Cattrysse brothers of Moere: undisputed world champions

Reynard the Fox
(Piet de Weerd) referred to the Cattrysse Brothers in this fashion, many many times. He simply could not find a better title to describe the unforgettable results of the famous brothers, Oscar and Gerard. For the information submitted herewith, on the development of the strain, much comes from the writer’s personal notes, as well as from notes of Piet de Weerd and additional references jotted down by the Cattrysse Brothers themselves, in 1949.

The origin of the Catterysse Strain
The Cattrysse Brothers started to fly pigeons before 1914. At the time they were schoolboys, they possessed the strain of the well-known flyer from Arras: Jerome Staelens of Moere. After World War I, however, nothing was left of that strain.
In 1922 they bought a pair of youngsters from Jules Vander Espt, of Leffinge. This pair of checks was bred out of the famous “Blauwe” that won eight prizes as a youngster. Jules Vander Espt had bred his great “Blauwe” from a pair of eggs he had got from the florist, Fons Vandevelde, of Waregem. In addition to the birds he had from De Lombaerde, Coppens and Blondeel, Fons Vandevelde also owned some of the incomparable strain of his brother, Theodore of Oudenburg, at the time employed there as a school-teacher. It was said that Theodore had originally got this bloodline through the help of a fellow-teacher named Lingier, from a certain Janssens of Edegem. This Janssens, nicknamed the “Soe Van Nek” had obtained birds from a Boerke Van Gijsel, who was a friend of the late Karel Wegge.
One day, the Cattrysse Brothers read an article in the daily newspaper, “Soir” concerning a certain Pierre Deknop of Brussels - Anderlecht, who had won the first three places in a race from Dax. They called on him, and bought a pair of youngsters from him, for a great deal of money. After trying different crossings, they finally met with complete success through their purchase of a blue hen from Ernest Casteleyn, a blacksmith in Gistel, near Moere. From this crossing of Vander Espt and Casteleyn, the “Grote Blauwe” was produced, and this was really the start of a long line of phenomenal successes in the great National races, which they have kept up to the present day!
The “Grote Blauwe” was mated to a hen from a Mr. Deknop of Anderlecht; this produced a whole series of top-notch flyers. Among these, the one that brought the greatest number of successes was the “Louis.” After taking First from Tours, he also won from Angoulême; in Brugge; his full brothers, “Napoleon”, “The Langen" and the " Kleine” were as good as he was.
In 1930, the Cattrysse Brothers made another clever move. They bought two hens from Albert Deforce, a shoemaker from Roeselare; these two hens were mated to the “Louis” and to his brother, “The Kleine.” Once again, they were in great luck, and the pairings were a complete success. The “Louis” gave a whole series of first-class pigeons, among which were the “Cendre,” the “Langen Jr.,” the “Kicine Blauwe” and the “Blauwe Bordeaux.” The latter won 2nd Bordeaux, in the combined Belgium - Holland race, and in very bad weather. The “Kleine” bred the feared “Gebroken Poot” (The Broken Leg), that was his second bird in that particular race, thus helping him to win the two-bird Average. Both birds were penned at the Sports Palace in Antwerp, on Champions’ Day, to be looked at and admired: not by thousands but by tens of thousands of other fanciers, who could not help but admire and respect the performances of the boys from West Flanders! This was not the only victory of the “Gebroken Poot.”
In the International from Angoulême, taking in Belgium and France, he defeated the “Blauwe Bordeaux” and won First Prize. Such winnings were bound to bring the name of the Cattrysse Brothers to the lips of all fanciers, so what more can be added to this, dear reader? After the passage of fifteen years, all is still very vivid in our minds and we still remember quite clearly the fame and success achieved by the loft at that time.

(tekening & ondertekst + foto kampioen-duiven & onderschrift + foto G.Cattrysse & onderschrift)

One other detail must be mentioned, in connection with the evolution and structure of the strain; namely, the purchase of a small hen with a small speck of white on its head, obtained from Leopold Lamote, of Moeskroen. For the third time, this was once again a masterly move by the cunning Masters of Moere. “See here,” said Oscar, with a smiling face “I could have sold that little hen to a Dutch friend in Rotterdam, but I was too crafty for him.” The little hen was paired to the “Gebroken Poot” and bred nothing but outstanding birds, among which we find the “Bolleke” and the well-known “Sproeten.”

