Eddy Sampers and Filip Delbaere, who make up the successful Delbaere-Sampers duo.
They already claimed a title of 3rd Nat. Champion Sprint young birds KBDB this season, as well as a 4th and 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon Sprint young birds KBDB. In other words, 2019 was another highly successful year for the team from Menen. The pigeons have been in terrific form!
The contemporaries Filip Delbaere and Eddy Sampers have been racing pigeons for quite a number of years, and they both got involved in the sport through their families. Although Filip got his first taste through his father-in-law Antoon Doms. A first collaboration between the two men began with Eddy successfully transferring his first round to Filip's loft. This went on for a few years, right until Eddy moved to Lauwe. The Delbaere-Sampers combination was born. Each fancier performs a set of tasks within the team: Filip is mainly responsible for caretaking, with Eddy looking after the administrative side of things.
A breed based around Willy Vanhoutte
Getting solid results in the provincial and national championships and the ace pigeon championships season after season is quite a challenge. It takes a lot of expertise, and of course a group of high quality pigeons. That is why Filip Delbaere and Eddy Sampers will only select their very best birds. And selection starts right with the weaning. Youngsters that struggle to mature and develop will have no chance. And Filip has a watchful eye when the pigeons are making their first trips around the loft as well. "Young birds that need more time to take off compared to their fellow teammates will be left out", Filip explains. And the same goes for the breeding loft. "A successful young bird might be granted a spot in the breeding loft, in which case we do not hesitate to get rid of one of the old birds in the team. If a pigeon failed to breed a successful descendants over the past two years, he will have to make room for someone else, despite any earlier achievements", says Filip.
The pigeon breed of Willy Vanhoutte (Wevelgem, BE) features extensively in the lofts of Filip and Eddy. And they have successfully invested in some other successful neighbouring lofts in recent years as well, although many of these investments were to some extent related to the Vanhoutte bloodlines as well. These specific reinforcements and Filip's demanding training regime, which starts with the young birds, have led to many successes in recent years, both in the sprint and the middle distance.
'Wittenbuik': 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon sprint KBDB young birds
The centerpiece of the 2019 young birds' team in Menen was Wittenbuik BE19-3087317. He won three first prizes in the club last season, and he claimed several other top 10 prizes as well. Wittenbuik did great almost on a weekly basis, and he eventually claimed the title of 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon sprint KBDB young birds West Flanders, and 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon sprint KBDB young birds.
The sire is Blue Prince, BE16-3110828. He is a full brother of Stijn, one of the pigeons that claimed a national title for Filip and Eddy in 2015.
The grandfather is Fidel, and he too is a full brother of one of the big stars of Delbaere-Stampers: Froome. This bird claimed not one but two provincial first prizes WVOU in 2013! This is not your ordinary racing bird.
The grandmother is Stijn Van Laere duivin, BE10-4118981, a solid racing hen of Stijn Van Laere that joined the team in Menen via Bertrand Lambert.
Froome, BE13-3025410, pakte in juli 2013 twee keer de 1e Provinciaal Clermont tegen 11.480 en 14.897 duiven.
The dam of the 4th national ace pigeon sprint is Witpenneke Vanhoutte BE15-3134036, which stems straight from Willy Vanhoutte. She comes from the best lines of Willy: the grandfather is none other than Cipier, winner of four first prizes in Fontenay, as well as a 3rd prov. Chateaudun of 1,165 pigeons. The grandmother is Daughter Glamour Boy of Willy Vanhoutte.
'Willy': 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon Sprint KBDB young birds
Wittenbuik's strongest opponents seem to come from his own team: Willy BE19-3087226 has had a few excellent seasons as well, winning several top 10 prizes in his club. And Willy also won a 1st provincial of 8,020 pigeons. He did just as good as his brother 025/18, which claimed a 1st provincial Tours! With so many prizes to his name, Willy did well in the ace pigeon championships as well: he was an 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon sprint KBDB young birds and a 4th Provincial Ace Pigeon sprint young birds West Flanders.
As his name suggests, Willy stems from the Willy Vanhoutte breed from Wevelgem. His sire is De 211, himself a decent racing bird and now an excellent breeder as well. The grandfather is De 114, another talented sprint pigeon. And lastly we have his grandmother Vanhoutte Duivin, which is a direct Willy Vanhoutte.
The dam of Willy is Blauw Vanhoutte, and the grandfather is Bliksem Vanhoutte, a terrific racing bird for Willy's team in Wevelgem. The grandmother is Daughter Bourges Demeester, a daughter of Bourges of Marcel Demeester.
The men to beat in the sprint in West Flanders
Willy Vanhoutte was forced to end his pigeon racing career due to his age, but it looks like the Vanhoutte pigeons will continue to dominate the sprint competition in West Flanders in the future. After all, the Delbaere-Sampers duo has become a household name in the sprint in West Flanders over the last several years. And they are becoming increasingly successful at national level as well. They demonstrated this especially in 2015, although the team from Menen was in great form in 2019 as well. The two fanciers have different provincial victories, championship titles and ace pigeons on their palmares, and they are likely to win several more titles and prizes in the next several years as well!