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Aelbrecht Marcel, "Thé superstar of the Belgian long distance scene"

Marcel Aelbrecht is a name that has been firing people’s imagination for many years already. Marcel, who is a former building contractor, lives in Lebbeke and started racing pigeons about 53 years ago: in 1954. First, he achieved excellent results in speed racing. Then, he started racing long distance about 18 years ago. He was encouraged by his best friend and neighbour Frans Sablon of the world famous combination De Rauw Sablon (1st national Champion Long Distance 2001 – 2nd national ace pigeon Long Distance 2001, and lots more!). In the beginning, Marcel only participated in speed racing but there was not enough time to spend on pigeons because of Marcel’s working conditions and his pigeon loft also left a little to be desired.


From left to right: Mrs Aelbrecht, Marcel’s neighbour and best friend Frans Sablon and Marcel Aelbrecht

Once he decided to build a solid loft (with a wooden floor instead of one made out of concrete!) and when a heating burner was installed underneath the loft, the team finally started to acquire prizes. After learning his lessons, Marcel became an excellent Quiévrain racer. Things went even that far that no-one in the club dared to say that he had won the first prize before Marcel had brought in his clock.

As we mentioned before, Marcel started looking for some new challenges and he laid the foundations for a successful long distance career at the end of the eighties. ‘Successful’ is a bit of an understatement because, when looking back at those 15 years, Marcel has achieved many national and provincial victories!

Marcel Aelbrecht is known to the general public as from the end of the nineties when he scored on a national level in the race of La Soutteraine young pigeons against a little less than 10.000 young pigeons... The next year, he won no less than the national Perpignan race...! He ended right before Georges Carteus from Ronse! The name “Aelbrecht” became a household word in pigeon sport, but not just on a national level. “Aelbrecht” is synonymous with super class far beyond the borders of our country as well... Marcel Aelbrecht was already highly esteemed by insiders before all these national victories. Men like Eric Limbourg went over to Marcel’s to get pigeons and became a friend of the family! Even both national winners moved the Limbourg loft afterwards. Marcel was wise enough to keep the entire family of these two winners for himself to avoid losing good breeding material and quality. On the contrary; things went from good to better.

He also scooped the world famous Flanders Cup, as well as ace pigeons, many championships, etc... Marcel has won pretty much everything there is to win... he became 3rd national champion long distance Young in 2002 and he obtained 2 provincial victories out of 4 young pigeons races in 14 days’ time... in the Argenton race against 4385 young pigeons and in the race of La Soutteraine against 3848 pigeons. This was also a 1st and 2nd zonal, Argenton was won zonally against 5.803 young pigeons (4th national against more than 17000 young pigeons). Argenton against 4385 pigeons started with 1 – 5 – 10 - … La Soutteraine was a 2nd zonal against 4694 pigeons and a 6th national against 13708 pigeons… These are really breathtaking results, especially because Marcel participates in races with a mere handful of pigeons… There are never more than 20 widowers in Marcel Aelbrecht’s lofts. A typical example is the Beziers race of 2003 again: Marcel basketed one pigeon and obtained the first local prize at the Long Distance Club of Aalst! Or a 24th national against over 6000 pigeons! To finish off the season, Marcel acquired once more 1, 2, 3, etc… at the renowned Long Distance Club of Aalst in the La Soutteraine race.

Let’s continue with the season of 2002: Marcel also won the 1st prize Mariman / Cerafin Trophee Argenton... the 1st prize FLANDERS CUP middle distance Old, the 2nd FLANDERS CUP Young, 2nd Provincial Champion Long Distance Young, 2nd Best Loft national BDS, 3rd national Champion Long Distance Young... The first time for Marcel to win the prestigious Flanders Cup? Of course not! He already became General Champion Flanders CUP in 2000!

But still, Marcel was not satisfied. He is a real fancier who is not easily pleased... Who always strives for more and better... This can also be noticed in the way he talks: it is difficult for a pigeon to be considered good by Marcel! His friend, Frans Sablon, who was present while we were paying Marcel a visit, knows him very well and was making fun out of the demanding nature of his friend.

But 2003 will be a very difficult season for Marcel to surpass? He beat the competition with a handful of widowers and he clearly showed who he was! Will anyone be able to ever match that? 1st national ace pigeon Long Distance, 3rd national ace pigeon Long Distance racing (Wonderboy Gaby Vandenabeele managed to slip one in between with a 2nd national ace pigeon, but Gaby is not just anyone (Eventually, only the 1st ace pigeon was qualified in 2003)). But the incredible talent living in the Baardegemsestraat in Lebbeke totally stunned the entire Belgian long distance scene by obtaining gold and bronze in the most prestigious ace pigeon competition, National Champion Long Distance... and tens of other championships as well!

