De Cock Jo & Curfs Lou win international Narbonne (890 km.) against 10.072 pigeons (2007)

Jo de COCK en Lou CURFS, Wijnandsrade (NL)

Today I would like to take you to one of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands, namely South-Limburg. In the rolling hilly landscape lies to the west of Heerlen the village of Wijnandsrade. Wijnandsrade is a village of approximately 2000 inhabitants in the province of Limburg. In 1982 it became part of the metropolitan city Nuth. The word  rode (or rhode or rode) means development. The name of the village actually means  “ the development area of Wijnand”.
Next to one of the many large ponds in this fine-looking village lives Jo de Cock. He lives in a beautiful house, which was for a long time since 1904 used as a butter factory.
Behind the house are the racing lofts from Jo de Cock (50) and his companion Lou Curfs (67).
Both men raced pigeons independantely until they formed a combination in 1999. Due to the fact that Jo  still works, it is mainly Lou who takes care of the pigeons. Time allowing, Jo helps him as much as he can. Jo and Lou are members of P.V. Juliana in Heerlerheide which has about 50 members.

The arrival

Jo and Lou expected the pigeons from this race somewhere between 18.00 and 20.00 h. It was difficult to guess the time the pigeons would arrive, because although the pigeons were helped with a tail wind, they also had to contend with rainshowers. A few minutes after 20.00h the red cock  04-NL-1265272 landed. He was directly followed by another pigeon. The red cock was clocked at 20.04.58h, but the other cock dawdled en was clocked at 20.08h. The second pigeon was the 04-NL-1265266 and is the strain of Toine Huijnen from Heerlen x Fons van Ophuizen. The men didn’t think they had a victory because there was a report on teletext. This was later proved to be an error.. At 21.00h the third pigeon landed. Once it was known that they had not only won nationally, but also internationally the Narbonne race they were on top of the world and enjoyed a drink or two! What added to the enjoyment was the fact that they had been very near to a victory many times, but were always pipped at the post. The next morning they rose early and clocked pigeons at 07.26, 07.40, 08.48, 10.49, 11.16 and 11.44h. 10 from the 21 pigeons achieved prizes. Next to the victory they probably had the 3rd and 4th prize international. This is what they call a dream victory.
Up to this day the winner was called the “Bordeaux”, because he won the 1st prize from Bordeaux in the long distance club Parkstad and the 12th prize nationally against 3235 pigeons and the 26th prize international against 5710 pigeons. Following  this victory he was renamed  “De Zeppel”. He is named after one of  “de Gebr. Loyens” from Hulsberg, who bred this pigeon. In the descendants of  “De Zeppel” we see through the fathers side that he descends from pigeons from H. van Brienen from Swalmen ,great grandfather is a cock from the stock couple B 74-291 (Adriaan Wouters) x B78-065 (Marien-Meulemans), great grandmother G. Carteus, Ronse (B) (daughter “Tulle” 2nd nat. Tulle) x the grandmother “Konijntje” from N. Konijn from St. Pancras (dr. 2e nat. St. Vincent), great grandfather is the 2nd  nat. St. Vincent and great grandmother a “Zus Madonna.
 Through the mother’s side we see the line from “het Trutje” the stock mother from the loft of Jan Theelen uit Buggenum.

Achievemens “De Zeppel”

In 2005
111th prov. Cahors against ca.3000pigeons
In 2006:
12th national Bordeauxagainst 3235 pigeons
26th international Bordeaux against 5710 pigeons
In 2007:
722th national Bordeauxagainst 3642 pigeons
1st international Narbonne against 10.072 pigeons

Wing "Zeppel"

Wing 266 - 4th intern. Narbonne


In the garden there is a loft measuring twelve metres and two floors. The racers are upstairs and the youngsters downstairs.In addition there is an attic loft measuring 4 metres. The loft faces south. The breeding loft is by Lou. The lofts are guarded day and night by two ferocious guard dogs.

