Casaert - Senechal

Casaert Pigeons
S├ębastien Casaert
Rue des Marais 72
7750 Russeignies

Tel. : +32 69 55 69 09
GSM : +32 496 12 04 46



Author : Mattacchione Silvio 16/05/2012 for PIPA

Sébastien Casaert (Casaert-Senechal): A Racing Pigeon Prodigy!

“A prodigy is someone who at an early age masters one or more skills far beyond his or her level of maturity. One criterion for classifying prodigies is: a prodigy is a child, typically younger than 18 years old, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding field of endeavor.

The giftedness of prodigies is determined by the degree of their talent relative to their ages. Examples of particularly extreme prodigies could include Mozart and Jackie Evancho in music, Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, and Judit Polgar in chess, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Srinivasa Ramanujan, William James Sidis, Michael Kearney, Gregory R. Smith, and John von Neumann in mathematics, Pablo Picasso in art, and Saul Kripke in philosophy.


It goes without saying that articles are always written about “winners” never about losers. Over the years I have certainly written my share of interesting stories. Increasingly the sport of racing pigeons is more and more about statisticss, results, charts, birdages and percentages almost to the exclusion of all other factors. For the most part I have attempted, I think successfully to focus to a greater extent upon either the man, the history or the lineages as much as possible and thus develop a much more informative and entertaining article. An article that hopefully gives one an insight into the man and his birds. In other words the story is much more fascinating to me than the actual results. Given that by definition I typically only write about fanciers who would be considered “World Class”. I find that the “story” can give insights and meaning to the journey that takes fanciers from obscurity to international fame and in some cases a fame that approaches adulation.






In many countries the “Maurice Casaert” name is quite well known and hugely respected. Frank McLaughlin, the well known American fancier has never been shy about expressing hisfeelings regarding the Maurice Casaert pigeons, in fact he has often stated categorically that they are the “world’s toughest middle distance pigeons” and I do not believe that either the Germans or the Chinese would disagree with these sentiments given that Maurice actually bred and raced the top young bird in Belgium three times. For 60 years Maurice (now 80) has been enthralled with racing pigeons and for the past 20 years he has consistently placed at the highest levels of the National sport in Belgium. The highlights of the Maurice Casaert achievements are very impressive including four national wins

1st National Montauban 1992 against 5335 pigeons with Invincible Montauban
1st National Souillac 2000 against 7154 pigeons with NASDAQ
1st National Brive 2004 against 7446 pigeons with MISTRAL
1st National Bourges 200/ against 13,354 pigeons withFOOTSIE

National Champion Middle Distance ...

Many provincial victories, semi-National, National Top 100 ...


Ok understood, but what has this got to do with Sébastien?
It turns out that Sébastien was born in Tournai in 1972 and is the second son of Maurice Casaert and Julienne Vandenbulcke and some have joking claimed that Sébastienwas actually born inside the loft. That may in fact be a little bit of poetic license but there is clearly no doubt that racing pigeons have always been a part of his everyday home life during his formative years. By the age of eight he was fascinated by his father’s family of racing pigeons, the visitors, the long discussions and the competition. Sébastien was a born competitor and loved the idea of winning and he was without a doubt inspired by his father’s exceptional abilities as both competitor and stockman!

Why was this young man so driven?

“I do not know, I've always been attracted by the competition. The pigeon sport is for me something exciting and so motivating. We must constantly question ourselves if we want to progress. I have a spirit, the spirit of a "winner".

Like most youngsters Sébastien loved cycling and it goes without saying that he loved soccer. In fact it was his love of soccer that was to ultimately lead him to his amazing success with racing pigeons. How you might ask? Well the sport of soccer brought Sébastien together with one Mr. Senechal (who is now 73 years old) who was a highly successful businessman ( a director of the famous company La Redoute) who was also, at that time, the president of a soccer club as well as being long-time friend of Sebastian’s father Maurice Casaert.




