André Colbrandt, Bottelare
Owner of the best kept 'testament' from
The André Colbrandt colony managed last season to do well many times in the 'Grand Distance races', the international Long Distance classics. When one speaks of the 'Grand Distance' everyone imagines colonies with a mass of pigeons that is not the case for André Colbrandt, who races with only a few pigeons, but well class pigeons... answering for 90% to the name Roger Florizoone.
It is then also a public secret that the best kept 'testament' from Roger Florizoone is housed in the lofts of sport friend André. He must be the only fancier in the world who has such a luxurious breeding well to draw from as Florizoone, and can obtain something powerful from all the 'toppers' in Nieuwpoort. He hasn't done badly out of it.
The 'branch' Roger Florizoone
André Colbrandt inherited the pigeon microbe from his father and grandfather who were mainly sprint racers. André approached the pigeon sport from a different angle, and concentrated his efforts on the Long Distance and Extreme Long Distance. When he went to basket his youngsters in the "Zulleke" in Gent he got to know Prof Van Grembergen André didn't only get good pigeons from the Prof, they became the best of friends. When the duo De Raedt-Van Grembergen separated in 1975, it was the intention to race further as a duo with the Prof. The KBDB-regulations put a spoke in the wheel and he had to race further under the name André Colbrandt, and so all the breeding pigeons from the "Prof" moved to Bottelare. Via 'Prof van Grembergen', André came in contact with the Long Distance matador from Lauwe, Andre Vanbruaene. He was 'unusual' because he talked a lot, but never about the pigeons! Via the purchase of a few vouchers, and through the intervention of the professor, André obtained amongst other things a couple of pigeons out the 'Late Electriek' from Vanbruane. A direct hit, producing the current top racer "Fijnen Electriek 710/04" (1st reg and 6th Nat Brive 9.466 p).
The red carpet that would lead to the top successes in the 'Grand Distance' was rolled out when André managed to obtain pigeons from Roger Florizoone at the beginning of the 90's. André Colbrandt was manager of a shipyard by trade for the firm Pieters, who had a steady contract with the Belgium railway for all the groundwork. André hired the cranes, camions and other materials from a certain Roger Florizoone from Nieuwpoort. Because of this, he didn't only come into contact with Roger Florizoone, but also with his pigeons. It took a lot of work to be able to obtain a pigeon from Florizoone but once the ice was broken they became the best of friends you could say they became inseparable. Roger had just enough room for 12 breeding couples, and every year he struggled with the shortage of room. His good friend André Colbrandt came every year to take a few breeding pigeons from Nieuwpoort for use in his breeding loft, as well as a round of eggs (25 to 30) from the widowers at the beginning of April, including the egg that produced his "Vlaamse Leeuw"... and a few pigeons that they had bred together. Do you need anymore proof that André Colbrandt was truly privileged in being to obtain anything he wanted from Roger Florizoone? No-one else in the world could obtain from Roger Florizoone what André Colbrandt from Nieuwpoort obtained No-one else in the world could go so richly digging in the 'goldmine' from Nieuwpoort and than mainly for free, a sign of their close friendship. Andre was given, amongst others, 1 son and 3 daughters of the legendary 'Witneus', 2 sons and 1 daughter "Primus 1", 1 brother out "Dax 2" (also father of "Beoni 1" + "Beoni 2"), 2 daughters of the 'Barcelona' (1° Nat Barcelona '99), even the 3° internat. Dax left for the breeding lofts in Bottelare etc It's no surprise that the death of Roger Florizoone left deep wounds by André. The breeding books and pairing lists that André Colbrandt was given after the death of his sport friend (for, amongst other things, the construction of the sales programme) will be treasured by him forever. They don't only provide him with memories because even though we have for years described Andre Colbrandt as the 'branch' or the '2nd loft' Florizoone we can now safely say that André is at the moment the owner of the one and only 'testament' of the world famous 'Florizoone-colony'!
In the footsteps of the 'grandmaster'
At the moment, these Florizoone-pigeons form 90% of the colony of André Colbrandt; the remaining 10% are from the Vanbruaeneaune strain and 2 pigeons from Etienne & Frank Devos, who are both brothers of the famous "Rivaldo" and "Ronaldo". Let one of these brothers "Rivaldo", the "Zilveren 504/03" coupled with a Florizoone hen "Blauw Lucienne 090/00" (daughter of the renowned "Witneus"), be the parents of his 1° National St.Vincent against 10.020 Yearlings in 2005.
