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't Jolijn Brothers, "Keepers of the strain Vanbruaene"


Hasselt,
is the capital of the province Limburg. The twin-brothers Erik and Stefaan ‘t Jolijn are famous all over the world for their direct and pure pigeons from the late André Vanbuaene. I was really astonished when I visited them for the first time a few years ago. Nobody owns so many pure Vanbruaene racing birds. The twins still talk with lots of respect about their late friend André Vanbruaene. The searched all over the world for pure and direct birds Vanbruaene. I see some hundreds birds on their loft, almost all pure and direct Vanbruaene. They really have 99% Vanbruaene-blood on the loft. Eric and Stefaan are ‘fans’( maybe the have a tattoo with the name Vanbruaene on their body? ). The best hen on the loft is ‘Super Kim’ (named after tennis-star Kim Clijsters ). She was send for the 8th time to Barcelona in 2005 and won for the 6th time national prize. She only missed her prize in 2003 and 2004 (races were too fast?!). ‘She will be basketed for the 9th time next year’, says Stefaan.


Super Kim 5181409/96

Stefaan owns one of the best long distance hens of Belgium. The sire is ‘Majoor-Vanbruaene 3364299/88’. He is direct from André Vanbruaene. His sire is ‘Majoor 3460460/81’ who won Barcelona 21.545p-273, Lourdes 4.129p-188, Angouleme 1.246p-55, Tours 1.807p-16, Lourdes 3.203p-53 and Barcelona 2.201p-81. The ‘Majoor’ was bred from ‘Marseille’ x ‘daughter Merckx’ (13th international Barcelona). The dame of ‘Super Kim’ is ‘3367800/91’ direct André Vanbruaene. The sire is’ William 597/82’ (first bird on Barcelona 1987 at the loft Vanbruaene and his prizes were Barcelona 21.545p-101, Perpignan 5.574p-544, Lourdes 3.203p-105, Narbonne 4.175p-349, Brive 8.578p-164 and Cahors 4.582p-225). The dame is ‘Klikke 379/89’, daughter of the famous ‘Klaren’.
‘ Super Kim’ is raced on the natural system but the partner is not a cock, it’s another hen! Stefaan gives her a youngster a few days before basketing for the long distance. Take a look at the results:



Important prizes :
1997 Bourges 1.417d-292
La Souterraine provincial 442d-8
National 1112d-169
Orleans 8.308d-786
Chateauroux 4.197d-256
1998 Barcelona 12.678d-2.344
St-Vincent 1.337d-54
1999 St-Vincent 1.211d-126
Barcelona 13.966d-3.088
2000 Barcelona 13.659d-705
2001 Barcelona 2.615dv-646
Perpignan 8.041d-53
48ste Euro-Diamond Pigeon Ranking
2002 Barcelona 13.021d-556
Barcelona nat. Dv 2927-119
116de Gouden Vleugel trofee
2003 en 2004 miste ze haar prijs
2005 Barcelona national 12998p-1166
Barcelona nat. Dv; 3135p-324


Hasselt:

I always meet interesting people while I visit lost of famous fanciers in Belgium and the Netherlands. I see many pedigrees of excellent racing birds and regularly I see the name ‘Vanbruaene’. The man André Vanbruaene fascinated me. I only knew him from reading about him, I knew that he won Barcelona international twice and that he died in 1999. I wanted to know more about this man and more about his strain of birds. The Vanbruaene-blood is spread all over the world but I went to the famous brothers ‘t Jolijn. These twin brothers are known because of their knowledge of André Vanbruaene. Erik and Stefaan are really ‘fans’ of the strain Vanbruaene. They were good friends of the late André. They own about 200 pigeons and only 3 of them are not pure Vanbruaene. Maybe nobody in the world have more pure Vanbruaene pigeons? I was at the right place.
STEFAAN AND ERIK ‘T JOLIJN WANT TO PREVENT THE STRAIN VANBRUAENE FROM EXTINCTION.
They want to keep the strain pure and do not crossbreed with other blood. André Vanbruaene must live in the blood of his pigeon-strain.

