Chris Debacker (Beveren-Leie, BE): an excellent pigeon year, despite theft, a new job and a covid-infection

For the 53-year old Chris Debacker from the West-Flemish Beveren-Leie 2021 was a special year. “It was a dirty year, though it had many bright sides” is Chris his description of the recent season.

Starting this year Chris Debacker is the director of a school for special primary education. Before this, he was the director of the Guldensporencollege in Kortrijk for 14 years. Both of his children have finished their studies and have started working. His son has settled down and soon his daughter too shall be leaving the nest. Positive family news, but the bird flue, Covid and theft also happened. With the pigeons, Chris achieved beautiful results, and that has done much to help against the pain. As Chris puts it: “Whether 2021 is a year I would like to forget as soon as possible? In short: It doesn’t matter how ugly a year can be it can still have a pretty side!”

Bird flu and covid

Chris Debacker: “It could have been a better year (to put it mildly). After the first racing week, there was already a forced break due to the poor weather conditions. The decision was to cancel the races for 1 week. Once we recovered and things got going again, bird flu struck in our area and once again we could not race for 2 weeks. Even though this is the third time that we are the victim of such things, I struggle to get used to such situations. It is painful that all championships and ace pigeons keep going on while a select number of fanciers are unable to compete. I hope that these situations will be resolved and next year everyone can partake all the time! During the start-up, I fell rather ill myself due to Covid. Luckily Wim, Roger and Piet followed my instructions from the hospital flawlessly. They made it a matter of honour to ensure that the pigeons were taken excellent care of. I was able to follow along from the hospital how we were able to get the 2nd national against no less than 34.311 pigeons on the first national flight, Bourges! A little later also the 1st Provinciaal Chateauroux against 1.278 p., … during my months-long revalidation I could consistently count on these people, just before I fell ill. I had accepted teh assignment to become the headmaster of De KIM and De Sam in Deerlijk. I had to communicate leaving from the hospital, that was not great.”

Once Johan Cruyff said: “There is always a silver lining.” Chris continues: “Due to my sick leave I was home more and I could spend more time with the pigeons. The results stayed excellent. At Chateauroux (Gueret) it was an impressive 5°- 9°- 18°- 43° national. The 7th of August was the last race with the old birds. The season was through. Like every year I carried on a very strict selection. Only 14 pigeons would be kept. These pigeons would be coupled in a very strict family breeding. The very best pigeons would be coupled to their mothers or sister. Each of them were provincial winners, national top birds, provincial ace pigeons, mothers of national ace pigeons etc.”


But faith struck again: “On Friday the 13th (August 2021, ed) cowardly thieves stopped by to steal 9 of our best races with their coupled partners. Including the 6th national ace pigeon Nicky Boy with his mother, one of my best breeding couples, Georges x Mieke, Vester, Willem, Dochter Phoebe, Dochter Gijs and a few children of Georges x Mieke… all gone!

It is so infuriating! I have been a fancier since 10 years old. Everything I do I have built up with my own hands without help. There was nobody in my family with was a fancier… When after so many years you have bred so much, races so much, have selected and invested so much and you are nearly where you want to be, as close to the top as possible, they stop by and steal the very best of your pigeons. That hurts! It is an extreme feeling of unjustness. Up till now, still no news. The camera security and alarm situations are again operational though."

However, Chris is not a man to give up. “Indeed, I am a fighter, I will not give up like this. Even now I shall work my hardest to perform even better. It has to be said, after the theft a great number of colleagues offered their help unprompted. Together with their help, I shall try to formulate a comeback!”

Among the young birds we, as many fanciers did, had heavy losses. Still we can proudly say that our young birds performed all-around admirably. Once we got the ball rolling, it did not stop.

Ace Pigeons

In PE West Flanders the provincial results can no longer be used for the provincial championships... (?) The provincial ace pigeons are therefore determined with the zonal or local results!

