In 2011, it was 'Amalia' that was crowned as winner of the heavy middle distance competition in Belgium, a title she won with for instance a 1st semi-national Vierzon from 6,659 yearlings (with the highest speed from 17.721 pigeons).
This year that title was won by 'Nikolaas'. In case you have no idea what this title is about, this is in fact one of the most prestigious titles in our sport. With this title, Sébastien & Hugo have impressed fanciers worldwide and they are now considered a top loft at international level. But much more than winning a second title in three years in a row, this title has a significant meaning to the fanciers that checked the pedigree of 'Nikolaas'. These two exceptional racers were bred from the same mother: 'Palme d'Or'. This hen is almost five years old and she has the unique caracteristic of having bred two national ace pigeons. This sure is something exceptional. In fact this is difficult to put into words. We are not going to try and calculate the probability of a pigeon breeding two national ace pigeons. I am quite sure however that there is a bigger chance to win the lotery than having such a pigeon in your breeding loft.
To make things even more impressive, this pigeon is related to the current best breeder in the world: Gaston van de Wouwer, breeder of 'Palme d'Or'!
- 'Palme D'Or - The Amazing Mother'
She is now called 'The Amazing Mother'! We are talking about 'Palme d'Or', a superior breeding hen that has all the physical qualities you can dream about in a pigeon. The pigeon fanciers from the Casaert family are known worldwide to be among the finest pigeon experts but this time, Sébastien really discovered a treasure when he purchased her at Gaston Van de Wouver. In addition, her pedigree is a perfect mix of the best breeding lines from Berlaar:
Sire: 'Blauw Wit' (BE02-6183083), grandfather of the 1st national La Souterraine 17.005 p. (Schepman E., Grazen), son of the super breeder 'Goldwin' from Johan De Belser x daughter 1st provincial Blois.
Dam: 'Daughter Kaasboer' (BE07-6033018), her name says it all: she is a daughter of the legendary 'Kaasboer', a pigeon with an enormous impact on the modern pigeon sport over the last few years. Her dam is a daughter of 'Gaston', Olympic pigeon All Round for Germany in 2009. The 'Daughter Kaasboer' is also a full sister of the mother from 'Laura', 1st national Bourges for Van de Wouver himself! This is top of the top!
- 'Nikolaas' (BE11-9065429)
This second national title of ace pigeon proves again that the manager of this loft is an expert, a visionary fancier always ahead of his time and that is what makes him so successful. Sébastien was very emotional when he saw his 'Nikolas' arrive at the loft as winner of the national race from La Souterraine. ''That's him!" he shouted. It is always a great feeling to see your best pigeon coming home early. At that time, nobody was talking about a potential ace pigeon but about a potential national winner. Unfortunately, he only took a 9th national prize in the longer distance. Eventually, Sébastien did what he does best: he made his crack perform at full potential week after week, just like he did with Amalia two years earlier. Nikolaas managed to win a first prize from Châteauroux, which was necessary to be listed in the ace pigeon competition. This was one week before the national race from Argenton, the very last race that counted for the national championship. At that time, the Vandenheede brothers were the favourites in the preliminary results. The Casaert family could eventually celebrate the win with their closest friends in the evening of Argenton. Those were great moments for a family that has had some hard times earlier in 2013.
Sire: 'Rodéo' (BE09-5110352), direct from the late Pros Roosen, from a crossing of 'Grandson Freddy & Blauwe Prins' x 'Grand-daughter Flits'.
Dam: 'Palme d'Or' (BE09-6111726), see above.
Click here to check the pedigree of 'Nikolaas'
Sébastien successfully achieved his goal. He exceeded all expectations and even the professionals (buyers and pigeon brokers) were surprised when he announced that he had the lowest coefficient at the moment. In fact, as a dedicated fancier, he spent quite a few nights behind his computer after the national race from Châteauroux (03/08) to check all club results from this race. He wanted to know if 'Nikolaas' would finish on top in the zonal results. Even before the zonal results were released, Sébastien checked everything and he was confident that his pigeon was to take a 2nd place in the zone. Everybody was surprised; most fanciers believed that the Vandenheede pigeons were unbeatable!
99% of today's ace pigeons are shipped abroad (if the PEC does not purchase them) after their victories but Sébastien decided to keep his supercrack at home to strenghten his breeding team. 'Seb' does not need a lot of pigeons from other breeds to be successful. 'Nikolaas' will stay in the the quiet loft in Russeignies.
His nest brother 'Maurice' is not as strong as Nikolaas but he has a few impressive breeding references as well. He is the sire of:
- 'Kate' (BE12-9032182)
1. Bourges prov 1,259 p. '13 2. Nat Zone 2,377 p. 27. National 13,588 p. 1. Châteauroux loc 98 p. '13 4. Nat Zone 1,015 p. 3. Soissons 406 p. '12 4. Angerville 287 p. '12 7. Soissons 234 p. '12 48. Guéret prov 851 p. '12 68. Châteauroux prov 1.695 p. '13
Needless to say that Sebastien noticed his qualities so he will also be moved to the breeding team of next year. Sometimes a pigeon can be both a great breeder and racer.
- 'Divine (BE12-9032115)'
The national triumph of 'Nikolaas' took the attention away from the the superb performance of 'Divine', a yearling hen that achieved an impressive result as well: she became the best long distance yearling from Belgium on 3 national races in 2013 (PIPA Ranking).
Sire: 'Stein' (BE06-9123001), sire of 'Suzy' (4th La Souterraine 18.973 p.), son of stock pigeon 'Stan' x 'Beauty', a super racing & breeding hen, granddaughter of 'Nasdaq'.
Dam: 'Boulette' (BE09-9011877), won for instance a 2nd Argenton prov 1,017 p. and is a full sister of 'Boule de Berlin', 1st Long Distance Ace Pigeon LCB '09 and 3rd Cahors nat 7.343 p. '09 (De Smeyter-Restiaen)
Click here to check the pedigree from 'Divine'.
A better end
Everybody knows that year 2013 did not really begin well for the Casaert family. A few months after Hugo was diagnosed with a disease Maurice, the godfather of the family passed away after a long-term disease. Things could not have been worse and a few days before the start of the season many people wondered if they could find the mental strength to manage their large pigeon family. The situation improved a few months later. A few weeks ago Hugo started going to school parttime again and Maurice can be proud of his son's achievements. In addition to the national title of ace pigeon, the Casaert-Sénéchal loft has also finished 7th National Champion Heavy Middle Distance Olds KBDB & 7th National Champion Long Distance Yearlings KBDB. The 2013 season was in fact a great success, given the results that were won over the entire season.
Sébastien, Hugo, Anne, congratulations for this tremendous victory. Now it's time to win a national race!