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The Busschaerts
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The Busschaerts have made their mark on British pigeon racing history and, like the great Slabbinck another Belgium born fancier with British connections, they are assured of an honourable place in it because of the successes which flew from this remarkable family. A family capable of winning again and again as the records show. One can recall the names of fanciers in Britain who successfully raced Busschaerts such as the Larkins, Henson, Palmer and Duncan to name but a few. And as R. Kirkbride who flew them with success once wrote 'I don't think there will ever be a type, family, call it what you will, of birds, put together by one man to make such an impact on competitive pigeon racing in this country again. 'A view shared by quite a number of others. As a family the Busschaerts took to the British fancy and although defined as a sprint and middle distance type its representatives have flown well at the distance into Britain and Ireland. The phenomenal success of Ireland's, Ron Williamson, with his Busschaert family is known world wide.

Georges Busschaert was born on the 12th of May 1911 and was one of three brothers and one sister well known in Belgium's industrial society. They opened a textile manufacturing plant in England and as a fervent pigeon fancier Busschaert made the connection with their lofts in Belgium and the sport in England. Georges ran the company's plant in England and through his various duties met many English fanciers which eventually ensured the coming of many of his pigeons into English lofts, and from there into the rest of Britain and Ireland.

While in England Busschaert went into partnership with Gil Duncan of Deal and this perhaps was the opening for the successes of the breed in Britain for in the late 1950s and early 1960s the partners birds had reaped a harvest of approximately 150 1sts, while breeding great birds such as 'the Coppi cock' and 'The Crack', etc. As the years passed however the plant in England was eventually sold and Georges returned to Belgium where he won races galore and was unbeatable upto 400 miles. The contacts he made in England however were not forgotten and many visited Georges loft at Beveren-Leie and bought what they required.

There appears some vagueness about the roots or base of the Busschaerts but apparently the Commines (which I have written about in this series) have been an input along with Vandevelde, Nachetregaele, and Baele bloodlines. In later years other crosses were brought into the family from Doetreloigne, Declerc and De Klinge... and these led to the winning of 1st National Limoges twice, 1st National Perigeux, 2nd National Cahors, 3rd National Brive, 5th National Cahors, 33rd San Sebastion International and 27th Barcelona International. Thus reflecting the genius of Georges Busschaert as a pigeon breeder and racer!

In partnership with his brother- in- law, Albert Nuttyens, Georges Busschaert moulded a family of pigeons who came in various shapes and sizes but possessed many winning genes. Thus was ignited a fire that is still burning for here in Derry City, Ireland, a few weeks ago (11-6-2005) a Busschaert owned by Liam Hegarty and Son won a tough race from Bude in Britain at a distance of 300 plus miles (only 4 birds in the Fed' on the day of liberation). Yes, the fire lit by Georges Busschaert is still burning as we traverse a new millennium and long may it continue.

Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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