He's been called "The King of Orleans" for his three, first-place finishes in what was arguably the world's biggest pigeon race. But Ad Schaerlaeckens is more than Holland's greatest pigeon trainer. For decades he has been the hobby's leading writer, using his sharp mind to analyze how certain fanciers were winning. And using his sharp pen to call attention to the pigeon sport's bad ideas and buffoons.
His global fame as one of the sport's living legends has brought Ad more attention than he cares for. And, over the past decade he has retreated more and more from the spotlight. In part it's because he's a private person, but also because the volume of visiting fanciers and inquiries via phone and the internet had become simply overwhelming.
Knowing how much people want to hear his opinions led Ad Schaerlaeckens to agree to spend some time in front of a camera with a long-time friend, film maker Jim Jenner. Over a period of three days Schaerlaeckens answered the key questions pigeon fanciers constantly ask him about his methods. He also got to spend time describing his early years with pigeons and the factors that led to his unique view of the sport.
Honest, blunt and always a step ahead of the pack, this is Ad Schaerlaeckens. Over more than an hour and half he talks about his basic approaches to selecting pigeons, keeping them healthy and winning races. It's as close as you can come to sitting down with the man himself.