Gaby Vandenabeele:The Legend 

by: Stefan Mertens

Gaby Vandenabeele

 Aviary on a 
stockbird loft 


 Each stock pair 
has a large box 





 Youngbirds above 
Breeding lofts below



Ventilation is an 
important part of 
this loft design







"Bliksem" is popular 
in the Far East also




 Inside the 
breeding loft 

 A view inside the 
stock loft 

 "James Bond"

 "James Bond" 
is also well known 
in the Far East 

A pair of 
widowers' lofts 

 The widowers are 
clocked in this way 

Gaby Vandenabeele
searching the Web




enjoying his dog

Dentergem: Are we visiting the best Belgian fancier of today? If we look at the results from the last 15 or 20 years, then we have to say yes. This is certainly true when we talk about the races of distances between 500 and 700 kilometers. For years, our friend in the sport Gaby has concentrated his system on the provincial races, and here he was noted 66 times as Number One! Sixty-six provincial victories. It is all very quickly said but not so easy to achieve. Gaby was racing so hard that all the clubs in the neighborhood closed their doors to Dentergem so that Gaby had only the opportunity to win prizes in the provincial or national racing results, and then it is of course not so easy anymore to "control" a whole race.

Talking about the national races, here Gaby has already booked five victories.

Before we start this report, I want to mention and thank Dirk Zooland (G), since through one of his reports we received a lot of good information about the Vandenabeele loft.


Like a lot of fanciers, Gaby came in contact with pigeons while his father was also a pigeon fancier. Father Gentiel was a well-known middle-distance racer, and Gaby's first pigeons of course came from his father. The pigeons of father Gentiel were based on pigeons from Valère Desmet-Matthijs (Nokere), Pol Bostijn (Moorslede) and Lucien Verstraete (Deinze). Even today, we still find pigeons of father Gentiel back in the pedigrees. Some birds with a big influence are "Goed Jong 76" (3052115/76), and "Prinses" (3388519/79 - mother "Bijter").


When you look at the first base-bird of the Vandenabeele loft, it's "The Kleinen" (Dutch for "The Little"). The "Kleinen" (3238153/81) never saw the inside of a basket but earned his world-famous name in the breeding loft. Being lucky is always important in life, as well as in the pigeon sport, and Gaby got very lucky when he coupled the parents of the "Kleinen." Here is the story. People who know our champion know that Gaby loves widowers who win a first prize in very hot weather and against a headwind. Well "Zitterke" (4055428/80) from Jozef Delodder (Zulte) won a first prize in these weather conditions with several minutes in front from Orleans. Gaby could use "Zitterke" for a very short time, but he didn't have a good hen for him. Telling this to his very good friend Gilbert Van Parijs (Aarsele and for a number of years loft manager for Norman, Westkapelle), they made a deal for Gilbert to bring his good breeding hen "Ameyke" (3064419/77) to couple with "Zitterke." "Ameyke" flew very well as a youngbird and was already mother of several good racers. The first youngbird from the coupling "Zitterke" X "Ameyke" was the "Kleinen."

In 1982, the "Kleinen" was coupled with "Goed Jong 76." The first youngbird out of this pair was the "Picanol" (3258240/82). This widower became as a yearbird 1st provincial ace-pigeon for West-Flanders. One year later, out of the same couple, the "Fideel" (3105147/83) was born, again a real top bird and top breeder because his son "Jonge Fideel" (3043047/86) became father of the "Blauwe Fideel" (3050068/93), and then we talk about the first national Brive.

But Gaby did the coupling of the century in 1988. At that time he coupled the "Kleinen" to "Flicka" (3008002/87), a daughter of the "Bijter," and the first young that was born out of this coupling was the "Wittenbuik" (3206112/88), a top racer but also top breeder.


I 'm convinced that we will talk now about the most famous pigeon of Gaby Vandenabeele. Worldwide, everybody knows this top bird. The "Wittebuik" won the following top results: 1st interprovincial Angoulème (638km) against 2450 b., 1st interprovincial Limoges (592km) against 2309 birds, 1st interprovincial Poitiers (538km) against 2713 birds, and 2nd interprovincial Poitiers against 1435 birds. At the end of July, 1991, the "Wittenbuik" was transferred to the breeding loft and a new career was started. Facts are facts. Here they come:

"Kolonel" 3233008/92: Son "Wittenbuik" X "Prinsesje" (daughter "Picanol") won: 1st Chateauroux against 1030b. - 2nd Orleans 1413b. and so on… The "Kolonel" is father of "Bliksem" (3158062/98) and he won: 2nd Chateauroux 4662b. - 8th Poitiers 2975b. - 4th Ruffec 1778b. - 1st Poitiers 1488b. - 5th Perigueux 1119b. These results were all won in the racingseason of 2000. With this results the "Bliksem" could easily become national ace-pigeon on the middle distance if Gaby had basketted in the weekend of 30.07.2000 this pigeon for Bourges instead of Périgueux because only Bourges counted for the national champion . 

