Actions speak louder than words
Gommaire Verbruggen has always been very modest. He has never boasted about his fantastic results or his many victories, or about the brilliant achievements of his pigeons in other lofts. But if there is one thing that we have learned looking back on his 50 year career, it would be that Gommaire knows how to win pigeon races.
He got involved in pigeon racing as a young kid; both his father and his uncle were keeping pigeons at the time. He would often join them when the pigeons were taken away for a training flight, and he would often return the clocks to the club as well. It was a time that left him with some fond memories; Gommaire could talk for hours about those days. This is where he really started to develop an interest in pigeons. And he happened to meet the love of his life, Annie, in the pigeon club as well.
The years went by, and the clocks were replaced with electronic devices, but Gommaire never lost his passion. "Pigeon racing is worse than fever. It stays with you for the rest of your life, it never goes away", Gommaire would say.
How the success story unfolded
His career took off in 1970, when he invested in a few pigeons and a round of eggs. Amazingly enough, he claimed ten first prizes that year! Gommaire Verbruggen quickly understood what he needed to get his racing team to perform at its absolute best. And he clearly knew which pigeons to get as well, or when it was time to invest in a new bloodline. This is something all top players have in common.
His first highly successful investment was the introduction of 'As' of Maurice Vandevelde, a pigeon that was impossible to beat in races with a strong headwind. He would often arrive home with a lead of several minutes. This pigeon became Gommaire's stock breeder and it was the starting point of the golden As dynasty, with the world famous descendants Kletskop, Teen, 020, Kadet, Massis and Semi. These racing birds have several victories and national top results to their name, and many of them gained international fame. Their descendants allowed Gommaire to develop a fantastic pigeon family, which excelled at national level both in 2006 and 2011, with a national victory in Bourges and Argenton respectively.
The team's success story came about with the help of a very strong pigeon breed based around the breeding and racing birds that we just mentioned, plus some new introductions along the way. Gommaire is always keeping his eyes open for bloodlines that have won races in major competitions (for instance at national level) in demanding conditions. He looks fo bloodlines that can win races against all odds, pigeons that can take the race in their own hands and reach their destination all by themselves - genuine punchers!
On a side note, some fanciers might be getting the impression lately that you have to invest a lot of money to become a successful pigeon fancier. And is true that some superstars, ace pigeons or world class breeders come with a hefty price tag (Gommaire also spent a lot of money on As, Witneus and others). Having said that, the fancier from Kaggevinne had similar results with pigeons that he obtained from Moons-Bries (a round of eggs and some youngsters). And he obtained his terrific breeder 'Schilderij' on a voucher sale through his uncle. As always, our number one advice would be to keep your eyes peeled!
The new generation
Gommaire has never been afraid to take few steps back, to slacken the pace in order to get better results in the long run. For instance, he sold his entire racing team in 2009 and he started from scratch in 2010 with a group of young birds. And he claimed a 1st National Argenton of 20,383 yearlings just one year later, in 2011. He did pretty much the same this year, starting the 2020 season with just a team of yearlings (except for one), with good reason.
A few years ago Gommaire felt it was time to introduce some new bloodlines, to keep his existing pigeon family from getting too closely inbred. With this in mind, he started looking towards the pigeons of Anthony Maes from Waregem, who had a particularly strong racing bird in his team: Sero Sero, winner of a 1st National Argenton of 9,255 p. and fastest of 21,644 pigeons. And he also won a 4. Nat Chateauroux 21,515 p., 28. Nat. Chateauroux 25,126 p., 31. Nat Argenton 12,187 p., 3. Prov. Gueret 1,769 p., 6. Prov. Tours 1,416 p., 7. Prov. Tours 5,697 p. etc. This is quite a gem!
Gommaire visited the fancier from Waregem in 2017, and he got to pick a few pigeons from a round of 12 youngsters of Sero Sero. "I might have just picked the right ones, with the two cocks Superkweker BE16-3136645 and Sero-Sero Junior BE16-3136600", Gommaire says smiling. "I'd even go as far as saying that I have never purchased such talented pigeons".
The pigeons that he bred from these two cocks in 2018 have all been given a spot in the breeding loft, and they have in turn bred some great racing birds too. Gommaire had hit the jackpot once again!
2020: with 1 old bird and about 50 yearlings
Gommaire started the 2020 season with one single old birds and about 50 yearlings, including several descendants of this two new top breeders. Many of his colleagues knew that this new generation would have a lot of potential. The Verbruggen pigeons completed six national races and they claimed 24 national top 100 spots, including a 2nd, 3rd and 9th national, two provincial victories. Two pigeons that finished in the top ten as 6th and 10th National ace pigeon longer middle distance KBDB! This was a phenomenal result. We take a look at some of their highlights.
