Selection is the key to success for Erik Limbourg (Brussegem, BE)

Erik Limbourg is mad about selecting pigeons. Finding the very best long distance pigeons has become a true passion for him and the only way to do that is by adopting a strict selection procedure.

Erik and his close friend Geert Declerq

Erik knows his game

Erik knows what he’s talking about. He is a highly renowned fancier and he has defined the long distance racing pigeon of today. Many fanciers were sceptical when he started crossing sprint pigeons and long distance pigeons, expecting him to breed pigeons that were not good at either discipline: too slow for the sprint and not strong enough for the long distance. The opposite was true: he created the ultimate racing pigeon after strict selection and this type of pigeon was to reshape the long distance competition. He came up with a long distance pigeon that combined speed and strength/stamina, silencing the critics. He managed to win no less than 16 (inter)national or zonal victories and 19 second places. We give you his most important prizes:

1-3-5-8-12-21-34-36-42-44-48-59-65 (21/33) Int. Bordeaux 10,622 yl.
1st Int. Bordeaux 6,686 yl.
1-4-5 Nat. Perpignan 7,198 p.
1st Nat. Orange 6,035 p.
1st Nat. Narbonne 6,047 p.
1st Nat. Narbonne 7,691 p.
1st Nat. La Souterraine 8,832 p.
1st Nat. La Souterraine 1,982 p.

He is winner of several national championship and ace pigeon titles as well:

1991: 1 & 2 Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB
1994: 1 & 9 Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB
2001: 5th Nat. Champion KBDB Young Birds
2005: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance
2006: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance
2007: 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance
2007: 3rd General Nat. Champion KBDB
2007: 4th Nat. Champion KBDB Long Distance
2008: 3rd General Nat. Champion KBDB
2008: 2nd Nat. Champion KBDB Extreme Long Distance
2008: 5th Nat. Champion KBDB Yearlings
2009: 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB
2009: 6th Nat. Champion KBDB Long Distance
2009: 11th Nat. Champion KBDB Extreme Long Distance
2010: 9th Nat. Champion KBDB Yearlings
2011: 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance

Methods of selection

We could say that Erik is strict but fair in selecting his pigeons. He starts every season with about 110 young birds, which are trained and prepared before being basketed for Quiévrain, Noyon and Angerville. Only 50 young birds will be left after this program and this team completes a few provincial longer middle distance races, as well as the national races. In 2013 the young birds did the provincial races from Blois and Salbris, followed by six nationals, without the final race form Guéret. Only the pigeons that could keep up were allowed to stay. Few pigeons are still dropped from the team after these preparatory flights, irrespective of their results in the season itself. Erik has five lofts to house his old birds and his yearlings. His fifth loft is the loft where his old birds are housed, along with a few yearlings that did not perform very well as young birds. One of these pigeons would surprise Erik and Geert and many other fanciers in 2010. “That small pigeon from loft 5 is in the front again”, said Erik to Geert after a few races. His pigeon Gilbert (BE09-2119284) had started to show his talent.

The Gilbert, named after the father of Erik, who passed away in 2010

After three excellent performances from Angerville and Châteauroux (two races in tough weather and one with a tailwind) Gilbert was basketed for Bordeaux. “I usually do not bet money”, says Erik, “but Gilbert was up for a great result.” It was a very tough race from Bordeaux and the winner, which was no other than Gilbert, achieved a velocity of 1023 m/min. He really impressed us by having a 20 minute lead over the second pigeon. He really overpowered his nearest opponents.

No one-day wonders

This is when it really started to come together for Erik. In nearly any loft Gilbert would be immediately moved to the breeding loft but Erik wanted his pigeon to complete the program just like every other yearling in his loft. This program consisted of 1 x Quievrain, 3 x Noyon, 2 x Angerville, 3 to 4 longer middle distance races and a long distance race (600-800km) every two weeks. Erik Limbourg has no place for one-day wonders or pigeons that can excel only in a few races. The BE10-2135061 is a good example: this pigeon managed to win four first prizes but Erik noticed that he was starting to weaken. He basketed him for Narbonne and he never saw him again. “It would be a very bad idea to move such pigeons to your breeding loft.”

