A hidden pearl

Do the hidden pearls still exist in the current pigeon sport? Yes, indeed, they still do and something they shine this hard that they end up on the national stages. It was a pleasant meeting with Daniel Colpaert out of Kruisem who succeeded in the season of 2021 to crown himself to KBDB National Champion Extreme Long Distance year birds.

“70 years young and a good conservation” would fit perfectly with Daniel, but behind these words there is a strong, smart man. A man with a clear vision on many things out of our society, sober, pure and uncut. When you ask the opinion of Daniel about anything you will get it well argued and clear. For some this can be very direct, for others a healthy form of authenticity who marks him as a person.

But also, here in Kruisem the clichés are the cliché’s namely that behind every strong man is a strong woman. Daniel emphasizes this very clearly that he as a civil engineer got the freedom of his wife Marie-Rose to build out a beautiful career. A career that needed a lot of engagement in time and effort and which made that he had to leave the home management and the raising of their 3 kids to her…and this with success. Both Marie-Rose as Daniel are retired now and with 3 children and a bunch of grandchildren are both the house as the agenda of the grandparents well-filled.

On a sudden day….

Daniels’ roots are on grandparents’ side in Huise and surroundings and those were strong pigeon racers (grandfather Victor). The parents from Daniel had a blooming store in Gent where he grew up and went to school, but a lot of his free time was spending in the area of Huise and Ouwegem.

The young family Colpaert built their family home in Huise in 1977-78 and in 1985 the first youngsters were ringed in Huise. And as many fairy tales go…it all started very good and beautiful with in 1986 the 1st prize on the back than classic known race Derby Orléans East-Flanders. The pace was immediately very hight and the pigeon infection was thorough and perpetual.

In that period Daniel was professionally active. Which is very typical for him, when you do something, you try to do it (very) good. Many hours, a big engagement and a growing up family results in less time for the pigeons. Pigeons where a true hobby and only the necessary care was done. The results were certainly present, but the talents weren’t used fully.

Partiality for the extreme long distance

As many the first years were race on the middle distance and the greater middle distance. But the heavier work attracted Daniel very much. A less stressed form of pigeon sport, based on the true quality of the pigeon, another form of satisfaction for a head pigeon and so on…where the arguments who made him decide the way towards the extreme long distance.

To be able to participate to this branch within pigeon sport you need to look out for pigeons that have the talents and strengths to be able to manage this heavy work.

End nineties pigeons were bought at the back than world famous colony from De Rauw-Sablon…and out of a group of youngsters Daniel chose 2 children out of the top couple Albert and Paola. And this choice seemed to be a good one. These pigeons are still to be found within the current team of pigeons from Daniel.

In the atmosphere of the championship days with voucher auctions, where also the social happenings were very important, Daniel bought a voucher from his fellow parishioner Marnix Leutenez from Kruisem, not a simple one what the extreme long distance is concerned. A pigeon out of the best from Marnix strengthened the colony and became a base pigeon. Also, the once so strong race Pintelon were brought in via Etienne Clauwaert from Kruishoutem. They also bought so-called middle-distance pigeons at Jan and Leanne Vandepasch (Grubbenvorst, Nl) and these seemed to do it problem less on the one-day long distance.

In the following years now and then a poor of fresh blood was acquired and mostly at the best of the best of the extreme long distance of Belgium and Holland such as: Patrick Houfflijn, Chris Hebberecht, Roland & Guy Nihoul, Leon Crowet. The Dutch input (with very good results) are from Cees Vander Laan, Jos Martens, Jan Grootonk, Gerard Van Tuyl, Hoekstra-Hermans, Cees Nijdeken and the Batenburg-side loft of Ad Fortuin.

Daniel experiences that the old base accomplished with Hoekstra-Hermans, Cees Vander Laan and Jos Martens form the broad base of the successes.

Very recent, and these are going to be tested out fully, a few couples of breeding pigeons were taken over from (late) Roger Ghyselyns (Wortegem-Petegem). These pigeons are utmost suitable for the heavier work and will get a fair chance at Daniel’s. It is all pearls by hand, the strong selection by hand in combination with the results has done a lot of very good work on the breeding loft.

Were many dream off…. National Champion

Many have been called…yes, we all race to win, we all like to win a ranking or a championship, but becoming a national champion is not for many. The national championship extreme long distance with year birds (1st and 2nd basketed) were raced on 2 national extreme long-distance races namely Agen and Narbonne. “You have to be lucky” is what they say when it concerns the 1st and 2nd given pigeon. But as the rules are equal for everybody you don’t need to be lucky; everybody is being measured with the same stave.

