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The inheritance of the Jos Kempeneers lofts - Nieuwerkerken & Westerlo (BE)

The name Kempeneers is worldwide known in pigeon racing. The late Jos Kempeneers built himself a great strain of long distance pigeons who gave fame all over the world. Jos bought and sold many top pigeons.

He represented Belgium in 6 Olympiads and won several national races: Cahors 1966, Marseille 1981, Brive 1982…Jos won many times a provincial race. He was married with Irma and they had  6 sons and 2 daughters. Two sons were interested in pigeon racing. Son Valère ( now age 60) and the youngest son Wim (now age 40) liked the sport of their father. You will see them later in this story.

Jos liked to buy legendary pigeons like ‘De Witpen’ from Hector Desmet, Geraardsbergen. This cock ‘4613463/52’ was bought when he was 8 years old, but was a true winner (7th national San Sebastian) in racing. ‘De Witpen’ proved to be an excellent breeder at the loft Kempeneers. He was a basic cock in 9 provincial victories from 1966-1970, but he also is in the pedigree of the national winner Cahors 1966. Another top bird that Jos bought was the legend ‘131-hen’from Jan de Weert, Steenbergen. The hen made the name Jan Aarden very big. This ‘131’ NL 65-568131’ won 2nd national Angoulème 6000 young pigeons but kept on performing during 8 years: 4th  Nat. Dax 5213 p – 5th  Nat. St.Vincent 10983 p – 11th  Nat. Dax 2969 p - .... when she was 8 years old, she won 153rd  Nat. St.Vincent and  112th  Nat. Dax . She is the basic bird in many Dutch en Belgium strains. Jos bought this hen and one of the first direct daughters won 3rd national Perpignan 1976.
Jos also bought a daughter of the famous ‘Barcelona I’ of Kuypers brothers (Neer) on a public sale in 1976. This hen became a basic hen in his strain, the strain Kempeneers; a strain full of top birds.
But by the end of the nineties owner Jos was having trouble with his health.  Jos and his birds were not doing very good in these years. His son Valère did not have any interest in pigeon racing for 20 years.  He was a busy business man and stayed in foreign countries for his work.

It was in 2003 when Valère realized that his father’s health and having good results on racing did not go well together. Valère and his wife Dina talked to brother Wim who was still interested in the pigeons. They wanted to start racing again with a new start. The strain Kempeneers should start over again. Valère, Wim and Jos Kempeneers  started to kill many birds in the loft and only wanted to keep the best birds. Only the best birds of the old strain Kempeneers were good enough. Father Jos and son Wim wanted to race on the lofts in Nieuwerkerken and Valère wanted to begin another racing loft at his own place in Westerlo. The breeding loft with the top breeders stayed in Nieuwerkerken. Valère wanted to manage the breeders also because Wim is to busy with his job and Valère was retired.
When the father and the brothers were judging the birds, Valère found a very good cock on the loft Kempeneers. It was ‘NL 97-1680766’, direct from Cor de Heyde from Made (NL). Valère did not know many about pigeon racing anymore so he  wanted to meet this Cor de Heyde and made an appointment. It clicked immediate between Cor de Heyde and Valère Kempeneers. Both men are friends at the moment. Cor comes sometimes a year to the lofts Kempeneers and helps the brothers with their birds. Since 2004 came several birds from Made(NL) to the breeding loft in Nieuwerkerken. Valère learned how to race with the natural system for cocks and hens, a specialty of Cor de Heyde. Valère only uses the natural system on his own loft; Wim races widowers (only cocks) and hens on natural system in Nieuwerkerken. From the restart, the brothers agreed to raise all pigeons, both cocks and hens to learn which breeders delivery the best racers and agreed not to sell their toppigeons and transfer them to the breeding loft as appropriate.