The late Roger Florizoone has gained long lasting fame with exploits such as
1° International Barcelona 11.000 p in '76
5° International Barcelona 13.033 p in '84 + winner 'Gouden Vleugel'
3° International Dax 1996
1° National Barcelona 13.966 p in '99
It didn't take long before these Florizoone-pigeons also catapulted André Colbrandt to the highest level in the international pigeon sport, let him climb the national podium, let him grow to be one of the most successful fanciers in the international 'Grand Distance'. To prove it, here are a few fantastic performances such as Winner
"Euro Diamond Pigeon" 2000 Winner
"Euro Diamond Pigeon" 2006
1° National St.Vincent 10.020 Yearlings in 2005
2° International Dax 11.808 pigeons in 2000
2° National Carcassonne 3.932 pigeons in 2006 (3° International 10.323 p)
6° National Brive 9.466 pigeons in 2006
13° National St.Vincent 4.702 pigeons in 2006
17° National St.Vincent 5.934 pigeons in 2004
Not forgetting a whole series of 'Top-100 quotations' at national and international level. It just so happens that this is the criteria that sport friend André uses for the selection of his pigeons! If a pigeon wants to earn a place in the breeding loft after his racing career is over, it has to at least have won within the 'Top 100' national, and then preferably in real pigeon weather. The Colbrandt pigeons are in their element when it is extremely warm weather, preferably with a head wind.
They are very strong pigeons. That's why André's passion is the 'Grand Distance', especially the races whereby the pigeons plod along for 12 to 15 hours and still manage to arrive home the same day. Those are the purest Long Distance races, which get down to the nitty-gritty. Races with an afternoon liberation are not really his thing but they can't be avoided if you want to be resplendent on the international calendar. Even his triumph with the 1° National St.Vincent (with afternoon liberation) couldn't change his mind, neither could a very tough race whereby his winning pigeon reached 1118 metre velocity (no less than 36m/min more than the 2° Prize), and only 7 pigeons reached above 1000 meter.
As we have already mentioned in our introduction, André Colbrandt doesn't race a lot of pigeons, just the opposite he only races with a limited team of no more than 22 widowers (for 2008), including only 12 to 14 old pigeons and the rest yearlings. You will understand straight away why the places here are so 'expensive'. Let's take a look behind the scenes, and see which top athlete is leader at the moment, whereby we will limit ourselves to their absolute top performances:
"De Vlaamse Leeuw" 175/96
Dax Int 11.808 p 2
Cahors Nat 11.838 p 92
Dax Nat 4.066 p 111
He is a direct Florizoone pigeon (as egg) and grew to be one of the real toppers in the breeding loft. The line of the "Vlaamse Leeuw" sits in a lot of the actual toppers in the Colbrandt-racing lofts, and is one of the main breeding lines including through his daughters, the "Leeuwin 084/00", the "Leeuwken 084-01" and the "Prinses 029/00".
"De Rapied" 411/98
Dax Nat 4.166 p 34 Int 12.176 p 46
Brive Nat 22.026 p 221
He is also an excellent breeder and father of the "Prof" and "Di Stefano".
