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A conversation with Rudi de Saer

If you ask fanciers who in recent years was the nation" s best at long distance in Belgium chances are great that the answer will be: Rudi de Saer from Ruiselede. That is also what I think and therefore I paid him a visit.

And it was worth it.


- He owns no less than FOUR National winners. And those are REAL National winners. The fastest of the whole nation.
- In 2014 he scored from provincial Tours against 6,400 pigeons: 1, 2, 3, (28/31).
- In 2013, he won 21 firsts including four provincial and two Semi National.

On the same day Rudi won 1st Provincial Limoges (3,434 old birds) and 1st Provincial Bourges (3,324 yearlings). For Limoges this meant NATIONAL 2 and 6 with an entry of no less than 18.390 pigeons.
- In 2009 he was 2nd National Champion Long Distance KBDB.

- In 2010 1st National Champion Long Distance KBDB and ..
- He ended up 1st in 2014.  
And then you should know all his racers were sold in 2010. It stands to reason a come back so quickly and so impressive is only possible with a stock loft that is filled with first class quality birds.

 Most of his super racers originate from well known Vandenabeeles birds such as Kolonel, Wittenbuik, Kleinen, Turbo, Bliksem, Limoges and so on.

Rudi Desaer

Some super stars:   
- " NEYMAR"  (B 12-3120018)
Fontenay 220 - 1
Tours Prov. 6.400 - 8
Limoges Nat. 18.390 -  6
Gueret Nat.Zone 2.222 - 9
La Souterainne Nat. 11.236 - 10
Tulle Nat.Zone 2.209 - 20
Souillac Nat. 3.641 - 28
Tulle Nat. 5,976 - 42
Tulle Nat. 6.972 - 107
Limoges Nat. 7.221 - 114
Nat Cahors. 7.140 - 176
- " FAVORITE"  (B 11-3123742)
Limoges Prov. 3.434 - 1
Limoges Nat. 18.390 - 2
Tours Prov. 6.400 - 3
Limoges Nat. 7.221 - 17
Fontenay 7.568 - 21
Chateauroux Nat. 15.904 - 40
Souillac Nat. 5.284 - 41
Tulle Nat. 7.350 - 69
Argenton Nat. 22.384 - 142
Beware and do not be mistaken in this final price. That is still 1 in 150!

- NEW TOURS (B 10-3020802)
"New Tours"  is a true exponent of the Vandenabeele pigeons. The bloodlines of " Turbo" , " Wittenbuik", "Limoges" and "Kleinen " are all in it.

"New Tours" won 1st National Cahors (742 km) with a velocity of 1,062 mpm and he  won 6th National Limoges (600 km) at 1,816 mpm. With other words, it was on top with strong headwinds and with strong tailwinds as well. From short distance and from middle distance. It won:  
Cahors National 7136-1 (742 km)
Arras 264- 1 (94 km)
Tours Provincial 3526-1
Tours Provincial 515-1
Limoges National 14679-2
Tours Provincial 6400-1
National Souillac 5282-10
Limoges National 13781-18
Brive National 11130-81
National Argenton 19782-87

" ANTONIO"  (B 10-3020860).
" Antonio"  is, do not surprised, a full brother of " New Tours" . Their mother is named " t Goedje" , a breeding hen unprecedented. " Antonio"  won 2nd and 3rd prizes in the club of races less than 100 km as well.
Souillac NATIONAL 7756 - 1st with a lead of no less than 5 minutes.

" NEW JENS"  (B 10-3020896).
" New Jens"  
won first prize of Arras (less than 100 kms), but also:
Limoges NATIONAL: 13.789 pigeon - 1st with a lead of 10 minutes. Two brothers that won NATIONAL with a lead of 5 and 10 minutes? Time for a chat.

Do you only race birds of this area, so Flanders?

Yes, Flemish birds only.

Can I conclude that you consider Flemish birds to be superior at long distance?

f you want an honest answer then that is indeed affirmative.

The sport has brought you great times. Are there also annoyances?
Not many. But what does annoy me is jealousy. And also people trying to find excuses for their own failures. The location is the most common complaint for a poor performance. But if local guys can clock early birds you must be able to do the same. Then there are no excuses. The fancier and his birds just failed.   

Are you a mob flier like so many to-day, just in order to draw the attention of foreign buyers?
I have 60 widowers, half of them are yearlings. They must race till they are 4 years old, about 11 races a year. I focus on 5 National races: Limoges, Cahors, again ather Limoges, Brive and Tulle.

With 60 racers is pretty many but many so called mob fliers race more birds. 

