Hugo looks back on another successful season of racing. Autumn is here, and the time has come for Hugo to take a look back at the numerous references that he gets from across the globe. Zhan Zhi Lin wins the first prize in the Xian Weili Race in China (China's biggest race after Pioneer) twice in a row with a descendant of Matador x Annick, and Pascal Hellinckx claims a 5th Nat. Perpignan with a grandchild of New Laureaat. Hugo is very proud with these results, and he is really happy with the ace pigeon titles that he wins at the end of the 2018 season as well.

#### 1st National ZLU pigeon WHZB 2018

Claiming a title of 1st National Ace Pigeon was still one of Hugo's main objectives. "But it takes a pigeon that can claim at least two very early prizes, which is not that easy, especially not in a demanding season. 2018 was particularly hard, with high temperatures and a headwind almost every weekend. However, I think these are the conditions in which the real fighters stand out. Claiming a 1st national ace pigeon in such a taxing season shows that we are on the right track with our breeding strategy, which we work hard for."

And with that breeding strategy he refers to his collaboration with Nikolaas Gyselbrecht, with whom he shares the ambition to try and keep the best European marathon pigeons - preferrably winners in Barcelona - in European hands. The goal is then to incorporate them in a breeding loft that can leave its mark on the competition for years. His joint breedings with the best pigeons of Jelle Jellema and Etienne Meirlaen comes from this ambition as well. His 1st National Ace Pigeon ZLU stems from this joint philosophy: NL16-1509101 Blue Ace 2018 was born from a son of 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB New Ace x a daughter of 1st Nat. Barcelona NL 2012 New Witbuik. Click here for the pedigree of Blue Ace 2018.

Blue Ace 2018 was in fact also the team leader in Hugo's fantastic overall result in Pau, where he claimed a 9th-11th-18th-19th National. This two year old blue hen also claimed a national second prize in St. Vincent, which makes for an excellent palmares for 2018:

2nd Nat. St. Vincent 997 km 2,570 p. 2018 (996 mpm) 9th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,551 p. 2018 (1,008 mpm)

Fellow fancier Ad Fortuin wins a 46th Nat. Pau 2018 with a full sister, and other (half) brothers and sisters win a 9th Nat. Agen 2018, a 30th Nat. Agen 2016, a 53rd Nat. Agen 2016, and a 98th Nat. Pau 2017, just to name a few.

*Blue Ace 2018 and his two youngsters*

#### 6th National ZLU pigeon WHZB 2018

There were not one but to pigeons of Batenburg-Van De Merwe in the national top 10 ace pigeons ZLU: the second one is NL16-1509045. She is a marvellous hen that claimed four prizes in four international races. This is her palmares:

11th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,551 p. 2018 (991 mpm) 31st Nat. Marseille 943 km 2,750 p. 2018 (889 mpm) 273rd Nat. Agen 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 (901 mpm) 344th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 4,566 p. 2017 (1059 mpm)

The sire of the 6th National ZLU pigeon 2018 is a son of the highly successful pairing of New Laureaat x Kleine Jade, the international first prize winners from Barcelona in 2013 and 2014. this is in other words a joint breeding of Batenburg and Jellema. The grandchildren of this pair have won the following top prizes:

1st Nat. Agen UK 2018 (Mark Gilbert) 2nd Int. Perpignan 2017 (Jelle Jellema) 2nd Nat. Cahors NL 2017 (Ultsje Jellema) 3rd Nat. Perpignan 2016 (Jelle Jellema) 6th National pigeon ZLU WHZB 2018 (Batenburg-VD Merwe) 6th NPO Bergerac 2018 (Ultsje Jellema - great-grandchild) 9th NPO Limoges 2018 (Ultsje Jellema) 11th Nat. Pau 2018 (Batenburg-VD Merwe) 12th Nat. Agen JL. 2018 (Jelle Jellema - great-grandchild) 15th Nat. Agen 2018 (Ad Fortuin) 30th Nat. Agen JL 2018 (Jelle Jellema)

And the dam is a super class inbred daughter of Jonge Witbuik, the old Batenburg bloodline that is still invaluable to this team, especially when combined with the greatest Barcelona champions of the Batenburg breed! Click here for the pedigree of the 6th National Pigeon ZLU.

