Kurt & Raf Platteeuw (Rumbeke, BE) : dominant play from Flanders, Belgium

Kurt and Raf Platteeuw's dominant play in modern-day pigeon racing is the result of years of selection. They developed a pigeon breed that never fails.

Kurt & Raf Platteeuw

2018 was a fantastic and unique year. The West-Flemish combination was in contention for victory almost every single week, and this resulted in an incredible number of national top prizes. The team claimed as many as 124 national top 100 prizes across all the national races in 2018 (a particularly demanding season), up until the race from Angoulême. This is almost twice as much as the previous record, which had been held for many years. Click here for this record breaking series of top prizes.

Their dominant play clearly showed in this year's national ace pigeon championships KBDB, with 7 prizes in the top 9 in the category allround, and an additional 3 prizes in the top 10 in the long distance! This is a truly unique feat.

The incredible strength in numbers in the Platteeuw breeding loft in 2018 resulted in a unique series of national ace pigeons KBDB. The pedigrees of the pigeons with a top ranking in the ace pigeon championships are included below. It illustrates the exceptional level of quality in the pigeon lofts in Rumst. Having so many exceptional pigeons in a single loft is something we rarely get to see in international pigeon racing.

Ace 038 Adele (3117038-17) : 2nd ace pigeon All-Round (pedigree) 7th nat. Jarnac, ... 

Lady Ozo (3117287-17) : 3rd ace pigeon All-Round (pedigree) 9th nat. Limoges, ...

Sea surfer (3116410-16) : 5th ace pigeon All-Round (pedigree) 5th nat. Gueret, ...

Mountain (3115261-15) : 6th ace pigeon All-Round (pedigree) 5x top 100 nationaal

Money maker (3117183-17) : 7th ace pigeon All-Round (pedigree) 10th nat. Limoges, ...

New Frits (3050105-15) : 8th ace pigeon All-Round (pedigree) 6x top 25 national !

Julia's Lover (4062164-17) : 9th ace pigeon All-Round (pedigree) and a double winner in the sprint

Julia (3117153-17) : 4th ace pigeon long distance (pedigree) 1st national Tulle !!

Notting Hill (3050070-15) : 5th ace pigeon long distance (pedigree) 1st PIPA ranking from Brive 2017-2018

Moby (3116427-16) : 9th ace pigeon long distance (pedigree) 8th national Angouleme, ...

One of the pigeons that has been of particular value to this team is Nothing Hill 3050070-15); this pigeon is without doubt one of the strongest racing birds of its generation. He is not only a highly successful racing bird, he has already earned his stripes in the breeding loft as well. To begin with, Nothing Hill is the sire of Julia (3117153-17), the national first prize winner from Tulle and the best pigeon over 4 nationals in 2018.

Notting Hill, one of the big stars for team Platteeuw

De Cannibal: one of the cornerstones

The team saw a pigeon making a lasting impression over the course of 2017: Cannibal (3046631-16). This super class bird became 1st national ace pigeon KBDB sprint in the lofts of Ronny Calus from Heist. This is quite a feat, especially for a pigeon from West Flanders, since the sprint lofts are pretty much shattered across this Flemish province. Needless to say, it takes a highly gifted bird to come out first in this ace pigeon championship. His pedigree can be seen here. Kurt's ambitions and his eye for talent did the rest: he understandably decided that Cannibal should join the breeding loft.

The introduction of so-called sprint birds have been a blessing for this team, as you can tell from the results. His team has been more successful than ever since Cannibal turned from a racing bird into a top class breeder. Click here to read more about this bloodline. The descendants of this fantastic breeder, including Sea Surfer, Moby, Cove Billy, etc. have given way to an endless number of top prizes in 2018, even at national level. An overview can be found here. It happens every once in a while that a pigeon claims three or even four national top prizes in a single season; team Platteeuw appears to have had several such birds in their team last year: New General, Mountain, Rondelle, Money Maker, etc. It shows once again that these fanciers set a high bar. 

