Simply the best

De Rauw-Sablon and Marcel Aelbrecht are the new big names in pigeon racing, says Thomas Smit.

- Advertisement -

Faunty Gilmer, the new president of the SA National Pigeon Organisation, was recently asking about the breeding history of the De Rauw-Sablon and Marcel Aelbrecht lines in a pigeon chatroom on the internet recently. He’s not the only one to take note of this new sensation in racing pigeon genetics. In fact, everyone in the world is talking about it. 

There’s even a book about the De Rauw-Sablon story – The Kingmaker, co-written by Canadian pigeon fancier and journalist Silvio Mattacchione, and the founder of the PIPA Elite pigeon centre in Belgium, Nikolaas Gyselbrecht (available from  While you track down the book, let’s satisfy your curiosity about the Sablons and Aelbrechts a little.

Fanciers Etienne De Rauw and Frans Sablon worked together to found the remarkable De Rauw-Sablon pigeon line. Marcel Aelbrecht and others soon followed. The performance gene pool is predominantly middle and long distance based, but all-round champions have been reported worldwide.

- Advertisement -

It’s a blend of the bloodlines of Alois and Remi Stichelbaut, Gerhard and Oscar Catrysse and André Van Bruanne, with a touch of Michael Van Hee’s Motta line and an injection of a few long distance pigeons from older European strains, such as the Rik Van Looy birds. At the core is the Paola and Albert pair (Eric Limburg connection).

This mixture has been blended into a family of super racers and super breeders. A number of click pairs emerged and the gene pool was successfully captured by ambitious fanciers worldwide. Freddy Vandenheede and his brother Jacques developed their colony from the De Zieken lines – the Santens connection of Aelbrecht. De Zieken is the grand sire of the hen Het Krijt that clicked with the cock De Antigoon. This mating produced De Freddy.

De Freddy became the core of the Pros Roosens connection. Den Dromer, son of De Freddy, was responsible
for C&G Koopmans’ top third position in the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race, and was auctioned off to South African pigeon fancier Mark Kitchenbrand for more than R200 000. In the André Verbesselt connection, the cock of the Bak 17 click pair is a grandson of Den Dromer. The hen in the pair is sired by Den Eijzeren, from the Stichelbaut line.

Out of Africa Lofts has booked the following results with the offspring of fresh importations from the De Rauw-Sablon/Marcel Aelbrecht lines:

  • 3rd National Ace Pigeon (long distance) SA 2011.
  • 1st Ace Bird (middle distance) Young Bird Series, GRPA Combine, 2011.
  • 1st Ace Bird (middle distance) Overall Young and Old Bird Series, GRPA Combine, 2011.
  • 2nd Ace Bird, Young Bird Series, GRPA, 2011 (beaten by loft mate).
  • Ace Bird Short Distance Club Young Bird Series, 2011.

The 2012 season has produced a long list of 35 wins thus far. But I think the point has been made. The De Rauw-Sablon and Marcel Aelbrecht pigeons are among the best strains ever imported into South Africa.

Contact Thomas Smit on 011 680 4778 or at [email protected]. Please state ‘Pigeons’ in the subject line of your email.