1° Prov Argenton 2.401 Old
1° Prov Argenton 5.134 Yearlings
2° Prov Brive 2.116 Old
2° Prov Souillac 1.291 Old
In nearly all the provinces in our country, the second weekend of May means the 'start' of the 'Grand Middle Distance' season, or in other words the 'provincial and inter-provincial races' between the 400 and 600 Km. There is just enough time to reflect on 2007, and to come to a halt in the region, by the absolute 'grandmaster' in the 'Grand Middle Distance' and 'Long Distance', namely Gaby Vandenabeele from Dentergem. Whoever thinks of Gaby Vandenabeele, thinks directly of his now world-famous stock pigeons such as the "Kleinen", his son, the "Wittenbuik", and his grandson the "Bliksem" although we shouldn't forget about other important toppers such as the "Bijter", the "Picanol", the "Ronker", the Rambo", the "James Bond", the "Blauwe Fideel", the "Favoriet", the "Kolonel". They all played their part in making the Vandenabeele-pigeon world-famous.
Looking for pigeons with exceptional genes
One thing is remarkable in the stock building Gaby always assumed, or believed very strongly, in working with real 'top breeders'. We can hear you saying . It's easy for him with his exceptional pigeons such as "Kleinen", and his just as talented sons and daughters sitting in the lofts such as 'Picanol', 'Fideel', 'Wittenbuik' still, this shouldn't be taken for granted. A grandmaster so as Gaby Vandenabeele understood the art of optimally using the "supergenes" that these stock pigeons possessed. If we were to typify Gaby, then he is not a man to partake in a lot of family breeding or inbreeding to his 'top breeders', but rather we can categorize him as someone who can take his colony to the 'lonely top', and knows how to keep it there, through the 'crossing' of his toppers with strange blood, out his own loft or coming from other lofts.
This then explains his never-ending search for 'exceptional crack pigeons', for 'exceptional winners' and 'Ace pigeons', to couple with his own success line. The science that 'the majority of real toppers' are born from crossings, is not out of place here an 'experienced super champion' like Gaby Vandenabeele can't be taught anything at this level. He knows better than anybody 'everything there is to know', Gaby is always ready to pounce at the chance of obtaining something to further strengthen or expand his colony and in this way create a 'wonder pigeon', the pigeons from 'another planet' that are always there and everywhere, in all kinds of weather, no matter what distance.
This is a 'characteristic' of all top champions because holding one's own at the 'absolute top' in the pigeon happenings for nearly 30 years, with around 75 provincial and 5 national victories is not easy! There is a 'strategy', a 'vision' behind it call it 'craftsmanship'! We don't know many fanciers that have previously managed what this Gaby Vandenabeele has managed, and there will be even less who can copy him! It is a public secret that Gaby optimally uses the 'exceptional qualities' of his 'top breeders', by making use of the fertilisation via 'artificial insemination', whereby the hens are coupled with a 'sterilised cock'. These hens are fertilised with the sperm of one of the 'super cracks' of the Vandenabeele lofts on the 5th or 6th day of brooding. The benefits are not to be scorned at because in a very short time a large number of descendants can be bred from the 'super pigeon' without this pigeon having to compel itself with continually fighting for the nest, raising the young or continually being re-coupled and you can also quickly determine the breeding capacities of this pigeon, in particular which combinations produce the best results! The competition has for a long time known what Gaby Vandenabeele 'is made of'. It is almost impossible to race against him.
The expectations that the close surroundings (read: his closest competitors) impose on Gaby are exceptionally high, but he remains serenely calm knowing that when the 'form fairy' makes his entrance, the results follow automatically. It has been like this for nearly 30 years, why should it be any different With his 'enormous wealth of talent' in the lofts he doesn't have to fear anybody, except the men he is up against every week and who also race at the top, with a loft based on direct Vandenabeele pigeons, so as Antoine & Rudy Desaer, Rik Cools, De Clerck-Blancke, Vital Dheedene, Patrick & Dimitri Houfflyn and a whole range of other fellow sportsmen out his own area, with that 'noble' Gaby Vandenabeele-blood in the lofts not to mention the fanciers 'worldwide' that have climbed to the top of the sport with his pigeons! Gaby is afraid to name them all out of his head because he is afraid he may forget about 10 of them! You have to give it to Gaby he allowed many fellow sportsmen profit from the 'prosperity' on which his pigeon pedigree floated (and still floats), and enabled them to be in the 'newspaper headlines', yes for some it was even the gateway to eternal fame!
