Anthony Maes (Waregem, BE) is one of Belgium's top level players

Anthony Maes was tremendously strong again in 2019, and he was able to claim another national title. His Den Bonte Crack was the leader of a team of excellent racing birds, and he became this year's 1st National Ace Pigeon KBDB in the long distance with quite a margin.

Anthony and Chantal showing their Den Bonte Crack

This year's strongest long distance pigeon of Belgium comes from Waregem: Den Bonte Crack (BE17-3033516) of Anthony Maes raced at a very high level throughout the 2019 season. He was the leader of a team that was able to claim numerous top prizes this year. His title of 1st National Ace Pigeon KBDB long distance did not really come as a surprise, if you look at the achievements of this super class bird. Although Bonte Crack was not the only top performer in Waregem; Anthony's other racing birds were in great form as well this season. In fact, the Maes family was a much debated pigeon breed after almost every race, so no one was surprised to see the man from Waregem win the title of General Provincial Champion West Flanders. This clearly shows the versatility of this pigeon breed, which is successful in old birds', yearlings', as well as young birds' races. This team excels in the sprint, the shorter and longer middle distance, as well as the long distance. And their racing birds can win top prizes at club, at provincial, as well as at national level.

1st national ace pigeon KBDB long distance olds

The crowning achievement after a spectacular season was of course the title of 1st National Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB. Den Bonte Crack (BE17-3033516) claimed this title because he was clearly the strongest bird in the national long distance:

Limoges   2 /  9,661 p.
Limoges  12 / 13,569 p.
Libourne 13 /  4,605 p.

As a result of these three top prizes with a coefficient of just 0.39%, no other pigeon was able to come close. Den Bonte Crack had already been quite strong in 2018, winning a 3rd National Chateauroux of more than 13,000 pigeons, as well as a national top prize from Argenton. However, a bird flu outbreak kept him from winning a top prize in last year's national ace pigeon championships. You can tell from Den Bonte Crack's pedigree (click here) that Anthony Maes has a large collection of top class breeders. He runs a successful fruit business, which means he has a packed agenda. Due to to a lack of time, he has to focus on using nothing but top quality lines. And this in turns means he can set a high bar: only the best is good enough.

Den Bonte Crack: 1st national ace pigeon KBDB long distance

Excellent references

This Belgian title is definitely not the first national top result for the Maes breed. Fellow fancier Roger Velle from Koksijde won a 1st National Chateauroux of 8,640 old birds last year with a pigeon from Anthony Maes's collection (click here for the pedigree of this national winner). And Roger & Jurgen Vervaeke from Deerlijk were quite successful with Maes descendants as well. Their famous Den Bliksem was a 1st National Ace Pigeon KBDB in the longer middle distance, and he is another descendant of the Maes breed from his mother's side (click here for the pedigree of this Bliksem).

And let's not forget Chantal (BE16-3122016), a 1st Olympiad Pigeon 2019 in Poznan (Poland). This hen was bred by Anthony, and she was raced by the Herbots family from Halle-Booienhoven, where she claimed several top prizes and victories. She is a youngster of Father Olympiade 404/12 (Hoflack Boursin) paired to a daughter of Bettini (Gaby Vandenabeele). This Father Olympiade 402/12 is also the sire of Claire, a 2nd Olympiad Pigeon 2015 for Hoflack Boursin. This goes to show that a top quality breed never disappoints.

Breeder of great stars

Pigeons are referred to as great champions a bit too easily these days; some pigeons have had some decent results but they are by no means exceptionally gifted. Anthony Maes on the other hand has every reason to refer to his pigeons as true champions. His world famous hen Papillon (BE13-3002971) is a good example. This multiple winner excelled in the longer middle distance with provincial first prizes from Bourges and Chateauroux. Her title of 1st Provincial Ace Pigeon KBDB was a logical next step. It is in part thanks to this fantastic hen that Maes has gradually become a big name in our sport. Click here for Papillon's pedigree.