Stock birds that have played an all-important part in the development of the Cattrysse Strain
A. “Grote Blauwen” of 1926. Pure strain \Vegge - Vandevelde.
B. “Kweekduivin” of 1923. Pierre Deknop strain, of Anderlecht. A daughter of his winner from Dax.
C. The “Louis” of 1930. A Son of A and B.
D. The “Kleinen.” A full brother to C, bred the same year.
E. The “Gebroken Poot” of 1932. A son of D, above. A formidable flyer, winning the 2-bird Average from Bordeaux, with Belgium and Holland competing. Also won First Angouléme International, with Belgium and France competing.
F. The “Number 8” of 1935. A son of A above, and a Devriendt hen.
G. The “Schone Blauwen” om 1939. A son of A above, and a hen from Degandt, which was a pure Commine.
H. The “Witslag” of 1939. A full brother to G.
J. “Kweekduivin” of 1932. Obtained directly from Leopold Lamote of Moeskroen.
K. “Kweekduivin” of 1930. Obtained directly from Albert Deforche, of Roeselare.
L. The good “Bolleke” of 1936. A son of E and J.
M. “Pette” of 1943. A son of G mated to a daughter of C and K.
N. “Mette” of 1942. A daughter of L when mated to a daughter of H and K.

Remarks: M and N, named “Pette” and “Mette” are the stock pair that produced the best pigeon of the Cattrysse Brothers: the renowned “45,” believed to have been one of the greatest pigeons of all times. Among his many performances, we must mention his win from Bordeaux, by ONE HOUR. Full brothers to the “45” include “Napoleon,” “Roodring” (Red Band), the “44”, the “Dikken,” the “Sprinter,” the “Lichten”, the “Jef,” the “Fynen,” the “71” and others: all winners in the great National Races.

O. The “Madelon.” A son of C and K.
P. “Madammeke” A daughter of 0 mated to a hen from Degandt. (Dam of G).
Q. The “Lange Jr.” of 1932. A son of C and K.
R. “Kleinkopje” of 1940. A direct son of Q when mated to a sister of L.
S. The “Geeloog” of 1940. A full brother to R, above.
U. The “Witoog” of 1940. A full brother to S, above.
V. “Boerinneke” of 1940. A sister to U, above.

Remarks: In addition to M and N, which was an extraordinary stock-pair, we must also remember G x V, and also F x P, which gave complete satisfaction also, as producers.

Herewith follow the performances of the good “Bolleke” – 320431-36. He is letter L above, in the pedigree-list. H was considered to be the top-pigeon in the four great Provincials, given by the Club of West Flanders in 1938. “Bolleke” owned by the Cattrysse Brothers of Moere was the winner of the Gold Medal given by M. De Busscher, of Brugge. His outstanding performances include 2nd Angoulême, 5th Ruffec, 12th Angoulême and 10th Bordeaux.

1-5 Clermont Gistel 236 birds 4th
8-5 Dourdan Diksmuide 448 birds 11th
15-5 Orléans leper 320 birds 24th
5-6 Tours leper 530 birds 7th
18-6 Angoulême, West Flanders 810 birds 12th - Angoulême, Double Oostende 237 birds 3rd
2-7 Ruffec, West Flanders 515 birds 5th - Ruffec, Double Oostende 130 birds 3rd
16-7 Angoulême, West Flanders 650 birds 2nd - Angoulême, Double Oostende 131 birds 2nd
30-7 Bordeaux, West Flanders 333 birds 10th (lost 7 minutes on the roof) - Bordeaux, Double Oostende 104 birds 1st

The Cattrysse brothers stock pairs of 1949

We include herewith, an incredible number of race-winners and breeders of note, that kept the loft of the Brothers at the very top of the Belgian Pigeon Sport, under the names of:

1. Cattrysse Brothers. Oscar and Gerard Cattrysse, up to and including 1966.
2. Gerard Cattrvsse. From 1966, up to and including his total sale in April, 1959.
3. M. Beuselinck - Cattrysse. From 1966 to the present.

The 85 pairs mentioned below, with the exception of some late-breds of 1948, make up the entire total of 170 birds that the Cattrysse Brothers had in their possession on the 10th of February, 1949. The sale of these birds has contributed to the spreading of the strain to all parts of the world where pigeon flying is practiced. This resulted first of all; from the post-war sale of 154 youngsters, and later on, through the sale of hundreds of pigeons during the years that followed. For more than 25 years after the re-forming of the Cattrysse colony, we find the old pigeons mentioned again and again, in the pedigrees. The only crosses made during the years that followed, were these:

- Georges Platteau of Gistel (out of the famous “Monty”).
- Valeer Docker of Moorslede. (The Horemans blood).
- Oscar Devriendt of Moere. (Mother of the “Bulte” from Henri Casteleyn).
- Pol Bostyn of Moorslede. (Stichelbaut).
- M. Derumeaux of Lauwe. (Foundation strain of the Stichelbauts).
- Hector Desmet of Geraardsbergen. (A Huyskens - Van Riel hen, mother of the famous “Prins.” She was a Devriendt, Vander Espt, actually).