New start:
The first youngsters of the loft Roger Beulens, Heverlee came in 2003. Valère knew the fancier from the time he was studying at the University in Leuven. In the next years  the brothers got some top pigeons from other famous loft: Cor de Heyde, Jantje Theelen, Gebr.Brügemann, Bernd Morsnowski , Depasse-Lardenoye,  Albert Willems, Fam. Streel, Kurvers-Deweerd and Gebr. Bras.
One the most important descisions was to buy the famous ‘Willy 5098049/01’ at the public sale in Febr. 2006 of the loft of Albert Willems (Eisden) which won 1st semi national Jarnac 2002. He was from strain ‘Gerda’(1st intern. Barcelona 1996) and ‘Red Primus Inter Pares’ Pros Roosen. The old inbred strain Kempeneers was mated with many other strains. Succes came very fast.  Jos Kempeneers passed away in 2005 but the brothers wanted to proceed their fathers’ work.
The main loft is at Nieuwerkerken hosting all the breeding pigeons.

The satellite loft in Westerlo came of few years later with limited pigeons capacity.
Valère build himself a new brick loft and started breeding for this loft  in 2005. He entered his birds for the first time in 2007. He only raced on Cahors, Irun and Narbonne. He won 15th national Cahors 2007. In 2008 he raced on Issoudun, Chateauroux, Cahors (favorite race of Valère), Pau, Montluçon, Limoges and Narbonne: again good result on Cahors (10th provincial) and Narbonne (national 11 prizes out of 23). Valère entered some more races in 2009 but again best result on Narbonne. 2010 was a very good year. He entered Barcelona for the first time (4 pigeons in race) and won national 83-1190-1955. Valère won 6 times in top 10 on a provincial race more than 700 km: 3rd provincial Cahors 727p, 8th provincial Orange 490p, 8th provincial Barcelona 1421p, 2nd provincial Libourne 690 YL, and 8th and 10th provincial Perpignan 682p.

Toppigeons loft Westerlo
I see many top pigeons when I visit a fancier. Well, I did not see so many top birds on the same loft. 2010 was excellent year for Valère but I was not surprised. Amazing birds, mostly small birds with lots of Dutch blood:

368/08(Gwenda): 3rd provincial Cahors 727p, 121st national 8651p; in 2009 she won on Chateauroux 2611p-691 and on Libourne prov. 875p-100.  In her pedigree I see 2 times  Depasse-Lardenoye 992/07 x 700/07
714/07(Alfonso):8th provincial Orange 490p, 157th national 4466p; this cock won in 2009 on Marseille (477p-124). He is bred from  NL107/2006 ( Lei Kurvers) x NL611/03 sale  Ber Willems (Eisden)

397/05 (Barcelona duifje): 8th provincial Barcelona 1421p, 83rd national 12641p; ringed with old ring from 2006 won. This hen won Narbonne ’08 prov. 647p-29, Pau ’09 prov. 195p-28,Narbonne ’09 prov.645p-46; her father is 338/05 direct J.Theelen and mother 499/05
(’t Juweeltje) , direct Brügemann

163/09(Maxima):Libourne prov. 690p-2 nd, national 6767 p-94 ; Hen bred from  226/06 (rechtstreeks B. Morsnowski) x 301/08 (basic bird  ‘Willy’ from Ber Willems x Perpignan winner  ‘Maxime’ loft  Wim Kempeneers Nieuwerkerken)
396/07(Alfredo): Perpignan prov. 682p-8, national 6257p-94; sire is  NL766/97, direct  Cor de Heyde also sire of 3th and 4th bird from Perpignan 2010.  He is a real super breeder from  ‘Brother  Barcelona pigeon 784/96’ x ‘304/92’ (inbred  ‘Klamper’). Mother of  ‘396/07’ is again  ‘NL499/05’, direct Brügemann.
143/08 (Stefanie): Perpignan 682p-10, national 6257p-112,internat hens 3464d-18th ; this hen is bred from 745/07 and mother is  699/07 , both direct  Depasse-Lardenoye.

