The Union of Antwerp in Belgium knows many, many top lofts, but the partnership of Heremans-Ceusters from Vorselaar is just one of the main lofts who performed very well over the last few years, that they were among the champions every year is known by all. They won the following championships in the elite of the Belgium Pigeon sport (7,160 members) According to the leading Belgium Pigeon magazine De Duif; The partnership Heremans-Ceusters is for sure the best loft of the 21st century in the province of Antwerp!
In 2005 the Premier stud directors met Leo Heremans and Charel Ceusters, After many many flyers had quoted this partnership as the best of the best! During this visit, The Team was surprised by its quality, and set about getting as many of these super birds to come to Premier stud as they could, and over the next 2 years they had succeeded in their quest Indeed by the time of the record breaking sale taking place that dissolved the Heremans-Ceusters partnership Premier stud had bought more than 100 birds from them!
The strain of Heremans-Ceusters
Leo Heremans, a diamond cutter, was introduced into pigeons in 1986 during the kermis festival in Vorselaar. Leo was drinking a few pints with Marcel Mols and the subject turned to pigeons. Since then Leo was infected by the pigeon bug and a new partnership was born. Marcel Mols died in 1997 due to cancer and Leo needed another person to assist him as he has suffered the pigeon-lung since 1994. He found in Charel Ceusters a fantastic fancier who was willing to help him. He put Charel on the payroll and the new partnership Heremans-Ceusters was born.
The base for their restart was a few pigeons from his former partnership. One of these pigeons was a granddaughter of the "Sony" from the Houben Family. Another pigeon that was very successful was the "Goede Witpen" who won 18 times the first prize. But Leo and Charel were on the move and Another successful move was to Gert Lauwerijs where Leo noticed 2 full brothers to the "Kannibaal" from Dirk van Dyke He could not buy those 2 brothers, but they agreed to breed together with the best hens Leo had. Leo also bought 2 fantastic hens in the total auction of Jan Diels from Vorselaar and with both hens he had great success. One of the most spectacular moves from Leo was his visit to Gust Jansen in Beerse. There he would try buy the "Olympiade", who was 2nd National Ace pigeon short-distance KBDB in 2002. "Olympiade" also represented Belgium at the Olympiad in Lievin (France) in Cat. A. Despite the high amount offered Gust did not sell the Olympiad to Leo. In a 2nd visit, Leo still couldn't sleep because of this pigeon, Leo bought the enjoyment of the "Olympiade", which meant that 1 month the bird bred at Gust Jansen and the month after he bred children at Leo Heremans, and this arangement was still in place on our visit of late 2009!
In the meantime the super success of the birds from Heremans-Ceusters began. Especially from Quievrain and Noyonhe was the loft to beat in Vorselaar. He also flew in the Antwerp Union and there the competitors learned quickly who they were, as they started to dominate here also.
In the Antwerp province the Heremans – Ceusters birds were every year in the top of the championships. HeremansCeusters won in the provincial championships Antwerp KBDB (7,158 members)
2001 : 1st champion
2002 : 3rd champion
2003 : 1st champion
2004 : 1st champion
2005 : 1st champion
2006 : 2nd champion
But Leo kept his eyes open for top birds even when he was at the top. You always need to improve he said, and so he bought the "Figo" in the total auction of Patrick and Guido Claes. "Figo" was 1st ace pigeon in the Union of Antwerp for the middle distance in 2004. He also was co-winner of the 2nd Nat. Championship yearlings KBDB.
The Total auction of Heremans-Ceusters in March 2007
In October 2006 it was the beginning of some dramatic months at Leo Heremans. At his lofts thieves came 3 times to steal 19 valuable pigeons. Leo could not sleep anymore, with any noise at all, he was out of bed to see if these people tried another attempt at stealing more birds. Also the health of his wife turned out to be a crucial factor as she had cancer, and needed to go to hospital more and more often.
Therefore the decision was made to have all the birds auctioned by the Magazine De Duif. The total sale of the birds turned out to be a huge success. The total number of pigeons auctioned made a fortune. The star of the auction, was the famous "Euro", we at premier stud were the under bidders at £26,000 as we were eventually outbid by the Eijerkampfamily for Euro. We were not to disappointed bearing in mind Leo had already openly admitted that the best bird in the loft was not getting sold! that of course being "Olympiade" and the fact we already owned 8 bred from "Euro", coupled with the fact that the last round of youngsters ever bred by Heremans-Ceusters bred in February 2007 just before the sale Were already bought by Premier Stud and were on their way back to Hull as the sale was taking place!!
The money spent by the Eijerkamps on Euro and the other big winners in the sale seemed to confirm what he had previously comented on, and we quote;
"Hans Eijerkamp stated he was convinced that these birds will be the new Janssen pigeons from this century."
We at Premier stud would not argue to much against him on that one.