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Hubert Debaene from Beernem


by Stefan Mertens






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Hubert Debaene from Beernem, 1st National Champion Long Distance year birds K.B.D.B 2015

You will be surprised going for an interview at Hubert Debaene's house (69 years old). Those were the words from a colleague before the interview. Well indeed, I was surprised, what a pigeon paradise, pigeon attraction park or pigeon heaven did Hubert build! It is a big contrast with the small loft he started on as a young pigeon fancier. His pigeon career started at the age of 10, he transported the pigeons of his father by bike. When his father decided to stop 5 years later, Hubert just continued doing what his father did. With a few old plates a 'new' loft was build on the hay attic, where he managed to win a small price now and then. With the help of 2 uncles he became of one, who was a carpenter, a nice loft and the other uncle gave him some fine pigeons. The first successes followed quickly. But then Hubert's life was about to change drastic. First he had to join the army then he got married to his Marie-Jeanne and he rented a small grocery store with his brand-new wife. After a while he bought the store and Hubert expanded his grocery. A warehouse 3 floors high was built with a fully arranged pigeon loft on the top floor.

The way to long distance races

In 1978 there was a sale from grandmaster André Brouckaert from Wervik. He was national champion of Belgium that same year and with his crack pigeon 'David' he became Ace Pigeon Champion. Hubert bought a half brother of 'David', a son of 'Monsieur' and 2 hens. Together with pigeons from Florent Demeyer (a true champion on middle distance with a minimum of pigeons) these two strains formed the first base for the middle and long distance. Another mile stone for Hubert and Marie-Jeanne was the year 1981. They started their own 'shopping mall', with a supermarket, a liquor store and a restaurant. But also some big changes were made at the pigeon loft, after his success year 1982 (58 trophies) almost all his pigeons were sold. From then on the long distance races became his game.

Hubert invested largely in pigeons for his long distance loft. He got some reinforcement from the best fanciers in Belgium and Holland. Pigeons were bought at Noël Peiren, Herman Vandamme and Marc Pollin. The first high light was in 1995; 'Jari' became 2nd National Ace Pigeon Long Distance. As the 'shopping mall' was a gigantic success, again expanding was in order. Both the store as the warehouse got much bigger and while he was building, his pigeon loft got a makeover as well. On the ground floor around the warehouse aviaries were built. The racing loft moved to the first floor. And while he was changing his loft Hubert continued to look for top pigeon to strengthen his loft. He found some at friar Didon, Emiel Denys, Cyriel Vanpoucke, Wilfried Vandemaele, Julien Vaneenoo, Adriaan Daems and Karel Meulemans-Damen.  Also in Holland Hubert found what he was looking for at Theo Ernest, Kees de Baat and Koos van Dijk. Meanwhile we write the year 2000 and the trophy cabinet is full. The most important victories are a 3rd national Barcelona, 2nd national St.Vincent and a 4th national Tarbes. Also the national championships were an immense success, a 9th place in the long distance championship but especially his 3rd place as a national champion was a beautiful coronation for an all-round racer as Hubert.

Fulltime pigeon fancier

When he was about to retire Hubert took an important decision. As he could leave his business in the hands of his children he wanted to focus entirely on the pigeon sport. A brand new loft was build, 40 breeding boxes with aviaries. But Hubert had a goal, he wanted to shine on all disciplines, from small distance, middle distance to long distance. That's why the racing lofts were adjusted so all pigeons for the different distances could be placed separately. To get to the top on these different distances once again Hubert invested a lot and bought the best of the best with underneath fanciers!

  •  Jos Joosen from Brecht, one son out of 1st Inter. Perpignan, two daughters out of 1st nat. Montelimar,…..
  • Gebroerders Desbuquois from Kapelle-op-den Bos, two children out of "Roger" 1st nat. Barcelona,
  • Ferdy De Scheemaecker from Ooigem, two children out of 1st nat. Barcelona.
  • Frans Labeeuw from Bissegem, two hens from the strain of the "Montauban".
  • Fr. Belleter from Nispen (NL), son of "Narreken", daughter "Cresendo".
  • Leon Messiaen from Grammene, one grandson of "Mister Casters".
  • Eric Deprez from Gits, one grandson "Didibis".
  • Robert Van Eycken from Erps-Kwerps, one daughter "Hincapie" and one daughter "Hasi".
  • Rudi Ardeel from Zomergem.
  • Piet van de Merwe from Dordrecht(NL)
  • P&D Houfflijn from Wortegem, strain "Geronimo".
  • Ruben Lancriet from Landegem.
  • Gebroeders Vandewalle from Zwalm, one daughter "Olympiade", three children from 1st national Bordeaux…
  • Davy Verleye from Damme.
  • Team Freddy De Jaeger from Knesselare, one daughter "Tsunamiduivin, one son "Tornado"x"Poppe Grace duivin".
  • Wilfried Vandemaele, through exchange he became an egg from "Eagle Eye"x"Bonte Sierens", this youngster became mother of 3rd nat. Limoges and 7th nat. Montauban.
  • Pierre Lambrecht from Wingene, eight breeding couples were bought. Children won amongst other twice the 1st provincial Chateaudun.
  • Luc Wiels from Roosdaal, two children from "Laureaat Barcelona", 1st nat. Barcelona. (through Batenburg-van de Merwe/ Pipa)
  • Remi Speltdoorn from Winksele, one son of "New Remy" (1st nat. Barcelona), through Batenburg-van de Merwe/ Pipa.
  • Vrosch-Meijers from Heerlen (Ned.), one daughter and one granddaughter of "Etterbak", five times top from Barcelona. (through Batenburg-van de Merwe/ Pipa)
  • Batenburg-van de Merwe from Klaaswaal (Ned.), "Perpignan Girl", 1st European Ace Pigeon Perpignan '10/'11) and one son from the 'Barcelona couple'.

