More news

Dirk Van Dyck - Zandhoven "De Kannibaal" changed his life!

24 Mar 2023

It feels very strange, a feeling of incomprehension where once again proof is given that life can be "rock hard". The fact that we are now penning a report on the late Dirk Van Dyck is unreal. It should not have been that Dirk passed away from us so young. Personally, we were lucky to get to know Dirk both as a "human being" and as a "pigeon fancier". I still remember the day we were both invited to a panel discussion in Germany. It must have been in the late 1990s. I picked up Dirk at home and promised the home front that I was going to drop him off safe and sound. There was almost no mention of a mobile phone and the two of us motored towards Frankfurt. During this drive I had noticed that Dirk had a great love of nature. He immediately spotted a hawk high in the sky or a goldfinch on a pole along a meadow. Dirk recounted, "I used to regularly sit in the woods of Zandhoven to catch birds.... Those were still the times. As a little boy I was always outside. I knew every bird's nest, so to speak. I pursued this hobby until the ban on birding. Because of the ban on birding, I started with pigeons. I learned "the trade" from one of the finest pigeon fanciers I ever knew, namely uncle Jos Dillen. Quievrain was the race then. Every day I took them to work. Just counted 15km and on returning home my father called them in. The pigeons stormed home and the word "stalling" was never in their dictionary." 

It was 1973 that Dirk started with pigeons from uncle Jos Dillen. These were reinforced with pigeons from the best vitessers at the time, which were Frans Van Beirendonck, Andre Bellens and Kesselaers Gerard, all from Zandhoven. 
Over the decades, pigeons were successfully obtained from Gommer Leysen, Pulderbos (line "Oude 03"), Mariën-Royberghs, Berlaar, Louis Adriaenssens, Grobbendonk, Eduard Moons, Berlaar, Jules Verbeeck, Nijlen, Van Looy-Somers, Vorselaar, L-J-B Geerinckx, Wommelgem (exchange), Marcel De Maere, Puivelde (2006), Eddy Janssens, Zandhoven (exchange), Gommaar Verbruggen, Kaggevinne (2008), Verhoeven-De Houwer, Wechelderzande (2008), Leo Heremans, Vorselaar ("Di Caprio" purchased), Gaston Van de Wouwer, Berlaar (2008), Leon Jacobs, Tremelo (2009), Op de Beeck-Baetens, Putte (2010), Van Elsacker-Jepsen, Schilde, Roger Geysen, St. Job (velocity), André Roodhooft, Pulderbos, Marcel Vercammen, Vremde, Jos Vercammen, Vremde, Stickers-Donckers, Lille, C. & R. Denissen, Kapellen, Willy Daniels, Kessel (2013), Marcel Wouters (Westmalle), Jan Hooijmans, Kerkdriel (2013),Herman Bevers, St. Job (super young pigeon).

"De Kannibaal"
In 1993, the switch from sprint to middle distance was made and it did not go unnoticed. It was "Rambo" (B93-6621023) who made a strong season as a yearling with: 1st Dourdan 408b. - 1st Dourdan 306b. - 1st Orleans 278b. - 2nd Orleans 367b. (7th prov. 3,385b.). But more importantly, "Rambo" was a gifted breeder. "Rambo" was paired against "Het Laatje". "Het Laatje" was in fact the fixed hen of a strong performing red cock, but from a disastrous Quievrain this red cock never came back and so "Het Laatje" was paired against "Rambo". A shot in the arm. One of his first youngsters, B94-6323005, won 5th Orleans 1,990d. and two weeks later 1st prov. Bourges 6,761 youngsters and 2nd national against 40,401 youngsters. This cock was promptly renamed "The Bourges". 
At the end of the '94 season both "Rambo" and "De Bourges" got a ticket for the breeding loft and that was Dirk's "masterstroke" because in 1995 he bred out of "Rambo" the "B95-6246005", which as a young pigeon stayed away from a middle distance race for a week but because of its pedigree got a 2nd chance as a yearling. An opportunity which the" 005-95" seized with both hands as he won: 1st Marne 856d. - 1st Dourdan 694d. - 1st Noyon 157d. - 1st Dourdan 727d. - 3rd Dourdan 1,060d. - 5th Dourdan 290d. - 7th Dourdan 1,004d. - 7th Prov. Orleans 5,140d. - We remember Dirk telling us that this cock came home so spiteful thought he dach... "one day it will go wrong and crash". This cock became 1st National ace KBDB middle-distance pigeon and thanks to the contribution of bosom friend Eddy Janssens he was called "De Kannibaal". "De Kannibaal" was in demand and when family Herbots visited with an important Chinese customer, the deal was almost done but after a conversation with his mum, Dirk decided never to sell "De Kannibaal". That day changed Dirk's life!


