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  News > Capelle - Marc

Marc Capelle:
1st and 2nd National Ace
KBDB Short Distance 2008

Olympiad bird Dortmund
Category Short Distance

by Stefan Mertens


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Marc Capelle

The loft
for widowers
and breeders



The youngbird



Drawers for
easy cleaning


A convenient


Badour: Situated in the French speaking part of Belgium, in this neighborhood of the better known city of Mons, there we were sitting at the same table with one of the best short-distance racers from Belgium...

I know that the term “best short-distance racer” has been used already several times in different reports, but if we analyze the national championships of the last six years then we cannot ignore the name Marc Capelle. Fancier Marc Capelle is more than just a pigeon fancier:  he’s a real champion! Here is the impressive list:  

2002: 1st national ace short distance KBDB.

2004: 7th national ace short distance KBDB and 9th national champion short distance KBDB.

2005: 2nd national ace short distance KBDB and 3rd national champion short distance KBDB.

2006: 3rd national ace short distance KBDB.

2007: 2nd national ace short distance KBDB and 6th national champion short distance KBDB.

2008: 1st and 2nd national ace short distance KBDB, 2nd national champion short distance KBDB and Olympiad pigeon Dortmund category short distance.

Luc, congratulations with all those top results.  How do you explain this?

Good question…but I cannot give you an answer. It will be the combination of different factors!  First of all, you need very good pigeons. Secondly, as a pigeon fancier you need to do everything  possibile. All of your efforts are necessary to be successful. Thirdly, you need to be lucky that you can basket in a very good combine with a lot of participating birds. And to be honest, I’m lucky to race in such a club. But as the saying goes “nice songs never take long” and this song has had its last verse.

We have to say it like it is.  In our area we cannot complain if it concerns the number of fanciers and most of them like to race on the short distance.  A few years ago, three important clubs joined together with the result that there were races with a high number of participating pigeons. In this combine, Baudour is situated at the back, so in a very favored position. I’m not going to ignore the fact that Baudour is situated very well, but in Baudour we have more than one fancier, and those other guys have more problems to come into the top of the racing result. You understand what I want to explain.

As I have already mentioned, being successful in the pigeon sport is a combination of several factors. But I will finish my story. The clubs have decided that for 2009 the Baudour club is not allowed anymore. For the next season, I can only participate in some little clubs, so in the coming years I can forget a nice classification in the national championship. Unless I will try it a little bit further, namely on the 300km races, and that will be my target in 2009. On those distances, we also have a good combine so I’ll try to be the best in that category. Personally, I’m convinced that my birds will be also top on those races.

Can you tell us something more about the base of your colony?

At my parents’ house there were always pigeons, but my main interest was football (soccer). Every week I played soccer, but an injury to my back stopped my career as a soccer player. I was looking for a new hobby and I found the pigeon sport. Since 1997 I have been racing pigeons here at this address. My father was my teacher, but for him the pigeon sport was pure fun.  I had more ambitions. In those days, a lot of fanciers went to the Lier pigeon market to buy youngsters, and as I didn’t have stock birds I decided to join my friends and buy some youngsters at the market. Those “market pigeons” didn’t disappoint me—as a matter of fact, two of those pigeons now form my base breeding couple. Nowadays, I breed regularly in the second or third generation a top bird out of that couple.  My 2nd national ace pigeon of last season is a grandson of the “market pigeons.”





Breeding loft

2nd National Ace


Don’t ask about my about strain or pedigrees, because when I purchased those youngsters I never received a pedigree. My second base line is formed with pigeons from Simons Bros (Ransdaal – The Netherlands). There I purchased pigeons from the strains Janssen Bros and Van Wanroy. Also successful were pigeons of Michel Ladrière (Bury) and Delanghe Albert (Ath).  From Delanghe, I bought the mother of my 1st national ace. In total, I have 10 breeding couples, limited but all good.

Yes…but you have probably 50 widowers in your loft.

What did you say, 50 widowers?  Don’t make me laugh. I have only one widowers’ loft and in that loft I have 12 boxes and I have well counted three old and eight year birds in this loft. You know what? The biggest mistake that a lot of pigeon fanciers make is that they all have too many birds in their lofts. After some time they don’t have enough oversight and the result is that the performances go down. No, in my loft everything has to stay under control. It is a public secret that the more work (energy) you put in your birds the better the performances are. I prefer to have everything under control.

Is there something special to note concerning your system?

