Halle-Booienhoven: It is possible that it didn’t occur to you straight away, but when we opened the marvellous breeding book from Herbots Gebroeders, our attention was immediately drawn towards the overview of the Olympiad participations of this colony. Since the Olympiad in Utrecht (1995) until the last organised Olympiad in Brussels, the Herbots family delivered no less than 12 pigeons (only top-3 spots) ! To be clear about it…this Olympiad cracks have all flown in Halle-Booienhoven ! We don’t even talk about the Olympiad pigeons that were bought.

The more than impressive list of the Olympiad participations looks as underneath:

Utrecht 1995                    Allround cat.                     “Olympus”                         2053422-93
Bazel 1997                         Allround cat.                     “Boemerang”                   1051557-92
Bazel 1997                         ½ Long Distance cat.       “Den 155”                         6371155-91
Blackpool 1999                Allround cat.                     “Lucky Number”              2087113-97
South-Africa 2001            Allround cat.                     “Number 1”                      5090216-98
Porto 2005                        ½ Long Distance cat.       “Filip”                                 2101107-03
Ostend 2007                     Allround cat.                     “Champion B.P.”              2107204-00
Ostende2007                    Allround cat.                     “Olympia”                         2267115-05
Nitra 2013                         Cat. H.                                “Els”                                   2192630-10
Budapest 2015                 Cat. B. + C + H.                 “Yva”                                  2177058-12
Budapest 2015                 Cat. Allround                     “Yvonne”                           2186136-11
Brussels 2017                    Cat. Allround                     “Olympic Boss”                2313054-14



Filip…the first question to you. Where does your love for Olympiad pigeons come from? 

This is really easy to explain…a national ace bird is a superb pigeon…delivering top results during one year is pure class…but an Olympiad pigeon has to shake superior results out of his wings during 2 seasons and not every pigeon can do this two seasons in a row.
According to my modest opinion the Olympiad pigeons are the national ace birds but then the out-selected ones. The real supers amongst the supers…although some luck comes in as the results have to be won in the right years. Take for example our current base breeder ‘Yvan’…he became 4th national ace bird KBDB Long Middle Distance 2008 and 1st national ace bird KBDB Middle Distance 2009…but these weren’t the seasons that counted for the Olympiad results, so ‘Yvan’ never became an Olympiad bird !

When you, as a fancier, have guided so many Olympiad pigeons during their entire racing career than there has to be something you can recognize a future Olympiad pigeon on?

Yes…now I have to think for a while…something in common…my answer might be a bit disappointing but I can only answer that each and one Olympiad bird has his own story and that these are never ugly pigeons by hand. We took, as pigeon brokers, many Olympiad pigeons in our hands and these were found in different shapes and sizes. If there might be a mutual thing, pigeon sport would become straight away something for the history books as only the well-fortuned fanciers would be able to afford these top pigeons.

You say…each Olympiad pigeon has its story…what do you mean exactly?

Well…let’s talk our Olympiad bird category All-round “Olympic Boss” (B14-2313054) as an example. As a young bird he didn’t do that remarkable well. He was most talked about when he stayed behind on the very bad Gueret in 2014. The pigeons were only being released at 10h30 and this with severe head wind and dark weather. None of the clubs could close the race the same day…so you know enough ! “Olympic Boss” was called in a few days later only on 3km from his own loft. He was caught at a pig farmer…totally empty and as thin as hell. Nevertheless we gave him another chance and he recuperated extremely fast which is always a good sign. “Olympic Boss” went through the moulting period perfectly and got his second chance as a year bird. He didn’t disappoint and two years later we can put, next to his impressive list of honour, the Olympiad nomination on his palmaris.

Just as with many top results the “Olympic Boss” was always extremely motivated when he went into the basket prior to a race. You know we handle the chaos system of the total widowhood. Now, the “Olympic Boss” had two hens…one in his box and a second one where he could cuddle with in a turned around carton box in the hallway. He didn’t know where to go first…and when he was with his hen in his box and he saw another cock sitting on his carton box in the corridor he ,off course, had to chase him away immediately. A super motivation with super results as result. Although, we also made the mistake in giving always both hens onto the race and when one of the hens was left behind from a race, the motivation of “Olympic Boss” was seriously harmed. Luckily he already got the necessary results in his pocket for his Olympic nomination.


And there you are…with an Olympic crack in a breeding box…how do you manage to breed good pigeons out of him?

We have to be honest and confess that also for us it is the game of the laws of heritability from mother nature…breed a lot and select very strong is and stays the shortest way to success…but we are 100% convinced that you have more luck to breed good pigeons when you start with super pigeons at the base…’you can never breed a racing horse out of a donkey’ says the farmer…and he is right. For that reason the selection of hens is – against which the Olympic winner is being coupled – very important. We just can’t go around it quickly…no…as a fancier you have to take your time to decide. The hens are being selected out of a strain we believe in. As for example our breeding line of our “Yvan” (heads back to the “Bliksem” from Vandenabeele) – the strain of “Nationaal I” (Schellens) and the old base of our 2nd Olympiad bird “155” (Grondelaers x Soontjens). The last few years also the Heremans-Ceusters pigeons are becoming more and more important on our breeding loft. So, at selecting the hens we will make sure that their pedigree is being spiced with one of these breeding lines.

So the Olympiad cock gets for the rest of his live the mark of ‘bull’ tattooed onto his chest?