Not only "De Kannibaal" wrote pigeon history but also his children and grandchildren left their mark on international pigeon racing. 
In 1996, Gerard Koopman bought "Golden Lady", a daughter of "De Kannibaal". She became mother of world-famous "Kleine Dirk", among others. "Golden Lady" is also grandmother of famous "Amoré" and "Dirkje", the mother of "Harry" with Jan Hooymans. 

“Di Caprio” – Heremans-Ceusters

Dirk was looking for a successor to "De Kannibaal" and he found it in the sales catalogue of the Heremans-Ceusters tandem. Heremans-Ceusters had already been victims of pigeon theft a few times and decided to sell everything. Dirk had his eye on buy 167 namely "Di Caprio". "Di Caprio" even had a pinch of "Cannibal blood" running through his veins and impressed with the following unique performances from Quievrain: 1st/1,928d. - 1st/1,580d. - 1st/1,278d. - etc...

Dirk had to go deep into his pockets to bring "Di Caprio" to Zandhoven but his investment paid off and "Di Caprio" became a.o. father of Olympiad pigeon "Olympic Niels" and grandfather of 1st national Bourges "Natalia". 

But also with other fanciers, the offspring of "Di Caprio" scored like no other. Think of "Golden Capri" which became father of Olympiad bird "Kyara" with Gerard Koopman. 
Also comb. Verbree also has a top hen with "Caprina" (daughter "Di Caprio"). "Caprina" became, among others, mother of 1st National ace hen WHZB/TBOTB "Samanta."
German sports friend Heinrich Lepper bred an Olympiad pigeon out of a son of "Di Caprio"
In 2014 in mid-summer, "Di Caprio" stopped fertilising overnight. His son "Olympic Niels" is his successor. "Olympic Niels" is sire 141-13 and 142-13 (1st and 2nd acebird Union Antwerp 2014). He is also grandfather of 1st Dourdan 4157 d. (Mertens-De Wolf) and of course of "Friendship" of Rik Hermans (1st nat Chateauroux 25,710 d.).

“Natalia” wint nationaal Bourges

It may sound a bit peculiar but it took until 2014 for Dirk to record a national victory on his record. Many times he had been so close to it but never before had he managed a national win. And now... on one of his favourite flights, namely Bourges National, his blue hen "Natalia" wins the 1st prize nationally against 10,114 competitors. The first hours after the arrival of the Bourges racers were very exciting moments for Dirk. He was known as a national winner and the first congratulations already arrived when suddenly a pigeon appeared to make a higher speed. Dirk was informed and was of course very disappointed that his national victory would slip away. But after an extra check this pigeon didn't seem to fly faster so Dirk was back on no. 1. 
"Natalia" is a granddaughter of "Di Caprio" (Heremans Leo) which was paired with a daughter of "De Kannibaal". The mother of my national winner is a direct Geerinckx hen.