1. Prov Chateauroux 5,758 YL – 2. National 33,833 YL
1. Prov Gueret 2,057 YL – 3. National 12,888 YL
2. Prov Issoudun 3,193 YL – 9. National 18,176 YL
4. Prov La Souterraine 2,653 YL… etc.
6. National ace pigeon longer middle distance KBDB yearlings 2020
10. National ace pigeon longer middle distance KBDB yearlings 2020
The pigeon fancier from Kaggevinne has had his share of first places again this season. We zoom in on the strongest pigeons of one of the, if not the strongest team of yearlings in Belgium.
-Het Aske BE19-2031006
6. National ace pigeon longer middle distance KBDB 2020
46. Nat Argenton 26,085 YL - 550 Km
59. Nat Bourges 22,506 YL – 471 Km
110. Nat Chateauroux 33,833 YL – 525 Km
127. Nat Issoudun 18,176 YL – 498 Km
Sire: Sero Sero Junior BE16-3136600
A direct Anthony Maes from Sero Sero BE13-3079100: 1. Nat Argenton 9,255 p. (see earlier)
Dam: Ramses 426 BE14-2216426
A super class breeding dam. She is also the dam of a 1. Melun 1,143 p., 3. Prov Blois 3,672 p., 5. Prov Vierzon 2,734 p., and 92. Prov Blois 3,372 p. She is a daughter of Ramses BE10-2045214 (winner of 1. Argenton 5,941 p., 22. Nat La Chatre 21,180 p., 43. Bourges 6,289 p., 43. Chateauroux 5,560 p., 53. Nat Chateauroux 4,757 p., 74. Nat Argenton 16,325 p… ) x Favorietje Rudy 1753/07 (a daughter of the iconic breeder Rudy BE06-3008003 Gaby Vandenabeele).
-De 22 BE19-2031022
10. National Ace Pigeon longer middle distance KBDB 2020
34. Nat Argenton 26,085 YL – 550 Km
51. Nat Issoudun 18,176 YL – 498 Km
98. Nat La Souterraine 15,939 YL – 587 Km
127. Nat Gueret 12,888 YL – 583 Km
Sire: De Superkweker 645 BE16-3136645
A direct Anthony Maes from Sero Sero BE13-3079100 : 1. Nat Argenton 9,255 p. (see earlier)
Dam: 020 Dochter Prins BE13-2053020
A late hen of 2013 (ringed on 30/10/’13). A daughter of Prins BE11-6091408 (winner of a 1. Nat Zone Montluçon 2,996 p., 5. Orleans 1,851 p., 9. Blois 2,156 p.) x Het 313 BE04-2194313 (a granddaughter of super class bird ‘Blauwe 020’ BE83-2350020, one of the wonderboys that turned Gommaire into an internationally renowned fancier).
A half brother of the 22 is De Zot, winner of a 1. Prov and 3. National, besides some other great results:
-De Zot BE19-2031013
1. Provincial Gueret 2,057 YL – 3. National 12,888 p. – 583 Km
19. Fay-aux-Loges 1,350 YB – 399 Km
46. Nat La Souterraine 15,939 YL – 587 Km
48. Sermaises 2,692 YL – 360 Km
184. Nat Argenton 26,085 YL – 550 Km
336. Nat Issoudun 18,176 YL – 498 Km
Sire: De Superkweker 645 BE16-3136645 (see pedigree of the 22)
Dam: Blue Beauty BE08-2040062
Daughter of Lotto BE03-4316077, a direct Marcel Aelbrecht and winner of a 26. Nat Irun 5,846 p., 51. Nat Orange 6,751 p., 91. Nat Montélimar 10,195 p., 1. Dourdan 241 p, (he is a full brother of Patron: 1. Nat Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB 2003). Lotto was paired to Super Kweekduivin BE06-2082050 (a daughter of Kleine Brute Kletskop, making her a granddaughter of the world famous Kletskop BE83-2350199).
- De 26 BE19-2031026
9. Nat Issoudun 18,176 YL – 498 Km
35. Nat La Souterraine 15,939 YL – 587 Km
Sire: De Superkweker 645 BE16-3136645
Dam: Het 394 BE16-2138394
A fantastic breeding hen and the dam of both the 26 and the 003. She is a daughter of Golden Ring BE10-2045388 (brother of 8. Ace Pigeon, and a son of Millionaire x Kleindaughter Kletskop) x het Kleintje BE14-2216001 (from De Prins x Favorietje Rudy).
