Mathieu Jacobs – a legend resigns

Ik kan niet meer (in Flamish: I can’t do it anymore) – these were the sad words from the marathon legend Mathieu Jacobs on the day of our visit in March 2023.
Due to the weakness of his health he is forced to stop with his beloved pigeons!

In 2007 Mathieu Jacobs was 1. National Champion Marathon KBDB with an incredible low coefficient of 18.876%.
5 pigeons did it, but especially BARCELONA-DUIVIN (BE-02-6474766) was special – and still today she is a great part of the family.

Mathieu and Maria
In 1970 Mathieu married Maria. Both came from pigeon-families with a father racing the legendary Vitesse races. Actually Maria decided for herself that she never would have anything to do with pigeons again – but she met the greatest fancier in the area – and they got married 😉
After their marriage in 1970 they purchased their present home – and the first thing, that Mathieu did, was the pigeon loft – after that other things in the house.
Mathieu has been a successful carpenter all his life so both the loft and the home was build with the best hands.

The pigeons
In the beginning Mathieu raced on the vitesse (sprint) on his new address, later in 1976 he also entered the middledistance races. Some years later another fancier in the neighborhood asked him to enter a few birds on Barcelona in 1980. At that time he had added some pigeons from Noël Peiren to strengthen the family.

The first nominated – WITPEN 807/76 – won 80. Prov. Barcelona – and in 1981 the same pigeon won 1. Prov., 4. National and 16. International from Barcelona!!
Another pigeon 730/80 won in 1982 2. Prov., 25. National and 32. International from Barcelona.
Suddenly Mathieu was “hooked” on marathon – and stopped racing the vitesse races.

Later he met Jaak Nouwen from Nouwen-Paesen – and in a short time they became friends.
In 1997 the first 14 youngsters moved from Nouwen-Paesen to Mathieu Jacobs, more in the following years and again in 2005 he bought another 14, including 2 children from BEAUTY MARSEILLE 1. International Marseille.

Mathieu became also close friends with Jos Joosen – another champion from his area. Pigeons were exchanged – and they both discovered that the old family of Mathieu crossed very well with the Nouwen-Paesen and Jos Joosen origins. A good recipe was discovered!

In 2001 Mathieu was very close to die! He felt down his ladder when he was working – and landed directly on his head. On the hospital they found that he had fractured his skull.
That was very serious, and Mathieu had to stay in the hospital for a long time. He wanted to stop with the pigeons because he could not take care of his pigeons, but good friends in the city helped him with the pigeons and were convincing him to continue.
More than 1 year went by before he could return to his pigeons.

Some years later he was fully recovered but stopped working – gaining a full day to spent with the pigeons -and so – 2 years later in 2007 everything clicked – and he became the national champion!

Due to a special hen – the BARCELONA-DUIVIN we mentioned before – plus 4 other toppigeons – he won the championship.
Actually Mathieu has had 3 fantastic Barcelona-hens in his life – most people will never find one, some will find a single pigeon that will show quality in 1 or 2 seasons – but Mathieu had THREE!

In 2005 she was:
396. National Barcelona 12.998 p.
756. National Perpignan 7.611 p.

In 2006:
62. National Perpignan 6.765 p.
429. National Barcelona 11.802 p.

And in 2007:
27. National Barcelona 12.612 p.
226. National Perpignan 5.547 p.

Her father was son of DAX 050 from Jos Joosen that won i.e. 2. National Dax and 44. National San Sebastian coupled to PAU-DUIVIN from Mathieu Jacobs himself that won 4 x prizes from Pau, including 1. National Hens (21. National overall). She was granddaughter of the old WITPEN 730 (see above).
Her mother came from Nouwen-Paesen – a direct daughter of NARBONNE 399 coupled to a daughter of 1. National Barcelona Hens 1991.
A SUPER example of the combination we explained above – these 3 origins together = magic!

She was:
47. National Barcelona 8.764 p. in 2014
436. National Barcelona 7.891 p. in 2015

Her father was from Jos Joosen – a grandson of DAX 050 – and the mother was from co-breeding with Nouwen-Paesen.
Her father was ZWARTE BARCELONA (Primus Interpares 2008) from Nouwen-Paesen – coupled to BARCELONA-DUIVIN 766 😉

She was:
95. National Barcelona 7.629 p. in 2016
18. National Barcelona 7.874 p. in 2017
2. National Acepigeon Barcelona 2016-2017

The father was son of a Nouwen-Paesen x Jos Joosen couple.
The mother was “almost” a fullsister of the mother to the BARCELONA-DUIVIN from 2011 – the father was a fullbrother to ZWARTE BARCELONA coupled to BARCELONA-DUIVIN 766.

That combination with ZWARTE BARCELONA/his fullbrother 821 coupled to BARCELONA-DUIVIN 766 is still the foundation line in the pigeons today!