Some more toppers

 “Queen” B13-6122092


"Queen" became the 1st National Ace Pigeon Old KBDB Small Half Distance in 2015. 
Her prizes in 2015:
Souppes: 1st of 1,210 pigeons (Zone West) and 3rd of 1,875 pigeons (Union)
Souppes: 2nd of 1,201 pigeons (Zone West) and 2nd of 1,916 pigeons (Union)
Souppes: 5th out of 1,879 pigeons (Zone West) and 14th out of 2,686 pigeons (Union)
Melun: 5th out of 1,250 pigeons (Zone West) and 9th out of 1,985 pigeons (Union)
Souppes: 1st out of 842 pigeons (Zone West) and 3rd out of 1,280 pigeons (Union)
Souppes: 9th out of 744 pigeons (Zone West) and 16th out of 1,167 pigeons (Union)
The father of "Queen" is a cross between a son of "De Kannibaal" and a granddaughter of Leo Heremans' "De Jan". The mother is a daughter of Willy Joris-Andriesen's "Blauw Superduivinneke" (Asper).

“Kleine Jan” B13-6122233

"Kleine Jan" won 1st Provincial Gueret of 1,561 pigeons in 2014. He also won the gold nationally in zone B2 of 2,247 yearlings. Nationally, he finished in 3rd place.
"Kleine Jan" on the paternal side is a grandson of "De Kannibaal". The mother is a direct Jan Hooymans out of a "sister Harry"

"Mathieu" BE19-6074127
"Mathieu" immediately performed superbly in his birth year. He won 3 x first prizes and that led along to the title of 11. Nat. Ace Pigeon Speed youngsters 2019.
He is a son of "Son Olympic Niels", BE14-6241631, a new breeding sensation out of "Olympic Niels" and a daughter of "De Kannibaal". Mother is the Blue BE14-4056813 of Marcel De Maere (Puivelde).

An amiable man has left us
In 2017, Dirk was seriously struggling with his health for the first time. Dirk was heartbroken, telling us "Lately, I can barely function. I am out of breath very quickly. I refused to accept the thickening of the first lung specialist I visited. From him all pigeons had to leave immediately. Afterwards, I visited another specialist and fortunately he agreed with my story. I did decide to seriously reduce my pigeon stock." 
Yet over the following years, Dirk repeatedly indicated that he was going through difficult periods physically. Dirk's health did not really improve. In 2019, he was hospitalised on 1 May and 14 days later he was still there. You could so feel that Dirk realised then that it was going to be much less with the pigeons, but in that same season Dirk shone as ever with 30 first prizes. That gave him a lot of courage. 
On 28 May 2022, the morning of his favourite flight Bourges, Dirk passed away from us at the age of 61. He lost the battle with various health problems he had been facing in recent years. We will remember Dirk not only as a great champion with pigeons but also as an amiable person. Everyone was welcome and Dirk was always willing to help. The Driehoekstraat in Zandhoven became a place of pilgrimage for pigeon fanciers. Big and small fanciers from all over the world came to visit. They were always received by Dirk, Anna and Natalia in the same friendly way.


A few weeks before his death, Dirk and Jo Herbots together made a selection of the pigeons that will be offered now. 
A total of 28 original Dirk Van Dyck pigeons are offered. 

In this sale direct children of: 
“Di Caprio”
“Olympic Niels”
"Natalia": 1st National Bourges 
"Queen": 1st National ace KBDB old 1/2 fond 2015 
"Blauwe Kannibaal": 2 x 1st Provincial 
"Kleine Jan" 3rd National Gueret 
"234": 8th National ace 1/2 fond yearling KBDB 

and, of course, several grandchildren of world-famous "Di Caprio" - grandchildren Olympiad pigeon "Olympic Niels" - grandchildren 1st Nat. ace KBDB "Blauwe Staf" - grandchildren "Blauwe Kannibaal Junior" - grandchildren "Ronaldo" (9 x 1st) - grandchildren "Jannes" (1st Nat. Montluçon - fastest of 28,034b.) - grandchildren "Little Queen" (3rd Nat. ace KBDB 1/2 fond yearling) - and so on