Francois Sénéchal, in addition to all of his other pursuits, was also a racing pigeon fancier who at this exact moment in time was desperately in need of a good loft manager given the ever growing demands on his personal time. He expressed this need to Maurice who immediately suggested that “Sébastien” could fill this position. And so it came to pass that at the tender age of fourteen Sébastien took on this enormous responsibility so seriously and with such vigor and intuitive insight that the Sénéchal loft became one of the very top lofts in all of Belgium for eight years that is from the time that Sébastien was age fourteen until age twenty two.

“On November 1st 1986, I began to manage the pigeons of François Sénéchal at Leers. Every day after school, I traveled by bike some 10 km from my home to the Sénéchal loft.”

This was only the beginning, shortly thereafter Sébastien became the loft manager for Mr. Hétru (Hetru-Casaert 1995) for a period of one year. The results generated by this new partnership were excellent but unfortunately the personal chemistry between the two was missing and after the initial year the partnership was terminated. The exceptional abilities of this young “master” Sébastien were recognized and appreciated by many fanciers at the highest level. That one so young should achieve so much in so short a time was indeed very rare and testimony enough to the abilities of Sébastien the young prodigy.

No sooner had the position with Hétru been terminated that discussions were almost immediately initiated by Silvere Toye and a deal suitable to both parties was consummated almost immediately. The year was 1996 and the results were impressive and the relationship between Toye and Sébastien lasted till 1999 at which time the young Sébastien was adamant that it was now time to race under his own name and banner. That decision was made in conjunction with Silvere Toye and with his blessings and the two have remained friends to this day.


Rebirth as Casaert-Sénéchal

The year 2000 saw the rebirth of the cooperation that originally began in 1986 but this time as the partnership of Casaert-Sénéchal. Clearly the base of the birds flown by Casaert-Sénéchal was that of Sébastien’s father Maurice but reinforcements were soon brought in from equally powerful lines including those of Vandenabeele, Georges Bolle and Erik Limbourg and by 2003 there emerged a powerfully blended bloodline that incorporated all four. By 2008 additional reinforcements were again marshalled including once again from Limbourg as well as from Gaston Van de Wouwer, Geert and Clara Philips and De-Smeyter Restianen. What emerged was a composite blend that clearly was much more powerful than the constituent parts.

“In 1997, I bought an old farm that allowed the practice of pigeon racing. The first lofts were built in 1999 and the first competitions began in 2000.

The first pigeons came from Maurice and Gregory Casaert of Néchin, Georges de Bolle of Kortemark and Gaby Vandenabeele of Dentergem. In 2001, Pigeons from Erik Limbourg of Brussegem were added.
 Why did we introduce these pigeons?
These people had at that time outstanding results and indisputable references in the field that I had set as my goal, that is those competitions of from 400 to 600 km .
My theory is very simple and always the same: Look for pigeons that meet my needs: BREEDING, RACING, and SELECTION. When the results are up to my expectations, I begin to talk about their origins.
As I am someone who likes to get results quickly, I set a goal for the young birds. Thus, I can more easily operate on a strict selection based upon results.




In 2007, Sébastien competed with the intention of winning the National from La Souterraine. 18,973 youngbirds took part in a very difficult race La Souterraine (514 km), a hen in the colony won the 4th National and it turned out that five pigeons were in, in less than a minute.
2008 was for Sébastien the year of change including the moving of his family and lofts to their new home in Russeignies in 2009. Moves of this type usually cause setbacks that often take years of effort to recover from, but that was not the case for Sébastien as 2009 was to prove a year of exceptional performances; so success came almost immediately. From the second contest of middle distance in 2009, the steamroller set off. He took the first 13 and 20th in the first 24 from Toury 356 yearlings. The weeks followed with high level results: 5 Top 100 including 2 from Bourges National Top 10. At Issoudun, against 5848 pigeons, 14 pigeons were placed in the first 93. 

2010 was an incredible year with multiple titles won.