Papillon: 1st ace pigeon KBDB in 2015

Besides Papillon there is also Sero Sero (BE13-3079100), a powerful racing bird with an impressive racing career, which eventually culminated in a 1st National Argenton. This bird also helped put Anthony Maes in the spotlight at national level.
Click here for Sero Sero's pedigree.

Sero Sero: a super class bird and winner of a 1st national Argenton

General provincial champion 2019

This prestigious title clearly shows that Anthony was the man to beat in what proved a fantastic racing season for him. After all, there are several criteria that you have to meet in orde to win this title in West Flanders. As such, only the greatest champions have managed to win this title in this province, which is packed with sprint specialists, middle distance stars and long distance champions. 

You can tell from his many titles in 2019 that this has been an exceptional season for him:

1° national ace pigeon long distance olds KBDB
1° general provincial champion KBDB in West Flanders
1° champion middle distance old birds fondclub Kortrijk
1° champion young birds fondclub Kortrijk
1° champion yearlings interwestflemish
1° provincial ace pigeon long distance old birds KBDB West Flanders
1° ace pigeon long distance old birds fondclub Kortrijk
1° ace pigeon long distance youngsters fondclub Kortrijk
2° provincial ace pigeon long distance youngsters KBDB
4° provincial ace pigeon All-Round youngsters KBDB
7° provincial ace pigeon All-Round olds + yearlings KBDB
8° provincial ace pigeon shorter middle distance youngsters KBDB

This goes to show how versatile this pigeon breed really is. They already had some fantastic results and major victories to their palmares, and the 2019 season was rather exceptional as well, with several championship titles as the icing on the cake. Anthony is pleased to hear that other fanciers have been very successful with his pigeons as well. As you know, top results both at home and in other lofts is a telltale sign of a high quality pigeon family. We will try to explain the true value of the breeding team of Anthony and Chantal Maes. 

The Rudy line of Vandenabeele

Anthony has been particularly successful with pigeons from a joint breeding with grandmaster Gabby Vandenabeele from Dentergem. They combined Vandenabeele's De Rudy with Papillon, and this pair bred stock breeder Rudy-Papillon (BE15-3070300) in Waregem. This bird in turn bred tens of proven racing birds, including most notably Mieke, Rudette, Rozemieke and Le Cent.

And let's not forget Vandenabeele's Rudy Duivin (BE11-3070111), which provided Anthony with several talented pigeons, such as den Montauban 075/12, winner of a 34th National Montauban. There is also den Souillac Rudy 627/12 (11th National Souillac, 105th National Limoges, 138th National Cahors), and den Libourne 877/13 (86th National Libourne, 9th provincial Tours, 227th national Jarnac, ...). This Libourne is in turn the sire of Het Zitterke 046/15, an 8th National Ace Pigeon KBDB middle distance in 2015. And let's not forget Het Bolleke (BE14-3006041), an excellent racing hen with 36 prizes to her name in just three years' time, including 9 times in the provincial top 60. Bolleke is also the dam of three first prize winners, including Het Orleanske 571/17, which claimed three victories already. Click here for the impressive pedigree of Rudy-Papillon.

The joint breedindg with Vandenabeele pushed the Maes pigeon family to a higher level

The genes of Sero Sero 

Sero Sero bred another round of 20 youngsters shortly before his transfer to China, and two of these youngsters (two hens) were successfully paired to Papillon. They are the dam of a 1st ace pigeon long distance in Kortrijk (BE19-3012088), as well as several other talented birds. And the Sero Sero descendants are said to have bred quite a few successful youngsters in China as well. A Nest brother of Sero Sero (BE13-3079099) went straight to the breeding loft after his illustrious brother went to China, and this proved a smart move. This gifted breeder has now produced many ace pigeons and first prize winners as well, which shows that he is part of a rather special bloodline. 