The Gilbert proved a different kind of pigeon. He had to prove his worth in the race from Limoges, two weeks after Bordeaux. He performed as expected with a 7th nat. Limoges (behind two loft mates) against 14,211 pigeons. Then there was the final race from Libourne, where he did great as well, with an 8th semi-national Libourne against 1,815 pigeons. He also won a first NW Brabant Limoges 678 p. (with a 15 min. lead) and a 16th zonal against 5,896 pigeons in 2011.

He was right

Erik managed to silence his critics in the 2012 season. His team of yearlings, led by Gilbert Junior (BE11-2014201), achieved a result that we have never seen before and that will be hard to match in the future. They basically overpowered their opponents, winning a 1-3-5-8-12-21-34-36-42-44-48-59-65 (24/33) against 10,622 pigeons. Other fanciers could only stand and watch.

Gilbert Junior: zo de ouden zingen, zo piepen de jongen

The pigeons of Limbourg were simply outstanding in 2013 as well. They have won the following top prizes after a difficult start:

Tulle    nat.:  6,972 p: 2-4-10 (15/18)
Souillac nat.:  5,282 p: 2nd (13/23)
Limoges  nat.: 14,271 p: 5th
Souillac nat.:  6,972 p: 7-21-25 (13/20)

These pigeons perform very well in other lofts too. Several other fanciers have won just as many victories and top prizes with pigeons or descendants of Erik's pigeon family. This season, for instance, we had the impressive national win of J & E Greeven (Alken, BE) from Châteauroux II with Kiara (BE11-5052870). She was 100 m/min faster than her next opponent. Kiara is a granddaughter of Erika (BE06-2024900), which is in turn a full sister of Lucky 85, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2006 for Erik.

Miro (BE-12-2124186), the national winner from Bourges against 13,570 pigeons of Dirk Moens (Grimbergen, BE) is a Limbourg pigeon as well. Miro was also the fastest of 33,229 basketed pigeons. His grandmother is a half sister of The Gilbert and a daughter of Blue Ace, second Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2007.

We give you a few more references from 2013:

  • 1st nat. Bourges young birds 18,443, fastest of 39,917 p. for Devroe-Van Gaver: a grandmother of the 1st Nat. Cahors 2003 from her mother's side
  • 1st nat. z. A2 Montluçon 3,716 p. Den Haese Willy: the line of Blue Ace, 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance 2007
  • 1st nat. z. B1 La Souterraine 1,723 p. Van Den Bossche Yvan: 75% limbourg: kind Blue Souterraine 995/05, 2nd s-nat. La Souterraine 5,661 p.
  • 1st nat. z. B2 La Souterraine Roelandt-Mille: granddaughter Eagle Eye, 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance 2009
  • 2nd nat. Gueret 15.007 yl. Verreckt-Ariën: granddaughter Blue Erica, sister of Lucky 85, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance 2006
  • 2nd nat. z. A2 Chateauroux II 1.015 yl Den Haese Willy: granddaughter Eagle Ace 275/09, 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance 2011
  • 3rd nat. Tulle 6.974 yl. Jos Thone: granddaughter Eagle Eye, 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance 2009
  • 1st prov. - 3rd nat. z. Cahors 2,622 p. Marc De Cock: a grandson of Eagle Eye, 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance 2009
  • 5-7-9 nat. Narbonne 5,831 yl. Desbuquois brothers: the line of Lucky 85, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance 2006
  • 1st prov. - 7th nat. z. Libourne 2,222 yl. Willy Verbruggen: line of Lucky 85, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance 2006
  • 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Long Distance Desbuquois brothers: a 100% limbourg from the line of Blue Ace x daughter Lucky 85
  • 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB Longer Middle Distance Willy Den Haese: 100% Limbourg from the line of Eagle Ace x Blue Ace


