Michael Grünholz (Kleinsteinhausen, DE) wins 1st International Narbonne yearlings

An additional 1,581 pigeons appeared at the start compared to the 2013 edition, which is an increase of 8%. This is not bad at all, given that 2014 has been a tough season. 19,307 pigeons were released in 2013, compared to 20,888 in this year’s race. Pigeons were released one day later than planned, on 26 July at 7:10 am.

Michael Grünholz

There was a clear sky and a hard win coming from the southwest, and so it promised to be a very fast race. It was quite the opposite: just a handful of pigeons achieved a velocity of over 1,000 m/min. The fastest pigeon at international level reached home at 18h22’00”, making Albert Jamaigne from Les Bulles the international winner of the race. His pigeon completed 752,022km with a velocity of 1,119.08 m/min. A total of six old birds and two yearlings reached a velocity of over 1,000 m/min.

It was the German Michael Grünholz who claimed the international first prize in the yearlings’ race, and he clocked his winning pigeon at 19:45’58” after completing 756.438 km with a velocity of 1,000.62 m/min. This one year old hen 04900-13-946 has also won the first national prize in the hen’s race from Narbonne in Germany. She finished in eighth place in the overall results against 20,888 pigeons, which is quite an achievement for the winner of the yearlings’ race.

The national top 10 Narbonne

1. Michael Grünholz, Kleinsteinhausen   756.438 km     19:45'58"          1,000.623 m/min
2. SG Zoller, Zweibrücken               758.279 km     20:04'05"            979.583 m/min
3. Kipp & Söhne, Althornbach            752.888 km     20:00'36"            977.015 m/min
4. Bongers & Späth, Bexbach             763.803 km     20:14'03"            974.176 m/min
5. Rudolf Grün, Wincheringen            765.040 km     20:38'00"            946.832 m/min
6. Baesel Derby,   F-Volmnster          745.699 km     20:38'10"            922.704 m/min
7. Rudolf Grün, Wincheringen            765.040 km     21:02'00"            919.519 m/min
8. Lauer & Söhne, Althornbach           753.271 km     20:52'28"            915.868 m/min
9. Kipp & Söhne, Althornbach            752.888 km     20:54'54"            912.702 m/min
10. Kipp & Söhne, Althornbach           752.888 km     21:00'20"            906.730 m/min

Who is Michael Grünholz, and where does he come from?

We wanted to know where the international winner comes from, and so we searched the internet. His home town Kleinsteinhausen is situated in the west of the Südwestpfalze region, more or less in between the two cities Zweibrücken and Pirmasens, close to the French border. Kleinsteinhausen, a town of 800 inhabitants, is fairly close to the release site from an international perspective.
Michael Grünholz is 55 years old, which makes him a relatively young fancier. He is a qualified carpenter but he retired a few years ago, due to health problems. His wife Elke Dietrich, who was actively involved in the caretaking of the pigeons, passed away last year, and so their team is no longer called Grünholz & Dietrich. Michael has not been able to compete in any race last season, for various reasons. His loft used to be 35km away from his home, but that is no longer the case.

Michael Grünholz has been in the extreme long distance since 1997, and he did really well almost right away. He has had a few less successful seasons as well, but that is something every fancier is faced with. His biggest accomplishment was probably his international victory from Pau 1997 and an international first prize in the hens’ race. He was seventh international in the 1999 race from Pau, while also winning a third international prize in the hens’ race. In addition, he won a first, second and fifth international prize from Dax in the hen’s race that year. In the following season, a first national and first international hens was won from Dax. Several other top prizes were won, but nothing quite like his impressive international victory from Narbonne yearlings.
His pigeon family is mainly based on pigeons of Robert Venus from Belgium, from the bloodline of supercrack Grusson. Another unique combination was made a while ago, when Michael visited the lofts of the renowned Kipp & Söhne. Indeed, Michael Grünholz and Kipp & Söhne are members of the very same club. They have been good friends for 20 years, but Michael had never introduced pigeons of Kipp & Söhne in his own loft. He obtained a few of their breeders just a few years ago, and it worked out very well. The first descendants bred from their breeders paired to Michael’s old bloodline were quite successful. In fact, the dam of the international winner is an original Kipp & Söhne.

The pedigree of 04900-09-1593, sire of the winner from Narbonne 4900-13-946

The winning hen 04900-13-946 Die Kleine

The winning hen is called Die Kleine (the little one). She is a small pigeon, but she has quite a reputation already, despite her age. Last season, she won a 48th international prize from Bordeaux, before claiming an impressive victory from Narbonne this year. This is an impressive feat from such a young pigeon. Her sire 04900-09-1593 originates from the old breed of Michael Grünholz. Interestingly, the dam of this sire is 04900-08-1359, winner of a first prize from Bordeaux 2009 in the club IG Weitstrecke.

The dam of the international winner is the 04900-10-166, a recently introduced pigeon of Kipp & Söhne. She originates from De Blinde 05286-08-408, breeder of several champions for Kipp & Söhne. This 408 originates from Obi Wan 04900-96-297 of Kipp & Söhne, a talented long distance racing bird and winner of many prizes, including a 5th national Barcelona and a 24th international Barcelona. This Obi Wan was paired to Daughter Vento 05286-06-2303 from the loft of Lothar Lessmeister. Vento is winner of a 1st national and 5th international Dax in 2006. The dam of the 04900-99-166 is Barcelona Diamond 04900-99-144, a pigeon wit an impressive palmares as well, including a 3rd international Barcelona and several other great results in international races, while also breeding several champions for the Kipp family.
As you can see, the international winner 04900-13-946 Die Kleine originates from nothing but top quality bloodlines.

The pedigree of 04900-99-144, the dam of the winner from Narbonne

A few more words about the pigeon family of Michael Grünholz: he had 20 pairs in the breeding loft, but Michael prefers not to use the term breeding pairs. An additional 20 pairs were used in the racing loft, raced in total widowhood, as well as 60 youngsters. He likes to keep things simple in the loft. He lives a lot closer to his pigeons now, which means he is in closer contact with them. His pigeons are treated against tricho and caccidiosis every four weeks.
There is no use in trying to find the website of Michael Grünholz, simply because he does not have one. Any questions should be addressed to him directly.  

Let's take a look at the overall results from Narbonne. Michael Grünholz had basketed 15 pigeons, and six of them have won a prize. 5 of his 15 basketed pigeons originate from pairings with Kipp & Söhne, and four of them have won a prize from Narbonne, including a first, second and third. 

Michael, many congratulations on an impressive international victory.


many congratulations