Johan Kempen, Geel (BE)
Introduction Johan Kempen.
Johan Kempen is 39 years old and teacher for children of 10 as profession. His biggest and only hobby is pigeon racing and pigeons in general. In many different ways he is busy with the birds. He writes articles for many different pigeon-magazines in different countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, England, Australia, USA and the internet), he is an official KBDB judge for show-pigeons and as a fancier himself, he specializes in the very long distance. His favorite race has always been Barcelona. Johan lives in Geel (province Antwerp), not far from The Netherlands and well situated to visit the best fanciers in Belgium and the Netherlands. He started making articles since 1989 and has visited almost all the top fanciers in Belgium and The Netherlands. A few years ago also Bertie Fletcher in Northern Ireland. Johan has seen and judged the best pigeons of Belgium and Holland, as a judge of show pigeons also the most beautiful birds.
We let Johan tell the story himself:
"In the beginning of the 80's I got interested in pigeon racing. My father was a fancier on short distance for many years, but so far I had no interest in this hobby. But in 1983 he asked me to take care of some youngsters and I accepted. Father Juliën only raced 120 km and was happy with a few prizes. When I would start racing, I wanted to win. It only took a few years to go to the longer distance. The short distance birds had to make place for other birds, middle distance and one day fond. Juliën found another hobby (jogging) and I was a pigeon fancier. I 1989 I won 1st provincial on Argenton (550 km).
In 1989 I made my first articles for the magazine of the famous Fons van Ophuizen (Landgraaf NL). He taught me how to make a good article! In 1992 I moved to another house and made a new start in pigeon racing. Because I made articles, I had the chance to meet the best long distance fanciers in Belgium and Holland. Most of the pigeons came from Noël Peiren (Zedelgem), Herman van Helmond (Vorselaar), Theuninck-Vanderfaeille (Leopoldsburg) and Desbuqouis (Kapelle -op-den-Bos). As youngster or as yearling, this new strains for the long distance did not do well. I only raced the short and middle distance, just to learn the birds. In 1994 I decided it was time to race them on long distance and I became champion in the club Molse Fondclub. I won first prizes on Montauban and Narbonne, two times the same cocks 6626136/92. In 1995 I won early prizes on San Sebastian (1019 km), Brive and Bordeaux. In 1995 I entered training for judge of show pigeons. I got my official diploma. This is a nice thing to do during the winter. In Belgium we have about 35 KBDB judges.
In 1996 I had success on Barcelona. My 6626136/92 won
1st provincial in Antwerp 957 pigeons, 5th national 10.097p and 9th international 20.191 birds.
This 136 was 100% Herman van Helmond (pure Aarden). My 6626116/92 (Desbuquois X Daems) won in 1996 also 382nd national Barcelona and my 6618546/93 (100% Peiren) won 951st national Barcelona!
The provincial victory on Barcelona was celebrated with a partnership with Herman van Helmond. For 3 years we formed a partnership.
We entered the races with the name Kempen-Van Helmond. Herman van Helmond, the breeder of the first national Barcelona 2001.
In the mean while I made more articles for many magazines.
In 2000 I had to move to another house. I had to sell most of the birds to Japan, but my best racers and breeders went to my new breeding stock. In 2000 I started again with new youngsters on my new loft.
A few years before, I met the Taiwanese fancier Mr. Sheng-Yuan Huang from Taipei. With the help of this friend I could start with some new strain of pigeons. We started the partnership Kempen - Huang. On this loft we have birds of J. Steketee (strain Aarden), C. Musters (strain van der Wegen), Kees van de Bos (strain Aarden, Steketee), Jef Vercammen (strain Wim Muller), Wijnand De Bruijn(strain Jan Sas X Wiel Cramers, NL) and Gyselbrecht (strain Vanbruaene). This new blood is now crossed with my birds I already owned from 1992-1998. My best racers on the breeding loft are: some sons and daughters of my 136, my 6626116/92 (4X Barcelona, Bordeaux, Pau, 15th national San Sebastian, and Narbonne etc. 13 Out of 13), 6618546/93 (direct Peiren: 3X Barcelona, Pau, Bordeaux, Narbonne .) 6618548/93 (3X Barcelona, Perpignan ). My partner Huang and I want to race Barcelona, try to do well on this most important race of the year. But we must be patient; long distance racing is not easy!