But Marcel kept performing excellently even passed 2003. Really incredible, the results he has achieved appeal to one’s imagination! One would think even top racers can have a less good season but that’s certainly not the case with Marcel. It seems as if Marcel Aelbrecht came from another planet because year after year, the results he achieves improve...

How about 2005? No less than 3 top mentions in the national championships!! Most important one: General national Champion of Belgium KBDB. Furthermore, also 3rd in extreme long distance and 4th in long distance.

Or what about 2006? 1st General national Champion of Belgium KBDB again as well as 1st national Long Distance champion KBDB !!

Some extra information about the championships:
1° general champion KBDB: 8 national races with the first nominated pigeon are considered for this championship among which 2 races for young pigeons and 1 race for yearlings. Furthermore: 5 races for old pigeons out of which 2 extreme long distance races.
The Aelbrecht loft was the winner this year and obtained the following results:
Barcelona 244 national, Carcassone 156 national, Limoges 50 zonal, Cahors 18 zonal, Souillac 12 zonal, Limoges yearlings 45 zonal, Bourges youngsters 495 national and La Souterraine youngsters 248 national. This leads up to a coefficient of 13,7228. Since the second winner obtained a coefficient of no less than 27, Marcel’s result clearly shows that he is way ahead of the competition.

1° champion long distance KBDB: this is an old pigeons championship with 1 + 2 nominated pigeons in 3 national races to be chosen from 7 possible races.
The following results were obtained:
Limoges 50 and 42 zonal, Cahors 18 and 71 zonal and Souillac 12 and 15 zonal. Coefficient 9,1072. Unlike the general championship, this race was a real sprint until the end. The title was obtained with a very small difference, the coefficient of the second winner was 9,1952. Interesting detail: the same loft (Houfflijn Patrick & Dimitri) ended in the Poulidor position in both cases.
Marcel yet remains a modest fancier even if there are no more prizes left for him to win. Marcel is not at all a boaster and he never will be!

THE AELBRECHT BREED
Marcel is not a commercial person either... He barely has pictures of his pigeons...! Some people would make photographs of the entire pigeon family as soon as a prize is obtained. It is rather unfortunate that he has so little pictures considering all the beautiful pigeons that are living in his lofts in Lebbeke.

It took many years of work, a very tough selection, to create this solid breed: the Aelbrecht breed. The same main pigeons can be found in nearly all pedigrees, for example: STAMVADER 584/91, who is the father of nearly all the best pigeons in the Aelbrecht loft and who descends from the world famous DREAM COUPLE of De Rauw Sablon, and from which pretty all ace pigeons descend (at their place as well as others!!)! De Rauw Sablon has already had quite a lot of ace pigeons! Pigeon 548/91 is the grandfather of the 1st national ace pigeon at Marcel Aelbrecht’s and is also the grandfather of the 3rd national ace pigeon Long Distance… Pigeon 548/91 is the grandfather of the 1st zonal Argenton 2002 (against 5803 young pigeons) as well as the 5th zonal Argenton! And he is also the grandfather of Super Crack 308 and many other good pigeons !!


Marcel as well has to keep up with things! Administration however is considered more as a burden than as fun!


Super breeder 548 / 91
is the grandfather of :
* 1st nat Argenton ( ZONE ) 2002 against 5.803 pigeons
* 311 / 02 : 5th nat ( ZONE ) Argenton 2002 against 5.803 pigeons
* 1st national ace pigeon long distance 2003 : 4500907/99
* 3rd national ace pigeon long distance 2003 ( not qualified in the end )
* Supercrack 308/02 ; who won:
- 34th nat Argenton 2002 17.010 pigeons
- 144th national La Soutteraine 2002 13.708 pigeons
- 5th Argenton 2003 884 pigeons
- 19th Chatearoux 2003 895 pigeons
- 351st Limoges nat. 2003 ( ZONE ) 7.573 pigeons
- 1st prov Limoges 2004 3.494 pigeons ( 98th nat against 13.502 pigeons)
- 62nd nat Brive 2004 7.446 pigeons
- 31st nat Brive 2004 20.310 pigeons
- 1st nat Cahors ( ZONE ) 2004 2.863 pigeons ( 16th nat against 9.275 pigeons)
* 4333309/02 ; who won :
- 54th national Argenton 17,010 pigeons
- 77th nat. La Souterraine ( ZONE ) 4694 pigeons
- 198th national against 13,708 pigeons
* Supercrack 049/01 ; who won:
- 33rd nat Beziers 2002 3.539 pigeons
- 21st nat Marseille 2004 5.864 pigeons ( 44ste internat 19.605 pigeons)
- 382nd nat Barcelona 2005 12.998 pigeons
- 68th nat. Perpignan 2005 7.611 pigeons
* Supercrack 077/03 ; which won:
- 141st nat La Soutteraine 2003 13.988 pigeons
- 9th Chatearoux 2004 743 pigeons
- 91st nat Montélimar 2005 10.195 pigeons
- 51st nat Orange 2005 6.751 pigeons
- 998th nat Souillac 2005 5.985 pigeons
* De Stielman 021/01 ; which won:
- 108th national La Souterraine 17,315 pigeons
- 56th national Limoges 24,479 pigeons
- 1767th national Bourges 42,763 pigeons
- 7th Dourdan 451 pigeons
- 191st national Souillac 8327 pigeons
is the great-grandfather of :
* Supercrack 942/04 ; which won :
- 48th nat Bourges 2004 48.553 pigeons
- 1.246 nat. Argenton 2004 23.078 pigeons
- 81st nat. La Soutteraine 2004 16.297 pigeons
- 2nd Chatearoux 2005 213 pigeons
- 33rd Argenton 2005 559 pigeons
- 15th nat Limoges 2005 17.456 pigeons
His nest brother "943/02" also ended within the first national 100 in the same La Souterraine race