"De Jonge Leeuw" 083/03
Perpignan Int 5.004 p 276 (in 2004)
Montauban Nat 7.303 p 277
Perpignan Club 226 p 1 (in 2005) Nat 7.646 p
32 Perpignan Nat 6.765 p 257 (in 2006)
Int 14.812 p 590
Perpignan Nat 5.572 p 31 (in 2007)
Int 15.158 p 66
"Beoni 2" : (brother Beoni 1)
out Brother Dax II Florizoone x Leeuwken,
Narbonne Club 102 p 2
Prov 678 p 15 Nat 5.870 p 176
Montauban Club 163 p 2
Prov 1.088 p 13 Nat 6.187 p 83
'Beoni1' 016/03: (brother Beoni 2)
Barcelona Club 367 p 1 (in 2006)
Nat 11.895 p 150
Beziers Nat 6.191 p 184
St.Vincent Nat 10.624 p 448
Brive Nat 16.007 p 296
Barcelona Nat 12.612 p 1273 (in 2007)
Perpignan Nat 5.547 p 570
"Jonge Witneus" (out the Witneus x Leeuwin)
Won 3 x Barcelona
Brive Club 680 p 5 Prov 1.096 p 41
Nat 20.810 p 121
Beziers Club 165 p 2
Prov 1.096 p 5 Nat 5.934 p 54
"Prof" (son Rapied x Prinses)
won in 2007
Brive Nat 16.007 p 176
Narbonne Nat 5.051 p 99
Int 9.326 p 136
"Di Stefano '03" (also son Rapied)
Beziers Club 165 p 1 Prov 1.096 p 2
Nat 5.934 p 17
"Adelaar" (out grandson zwarte Meremans x Blauwe Prinses)
'06 Narbonne Club 222 p 5
Prov 1.084 p 15
B.V. 2.213 p 37
Nat 6.033 p 56
Int 9.634 p 62 '07
Narbonne Club 144 p 1
Prov 868 p 5 B.V. 1.922 p 21
Nat 5.051 p 57
Int 9.326 p 87
"De Fijnen Electriek" 710/04 (out Electriek VBruane x Didi-Pipo Devos):
Brive Nat 9.466 p 6 (won 1st Club)
Limoges Nat 9.545 p 535
Angouleme Prov 779 p 18
"De Marathon" 043/05 (out the Witneus-vlieger x Blauwwitpen Polder 047/03):
'06 St.Vincent Nat 4.702 p 13
(won 1st Club)
"De 'St-Vincent" 026-04 Out the Zilveren 504/03 x Blauwe Lucienne 090-00,
St.Vincent Nat 10.022 p 1
Parents "St.Vincent" 1st Ntaional 10.022 p in 2005
"De Carcassonne" 043-00 100% Florizoone out the Geschelpte Montauban 990/93 x Zus Witneus 954/90: Carcassonne Prov 454 p 1
Nat 3.932 p 2
Int 10.323 p 3
Brive Nat 19.477 p 195 (in 2004)
Cahors Nat 7.340 p 484
Brive Nat 9.466 p 175 (in 2006)
Irun Nat 5.252 p 116
Perpignan Int 16.800 p 794
Finally we would like to emphasise the input of the top breeder "Lijmoog 012/93" by André Colbrandt. He also is a 100% Florizoone-pigeon (and son of the "Primus1" 820/87), and is, amongst other things, grandfather of the "Schicht", who was 1° National Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2004 for Michel Denys in Handzame. So as you can see, the Colbrandt and Florizoone-pigeons lie at the basis of 1° National victories and 1° National Ace pigeons in short, breeding material from the top shelf, with no-ending to their continuation, generation after generation.
As the above top racers and their performances clearly demonstrate, André possesses at the moment a 'routine rich generation' of racing pigeons in the lofts. In other words he is 'sitting pretty' where the pigeons are concerned, because not many fanciers have the good fortune to own such a balanced and origin-rich breeding loft and such an 'over-abundance' of top racers. A luxury but one that also causes problems because after the 2008 sport season multiple top racers reach the age + the set criteria to be able to go into the breeding loft.
A loft of fanciers would take up carpentry so that they could build an extra loft or think about expanding. This is something that André wants to avoid like the plague when keeping in mind the experience and the way his teacher Roger Florizoone had of looking at things. He then has to make a difficult decision either he chooses to keep his breeding team intact, which means getting rid of his top racers or he gives his top racers their well-deserved place in the breeding loft, but then some of his top breeders, say his stock breeders, have to make way for their talented descendants. This is something that André ponders over for weeks, because the choice is oh so difficult, but after much debating he's made his decision. André will shortly offer his classy and super talented breeding pigeons in other words his deliverers of 1° National winners and top racers integral in an internet auction on PiPa, meaning all the breeding pigeons since 1998 or a total of 37 breeding pigeons or the 'Fortune from Bottelare' supplemented with a few youngsters 2007 who were meant to conjugate the breeding loft.
A very difficult and heartrending decision, giving interested fellow sportsmen a very last chance to dig in the best kept 'Testament' of the 'goldmine from Nieuwpoort' the world-famous Roger Florizoone-pigeons! For the last time a selection of direct and 100% pure Florizoone-pigeons are on offer coming from the only man in the world who was given the chance to dig in the rich 'goldmine', who could have anything he wanted out of the world-famous 'Florizoone-toppers' and who has achieved magnificent heights in the pigeon sport namely: André Colbrandt! The man who can without a doubt call himself the most intimate pigeon friend of the late Roger Florizoone. An auction that we can rightly describe as a 'Unicom' as a 'chance' that will never be repeated! P.S.: The auction of this unique happening can be found online, starting at the middle of March, and ending on either the last weekend of March or 29-30 March !!