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  News > National Winners Belgium 2012 - Part 1

National Winners Belgium 2012, Part 1:
Jules D'Huyvetter
Christian Leroy
Gaie Brothers
Maurice and Gregory Casaert

by Stefan Mertens


Click on any photo for larger version 

Jules D'Huyvetter

Winner's wing

Winning bird

Inside the loft


Christian Leroy

Hen's wing

Chateauroux hen


Olsene:  In 2007 the widow D’Huyvetter won the 1st national Brive 2007 against 16,008 birds. It was their “Alfred”  (B05-4082656) who beat everybody with a velocity of 1108.31 m/m...  

Widow D’Huyvetter is the mother of Jules, and in those same lofts last weekend Jules won the 1st national Chateauroux against 15,894 year birds.

But that is not all.  Jules has a twin brother, Julien.  Julien is racing under the name D’Huyvetter-D’Hondt, and last year he won national Libourne against 8,242 year birds (velocity 1078.43 m/m). So it is more than clear:  family D’Huyvetter is a winning family--winning national races!


Jules: “I started the racing season with a team of 26 widowers. There were 15 old birds and 11 year birds. My widowers never breed, not before and not after the racing season. Once the racing season is finished, hens and cocks are separated and this stays so till the middle of March. Then the hens come into the widowers loft and they may brood for four days. During that period the first tosses are made.

My caring system is nothing special. With exception of fresh grit, I don’t give any byproducts and on the menu only a breeding mixture is noted. I measure the food with a soupspoon. In the beginning this is a shaken soupspoon and the closer basketting  comes, the more mixture stays on the soupspoon.

On a medical level, the widowers are after every long distance race treated for two days against trichomoniasis and ornithosis. I always treat at the same time against the two diseases.


The national winner is a strong built blue white cock (B11-4263517), small type with the head of a hen on his muscled body. As a young bird, he was tossed only a few times. This season he flew 2 x middle distance, then a 400km race (won local 28/363 and provincial 208/2.738b.).  Then he stayed home one weekend and was basketted for Chateauroux.
Father is: B01-4335215--directly Collenberghe Roger (Zulte). No further information known. 

Mother is B08-4202949. She is a daughter of “Alfred” (1st nat. Brive 2007). The grandmother , on mother side of the national winner, is B07-3199955. This hen was bred by Gaby Vandenabeele and is a daughter of “Alfred” x “Daughter Kolonel.” Before “Alfred” was sold, Gaby Vandenabeele had the opportunity to breed out of “Alfred.” 
You see, good blood never lies!

A few hours after the arrival of the national Chateauroux winner, Jules again clocked a national top bird from national Limoges. That bird won the 7th national Limoges!

Jules, again congratulations and up to number 3!

16,477 OLD BIRDS

Deinze: With Chateauroux we had the first of the two of the KBDB organized national races on the program. Due to the bad weather and the forecasted NE wind, there were fewer birds basketted for this race than the year before. But although there were fewer participants, this does not make the top result of the winning birds less unique...

The big winner became the beautiful blue hen of fancier Leroy Christian from Deinze (East-Flanders). She became not only the national winner of the 16,477 old birds but was also the fastest of all 32,281 Chateauroux flyers. For a distance of 483km she was clocked at 1pm24min. Good for a velocity of 1258.34 m/m.

In the second place we find Vandenheede Jacques and Freddy (1256.91 m/m) and Chris Debacker (1256.08 m/m).


The national victory from Chateauroux…it is all unexpected for Christian.  All this attention and everybody asking for information--you can see that Christian prefers to sit among his birds than with reporters.

Christian:  “I’m a small fancier. Believe it or not, but I only have two departments on my pigeon loft. One department for the young birds (50 youngsters bred now only 25 present), and one department for the old- and year birds. I do not have breeders, and I race only with old- and year bird hens. My race team is 14 hens strong.