Another great example of the magic origin-combination was in 2012 where Mathieu became 2. National Montelimar 6.718 p. from 768 km with BE-10-6174774.
He was bred from BE-06-5036913 – co-breeding Nouwen-Paesen and Jacobs – direct son of BEAUTY MARSEILLE 1. International Marseille 19.622 p.
And the mother was 709 from Noël Peiren coupled to 700 from Jos Joosen.
After this achievement the pigeon was sold to China, but the nestbrother stayed on the loft.

The last years
The recent years have been hard for Mathieu – difficulties with the health have resulted in less basketings during the season with the biggest focus on Barcelona.

Well, the champion is still a champion!
In 2018 he was:
15. National Champion Marathon KBDB
3. Prov. Champion Longdistance KBDB
4. Prov. Champion Marathon KBDB

In 2019 he was:
3. Prov. Champion Marathon KBDB
5. Prov. Acepigeon Marathon KBDB with BE-15-6207465

Mathieu Jacobs has always just basketed a few pigeons to Barcelona – up to around 10 pigeons – with focus on the hens – basketed on eggs.

In 2021 Mathieu basketed 4 hens on the Sunday of basketing for Barcelona.
On Wednesday he was on his loft at the pigeons – and had a big blood clot in his brain.
By the last strengths in his body he managed to get into the kitchen where Maria was – and she could call an ambulance.
He went to the hospital to recover.
The liberation in Barcelona was postponed to Sunday – and when Mathieu was told that he could come home on the Monday, he was so happy and told the nurses that he could get home to see the arrival of his pigeons. He went directly to the pigeons – and only an hour later the first pigeon from Barcelona came home to Mathieu.

3 of the 4 hens went into the prizes.
And again in 2022 – 4 hens to Barcelona – 3 in the prizes.

Mathieu has never been commercially so you will not find a lot of information on internet about him and his pigeons, but if you ask in his neighborhood, his fellow fanciers consider him to be one of the legends in marathon racing. It is also interesting to see pedigrees from other toplofts where you find the name of M. Jacobs – of course if you start reading pedigrees from Nouwen-Paesen or Jos Joosen you will find the pigeons from Mathieu – these 3 fanciers have for many years collaborated to strengthen all 3 lofts.

Mathieus good friend George Hoppenbrouwers, who helped Mathieu will all paper-work and pedigrees, has also some interesting results from the pigeons of Mathieu.

He raced:
1.648. Barcelona 10.542 p. in 2013
1.156. Barcelona 8.764 p. in 2014
549. Barcelona 7.761 p. in 2015
1.539. Barcelona 7.693 p. in 2016
464. Barcelona 7.874 p. in 2017
and became 7. National Acepigeon Primus Interpares Barcelona 2013-2017

“Purebred” Mathieu Jacobs from old origins crossed with Nouwen-Paesen – actually a son of a halfsister to 2. National Montelimar (see above)

He was basketed for Barcelona 2011 – and came very early!
Actually he came 5.33 in the morning the day after the liberation – as 1. National Barcelona winner.
But since it was so early in the morning, Mr. Hoppenbrouwers came a little to late to clock the rubberband.
He clocked it at 5.50 – so 17 minutes after the electronic clock.
In Belgium you had to clock the rubberband within 15 minutes after the electric clock as an extra security to keep the original time of 5.33, but now that Hoppenbrouwers was 2 minutes too late, the time of the rubberband – 5.50 – became the official time – and…..
BONTE BARCELONA became “only” 3. National Barcelona ☹
If Hoppenbrouwers had clocked the rubber just 2 minutes before 5.33 would have been the official time – and 1. National Barcelona against 12.281 pigeons would have been the result!!
And to make it even more sad – BONTE BARCELONA was taken by a hawk later the same year when he was outside exercising.

BONTE BARCELONA was also “purebred” Jacobs – actually a son of a fullsister to BARCELONA DUIVIN from 2002!!

Also the young fancier Koen De Backer has discovered the good origins from Mathieu Jacobs – and purchased a hen JACOBINA from 2018 – as you can see – beautiful hen from the very best!


Total Auction
Mathieu Jacobs has chosen to sell his life’s work – all his pigeons – all the origins founding this amazing family of pigeons for marathon.

Ik kan niet meer – I cannot have the pigeons anymore.
It is too hard for me and my health is not good anymore”
This is the sad reality for Mathieu Jacobs.

It was a great honour for us when Mr. Jacobs contacted us to sell his pigeons.
We are very proud that he has given us the opportunity to sell this family to all our friends all over the world who love longdistance and marathon.

We are 100% sure that these pigeons can make a difference on many lofts!

We wish Maria and Mathieu all the best in their otium after the pigeons.