Basketing Release Race Number of pigeons Category
20 Jun 09:28
23 Jun 06:45
Brive | 2018 4412



Distance: 665km
Velocity: 1155,37 m/m

Moortsele: The season 2018 was going to be the season of the ‘new start’ for Tom and father Marnik Van Gaver, this after the split up with a former combination. Also for them it was wait and see how it was going to be. The lofts where they won in 2016 the national championship KBDB Long distance old birds and the 1st national Jarnac in 2015 (and loads of other top results in the national championships) stayed but were totally renewed to make it more user-friendly. This is how they invested in boxes on automatic conveyor belts and the roof was totally renewed as well. Also a total new young birds loft was built so they could introduce a special motivation concept. Also on this loft they made sure everything was easy to clean and to let everything run smoothly. The breeding loft had a makeover and they added different aviaries so all pigeons can enjoy the open air. Safety above everything and a new fence under super vision of an alarm and camera installation is foreseen. Tom:” Last year we invested a lot of time, money and energy to make sure our ‘new start’ would run as smoothly as possible but that we could already expect a national victory is something I could never dream.’

What the new start is concerned…in a matter of experience and pigeon knowledge is Tom top of Belgium, so it wouldn’t be that difficult on that side. Only in a matter of pigeons it was a bit wait and see as per exception of a few summer youngsters out the former top pigeons, they needed fully to invest again in new pigeons. New pigeons which were partly bought and partly co-bred got a breeding box on the lofts in the Vijverstraat 65. Tom: “I went to visit some strong racing fanciers and now it is time to select them thoroughly after the season of 2018. I would like to thank underneath fanciers for their cooperation and trust: Raf Den Haese (Moortsele - base Eric Limbourg pigeons) - Rudi Den Haese (Moortsele) - Bart Geerinckx (Wommelgem) - PEC (Knesselare) - Bostoen Sam (Adegem) - Jan Pappens (Hundelgem) - Davy Tournelle (Rummen) - Adrien Mirabelle (Ghlin) - Davy Neirynck (Baaigem) - De Maeseneer Philip (Denderwindeke) - Bauters Jo (Gavere) - Ally Norbert and Stefaan (Aarsele) – Rik Cools (Ruiselede) and a few Chinese pigeon friends which made me possess off spring of the best pigeons from Goeteyn Annick (Deinze) - Everaert Frederik (Zwijnaarde) - Vandenabeele Gaby (Dentergem) - Bellaert Paul (Oedelgem – base Clicque Gino)


Tom was raised in between pigeons. Already as a small boy he couldn’t be taken away from the lofts from his father Marnik. Marnik used to be a big competitor on the greater middle distance and long distance. He had it in his fingers and knew to breed a strong strain and to select them thoroughly. Tom doesn’t have it from any stranger. Marnik is since this restart and his retirement more involved again with the pigeons and makes sure that especially the youngsters are able to train during the day. Also the feeding towards a race of the widow cocks is something that Marnik takes onto his account, while Tom prepares everything for the home coming of the pigeons. Marnik is also a fervent pigeon watcher, helps to register at homecoming and takes in the clock while Tom takes care of the pigeons. Tom and father Marnik are two men under one roof and Marnik also takes care of the house hold which gives Tom the necessary space and time to keep himself busy 100% with the care of the pigeons.

Tom is extremely passionate what the pigeons are concerned. But he stays the simplicity himself and tries to let the results speak for themselves. He puts in 100% effort and expects this from his pigeons as well. An extremely hard regime is what they get but this within a perfect care. The ones who can’t keep up are out, either by staying behind after a race either by the selection of Tom. He likes to listen to other top fanciers but he has developed his own approach in the meantime, care and vision on the pigeon sport and the pigeons themselves. When you hold the pigeons from Tom in your hand you feel piece by piece real athletes of the strongest calibre. Well-muscled, perfectly closed vent bones, strong back, strong arm, nice wing and heavily pigmented eyes. Next to results he obviously selects on looks. But one has the other in hand, when you select strong you will have the necessary qualities on your loft on the long term.


Tom explains enthusiastic:’ My widow cocks exists out of about 50 cocks. For the time being I don’t have a hens team. If I would have about 15 good young hens, I might have a hens team at the start of 2019. The widow cocks were being coupled on the 4th of December, could raise a couple of youngsters and were being separated in due time. Half of February the obliged vaccination against paramyxo was given and 14 days later we vaccinated against small pocks (via the neck, not with the brush). Another week later we cured during 7 days against parathypus. After this cure we gave Para Boost (De Weerdt – through the crop). Another 2 weeks later the training basket was taken out of the attic and the first training flights were a fact. They were coupled again and stayed together for another 14 days. I especially do this as the widow cocks get a greater urge to get home like this.
The widow cocks raced 3x a short distance race – 1 x middle distance race and then 6 weeks after each other a greater middle distance race. Despite the fact it weren’t all easy races I let the widow cocks go through them so they could get the necessary experience and shape. But this heavy regime costed a lot of feathers off course but I rather like to see this as a selection then a loss. I would like to have a strong long distance team and the shortest way to get this is to breed a lot, race a lot and to select extremely hard.
The week before Brive I gave them one weekend off…only a short trainings race of 60km was on the schedule on Friday before basketing. Oh yes, before I forget to mention this….since the start of the season I tossed my widow cocks every Wednesday morning at 40km. At home coming the hens were half box and when every single cock got home, the hens were taken away and they were being fed. In the evening they trained again around the loft.’


