Denis Sapin
BELG 05 1534702 - BLUE BELG 05 1534721 - BLUE
BELG 05 1534723 - BLUE BELG 05 1534724 - BLUE

The following article on Denis Sapin is a reprint from

There was nobody in his family that was interested in our hobby so it wasn’t very obvious that Denis Sapin became a fancier. It was about 40 years ago when almost everybody in the street had pigeons and that’s how Denis got interested in the pigeon sport. At the age of 18 he decided to take it all seriously and at that time Denis also met one of the best fanciers ever, Maurice Vandevelde of Scherpenheuvel .

This last one was known all over the world after he won the title of National Ace Short Distance KBDB in 1974 . This Ace soon became a basic pigeon at the loft of the famous Gommaar Verbruggen. Maurice Vandevelde decided to give this young fancier as much good advice as possible and he gave him a granddaughter of the Ace. This brought Denis to the top of our sport at that point when he won in 1990 the title of National Ace- Pigeon . This pigeon, the 152, was a son of the female in Scherpenheuvel and here the Sapin family got in contact with the monument of the pigeon sport, Filip Herbots of Halle Booienhoven. This monument brought another turning point in the career of Denis who got introduced to 3 pigeons of the famous Soontjes-race of Wommelgem. With these three birds he had a male, the 109, which soon became one of the basic pigeons of the colony. One of the two females also produced racers of the highest quality. To give you an idea about the quality of the Soontjes breeders, our host showed us about 150 victories in five years time. A new Soontjes introduction was made in 1995, still thanks to the Herbots family, the 990-89. Very close in breed was what he did now, like grandfather with granddaughter. These Soontjes pigeons were very good at distances till 300 km. Nevertheless some friends of Denis tested the birds at more important distances and again with success. With successes like these you meet many other champions on different occasions like the diner of “la Colombophilie belge” that is organised every year in Nijvel. In 1997 he met L. Cooreman of Moortsele, and there he got 4 late youngsters of Oscar which won 18 first prizes in his career, especially from Noyon. Since 1999, in cross breeding with the Soontjes birds, the results were even better and always at the top.

Since that day on, every year again, Denis went to Moorsele to get him 10 youngsters and Cooreman did the same in Incourt. (both fanciers were very pleased) In 97-98, Denis met mister Gigot of Graux, near by Mettet, who mostly breeds the Casaert and the Vandenabeele-pigeons. Very soon both fanciers became good friends and Denis offered him two young birds out of his basic breeder, the 109-91. Then his friend scored very good results in the large middle distance and the little long distance and this made him win the Royal Trophy, partly thanks to the Soontjes pigeons. Then Denis also met D. Parijs of Ottembourg, not far from Waver, who won the national victory from Bourges. This friendship lead to cross breed between the Janssen birds and the Cooreman-Soontjes pigeons of Sapin. The last introductions came again of the Herbots loft with a son of the famous 155-91, the Olympic pigeon.

The loft is build on the old stables of father Sapin. Two sections for the 24 widowers and another one for the 50 young birds. Then there’s also an open aviary for 20 breeding couples of which more than 50% are pure Soontjes pigeons. The loft has a very good aeration which is very important to be successful according to Denis Sapin. 


The following article on the pigeons from Jos Soontjens is reprinted from Ad Schaerlaecken's website at


Fellow sportsmen sometimes ask me ‘what is the biggest mistake you ever made?’ Then the answer may be: ‘I made many mistakes and one of them was not buying birds from Jos Soontjens when I was there long way back.’  In those days William Geerts was the terror of the province of Antwerp. I still remember William’s words then: ‘I have one problem. To prepare my birds for the Middle Distance races I have to participate a short distance race from Noyon before and from that station Soontjens is unbeatable’.  So to Soontjens I went and when I was there I asked him who his greatest competitor was.  Jos, who was not a bragger at all, said: ‘I have only one competitor, the wind.’  Still I did not buy his birds since I was so na´ve as to think they could only handle the Short Distance. Geerinckx however, who lived in the same town, was smarter than I was.  He imported Soontjens birds and shortly after he became a Champion at short distance, later on at Middle Distance and in recent years he is outstanding at the one-day races.  When I was at Serge van Elsacker’s in the summer of 2006 I congratulated him on his fantastic results.  ‘Thanks’ Serge said, adding ‘you should congratulate Geerinckx as well, you can’t believe how strong he is again this year’.  How good the Soontjens birds are will certainly be confirmed by Herbots and Pros Roosen.