Karl Schellens – His Story

October 2, 2017
The late Karel Schellens

The late Karel Schellens

By Alex Bieche

In the early 80’s Karl Schellens as many other Belgium pigeon fanciers had a great love affair with their pigeons. Even back then the number of flyers was slowly going down but the competition level had climbed to new heights. The small lofts got bigger and the bigger lofts got even more professional. Wanting to be the best Karl Schellens took the sport to a new level. In conversation with him back in 1991 he clearly stated that to be a top Belgium champion you need the best pigeons one can acquire. He also stated that the days of spending one or two hours a day with the birds was over. According to Karl the top Champions are now spending 4 to 5 hours a day with the birds.  Observation with a keen eye for detail according to Schellens makes all the difference in the world.  A good example of this was receiving top results from his “National 1” 86 Belg. 6260314.  In 1986 he won 1st St. Quentin, 1st Noyon than 55th Nat. Bourges against 29,297 birds. Then in 1987 all-in one year the same cock won 5 x 1st at different levels and stations. He also finished the year by winning 1st Nat. Bourges as a yearling with 7,927 birds. During the 1986 Y/B season he noticed a BC /C later to be named “National 1” missing from his normal perch that he had claimed several weeks before. In checking the other lofts on the property he found that this cock had trapped into the wrong loft. Instead of placing him back in the original loft he decided to leave him there another 2 days and then ship him to the race.  That week arriving all alone he won 1st St. Quentin against 449 birds. With this observation he wondered since this trick worked once could it work again. To make a long story short many of the first prizes along with the main National Bourges Race as a yearling was won by placing him back in the other loft for 3 days before being basketed.

National 1 - owned by Herbots.be

The Schellens Family of Birds

Karl Schellens was a very wealthy man, having a diamond cutting business.  Karl’s game plan was to always be on the lookout for one World Class bird that could be added to his already winning family.  Back in the mid 60’s the word got out that Stoces, the loft manager of Jan Grondelaers, had a pair of World Class breeders that were even better than his boss. This Pair had produced no less than 5 Ace foundation breeders over a short period of time. The sire of the pair was a 1961 late hatch that he got from his boss. This cock was a grandson of the world famous Janssen breeder  “The Blue of 48”. The dam of the pair also being a 1961 late hatch DC/H Huyskens Van Riel 5046684-61 and Grondelaers, realizing the great value of this pair, introduced this same bloodline into his own family. Years later, if you study all the great Grondelaers breeders, they all go back to the 1961 Stoces breeding pair.  It was said that the very best breeder down from this pair was a Stoces cock named “De Fenomenale”. Karl Schellens, only wanting the very best ended up with this cock and the rest is history. “Fenomenale” in turn bred “Den Argenton” which in turn bred the famous “National 1”! In a short period of time the Schellens bloodline became world famous. Many key lofts of Belgium realizing the value of these birds blended them into their own families. Sooner or later all things must come to the end.  In 1991 K. Schellens at the age of 81 realized he didn’t have the energy to continue with the birds and pre sold all the birds to Herbots.  All the younger generation of birds was sold at auction.  Herbots, always looking for the best racers kept “National 1” and his full brother named the “Goede Jaarling”  ( Good Yearling ). This cock was originally sold to Japan but the Herbots later realized the breeding value of this cock and purchased him back for $26,000. Some claim that the “Good Yearling” may have even been the better breeder of the two brothers.  All the main breeders in turn were sold to my German friend Heinz Meier. Heinz had purchased a complete round of youngsters from Karl Schellens the year before and had fantastic results with them. So when he was offered to buy the main breeders in total there was absolutely no hesitation. I was with Heinz at Karl Schellens home when Schellens went over all the pedigrees of the main breeders. One of the Key pairs of course was “De Argenton”  x “Bibberke” parents of “National 1” and the “Good Yearling”.  Karl also covered the details about a new cock Schellens had introduced to his family called the “De Maes” 86 Belg 6437552 a son of this cock called “Maes” was purchased by Louis Deleus. In the early 90’s Louis Deleus was close to being unbeatable with birds down from his “Maes 1” cock. To also purchase the original “De Maes” cock Heinz Meier paid 40,000 D/M  for this one cock alone . Back in 1991 this was a lot of money for just one bird. At the time Heinz had a standing offer from Louis Deleus for 10,000 DM for any youngster bred direct from the original “De Mase” Cock. Heinz was not into selling pigeons at the time so none were ever sold. The same year Heinz let me pick out a direct son of the “De Mase” cock as a gift. You can truly see that close friendship means more to Heinz than money. Another top Breeder that Karl had mentioned that was breeding great birds was another direct son of foundation “Fenomenale” also being a full brother of “De Argenton” knows as the “De 704”    84 Belg  6056704. Before leaving Heinz asked Karl if any of the pairs were to stay together as a pair. Karl with a smile said “of course keep the parents of National 1 together because they are most famous”. The other pair I would never separate is the “ De Poot Pair” 84 Belg 6054105 x 86 Belg 6260400 because in the last 2-3 years this pair has given me my best young and old birds.  The advice Karl gave Heinz and I that day paid of in a big way. Years later Heinz, flying the Schellens family in Germany, his top birds came down from the “Poot Pair” that Karl had mentioned that day. The Sire of most of these birds came from the “Zucht-Ass” 499 Cock.  499- 09711 DV 95, a direct son of the “De Poot Pair” I first met Heinz Meier back in 1983 when I purchased some direct Leen Borse birds from him. Being from Germany I am fluent in the language and over a short period of time we became very close friends. Ever since 1991 once a year Heinz would pick me up at the Amsterdam Airport and we would visit top pigeon breeders from all parts of Europe.

