Degrave-Gyselbrecht, "The strain Gyselbrecht (Best Present day Barcelona Loft in the whole of EUROPE)"

Degrave-Gyselbrecht from Hamme-Mille
New partnership in Belgium

The heading of this article is of course open to contradiction, but I feel certain after looking at the results achieved from the magical race point of Barcelona, one would have to search a long way to find better.

The name Gyselbrecht has been at the top in Long distance racing for many years. Father Remi (almost 80 years old), André and Carlo Gyselbrecht worked hard at breeding a wonderful colony of long distance racing pigeons, based on the ‘Barcelona’ and ‘Vooruit’ lines, interbreeding the following strains: Cobut, Denys (son TEE), Brouckaert, Vandermeren (strain de Villegas), A&L van der Wegen but especially the unsurpassed species of the toreador from Lauwe: André Vanbruaene. The present day colony is mainly based on Vanbruaene – van der wegen and Vooruit Line. This resulted in a number of great successes in the Barcelona race (including 10 victories), the height being the 1st international Barcelona 1995 against 20.925 birds with ‘Laureaat-Barcelona’. The 1995 Barcelona race was a very special race, it was very though weather where all pigeons had equal chances. The Laureaat Barcelona won the race, even 1h30 minutes before the 4th international !

Following paragraph written by John Clements collator of Euro Pigeon Year Book is interesting to quote; "The Barcelona International, where the absolute cream of European pigeons compete over a Marathon course of more than 1,000km (600+ miles). Every loft likes to own a "Barcelona" and those who do, prize them above all others. This International race is a symbol of stamina, tenacity, and unbelievable homing ability world wide". I feel that describes Barcelona and the pigeons that compete.
Nowhere in the world does a race carry the glory of Barcelona.

Father Remi’s experience linked to the dynamism of his sons André and Carlo have been essential. In the mean time brother Georges ( brother of Andre and Carlo ), Hannes (André’s son); Thomas and Nikolaas (sons of Carlo) joined the ranks.

Remi Gyselbrecht was already top fancier in the fifties. Back then he was racing the middle distance. But because he won about everything to win on that distance, later on he decided to look for new challenges ( the LONG DISTANCE ). Tons of articles were written about the Emperor of East Flanders. : I give you some examples:
-‘with no doubt one of the best middle distance colonies in Belgium…’
-‘Dourdan specialist Remi Gyselbrecht…’
-‘Real Master on middle distance ….’
-‘The Emperor of Meetjesland..’

Remi has bred himself many ace-pigeons: ‘Zwarten’ (2nd national ace pigeon long distance KBDB 1970 – Olympic bird Long Distance Brussels 1971) and his brother ‘De Hengst’; ‘The champion 179/74’ (which won in 1977: 53rd nat. Brive, 430th nat. Limoges, 31st nat. St-Vincent and became 3rd Ace Pigeon Fond KBDB 1977). Also let us not forget the world famous and legendary ‘Vooruit 564/74’ who still is very important in the Gyselbrecht strain
( In Remi his opinion the Vooruit was the best bird he ever had in his life ); him being the great-grandfather of the super bird ‘Turbo 810/91’. Turbo raced 5 times Barcelona, and won 2 times in the first 100 international ! Turbo is a halfbrother of Laureaat-Barcelona ! Pages would be to short to mention all titles, but we try to give a summary of the most important ones: Gyselbrecht Remi and sons became 1st National Champion Long Distance KBDB 1977; East-Flanders Marathon winners in 1982. Remi had bred himself a very good strain of Barcelona flyers: ‘Oude Barcelona’ (57th intern. Barcelona 1978), ‘Jonge Barcelona’ (son ‘Oude Barcelona’ x ‘sister Vooruit’ – won 90th intern. Barcelona 1981 and 113th intern. Barcelona 1983). One son of ‘Jonge Barcelona’ was ‘Sproete Barcelona 934/84’ (86th intern. Barcelona 18.079p). This bloodlines can still be found in other Barcelona racers: ‘Jonge Barcelona ‘ x ‘Cobut-hen’ gave later on the grandmother of ‘Ronaldo 058/94’ (22nd intern. Barcelona 1997 24.908p).

André Gyselbrecht started racing pigeons independently in 1980. After acquiring birds from father Remi, he calls on the fondmaster Raymond Cobut in Anderlues. Of these birds came ‘Cobut-hen 48596/80’ as basic hen for the future.( The father of this hen won 7 times on Barcelona) She is the mother of ‘Lourdes’ (54th nat. Pau), grandmother of ‘Zwarten Barcelona 736/92’ (104th intern. Barcelona 1996, grandmother of ‘Sproete Barcelona 934/84’ (86th intern. Barcelona), grandmother of ‘Prost 967/85’ (3rd nat. Narbonne 6.167p).