In 2011, the year began with a disaster. The young dog owned by Sébastien went into the cock’s loft and killed five widowers including some of his best long distance racers. Clearly his campaign was affected badly.

The caliber of hens is to die for as is evident as in this photo below.

All was to change though later in 2011! On April 24th Sébastien won a first prize Hens Ecouen with 4281810/10, a pigeon bred by his friend Joost De Smeyter, a friendship cemented as they are both passionate about cycling. Since that day, Philippe Gilbert has won Liege-Bastogne-Liege from "La Roche aux Faucons” with 4281810/10 and it was baptized that day "La Roche aux Faucons”. "La Roche aux Faucons" also won another five first prizes in 2011 which earned her the title of 2nd National Ace-Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB 2011

A real phenomenon as good as Philippe Gilbert

1er Angerville 977p 7-5
1er Toury 639p 14-5
1er Orléans 320p 4-6
1er Angerville 438p 25-6
1er Blois 1449p 8-7



On 20 May this year, Palme d'Or (in recognition at the Cannes Film Festival which took place at the same time) won the victory at Inter-Provincial Vierzon the fastest against 17,021 pigeons.

On Sunday, two friends and Joost De Smeyter Bruno Degand improvised a meal to celebrate the Palme d'Or victory. Palme d'Or was later to be purchased by PEC and renamed” Amalia.”

Recording the fastest speed out of 17,706 pigeons Amalia won 1st Interprovincial Vierzon against 6,659 pigeons with a coefficient of 0.0150 % on May 21st 2011
Shortly thereafter on June 18 2011 she was 10th against 7,487 with a coefficient of 0.1336% an incredible result given her loft location and the actual flying conditions on that day.
By July 2nd she was flown at Argenton and was 1st against 1,289 pigeons Derby Hainaut and 27th National against 19,782 pigeons. At Derby Hainaut her coefficient was 0.0779%.

She was raced again from La Souterraine on August 27th against 868 pigeons and won 2nd with a coefficient of 0.2304%.Her final coefficient was recorded at 0.4569% making her the very best racing pigeon in Belgium in the 2011 racing season and earning her 1st National Ace Pigeon KBDB 2011 Great Middle Distance. We need to keep in mind that this specific award is in fact the most prestigious ace award category in Belgium every year. There is only one winner each year. The competition to acquire this incredible racing hen was heated but in the end Pipa Elite Center paid an incredible prijs (Record amount on that moment for a hen) to ensure that her genetic potential could be united with that of their Champion “New Freddy” who in turn was the 1st National Ace Pigeon KBDB 2010 Great Middle Distance. The first of the youngsters from this illustrious mating have brought truly exceptional prices at a PIPA Public Auction a few weeks ago, a true testament to the quality of this incredible new super-pair. Personally I would love to have a brother or sister to Amalia in my lofts.

Championships in 2011

1st Ace Pigeon National Great Middle Distance KBDB 2011
2nd Ace Pigeon National Middle Distance KBDB 2011
6th Champion National Yearlings KBDB 2011
1st Ace Pigeon National Great Middle Distance KBDB
1st Champion Provincial Great Middle Distance KBDB
1st Ace Pigeon Yearlings “La Colombophilie-Herbots”
1st Ace Pigeon Middle Distance “La Colombophilie-Herbots”
1st Ace Pigeon Provincial Great Middle Distance KBDB Old pigeons
1st Ace Pigeon Provincial Great Middle Distance KBDB Yearlings
1st Ace Pigeon Provincial Great Middle Distance KBDB Youngbirds

To successfully breed and race a National KBDB Ace pigeon is a dream that only a few exceptional fanciers in the world will ever achieve, but to then go on in the same year with 2nd and then also 6th Champion Yearling is truly an incredible testament to the depth and quality of the Casaert-Senechal racing pigeons. For generations the world has looked to Belgium for the finest stock and clearly this will continue for many more generations to come.