After several years Heinz recognized my gift of picking out breeders.  In 1999 from the loft of Marcel Sangers I picked out a Janssen cock for Heinz Meier. The following year Marcel informed me that the cock that I picked out for Heinz turned out to be the sire of his “Eagle Eye” the best pigeon of all Holland. After that, on many occasions I was asked to grade all the Heinz Meier breeders and also mate several of the key Schellens breeders together before they get too old. In 2002 as on several occasions Heinz asked me again to select several of the key breeders to be paired up for the 2003 breeding season. After going through several of the key hens I asked Heins to place The hen 98 Belg 2214488 witch is a direct daughter of Schellens’  “Good Yearlying” with his top Schellens Cock “Zucht-Ass  499”.  This matting turned out to be golden. From this pair came the cock “Der General” a fantastic breeder and sired the 2008 Ace Yearling Hen of all German  in 2009 she scored 13 x 13 prizes 2010  13 x 11 prizes than placed in the stock loft.  “Zucht-Ass 499” is the sire or grand-sire to the following Ace Birds  of all Germany

  • 12th Ace Hen 2006
  • 31st and 48th Ace Cocks 2007
  • 1st Ace yearling hen 2008

At least 60% of the Schellens today go back to this one cock alone. His best son named “Der President” DV 09711-98-1032 is the sire or grand-sire of 12th, 28th, 34th, and 46th Ace pigeons of all Germany. For our close friendship and my services I could also select birds for myself from the key breeders.  In doing so I also selected a Cock from the “De Poot Pair” that turned out to be my Schellens foundation cock that I named “Warlord” 551 09711 DV 96. Bird for bird he is the equal of “Zucht Ass – 499”. We just don’t have the number of flyers they have in Germany.  So in fact both Schellens foundation cocks, one in America and the other in Germany came from the same pair that Schellens said never to separate. Now, many years later, realizing what the “De Poot Pair” is responsible for, I truly can say Karl Schellens knew what he was talking about while we were going over all the original pedigrees back then.

