Rik Cools, who works as a technical advisor in a school in Aalter, has become quite a reputable player in pigeon racing, specialising mostly in races for hens. It is fair to say he has really mastered this discipline, although it was due to his working conditions that he opted to focus on a team of racing hens. It is usually smarter to get really good at one thing than to try and compete in every competition with mediocre results, Rik believes. As you can tell, Rik combines a straightforward approach with a clear understanding of the game.
Rik gained an excellent reputation with his team of hens, which were raced as Cools-Blancke. He took a fresh start racing under his own flag in 2005, and he was quite successful from the start. His best results were won with descendants of two fantastic stock pairs of Cools-Blancke: Gaby 184/93 x Françoise 530/95 (the parents of super class hens Bieke and Kaatje, and the dam of the iconic Rudy of Gaby Vandenabeele), and Frans 137/95 x Alfonçine 182/94 (the parents of the outstanding breeders Aagje, Fryda and Aske, which became 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance YBs KBDB in 2000). This is an invaluable pigeon breed that not only made the Cools-Blancke combination world famous, but also Rik Cools and Team BDS later on. These bloodlines have in fact enabled teams across the globe to win championship titles, first prizes and ace pigeon titles.
Marieke, the new stock dam
Browsing through the pedigrees of the Rik Cools pigeons of today, we noticed that the team's stock breeders feature in almost every lineage. They are often crossed with the noble blood of the iconic Bliksem Vandenabeele, and the descendants of this combination have led to a spike in performance. A good example would be the team's current stock dam Marieke: she was a fantastic racing hen and she has now become an invaluable breeding dam as well. This world class breeder originates from the team's old stock bloodlines.
1st Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance YBs KBDB ’08 1st Nat. Zone Gueret 5,166 p. 1st Blois 362 p. – 14. Prov 5,035 p. 2nd La Souterraine 235 p. – 17. Prov 2,553 p. 3rd Bourges 336 p. – 25. Prov 4,180 p.
Sire: Son Bliksem BE05-3006794
From a joint breeding with Gaby Vandenabeele, with Bliksem BE98-3158062 x Aagje BE00-3195050 (daughter of Frans 137/95 x Alfonçine 182/94).
Dam: Flicka BE04-3238531
A daughter of Den 100 BE00-3195100 (son of Gaby 184/93 x Francoise 530/95) x Aske BE00-3195018, winner of a 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance YBs KBDB ’00 (a daughter of Frans 137/95 x Alfonçine 530/95). Flicka is also a sister of Darling: winner of a 1st Nat. Bourges ’04 (Cools-Blancke).
Click here for Marieke's pedigree
Marieke is another clear illustration of champions breeding champions. Her descendants have proven to be highly talented, and they have more or less dominated the competition in recent seasons. One of Marieke's daughters that really gained a name for herself is Lady Messi, which has a remarkable palmares already:
-Lady Messi BE09-3040083
2nd Prov. Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB 2011 1st Prov. Bourges 1,427 p. 8th Nat. Argenton 19,757 p. 28th Nat. Bourges 9,781 p.
She is a daughter of Marieke paired to Fred NL06-2158233 (also the sire of Leentje).
And further generations of Marieke's descendants continue to give highly talented birds as well: a Daughter Marieke BE12-3113589 became the dam of top class hen Carla, a fantastic first prize winner (from Clermont-Chateauroux-Compiégne), which claimed a first prize in the very first race of 2018 from Clermont (198km):
1st Clermont 162 p. ’18 1st Clermont 94 p. ’17 30th Nat Chateauroux 29,591 p. ’16 (1st Club 519 p.) 74th Nat Chateauroux I 20,473 p. ’17 4th Clermont 391 p. ’15 5th Fontenay 447 p. ’16 7th Fontenay 828 p. ’16 48th Prov Montluçon 206 p. ’16 71st Prov Chateaudun 2,177 p. ’17 74th Prov Bourges I 2,227 p. ’16 76th Prov Tours 6,083 p. ’15 591st Nat Argenton 12,449 p. ’16 Etc…
Click here for Carla's pedigree
Phil (a brother of Marieke) bred top class racing hen Florence: 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon YBs KBDB in 2011. Florence is in turn the dam of 16-008 (7th Nat. Chateauroux 26,606 p.) and of the outstanding Amigo, a direct Rik Cools that won two provincial first prizes within 7 days for Chris Debacker:
1st Prov. Tours 6,083 p. (25/7/’15) 1st Prov. Tours 5,313 p. (18/7/’15) 94th WVOU Clermont 7,175 p.