In the autumn of 1982, Carlo bought a son of the wonderful ‘Vandermeren’ (thoroughbred de Villegas) which won in one year following prizes: Poitiers 2225p-16th, Barcelona 15.605p-31st, St-Vincent 5.305p-12th. Carlo did the right thing because ‘Vandermeren 647/82’ (strain Van Hee, Lietaer, Van der Espt, Cattrysse, Van Thuyn, Desmet) is grandfather of ‘Cahors 713/90’ (37th nat. Cahors 7.582p), grandfather of 1st national Narbonne 1993 at the loft Eric Limbourg; great-grandfather of ‘Blauwe Barcelona 113/88’ (7th intern. Barcelona 1991 27.167p) and great-grandfather of ‘Prins Barcelona 945/85’ (31st intern. Barcelona 1987 21.545p)

It was in 1983 when André bought ‘ Son TEE 242/83’ from Emiel Denys in Zulte. He is the father of ‘Lourdes’ (54th nat. Pau 1549p); father of world famous ‘King 816/91’( 96th intern. Barcelona 1994); grandfather of ‘Zwarte Barcelona and grandfather of ‘Atleet’ (210th + 302nd nat. Barcelona). Emiel Denys gave two direct birds from André Vanbruaene in loan to Gyselbrecht: ‘360/84’ and ‘354/83’ were direct from André Vanbruaene and were very important in the building of the loft Gyselbrecht. They became the grandfathers of ‘Blauwe Barcelona’ (7th intern. Barcelona) and ‘Ronaldo (22nd intern. Barcelona). The magic word ‘Vanbruaene’ is spoken!

The family Gyselbrecht visited Vanbruaene the first time in 1983 to reserve 10 youngsters 1984. André Vanbruaene has maintained himself at the top of Belgium long distance racing for 50 years but in the 80’s he had begun to write down a series of sensational accomplishments that would astonish the whole world. Therefore he used birds that came from the old and worldfamous ‘Bull-species’ with a limited inbreeding of new crossbreeding material, a daughter (world famous ‘Sproete) and a son (progenitor ‘Olympiade’) of 1st intern. Barcelona from Deraedt-Van Grembergen. This bird was half Vanbruaene-blood anyway and won 2nd intern. Barcelona 1962. These breeds were crossed with Vanbruaene’s own ‘Barcelona 66’; thus creating an unsurpassed breed of birds like only an artist could create. Vanbruaene was such an artist. I will give some names of Barcelona winners that are close related to the Vanbruaene strain:

1964: 1st intern. Barcelona Deraedt-Van Grembergen (50% Vanbruaene)
1966: 1st intern. Barcelona by Vanbruaene himself
1983: 1st intern. Barcelona Paul Gilmont
1984: 1st intern. Barcelona by Vanbruaene himself
1985: 1st intern. Barcelona Vervisch
1995: 1st intern. Barcelona Gyselbrecht ( ‘Laureaat-Barcelona with 50% blood Vanbruaene)

All birds bought in 1984 were success on the breeding lofts of Gyselbrecht.
The family Gyselbrecht thought it was advisable to introduce new birds from Vanbruaene in 1986. They bought 3 birds: two daughters of the 1st intern. Barcelona. The success was great. The hen ‘081/86’, daughter of 1st intern. Barcelona x daughter Dokus, became mother of ‘Blauwe Barcelona’( 7th intern. Barcelona); grandmother of ‘Cahors’ ( 37th nat Cahors) and great-grandfather of ‘Turbo’ (76-96-270 intern. Barcelona). The hen ‘061/86’, daughter of 1st intern. Barcelona x ‘Ali-duivin’, is the mother of ‘Zwarte Barcelona (104th intern. Barcelona).

Remi, André and Carlo Gyselbrecht were visiting André Vanbruaene at the end of the summer 1986. ‘Laureaat 257/83’ was an exceptional bird from the best old Vanbruaene strain. This widower just won 50th nat. Cahors 5330p, 8th nat. Montauban 3466p ,47th nat. Lourdes 4129p and became 3rd Ace Pigeon KBDB. At the time of the visit , he had two youngsters in the nest and two new eggs. André Vanbruaene was a gentleman and said: ‘You are fine pigeon fanciers; I give the eggs to the Gyselbrecht family as a present.’
This was the beginning of the biggest success in the history of Gyselbrecht. Out of one egg came ‘Laureaat 972/86’, the father of ‘Laureaat Barcelona 350/92’ (1st intern. Barcelona 1995); but also father of ‘Cahors’ and ‘Turbo 810/91’. Out of the second egg came ‘Laureaat duivin 034/86’, mother of ‘King 816/91’.
1991, time for new blood. André Brouckaert had been famous in Belgium for a number of years. He had accomplished major victories in the very tough Barcelona 1987-1989 and 1990. Furthermore many other fanciers had triumphed with this species. Where else to go than Brouckaert for new blood? Various birds were bought and later ‘Jupiter hen 847/91’ would prove to most the most special one; she became the mother of ‘Laureaat Barcelona 350/92 (1st intern. Barcelona 1995). To obtain the same level of performance and always with the intention of breeding even better birds; it is primordial to introduce new birds regularly. The quality of the van der Wegen bird is renown and valued world-wide; their endurance is legendary. Barcelona had been their domain for a long time and their accomplishment was fabulous in 1993. As said before it is essential to introduce new blood but the choise must be made very carefully. Van der Wegen is an inbred species selected on performance and for this reason the family Gyselbrecht choose the blood van der Wegen to crossbreed with their own species. A number of young birds were bought in 1993 and 1994, making full-scale breeding possible in 1994. The crossbreeding with van der Wegen has been successful. The most important breeders are ‘Bijou 253/93’, ‘NL227/93’, ‘Schift 088/93’ and ‘Daughter Vliegenier 122/94’.

