It all happened last Friday on 22 June 2012. At 6h45 a total of 8,399 pigeons from Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany and Great Britain were released from Pau. The strong south south west wind made for a fairly easy race. At 15h45 the first pigeon arrived at the loft of Thierry Chaillet from Flavigny-Sur-Moselle (France). His pigeon covered 776km at an average speed of 1,473.47 m/min. Guy Wauthier from Mont-Saint-Marchienne was the first Belgian fancier to see a pigeon home, his pigeon, which covered 866km was clocked at an average speed of 1,488 m/min. After this the pigeons seemed to become quicker, but especially those racing the longer distances. Fanciers had to wait until 17h11:34 for the international winner to arrive from Pau. The German winners from Pau were Freialdenhofen & Sons from Aldenhoven (close to the city of Cologne). Their two year old Forrest Junior (06348-10-196) flew 981.838 km at a speed of 1,567.01 m/min. This means that this champion has covered 981km at the amazing speed of 94km/h. It is quite unbelievable that a pigeon can maintain such a speed over such a long time. Of course the pigeon benefited from the south westerly tailwind, but it is still a remarkable performance. This pigeon is quite a racer, but we will discuss that further on.
Forrest Junior (DV 06348-10-196), the international winner from Pau 2012
The name of Aldenhofen & Sons is a well known name in international pigeon racing. For many years their pigeons have been taking part in international races and they have been winners several times. Despite this, they were still looking to take a really great victory. This pigeon fanciers’ family consists of father Heinz-Josef (born in 1943) and his two sons Dirk (born in 1970) and Heiko (born in 1976). Heinz-Jozef was only seven years old when he had his first pigeons. Later on, he used to race the important races in Germany and was often successful. When his oldest son Dirk started to assist his father with taking care of the pigeons the two decided to compete in the long distance races from Barcelona, Pau, Dax, Marseille and Perpignan. That was at the end of the 80s and at the beginning of the 90s.
Prior to this, Dirk Aldenhofen had met Albert Simons from Maaseik, who was living in The Netherlands back then. This fancier had a lot of influence on the Aldenhofens lofts and was instrumental in their decision to take part in the extreme long distance races. A few years later, in 1991, the eggs and some pigeons of Albert Simons were transferred to the lofts in Aldenhoven. These pigeons formed the basis for today’s winning birds. For instance, one of their stock birds, doffertje 733, is actually a grandchild of Oud Doffertje 4. This pigeon was in his turn a son of the legendary Oud Doffertje of Antoon & Lucy van der Wegen, with a daughter of Perpigan, winner of 1st national from Perpignan. Doffertje 733 turned into one of the best breeders for the Aldenhofen family, but they did not stop there. Since then they have bought pigeons from Saya from Maastricht (NL) and from Yves Van de de Poel-Buckley (Geetsbets, BE). They only wanted top-class pigeons, pigeons that were born to win races. To be honest it would be impossible to take a look at all of their successful pigeons in a single article.
The Freialdenhofen family
At the moment the Aldenhofens only race the extreme long distance races, that is to say the international races. These are races over a distance of 800 km up to 1,100 km and more (Barcelona). Their current team consists of 70 cocks and 40 hens. The cocks are divided over 6 different lofts whereas the hens are housed in 3 lofts. It is worth noting that some of the pigeons are raced on total widowhood. The races that they take part in in their club only serve as training tosses for the Aldenhofen pigeons.
Their best national and international results
1. International Pau 8,399 p. 2012 1. Natioanl Pau 1,203 p. 2012 1. National Barcelona 2,002 p. 2009 1. National Perpignan 1,142 p. 2010 1. National Irun 2,633 p. 2007 1. National Bordeaux 966 p. 2011 1. International Bordeaux 1,785 p. 2003 1. International Barcelona Euregio 1,280 p. 2009 1. International Dax Euregio 1,132 p. 1999 1. International Marseille Euregio 1,180 p. 2004 1. International Montelimar 979 p. 2000 1. International Perpignan Euregio 700 p. 2010 1. International Tarbes Euregio 438 p. 2010 1. Sector 2 Dax 995 p. 2001 1. Sector 2 Perpignan 1,120 p. 2002 1. Sector 2 Marseille 1,703 p. 2005 1. Sector 2 Irun 1,241 p. 2007 1. Sector 2 Perpignan 866 p. 2007 1. Sector 2 Barcelona 909 p. 2009 2. National Perpignan 2,187 p. 2007 2. National Marseille 4,733 p. 2003 2. National Marseille 1,696 p. 2010 2. National Bordeaux 1,406 p. 1998 2. International Bordeaux hens 1,202 p. 2008 2. National Bordeaux 966 p. 2011 3. International Bordeaux 9,686 p. 2002 3. National Dax 2,652 p. 2001 3. National Tarbes 1,507 p. 2003 3. National Bordeaux 1,406 p. 1998 3. National Bordeaux 966 p. 2011
The 1st international from Pau
So the big winner from Pau is Forrest Junior (06348-10-196), a young bird with some impressive achievements for its age. In 2011 he took 3rd national from Bordeaux against 966 pigeons and also a 28th international against 11,444 pigeons. This is quite an impressive result for a young bird with excellent origins. His father is Son Forrest Gump (06348-05-420), a son of Forrest Gump (06348-00-789) crossed with Jenny (06348-99-62). Both Forrest Gump and Jenny, his two parents, have been prvven to be very good breeding pigeons and have bred several first class long distance pigeons.
"Son Forrest Gump" (DV 06348-05-420), father of the international winner from Pau
Let’s have a look at the dam’s side of Forest Junior’s pedigree. His mother is Daughter Carcassonne (06348-07-616), a daughter of Carcassonne (06348-05-665) with Daughter First Lady (06348-05-614). Here we find some excellent pigeons as well, with an enormous potential for great breeding and racing pigeons. These pigeons demonstrate that you can easily breed national winners from pigeons that have won Perpignan, Marseille or Barcelona themselves. But it is important to have a very sound base. This is definitely the case for Aldenhofen & Sons, because they have been looking for the best pigeons right from the start. That explains why they have won the 1st international Pau, a deserved win with a first class racing pigeon. The race from Bordeaux, where Forrest Junior finished 3rd national only as a yearling, was another success for the Aldenhofen family. They took the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th places nationally from Bordeaux. And it was once again thanks to the legacy of the Forrest Gump line: the 1st, 3rd and 7th national were all direct descendants of this Forrest Gump.
“Daughter Carcassonne” (DV 06348- 07-616), them other of the international winner
It is great that Forrest Junior has taken the international win, but we should not forget to mention that he was also German national champion against 1,202 pigeons. There are several international races to come this season and the PIPA team wishes the Aldenhofen family good luck for the rest of the year!