Gaby Vandenabeele, "The Story of a Living Legend..." "The past and the present..."


Gaby Vandenabeele


It is difficult to write something new about Gaby Vandenabeele, something nobody already knows. His pigeons are part of the Belgian pigeon history. The names of his best breeders like "Kleinen" and "Wittenbuik" are known all over the world where pigeons are flying. Who wouldn't want to have children or grandchildren out of these super ancestors ? A lot is spoken and written about these cracks; they even made video films about these pigeons. Is there something that isn't already said about the pigeons of Gaby Vandenabeele ? I really can't imagine... There are no secrets in Dentergem, only that there areextraordinary birds. By talking to many different pigeon fanciers I found out that they all are very interested in how they came to build such a succesful colony...Probably the best colony in Belgium ! And in the world ?

Louis Janssen is getting very old...the latest brother of the famous Janssen dynasty. Well in my opinion, the world is ready for a new legend, born with the name Gaby Vandenabeele...

The time of the "Kleinen"


The house of the Vandenabeele family was build in 1977 with a loft in the back of this house. The first pigeons that moved to this brand new loft came from his father Gentiel who also was a fantastic fancier in the West Flanders, when it came down to the middle distance races. The base of Gentiel was build up around the pigeons of the famous loft Valère Desmet-Matthys (Nokere), Pol Bostyn (Moorslede) and Lucien Verstraete (Deinze). So the pigeons of father Gentiel were also at the base of the colony of Gaby. Three lines;being the line of the "Kleinen", the "Bijter" and the "Groten" became the pillar of the success of the colony in Dentergem. I once called them the carrying pillars of the base of Gaby but as I already explained earlier that one pillar can stand more weight than the other... So throughout the years it became clear that the pillar of the line of the "Kleinen" was the strongest and that's why most of the descendants came out of this bird. But let's find out all about it...

The Kleinen , B 81-3238253, was breeder N°1 for many years. He never saw a basket but still, the rush to the top of the Belgian pigeon sport
Gaby bred the Kleinen himself and the luck was all on his side, as they used to say in our sport. The father of "Kleinen", the "Zitterke", B 80-4055428, was borrowed of Jozef Delodder of Zulte, after he flew a first prize from Orléans with very hot weather and strong wind. The "Zittterke" only could stay for a short time at Gaby's and at that moment he didn't seem to have the proper hen in his own team. The best hens were already coupled and so Gaby went to his good friend Gilbert Van Parijs, who used to play very hard with his youngsters at the time. Gilbert immediately offered his "Ameyeke" B77-3064419, to pair against the "Zitterke". This Ameyeke was one of his best hens.

Already as a youngster this bird flew like no other and afterwards she also proved to be a perfect breeding hen. So the world famous " Kleinen" was the product of the couple "Zitterke" & "Ameyeke". The "Kleinen" got his name because he was a rather small pigeon but later on he belonged to the middling size. Paired to the "Goed Jong 76" of father Gentiel, the Kleinen immediately became sire of the "Picanol" B82-3258240, a true superbird that reached the title of provincial Ace Pigeon already as a yearling. Later on he also seemed to take care of very good descendants at the breeding section. One of his best daughters, was the Sissi, B88-3206088, which became the base hen at the loft of the famous Dutch fancier Ad Schaerlaeckens... 

(Info about the lofts : All the lofts are made of wood, 4 lofts for widowers, 2 within each 12 birds and 2 within each 16 birds. One loft is about 2.40 m on 1.80 m. There are three lofts for young birds and the size is about 3.00 m on 2.40. Then there is a breeding loft and a loft for the couples that raise the youngsters of the breeding couples. The breeding lofts also have extensive aviaries where the birds can have more than enough freedom to help keep them in good condition. The widowers and spare hens are separate in the outside lofts. There are also open aviaries where I can house pigeons that are not being used at any particular time.) 

Also the Fideel B 83-3105147 ( picture below ), is a son of the couple Zitterke x Ameyeke. He was also a big help for the fame created in Dentergem. Among other prizes he flew a 2nd national Limoges against 6.911 pigeons. A son of "The Fideel", the "Schone Fideel", B 86-3043047, is father of the "Blauwe Fideel", B 93-3050068, which won the 1st national prize from Brive (661 km) against 4.719 old birds and 3.970 2-year old birds.

The number of the succesful descendants of the "Kleinen" becomes bigger every year after year. He succeeded to become father of many super pigeons with several different hens. The star of the year 1988 was without any doubt the WittenbuikB 88-3206112 ( picture below ), when he was coupled to the Flicka. After a wonderful career as a widower, he moved to the breeding section in 1992. Gaby would never be sorry about this decision.


Still I would like to stay a bit longer to the "Kleinen" that produced one crack after another. Names like "Dokus", "Stier", "Turbo", "Bambino", "Wolfgang", "Parel", etc... - all sons of the "Kleinen" - remind us of the greatest results and it also proves his breeding qualities of these exceptional pigeons. It was in spring of 1995 that this fantastic Kleinen died and he left a kind of emptiness on the breeding section... 