You’re going to be a little bit disappointed, but there are no secrets here at my loft. My system is the same as with so many other fanciers. Mine is the widowhood system in its pure form with the young birds being raced following the open door system and later on in nest position. Again, this is a system which is comparable with the system of thousands of other fanciers. Only I keep myself to certain principles, and those are:

  • From the moment that the youngsters are weaned, I immediately select the young birds. All of those that I don’t like are immediately selected out. A young bird has to be well-built, soft feathered and must eat and drink quickly as an individual. Those who “stay a little bit behind” are selected out.

  • Before basketting a widower may never pair with his hen. Once I had a top widower who failed instead of winning a top prize for the national championship.  On basketting he was quicker than me and he paired with his hen. Since then I watch very carefully and don’t allow any pairing.

  • To select pigeons is very simple! Note weekly all the individual results and at the end of the season you select out those who won minimum 80% prize whereby certainly the half of the prizes 1/10. The selection by the young birds is not that hard. The fanciers who select very severely will keep at the end of the selection only a few birds. In 2008 I had only four old birds, and  for the coming season it will be three!

  • My feeding system is very special. During the racing season I feed only depurative and a mixture named Liegeois. Fanciers who read this will ask themselves questions but yes, during the racing season I don’t feed a mixture which contains maize (corn). The young birds, on the other hand, receive a mixture which contains maize.

  • As a feeding measure, I use a soup spoon. In the beginning of the week is this a “shaken” soup spoon, and at the end of the week a “full” soup spoon. Experience taught  me that it is much easier to feed up a pigeon who has a good appetite to eat than a bird which has always enough. Pigeon fanciers who can read between the lines know what I mean.

  • I give a lot of by-products like Oropharma B-pure  (brewer’s yeast), Oil mixes (Form-Oil in 1), electrolytes (Recup-lyt) and vitamins (Omniform). On the medical scene, before the racing season starts I visit a specialized pigeon vet and I follow what he advises. Only when the widowers don’t perform well will I go to the vet for an extra visit.

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Gold and silver




To become national ace on the short distance you need to take the best eight individual results, this on races between 50km and 250km. There had to be minimum 100 birds in the race and 10 fanciers participating. The total of the eight races has to be minimum 1000km.
Following these criteria the best two Belgian short-distance flyers were in the loft of Marc Capelle, more than a unique performance!

“Blue Mirakel”  B07-9067823  - 1st national ace short distance


Soissons (130km)

6th against 779d.


Nanteuil (167km)

1st against 670b.



1st against 1074b.



3rd against 857b.



4th against 809b.



6th against 474b.



1st against 441b.



2nd against 309b.

B07-9067834 – 2nd national ace short distance



3rd against 670b.



6th against 805b.



9th against 857b.



5th against 809b.


Collegien (201km)

1st against 547b.



2nd against 196b.



3rd against 441b.



1st against 192b.

“Thunder Flash”  B05-9093853 – Olympiad pigeon Dortmund 2008 -  3rd national ace short distance KBDB 2006:
Won in 4 seasons 10 x 1st and 29 prizes by the first 10 positions!
1st St Quentin 550b. – 1st Bouillon 393b. – 1st Nanteuil 438b. – 1st Nanteuil 248b. – 1st Soissons 1112b. – 1st Soissons 336b. – 1st Virton 342b. – 1st Nanteuil 234b. – 1st Soissons 726b. – 1st Nanteuil 174b. – 2nd Nanteuil 217b. – 2nd Collegien 328b. – 2nd Collegien 285b. – 3rd Noyon 445b. – 3rd Bouillon 297b. – 3rd Bouillon 315b. – 3rd Nanteuil 787b. – 4th Soissons 334b. – 5th Nanteuil 470b. – and so on….

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"Thunder Flash "




726b.: 1-71 (3)



779b.: 6-7-8-9-42 (9)



604b. 5-9-16 (3)



670b.: 1-2-3-4-5-6-38 (7)



1074b.: 1-28-42-101 (4)



805b. 1-2-3-4-6- (7)



819b.: 3-6-7-8-12 (5)



857b. 3-5-9-11 (4)



787b. 3-4-20 (4)



809b. 1-4-5-22-29-41 (6)



538b. 6-24-25-33-35 (9)



547b. 1-6-7-10-14 (6)



474b. 4-6-8-24 (4)



428b. 2-6-7-8-9 (6)



196b. 2-10-12-18 (5)



441b. 1-3 (7)



359b. 1-3-31-35 (5)



426b. 6-37 (4)



334b. 3-4-7 (4)



309b. 1-2-3-9 (4)



294b. 1-24 (4)



292b. 7-18-19 (4)



194b. 3-7 (3)



326b. 2-10-24 (3)



290b. 3-12 (2)



217b. 2-9 (2)



192b. 1 (2)



174b. 1-9 (2)


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