Stijn and Jeroen Rans (Wijgmaal, BE) are one of the leading teams in the international extreme long distance with many impressive results to their name

Jeroen and Stijn Rans have been getting outstanding results across all extreme long distance races this season, winning most notably two national victories. These top results were all won with the help of a group of super class breeders, including stock breeder Ed and of course Barcelonaduivin, 1st International Ace Pigeon Barcelona 2007-2012.

Stijn (left), his father Rudi, and Jeroen (right) Rans

A lot has been said about Stijn and Jeroen Rans's two national first prizes. But they have won several other top prizes in the other extreme long distance races of 2017 as well - click here for their full palmares in the extreme long distance. One name that should not be left out in our report on Stijn and Jeroen's season is that of father Rudi (62). He does most of the work during the winter, and he is involved in the loft during the season as well: Stijn and Jeroen keep him informed about each pigeon's diet. Rudi is also responsible for releases and training flights. The team started last year with 68 pairs (olds and yearlings), divided over 6 lofts. The idea is that they wanted to compete in each long distance race with a separate loft. They also breed 100 to 120 youngsters every season, and they follow an extensive training programme, because the fanciers want their youngsters to gain some experience first. The old birds compete in 3 long distance races (600-800km) or 2 extreme long distance races (800km+). The yearlings will generally complete two long distance races.

The team's stock breeders

The pigeon family from Wijgmaal is based around pigeons of uncle Alex Rans, grandfather Frans Rans, Willy Behets, Jos Vanderstappen and Jos Creten. The team also obtained pigeons from several other successful fanciers, either trough joint breedings, vouchers or direct purchases; these include pigeons of Remy Speltdoorn, Hok Rommelaere, Luc Wiels, Christiaens-Desmedt, De Smeyter-Restiaen, Francis & Bart Verdeyen and Thierry & Bart Thumas. Lastly, they also obtained some talented breeders in the annual "long distance sale" in Herent, where about 15 fanciers give away their best bloodlines.
The first pigeon that played an important role was Montauban back in 1992. He got lost in a race from Marseille at the age of 5 but he managed to find his way back home two years later. He was not a particularly gifted racing bird but he was transferred to the breeding loft nonetheless, where he would soon develop into the leading stock breeder of the team. This breeding cock originates mainly from the lines of Jos Vanderstappen x Alex Rans, and he is also related to Bourgesduivin of Wily Behets and the 447 of Jos Creten, whose descendants were particularly successful in the races from the Rhône. Click here for the pedigree of De Montauban. The best breeding cock and breeding hen in recent years are Ed and Barcelonaduivin. Ed was obtained in a sale of Declercq-Vervaeren through PIPA, and he is a grandson of the renowned Joost (1st Internat. Perpignan yearlings 2003). Ed is now the sire of a 1st and 55th National Perpignan. Click here for Ed's pedigree. Like we said, Barcelonaduivin has played an important role in the lofts in Wijgmaal as well.

Barcelonaduivin comes from the lines of Robert Van Eycken (via Jos Vanderstappen). Click here for her full pedigreeee. She became 1st International Ace Pigeon in Barcelona over six seasons (2007-2012). She also won the title of 2nd Primus Inter Pares (2008-2012) and 7th Primus Inter Pares (2007-2011). She won the following prizes in Barcelona:

  51st Nat. Barcelona 2009
 262nd Nat. Barcelona 2008
 766th Nat. Barcelona 2011
 949th Nat. Barcelona 2010
 963rd Nat. Barcelona 2012
2385th Nat. Barcelona 2007

She is now the dam of a 1st Nat. Perpignan. For a list of achievements of her youngsters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren click here.