#### New Laureaat develops into a legendary breeder

We witnessed fairly early on in the 2018 season that BE08-2222675 New Laureaat is really starting to play a fundamental role in the international competition. Hugo was overwhelmingly strong in the race from Pau with a team closelly related to New Laureaat, and meanwhile Ad Fortuin claimed a 1st National Agen Yearlings and 4 top 40 prizes, exclusively with New Laureaat grandchildren. And then we have Mark Gilbert who claims three national first prizes in the United Kingdom, again with grandchildren of New Laureaat. And the list continues to grow. New Laureaat does have a fantastic reputation these days, especially after the 2018 season.

1st Nat. Agen 2018 – 4,776 p. (Ad Fortuin) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 1st Nat. Perpignan 2017 (Mark Gilbert) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 1st Nat. Barcelona 2018 (Mark Gilbert) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 1st Nat. Agen 2018 (Mark Gilbert) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 1st Nat. Poitiers 2018 – 1,800 p. (Mark Gilbert) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 2nd Int. Perpignan 2017 – 14,930 p. (Jelle Jellema) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 2nd Nat. Cahors 2017 – 1,671 p. (Ultsje Jellema) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 5th Int. Perpignan 2016 – 12,698 p. (Jelle Jellema) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 5th Nat. Perpignan 2018 – 3,966 p. (Pascal Hellinckx) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 6th National Pigeon ZLU WHZB 2018 (Batenburg-Van de Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 8th Int. Narbonne 2016 – 7,811 p. (Batenburg-Van de Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 9th NPO Limoges 2018 – 1,358 p. (Ultsje Jellema) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 11th Nat. Pau 2018 – 3,530 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 15th Nat. Agen 2016 – 4,679 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Youngster ‘New Laureaat’ 17th Nat. Agen 2017 – 5,935 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 17th Nat. Agen 2018 – 4,776 p. (Ad Fortuin) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 18th Nat. Pau 2018 – 3,530 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 21st Nat. Agen 2017 – 5,935 p. (Comd. De Pijper) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 26th Nat. St. Vincent 2018 – 2,570 p. (Ad Fortuin) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 27th Nat. Perpignan 2018 – 3,778 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 29th Int. Narbonne 2016 – 7,811 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Youngster ‘New Laureaat’ 30th Nat. Agen 2018 – 4,776 p. (Jelle Jellema) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 31st Nat. Marseille 2018 – 2,750 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 32nd Nat. Barcelona 2018 – 3,912 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 32nd Nat. Agen 2018 – 4,776 p. (Ad Fortuin) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 34th Nat. Agen 2016 – 4,679 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 35th Nat. Pau 2018 – 3,530 p. (Jelle Jellema) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 40th Nat. Perpignan 2017 – 4,789 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 41st Nat. Agen 2016 – 4,679 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 41st Nat. Marseille 2018 – 2,750 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 41st Nat. Agen 2018 – 4,776 p. (Ad Fortuin) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 46th Nat. Perigueux 2018 – 4,257 p. (Ad Fortuin) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 50th Nat. Marseille 2017 – 2,528 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 50th Nat. Agen 2017 – 5,935 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild‘New Laureaat’ 51st Nat. St. Vincent 2018 – 2,570 p. (Ad Fortuin) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 52nd Nat. Agen 2017 – 5,935 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 60th Nat. Marseille 2017 – 2,528 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Youngster ‘New Laureaat’ 66th Nat. Agen 2018 – 4,776 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 73rd Nat. Agen 2016 – 4,679 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 75th Nat. Agen 2016 – 4,679 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 77th Nat. Agen 2017 – 5,935 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 78th Nat. Barcelona 2018 – 3,912 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 79th Int. Narbonne 2016 – 7,811 p. (Jelle Jellema) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 83rd Int. Narbonne 2016 – 7,811 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 83rd Nat. Narbonne 2017 – 4,566 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 86th Nat. Marseille 2017 – 2,528 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Youngster ‘New Laureaat’ 98th Nat. Agen 2017 – 5,935 p. (Comd. De Pijper) – Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 98th Nat. Pau 2017 – 3,526 p. (Batenburg-VD Merwe) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’ 99th Nat. Agen 2018 – 4,776 p. (Comd. De Pijper) Grandchild ‘New Laureaat’

"This is of course what we had hoped for when we got our hands on New Laureaat", says Hugo. "We think winners in Barcelona will always have a lot of breeding potential, and let's not forget that New Laureaat had already won an 8th Nat. Barcelona and a 323rd Nat. Barcelona - it takes a great bird to do that. Nikolaas was convinced almost immediately that this bird could be the next Laureaat Barcelona, that legendary Gyselbrecht bird. Given the impressive results of New Laureaat's descendants recently, we could say that he made a sound judgement. And needless to say, we are really glad to have such a unique bird in our breeding loft!"

