We were very good friends and we used to tease each other when we were in the club together. You know how it is with a pint of beer and a thick ham sandwich. After his victory Daniel said:
My pigeon was lucky enough to arrive home with your “Stier”. The “Stier” however, went after a good looking hen, and my pigeon went directly into the loft. So in fact, Vanbruaene, it was a pretty lady which meant you were beaten.
Shall we joint breed with the Zwarten with a daughter from your Stier? That’s how it goes in the pigeon sport between friends. And out these two eggs I had two black pigeons, a cock and a hen. I coupled the black cock with my own sort and that produced the first Barcelona in '61. I did very well then with the crossing with Labeeuw .
The most stupid thing I ever did was to sell this pigeon from Barcelona .
Luckily I was able to stall the Japanese man and let him quickly fertilise a few hens which gave me "Den Elektriek" and the hens from which all my good pigeons now come. Den Elektriek was a formidable pigeon mister, my first Barcelona, and an excellent breeder. And that doesn’t happen that often. A good pigeon which also becomes an extra breeding pigeon. They don’t all breed well. But that was a great exception. Nearly all my current stock comes from him with continual successes, here and in other lofts, mister.
My second winner from Barcelona is also a grandson of his. When do you have such breeders? I won’t make the same mistake again. Such pigeons shouldn’t be allowed to leave the country. You can build bridges with them. And where the pigeon sport is concerned, mister, if I were twenty years younger, then I would race the great nationals for youngsters. Now I leave it to the youth. I train my youngsters, with difficulty, up to 200 km. I don’t train my summer youngsters at all as youngsters. There is time enough for the yearlings, especially when you are set on the game with the old birds. If you do something you have to do it well or not begin at all. I’ve won another two nationals in eight day’s time. A Limoges and a Libourne. Most of the good pigeons were obtained through relations.
So was the mother of the Cahors a pigeon from the De Baere brothers, origin Desmet-Matthys. And the Limoges contained blood from "De Louis" from Cattrysse.
It is getting hard for me to remember everything. My grandsons Patrick and Pascal know more about my pigeons than I do. My Olympiade was from a daughter of the Barcelona from "The professor" with my "Boerinne". But my best flecked hen came from my "Baronnesse". They are all just names. But we like to give them a good name when they are good pigeons don’t we. The best breed is still out my first Barcelona with three hens, where out "The Young Barcelona" from '67, "Den Elektriek" from '67 and the hens "939 '67" and "9 '67". These four pigeons which form the basis of the current loft. I have known three setbacks with three pigeons which I lost just before they were to be put in the breeding loft! That is the pigeon sport. Today I have a setback, tomorrow a new comrade. This year, '86, I’ve had no less than five pigeons return home injured .
Andre with his grandson Patrick
I was quite confident of winning the championship of Belgium. But things can suddenly change so much that you shouldn’t expect anything. This time me, next time another. It was the same with my two pigeons which went to Barcelona for the first time this year. They had to learn sometime. I entered them for Orleans in Deerlijk, There was a strong tail wind. They raced too far. When racing back against the wind they were both inured by the wires of the masts. This resulted in me having to basket the Diplomaat in their place. But such pigeons cannot race the rest of the year then. If you risk basketting them for a race, the chances are you will never see them again. Talking doesn’t count of course. It is the results that count. Take the Gimondi for example. He is the father of the famous breeder by Gilmont. He raced here the second national Périgueux and then I lost him, once again just before he was to be put into the breeding loft. I found him in the loft during the race from Périgueux and so probably missed the first prize. If you’ve got good pigeons in form, then you have to be at your post earlier than the pigeons are expected. It has happened to me three times, that I found a pigeon in the loft. These are all things that don’t count. Be at your post on time. At the moment I have a good breeding loft. And there are five pigeons which will race their last season in 1978.
These five are also intended for breeding with. Older pigeons will be removed and the younger generation will take their place. I have also done tests which were not successful. It would not take in the breeding loft. That is no reason to throw accusations about. It won’t go away if you say: I was conned, or it was this or it was that. You have to be strict on the one hand and not give up. I have now done a few tests with André Broeckaert. I don’t know the results yet. We will just have to wait. I have also exchanged two pigeons with Van Hee. Well, if it goes well, they will come from there and not the other way round. You have to be consequent in these things, mister. Try, test, and still remain the best of friends. Both when things go well and when they don’t go well. There are also pigeons where the breeding with my pigeons isn’t successful.
The Pau from Lefebure also has my blood. One will be successful, the other maybe not .
Not everyone can say that they have booked so many victories, national and international, with his sort .
But everything being successful, that is something which doesn’t exist. We have to face up to reality. I can give other examples so as Schellekens from Niel in the Netherlands with his victory from St. Vincent and Bennet from England twice and the first St. Vincent in France and the second national from Brouckaert in '84, etc...
They are all half Vanbruaene pigeons. And this proves, just like out the examples with the other pigeons, that the pedigree prevails. You have to have more patience with one sort of pigeon than another. Especially when you know what’s involved. That’s why I have often bred as follows: an egg for each one and see it being laid. Then no-one will feel tricked and fair is fair. If you are absolutely certain, then you have a stronger case. But, not everyone can do this. They come and ask me, but don’t ask anybody else .
"The Ballon" 3068934/1961
"Tarzan" weighed 450 gr, to compare,
"The Zieken" 490 gr, "Louis" 470 gr, Coppi 450 gr, "Rosten" 460 gr, so all less than half a kilogramme .