The Nest brother of Sero Sero: now a top breeder for Anthony Maes

This nest brother of Sero Sero is now demonstrating his exceptional breeding potential in the lofts of Anthony and Chantal. He is for instance the sire of Superlady 127/15Argentonboy 040/16 and of de 159/16, the best yearling of 2017 that was also transferred to China. The 160/16 on the other hand is co-winner in the yearlings' championships, and 561/17 was the best old hen of the team with 3 club wins and a second place provincial. Other successful youngsters of Sero Sero are the 718/18, winner of 6 top prizes as a yearling, and 749/18, winner of three first prizes.

Bonten Provinciaal from 2006

The Maes pigeon family owes a lot to the descendants of Bonten Provinciaal (BE06-3143261). This is a fairly old pigeon now but he is still fertile in 2019, and he is the sire and grandfather of quite a few race winners and ace pigeons. More than 50% of this pigeon breed is related to this Bonten Provinciaal, and that includes Papillon, Sero Sero and Den Bonte Crack. And it is rare for a pigeon to have so many highly gifted descendants. A direct grandson of this fantastic breeder is De Crack (BE14-3006002), which has already won several top prizes for team Maes (click here for his pedigree). He was paired to Bontje Staf (BE11-3073396), and together they bred a 1st National Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB: none other than Den Bonte Crack. Another daughter of this top breeder is Het Argentonneke 084/16, winner of a 1st Provincial Argenton of 4,595 pigeons and of another top result in Blois (17th of 5,364 p.). Rihanna 579/17 and Avivi 753/18, two pigeons with an excellent palmares, stem from this exceptional breeder as well.

De Crack: the sire of Den Bonte Crack, 1st national ace pigeon KBDB

Bontje Staf: the dam of a 1st National Ace Pigeon KBDB; Den Bonte Crack, direct Chris Debacker, like mother Sero Sero.

And here we have selection of the many spectacular results of team Maes in 2019:

Arras      :  1-7-8-13-17-...         /   263 p.  (13 / 17)
Clermont   :  1-3-7-11-13-15-...      /   235 p.  (17 / 18)
Clermont   :  1-2-10-13-19-20-...     /   244 p.  (11 / 17)
Clermont   :  10-11-32-38-...         /   705 p.  (13 / 14)
Clermont   :  2-3-4-9-12-16-18-20-... /   282 p.  (33 / 36)
Clermont   :  5-21-22-311-40-41-...   /   511 p.  (10 / 12)
Blois      :  1-7                     /   156 p.  (2 / 3)
Blois      :  3-5-7-12-20-24          /   488 p.  (6 / 6 per 20!!)
Fontenay   :  3-5-8-23-52-62-...      / 2.502 p.  (15 / 17)
Fontenay   :  1-6-25-...              /   281 p.  (5 / 8)
Chateaudun :  30-112-235              / 7.170 p.  (3 / 3 per 30!!)
Chateaudun :  1-10-18-25-27-...       /   203 p.  (9 / 12)
Chateaudun :  6-13-16-19-29-30-32-... / 1.127 p.  (12 / 13)
Chateaudun :  1-2-3-9-16-22-30-...    / 1.335 p.  (13 / 14 interprov.!!)
Chateaudun :  4-5-6-16-29-40-51-69-.../ 2.332 p.  (17 / 19)
Argenton   :  19-24-32-41-...         /   781 p.  (9 / 18)
Poitiers   :  6-24-40-43-...          /   647 p.  (6 / 7)
Poitiers   :  4-15-23                 /   230 p.  (3 / 4)
Limoges    :  3-25                    /   408 p.  (2 / 3)
Limoges    :  1-9                     /   367 p.  (2 / 3)

Who can do better? This is an exceptional prize percentage against a competitive field; this team has raced at a high level throughout the season. The numbers don't lie; you can tell from their palmares that this is now one of the leading teams in Belgium. And the pigeons from Waregem have been getting stronger and stronger in recent years. Anthony Maes has clearly become one of the big names at national level, and he confirmed his status in 2019.