Team De Jaeger Freddy - History & caretaking

History & caretaking

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Freddy De Jaeger: at the top in the business and pigeon world

Titles and championships are the best way to see how a loft performed over an entire season. When examining the titles Freddy De Jaeger’s loft has won, you cannot but conclude that he and his team performed at a very high, even extraordinary, level! That will not surprise insiders because they know best how heavily Freddy invested in bringing quality from the best pigeons in international pigeon racing to his lofts. Just like in corporate life, Freddy strives for perfection with maximum return on investment. He is only too aware that you can only reap what you sow. You cannot be one step ahead of the competition all the time if you always rest on your laurels and are satisfied with what you have achieved. Only by opening up to new opportunities and continuing your everlasting quest for more and better you can reach the highest possible in pigeon racing.

Now does there not lie the difference between a top fancier and Mr Average in pigeon racing? As far as that is concerned, a successful businessman such as Freddy De Jaeger is not an old dog that needs to be taught new tricks. The business world does not differ that much from pigeon racing: In order to make the most of your opportunities, you need to work with the best material on hand. That offers you the biggest chance of success. Freddy acquired top-class pigeons and now reaps the benefits. He is a man who knows how to deal with things and wants to excel in everything he does. In this he brilliantly succeeded because Freddy De Jaeger is at the top in pigeon racing. Let us have a look at how things are handled.

The early years: the partnership Comb. De Jaeger & Son

Since time immemorial the De Jaeger family has raced pigeons. Between WWI and WWII it was grandfather Francis who managed the loft and was successful in sprint racing.

During WWII, keeping pigeons was forbidden. Therefore the family had to recommence racing after the war with a few ppigeons that were kept hidden with friends who lived in an area where keeping pigeons was allowed.

After WWII and after the death of grandfather Francis his son Albert carried on his father’s work. At first, much success was achieved on the sprint races. Later on, Albert made a switch from sprint to middle distance racing, resulting in even better results.

In the beginning of the 1960s Albert and his teenage son Freddy made a new career switch, now from middle distance to longer middle distance (450-600 km) and long distance racing.

It was the age in which all great fanciers from East and West Flanders came to Knesselare (Belgium) to basket their pigeons in the local long distance club for the famous Angouleme races (650 km).

The partnership Comb. De Jaeger & Son (Albert and Freddy) was outstanding on these races. They raced for example seven brothers who achieved excellent results in hard weather conditions. These pigeons descended to a large extent from the Gaby Verstraete strain, who was the then middle distance wonder of the world from Balgerhoeke (Belgium). His race formed the basis of numerous breeding lofts of the best fanciers from Belgium.

Reinforcements from several top lofts such as René Moens from Astene (Belgium) and Wendzynski from the north of France were brought in. It didn’t take too long before extraordinary results were achieved. They even kept improving.

Working his way to the top

Freddy De Jaeger was brought up on pigeon racing and is well on his way to follow in his father’s footsteps. During his time, his father Albert was a real specialist in middle distance and longer middle distance racing. He was even so outstanding that multiple unions, i.e. several different regional pigeon federations constituting one federation, excluded him from participating in races or limited him in entering a certain number of birds or participating in certain races. This shows that the late Albert sometimes crushed his opponents and reduced them to ashes. That is how devastating the De Jaeger pigeons often came down on the competition.

After the decease of his father Albert and the public sale consequent to his death, Freddy teamed up with his neighbour under the name De Jaeger-Scheyvinck. Freddy was again successful and won numerous races and prestigious titles such as the East Flemish Marathon. After Adrien Scheyvinck suddenly passed away, Freddy’s uncle Gerard Van Maldegem assisted him with the caretaking of the pigeons. However, due to the expansion of his firm Freddy couldn’t fully devote his time to pigeon racing. He is the CEO and owner of the firm Jaegerson, a supply company for plate work which at the time had its headquarters in the hangar behind his house.

Due to the further expansion of Freddy’s firm the hangar soon became too small and Freddy relocated his company to the neighbouring city of Beernem. In the meantime his son and daughter entered the firm and increasingly pulled the strings. This enabled Freddy to again fully focus on pigeon racing. In the middle of the 1990s he and Daniel De Vylder agreed to race as a team, in which Daniel played the role as loft manager. The hangar behind Freddy's house was transformed into a true pigeon palace!

New lofts for the purpose of achieving early success

In 2010 the loft accommodation was refurnished. Freddy and Daniel noticed that the lofts in the hangar were too cold and chilly for too long, which didn’t allow for early success. The pigeons staying in the hangar were mostly in their best shape in summer, around July, which contrasted sharply with the other part of the team of widowers which were housed in the big garden loft next to the hangar. Therefore a spanking new garden loft was constructed, which was an early birthday gift from his wife Kristien. The new garden loft for the racing team was very spacious with around 90 boxes. Kristien Lemahieu is the daughter of the world-renowned Barcelona racer Karel Lemahieau, who in turn is the cousin of Paul and Mark Lemahieu from the famous Rooring pigeon.

An eye for detail and anticipation are characteristics which are typical of champions of Freddy De Jaeger’s caliber!

Freddy kept setting the bar higher and higher and that is why in the summer of 2012 he came to an agreement with Marijn Laureyns that both parties would strongly select on the basis of results and descent and afterwards merge the best of both worlds and house all remaining birds in the lofts in Knesselare. Marijn, the number one of the East Flemish region of Meetjesland, now occupies fulltime with taking care of the pigeons and maintaining the accommodation.