AND THERE ARE MANY MORE DESCENDANTS WHO FLEW SUPERBLY!

Super breeder 362/93 Marseille
is the father of :
* 015/00 24th nat Béziers 2003
* Supercrack 308/02 ; which won:
- 34th nat Argenton 2002 17.010 pigeons
- 144th national La Soutteraine 2002 13.708 pigeons
- 5th Argenton 2003 884 pigeons
- 19th Chatearoux 2003 895 pigeons


* 4333309/02 ; which won :
- 54th national Argenton 17,010 pigeons
- 77th nat. La Souterraine ( ZONE ) 4694 pigeons
- 198th national against 13,708 pigeons
* Supercrack 087/03

- 30th nat Brive 2005 20.310 pigeons
- 86th nat Cahors 2005 9.275 pigeons
- 323rd nat Souillac 2005 5.985 pigeons
is the grandfather of :
* 1st national ace pigeon long distance 2003 : 4500907/99
* 1st nat Argenton ( ZONE ) 2002 against 5.803 pigeons
* Supercrack 049/01 ; which won :
- 33rd nat Beziers 2002 3.539 pigeons
- 21st nat Marseille 2004 5.864 pigeons (44th internat 19.605 pigeons)
- 382nd nat Barcelona 2005 12.998 pigeons
- 68th nat. Perpignan 2005 7.611 pigeons
* Supercrack 077/03 ; which won:
- 141st nat La Soutteraine 2003 13.988 pigeons
- 9th Chatearoux 2004 743 pigeons
- 91st nat Montélimar 2005 10.195 pigeons
- 51st nat Orange 2005 6.751 pigeons
- 998th nat Souillac 2005 5.985 pigeons


Mother 1st national acepigeon KBDB Long Distance 2003

AND THERE ARE MANY MORE DESCENDANTS WHO FLEW SUPERBLY!

YOUNG PIGEONS
Marcel has 24 breeding couples, he likes to participate in young pigeons races.
It is common knowledge that Marcel achieves wonderful results in long distance racing with a very limited number of widowers (19 pigeons including yearlings). But we would like to know a little more about the way the young pigeons are handled.

Young pigeons loft... Not super-de-luxe but solid!

Marcel weans about 60 young pigeons (1st and 2nd round) every year. A young flock that can grow in 2 lofts. In the first days following the weaning period, the birds merely receive a sifted breeding mixture. It is now their task to learn how to eat large grains. As soon as they eat well, Marcel fetches some bales of bean straw. According to Marcel, the change of atmosphere among the young pigeons is truly unbelievable when he puts this straw in the lofts. The loft feels a lot more congenial right away. When the young pigeons have been weaned for 14 days to 3 weeks, they receive a first 3-day-cure against tricho. Marcel uses a product based on ronidazole. The birds also have the opportunity to explore the surroundings. “Healthy youngsters like to train and they learn fast... I see it happen every year”. If the birds fly well, the training basket is taken out.

Very carefully he subjects the pigeons to their first teaching commitments... “Before I train them, they receive a cure of three days against bowel diseases”. The birds are taken to Quiévrain in about 10 steps and they cover this distance two times. Then, they go twice to Noyon, followed by Dourdan after which they can finish off the national programme! After Dourdan, there are about 40 pigeons left. It depends on the national races whether Marcel decides to leave a team at home. The birds are not basketed in between the national races but Marcel takes them to Deux-Acren one at a time, which is about 40km. Nothing is left to chance as far as the medical aspect is concerned: the pigeons receive a cure against tricho and ornithosis each time they return from a race.

In spite of the fact that Marcel is not really a big fan, he naturally darkens the pigeons from mid February until mid June. The curtains are closed from 6:00 PM until 8:00 AM... Nothing special happens as far as motivation is concerned. The open door method is a daily routine and Marcel has created several dark corners in the loft to create some ambience.

Best stockbirds Aelbrecht loft