New high quality breeding boxes in the loft of Carlo Gyselbrecht

Some Barcelona results Gyselbrecht
1986 ‘Sproete Barcelona’ won 86th –18.079p
1987 ‘Prins Barcelona ‘ won 31st –21.545p
1991 ‘Blauwe Barcelona’ won 7th –27.167p
1994 ‘King’ won 92nd –26.807p
1995 ‘Laureaat Barcelona’ won 1st –20.925p
1995 ‘Turbo’ won 96th –20.925p
1996 ‘Zwarten Barcelona’ won 104th – 20.129p
1997 ‘Ronaldo’ won 22nd –24.908p
1997 ‘Turbo’ won 76th –24.908p
1997 ‘Schumacher’ won 171st – 24.908p
1998 ‘Schumacher’ won 244th –12.678p
1998 ‘King’ won 568th –12.678p
1999 ‘Sampras’ won 2nd –13.966p
1999 ‘542/96’ won 77th –13.966p
1999 ‘King Junior’ won 96th –13.966p
2000 ‘Witterugge’ won 41st –13.659p
2000 ‘King Patrick’ won 68th –13.659p
2000 ‘King Junior’ won 78th –13.659p
2001 ‘Parel’ won 372th –13.161p
2003 ‘Mayo’ won 57th –11.806p (grandson Laureaat Barcelona x daughter Turbo)
2003 ‘Turbo Bijou’ won 120th –11.806p (Turbo x Bijou)


The lofts in Knesselare


Since 1986 10 victories on Barcelona race in the club
1986 "Sproete Barcelona" 1e in Eeklo 292 pigeons
86e international 18079 pigeons
1987 "Prince Barcelona" 1e in Meulebeke 235 pigeons
31e international 21545 pigeons
1991"Blue Barcelona" 1e in Eeklo 345 pigeons
7e international 27167 pigeons
1994 "King" 1e in Meulebeke 166 pigeons
92e international 26807 pigeons
1995 "Turbo" 1e in Meulebeke 167 pigeons
96e international 20925 pigeons
1995 "Laureaat Barcelona" 1e in Eeklo 277 pigeons
1e international 20925 pigeons
1996 "Black Barcelona" 1e in Meulebeke 165 pigeons
104e international 20129 pigeons
1999 "Son Blue Barcelona" 1e in Beveren 410 pigeons
76e national 13966 pigeons
1999 "Sampras" 1e in Eeklo 308 pigeons
2e national 13966 pigeons
2000 "King Junior" 1e in Beveren 308 pigeons
78e national 13659 pigeons
Top 100 Barcelona National
1st national 10005 p. 1995 Laureaat Barcelona
1st international 20.127 Laureaat Barcelona
2nd national 13966 p. 1999 Sampras
4nd national 11423 p. 1991 Blue Barcelona
11th national 12731 p. 1997 Ronaldo
21th national 8915 p. 1987 Prins Barcelona
36th national 12731 p. 1997 Turbo
41st national 13659 p. 2000 Witterugge
47th national 9452 p. 1995 Turbo
50th national 10068 p. 1996 Zwarte Barcelona
57th national 11806 p. 2003 Mayo
(57th international 11131 p. 1978 Grandfather Sproete Barcelona)
61st national 11214 p. 1994 King
66th national 13659 p. 2000 Son King
77th national 13966 p. 1999 Son Blue Barcelona
78th national 13659 p. 2000 King Junior
82nd national 12731 p. 1997 Schumacher
(86th international 18079 p. 1986 Sproete Barcelona)
88th national 11423 p. 1991 Artiest
(90th international 13202 p. 1981 Father Sproete Barcelona)
96th national 139661p. 1999 King Junior
98th national 11,423 p. 1991 Zot

But the year 2003 was even better on the lofts Gyselbrecht:
In 2003 Gyselbrecht-Lagaisse ( the loft André Gyselbrecht in Ruiselede) and Gyselbrecht Remi (Knesselare) are winning 7 prizes in the first 301 national !!