Strain buildup

The oldest long distance birds of the current generation came from fellow-villager Maurice Verschuere from the bloodlines of his famous “Primus Inter Pares”, one of the best Barcelona pigeons ever. Another successful bloodline came directly from the excellent partnership Vandamme-Boddaert from Oostkamp (Belgium), where the stock dam “Witpen ‘90” was the leading lady. She had the renowned blood of the Decroix brothers from Rumbeke (Belgium) running through her veins. In order to win gold medals Freddy paid a visit to several top fanciers and attended the most important public auctions organised by pigeon magazines. Therefore Freddy and Marijn have bloodlines from for example the following Belgian fanciers:

  • Julien Vaneenoo from Wingene (from the bloodline of the crack pigeon “Rocky”, thanks to which he became General Champion KBDB in 2007)
  • Sylvere Toye from Otegem, who performed extremely well in 2007
  • Frank Waerniers from Knesselare (from the bloodline of his first national winners or the golden “Super Ludo-Duivin”)
  • Remi, Andre and Carlo Gyselbrecht from Knesselare (from the line of their “Laureaat Barcelona”, 1st international Barcelona 1995, and “Sampras”, 2nd national Barcelona 1999)
  • The Comyn brothers from Kanegem, A. De Smidt from Knokke, long distance master Emiel Denys from Tielt, maestro Gaby Vandenabeele from Dentergem, G. Carteus from Ronse, A. Cornelis from Lotenhulle, Rik Cools from Ruiselede and Antoine Timmerman from Knesselare

The strain of Roger Florizoone from Nieuwpoort, a friend and fellow-villager of the late Karel Lemahieu, has been highly important in building up an extreme long distance strain. Direct descendants from “De Witneus” (Primus Inter Pares 1997) and his son “De Barcelona” (1st national Barcelona 1999) and several other close relatives have played their role in this. That explains why the entire core of the Florizoone strain can be found in the breeding loft. From this bloodline long distance aces such as “De San Sebastian”, “Atleet”, “Sammy”, “Kleine Sammy”, “Conquistador” and an entire series op top-class descendants stem. The pigeons were direct Florizoone pigeons but the Florizoone gold was for the greater part imported via the famous partnership Hendriks-Meyberg.

The breeding loft was further invested in with pigeons from Ignace Viaene, a long distance fancier racing a limited number of birds but performing excellently. The world-renowned Peiren strain was now present in the loft. Some examples of the Peiren blood running through the De Jaeger pigeons' veins: “Shakira”, dam of the 1st international San Sebastian 2006, “Liesje”, full sister of the 1st national Perpignan yearlings 2004, and “Igno” and “Maïte”, son and daughter of the 1st provincial St.-Vincent respectively.

In 2005 and particularly 2006, a bunch of Dutch top pigeons were purchased from Cees van der Poel from Ridderkerk, the Bras brothers from Dordrecht and Batenburg-Van De Merwe from Klaaswaal.

The birds bought at Cees van der Poel’s were descendants from “De Stamvader”, a pure Jan Theelen bird, Carteus, Cramers and Comb. Houtekamer. At the Bras brothers’s, two full brothers and one sister of the famous “Ijskop” were acquired. “Ijskop” is not only a top racer but also sire of “Chenoa”, 1st Olympiad Bird Extreme Long Distance Netherlands. The dam of “Chenoa” is a daughter of “De Stamvader” from Cees van der Poel, of which, as mentioned above, several descendants populate the breeding loft, including even one half-sister of “Chenoa”. One of the birds Batenburg-Van De Merwe sold to them was a daughter of the “St. Vincent Doffer”. This cock is father of several outstanding long distance birds in the Netherlands and also grandfather of a 1st long distance ace pigeon.

In 2007 Freddy and Daniel looked for new reinforcements and turned to the pigeon racing stars Peter and Hans-Peter Brockamp from Boppard (Germany).

This resulted in the following Brockamp pigeons being housed in the breeding loft:

  • A son and daughter of super breeder “George”, a full Carteus. These two pigeons are also full brother and sister of “Mistral”, 2nd Olympiad Bird Extreme Long Distance 2007, as well as half-brother and half-sister of the best long distance pigeon in the world, viz. “Euro Diamond”, 1st Olympiad Bird Extreme Long Distance 2007 in Ostend (Belgium).
  • A daughter of “Mistral” paired to National Ace Hen International Races Germany 2006.
  • A daughter of “Euro Diamond” paired to a daughter of “Superbordeaux”.
  • A few other close relatives of the champions mentioned above.

For longer middle distance racing and shorter long distance racing Freddy has successfully been appealing to pigeons of the master himself Gaby Vandenabeele for quite a few years now. Among these pigeons was the miracle pigeon “De Tsunami”, which in the meantime has become the number one stock bird of the partnership.

Some other reinforcements were brought in via Filip & Nicolas Norman, Etienne Meirlaen, Marcel Aelbrecht, Dobbelaere-Debuck, W.M.J.F. Boddaert and Jos Thoné.

Last but not least, Marijn Laureyns contributed to the strain buildup with a selection of top-class breeders and racers from his own lofts. As from 2013 Marijn occupies fulltime with the further expansion and progression of the loft.