Crosses with other lines were scarce. The above crosses were very successful, as was the case with the crosses carried out before 1940.

(foto “45” & onderschrift + 85 kweekparen)

Facts worth knowing about the Post-War crosses used at the lofts
of the Cattrysse brothers, from 1947 to 1955.

3314851-47 – “Zwart.”
Cock of Pair 32. In 1951, sired the famous “87” – 3305187-51.

3632912-49 – “The 12.”
A son of Pair 1 (“45”). Paired to a hen from Derumeaux in 1949, he bred 3016912-55. This was the sire of “Witteband,” “The Student” – 3002525-62, and “Oude Fijnen” – 3244211-48. In reference to the famous daughter of the “Oude Witoog” please refer to notes on Pair 54; paired to the “45,” produced many champions, including “The Oude Slim-men” – 3318114-54... as well as others of note. This was the grandmother of the famous “Oude Barcelona,” the “87,” “Draaier” and others.
Next to the great “45,” the most famous pigeon was the “87” – 3305 187-51. This was the product of a successful new crossing. His sire was “The Zwart,” see above and Paid 32; his dam was the daughter of a cock from Leopold Bostyn, when this hen was mated to a son of the “45” at the time the “45” was paired to a daughter of “The Witoog.” Dam of the “87” was 3636205-48, she being a very late-bred of 1948.

The famous “Pol” – 3533429-51.
This was the product of a new mating. The sire was a cock from Leopold Bostyn mated to a daughter of “The 45,” when the “45” was paired to a daughter of “The Oude Witoog.” In 1955, “Pol” was paired to a hen whose sire was the “45” and whose dam was a hen from Hector Desmet; she was dam of “The Prins,” and bred 3322482-52, later responsible for “The Blauwetik,” “Barcelona” – 3016795-55, and others.
The hen – 3322482-52, was the result of a crossing of Cattrysse’s “45” with the dam of the world-famous “Prins” of Hector Desmet. “Prins” was Devriendt - Vander Espt, as per pedigree herewith included. This hen came to play a most important role in the development of the strain in later years. Actually, with the great “Pol,” she formed an entirely new foundation pair, in which the Cattrysse bloodlines continued through the “45” and the daughter of the “Oude Witoog.” To this, may be added the fact that the “Oude Witoog-duivin” descended from a sister of the “45.” Along these lines, it may be safely said that “Pette” and “Mette” have played the most important role.

The Donkeren” – 3314805-47 (See cock of Pair 31).
In 1956, the Cattrysse Brothers paired this male to the dam of the world-famous “Prins” of Hector Desmet. (See pedigree of the “Prins”). “The Oude Donkeren” resulted from this mating – 3206043-56. He played a most impressive role in the development of the strain, for several years, one of his daughters was paired to the famous “Draaier” – 3283132-59.
The Cattrysse Brothers also had a good deal of success with another crossing. In 1953 they bought a hen from Hector Desmet for 12,000 francs, band No. 4613403-52. This bird was a daughter of 6283849-46, “The Jonge Vendôme” of Huyskens - Van Riel; he was a checker cock with white eyes, and obtained by Desmet from Huyskens - Van Riel for a great deal of money. Desmet paired this male to 3143446-47, a daughter of the well-known “Schuwen” of Maurice Bulcke of St.-Pieters-Kapelle. This was the very same “Schuwen” that Roger Vereecke had bought for 10,000 francs, and was the basis of many successful lofts, including Vereecke, Vanhee, and others. In 1954, 4613403-52 was mated to “Trimard” – 3278784-53 (“Trimard” was a son of the “87” out of a daughter of the “45” when the “45” was paired to a daughter of the “Oude Witoog”). From this mating, the great “Elfpen” – 3218183-54 was bred. “Elfpen” in turn, was later mated to 3218235-54 (a daughter of the “45” and the “Oude Witoog-duivin”) and produced the immortal

Draaier” – 3283132-59.
The brief explanation we have given above, concerning the pigeons that the Cattrysse Brothers used for their crosses, amply shows that to-day’s champions, such as M. Beuselinck - Cattrysse, Roger Vereecke, G. and M. Vanhee, Leopold Bostyn, Norbert Norman, Emiel Matterne, Jules Gallez, Valeer Vandenbussche and others: all these men used the same methods in forming the one family. One should always remember that only quality and the finest of origin will ultimately bring lasting success in the pigeon sport.


