Kees van Aert (Achtmaal, NL) is a long distance champion with a small basket

In modern day pigeon racing the name of Kees van Aert stands for a kind fancier who has achieved impressive results in the marathon races in recent seasons, with a small team of racing birds.

Kees and his 1st National Narbonne 4,303 p.

A small basket

The successful fancier Kees van Aert lives in the town of Achtmaal in the wonderful province of North Brabant. Kees has been one of the leading names in the extreme long distance for years. Season after season he baskets a fairly small group of racing birds for the marathon races, which he is particularly fond of. He competed both in the morning and afternoon release up until 2014. He used to basket no more than 10 pigeons for the afternoon releases and no more than five for the morning releases, which he selected from a group of 18 widowers and 12 nest hens. As with many fanciers in The Netherlands, Kees decided to change his approach and his strategy a while ago. In 2015 he only competed in the ZLU releases with a morning release, which means the pigeons were back home in the evening.

Having a small group of pigeons does not mean you cannot achieve great results. Kees has proved this repeatedly over the years, winning for instance the following top prizes in the ZLU competition and the national classics:

1st Ace Pigeon ZLU Bordeaux over 3 years (2010-2011-2012)
1st Ace Pigeon ZLU Bordeaux over 4 years (2010-2011-2012-2013)
1st Champion ZLU (8 nom.)
1st Long Distance champion Province South national races
2nd Ace Pigeon ZLU Pau (2009-2010-2011-2012)
2nd Ace Pigeon ZLU Bordeaux-Agen over 5 seasons (2010-2011-2012-2013-2015)
2nd Western European Super Marathon
2nd Champion ZLU over Pau, Barcelona, Marseille, Perpignan
2nd Champion ZLU Pau races (first two nominated)
3rd Champion national races Long Distance Club South Holland
7th IATP ranking (1st nominated international races)
8th National Champion NPO Marathon
9th Champion ZLU Fondspiegel 

The super class pair

Kees used to breed champions mainly from his top class breeder Willy, a son of Pau-doffer of Willy van Luytgaarden. Today most of his best racing birds originate from new introductions that come from B. Jansen & Co from Bavel, and these pigeons in turn originate from two living legends in the long distance: Jan Theelen and Cor de Heijde. These bloodlines resulted in the creation of the  Super class pair NL04-2227778 Vale Fran X NL04-2149372 Lichte Fran. These two pigeons have bred an unprecedented number of top class pigeons. 

The grandmother of Lichte Fran is a daughter of De Klamper, and her grandfather is Perpignandoffer, two world famous pigeons of Cor de Heijde. Vale Fran is mainly based on the bloodlines of Theelen. 

The next step

When grandmaster Kees merged the two pigeons into a single breeding pair, his level of performance increased significantly. No less than five youngsters of this pair have won a regional first prize in the marathon, including NL10-3052378 Vale Narbonne, which won a 1st National ZLU Narbonne 4,303 pigeons and a 2nd International Narbonne 13,092 pigeons in 2012.

The NL10-3052400 Teletekst 400 is another descendant of this breeding pair, and winner of:

1st Peronne (and 14th Provincial against 5,037 pigeons) 
1st Bergerac (and 8th National) 
56th Bourge 1,192 pigeons (long distance club)

The phenomenal Rode As Bordeaux

One of the pigeons that further adds to the appeal of this breeding pair, is NL08-1691744 Rode As Bordeaux, a direct youngster. It means Rode As Bordeaux is a full brother of the 1st National Narbonne 4,303 p. and the 2nd International Narbonne 13,092 p. This is an invaluable breeding pair!

Rode As Bordeaux is obviously named after his title of 1st Ace Pigeon ZLU, which is quite a coveted title. Rode As Bordeaux does have an impressive palmares in the national classic from Bordeaux:

 81st National Bordeaux 3,987 pigeons
 94th National Bordeaux 5,235 pigeons
117th National Bordeaux 4,447 pigeons
176th National Bordeaux 4,504 pigeons

This top class racing bird also won the following titles:

1st National Ace Pigeon ZLU Bordeaux over 3 seasons (2010-2012)
1st National Ace Pigeon ZLU Bordeaux over 4 seasons (2010-2013)
3rd National Ace Pigeon ZLU Bordeaux over 5 seasons (2010-2014)

Besides a top quality pigeon collection the fancier plays a crucial role as well. Kees is an excellent and highly motivated caretaker, and his pigeons appear to appreciate his efforts: his racing birds have won quite a number of top prizes and early arrivals. Only their national top 25 prizes are included in this overview:

1st  National Perpignan (8th International)
1st  National Narbonne (2nd International)
6th  National Bordeaux
7th  National Bordeaux
8th  National Bergerac
11th National Tarbes
14th National Pau
15th National Pau
16th National Dax
16th National Chateauroux
21st National Pau
21st National Pau
23rd National St. Vincent
24th National Pau

This is a palmares many fanciers can only dream of, but the fancier from Achtmaal is not a dreamer. Many fanciers are still dreaming about next season but this fancier is already in full preparation. “A successful career does not happen overnight”, says Kees. “But you should not make things needlessly complicated either”.

We look forward to his next major achievements, which is only a matter of time!