And in 2021 this beautiful title is being put away for Daniel and his year birds. On Agen we can call it a small festival. He basketed 6 yearling cocks for this race who knew an honest and nice course. The all won prize on a national level (got all home at the same day) and won the following beautiful result against 7,360b 6th,156th,200st,858th,1.069th ,1.090th. A result to bow for with the 1st and 2nd given ahead.

On Narbonne they hit the rose again nationally against 5,971b: 20th, 248th, 593rd (3/5) again with the 1st and 2nd signed ahead.

The title of national champion was won with a total coefficient of 11,8963 % with a big lead to the 2nd in ranking with 20,5759 %.

The pigeons who took care of this title are:

  • BE20-4052050 (6th national Agen)
  • BE20-4052047 (156th national Agen): crossing Cees Vanderlaan x Leon Crowet
  • BE20-4052010 (248th national Narbonne): brother to 6th national Agen
  • BE20-4052039 (331st national Narbonne): crossing Cees Nijdeken (Arjan Beens) x Ad Fortuin (Batenburg)


11th Ace bird Extreme Long Distance 2021

No, the season of 2021 wasn’t a one-day fly as you should think this. In the past Daniel already won top prizes on the national race’s year after year but doesn’t want run high with it. Also, the fact that many already succeeded with his pigeons is what he prefers without mentioning any names in this article.

In 2021 he had next to the wonderful results of his year birds another one such as the “de Sint-Vincent” residing on his lofts.

This wonderful beautiful 4-year-old cock won ao:

  • Sint-Vincent national 12th of 3,080 pigeons
  • Perpignan national 71st of 3,901 pigeons

And classified himself as 11th best pigeon of Belgium on the extreme long distance.

See his pedigree underneath



Extreme long distance with a small basket

The number of pigeons on Daniels’ loft are of a very modest number. You won’t see a mega colony. With this number of pigeons, the focus needs to be placed on a few races of the extreme long distance.

There are about 10 breeding couples (along the quality one more or less).

The global racing team exists out of 50 cocks (only cocks on widowhood). The yearling birds are being treated really softly at the beginning.

The old pigeon team 2022 will exist out of 27 racing pigeons (older than yearlings)

  • 2 of 5 years
  • 3 of 4 years
  • 12 of 3 years
  • 10 of 2 years

These are being accomplished with about 25 youngsters (yearlings) who were born as summer youngsters.

All of them are being raced on the classic widowhood system and for the young and yearling pigeons is strong patience the measuring stick. They get the opportunity to learn how to do it at ease but have to show themselves once as yearling if they want a ticket for the future. Strong but righteous!

Not too complicated please

Daniel is strong believer of the KIS-system. Keep it simple. The pigeons are taken care of very well, the lofts aren’t too crowded and clean. They look closely at the health of the pigeons and once the parameters are set it is the result that decides.

During the week, the food of Mariman is being given and during the racing season it is being accomplished with the Versele Champion food with as extra a bit of candy and pealed sunflower pits. Feeding is also an art for the extreme long distance as the season is long and it is the art to keep the condition very well.

Medically Daniel has 3 advisors, namely his own microscope where he checks on a regular base the manure and mucus and the vets Dirk Moens and Piet Blancke. Daniel doesn’t go the vet a lot but what is necessary is necessary and their advice is being consulted on a regular base.

Before the season, the traditional tricho-cure for 5 days and a cure against head problems and after that it is nature that has to do its job. During the season, the pigeons get a yellow drop in each nostril the day after arrival. During the season Daniel likes to keep away as far as possible from the medication, but if something is necessary it has to be given.

A closing thought after a conversation with this national winner is again overloaded with cliché’s who we all acknowledge but are harder to realize in real live as thought: make sure you have a healthy loft, the quality of the pigeons give the best results, observe well and take care of a strong base health, the result has to be the selection norm, don’t do any overkill but don’t leave it to the coincidence, and so on….

For Daniel Colpaert this is the case, it all seems simple, but his eye isn’t less sharp. He is an experienced racer who realizes very well that specialization isn’t a hype anymore within pigeon sport. He has an opinion, always well argued…and the war-horse from Daniel is that he would find it very sad should the social aspect of pigeon sport (people who experience their hobby amongst each other with a lot of fun) would disappear due to many external treats.

Congratulations to Daniel and Marie-Rose with this wonderful title and long live pigeon sport as hobby!