong that pigeon fanciers from the whole world were fascinated.
1964: 1st international Barcelonea Deraedt-Van Grembergen Vanbruaene 50% 1966: 1st international Barcelona Vanbruaene 1983: 1st international Barcelona Gilmont 1984: 1st international Barcelona Vanbruaene 1985: 1st international Barcelona Vervisch 1995: 1st international Barcelona Gyselbrecht Vanbruaene 50% with the "Laureaat Barcelona" 4428350/92.
Since the creation of 'pigeon paradise' (PIPA), Dr Carlo understood that the only key to sucess was to obtain the '' best of the best '', something that we all need to do if we want to be successful in the pigeon sport. This task also entails knowing which lofts own the worldwide class in their strains.
In 1995 Carlo, who raced in partnership with his father and his brother, won the most prestigious race of the pigeon sport with the 1st International Barcelona. This victory was won by the famous "Laureaat Barcelona", a pigeon that was born in their breeding loft.
The Laureaat Barcelona is a key pigeon from their basis as his blood is runing through most of the Gyselbrecht pigeons. He is an important breeder for the culture of the Vanbruaene-Gyselbrecht.
In 1991, he purchased pigeons from André Brouckaert, crowned several times as Belgian Champion.
Then it was the turn of the Van der Wegen, known worldwide for their legendary stamina. The Van der Wegen strain and very inbreed and they were selected on their performance. That's why Carlo chose to cross the Van der Wegen with his own Barcelona line.
His team for the long distance races only consists of twenty racers as well as fifty late breeds!
The association Gyselbrecht –Leliaert will race in the Gyselbrecht loft in the extreme long distance races with, quite logical, the classics of Barcelona as cherry on the cake. Their main objective: win a first prize from Barcelona!!!
A performance list that counts... almost impossible to equal, and even harder to beat !
Dr Carlo has practically bred or known the key racers from Barcelona, something that gave world fame to the Gyselbrecht family !!! We would like to thank the whole PIPA team as well as Mrs Gyselbrecht & Leliaert for their kindness during our visit.