Warlord pigeong

The Modern Day Schellens

To preserve the Schellens family, Heinz followed the strict rule that Karl Schellens himself implemented to keep the Schellens family strong.  From time to time only a very select few world class breeders would be added to the original family.  Key birds such as sons and daughters of “Kannibaal”, “Kleine Dirk” and 2 of the last Sons of “Golden Lady” were added to make the family even stronger. From this new addition came remarkable results. In the 1996 Y/B season Heinz had 91% of his Y/B’s in the prizes. In OBs he had 76 % in the prizes. In Germany if your complete race team is over 50% in the prizes you are considered a good breeder.  In 2008 OBs he had the best race results of all Germany plus 1-2 yearling hens.  2009 He had the 1st  -12th -17th Ace Hens  of all Germany  2010  He set a new German record by having 1-2- 3-5 Ace Hens of all Germany. The 1st and 2nd Ace hens were in fact full sisters. Also 2nd Nat. Champion all Germany 1st Champion Yearlings. Also he had 10 birds that were flown week after week scoring 13 prizes out of 13 races.

With sadness Heinz passed away May 2010  

Heinz Meier’s wives Erika, bless her hart, and son Matthias continued with the birds through the 2012 racing season. Due to the extra work load and her age they decided to sell all the birds. On the last day of March 2013 all key breeders along with a few 2012 young birds totaling 228 Pigeons were sold on the PIPA Auction site.

Listed are a few of the key breeders and prices in Euros. In American dollars you would add on another 35%:

  • “Gold Stuck”05 NL 1936624  a direct Son of “Golden Lady “  from Koopman sold for 65.000 Euros  The sire of “Supra 1” and “Supra 2” – 1st and 2nd Ace Hens of all Germany. The Dam of the 2 Ace Hens was bred from “Perle” DV 09711-08-600 Schellens hen. This hen is traced back to the Marcel Sangers Cock that I picked out for Heinz Meier back in the late 90’s.
  •  “Perle” sold for 32.500 Euros. So in American dollars The Pair of Pigeons that bred “Supra 1” and “Supra 2” were sold for 97.500 Euros or $ 131,625 US Dollars.
  • The highest Hen sold in the Auction for 53.000 Euros was “Fantasja”  DV 09711-08-416  the 2009 No.1 Ace Hen of all Germany.
  • One of the best current Schellens breeders “Super Star” sold for 30.000 Euros. A few sons or direct daughters from him were soled for as high as 12.200 Euros.
  • A granddaughter of “Zuch Ass -499” sold for 7400 Euros.
  • “Supra 1” and “Supra 2” together sold for 54.000 Euro.

Heinz Meire was a very private man and up until the last few years he hardly ever sold pigeons.  No advertising and no web pages. In all cases he never wanted the spot light to be on himself. Rather in all cases he let the pigeon results speak for them selfs.With these facts the world never really realized the quality of his modern day Schellens up until now. As others have done, I’m sure with great pictures and results his birds would have even brought in higher prices. It would be a shame at this point to have the Schellens family of birds not kept in tact to some degree. For this reason I went back to Germany July of 2012 and purchase10 more key breeders that would complete my Schellens family as a whole. My new introductions included “Golden Wonder”  DV 09711-12-271 – a direct son of “Gold Stuck” and being a full brother to “ Supra 1”, 2010  No.1 Hen of all  Germany  along with DV 09711-12-260  a direct daughter of “Supra 1”. Another key addition “Sexy Lady” DV 09711-12-268  she is bred from a direct son of foundation cock “Zucht -Ass 499”  mated with a full sister of the new Schellens foundation cock “Super Star”.

Different families come and go. In this case I hope that I can keep the Schellens family as strong as ever. In America they have already made a big impact by winning well over $400,000 in the money races. “Erika” Our Foundation Hen alone is responsible for over $300,000 herself.  Thanks to Bill Tadlock’s Bieche 6060 Schellens Hen.  In the 2012 SAMDPR “Sylt Orpheus” came with the winner and clocked 2nd.  Also 1st Average and the highest price bird sold in the sale. He is bred down from “Zucht-Ass-499”, full brother of our “Warlord.” To date Bieche Lofts have the most complete Schellens family in the World.

Yours in the sport,

Cindy and Alex Bieche






One Response to Karl Schellens – His Story

  1. cassiem Foflonker on November 29, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Dear Sir very informative is it possible to acquire a hen or cock from the Schellen line please as a present please racing for one year now no success

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