Method for racing used in Westerlo
40 pair of racing birds are matched on April 15th. The birds can not fly out during the winter. The training of the birds starts in March. Now the cocks and the hens can train separately. When they are matched on April 15th, Valère gives them a breeding box; all birds can choose a box and a partner (usually the old couples take the same partner and the same box, but new couples are made by yearlings). 40 couples are divided in 4 compartments. On each compartment 5 old and yearling pairs. They cannot raise youngsters, only breed on eggs. Valère starts tossing the birds immediate. When a second round of eggs appears, the main races will come. Now the best position is babies of 5-6 days. Both the hen and the cock go for the same race. The birds train twice a day. In the morning for the cocks and around 12.00 the hens. Discipline is very important. The birds train, are stay in the loft. They cannot sit on the roof.
All the Young birds are bred in Nieuwerkerken. Wim gets the first two rounds of youngsters and Valère gets the third. He puts them (about 100 max In a wooden loft next to his other loft and is only 5 meters long. The youngsters are tossed and raced on a few short races. They must race good as a yearling of Montlucon, Libourne or Tulle.
Valère usually gives a cheap mixture. Mostly moulting mixture but he changes to long distance mixture a few days before a big long distance race. Than he gives them extra peanuts. During the winter only a light winter-mixture (no corn, no peas) . Garlic and beeryeast are very important.
Valère goes to vet Raf Herbots two times a year and give a cure against trichomonas if necessary. After moulting he gives Parastop (Deweerd). Good birds do not need many other products: against the headdisseases ….a good loft; against coccidiose….clean loft
Make it simple!

Method for racing at the main loft at Nieuwerkerken
At this loft all racing pigeons are paired early April and breed for max 10 days. Than the training races are started on widowhood. The old birds which participate to the races have a fixed partner. The yearling birds remain on the young bird division for one more year and are raced on total widowhood. The first training is about 5 miles, and each next day with clear weather the distance is doubled to 80 miles. Consequently the birds are basketed at the local club and the training program continues. When the distance of the races reaches 500 miles, the pigeons participate to the races.
The old cocks are raced every three weeks on long distance races ( max 3 / year). The old hens are paired again end of May and participate on eggs or youngsters of a few days on the race out of Barcelona ( 735 miles) early July.
The yearling hens participate to one 600 miles race with afternoon release and a selection is made to join in the next year the Barcelona team. The yearling cocks race a few 400 miles races and after the selection they are paired in August at the old cocks loft for breeding a couple of youngsters and another pair of eggs. All racing pairs remain together until Christmas, do no longer get the freedom until early March  and early April the program as descbribed above restarts.
The oldest young birds are trained up to 200 miles and the younger ones participate to a few 120 miles trips.
The feeding system and medical follow up is similar for both lofts at Westerlo and Nieuwerkerken.

Wim wants to focus on the marathon races and in particular the race Barcelona and he does very well:

 2005:  8 prizes out of 25 (15 hens) and begins with 382nd national Barcelona
2006: 12 prizes out of 25 (24 hens) and begins with 175th national Barcelona
2007:  9 prizes out of 29 and begins with 95th national Barcelona
2008: 12 prizes out of 29 (23 hens) and begins with 268th national Barcelona
2009: 13 prizes out of 32 (28 hens) and begins with 208th national Barcelona
2010: 26 prizes out of 50 (45 hens) and begins with 31-43-67-96-140…national Barcelona 

Do you see the evolution in this race?

 The performance of the yearling hens at their 600 miles selection race was the last years:
2007: 16 prizes out of 48 starting with 123 th, 143 rd national Irun
2008: 37 prizes out of 92 starting with 63 rd , 123 th national St Vincent
2009: 25 prices out of 65 begins with 119 -141 th  national Soustons
2010: 18 prices out of 54 and begins with 39–40- 45-129-137-158 ... national Soustons 