1° prov ace pigeon KHF young birds and 7° prov ace pigeon All round young birds with “Guiseppe” BE21-3076655

6° prov ace pigeon KHF young birds with “Gido-Nick” BE21-3062529

1° prov ace pigeon All-Round young birds with  “Glenn” BE21-3062727

8° prov ace pigeon KHF young birds with BE21-3062557

“Glenn” (BE21-3062727)

 “Glenn” (BE21-3062727), 1. Prov. ace pigeon all-round young birds, is a bird of high quality, with victories from Arras and Fontenay (4° Prov. against more than 2.500 pigeons) + a 2° prize at Clermont and others. This formidable bird descents from the absolute stock breeder in Beveren-Leie, naturally Nick in combination with the world-famous Tieke van Luc De Laere from Anzegem. Another diamond at Crhis his lofts.

“Guiseppe” (BE21-3076655) 

As everyone knows by now the colony Debacker is strongly connected to that of the good friend Rik Cools from Ruiselede. Regularly these two exchange champion pigeons or partake in joint breeding. In 2021 this cooperation once again proved extremely succesful. “Guiseppe” (BE21-3076655) was bred by Rik Cools and is played in Beveren-Leie at Chris’. “Guiseppe”, 1. Prov. ace pigeons shorter middle distance young birds has created quite the scene there by dragging in top prizes week after week. Already he has the following on his honours list: 6° Prov. Fontenay 2.549 p., 6° Prov. Chateaudun 3.635 p., 17° Brionne 8.825 p., 17° Prov. 4.412 p., ..

“Gido-Nick” (BE21-3062529)

Another noteworthy individual among the young birds was beyond a shadow of a doubt “Gido-Nick” (BE21-3062529).

Results season 2021

That 2021 was a challenging year for Chris Debacker, was something that you could clearly read at the start of this report. Fortunately, all those setbacks and bad events did not stop him from having a beautiful pigeon year with impressive results.

Provincial victories

We finish this report with an overview of the (many) provincial victories that Chris has achieved by now. These beautiful results speak for themselves:

1st provincial Blois young birds 21st of July 2002, 3055 pigeons
1st provincial Tours young birds 13th of July 2007, 1970 pigeons
1st provincial Orleans old birds 28th of June 2008, 471 pigeons
1st provincial Brionne 25th of July 2009, 11193 young birds
1st provincial Blois 17th of July 2010 3683, young birds
1st provincial Clermont 6th of July 2010, 10425 young birds
1st provincial Bourges 30th of July 2011, 3338 young birds
1ste interprovincial Bourges 26th of May 2012, 666 old birds
1st provincial Chateauroux 2nd of July 2012, 2572 old birds
1ste interprovincial Chateauroux 2nd of July 2012, 451 old birds
1st provincial Chateauroux 2nd of July 2012, 452 old birds
1st provincial Chateauroux 3rd of August 2013, 2473 young birds
1st provincial Tulle 3rd of August 2013, 809 yearlings
1st provincial Bourges 24th of May 2014, 3039 yearlings
1st provincial Chateaudun 26th of July 2014, 376 old birds
1st provincial Tours 18th of July 2015, 5313 young birds
1st provincial Tours 25th of July 2015, 6083 young birds
1st provincial Fontenay sur Eure 24th of July 2017, 5581 young birds
1st provincial Orleans 8th of July 2017, 1422 old birds
1st provincial Fontenay sur Eure 8th of July 2017, 9803 young birds
1st + 2nd provinciaal Fontenay sur Eure 15th of July 2017, 10081 young birds
1st provincial Tulle 29th of July 2017, 1966 yearlings
1st provincial Chateaudun 13th of August 2017, 3277 young birds
1st provincial Gueret 30th of July 2018, 1814 yearlings
1st provincial Poitiers 25th of August 2018, 1688 young birds
1-2-3-4° provincial Chateaudun 25th of August 2019, 1923 young birds
1-2-3° provincial 1st of August 2020, 6907 young birds
1ste Prov Fontenay 1st of August 2020, 895 old birds
1ste Prov Chateauroux 15th of August 2020, 4785 young birds
1ste Prov Chateauroux 15th of August 2020, 777 yearlings
1-2-3 Prov Fontenay 22nd of August 2020, 89 old birds
1st provincial Chateauroux 2021, 1278 old birds


The ace pigeons listed above can all be traced back to a couple of superbreeders, who we - credit where it is due - are giving their own spot in this report.


Ace Pigeons 2019

Already in 2019 Chris Debacker had his spot on the podium with an incredible 3 ace pigeons. Who can match that!