I met Erik ‘t Jolijn on a sunny Sundaymorning in his house in the Zavelvennestraat in Hasselt. Hasselt is the capital of the province Limburg. Erik immediately called his twin-brother Stefaan by telephone. He lives only a few minutes away. Some minute’s later photos, articles and stories about their former friend André Vanbruaene surrounded me. It’s amazing!


The legend André Vanbruaene
André Vanbruaene, better known as ‘Mister Barcelona’ was born on April 4th in 1910. He died on March the 8th in 1999. He is the man that made the town Lauwe in the West-Flanders famous in the world of pigeon racing. The strain Vanbruaene is bred from the inbreeding of the lines Cattrysse, Remy Buysse, Stichelbout, Willequet brothers, Labeeuw, professor Vangrembergen and De Baere. The best pigeons from West-Flanders brought together in the strain Vanbruaene. André was only 17 years young when he started in pigeon racing on the speed races. He was excluded in some clubs because he won too much prizes and championships. This made him decide to enter in the long distance racing, the national races. He could not be excluded in these races. It not take him long to win national races. Think about his famous cock ‘Stier’ who won Pau, Angoulème and Libourne.

In 1952 he owned the cock ‘Tarzan’ which flew from Spain to Belgium in one day. This was an amazing performance. He won the international race San Sebastian with this effort.
André won 1st international Barcelona in 1966 with the cock ‘Barcelona 1’. He sold this cock to Japan but has always regret this sale. Lucky for him, he had bred some youngsters with ‘Barcelona 1’ before ‘Barcelona’ was shipped to Japan. One of these youngsters was ‘Electriek’, maybe the best breeder that André ever owned?

His bloodline produced 4 international Barcelona winners: Gilmont in 1983, Vanbruaene in 1984, Vervisch in 1985 and Gyselbrecht family in 1995. The blood of ‘Electriek’ produced winners all over the world: 1ste national Perpignan 1988 and 1st national St-Vincent 2002 at the loft Ivo Vanlerberghe, 1st national Pau England 1982…to many to publish.

It was the cock ‘Vechter 3429141/79’ who won 1ste international Barcelona for André for the second time. He won against 13.033 pigeons. This cock was called ‘Barcelona 2’ after the victory. He was a grandson of ‘Electriek’ and had some blood from prof. Vangrembergen. André Vanbruaene, sometimes called :
THE TOREADOR FROM LAUWE, won national Marathon in 1982 and 1986. He amazed the whole world in 1987 on Barcelona. The race in 1987 was raced in strong, hot weather. The best weather for the Vanbruaene birds. André clocked his 8th bird on the 1.847 prize international. He only had 8 birds in race! Most fanciers did not have one bird at home, André had 8/8. André clocked 10/10 a few years later on Barcelona. He owned birds that are born to race Barcelona. André became sick in 1991 and participated for the last time in the Barcelona race. He won 20th and 91st international!!! What a way to end a career. His grandsons Pascal and Patrick started with his pigeons and he retired. What a man:

André Vanbruaene won: 12 x 1st national
4 x 1st international Barcelona 1966
San Sebastian 1953
Pau 1951
Barcelona 1984
2 x National Marathon
6 x 1ste international Barcelona with at least 50% blood Vanbruaene
1964 : Vangrembergen
1966 : A. Vanbruaene
1983 : P. Gilmont
1984 : A. Vanbruaene
1985 : J. Vervisch
1995 : R., C. & A. Gyselbrecht
Golden Wing Bruges Barcelona Club
1995 : family Gyselbrecht
1999 : Eric & Stefaan ‘t Jolijn