The best results of 2017

Stijn and Jeroen have claimed a national win both in Pau and Perpignan this season. They did great in the other extreme long distance races as well, and this in turn resulted in a few championship prizes as well:

General Champion Long Distance Brabant Union
Champion général de Wallonie long distance and extreme long distance in the races of the C.F.W.
General Champion Long Distance Sans Peur Herent
 1st Champion long distance olds Sans Peur Herent
 1st Champion extreme long distance Sans Peur Herent
 1st Champion fond CFW (1st and 2nd nom.)
 2nd Champion fond en zware fond CFW (1st, 2nd and 3rd nom.)
 2nd Champion super long distance olds Brabant Union
 3rd Champion long distance yearlings Sans Peur Herent
 4th Champion long distance olds Brabant Union
 5th Champion extreme long distance CFW (1st and 2nd nom.)
11th Champion long distance yearlings Brabant Union
13th National champion extreme long distance olds KBDB
 5th Best pigeon from Perpignan 2016-2017 (BE14-217344)

It would be impossible to talk about every single pigeon that has won a top result this season but we do want you to meet the following champions:

BE13-2185289 Frans, 1st National Perpignan 4,620 pigeons

Frans claimed a 1st National Perpignan of 4,620 pigeons, as well as a 10th International of 14,930 pigeons. Click here to reread our race report. Frans is a son of the two top breeders Ed x Barcelonaduivin. Click here for his fantastic pedigree.

BE14-2173227 Thierry

Thierry is a grandson of Barcelonaduivin. The dam of Thierry is a daughter of Johan, and she comes from Thierry & Bart Thumas. Click here for Thierry's pedigree. Thierry has been very successful in the long distance for three seasons, winning 7 top prizes in 7 races, including:

56th Nat.       Montélimar
36th Interprov. Bergerac
69th Nat.       Brive

BE12-2035109 Oude 109

The sire of Oude 109 is Laatste Zoon Montauban. He comes from Montauban x Barcelonaduivin. This Laatste Zoon Montauban was paired to BE09-25 when he bred Oude 109 and several other talented youngsters. His youngsters and grandchildren have won a 75th Nat. Tulle, an 87th Nat. Marseille, a 139th Nat. Perpignan, a 136th Nat. Narbonne, a 21st Nat. Narbonne, an 87th Nat. Narbonne as well as a 135th Nat. Tulle. Click here for the pedigree of Oude 109. Oude 109 has won 10 prizes in 12 races, including:

 87th Nat. Marseille       1764 p.
306th Nat. Mont de Marsan 2,135 p.
139th Nat. Perpignan
136th Nat. Narbonne       4,113 p.

BE11-2073275 Aagje

Aagje became 1st Ace Pigeon PIPA Ranking 2014-2015 and 2nd in 2013-2015. She was also Nat. Ace Pigeon Agen 2012-2015. She won the following prizes from Bordeaux/Agen over the past 4 years:

2012 364th Nat. Bordeaux
2013 194th Nat. Bordeaux
2014  15th Nat. Agen
2015 127th Nat. Agen (gewond)

Click here for the pedigree of Aagje.

BE14-2173219 Zwarte Weduwe, 1e Nationaal Pau (Mont de Marsan) 2.135 duiven

Besides winning a 1st National Perpignan, the team also claimed a 1st National in the opening classic from Pau (Mont de Marsan) with Zwarte Weduwe. She finished in 3rd place international of 11,164 pigeons. Click here to read more about Zwarte Weduwe's national victory.

Pigeon racing, a family affair

Stijn and Jeroen got involved in pigeon racing through their family at an early age. Jeroen explains: "Pigeon racing has been a hobby project blown out of proportion; it has become a time consuming passion for each of us." Jeroen (35) is a business partner in audit firm BB33 Audit in Herent, engaged to Lore Brondeel and father of 3. He has very little time to look after his pigeons in winter. Stijn (33) works as a veterinary surgeon (specialised in pigeons) and he works for the Giantel company in the weekends. Father Rudi is retired and he is mainly responsible for caretaking. In the beginning of the season, as the days lengthen, both Jeroen and Stijn are busy in he loft. Jeroen does most of the things his father does in winter, and he is also responsible for the breeding strategy, he decides which pigeons will be basketed for which races, and he does administration. Stijn's main responsibilities on the other hand include diet, medical guidance, training schemes, etc., which is then put into practice by Rudi. Pigeon racing is a family matter indeed for this team, albeit pigeon racing at a very high level.