On December 23rd, 2000, there was an exciting auction held in Beetsel, Belgium. Some of those in attendance were Mr. Erik Limbourg, Mr. Emiel Denys, Mr. Jos and Jan Loobuyck, Mr. Vanwildemeersch, Mr. Fauche (Fauche Freres), Mr. Stefaan Meremans, Mr. Jan Van Engelen, Mr. Julien Vaneenoo, Mr. Francois Collard, and many more. These and many other well-known champion flyers were in attendance at this auction to handle and bid on 64 late hatch youngbirds from the lofts of Gyselbrecht and Sons.
If you are not familiar with the name Gyselbrecht, this is probably because you do not follow the International Barcelona race. Over the past 15 years, no other loft has performed more consistently then the Gyselbrecht family.
1977 ~ Long Distance Champion of all Belgium
1986 ~ 86th international 18,079 pigeons
1987 ~ 31st international 21,545 pigeons
1991 ~ 7th international 27,167 pigeons
1994 ~ 92nd international 26,807 pigeons
1995 ~ 1st, 96th international 20,925 pigeons
1996 ~ 104th international 20,129 pigeons
1997 ~ 22nd, 76th, 171st International 24,907 pigeons
1999 ~ 2nd, 76th national 13,966 pigeons
2000 ~ 40th, 68th, 75th national 13,702 pigeons
Not only do the Gyselbrecht Family race birds win top prizes year after year, but other flyers are also winning the top prizes flying the Gyselbrecht bloodlines. For example, in 2000, the 9th, 41st, 66th, 78th, 109th, 118th, 146th, 178th, 227th and 321st place national winners (against 13,702 pigeons) were either 50% or 100% pure Gyselbrecht stock, bred and flown by other flyers. So, it is understandable why many top competitors would attend the Gyselbrecht auction.
Not surprisingly, the highest priced bird at the auction was a son of “Laureaat Barcelona” and sold for about $4,600.00 US. “Laureaat Barcelona”, is the 1995 ~ 1st International Barcelona Winner against 20,925 pigeons.
The history of the Gyselbrecht strain goes back to the 70’s. Father Remi, had developed a very good family of Barcelona pigeons. Among them was the ‘Oude Barcelona’, who, in 1978 was 57th International Barcelona with 11,131 pigeons competing. His son, ‘Jonge Barcelona’ 4165123/79 won in 1981 ~ 90th International Barcelona with 13,202 pigeons competing. In 1986, a son of ‘Jonge Barcelona’ called ‘Sproete Barcelona’ 4479934/84 won 86th International against 18,079 pigeons.
Like all the great competitors in Europe, Remi knew that to raise the level of competition he must add new blood from the top long distance flyers of Europe. In 1980, he acquired birds from Cobut; in 1982, from Vandermeren; in 1983 from Denys and in 1984 - 86, several selections from Andre Vanbruaene.
The 1983 acquisition from Emiel Denys was a son of the world famous “Tee” 4415211-76; who was the greatest Barcelona flyer of his era. The “Tee”, placed in the International Barcelona races 1979 - 46th, 1980 - 8th, 1981 - 102nd, and 1982 - 4th. That is right, as a six year old flyer, "Tee" won 4th International Barcelona, the Golden Wing Award of Belgium and was declared the greatest distance racer of the 5 year period, 1978 - 1982.
The greatest acquisitions, however, came to the Gyselbrecht Lofts directly from Andre Vanbruaene.
MISTER BARCELONA ~ Andre Vanbruaene
From the 1960’s thru the 1990’s no other strain of pigeon has so overwhelmingly dominated the Barcelona International races as those bred by Andre Vanbruaene. In 1962, Deraedt – Van Grembergen placed 2nd International Barcelona with a bird that was 50% Vanbruaene. This same bird won 1st International Barcelona in 1964. In 1966, Andre Vanbruaene won 1st International Barcelona. Then in 1983, Gilmont won 1st International Barcelona with a Vanbruaene bird.
It was during 1983, that Remi Gyselbrecht reserved 10 late hatches from Vanbruaene to be delivered in 1984. Little did Remi know that in 1984, Andre Vanbruaene would again win 1st International Barcelona, or that in 1985, Vervisch would win 1st International Barcelona with a Vanbruaene bird.
Three years in a row (‘83, ‘84, ‘85), the International Barcelona winners were all bred from 100% Vanbruaene stock, what a fantastic testimony to the masterful breeding capabilities of Andre Vanbruaene.
These Vanbruaene late hatches and several young hatched from eggs given to Remi by Vanbruaene in 1986, where to become the foundation of the Gyselbrecht loft. When the Vanbruaene birds were blended with the son of “Tee” from Emiel Denys and the 1991 acquisition, from Brouckaert, the “Jupiter-duivin”, many top Barcelona birds were bred, including “Laureaat Barcelona”, who in 1995, won 1st International Barcelona, for the Gyselbrecht Family.
One of the eggs given to Remi was from Andre’s widowhood racing loft. The racer was “Laureaat”, who over a four week period won 50th National Cahors ~ 5,330 p., 8th National Montauban ~ 3,466 p., and 47th National Lourdes ~ 4,129 p. For his efforts, “Laureaat” was declared 3rd National Ace Pigeon of all Belgium, by the KBDB. The bird hatched from this egg was also called “Laureaat”, and when bred to the “Jupiter-duivin” from Brouckaert, produced the 1995 ~ 1st International Barcelona winner against 20,925 pigeons.
The bird hatched from the second egg from “Laureaat”, was called “Laureaat-duivin”, and when she was bred on the son of “Tee” from Emiel Denys, produced the world famous “King”, who was an exceptional flyer placing 96th National Limoges ~ 19,250 p., 92nd International Barcelona ~ 26,807 p., and 365th International Barcelona ~ 20,925. “King” also proved to be a fantastic breeder, producing many top flyers. In last year’s Barcelona race (2000), two of King’s sons placed 68th and 75th National against 13,702 birds.
At Last, Van der Wegen
To maintain at the top and improve one’s breeding; the Gyselbrecht family believes it is necessary to introduce new blood regularly. In 1993, there was one family of birds producing fantastic results – the Van der Wegen’s. So, in 1993 and again in 1994, the Gyselbrecht Family introduced a number of direct Van der Wegen birds to their breeding program. The results were felt immediately with 3 of the first four birds in the 1997 Barcelona race being 50% Van der Wegen; including “Ronaldo”, who placed 22nd International against 24,908 pigeons. In 1999, “Sampras” (7/8’s Van der Wegen) won 2nd National Barcelona against 13,966 pigeons for the Gyselbrecht Family.
No other race winners are as valued as the 1st place International Barcelona winners. Recent prices paid include: $150,000.00 for “Smaragd II” by Masserella and $120,000.00 for “Gerda” by Seikan Kodama.
It is no wonder that many champions and future champions chose to attend the Gyselbrecht auction. These fanciers know, that in order to compete against the best you must have the best and no other loft in all of Europe can claim a greater performance from Barcelona then the Gyselbrecht Family.
The sound foundations laid, by father Remi, in the 70’s and faithfully maintained throughout the years by sons André and Carlo and grandsons Hannes, Thomas and Nikolaas, has resulted in a colony of consistently superior world-class long distance racing pigeons. Those who aspire to international success at Barcelona, realize that “the road to success” may well start with a visit to the Gyselbrecht Lofts, in Knesselare, Belgium.