What about young bird racing?
I am not much interested in it. Babies are raced about 10 times and one race from about 400 kms will do. If you exaggerate you have to pay a price later. People who ask too much from babies will never have 4 year old birds that win a National.

Which pigeons had the greatest impact in the formation of your successful colony?
- The Limoges line Vandenabeele.
- The Turbo line also from Gaby.
- The line Rufin Heymans. That blood is in many of my birds. 

Ever thought of racing Total Widowhood?

Heard of for sure, but never thought about is. Why should I? The results are good enough, are not they?

Right. You have fantastic long distance birds. Do they also perform well at short distance and as a baby?
- "New Jens" (1st national Limoges) also won 1st Arras, 94 km.
- The National winner Souillac (Antonio) won 2nd at Arras.

And why would they not perform as a youngster? The point is that I do not focus on young bird racing.

Does long distance require a special mixture?

Hmm. Not really. I feed a lot of mais in small portions.

Long distance birds should train 3 hours a day or more some Dutch long distance racers claim. Do you agree?

Not at all. My birds train 2 times 45 minutes a day. That should do.

I suppose you also darken your old widowhood cocks?

No, I do not. My problem is that I do not want to be beaten at short distance in the beginning of the season.

But maybe I should darken them indeed. I noticed old birds that were not darkened lose condition at the end of the season.

You never kept it a secret that you medicate your birds every now and then during the season. Are you not afraid you will end up having birds that lack natural health?

Not at all. You rightly say "during the season". Before and after they do not get any medicine at all. An indicator in this regard is how long pigeons keep on performing. Mine are at their best when four years old. Is there a better proof that I know what I am doing?

Some people claim they can see whether a bird can handle long distance. Can you see that as well?

Yes I can, but not from the body of the bird. The result sheet will tell me.  

What is the best move you ever did?
I did several things well.
- First and foremost get Vandenabeele pigeons. I got them in 1995 from all the top birds he had then. First I got 10, later on about 20 more.

(Note from the author. During that time I also got pigeons from Kleinen, Turbo, Kolonel -father Bliksem-, Stier and so on. I still have the ownership cards, but not the birds or their off spring. As their performances were very poor I got rid of them. A big mistake).

- Rudy: And I never regretted listening to my late father.  

How many of those birds that you got from Gaby were at least useful?
Yet about half.

What is the biggest mistake you ever made?
Ignore the advice of my vet.

Once my birds were in bad shape. My vet advised to medicate for a week. But after 2 days the birds looked fine again and I stopped medicating.

The result was that some weeks later they were in poor shape again.

Tired of getting poor results I then listened to the vet and medicated long enough.

What is the biggest nonsense in pigeon racing?
That you cannot buy good birds as some people claim.

What do you think of eye sign?
All bullshit.

Any comment about the loft?

I am in favour of heating in humid weather.
As for the pens I have interesting anecdote. I once had a loft where the pigeons did not perform at all. It was even worse, I could not keep them in good health and the pigeons reluctantly entered that loft.

"Underground water reservoirs" Vandenabeele said. But I am skeptical by nature and laughed at him. But I could not forget about it.

I had them removed and the pigeons in the loft changed almost immediately into vital and healthy pigeons. And what is important: They performed.

My best racers of to-day are even housed in that loft. From then on I take that stuff seriously.

Do you do something special before an important (National) race?
Nothing at all and certainly not trying to motivate extra. It rarely leads to something good, on the contrary, you often pay a price for it.

Any advice concerning medication?

Some find coccidiosis no problem for pigeons, but I do!

On the other hand I dare not medicate shortly before basketing. Against canker that is no problem.

Do you also lose many babies like others and is Adeno also a nightmare for you?

Now (August) I lost about one third. I bred about 140 and nearly 100 are still there.   And Adeno? In the past I had also problems but this is less and less every year.  

What are currently your best pigeons?
Hard to say. I have more good birds. "Neymar" maybe?

My favorite is "New Tours" though. Not only in terms of performance. He won the 1e prov. Tours the day before my father died. I therefore have a very emotional connection with this pigeon.

So far the Rudi Desaer, in the last few years possibly the best in the so called little long distance. He did not change into a conceited thick neck, on the contrary.

Rudi will not pronounce a word louder than the other.
The man is a very good handler, someone who is very conscious about pigeon racing. How else could he race so well for so many years?

Win races against everyone and everything. From the French to the Dutch border, from the North Sea to Germany. That is his ambition and one has to admit his pigeons are second to none at races from 500 to 700 kilometers.