Pigeons close to nature
In order to have a strong stock of pigeons, you have to try to keep your pigeons as close as possible to nature. A principle and 'golden rule' that Gaby was given by his father Gentil, and where he still doesn't deter from. Pigeons that are given a lot of antibiotics or other medication during their racing career, have a strongly reduced immunity against numerous complaints when you have to breed from them, than the pedigree soon deteriorates, and you quickly come into the downward 'spiral' where one seldom climbs out of! That's why the pigeons in Dentergem are given plenty of natural products, with plenty of tea, a variation of products which create an acid environment in the bowels (avidress plus, apple vinegar etc ), in addition to regularly 'smoking' the lofts with 'cold ice' to combat the bacteria and mould in the lofts and by his pigeons. Doesn't Gaby ever consult a veterinary surgeon, we hear you asking? We would be lying if we said he never visited a vet and yet it is only in an extreme emergency that he calls on the 'man in white', who won't get rich from Gaby According to Gaby, a strong stock of pigeons, with a large natural resistance is the most important basis to be able to perform at the top for years. A good natural resistance is the basis to excellent health healthy pigeons can easily come into form and 'top form', and can retain this form longer . And with 'top form' in the lofts, top performances can be put down on paper! When you can start with 'pedigree horses' then the sum is soon made! The circle is complete. Perhaps we can best illustrate the perceptions of Gaby with the following:
From 2 equally good pigeons the one with the best form will always win from 2 pigeons with the same 'top form' the best will always win (in equal circumstances of course). In other words, 'super pigeons' in combination with a good 'natural health' offer the best chance of success, both in the long and the short term . Gaby Vandenabeele has proved this for nearly 30 years!
On the way to
Last year we made a detailed report about the building up of the Vandenabeele colony, the sublime 'cracks' that gave him 'eternal fame', his method etc and we would like to refer you to this article under 'all articles', so that we don't have to repeat ourselves.
Every year a new succession of toppers is born in the Vandenabeele lofts and/or Gaby manages to purchase them in his search for 'top talents'. We would like to introduce you to a few of these new top athletes:
-"Falco", ring 3003445/03 is one of the natural talents that Gaby bought as a young pigeon from Eric Vermander.
In 2007 this clapper was well on his way to classifying between the 'National Ace pigeons KBDB' in the Long Distance when the bird flu reared it's ugly head and spoiled everything with a coefficient of barely 1,42% he would probably, in current conditions, have had the smallest coefficient from Belgium only, the controversial Souillac wherefrom this "Falco" ended 2nd in the prov and interprov results, did not qualify for any official KBDB-championships. Gaby sat in the same boat with his "Falco" as with his "Bliksem", who at the time was the virtual 'national ace pigeon' with the smallest coefficient in all the land, and yet the race from Perigueux was not recognised as counting towards the championships KBDB now it was the race from Souillac that kept his super crack "Falco" from a place of honour or place on the podium in the national days of the KBDB in Oostende. Maybe this 'super pigeon' will be looking for sportive revenge, and will manage to gather an 'Ace pigeon title' from somewhere who knows, he could earn a nomination for Olympiad pigeon for Dortmund 2009. Gaby has kept him in the racing team, so all the options remain open. Let's take a look at the results of 2007 in which this "Falco" did well:
03/6/'07 Brive Prov 2.216 p. 2 Nat.Z. 4.802 p. 5 Nat 16.007 p. 7
23/6/'07 Montauban Prov 921 p. 10 Nat.Z. 2.101 p. 26 Nat 6.187 p. 141
21/7/'07 Souillac Reg 102 p. 1 I. Prov 926 p. 2 West-V 1.291 p. 2
This "Falco" proved his enormous breeding talent and is already father of "Fallstar", who won:
1° Prov Argenton 5.134 Yearlings
1° Prov Argenton 2.401
Old He clearly doesn't get it from a stranger! He was one of the toppers in the talented team of yearlings in 2007, from which we would like to elaborate more about 3 'rising talents':
-The "Rudy", ring 3008003/06, is a direct son of the superior "Bliksem" x "Kaatje" (coming out a grandson of stock pigeon "Kleinen"). This "Rudy" left his visiting card with the following top performances in 2007:
-The "Picadilly", ring 3008130/06, is a son of the "Superman" (self 2° Prov Ace pigeon Middle Distance) x "Laura" (daughter of the 1° Prov Chateauroux 7.793 p, and 1° Prov Limoges 2.762 p.: the "Kolonel", with which she is a half-sister "Bliksem", and granddaughter of the "Wittenbuik"). A whole chain of famous names in the pedigree that this "Picadilly" wanted to pay tribute to his descent was proved with:
-The "Dandy", ring 3008020/06, is a son of the "Super As" (2° Nat Ace pigeon Middle Distance 2004 with coeff of 0,96%) x "Dagmar" (own nest sister of the 1° Nat Bourges and the Prov Ace pigeon Middle Distance West-Fl).