Cannibal: 1st national ace pigeon KBDB sprint in 2017

A revolutionary racing strategy

One of the key elements of the Platteeuw strategy is to have their pigeons race pretty much every week. The racing team had an impressive 5600km on the counter over the course of 12 weeks, for ten national races. They have four weekends of national races, followed by one week off. They then have four more weeks of racing followed by another week's rest, after which they have two more consecutive classics to compete in. And that brings us to one of Kurt's philosophies: "Sparing your pigeons is like putting your money in the bank; there is nothing to gain from it."

New Frits : 6x top 25 national

Strict selection leads to success

You cannot get such results with your average racing bird. Kurt & Raf keep only their very best birds and they adopt a demanding approach, which is in itself a form of natural selection. The weaker birds inevitably get left behind due to this straightforward approach. A pedigree or a high prize tag does not guarantee a coveted place in team Platteeuw. Every pigeon gets treated the same way. Some birds can cope with his demanding approach, the majority falls through. Keeping only your very best pigeons season after season will result in a steady increase of quality. Eventually you end up with a group of pigeons that have an edge over their opponents.

Platteeuw: the talk of the town

Most pigeon fanciers were talking about just one thing this season: the fantastic achievements of Platteeuw week after week. Many fanciers reckon his pigeons recover exceptionally quickly. But there is a lot more to it. This success story is basically the results of selecting a specific type of bird, and it appears that their strategy really came together in 2018. The Platteeuw pigeons really felt at ease in the hot and difficult weather, with strong headwinds and an occasional races with no wind. The team was of course quite surprised when they won the first two national prizes from Tulle, in radically different weather. And they not only claimed a double national first prize, they also delivered a world class performance overall, with as many as 10 pigeons in the national top 50 of 5,323 yearlings! They win a 1-2-24-31-32-39-42-43-44-45-etc. It was a fantastic overall result in Platteeuw fashion. The team benefits from the many kilometres that they have under their belt, giving them quite a bit of experience. In addition, all races took off in time on Saturday as scheduled, and they were taken great care of throughout the nationals' season! One problem that can arrise in any loft is a lack of motivation. The pigeons of the Platteeuw breed are talented enough to be in great form all year round but that does not mean they will be motivated throughout the season as well. Nonetheless, Kurt and Raf were able to keep them in high spirits week after week.

Julia : 1st national Tulle and 4th national ace pigeon KBDB

Fanciers traditionally look at the strongest teams with a bit of scepticism. But even the biggest sceptics have to agree that the location of the Platteeuw pigeon loft is not particularly suited for getting national top results. Rumbeke sits fairly central in the province of West-Flanders, which does not grant you easy access to provincial and national top results. Their location is without doubt a considerable drawback, and it takes a very talented pigeon breed to overcome this disadvantage. But Kurt and Raf are determined enough to tackle this problem without hesitation. In fact, they work it to their advantage by using an even more stringent selection procedure. This results in a pigeon breed that excels even in strong headwinds and against large numbers of pigeons. It is clear that the Platteeuw racing strategy is founded on a strict selection criteria!

Lady Ozo : 3rd national ace pigeon All-Round KBDB

It is also worth noting that they used to win their best prizes mainly with their hens. Today, their racing cocks appear to be quite as strong as their female counterparts. This is in contrast to the many pigeon lofts that can only deliver with their hens. In other words, Kurt and Raf Platteeuw have not one but two top-tier racing teams at their disposal. Their pigeon family was the breed that got the most attention this season, and this is thanks to their racing approach, a fantastic collection of pigeons and two highly ambitious fanciers.

Ace 038 Adele : 2nd national ace pigeon All-Round KBDB

Kurt and Raf continue to add top results to their palmares, which is getting more and more impressive. They have national victories, ace pigeon titles, record breaking achievements and championship titles KBDB to their name. You can beat pretty much anyone with such a top class breed. Besides a top class breed, there is also a team of two very talented and ambitious fanciers at work, with Kurt in particular. We reckon fanciers will continue to talk about Platteeuw in the seasons to come. This team goes straight to business, and they are always ready in the races that matter the most. This is something all the great champions have in common across all sports. Kurt and Raf Platteeuw have earned their place as one of the leading pigeon fanciers worldwide.