‘T Jolijn brothers

Stefaan and Erik both work at NMBS, the Belgium railroads company. They started racing pigeons in partnership with their grandfather. They raced on speed races. Grandfather passed away in 1989. The brothers did not want to race speed races anymore. They had become interested in the long distance races, especially Barcelona! But Stefaan and Erik needed other strain of birds for the Barcelona race. They knew that a man called André Vanbruaene who lived in Lauwe, province West-Flanders, had the best strain for this race. Stefaan and Erik remembered his excellent performance on Barcelona 1987! They drove about 200 km from Hasselt to Lauwe. They had some savings in their pockets and knocked on the door of ‘Mister Barcelona’ himself. André was very friendly but he did not sell any birds to the brothers. They had to wait two years! The twin brothers were not disappointed because it was the beginning of a good friendship. They got the first birds from André in 1991. But Stefaan and Erik had other plans to get more direct Vanbruaene birds. They placed some advertisements in the Belgium pigeon’s magazines. They asked to buy direct birds Vanbruaene. Some fanciers own direct Vanbruaene birds but do not have the patience to race them on the extreme long distance. Some of them wanted to sell these Vanbruaene birds. ‘t Jolijn brothers became 21 direct Vanbruaene pigeons, almost all descentents of the world famous Barcelona 1987! The basic birds of the loft ‘t Jolijn was 21 direct birds Vanbruaene born 1989-1991. The first success came in 1999. ‘t Jolijn won the famous ‘Golden Wing’ of ‘Bruges Barcelona Club’ and 10th national on Barcelona. This pure Vanbruaene cock was both by Emiel Denys. Only two fanciers in the province Limburg were able to win this ‘Golden Wing’. Erik started racing by his own since 2000. Both brothers had a good result on Barcelona 2002: Stefaan national result 377-556-726-2495 (4/5) and Erik results 379-740-1029-1344-1411-2024-2502 (7/12). Erik only entered with 2-year-olds, which had their first long distance race!


Super Kim 5181409/96
Stefaan owns one of the best long distance hens of Belgium. The sire is ‘Majoor-Vanbruaene 3364299/88’. He is direct from André Vanbruaene. His sire is ‘Majoor 3460460/81’ who won Barcelona 21.545p-273, Lourdes 4.129p-188, Angouleme 1.246p-55, Tours 1.807p-16, Lourdes 3.203p-53 and Barcelona 2.201p-81. The ‘Majoor’ was bred from ‘Marseille’ x ‘daughter Merckx’ (13th international Barcelona). The dame of ‘Super Kim’ is ‘3367800/91’ direct André Vanbruaene. The sire is’ William 597/82’ (first bird on Barcelona 1987 at the loft Vanbruaene and his prizes were Barcelona 21.545p-101, Perpignan 5.574p-544, Lourdes 3.203p-105, Narbonne 4.175p-349, Brive 8.578p-164 and Cahors 4.582p-225). The dame is ‘Klikke 379/89’, daughter of the famous ‘Klaren’.
‘Super Kim’ is raced on the natural system but the partner is not a cock, it’s another hen! Stefaan gives her a youngster a few days before basketing for the long distance.

Take a look at the results:
1997 : Bourges 1417p-292
La Souterraine : 1112p-169
Orléans : 8.308p-786
Chateauroux : 4196p-256

1998:
Barcelona : 12.678p-2.344
St-Vincent : 1337p-54

1999 :
Barcelona : 13.966p-3.088
St-Vincent : 1211p-126

2000 :
Barcelona 13.659p-705

2001 :
Barcelona 2615p-646
Perpignan 8.041p-53
48th Euro-Diamond Pigeon Ranking

2002 :
Barcelona 13.021p-556
116th Golden Wing Bruges Barcelona Club
‘Super Kim’ will be raced on the Barcelona race in 2003. She won more than 12.000-km prize so far. It can be more.

One crossbreeding :
It is not the intention of the brothers to do many crossbreeding with the Vanbruaene birds but they tried with a special hen. This hen is direct from the famous Emiel Denys from Zulte, a friend of the twin brothers. It is a sister of his ‘Wittenbek 303/98’ (won 6th national Barcelona 2001 with more than 2 hours before second bird provincial). This hen was matched to a son of ‘Golden Wing 1999’. One daughter of this pair was send to Japan to enter ‘The international Futurity race’. She won 7th prize international! Another bird from this pair had an excellent result in a one -loft -race in France. This race ‘Mondial Course’ in Roye was released in Bordeaux and was very hard. Only 35 birds arrived at the first day. The bird of ‘t Jolijn finished 28th.The ‘International Futurity Race 2003 has also been a success for the brothers. A hen of them won second prize, after a bird from Mr. André Lietaer. It was the hen ‘5006215/02’ this time. She was bred at the loft ‘t Jolijn and raced in Japan. She is another crossbreeding. The sire is 5230725/98 (son of ‘Emperador’ Vanbruaene) x ‘Mother of the Golden Wing 1999, line Barcelona 2 Vanbruaene). The dame is ‘3306308/96’, direct from Emiel Denys (Zulte) from his line ‘Paanoog Tee x Asgrouwe Pau x 5x3’. Maybe some other birds from this crossbreeding will be raced in Belgium.