Nicu Barbulescu, the best loft manager!
End of 2013 Nicu Barbulescu re-enforced the team. This 38-year old Romanian had already deserved his stripes in the international pigeon sport. During the period that he lived in Italy he won three times 1st national ace pigeon long distance and also 1st Olympic Pigeon long distance. When he started to work in Beernem he brought his unique and strict selected breeding loft (20 pigeons). Amongst these couples were parents, brothers, sisters, and children from his Olympic Ace Pigeon 'de Frans'. He had also bought, looking at the future, different pigeons at the HERBOTS family. Especially the strain from Barcelona winners was important when buying. He has one son of 'Barcelona Rambo' (1st International Barcelona '04), three granddaughters 'Barcelona King' (1st International Barcelona '98) and descendants from 'Donna Barcelona' and 'Barcelona Queen'.


You can't talk about a one-sided system for the simple reason that all disciplines are being raced. So every loft has its own preparation and tendency. As the victory of the national championship long distance year birds was the goal of my visit, I will put the emphasis on the long distance. There are 32 couples ready for next season long distance; these are being played on total widowhood. Beside these another 30 'normal' cocks and 7 nest hens are on the long distance loft.  For the normal long distance he has 70 hens (old and year birds together).

After the racing season the remaining long distance racers can have one nest, but they may not nurture the youngsters. After this breeding period they go into the aviaries for a while. Meanwhile the New Year birds will stay on the loft and can have a nest as well. In this nesting position they are accustomed to their new home. In January the year birds will also go to the aviaries and the lofts are being cleaned and disinfected thoroughly. Some time before the beginning of the season they all are being put on the loft again and they can have another nest.

Motivation and training

The widowers train twice a day, always a full hour obligatory (a flag is being used). The hens only train once a day, always in the evening. When the pigeons are left at home for 3 weeks before their next flight they will sometimes fly a short distance flight. For the extreme long distance and long distance Hubert and Nicu try to basket the pigeons as calm as possible. No partners are displayed. The 7 nest pigeons for the extreme long distance also train once a day, this around half past one as the ladies normally get of their nest and train longer and harder. Their training takes 90 obligatory minutes by flag. Hubert likes to basket them on 'small youngsters' just picked out of the egg.

Nutrition and side products

As loft manager Nicu had good experience with 'Versele Laga Plus' in the past, he started to use it at the Debaene's home as well. Three mixtures are being used during the racing season, Superstar Plus, Energy plus and Gerry Plus. Nicu likes to build up slowly for the next race, so pigeons will get 'light food' 'Gerry Plus' when they get home and the days afterwards. After that the share 'Superstar Plus' will get bigger to get to 100%. The last few days before basketing they get "Energy Plus", Bordeaux mais (Vanrobaeys), candy, peanuts and "Super Dieet".

To keep the pigeons in optimal condition the year around underneath side products are being given.

  • Optimix
  • Prodigest
  • Aminovit
  • Race tonic
  • Zell Oxygen
  • 4 oils

All these products are from HERBOTS. You can also find products from Orthophar (Entero), Brockamp (Probac), Backs (Vi-spu-min), Natural (Naturaline) and Röhnfried. Also natural ingredients such as garlic, garlic oil and apple cider during the moulting pigeons are supported with Sedochol and Hepatoveto.


To guard a huge colony like this medically Hubert and Nicu appeal on two veterinarians, Ruben Lancriet and Henk de Weerd (Belgica-de Weerd). So during the racing season mostly the products from Belgica-de Weerd are being used. Nicu has his proper medical system to keep the pigeon of the extreme long distance 'oke'. Before the racing season they are being cured against trichomonas, and this while they're breeding. During the season they get, on the second day after arrival at home from a long distance flight, a small trichomonas pill. Against respiratory diseases they are cured at least five days before basketing with a capsule or through the drinking water. For Hubert it is a bit different, for trichomonas it is the same but for the respiratory diseases he has his proper rule, as long as possible before basketing Soludox and as close as possible to basketing Linco Spectin. The past years the pigeons were only vaccinated against paramyxo, they're not vaccinated against paratyfus but cured with Parastop.

The 4 tenors!!

These are 4 cocks that managed to get the prestigious title of extreme long distance KBDB. They won these on two races, Montauban (7th and 116th national against 2,124b.) and Libourne (182nd and 404th national against 5,890b.)


Results 2015


Championships 2015

  • 1st National Champion extreme long distance year birds K.B.D.B
  • 1st Champion interwestvlaamse year birds
  • 3rd General champion interwestvlaamse (old+yearbirds+youngster)
  • 8th Champion long distance Cureghem Centre
  • 20th Champion Entente Belge

Union Wingene-Ruiselede, national long distance club

  • 1st Union champion national and international races
  • 1st General Champion long distance
  • 1st Champion long distance yearbirds
  • 3rd Champion long distance old
  • 4th Champion extreme long distance old
  • 2nd General Champion  longer middle distance
  • 5th Champion longer middle distance youngsters
  • 5th Champion longer middle distance year birds
  • 11th Champion longer middle distance old

Club Oostkamp (provincial club)

  • 2nd Champion year birds provincial races
  • 4th Champion old pigeons provincial races


Despite the many pigeons that Hubert and his team own and especially the racing team, I didn't have the feeling of visiting a 'pigeon factory'. No, Hubert, Marie-Jeanne and Nicu are the real pigeon fanciers, full of passion. Even the winner's mentality is present in this successful threesome. But having this beautiful national title on their list of honor they won't sit back and relax. They still have some dreams they want to achieve. And with the top class pigeon they have it's not only a dream but a realistic goal!

A big well-done from the HERBOTS team,
Kris Steeman, Zele




































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