Cattrysse Brothers and Their Strain
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The Cattrysse Brothers (Oscar
left and Gerard)
late Oscar and Gerard Cattrysse founded a strain
of racing pigeons which can in the minds of the
experts be compared with any other of the great
racing pigeon dynasties. Numerous authorities
in their time referred to the brothers as the
'undisputed world champions'. This included the
world acknowledged pigeon authority the legendary
Piet de Weerd. And there is no doubt that the
results obtained by this wonderful strain would
confirm the latter opinion.
Cattrysse brothers were from Moere in Belgium
and they had entered the sport prior to the first
world war. Pigeon wise things however did not
blossom until they purchased in 1922 a pair of
squeakers from the loft of Jules Vander Espt which
were sired by the latter's 'Blauwe' which won
approximately eight races as a youngster. Following
this purchase the brothers based upon a newspaper
report visited the loft of Pierre Deknop and for
a large sum bought a pair of squeakers from the
latter. They also purchased a hen from the loft
of Ernest Casteleyn from near- to Moere and through
a process of crossing they eventually, based upon
the cross of Casteleyn and Vander Espt, produced
their 'Grote Blauwe'
was the foundation of a lifetime of great pigeon
racing into Moere. >From their example if anything
was the pursuit of good stock for which they paid
handsomely within the context of a sense of patience.
For a 'sport' can won a race but unless there
is pedigree and consistency the odds against are
high. As for the virtue of patience the brothers
had it apparently in abundance- a virtue which
many others lack but which is necessary in the
sport otherwise the years are lean with the odd
'sport' making an appearance.
the great 'Grote Blauwe' came a string of outstanding
racers and breeders especially when mated to another
of their purchases from the Deknop lofts. One
of these winners was 'Louis' with many successes
including firsts from Tours and Angouleme. The
latter was a brother of 'The Langen', the 'Kleine'
and 'Napoleon' and who in fact was equal to or
better than their brother.
being on the lookout for good crosses to improve
their stock the Cattrysses's made a very important
purchase in 1930. From a certain Albert Deforce
they bought two hens which they mated to 'The
Kleine' and 'Louis'. The resultant offspring from
these matings were outstanding to say the lease
for they included 'The Kleine Blauwe', 'Cendre'
and 'Langen Jr'. While the mating of the 'Kleine'
produced the great 'Gebroken Poot'.
the successes with the breeding and the racing
never dampened the brothers pursuit of good crosses
for again they purchased from Leopold Lamote a
very small hen with a speck of white on its head.
Another stroke of genius for it was bred with
'Gebroken Poot' breeding outstanding representatives
of the strain including the great 'Sproeten'.
It cannot be doubted when one peruses the record
of their breeding that the Cattrysse brothers
were masters of their art.
the period of about 1930-1940 the brothers racing
successes became known world-wide and they were
feted at home for they were bringing fame to their
local area. Unfortunately the event of the German
occupation of Belgium in 1940 saw the brothers
being denied access to their lofts but after the
arrival of the Canadians in 1944 they entered
empty lofts for in the meantime their stock had
been removed to aviaries at Brussels. Upon the
reception of this news approximately 40 birds
were returned to their lofts at Moere which included
four sons of one of their many champions and a
few grandchildren of 'Louis'. Then as if the horrors
of the recent past had never happened the breeding
began again in which in due course there arrived
via one pairing an ugly looking blue which was
to prove a gold mine in pigeon racing terms. It
was named 'Pette' and was the father of the immortal
'De 45' as well as numerous other fantastic racers
and breeders. From Arrass to Mountauban 'De 45'
won at all distances and in 1949 won 255,000 francs.
The following year he won 47,000 francs as he
established himself as truly an ace pigeon having
won for example from Bordeaux by one clear hour.
His mother was the great 'Mette'. Also in that
year (1950) the first sale of the Cattrysse's
was held in the Belgium capital and the prices
were the successes of the strain during the fifties
and the sixties especially when the weather was
so bad that other species of birds were noticeable
by their absence. But the thoroughbreds of the
brothers flew and reaped much rewards inspite
of the looming figure of the Old Reaper for Oscar's
health got bad and on the 21st of March in 1964
he died. As he was buried many representatives
from throughout the world followed his remains
for he like his brother was held in high esteem
not alone as pigeon greats but as fine human beings
For a few years Gerard raced along with Maurice
Beuselinck- Cattrysse but decided to go it alone
in 1967 but time was short for in February 1969
the second person of the great partnership also
answered the call. Again like the funeral of his
brother they came from everywhere to pay their
respects. Many of whom were flying and winning
with the thoroughbreds which originated in Moere
under the genius of two apparently humble men.
Belgium and the world pigeon community should
remember them with pride!
by: Liam O Comain