His wife Celine, Frans Sablon and Marcel Aelbrecht
Simply the best
The recent successes of Marcel Aelbrecht underline that the Aelbrecht pigeons are still among the very best pigeons that you can find. Another interesting fact is that he has managed to be successful with a small number of birds. Back in days long gone, Marcel gained international fame with only 19 widowers in his loft: 14 old birds and five yearlings. He would never change his approach. He had 19 boxes in his racing loft, which could house 19 top class racers; no more, no less! In addition he has about 50 youngsters, which have to prove themselves as young birds in four national young bird races. Only two or three hens were given the opportunity to prove their skills in the breeding loft. About five cocks got the chance to join the racing team. There was a basic rule: every bird that did not perform well was left out; it was as simple as that. This approach was the key element that resulted in a long list of great successes that were won by the Aelbrecht pigeons, including:
1st General Champion of Belgium KBDB 2006
1st General Champion of Belgium KBDB 2005
2nd General Champion of Belgium KBDB 2003
1st Nat. Champion Long Distance KBDB 2006
1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2003 (with 'Patron')
3rd Nat. Champion Grand Distance KBDB 2005
4th Nat. Champion Long Distance KBDB 2005
8th Nat. Champion Long Distance KBDB 2007
Could you name a fancier who was been more successful in the long distance competitions than Marcel Aelbrecht? He is an exceptional pigeon fancier: he has won almost every competition with only a small team of racing birds. This is only possible with an outstanding pigeon breed. The result was that countless fanciers went to Lebbeke to purchase pigeons from Marcel Aelbrecht and his neighbour Frans Sablon (De Rauw-Sablon), whose pigeons became very popular. Suddenly every fancier wanted descendants of the now world famous Bak 17, 970 or Vader Patron and descendants of the wonder couple Marseille x Fijn Blauw or Superkweker 548, Crack, Ijzeren and Smallen, which originate from the Dream Couple of De Rauw-Sablon. Each of these pigeons is famous among fanciers worldwide!
Unfortunately some people with bad intentions heard about his amazing pigeons as well. Almost the entire breeding loft of Marcel, which was his life’s work, was burgled in 2007 on a cold winter night. It was a blow for Marcel and his wife Celine. They lost their faith for a while. Stealing the breeding pigeons of an 80 year old fancier is cruel and cowardly. Marcel feared that it might happen again in the future so he decided to sell his entire racing team. He wanted to put an end to the sleepless and stressful nights, which we fully understand.
The young birds' loft
A successful comeback
After his entire clearance sale in 2008 Marcel was back to square one: he had to start all over again. He decided to focus on a small team of young birds only, just to enjoy his hobby. Obviously he still had the ambition to get the most out of these pigeons; you could tell by his face. It was as if Marcel and Celine wanted to prove to the outside world that even a cowardly robbery could not stop them! It appears they succeeded. Meanwhile Marcel is 85 years old and it looks as if he has never been away. He owns a team of no more than 30 young birds and he surprised friends and foes again in 2012: he showed them what it takes to be a successful fancier. At the end of the 2012 season he collected an impressive number of prizes and titles, including:
1st Provincial Champion Long Distance Young Birds KBDB 2012 (1st & 2nd nominated)
2nd Provincial Ace Pigeon Long Distance Young Birds KBDB 2012 (with 207)
7th National Champion Long Distance Young Birds KBDB 2012
So, four years after the theft, the Aelbrecht pigeons are back where they were: at the very top of pigeon racing in Belgium! It is to the credit of Marcel and Celine that their pigeons are back at a top level but it also demonstrates that their pigeon breed still has plenty of quality and talent. Let’s take a look at the results that have led to the titles we just mentioned:
-1st Provincial Champion Long Distance Young Birds KBDB (1st + 2nd nominated)
The provincial results of the four national races for young birds counted for this championship.
Marcel scored a 7/8 with a total coefficient of 67.1047%
29/7 Bourges 6,871 p. 366 11/8 Argenton 6,097 p. 825 360 25/8 La Souterraine 4,611 p. 899 278 08/9 Gueret 3,675 p. 96 522
-7th National Champion Long Distance Young Birds KBDB (1st + 2nd nominated)
For this title the provincial, zonal or national results of three of the four national races for young birds were taken into account. Marcel won a 6/6 with a prize percentage of 54. 9982%
11/8 Argenton Nat 25,949 p. 2859 1190 25/8 La Souterraine Pro 4,611 p. 899 278 08/9 Gueret Nat 16,988 p. 368 1988
-2nd Provincial Ace Pigeon Long Distance Young Birds KBDB
This title was won with the young bird The 207 with ring number BE12-4077207. This is a genuine Aelbrecht racing pigeon, which has already won a few national top results:
Bourges Nat 33,524 p. 2180 Argenton Nat 25,949 p. 508 La Souterraine Nat 19,155 p. 1201 Gueret Nat 16,988 p. 162
History repeats itself. Marcel Aelbrecht can look back on another highly successful long distance season with his young birds. This is a revival at the highest level.
Justice is done; nothing but good news it seems. Unfortunately this is not the case: by the end of September there was another theft from their loft: this time some hens were stolen from the aviary. Two more lofts had been robbed on that very same night. This was another setback for Marcel Aelbrecht. When is it going to stop? Marcel and Celine are worried. To make things worse some have claimed that the theft was in fact a set up to put the pigeons of Marcel in the spotlight and to promote his breed all around the world. It is sad to see that some people spread such rumours. These people are not much better than the thieves themselves.
The Aelbrecht pigeons have won countless prizes over the years and it is to their credit that they are among the most popular pigeons worldwide. These pigeons have won prizes and titles all over the world. We know that some fanciers are jealous of their success but that is the least of our worries. They will have to live with it; the numbers do not lie. The Aelbrecht pigeons need no introduction: they prove their value with their continued success. Aelbrecht stands for top class and quality and they are still among the best pigeons worldwide! Do not forget that it takes a few very talented pigeons and it takes a lot of effort to win a provincial or national title. The Aelbrecht pigeons are born to win. They have been very successful both in their own loft and in the lofts of other fanciers in Belgium and abroad. Marcel and Celine, we wish you many congratulations on your new titles. You deserve it more than anyone else.
The results in the four national races of 2012
29/7 Bourges FCD 1,896 young birds:
11/8 Argenton FCD 1,478 young birds:
25/8 La Souterraine FCD 1,009 young birds:
08/9 Gueret FCD 929 young birds:
They have won a total of 48 prizes with 78 nominated, which means a 62% prize percentage per 3 and 20 prizes per ten or more than 25%! Impressive!
Since March 2008 the loft in the attic with its 19 widower boxes is empty