This "Dandy" won:
The 2007 season was once again richly coloured by the Gaby Vandenabeele-team , whereby the old and the yearlings signed for 13 pure 1° prizes, in addition to a few results with 1°+2° Prizes, 1°,2°,3° Prizes even a stunt performance with 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 first prizes from Ablis! This all proves that it is very difficult to race against this Gaby Vandenabeele! He is a real 'topper', and is without doubt 'one of the best', if not the 'best' pigeon fancier in Belgium in the 'Grand Middle Distance' and 'Long Distance' and an example and ideal advertisement for our 'national pigeon sport'! Or so as we wrote in our title: a grandmaster, the only one of his type.
Magnificent honours list 2007 with the Old and the Yearlings!
15/4 Clermont Club 238 YL 1,2,7,9,12,15,19,20,28,31,37,61,78 (24)
Clermont Club 263 old 2,5,8,9,11,18,22,26,29,31,55,72 (27)
22/4 Clermont Club 341 YL 1,4,5,36 etc
29/4 Clermont Club 251 YL 1,4,5,7,8,21,23,24,25,32,37,39 (18/39)
06/5 Ablis Club 94 YL 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,15,16 (13/24)
Club 168 Old 2,9,10,17,28 (6)
12/5 Ablis Club 255 YL 1,2,4,5,12,78 (12)
12/5 Tours Prov 3.320 Old 195,202,214,484,611,1093 (16)
19/5 Chateauroux Prov 5.712 Old 127,188,447,612,781,1128 (11)
19/5 Orleans Club 217 Old 3,6,8,10,26,35,45,50,51,53,57,62,63,68,71 (35)
02/6 Orleans Club 999 Old 2,18,19,34,50,72,99,111,120,123 (13/27)
Club 1.207 YL 1,16,17,32,45,87,102,109,117 (12/24)
02/6 Tours Prov 2.267 Old 34,38,86,107,207,437,499,553,566,659 (24)
Prov 3.392 YL 27,29,64,87,162,366,431,492,508 (14/24)
03/6 Brive Prov 2.216 Old 2,42,87,213,250,261,583 (15) Nat.Z. 4.802
Old 5,68,148,376,437,453,1094 (15) Nat 16.007
Old 7,97,218,610,754,794,2326,3833 (15)
10/6 Angoulême Prov 2.009 Old 50,96,471 (6)
16/6 Chateauroux Prov 5.174 YL 17,160,167,226,278,376,496,544,587,675 (22/49)
16/6 Poitiers Club 128 Old 4,10,26,27,33,42 (9)
Prov 1.989 Old 84,169,421,434,493,620 (9)
23/6 Limoges Prov 646 Derby 5,43,70,127,133,134,167,186 (9)
Prov 2.260 Old 7,139,232,320,415,441,442,559,637 (10)
23/6 Montauban Prov 921 Old 10,11,222 (3) Nat.Z. 2.101
Old 26,28,500 (3) Nat 6.187 Old 141,147,1546 (3)
23/6 Tours 162 YL 1,5,8,17,20,23,28,34,36,44,45 (15)
Prov 2.791 YL 12,37,76,257,288,331,390,517,519,647,651 (15)
30/6 Argenton Club 200 Old 1,3,4,8,19,32,51,66,67 (18)
Prov 2.401 Old 1,17,18,33,42,51,131,191,215,233 (19/54)
Argenton Club 407 YL 1,3,4,8,9,14,21,30,35,36,56,61,77 (22/47)
Prov 5.134 YL 1,24,28,45,56,73,229,336,393,679 (22/47)
30/6 Orange 3 Prov 198 Old 1 (2) Prov 387 Old 3 (2)
E.B. 1.734 Old 10 (2) Nat 6.035 Old 17 (2)
14/7 Heidelberg Club277 Old 1,5,11,14,22,27,30,32,39,41,43,46 . (17/51)
Prov 1.587 YL 10,42,75,101,181,202,206,212,237 (15/46)
14/7 Irun Prov 1.478 Old 141,365,448 (5)
21/7 Souillac Club 102 Old 1,3,8,9,10,11,12,14,18,19 (13)
IP 926 Old 2,5,29,30,46,47,48,75,98,99,241 (13)
Prov 1.291 Old 2,6,41,42,60,61,63,104,132,133 (13)
28/7 Bourges Club 132 YL 1,4,8,9,10,13,16,18,26,29,31,32,33,41 (25)
Prov 1.279 YL 3,19,29,35,41,54,74,88,141,175,198 (16/25)
04/8 Nantes S/Nat 747 Old 18,62,112,159,212 (12)
13/8 Argenton Club 71 YL 1,2,3,5,8,9,13,14,16,17,18,20,21,22 (20)
Prov 573 YL 2,3,7,9,15,22,47,48,55,59,61,68,81,91,174 (20)
C.C. 1.389 YL 4,5,12,15,24,39,104,106,119,136,141,156,181,209
Argenton C.C. 1.164 Old 43,70,169,193,258,275,279 (12)