I started racing pigeons 12 years ago. My first pigeons came from Bondroit (Merelbeke), my brother Firmin Leroy (Astene), and Welvaert Etienne (Astene). Nowadays I still race with those strains. At the start I raced the short distance races, but I was more impressed with the 400km races and therefore I changed my racing program. Now I basket for races between 400km and 600km.


As already mentioned, I race only hens. The 14 hens did early winter breeding (coupled end of November) but they bred in a loft a few meters further. I used to have my loft in the barn next door, but the barn will be torn down and therefore I had to move all my birds. So after their first breeding I moved them to their new loft and there I let them breed for the second time. After their youngsters were grown, the cocks were put away and widowhood was a fact.


Leroy's loft

Winner's head

Gaie Brothers
and Mertens

Winner's wing

Gaie winner

Gaie lofts

From the first races they were basketted and they flew this year 2 x Arras (97km), 2 x Clermont (196km), 1 x Angerville (317km) and then Vierzon , Bourges and Chateauroux national.

I follow the feeding method of Matador and the by products I administer on regular base are iodine and acids. Before the racing season, I went to the vet but everything was ok. Since then I did not treat my birds anymore. I drop the eyes a lot.

During the week the hens are closed up in their box. Twice a day they are liberated to train, drink and eat. Before basketting they are with their cock for about 30 minutes and that is all. There are no other motivation tricks.


The national winner is a hen who performs extremely well because before her national win she won also 35th national Bourges against 20,577 old birds and 185th provincial Vierzon against 5,893 birds.

As a young bird she was basketted eight weeks in a row for races above the 400km, and eight times she placed her ring number in the race results.

Christian, once again congratulations and enjoy this big victory!


La Bouverie: Last year these brothers won the 1st national Chateauroux with their top bird “Seba.” “Seba” won not only the 1st national--he was also the fastest against 44,908 Chateauroux flyers...

Now one year later, we went again to La Bouverie to congratulate the Gaie Brothers. Their “B11-9097009” (at the moment of our visit this top bird did not have a name) won 1st national Bourges against 16,867 year birds and with a velocity of 1221.48 m/m, he was the 2nd fastest of all Bourges flyers !


Gaston and Jean inherited the pigeon virus of their father and grandfather. In 1987, Jean started as a pigeon fancier and about ten years later, the name of Gaston stood next to his. From the start this colony is mainly based on only one name namely Casaert.

Jean: “We have a lot of trust in these birds and we bought them as well by Maurice and Gregory as by Sebastien. We can say that 95% of our pigeons have the Casaert blood. We get in contact every week by phone, and we already received a lot of good advice from these champions.

We started the season of 2012 with a team of 33 race birds. This season is the first year that we have also 10 racing hens, but to be honest they do not perform as wished. Therefore we have put all our hope on the widowers, and certainly the year birds perform very well. Hereby the results of the last weeks:

Soissons 496 year birds: 1-2-7-8-11 …
Nanteuil 617 year birds: 7-9-10-12 …
La Ferte 519 year birds: 1-2-6-17-20 …

All pigeons breed early, and once the youngsters are weaned, the widowhood starts and there’s no second pairing in spring. For three years now, we have followed this system and we must admit it has a positive effect on the results.
We always try to limit the number of pigeons in the lofts. We want to have total control without being a slave to our birds. We prefer to know each and every pigeon in our loft.

There’s nothing special about the care-taking of our pigeons. Our main purpose is the game with the widowers. The week before the Bourges national, they stayed home, and from now on they will be basketed every two weeks.

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Winner's head


The food we use is the Casaert-mixture. At the beginning of the week, the protein-poor mixture of Casaert and then feed them up with widowhood Casaert. At first, the birds get their food in their boxes and afterwards some more on the floor.

We take our time to feed the birds because we like to observe which ones eat well and which don’t. The last time they get food before basketing, they still get some rich mixture as dessert.


The national winner is without any doubt the best year bird in the loft. He wins this year already his 3rd victory:

1st  Soisson 469b.
1st  La Ferte 529b.
 9th Nanteuil 617b.
1st national Bourges 16,867b.