“In a matter of feeding I fully rely on the quality mixtures from Beyers. The day of home coming they get a protein- and fat- rich mixture to refill the used energy as quickly as possible. The day after home coming they get a more light and digestible mixture. So, as base I give them the Vandenabeele mixture, then I change onto Sport Light Galaxy and the feeding towards the races happens with Galaxy Long Distance and a fat rich mixture. I give them daily fresh grit mix and in a matter of side products the producers have a real good customer on me. Products from Beyers, Schroeder, Herbots, Röhnfried, De Weerdt, Backs, Vanhee and Ropa are on the menu.
In a medical way the pigeons are being set ready for 100% before the start of the season and during the season the medical cup board stays closes. Normally it should work out with the right side products on the right moment to keep the pigeons healthy and in shape. We don’t cure against ornithoses…the ones who suffer this are taken out without hesitation.”


The national winner is a nice white headed cock, 100% late Raf Den Haese. Tom “I always looked up to the results from Raf and the last few years we grew closer together. As Raf only raced hens and had a lot of cocks amongst his young birds 2017, he asked whether I could take them over and race them at my place as widow cocks. I already knew by then that I would race on my own and as I would have only few widow cocks I accepted and bought the young cocks from Raf. We set a price and 19 young cocks were delivered. I lost 2 of them in training and now I have 8 Den Haese cocks that are on the top of the results list more than once. One of those guys is ‘Raf’, my national Brive winner.
This beautiful white pin cock is a direct son of the pigeon that took care of unseen results at Raf and also took care of a national victory. Sadly enough Raf passed away very shortly after the young cocks were moved onto my loft. It is very sad that Raf didn’t live to see this, but I’m sure that Raf looks down on us and enjoys it. This national victory is one I really want to dedicate to Raf Den Haese. I dreamed months about an amazing result with a pigeon from Raf on a heavy national race to remember him. That it worked out like this is too crazy to say it out loud. The pigeon I estimated the highest to get it done was basketed as first signed and won !


Brive national was marked in bright yellow on the racing calendar at Tom’s. It was his first challenge to prove that he was there again and his pigeons didn’t disappoint at all. No less than 5 Van Gaver pigeons placed themselves within the Top 50 national. Classy …and this is very promising for the future !

Results according KBDB online: 4,442 year birds: 1-11-22-42-46-68-96-162-164-174-243-252-622-654-747-749-866-869-884-972-1002-1095 (22/35)

Tom and Marnik, once again a big congratulations from the entire Herbots team and see you on your next national victory. It is heartily granted !

B17-4163570: 1st NATIONAL BRIVE 4,412b.

Stefan Mertens



Number of pigeons


Local Oude/Vieux Jaar./Year. Jong./Jeunes Tota(al)  
Vlaams Brabant          
GOOIK 109 111   220  
BEERSEL 54 77   131  
KAP,O/D BOS 52 39   91  
HERENT 187 90   277  
TIENEN 197 111   308  
TESTELT 115 36   151  
BEGIJNENDIJK 152 81   233  
  866 545 0 1411  
Brabant Wallon          
MONT-ST-GUIBERT 12 6   18  
NIVELLES 73 4   77  
RAMILIES 153 27   180  
WAVRE 45 39   84  
  283 76 0 359  
WIJNEGEM 59 51   110  
BEVEL 55 47   102  
STABROEK 41 24   65  
OUD-TURNHOUT 59 63   122  
HERENTALS 39 43   82  
RETIE 55 23   78  
HOUTVENNE 68 16   84  
MOL 54 80   134  
BEERSE 25 10   35  
SINT-JOB-IN-'T GOOR 150 49   199  
MECHELEN 52 25   77  
SCHILDE 49 29   78  
  706 460 0 1166  
Local Oude/Vieux Jaar./Year. Jong./Jeunes Tota(al)  
STEENBRUGGE 331 216   547  
AVELGEM 66 25   91  
ROESELARE 176 85   261  
GISTEL 216 88   304  
KORTRIJK 247 114   361  
REKKEM 281 181   462  
VLAMERTINGE 201 102   303  
WAREGEM 184 61   245  
KORTEMARK 319 189   508  
RUISELEDE 174 75   249  
IEPER 212 103   315  
  2407 1239 0 3646  
AALST 193 85   278  
DENDERMONDE 68 44   112  
NINOVE 249 114   363  
LOKEREN 173 50   223  
SINT-GILLIS-WAAS 116 40   156  
ZOTTEGEM 322 126   448  
EEKLO 428 147   575  
MOERBEKE 345 55   400  
GENT 137 99   236  
RONSE 233 128   361  
  2264 888 0 3152  
MAASEIK 58 33   91  
ST TRUIDEN 94 12   106  
TONGEREN 224 111   335  
ZONHOVEN 158 46   204  
LANAKEN 63 47   110  
  785 301 0 1086  
Local Oude/Vieux Jaar./Year. Jong./Jeunes Tota(al)  
LESSINES 154 13   167  
SOIGNIES 138 86   224  
ATH 162 35   197  
ESTINNES-AU-VAL 293 35   328  
TOURNAI 253 170   423  
LEUZE-EN-HAINAUT 176 106   282  
PONT-A-CELLES 153 65   218  
FROIDCHAPELLE 44 10   54  
MARBAIX-LA-TOUR 42 20   62  
GIVRY 62 84   146  
  1516 645 0 2161  
COUVIN 45 5   50  
FALISOLLE 30 29   59  
  122 63 0 185  
LIEGE 45 14   59  
VISE 42 67   109  
HERVE 157 54   211  
HANEFFE 57 22   79  
  301 157 0 458  
ARLON 28 8   36  
  28 8 0 36  
TOTAL 9278 4412 0 13660