Lou & Jo

Loft foundation

The loft is mostly based on pigeons of the Saya brothers strain, Harrie and Roger Wijnands, Toine Huijnen from Heerlen, Lei Kurvers from Hulsberg and Piet Boijen from Nuth. The pigeons from Jo and Lou are average in build and have a very soft plumage. New pigeons have to pass in the family of their pigeons.  These men prefer to race in the overnight races with morning liberation.  This is what they have concentrated on since they formed their combination in 1999. They try to be at the top in all the races.

They have 16 breeding couples. Their stock birds consist of a cock from thEe Saya brothers X a hen from Zegers (strain Saya brothers).They use both inbreeding and crossbreeding. Lou’s hobby is comparing pedigree charts and deciding which couples should be paired with each other.
In the main they couple the breeding pigeons at the beginning of March and the racing pigeons half way through March so that the eggs from the breeders can be transferred. Pigeons that have proved themselves are also used for breeding. Jo and Lou breed about 100 youngsters for their own use.

The system
They began here in Wijnandsrade in season 2007 with 32 old and 20 yearlings. They only practise the tradional widowhood with the cocks. At the beginning of the season the hens are shown before the doffers are basketted. Once they have entered a few races, the hens are shown for a longer period prior to basketting. The long distance pigeons race four or five races as preparation, the furthest being Reims (approx. 250 km.). There is no use made of lightning or darkening with the racing pigeons. Depending on the achievements in the preceding races and by observing on the day of basketting, it is then decided in which order the pigeons are entered for the race.
The pigeons are still only fed lightly but the amount is increased from the last Wednesday up to and including the day of basketting (Tuesday). Jo en Lou use the mixtures of Versele Laga and Paloma. In addition, the pigeons receive nibbling seeds and a few peanuts.
The pigeons train twice a day for an hour but no use is made of a vlag of anything similair. Sometimes the pigeons are taken to Marche (B), but only when they have not taken part in the regular races due to a bad weather forecast for the weekend.

Medical matters
To keep their pigeons healthy they use the system from dr. Boskamp from Beek.  They use a lot of herbs: they prefer to keep things natural. When the pigeons have been sitting on the eggs fora bout 10 days they receive a cure for trichomoniasis. Before basketting the pigeons are given electrolytes, Farvisol (vitamines) and minerals. Sundays the pigeons are disinfected with  “poeder 18” from dr. Boskamp, this is to prevent trichomoniasis, coccidiose and help the airways. Jo en Lou are very pleased with dr. Boskamp and his products.


In 2006:
Still at the top of the results, but just missing the 1st prize. In my opinion  most people would be over the moon with the following prizes that this combination has achieved.
6th national Pau against 2342 pigeons
14th international Pau against 6553 pigeons
6th  and 13th national Narbonne against 2583 pigeons
70th national Carcassonne against 3167 pigeons
78th national Barcelona against 6777 pigeons
Winner series 2 and Golden Double Narbonne (2 first entered)

In 2007:
1st and (probably) 4th international Narbonne
Winner series 2 and Golden Double Narbonne

Jo and Lou are not strijving to win championships. If the pigeons come home on time, the championships will follow, but they don’t ponder on this. In 2006 they were overal champion in their club P.V. Juliana in Heerlerheide.

2006 Fondclub (long distance club) Parkstad
2nd ace pigeon grand distance morning liberation with the 03-NL-1596684
2nd indicated grand distance morning liberation
2nd not indicated grand distance morning liberation
2nd champion above 800 km.

2006 “1000 km. Vrienden” (1000km friends)
1st champion (1st  clocked + 1st  indicated over 11 races)

Goals for the future
The most important thing according to these people: keeping yourself healthy so that you can continue in the sport of racing pigeons.
They want to retain their current standard and if possible to better it.

The guard


I was a guest bij a couple of fanciers who enjoy their success to the full. They finally achieved the victory that they had just missed soo many times.
 Jo and Lou, I enjoyed the few hours I was with you and I am convinced that I will be returning within the next few years, because with what you have in your lofts there is definite possibility of another victory.