Albert Abspoel (Kapellen, BE): 1st National Ace Pigeon Sprint KBDB 2012

The title of First National Ace Pigeon Sprint KBDB is the ultimate dream to some, to others it is just one of many titles in a long list of achievements.

The favourite spot of Albert: in the quietness of his own loft

We asked him if we could pass along and write a small report. - “I’d rather not. It has been quite busy already and my wife is not fond of it either.” We also asked him if we could take a few pictures. - ”Well, I no longer have the First National Ace Pigeon here so you cannot photograph it. I don’t have any pictures of him either.”

It was thanks to a few friends of his that Albert Abspoel sent in the results of De Super (180823/11). There was one condition: someone else had to go to Ostend in his place. However, his substitute had to cancel in the final instance so eventually Albert did have to go to Ostend himself. He admitted afterwards that it was “one of the best moments in my career as a pigeon fancier.”

It is especially thanks to his M'n Goei Duivin (6479152/01) that Albert has been racing at such a high level. Albert purchased twelve pigeons at the public auction of Jos Brands (Berendrecht), the father of Jimmy Brands (the first National Champion Grand Distance KBDB 2012). It was with these pigeons that he bred this excellent breeding pigeon. “From then on we have been increasingly successful”, said Albert. His M'n Goei Duivin is the grandmother of  De Super (6180823/11), the First National Ace Pigeon Sprint KBDB 2012. Albert also got seven pigeons from the last living brother of the Soetewey brothers (Kapellen), who has now passed away as well. One of these pigeons was De Baeck, which we can consider as the second important racer in the pigeon breed of Abspoel. He can be found in the pedigree of De Super as well.

'De Super', which Albert renamed 'Alberto'.

De Super (6180823/11)

We have already mentioned the most important origins of the De Super pigeon. Of course the title of First National Ace Pigeon KBDB has nothing to do with the origins of a pigeon. A pigeon has to win top prizes himself to become an ace pigeon:

Noyon: 1st of 294 p.
Noyon: 3rd of 935 p.
Noyon: 1st of 414 p.
Noyon: 1st of 730 p.
Noyon: 2nd of 630 p.
Noyon: 1st of 461 p.

The other pigeons of the team followed in his wake:

Noyon:     294 p.: 1,56 (2/4)
Noyon:     935 p.: 3,26,38 (3/4)
Noyon:     414 p.: 1,19,33,111 (4/4)
Noyon:     730 p.: 1,228 (2/4)
Noyon:     630 p.: 2,110,122,151 (4/4)
Quievrain: 144 p.: 1,3,9,13,18,22,23,29,34,38,43 (11/22)

This resulted, for instance, in the following championship titles:

1st King Union of Antwerp (Noord-Antwerps verbond)
1st and 4th Ace Pigeon Union of North Antwerp
1st General Champion Yearlings Noyon Union Antwerp North


The breed

Albert has twenty breeding pairs and twenty widowers. He used to race the middle distance as well but “in the long term you spend more time in the club than in your loft”, says Albert. He is not the kind of fancier who boasts about his pigeons. So we believe him when he says that De Super was not the best pigeon he has ever had. He thinks his best pigeon ever was Witkap, a cock that has won the title of Ace Pigeon Middle Distance two times. Unfortunately he died shortly after. That did not happen during a race; he died in a field near the loft of Albert, where a farmer had been using toxic pesticides that made his pigeons “fall dead before they could even reach the sky.”

We give you another example to illustrate the quality of the Albert pigeons: a few years back six pigeons were basketed for Bordeaux, even though thy were not strong enough for the middle distance. Believe it or not but every pigeon took a prize at local level, the first of which was a 6th place. In the following season the six pigeons were again basketed for Bordeaux and again they each won a top prize. We know plenty of fanciers who have to settle for less.

The figurita pigeons: time is money

The Figurita pigeons have been an important factor in the success of Albert Abspoel. “Over the years these pigeons have saved me quite a lot of time”, says Albert. “These pigeons are particularly useful for my young birds.” It is indeed an amazing sight to see one of his Figurita cocks fly out as soon as it sees one of the racing pigeons arrive home, to draw him to the landing spot.

As we said, the First National Ace Pigeon Sprint KBDB 2012 is no longer housed in the loft of Albert Abspoel. Still, this fancier has plenty other top quality pigeons that will allow him to race at a top level in the years to come. It will be increasingly difficult to win another title of ace pigeon, because a number of associations are planning to pull out of the union. This is regrettable, especially because we see the number of members and pigeons go down these days. I wish Albert all the best for the next season and I would like to thank him for letting us take a look at his loft.