We go back to 2015, when Jos Cools won the National Championship Sprint Young Birds! On top of that, he was also 4th National Ace Pigeon Sprint Young Birds KBDB with 'Speedy'. This is a fantastic result, given that he had a team of no more than 10 breeding pairs and 9 widowers.
Jos had an excellent 2016 season as well, again with a small group of birds. Cher Ami, which became 14th National Ace Pigeon Sprint young birds in 2014, went on to win the following top results in the 2016 season:
1st of 834 pigeons 1st of 506 pigeons 4th of 373 pigeons 9th of 1,472 pigeons 10th of 813 pigeons 11th of 575 pigeons
Click here for the pedigree of Cher Ami, a grandson of stock pair Miel x Octavia.
Pigeon theft: entire breeding team stolen
Tragedy struck in 2016: 18 different breeding birds were stolen on the night of 5/6 Januray 2017. It was a major setback for Jos, who lost almost his entire breeding team on a single day. Jos, a passionate fancier, really struggled mentally as well in the wake of this cowardly act. His life's work was ruined: he lost several top class breeders, as well some provincial and national ace pigeons that night.
Part of the old racing team was forced to be transferred to the breeding loft prior to the 2017 season, since the breeding boxes had to be filled with new piegons. Along with three older breeding pairs that were still there fortunately, Jos tried to come up with a new breeding team, sacrificing most of his racing team. In other words, Jos had to race with an even smaller team of birds next season. However, his old racing birds had been carefully selected, and so they were likely to have quite a bit of breeding potential as well. They soon provided the team with a talented new group of young birds.
Despite the troubles during the winter, Jos still managed to win a few championship titles in his club in Grobbendonk:
1st General Champion Noyon 1st Champion Noyon Young Birds 1st General Champion Quievrain + Noyon 4th Champion Quievrain Young Birds
Back in contention: a national top result with Remco
In the lead-up to the 2018 season Jos Cools had had some time to further strengthen both his breeding and racing team. His top quality bloodlines had gradually come to the surface again in 2017, and they were back in full swing by the start of the 2018 season: Jos claimed 10 first prizes in the highly competitive Tienverbond Union, where he competes against Dirk Van den Bulck and team Stickers-Donckers, just to name a few.
And the crowning achievement came from Remco BE18-6167718. He became 1st Ace Pigeon young birds Tienverbond and 3rd National Ace Pigeon sprint YBs KBDB! It goes to show that a top quality breed will always get back on its feet. The sire of Remco was sold on PIPA in early 2018, and this pigeon proved a great investment indeed: the new owner now has the sire of a 3rd National Ace Pigeon Sprint 2018 in his collection.
The head of Remco
The sire of Remco is a son of two national ace pigeons: Speedy and Superlady, winner of a 6th National Ace Pigeon sprint Yearlings in 2014. Both these pigeons got stolen in 2017. The sire of Remco is also a grandchild of stock pair Miel x Octavia through Super Lady. The sprint team of Jos Cools is in fact mainly centered around this pair. Miel is a grandson of the world famous Di Caprio of Leo Heremans, which also played an important role in the breeding loft of another iconic fancier: Dirk Van Dyck. He is the sire of Dirk's Olympic Niels.
The dam of Remco comes from a joint breeding with Dirk Van den Bulck, since Jos and Dirk have been working together for quite some time. The two friends have strengthened each other's lofts over the years. For instance, the Jos Cools Hen (BE02-6219637) became one of Dirk's very best stock dams.
Jos is tightly holding Remco...
...before showing us his wing.
Remco claimed the title of 3rd National Ace Pigeon young birds 2018 with a coefficient of 1.6403, based on the following six prizes:
1-1245 p. 2-892 p. 3-1068 p. 4-1301 p. 5-1409 p. 5-1274 p.
A top quality breed will always get back on its feet
We were quite surprised to see Jos Cools regain his place at the top so quickly. He was one of the top players in the national ace pigeon championships sprint every season, right until the majority of his breeding birds were stolen. It was quite a remarkable feat for him to claim a national ace pigeon title sprint young birds, barely one and a half years after the theft - it takes an experienced fancier and a top quality breed to pull this off. By bringing together two of his best racing birds, and by retrieving three older breeding pairs, Jos quickly managed to surround himself again with some top quality birds. It goes to show that it does not take a large collection of pigeons to excel, but rather a good quality pigeon breed.
Remco's story is that of a phoenix, who managed to rise up again in 2018 after the damage that had been done to his loft in Grobbendonk. With Remco as the new leader of the team, Jos Cools looks ready to claim his next national ace pigeon title any time soon.