Barcelona birds :
‘Super Kim’ is not the only good bird on the loft. ‘t Jolijn have ‘5225543/99’. He won 377th national Barcelona 2002. He also won 141st provincial Marseille in 2001. His sire is ‘5309540/95’, 100% brother of ‘Golden Wing 1999’. The sire is ‘JR Mistral 339668/88’, direct A. Vanbruaene from his ‘Mistral’ (12th national Narbonne, 260th national Barcelona and 81st national Limoges) x daughter of ‘Barcelona 2’(1st international Barcelona 1984). The dame of 543/99 is a granddaughter of ‘Barcelona 2’.

Another excellent cock is ‘556/97’. He won 556th national Barcelona 2002, 3225th national Barcelona 2000 and 90th provincial Marseille 2000. He was injured in 2001. The sire is ‘JR Emperador 3360358/89’ direct André Vanbruaene. He is a son of ‘Emperador 326/81’ (157th national Barcelona, 7th Angouleme, 9th Poitiers…) x ‘Ariane’ (the mother of the world famous ‘Diplomaat’). The dame of 556/97 is ‘3367800/91’, direct Vanbruaene and mother of ‘Super Kim’.

Also the new birds of Erik had a good result on Barcelona. His first won 379th national. It was ‘5142854/00’. The sire ‘Marathon-Vanbruaene 3376837/91’ is direct Vanbruaene from ‘Marathon 196/77’ (83rd intern. Barcelona, 10th –59th national St-Vincent AND son of the most famous Vanbruaene bird ‘ELEKTRIEK’) x daughter ‘DIPLOMAAT’. The dame is a daughter of ‘Jaguar (90th intern. Barcelona 1990), grandson national marathon winner 1982. The nestmate of ‘854/00’ is 5142853/00. She won 1344th national Barcelona 2002. She won 427th intern. Perpignan 4625p and 493rd provincial Brive).

System :
The brothers have about 20 pair of breeders. All is matched on March 1st. The eggs are put under the racing birds so they can start a second nest. Stefaan only had 6 old widowers in 2002 and will put 3 of them on the stock birds. He will add 6 new old cocks on the racing loft. He races a few hens on the natural system that they learned from friend Emiel Denys. Eric has 12 old cocks (born in 2000) on his racing loft. All these racing birds are matched on March 1st. They can raise youngsters once. The cocks only train once a day from 19.00-20.00. After this the hens. The brothers have to go to work during the day so there is no time to let them train more. But these racing birds are tossed several times during the weekends. They race 120 km- 300 km- Orleans – Brive and Barcelona. The hens are tossed many times from Luxembourg after Brive. The birds get some medicine between Brive and Barcelona against cancer and the head. The birds that fail on Barcelona can have another last chance on Perpignan. The birds that have been successful on Barcelona must stay at home. The racing birds can raise youngsters once after the season and an additional breeding on eggs. The partners stay on the loft until December but the boxes are closed. They get lost of barley during the winter.

Conclusion :
It has been a great day. I have learned a lot of the legendary André Vanbruaene. Eric and Stefaan really know everything about him. This strain of birds has been extremely successful. Ask international Barcelona-winners family Gyselbrecht, national winner Perpignan and St-Vincent Ivo Vanlerberghe, national winner Marseille Jac Visser (NL) and many more…These birds are excellent for crossbreeding but the brothers ‘t Jolijn want to be sure that there will be pure Vanbruaene pigeons for many years.