No…you can’t put it like that…look…we always have two cocks ready that follow the ‘bull-method’. One moment it is for example “Big Boss” and “Yvan” , but a few weeks later it can change to “Olympic Boss” and “New Belgian Pride “ … when the cocks aren’t being used as bull, they are just in their breeding box together with a hen and can follow the normal cycle and bring up a pair of youngsters.

What do we need to bring the ‘bull method’ to a success. First of all two superior (breeding)cocks…secondly 24 lesbian hens (best thing is to choose 2-year old and 3-year old hens) which come out of the prior noted breeding lines and third of all many feeding couples.

The hens are being prepared very well before being coupled to each other and seeing that we work with 2-year old and 3-year old hens, they pair up rather quick. Once they are paired up very well, they are being taking by hand daily and when they start to open up they can go all one by one to one of the ‘bulls’ and he can do his job. This is how all 24 hens are being placed every day with the cocks. Once the hens laid their eggs, one couple of eggs stays with them and the other pair will go to a feeding couple. This way we can have of some cocks very quick many youngsters with different hens. To be entirely sure, every youngster will have a DNA analyses.


Breeding out of Olympiad pigeons…I imagine that it is not all gold that shines?

We don’t have to tell lies to each other…not every youngster born out of an Olympiad can be superb, but – and we are all more than convinced about it – the chance in succeeding is much bigger. Almost out of all our Olympiad pigeons, we did breed top pigeons. If it wasn’t out of the first generation, then we surely got successes in 2nd and even 3rd generation. A few examples to meet up to our statement:

“Den 155” (B91-6371155 – Olympiad pigeon Bazel ’97) became father of a.o. “Number 1” (B98-5090216 – Olympiad pigeon South-Africa 2001 and 1st National ace bird KBDB Middle Distance 1999)

“Number 1” (B98-5090216 – Olympiad pigeon South-Africa 2001) became grandfather of “Champion B.P.” (B04-2107204 – Olympiad pigeon Ostend 2007). “Number 1” is also grandfather of a.o.  “Royal Prins” (B10-2192064 – won 4 x Top-100 National)

“Multi 155” (B08-2169207 – 4th Olympiad pigeon 2011) is a double great-grandson of  “Den 155” and a great-grandson “Number 1”.

“Filip” (B03-2101107 – Olympiad pigeon Porto) became father of several 1st prize racers but also at the German champion Karsten-Ploog a daughter “Filip” raced amazingly well with 1st against 7,456b. – 1st  against 2,318b. – 1st against 914b., this all without doubles.

“Lucky Number” (B97-2087113 – Olympiad pigeon Blackpool) became father of a.o. 4th provincial ace bird KBDB .

“Els” (B10-2192630 – Olympiad pigeon Nitra) is also mother of 1st prize winners

“Big Boss” (DV01274-10-272 – Olympiad pigeon Nitra) is father of “Olympic Boss” (B14-2313054 – Olympiad pigeon Brussels) …

I know that “Yvan” (B07-2103401) doesn’t have an Olympic nomination…but if his results were flown in the ‘right years’ he would have had a lot of chance in becoming an Olympiad pigeon…well, “Yvan” already gave many superb pigeons both on our own loft as on many other lofts. He is amongst other father of  “Yvonne” (B11-2186136)…Olympiad pigeon All-round Budapest 2015, but also father of the other Olympiad pigeon “Yva” (B12-2177058 – Olympiad pigeon Cat. C Long Distance Budapest 2015). “Yvan” is meanwhile also grandfather of “Christianne” (B13-2172001 – 1st National Argenton and 7th National Chateauroux) and at our sport friend Faber is “Yvan” grandfather of the 2nd National ace bird yearlings hens Germany.  Also Anton Ruitenberg (NL) bred top pigeons out of a child “Yvan” with amongst other 1st NPO Argenton and 10th NPO Chateauroux . Oh yes…the 4th national ace bird KBDB youngsters 2014 at Luc Van Mechelen has as grandfather “Yvan” and the great-grandfather of the 1st Olympiad pigeon Brussels for Czech Republic is also “Yvan”… and we could go on like this endlessly.

This just can’t be all coincidence, can it…and who knows what the future brings us?

Jo...what convinced you to buy the Olympiad pigeon “Big Boss”, father of “Olympic Boss” ?

I saw “Big Boss” for the first time when he was showing off in an exposition cage at the Olympiad in Nitra. His sublime results draw my attention … 1st National ace bird Germany 2012 – 1st Olympiad pigeon middle distance with a coefficient of 9,36% over 8 races between 300km and 600km and 1st Olympiad pigeon all-round (over 11 races). Even without holding him by hand and without seeing any pedigree, I took my chance and transferred this crack from Wolfgang Roeper to Halle-Booienhoven. When I saw his pedigree I saw that he had running a lot of short distance blood through his veins. His father is the “Blauwe Wouters” (B08-6293402 – a full brother “Blue Dream”, 1st national ace bird KBDB short distance) and his mother is DV7107-336-09 (a daughter “De Gus” – B03-6032858 – which is a full brother of the famous “Olympiade 003” from Heremans-Ceusters ). 

“Big Boss” is a cock of the smaller type, well feathered and with an unseen character head on his strong carcass. Coupled to “B13-2188001” (a granddaughter “Olympiade 003”) he gave “Olympic Boss”. “Olympic Boss” is a bit bigger as his father and has a broader carcass under his impressive wings. I assume that with these kind of pigeons can’t go something wrong.

Family Herbots from Halle-Booienhoven… we are convinced that we didn’t put down the last top result…the motivation of the entire Herbots team is way to big !  We already look forward to our next meeting…good luck!