Performance of the “45” – 886045-45

25-5 Orléans 228 miles 617 birds 13th 3,000 francs
1-6 Tours 281 miles 422 birds 11th 8,500 francs
14-6 Cognac 437 miles 4,055 birds 21st 26,000 francs
12-7 Angoulême 406 miles 539 birds 6th 19,500 francs
26-7 Bordeaux 469 miles 408 birds 1st 18,000 francs

16-5 Dourdan 188 miles 338 birds 2nd 4,500 francs
23-5 Orléans 228 miles 1,007 birds 7th 9,500 francs
30-5 Orléans 228 miles 1,120 birds 11th 26,000 francs
12-6 Angoulême 406 miles 4,232 birds 3rd 29,000 francs
10-7 Angoulême 406 miles 743 birds 4th 20,500 francs
31-7 Angoulême 406 miles 2,437 birds 207th 1,500 francs


22-5 Orléans 228 miles 634 birds 34th 3,000 francs
11-6 Angoulême 406 miles 4,529 birds 229th 12,500 francs
25-6 Libourne 469 miles 2,431 birds 17th3 1,000 francs
9-7 Angoulême 406 miles 689 birds 37th 4,000 francs
21-7 Angoulême 406 miles 314 birds 1st 39,000 francs

31-5 Orléans 228 miles 949 birds 27th 1,978 francs
28-5 Orleans 228 miles 576 birds 53rd 1,626 francs
10-6 Angouléme 406 miles 3,800 birds 11th 37,293 francs
25-6 Libourne 469 miles 2,030 birds 330th 3,405 francs
Total: 299,802 francs

Prizes won by the “45” at distances shorter than 188 miles are not mentioned, although there are some twelve victories from 162.5 miles and 125 miles, which added up to winnings of more than 20,000 additional francs. After 1950, the “45” was retired to stock.

(stamboom van “87” + foto “Wittentik” & onderschrift + Stamboom “Blauwetik Barcelona” + foto “87”)

Performances of the “87” – 3305187-51
8-6 Dourdan 188 miles 703 birds 67th 727 francs
15-6 Orléans 228 miles 936 birds 9th 4,600 francs

3-5 Breteuil 106 miles 400 birds 5th 1,990 francs
10-5 Dourdan 188 miles 899 birds 32nd 2,969 francs
17-5 Orléans 228 miles 1,485 birds 1st 12,850 francs
31-5 Orléans 228 miles 189 birds 1st 14,210 francs
14-6 Orléans 228 miles 208 birds 6th 15,220 francs
21-6 Orléans 228 miles 298 birds 36th 25,200 francs
28-6 Orléans 228 miles 268 birds 8th 4,545 francs
11-7 Angoulême 406 miles 1,596 birds 177th 9,802 francs

9-5 Dourdan 188 miles 1,095 birds 5th 2,110 francs
16-5 Orléans 228 miles 927 birds 143rd 540 francs
23-5 Orléans 228 miles 529 birds 4th 14,605 francs
30-5 Dourdan 188 miles 325 birds 91st 2,220 francs
6-6 Orleans 228 miles 110 birds 9th 12,345 francs
20-6 Orléans 228 miles 548 birds 60th 4,190 francs
4-7 Ruffec 375 miles 996 birds 224th 600 francs

1-5 Breteuil 106 miles 271 birds 25th 518 francs
15-5 Orléans 228 miles 1,021 birds 1st 4,767 francs
29-5 Orléans 228 miles 334 birds 43rd 2,690 francs
5-6 Orléans 228 miles 224 birds 3rd 15,113 francs
12-6 Orleans 228 miles 370 birds 88th 1,550 francs
26-6 Orleans 228 miles 634 birds 3rd 18,560 francs
2-7 Ruffec 375 miles 530 birds 121st 2,100 francs
16-7 Limoges 375 miles 6,210 birds 70th 29,330 francs
30-7 Angouléme 406 miles 3,560 birds 145th 6,590 francs

20-5 Orleans 228 miles 590 birds 7th 3,784 francs
27-5 Orleans 228 miles 217 birds 5th 15,280 francs
24-6 Orleans 228 miles 442 birds 20th 12,760 francs

12-5 Dourdan 188 miles 554 birds 94th 1,300 francs
19-5 Orleans 228 miles 306 birds 2nd 5,250 francs
26-5 Châteauroux 305 miles 486 birds 10th 8,860 francs
9-6 Brive 426 miles 2,380 birds 16th 50,115 francs
(Including the double).

4-5 Clermont 125 miles 283 birds 25th 333 francs
12-5 Dourdan 188 miles 453 birds 143rd 530 francs
25-5 Châteauroux 305 miles 544 birds 2nd 23,300 francs
31-5 Angoulême 406 miles 861 birds 12th 9,648 francs
(Including the double).
Total: 341,0