"Dolores" 3332945/95 comes from "Wittenbuik" X "Prinsesje" Won 179 national Bourges against 25.803 birds, 11th interprovincial Chateauroux 7000 b. - 23rd national Bourges 14.883 b.

"Bolero" 3158003/98 . Out of "Wittenbuik" X "Blauw Limoges" (3336350/95) Won: 43rd national Souillac 7154 b. - 206th national Limoges 11279b. - 51st Chateauroux 8214b. 

And so we can mention a lot of children and grandchildren.

And when we look at the pedigree of the "James Bond" (3031007/01), we see that the mother of this top bird is "Zus Wittenbuik" (sister Wittenbuik - 3349996/92 ). "James Bond" won 15th Blois 1927 b. - 25th Blois 3045b. - 240th national Bourges 14,535 b. - 79th Chateauroux 6334b. - 43st Chateauroux 7347b. and then the 1st national Bourges 13,166b.

But the "Kleinen" and the "Wittenbuik" are not Gaby's only base-birds. No, there is also the "Bijter" (3250688/80) and the "Groten" (4427490/84). When you look at the ring numbers, then you see that the "Groten" is not a bird from West-Flanders but from East-Flanders. The "Groten" comes from the loft of Robert Willequet (Kluisbergen) and is a son of his famous "Crack." The "Groten" was raced and won seven first prizes. Famous sons of the "Groten" are "Playboy" (3043122/86) - "Baron" (3206009/88) - "Braven" (3206047/88).


Together with the "James Bond" (007/01), we can also mention "Witpen Turbo" (3200602/00). "Witpen Turbo" is a son of the "Turbo" ("Kleinen" X "Georgette") with "Witpen Casaert." This widower won 6th Limoges 2893 birds and 5th national against 8143 birds. He also won as a yearbird the 2nd Limoges 10,984 birds.

Another top widower is the "Souterraine" (3200566/00), a son of the "Late Wittenbuik" (from "Wittenbuik" X "Crack-Duivin"). He won the 1st provincial Angoulème against 1764 birds.

"Kleine Bliksem" (son Kolonel X Rita) won the 6th national Bourges against 13,116 birds.


In total we count 48 widowers. This team is divided into two groups while Gaby basket his widowers, for 500 - 600km races, every two weeks. Gaby does that while he wants his widowers to be very well recuperated for the next race. This system is followed from the first short-distance races, so they're immediately in a kind of system.

Gaby is a top fancier and top fanciers feed their widowers individuallyl. A few yearsago, Gaby has his own base feed commercialised. This mixture is a proteinpoot(???) mixture and contains a little french maïs (31%), Dari (20%), Cardy (20%), Paddy Rice (20%), Katjang Idjoe (2%), wheat 1.9%, barley (1%), peeled oats (1.6%), milo (1.6%), rapeseed (0.3%), linseed (0.3%), buckwheat ( 0.3%) and no beans or peas. This mixture is fed until a few days before basketting. Then the last two days an extra measure of maïs and peeled sunflower seeds is given.

On the medical scene, Gaby's method is to give as little as possible, but when it is necessary a fancier must treat. Normally, the personal diagnosis and the advice of a specialized vet are followed.

Vitamins and electrolytes are given weekly, and these come from the German firm Röhnfried.

(through 06.26.04)

Bourges 14,833 b.: 2-13-23-31-62-83-113-145-193-556-586-839 (12/19) 
Chateauroux 7000 b.: 2-4-11-23-25-34-53-59-63-113 (27/30)
Chateauroux 8214 b.: 1-10-51-52-60-68-78-159-204 (19/24)
Limoges 1158 b.: 2-4-8-9-22-43-45-69-71-74-80 (19/21) Chateauroux 4221 b.: 4-7-8-20-47-74-356-557-922 (9/11) 
Chateauroux 4498 b.: 5-13-14-16-22-186-215-266-274-666-919-1387 (12/13)
Chateauroux 7347 b.: 5-6-10-11-26-43-128-140-1309-1680-1820-1959-2069 (14/20)
Limoges 3619 b.: 2-3-14-60-490-583-827-1117 (8/14) Chateauroux 6334 b.: 1-9-22-27-62-79-85-93-99-121-241-338-500- (16/18)
Bourges 13,116 b. 1-6-131-804-1067-1747-2919 (7/16) Angoulème: 1764b.:1-6-20-40-60-80-83-123-226 (9/12) Ruffec 1648 b.: 2-10-34-43-46-49-57-92-118-12-187-329-375-425 (14/16)
Périgueux 1091b.: 2-3-8-35-122-155-166-172-209 (9/9) Chateauroux 4061 b.: 12-64-73-157-167-210-318-356-520 (11/12)
Brive 19,477 b.: 19-20-33-208-248-509-714-819-1578-2250 (12)
Angoulème 2589 b. 4-13-132-139-341-381-415-579-668-696 (14) 
























































































Back to top































































































































Back to top