But Wim also focus on other races. He won 1st NATIONAL PERPIGNAN 2008 with ‘Maxime 5015213/06’, a hen which is on the breeding loft now. She has an amazing pedigree. The sire is 5243024/99 ‘De Cahors’ (1 Prov. - 58 Nat. Cahors'03 ).His sire  is ‘5003152/8’9 (sire Barcelona'93 son ‘famous 306’ (grandson legend 131 x Kuypers) x 469 hen ( Kuypers) X 5002129/87 (daughter of  422/83, which won  4 prov. Limoges - 4 Prov. Marseille - 7 Prov. Perpignan (Son of  1 Nat. Marseille'81 x Kuypers) – mother of  129/87 is from 131 hen x her own son . Mother of 1ste national Perpignan is “ DV 01485-04-86” direct B. Morsnowski and bought their for only 90 euro’s, which won  76 Nat. Bordeaux - 303 Nat. Limoges (NL 94-1352211 brother 87, Gebr. Vroegindewey, Sire of  1 Nat.Beziers X DV 01485-96-1247 daughter basic sire Mornowski, doffertje 244 Simons (sire of  1 + 20 Nat.Perpignan) x mother 1 I.Nat. Pau dv.'92 (Generaal x daughter Diego Armando Barcelona)
Since the new start, 5 victories on Provincial level were realised out of Cahors(2004), Perpignan(2006),Irun(2007),Perpignan(2008), Monlucon(2009)
Year by year, the number of prices increases and reach close to 40% in 2010 on long distances races.

The best pigeon bred the last years was “Rafke” , this cock won on races from 450 to 600 miles :

 2007: Brive Limburg    5th  / 2255 pigeons
      Narbonne Nat.   89th  / 5051  
2008: Brive  Nat.    109th  / 14521
      Cahors  Nat.    71st   / 5441
2009: Brive  Limburg  38th   / 2338
      Montauban  Nat. 40th   / 7203 

His father was 101/97, son from Super Diego 047/92 (A.Willems) x 198/92 (Miss World), both racing pigeons with topresults on marathon races
His mother was 598/01, grandchild of  Cor 766/97 and Brive 80/87(89 th nat Barcelona ’91)

Other toppigeons in 2010 are:

31st  / 12641 p. Barcelona National ; 26th  / 7711 hens Barcelona Intern.
Bred from Cor 715/04 x Cor 023/03 both from Cor de Heyde
43rd / 12641 p. Barcelona Nat; 33rd  / 7711 hens Int Barcelona Intern.
bred September 2008 from 127/02 (old strain) x 794/03 direct R.Beulens
 67th  / 12641 Barcelona Nat ; 51st  / 7711 hens Barcelona Intern.
Father direct Cor de Heyde 712/04 and mother 341/05 direct J.Theelen  
96th  / 12641 p. Barcelona National ; 79th  / 7711 hens Barcelona Intern
Father Cor 766 and mother ‘t Juweeltje 499/05 from Brügemann.
 84th /6330 p Narbonne Nat ; bred from 171/03 (son Willy) x 406/98 (131/65 strain)
 102nd  / 3340 p Marseille Nat; father famous Willy x DV 205-02 direct B.Morsnowski
 23rd / 924 p Perpignan prov. : father  “Dax” DV352-02 direct B.Morsnowski x 593/04 “Gravin” direct Gebr.Bras
12th  /1309 p Montelimar prov. and 14th /739 p Orange prov. : father 339/05 direct Theelen x 285/05 daugther topbreeder  Willy
 96th / 2183 p. Pau Nat ; father 187/03 direct Brügemann x 96/06 pure Cor de Heyde
108th / 6710 p. Bordeaux Euregio ; bred from famous “Dax” DV352-02 direct B.Morsnowski x 671/07 direct Cor de Heyde
 41 th/10190 p Soustons Int; she is sister of the National winner Perpignan Maxime
48/09 :
 42 th/10190 p   “           : bred from Cor 715/04 x mother 703/07 inbred Brügemann
 ( 187/03 x ‘t Juweeltje 499/05)
 47 th/10190 p Soustons Int; bred from 364/06 ( son famous Willy) x 728/07
 47th / 2183 p Limoges Nat C ; sister to National winner Perpignan Maxime 

Summary: only a few years after Wim and Valère Kempeneers decided to take over the pigeon activities from their father, they succeeded to win a National Marathon race form Perpignan in 1998 and breed many good pigeons perfoming very well in the 2010 season often marked by strong head wind. Their lofts at Nieuwerkerken and Westerlo host a great number of racing pigeons age 2 to 5 years all from their breeding station birds which will prove the next years the brothers are climbing step by step to great successes realised by their father Jos.
The breeding station hosting pigeons purchased from wellknown pigeonracers paired with their old strain are the fundaments for more success in the next decade on long distance races.