During the first few years we learned a lot simply by trial and error… till in 1983 I happened to meet Jules Ryckaert and his friend Armand De Greve. Jules was one of the figureheads of Belgian long distance races who had just won the 3° national St. Vincent. I grew convinced that the Ryckaert pigeons were top-class and in the autumn some youngsters (from toppers like the St.Vincent, the Majoor, the Admiraal, …) arrived in Lovendegem which put us on the right trail. These bloodlines still form the main part of our colony. The first real “ancestor” was: ‘De LANGE ZWARTEN’. This champ flew f.i. : Tulle 122/3950 nat., Barcelona 493/11423 nat., Narbonne 276/5448 nat., Barcelona 86/11399 nat., 71/13343 nat., Barcelona 442/11214 nat., Barcelona 1407/9452 nat. And Barcelona 267/10068 nat. This means 6 x Barcelona.
In 1990 some pigeons bought from Roger Meyvaert (Ertvelde) joined our colony from which descended the ‘Bordeaux’, a real topper which still can be found in many pedigrees. In 1994 2 grandsons of the ‘Wittenbuik’ from Gaby Vandenabeele were added to the breeding loft, from which we bred several top birds such as ‘Streety’: the 5° International Marseille 2003 of 20721 pigeons. Furthermore the brother of the 5° on Marseille (named ‘Bourges’ ) became a great breeding pigeon. So his son (Bluebird) has become a real “ancestor” in 2011. In 1999 we got some new reinforcement from Knesselare where we bought 2 grandsons of the 1° International Barcelona 1995 from Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht. A crossing that was very successful. As a result in 2002 we went to the auction of Wim Boonen, a branch of Carlo Gyselbrecht, where we bought another 4 pigeons with Gyselbrecht blood in the veins. Amongst them the father of the 2° International Barcelona 2008 and his full sister, also mother of ‘Stranger’ (Barcelona 2009 12° local 307 pigeons and 487° national of 13502 pigeons and in 2010 4° regional 301 pigeons and 389° national pigeons). In 2004 we went for 3 hens of Roger Schrauwers (Asse), The Golden Wing Winner 2003. One of them was the 2° International Barcelona 2008. In 2005 we obtained 3 pigeons at the total auction of Cock Cornelissen, who was the owner of several Cor de Heijde pigeons. We bought a cock with a direct pedigree, a grandson of the Perpignan and 2 direct de Heijde pigeons. In the mean time these pigeons have proved their qualities as breeder with a.o. St. Vincent 332/6521, Barcelona 1244/13502, 1357/12641, Soustons 22/8443 en St. Vincent44/7356. Later we also bought a Wijnands &Zn (of full brother Late Simpson: 1°nat Marseille x daughter Marseille 325: brother of Witneus). We also do some cobreeding and exchange birds with Roger Van Overschelde en Romain de Paepe from Evergem. The last few years we have been looking around for more Cor de Heijde pigeons because the crossings with the Ryckaert and Gyselbrecht pigeons were so successful. In January 2011 we are the proud owners of 7 direct Cor de Heijde pigeons, amongst them 2 grandsons of the Klamper, 1 grandson of the Perpignan, 1 granddaughter of Monique-Leontien, 1 grandson of Monique, 1 hen from the Blauwe Dries and Nick line and still another hen complete inbreeding towards the Klamper (for more information see “breeding pigeons”). Furthermore we own some 10 direct Cor de Heijde pigeons, such as: -779/05: bought in the winter of 2009. His first son immediately won the 2° regional of 327 pigeons, behind loftmate and 11° national of 8443 pigeons. Descendant of the line ‘Het Vlekje’ and granddaughter 1° national Perpignan. -746/03: also bought in the winter of 2009. The results of his first 2 sons on Soustons: 256/09: regional 5/327, national 52/8443 and 865/09 regional 42/327, national 630/8443. The offspring of the other pigeons will be tried out in 2011. As a result of an exchange with Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht we obtained the following birds: - a daughter of ‘Wesley’ (directly W Van Houten, flew Brive 8/6029, Brive 11/1248, Barcelona 20/8042 and Dax 53/3228) X daughter Euro Diamond, Brockamp. - a son of ‘Superjaarling’ (Marseille 69/5739, Bordeaux 376/5605, Bordeaux 51/11495) X Splendid Blue; in the mean time this cock has become the father of 884/09: Chateauroux 274/22718 and Libourne 345/6767. - a son of ‘IL Briganti’ (Dax 7/5617, Pau 12/2772, Dax 21/4328, …) X daughter Dax 111. In our breeding loft there are also some individual pigeons: a direct Chr. Van der Velden (Zuid-Beijerland), a daughter of Chico (7°nat Dax, …) X daughter Witneus (Wijnands &zn). She is the result of inbreeding of the famous ‘Blauwe Vanoppen’. And there is still another cock obtained from Gebr. Bras (Dordrecht) from the Brassie and Chenoa (Olympiad pigeon in Ostend) line.