Nevertheless the open space was soon fulfilled with his son the "Wittenbuik". Very soon it seemed that the cock even had more breeding qualities than his famous fatherWith many different hens this male bird gave true super class! Sons and daughters of this wonderful cock scored very strong in his racing career and on the breeding loft and not only in Dentergem. But at this moment the super career of the "Wittenbuik" is finished too...The bird is 14 yeras old and they still don't know which one will become the next super pigeon...of the Vandenabeele colony. Some of his sons proved their capacities but it won't be a son but a grandson that will take over the torch. Time will tell!
Maybe Bliksem ( picture below ) ? This is a grandson of Wittenbuik and fantastic pigeon !

Five National and 62 provincial victories !

Isn't it wonderful when you can show the world such a super result with 5 national and 62 provincial victories in a period of 14 years ( 1988 - 2003 ). Of course sometimes you need a bit of luck too. Just like 1995 was a fantastic year with 3 national and 12 provincial victories. It's really hard to believe that these super results can ever be surpassed. After all the results of 1995 can not stand as a measure to the following seasons of Gaby to conclude wronglyu that it's not that good anymore just because the number of victories will not be the same...

Some of the superstars of the last few years on the section of the widowers must be the "Jonge Kadet" B 98-3158024 ( picture below ) and the "Bliksem" B98-3158062. The "Jonge Kadet" convinced with several top-prizes and his best was the 1st Interprovincial Chateauroux ( 479 KM ) against 8.214 yearlings. The "Bliksem", a grandson of the Wittenbuik, had a super season in 2000. He was able to fly more prizes in the top 5 and on 16-07-2000 he got the interprovincial victory from Poitiers against 1.488 pigeons ( 538 KM ). With these results the "Bliksem" could have become National Ace-pigeon on the middle distance but only if Gaby would have played him on Bourges on 30-07-2000 instead of putting him in on Périgeux against 1.119 old pigeons. In this weekend it is the only flight from Bourges that counts to become ace-pigeon. There was no other choice. While the moral winner, the "Bliksem", still had the lowest coefficient at this point. Sire of the "Bliksem" is a son of Wittenbuik, namely the "Kolonel" that also has some other descendants. 

Vandenabeele pigeons are famous and wanted very much. All over the world where people like the pigeonsport like Germany, Holland, Poland, Denmark, England, Japan, China, Taiwan and the United States,... these Vandenabeele pigeons are successful...The only thing these birds need is patience because they grow rather slowly ( However in the Million Dollar Race this year in 2003, the first belgian pigeon from Mr Silvere Toye was a 100 % Gaby Vandenabeele bird, that raced there as a youngbird ). Only after the second moulting they turn out to be at their best, then they are really strong.

It is not possible to write down all the names of pored top results since many years and all with the race of Gaby. With 6125,23 points he became 11th national eople playing very succesful with the pigeons of Gaby. Still I would like to mention one or 2 names like Tony Van Ravenstein from Xanten ( Germany ) who already scChampion in Germany. Some years ago, in 1998 his X9878-95-827, a grandson of Wittenbuik, became 3rd national Ace pigeon of Germany with 961 points. 

Witpen Wittenbuik, superbreeder of Koen Minderhoud, a topracer in Holland.
Not so far away from Xanten, namely in Kleve, we find the combination Willi Linsen-Heinz Moll. Their ancestor is the Don Juan, B 94-3237031, a son of "Klein Blauwke", daughter of "Kleinen". The "Don Juan", not to mix up with the "Don Juan" of Gaby Vandenabeele, did not only fly unbelievable but he also showed to be even stronger in his role as breeder. His sons scored several prizes among which many results in the top 10 of the strong union in Kleve. But that is not all ! Willi Linsen also has with the B97 - 3157285, a son of "Blauwe Fideel" (B93-3050068) with "Zus Cinderella" which is an excellent breeder. With a hen of Toni Ravenstein, this son of the "Blauwe Fideel", gave the 02197-98-0693 that scored in Kleve in 1999 10 prizes and in 2000 12 prizes. The "693" became 4th National Ace Pigeon of Germany in 2000 with 950,55 ace-points.

Till now also Koen Minderhoud from Westkappelle in Holland, won top results with the birds of Gaby. It is almost unbelievable that Koen succeeded to win such prizes where he lives in Koudekerke and I am sure that he will do even better here. As many others also Koen based his colony on the line of the "Wittenbuik" and so he has breed very closely, in other words these vandenabeele-pigeons can stand the inbreed very well. The order of rank that Ravenstein, Linsen-Moll and Minderhoud were introduced has nothing to do with their qualities as a fancier. They are only shown as an example of fanciers that became succesful with the pigeons of Gaby.

From the past to the present... 

Nevertheless it's not easy to find the proper material to cross breed for such a succesful fancier. You surely can imagine that the others must be very strong to improve or even stay on the same level of the Vandenabeele-base.