#### The Special One

Another bird that is quietly developing into a highly talented bird, in the wake of New Laureaat, is FR12-034553 Special One. Special One claims a 1st International Barcelona in 2015, and he was the only pigeon to be clocked on day one. He now lives in the Batenburg lofts, and his descendants have quite a palmares already:

4th Int. yearling Int. races PIPA Ranking 2017 2nd Int. Narbonne JL 8,480 p. 2017 9th Nat. Agen - 4,776 p. 2018 11th Nat. Marseille - 2,750 p. 2018 15th Nat. Bergerac - 5,085 p. 2018 25th Nat. Perpignan - 3,778 p. 2017 29th Nat. Perpignan - 3,778 p. 2017 55th Nat. Agen - 4,776 p. 2018 66th Nat. Agen - 4,776 p. 2018

The title of 1st and 6th National Ace Pigeon ZLU WHB 2018 is the icing on the cake of the team from Klaaswaal, in line with their national first prize fom Agen in 2017 and several other top results in the past. An overview of the national top 100 prizes in the loft of Batenburg-Van De Merwe over the past five years can be found below.

Top 100 National Batenburg-Van De Merwe 2014-20181st Nat. Agen JL 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 2nd Nat. Narbonne 964 km 4,566 p. 2017 2nd Nat. St. Vincent 997 km 2,570 p. 2018 5th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 7th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,788 p. 2016 9th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,776 p. 2018 9th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,551 p. 2018 10th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 5,338 p. 2015 11th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,551 p. 2018 13th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 5,589 p. 2015 14th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 5,042 p. 2016 15th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 4,027 p. 2016 15th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 16th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 5,589 p. 2015 17th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 17th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 18th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,551 p. 2018 18th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 4,789 p. 2017 18th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,788 p. 2016 19th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,551 p. 2018 19th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 4,789 p. 2017 19th Nat. St. Vincent 997 km 3,387 p. 2016 20th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 6,414 p. 2014 22nd Nat. Barcelona 1164 km 5,239 p. 2016 23rd Nat. Barcelona 1164 km 4,504 p. 2017 25th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 3,778 p. 2018 27th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 3,778 p. 2018 27th Nat. Marseille 968 km 3,320 p. 2016 30th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 31st Nat. Marseille 968 km 2,750 p. 2018 32nd Nat. Barcelona 1164 km 3,912 p. 2018 32nd Nat. Agen old 889 km 6,638 p. 2015 36th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 36th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,433 p. 2015 37th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 40th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 4,789 d. 2017 41st Nat. Marseille 968 km 2,750 p. 2018 41st Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 49th Nat. Barcelona 1164 km 5,239 p. 2016 49th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 5,589 p. 2015 50th Nat. Marseille 968 km 2,528 p. 2017 50th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 52nd Nat. Agen JL 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 53rd Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 54th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 5,338 p. 2015 56th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,788 p. 2016 58th Nat. Marseille 968 km 3,610 p. 2015 60th Nat. Marseille 968 km 2,528 p. 2017 60th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 5,338 p. 2015 64th Nat. St. Vincent 997 km 3,037 p. 2017 65th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 5,338 p. 2015 66th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,776 p. 2018 72nd Nat. Agen old 889 km 5,910 p. 2014 73rd Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 75th Nat. Agen old 889 km 6,638 p. 2015 75th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 75th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 5,042 p. 2016 77th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 77th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 5,042 p. 2016 78th Nat. Barcelona 1164 km 3,912 p. 2018 78th Nat. Marseille 968 km 3,320 p. 2016 79th Nat. Marseille 968 km 3,320 p. 2016 82nd Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 5,589 p. 2015 83rd Nat. Narbonne 964 km 4,566 p. 2017 83rd Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,433 p. 2015 85th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 85th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 5,589 p. 2015 86th Nat. Marseille 968 km 2,528 p. 2017 88th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 5,338 p. 2015 90th Nat. Narbonne 964 km 5,338 p. 2015 90th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 5,589 p. 2015 90th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 92nd Nat. Agen JL 889 km 4,679 p. 2016 94th Nat. Agen JL 889 km 5,935 p. 2017 94th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 4,027 p. 2016 94th Nat. Perpignan 1023 km 5,589 p. 2015 98th Nat. Pau 1005 km 3,526 p. 2017