What his motivation is to perform so well, we don’t know.  He acts just like all his other loft mates.

We wish Gaston and Jean a lot of success, and till the next victory!


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"Olympic Fifteen"

Inside loft

Winner's wing

Casaert lofts


Néchin: A world-famous team has won the Bourges national against 20,011 birds.  Even more, their “Olympic Fifteen” (B08-9044015) – with a velocity of 1227.97 m/m – is also the fastest of all Bourges flyers...  

I don’t think I still need to introduce fanciers Maurice and Gregory Casaert.  Their name is known worldwide, and their pigeons have brought  success to many lofts. Also on this 1st national race of the new racing season, the Casaert pigeons brought success. Not only for Maurice Casaert himself but also for the national winner category year birds, the Gaie Brothers. They won on the same race the 1st national against 16,422 year birds, with a 100% Casaert (Casaert-Sénéchal) bird !


When you are standing in the garden of Maurice Casaert and look to the south, you will see the country of France.  In other words, Maurice and Gregory Casaert need a north wind to be in an ideal position to classify themselves in the top of the national race results. And we can guarantee you,when the wind is blowing from that direction you can be sure that Casaert birds will be at the top!

With Bourges edition 2012, the family Casaert won their 5th national race. It all started with Montauban, then Souillac, later with Brive, then Bourges edition 2008, and now Bourges edition 2012. What an impressive result list!  


For this national race, Maurice and Gregory had 15 birds (10 old and 5 year birds) in the basket. When they went after the race to the club, they had clocked 12 birds. The first bird was clocked at 1pm07 and then 1pm18 (33rd national old) – 1pm19 (52nd national old) – 1pm21 (67th national year birds) and so on.   Such results can be classified in the range of “impressive”!

Maurice:   “Due to the bad weather in the beginning of the spring, our widowers did not have the ideal preparation for the racing season. We tossed them on 50km, then they went directly to a middle distance race.  They stayed  one week and were then basketted for Bourges national. When I analyze the result we cannot complain about the ‘bad preparation.’  I’m going to say more.  When the widowers train, they train only for 15 or a maximum of 20 minutes. Pigeons in top condition need to train much more. But again,when I look at the result I’m wrong!” 

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The family

When Maurice was telling this, Gregory laughed a little bit and said,  “I don’t look at the training. I only look at the result and that is for me the only judge! If they train a lot or less,I don’t care.”

Gregory continues, “please note a big THANK YOU to my mother Julienne. My father cannot go in the lofts anymore, and she is taking care of the pigeons. Without her help, it would not be possible to achieve those successes.


And then we come to the national winner. He is part of a team of 25 widowers (of which seven have no experience). They were coupled at the end of November, bred a couple of youngsters, and after a winter rest they were coupled again the 1st of April. After 6 days of brooding they were on widowhood.

The national winner is a very nice blue cock (B08-9044015) and a bird with a lot of top results in his result list. Look at his results overview (see further in the report):

Top prizes without doubles!

1st Bourges National 20,011b.
2nd La Ferte 376b.
8th Soissons 470d.
11th national Chateauroux 20,517d.
19th zonal Argenton 8,935d.
27th semi-national Vierzon 11,062d.
28th interprovincial Chateauroux 4,093d.
52nd zonal La Souterraine 7,118d.
54th zonal Bourges 3,127d.
120th national Bourges 9,781d.
142nd national Bourges 22,476d.
151st national Bourges 10,906d.
155th semi-national Chateauroux 8,189d.

At the question of whether “Olympic Fifteen” was especially motivated, they cannot answer immediately. Gregory says “I don’t know what happened in the loft, but there was a big battle between the widowers. They were always fighting.  You felt the anger in the loft. I think that this battle motivated our ‘Olympic Fifteen’ to win the national race.”

Maurice and Gregory. enjoy this victory and until the next one…

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