Hans KNETSCH - Katwijk aan den Rijn (NL) National winner Narbonne against 3.771 pigeons - 2009

The almost seventy-five year old Hans is – so as he himself says – an established bachelor and enjoyer of life, and who has worked his whole life in commercial shipping. At the time he raced in combination.

He was usually at sea for nine months and then he was free for the following three months.
In 1987 he remained ashore for good, he had plenty of time for his pigeons and started concentrating on the long distance game.
Hans is a member of the P.V. De Luchtklievers in Katwijk.
Katwijk aan de Rijn belongs to the borough of Katwijk in the province South-Holland and has approx.6000 inhabitants. It lies in-between Katwijk aan Zee, Valkenburg and Rijnsburg. It actually forms a unit with all these places. Katwijk aan den Rijn refers to the old Rijn estuary that used to run through prior to the 11th century.

The arrival of the winning pigeon
Hans had basketted 17 pigeons for Narbonne.
Narbonne is a town in the South of France, in the department Aude. The town lies on the coast of the Mediterranean sea and the river Aude.
The distance from the place of liberation to the loft of Hans measures 1012,421 kilometres.
Due to bad weather, the pigeons could not be liberated on Saturday the 25th of July, but on Sunday at 07h10 the 14.457 pigeons (international), including 3.771 Dutch pigeons, could finally return home.
Whilst Hans stood waiting for his pigeons, a stray pigeon entered the trap, so he removed him straight away. At around 19h50 a pigeon suddenly came out of the air like a rocket and landed at the trap, but he couldn’t go inside. Hans had forgotten to open the trap again after he had removed the stray pigeon. When he had solved this problem, the pigeon rushed inside.
It was the NL07-1719301, which was clocked at 19h51.05. This cock made an average velocity of 1330,24 m/m.
The following arrivals were noted at 21h33, 21h44 and 21h45. The other pigeons soon arrived home on Monday morning. During our talks (Monday 11h30) 16 of the 17 pigeons had returned home.

The winner
The NL07-1719301 is a cock that is raced in widowhood.
This race was his third overnight race.
Last year he went to Bergerac and this year he has also been to Bordeaux. Hans doesn’t know if the “301” won a prize from Bergerac or Bordeaux. What he does know is that the “301” has now given him the national victory and the 2nd place in the international competition against 14.457 pigeons.
This morning two people from the Zuid Limburgse Unie carried out the usual controls and everything was found to be in order. Then it was really definite, he was the national victor Narbonne 2009.
The “301” was a present to Hans from Gerard Dekker from Assendelft. The “301” is of the sort Batenburg x Aarden.
Hans had been close to national victory several times, but winning a 1st had never happened before. This season he won 6th national from Bordeaux and last year 11th national Barcelona and 4th and 5th national Marseille.

The care of the pigeons
The pigeons had already flown about 1200 kilometres prior to being basketted for the first overnight race. The furthest race in the preparations was Ablis (circa 450 kilometres). The “301” then flew Bordeaux. Sometimes the pigeons have a short race in between.
Hans puts together a mixture of Super M, moulting mixture, 20% depurative and 10% nibbling seeds (all from Mariman). Although he feeds his pigeon with a spoon in their box, he is a royal feeder.
His pigeons have to train twice a day, mornings from 7-8am and evenings from 6-7pm.
Hans says that he doesn’t give the pigeons a lot of medicine. Prior to the start of the season he gives the pigeons a cure for tricho when they are brooding youngsters. He also gives them a Spartrix tablet for tricho when he baskets them for an overnight race.
Once the season has ended the pigeons are given another cure for tricho and before they begin moulting he cures them with parastop.

The national victory has gone to the right man. a man that sees the pigeons as a real hobby, who likes social contacts. Pigeon fanciers are often seen going in and out of his house, because what could be better than discussing the pigeons and the possibilities of achieving a good result or victory.
Hans, on behalf of all the workers at PiPa and the visitors to our site, congratulations on your national victory and the 2nd place in the international competition. We hope that you will have many more successes in the future.