Willy & Ivan Baetens, Sint-Niklaas the success formula behind the ‘Bricon-Loft’!

Professionally Willy & Ivan Baetens have spent all their lives with pigeons. Quality and service was and is their trademark! No wonder that as passionate pigeon fanciers they also implement ‘quality’ as high priority!

Pigeons, pigeon sport… and more or less everything involved with it colours the daily life of the Baetens family from Sint-Niklaas. Father Willy built lofts all his life and at the time he was manager for the well-known firm ‘Bawibo’ and erected real ‘pigeon palaces’ over the entire country. Via ‘research’ and experience Willy knows better than anybody what is needed to create the ‘ideal loft’, where especially, next to an ideal ‘loft climate’… all the necessary gadgets were included in order to make the pigeon loft a cosy residence for ‘fancier’ and ‘pigeon’… in other words, a loft which could produce ‘top performances’!

Son Ivan added ‘value’ to this. Because with the introduction of the electronic clocking system he set up the firm ‘Bricon’, which has now grown to become the market leader of our country at that level! A marvellous piece of land was bought in the Europark East and next to the Bricon Company building they also built a beautiful family house and a lovely loft accommodation for the pigeons. All the resources were available and so they went in search of suitable breeding and racing material to shape the ‘Bricon Loft’. Because here ‘quality’ was also of upmost importance. It was during the time that a certain Marcel Aelbrecht was taking the lead over our country, and national titles and ditto Ace pigeons, in addition to a few national victories… coloured his richly filled honours list. His strain was well known… based on the De Rauw-Sablon pigeons… and when Ivan had to listen to his Bricon-foreman Geert De Clercq telling of the exploits and success stories achieved by Erik Limbourg with the De Rauw-Sablon pigeons, with here also national Ace pigeon titles and national victories… he was immediately convinced! He also wanted to use these De Rauw-Sablon pigeons as basis for his stock building, whatever the cost !

50% De Rauw-Sablon

Is anyone then surprised to hear that Willy and Ivan set off for Lebbeke, and stood on the doorsteps of the 3 tenors who owed their successes to that highly praised De Rauw-Sablon pedigree… namely Marcel Aelbrecht, the late Jules Mannaert and of course the duo De Rauw-Sablon self? This was followed by a few pigeons from Erik Limbourg.

I think we bought about 150 in total, says Ivan. Via a strict selection we have obtained the best material so that we can say that at the moment our loft is formed for 50% with pigeons from De Rauw-Sablon origin. The leading pigeons at the moment here below are :

-The ‘Limoges II’ 483/04: son of the legendary stock bear ‘Limoges 261/91’ De Rauw-Sablon. The ‘Limoges II’ is self a.o. father of top athlete ‘New Limo   576/08’

-‘Super 309/02’: self 54° Nat Argenton 17.010 p., 198° Nat La Souterraine 13.709 p… and a direct M. Aelbrecht as daughter of the titan couple ‘Marseille’ x ‘Fijn Blauw’. She is a.o. mother of the  ‘Irun’

-The ‘Asduifke 910/99’: super breeding hen bought in the auction of Jules Mannaert. She is a.o. mother of the aforementioned  ‘New Limo 576/08’.

-‘Daughter 970’: and so a half-sister of the ‘Patron’, 1° Nat Ace pigeon Long Distance  KBDB 2003

-‘Father Favoriet Jules’: bought in the auction of    Jules Mannaert.

-3 direct children of ‘Bak 17’

-2 sons of ‘Zomerjong 118’, which is father of the ‘Irun’ and the ‘Goed Blauwen’ by    M.Aelbrecht.

-2 sons of the ‘Perpginan’, winner 1° Nat Zone B Cahors 3.476 p., 1° Vierzon 1.395 p., and 19° Nat Perpignan 5.852 p .

-1 son of the ‘Fijn Blauw’, which at the time was coupled with a ‘Brother Patron’. This Fijnen 366/07’ is father of the 1° Ace pigeon Extreme Middle Distance Club in  2010!

The current breeding loft of Willy & Ivan Baetens contains 26 breeding couples, wherefrom 6 reside in a separate breeding box. Therein there are 4 permanent breeding cocks which are used as ‘studs’ and 2 boxes with fluctuating cocks. The 4 permanent ‘studs’ are 

-the ‘Cobra’: originating from Johan Maes where he won 1° Nat Zone Limoges, and 5° Nat Zone Cahors. He is a Jef Deridder by origin out the line of the 1° Nat. Perpignan Willy & Geert Deschepper x Desmet-Van Puymbroeck. This breeding line is very similar to the origin which produced the famous ‘Paola’ (hen from the ‘Dream Couple’)! The ‘Cobra’ is generally coupled with hens with De Rauw-Sablon origin .

-The ‘Limoges II’ 483/04: a beautiful athlete in the hand, and father of ‘New Limo’ (see above )

-‘Houdini’ 803/05: Cock out the ‘Cipollini-line’ Baertsoen, and father of the ‘Kleine Vechter’ (see further )

-the ‘Toye’: a top promise in the breeding loft, originating from Etienne Meirlaen, out the line of the ‘Invincible Montauban’ Casaert (1° Nat Montauban), which was a super breeder in the lofts of Sylvere Toye.