-De 003 BE19-2031003
159. Nat Gueret 12,888 YL - 583 Km
213. Nat Argenton 26,085 YL – 550 Km
240. Nat La Souterraine 15,939 YL – 587 Km
This 003 comes from the same parents as the 26 that we just talked about.
Here is an overview of some other successful racing birds that were direct youngsters of Superkweker 645 BE16-3136645:
-BE19-2031010: 36. Nat Argenton 26,085 YL
-BE19-2031024: 11. Nat Argenton 26,085 YL and 36. Nat Zone Chateauroux 2,053 YL
-BE19-2031025: 48. Nat Gueret 12,888 YL, 355 Nat Argenton 26,085 YL, 75. Brieres 3,393 Yb
-BE19-2031011: 50. Nat Gueret 12,888 YL, 40. Brieres 3,393 Yb, 157. Nat La Souterraine 15,939 YL, 198. Nat Argenton 26,085 YL, 444. Nat Bourges 22,506 YL
-BE20-2052009: 141 Nat Argenton 23,280 Yb
It takes a special pigeon to be branded 'super class breeder' in the pigeon family of Gommaire Verbruggen but this 645 does exceed all expectations. This is a new golden stock breeder.
The last pigeon that we wanted to take a closer look at in this impressive overview of superstars of Gommaire's 2020 team of yearlings is racing hen 'Het 100':
-Het 100 BE19-2031100
6. Fay-aux-Loges 2,377 Yb – 1. club 296 Yb – 399 Km
8. Soissons 1,878 Yb – 218 Km
10. Melun 2,769 YL – 305 Km
10. Chevrainvilliers 1,125 Yb – 350 Km
13. Chateauroux 651 Yb – 525 Km
36. Soissons 2,127 Yb – 218 Km
39. Nat Chateauroux II 2,053 YL – 525 Km
60. Nat La Souterraine 15,939 YL – 587 Km
62. Nat Issoudun 18,176 YL – 498 Km
140. Nat Argenton 26,085 YL – 550 Km
531. Nat Chateauroux I 33,833 YL – 525 Km
Sire: Superbreeder 367 BE12-2061367
Inbred to stock breeder Kletskop. He is a son of Silkman DV1439-01-889 (grandson of wonderboy Kletskop BE83-2350199) x Blauw 800 BE05-2142800 (daughter of Kleine Brutte Kletskop, and hence a granddaughter of Kletskop)
Dam: Super Daughter Ramses BE14-2216175
A full sister of the dam of Het Aske, and thus a daughter of Ramses BE10-2045214 (winner of 1. Argenton 5,941 p., 22. Nat La Chatre 21,180 p., 43. Bourges 6,289 p., 43. Chateauroux 5,560 p., 53. Nat Chateauroux 4,757 p., 74. Nat Argenton 16,325 p.) x Favorietje Rudy 1753/07 (daughter of the iconic breeder Rudy BE06-3008003 Gaby Vandenabeele).
A solid future
Did Gommaire Verbruggen hit the jackpot when he purchased 'As'? Or does he just know how to recognise exceptionally talented pigeons? It looks like he discovered two new invaluable bloodlines with the two half brothers Sero Sero Junior and Superkweker 645. This could be the foundation for a new team of superstars in the provincial and national longer middle distance..
We have witnessed quite a few pigeon racing miracles in the shadow of the Scherpenheuvel basilica over the years. And we think team Verbruggen is ready for some great action in the next several seasons. After 50 years of racing pigeons, the grandmaster from the Hageland regio is enjoying his second childhood, with many fantastic results and some very impressive performances. And that is what the Gommaire Verbruggen pigeons have been known for over the past 50 years. This is a world class breed!
2020: 6 national races yearlings
27/6 Bourges 471 km Nat 26,085 YL: 39 - 59 - 74 … and 22/54
4/7 Chateauroux 522 km Nat 33,833 YL: 2 - 73 - 110 -219 … and 36/48
2nd fastest of 54,000 pigeons overall
11/7 Argenton 550 km Nat 26,085 YL: 11 - 34 - 36 - 46 - 66 – 85 –140… and 38/45
18/7 Issoudun 498 km Nat 18,176 YL: 9 -51- 62- 68- 118- 118- 127…. and 35/45
25/7 La Souterraine 587 km Nat 15,939 YL: 35- 36- 46- 60- 97- 106- 107- 122… and 38/42
01/8 Gueret 582 km Nat 12,888 YL: 3- 48- 50- 86- 127….. and 25/38