1st International Barcelona 2003 - Fauche Freres : great-granddaughter of Laureaat Barcelona

Schoors – Dewaele : General Champion 2003 KBDB Belgium ! 4 of the 8 winning pigeons are grandchildren of “Laureaat Barcelona”

New partnership

By the end of 2003 came a big change. The brothers Gyselbrecht separated and started racing on their own. All the breeders and racers were divided. Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht and his sons Nikolaas and Thomas and , together with Mr Martin Degrave, are the big names behind the most famous internet-site PIPA ( ). This site has been an enormous succes and is considered as the best and the most visited pigeon related site in the world. Like we said, another very important person behind this site is Martin Degrave from Hamme-Mille. Let me introduce this fancier:

Martin Degrave was born in West-Flanders (Oost-Vleteren) but moved to the province of ‘Brabant’ for his work. He started to race pigeons here in 1975. He did not race many birds but had superb results on very long distance with strains from the late Yvo Vanlerberghe (1ste international Perpignan 1993) with his many direct birds from André Vanbruaene. Other success came for Martin from the lines André Brouckaert ( via JP Baert), Druelles (Moustier-sur-Sambre) , Dendauw and Bohm (Germany). Martin is having excellent racing results on the very long distance with his small colony of birds…
Since he retired a few years ago Martin’s results improved a lot, he won with his extremely small colony of birds 4 times the first prize on Barcelona.

2001: 63rd nat. Barcelona 13.161p
9th Jarnac 5672p
2002: 5/5 Brive
4/5 Angoulème
2/2 Pau (98th nat)
2/3 Bordeaux
2/2 St-Vincent
2/3 Barcelona
2/2 Jarnac
2/3 Marseille (43rd national)
2003: 48th nat. Barcelona 11.806p
2/2 Castres
64ste nat. Jarnac 5233p
71st nat Perpignan
2004:1st provincial Barcelona
38th nat. Barcelona 12.275p
74th nat. Bordeaux 7519p zone C
26th nat. Cahors 3040p zone C

He is also owner one of the best cocks for the extreme long distance in Belgium:
This cock moved to the breeding stud of Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht.

The father of this cock is ‘2342699/96’, a son of 847/95 (strain Yvo Vanlerberghe from the basic pigeon 193/93 Degrave ) x hen Dendauw (Otegem). The mother is ‘2342407/96’, from cock Druelle Moustier-Sur-Sambre with a hen Rene Decoster.

Yvo - Barcelona-Perpignan 2400652/98:

2000 Etampes 29e – 200p
Orlèans 13e – 241p
Limoges 45e – 164p
Marseille 52e – 251p
2001 Pithiviers 2e – 67p
Pithiviers 4e – 109p
Brive 97e – 382p
Barcelona 27e – 205p
Perpignan 11e – 129p
National 663 – 8.041p

2002 Barcelona 14e – 187p
National 1096 – 13.021p
Perpignan 3e – 110p
National 71e Nat. - 7.198p
Internat. 119 – 18.264p
2003 Barcelona 1e – 186p
National 48e – 11.806p
Internat. 99e -20.204p.
Perpignan 2e - 138p
National 149e - 7.537p
Internat. 329 – 16.800 p
2004 Barcelona national 1389- 12.275p

The new partnership Degrave-Gyselbrecht will start in 2005. The racing lofts will be in Hamme-Mille and the breeding lofts in Knesselare (Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht). The main breeders come from Gyselbrecht (sons and daughters of King, Sampras, Laureaat Barcelona, King Junior….) But Carlo had bought some excellent new breeding material. One of the new breeders is:

"Supercock Willy" - "Superhen Willy" ( grandparents of many many top racers )

"IL BRIGANTE" ( 7th nat. Dax, 12th nat. Pau, 21st nat. Dax, 142nd nat. Dax, 182nd nat. Pau….)

"JUMBO" (6th nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB 2004 with 2nd nat. Montauban 6901p, 3rd nat. Beziers 5886p, 36th nat. Dax 6138p, 81st nat. Perpignan 6489p…) Any better pigeon in BELGIUM ?

"Koblet" 765/03 Hebberecht
"La Noblesse" 619/04 (halfsister Stalker, 6th nat. Barcelona, and many more top prizes…)
"Ocana 350/00" ( father 24th nat. Marseille)

Martin Degrave and Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht, toasting on the new partnership...


This new partnership is ready to continue to conquer the pigeon world. Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht, known as master of breeder of super birds ( 1st, 2nd and 4th national Barcelona ) together with one of the very finest pigeon racers Mr Martin Degrave. It only can be super.