Erik played football in Anderlecht for a while as a youngster. He saw that this football club had to make transfers every season to further strengthen the team and that is what he did in his loft as well. In 2013 he was interested in buying the BE07-2060539 from the uncrowned king of the Rhone valley Remy Speltdoorn (Winksele, BE). Erik was really impressed with the achievements of this pigeon, which won, for instance, a national first prize from Montélimar and Marseille in 2013:

Montélimar: 1st prov. 494 p, 4th nat. 5,952 p.
Marseille: 1st prov. 189 p, 17th nat. 3,874 p.
Orange: 4th prov. 306 p, 28e nat. 2,376 p.

Erik also purchased one of the big stars from his neighbours Jan and Gustaaf De Bisschop, who are the national champions KBDB young birds of 2013. That pigeon is the 042/13, winner of a first zone Argenton 2,903 pigeons and a 3rd zonal La Souterraine 1,993 pigeons.

Remy, a very successful pigeon in the loft of Remy Speltdoorn

Interesting facts

The grandmaster from Brussegem has another interesting tip: “Watch out for the pigeons that suddenly win a great prize in the preparatory flights. They are likely to develop into ace pigeons later on.” Crazy Boy (BE11-2014215) is a perfect example: he won the training flight from St. Quentin with ease. As a yearling he won a 1st provincial from Châteauroux, a 10th zonal Châteauroux 5,997 p, a 12th internat. Bordeaux 10,622 p, a 55th seminat. Tulle 2,907 p. and an 84th zonal Montluçon 8,766 p. He also won a third nat. Souillac against 5,282 pigeons in a strong headwind this season, with a 35 minute lead over a loft mate at provincial level. Erik told us we have to keep an eye on the results of this BE13-2022050 in 2014. He has a good feeling about this pigeon. Erik always has a favourite pigeon for the season to come, just like almost every other fancier.


Elk jaar sterk werk van het Limbourg Team.
Proficiat mannen!

Mooie selectie duiven!!!geweldig.

Ik begrijp niet waarom ze hem altijd maar van alles betichten, zie o.a. Die gasten van dit team zijn toch als een ieder ander profteam Smile

Dear Erik & Geert,

Congratulation and keep the great work in the future.

Wish you all the best


super pigeons, super amateur d'une gentillesse et avec une connaissance des pigeons unique. un roi de la sélection. Nous, au Moulin Rouge, on est fan, et on suit tout cela de très prêt.


Bonne année 2014.
Salutations Colombophiles.

succes met de aankoop van de Remy, een superklasseduif !

Erik is een top-duivenmelker:steeds op zoek naar het beste van het beste en steeds veeleisend, in de eerste plaats voor zichzelf en het is misschien eens goed dat we nu eens een reportage krijgen waar het leven als duif op dergelijk tophok breed wordt uitgesmeerd.Ik kan iedereen garanderen en ik spreek uit ondervinding dat Erik een verrijking is voor ons want als je een beetje winnersbloed in de aders hebt, wil je hem kloppen en dat trekt automatisch het niveau van je eigen hok omhoog!!
In alle bescheidenheid meen ik te mogen stellen dat ik ook mijn prijzen speel en de inbreng van de Limbourgsoort is daar zeker niet vreemd aan waarvoor dank en misschien een vingerwijzing naar diegenen die het zo niet willen zien ...keep on goning copain, alsook proficiat aan de manager die meer dan zijn duit in het zakje doet tesamen met de Patrick...proficiat aan het team Limbourg!!!
de ket

Proficiat Erik
Met die top aankopen, veel succes gewenst. Hier maakten de duiven van Erik in 2012 ook het verschil, afgelopen jaar te veel problemen met katten, roofvogels en marter.