The sire of Amigo is the Kleinen (son Rooney), a great racing bird for Team Rik Cools. He became 3rd Provincial Ace Pigeon KBDB in 2012. He is also the sire of the 703/13, Rik's best young bird of 2013, and winner of a 1st Nat. Zone A1 Chateauroux, a 16th Prov. Tours 2,788 p. and a 19th Prov. Gueret 2,201 p. in 2014.
De Kleinen is a grandson of De Gueret (Benny Steveninck): 1st National Limoges, paired to Marieke. In other words, Amigo comes straight from the bloodlines of stock dam Marieke.
Click here for Amigo's full pedigree
Rik Cools bred one of the leading names of his 2017 racing team from a full brother of Lady Messi BE11-3123390. Her name is Monty, and she won the following prizes:
29th Nat Bourges I 23,155 p. ’17 70th Nat Montluçon 10,753 p. ’16 424th Nat Chateauroux 29,591 p. ’16 36th Prov Bourges I 2,227 p. ’16 74th Prov Argenton I 3,339 p. ’16 864th Nat Chateauroux I 20,473 p. ’17 118th Prov Chateaudun 2,177 p. 119th Prov Argenton I 1,874 p. ’17 Etc…
Click here for Monty's pedigree
That same Brother Lady Messi 390 has also bred 13-800: this pigeon wins a 1st Prov. Chateauroux 405 p., a 3rd Prov. Blois 1,131 p., a 40th Nat. Chateauroux 21,515 p., and a 63rd Nat. La Souterraine 4,161 p. This is quite a bloodline indeed!
The new racing lofts where the team took a fresh start in 2017
A display of strength from Rik Cools pigeons in other lofts
Getting great results is one thing; being able to pass on these qualities to future generations is crucial for the future of your breed however. The Cools pigeons have proven to be exceptionally gifted in terms of breeding value: they have bred an impressive 9 national ace pigeons in other lofs over the past four years, and their descendants have won numerous first prizes at provincial and national level as well. Here are a few examples:
-Gaby Vandenabeele: the team's current stock breeder Rudy is a son of stock dam Kaatje of Cools-Blancke. He is the sire of Super Romeo (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance YLs KBDB) and New Bliksem (1st Nat. Tulle ’14)
-Rudi De Saer: 1st Nat. Limoges and 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2015 with Favoriet (50% Cools)
-Benny Steveninck: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2013 with Sun (25% Cools),
-Leo & Gerry Dockx: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance YBs KBDB 2014 with Tarzan (100% Cools)
-Team Freddy De Jaeger: 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance KBDB 2014 (with Carla) and 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance olds KBDB 2014 (both 25% Cools)
-Chris Debacker: 1st Prov. Tours 6,083 p. and 1st Prov. Tours 5,313 p. in ‘15 with Amigo (direct Rik Cools) and 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance olds KBDB ’14 with Christa (50% Cools)
-Hugo Vlaeminck: 1st Prov. La Souterraine 4,390 p. in ‘16 (50% Cools)
-Ronny Menten: 1st Nat. Bourges 10,111 YLs in ‘16 and fastest of 45,507 p. (great-granddaughter Emma, Rik Cools)
-Marnick De Neve: winner of 3rd- 5th- 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance KBDB (with Benji- 75%, Angelina- 50% and Leila- 50% Rik Cools respectively).
-Filip & Nicholas Norman: 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance olds KBDB '15 with Impact Florian (50% Cools)
-Bert Van den Berghe: 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance olds KBDB 2014 with Gloria (a direct Gaby Vandenabeele but 25% Rik Cools bloodlines)
-Gevaert-Lannoo: stock dam Chateauke is a direct Cools-Blancke. The dam of 7 first prize winners, 1st Ace Pigeon Both Flanders, 2nd Nat. Bourges, 3rd Nat. La Souterraine, 8th Nat. Bourges, and grandmother of a 1st Prov. and 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB, besides several other provincial first prize winners.
-Dieter Wohr (D): 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon HDI with Das Fenomeen (50% Cools)
-Patrick & Dimitri Houfflijn: 2nd Best pigeon of Belgium Long Distance olds over 4 national races - PIPA ranking with Super Cools BE14-4235034 (50% Cools)
-Helmut Leiss (D): Olympiad Pigeon Budapest (50% Cools)
Super Cools BE14-4235034: a fantastic long distance racing birds in the lofts of Patrick & Dimitri Houfflijn (50% Rik Cools)
This allows for an easy conclusion: the Rik Cools birds are world class pigeons. They are able to win first prizes and to dominate races with ease, whether it be a provincial, zonal or national event. They are born to win races, and they are able to pass on their abilities to future generations as well. This makes them an invaluable asset in your breeding loft, as you can tell from the many top results in their own loft and the numerous references in the racing lofts of other fanciers.