In addition to the 50% basis De Rauw-Sablon, the colony is built up with the line ‘Cipollini –Baertsoen’ (is for 50% Gaby Vandenabeele),  Luc-Bart-Jurgen Geerinckx (pigeons out the ‘Willyke’s’ and the ‘Gladiator’), Verreckt-Ariën (including 2 daughters of ‘Armstrong’), and specifically for the long distance, pigeons from Etienne Meirlaen, Patrick & Dimitri Houfflijn, and Norbert De Keyser (daughter ‘Narbonne’) + a few performance pigeons .


The attention is currently concentrated on the national long distance races (read 600-800 Km). For this 45 widowers (cocks) are ready, in addition to 16 racing hens… which are all raced in traditional widowhood, so with partners which remain home. The cocks were coupled around the 15th of Marc hand went into widowhood around the 1st of April after brooding for 5 days. The racing hens on the other hand were coupled in such a way that at the beginning of May they could start widowhood when they had finished with their nest.

The cocks are never shown their hens before they leave for a race, usually not even the nesting dish… this so as to basket them as peacefully as possible.  Making them nervous is a waste of time and energy in my eyes… says Ivan. The cocks are divided over various races of the long distance programme, so have to be fed apart… that’s why they rare all fed in their boxes. Something which certainly fuels and/or strengthens the ‘territory ownership’!

Ivan thinks it is not yet time for the ‘grand distance’...in other words the national classics from Pau to Barcelona. You also have to have the right pigeons for this, says Ivan… and we still have to work on that, so we will just wait for the time being!

That his approach to the long distance has been successful is proven by the nice achievements over the last few seasons, with in 2010 a.o. 1° prizes from Bourges I yearlings, Cahors o.b. and Tulle Yearlings… translated into top prizes up to national level! A few youthful long distance clappers have already displayed their enormous class, wherefrom we would like to introduce 4 of them to you :

-‘New Limo’ B08-4254576

Son of the ‘Limoges II’ 483/04 De Rauw-Sablon x ’t Asduifke 99’ 910/99 Mannaert.  In 2010 this clapper achieved the highlights :

’10 Limoges           103 103 p. 9
’10 Souillac Zone B 2.296 p. 134
’10 Tulle    Zone B 2.047 p. 18   (Club 2° of 113 p.)

This after he had also won top from Vierzon, and as a yearling from Chateauroux, Limoges and Tulle (see photo )!

-‘Frommel’ B08-4254588

Son of the ‘Fijnen 366/07’ (Son ‘Fijn Blauw’ Aelbrecht) x ‘Sissy 424/02’. He performed as follows in 2010 :

’10 Cahors   Zone B 2.732.739 p. 134 (Club 7° from 142 p.)
’10 Limoges  Zone B 1.987 p. 120 (Club 6° from 103 p.)
’10 Souillac Zone B 2.296 p. 230
’10 Tulle    Zone B 2.047 p. 77    

He also won from Brive (59° from 229 p.), and as a yearling 2 tops from Limoges (7° from 270 p.) and Tulle (7° from 120 p .).

-‘Wittekop’ B07-4115032

Son of the ‘Gustaaf 395/02’ x ‘Tassa 216/05’. A real ‘crack’ which has already flown together an impressive honours list, with tops from sprint, middle distance to long distance :

Bourges       Prov   1.560 p. 1
              Nat   11.756 p. 11
Chateauroux            204 p. 4
Argenton       Prov  2.359 p. 22 (Club 4° from 114 p.)
Etampes                797 p. 9
Noyon                  866 p. 9
Angerville             875 p. 6
Chateauroux I  Zone  7.400 p. 8  (Club 2° from 342 p.)
               Nat  20.330 p. 52
Chateauroux II Zone  6.149 p. 49 (Club 3° from 272 p.)
               Nat  17.189 p. 176
Argenton       Zone  3.761 p. 97 (Club 7° from 144 p.)
Bourges        Prov  1.925 p. 9  (Club 3° from 118 p.) 

-‘Kleine Vechter’ B09-4063027

Son of ‘Houdini 803/05’ x ‘Miss Tours 384/04’. The super yearling from 2010, in which he noted down the following top classifications :

’10 Chateauroux    493 p. 16
’10 Argenton       446 p. 8
’10 Limoges        240 p. 7
          Nat   14.211 p. 117
’10 Tulle          136 p. 1
          Zone B 2.742 p. 3
          Nat    8.323 p.  25

Very promising and hopeful results for the long distance loft of Willy & Ivan Baetens, which is currently in full bloom! With the present basis, this ‘classy’ breeding stable… and it is nothing more than logical, achieves ‘top performances’ with the regularity of a clock… a fact which only offers ‘even’ better perspectives for the future! The winning of the 1° Prov Limoges Yearlings in 2008 was the overture of everything good that followed… and opened the doors for the expansion of a very successful long distance honours list! Last year, in 2010, this resulted in national top notations so as :

25° National Tulle          8.323 yl
28° National Bourges       17.138 yl (1° Club en 2° provincial 3.025 yl)
30° National Tulle          8.323 yl
42° National Cahors         8.651 o.b.
51° National Chateauroux I 20.330 o.b. etc 

And this each time with only a handful of pigeons in each race! Nice isn’t it?

 Willy & Ivan Baetens, definitely a name to keep an eye on!