Jos and Jacqueline Martens (Stein, NL) win 1st international Marseille with André

Jos and Jacqueline Martens have won their second international victory in five years' time: a 1st International Tarbes in 2010 and now a 1st International Marseille 2015.

Jos Martens and his wife Jacqueline

The 61 year old Jos got involved in the sport at an early age. He was a son of a family of mine workers, where pigeon racing has always been a family tradition. His grandfather, his father and his father's brothers were all fanciers, and Jos was the only of four children to continue the tradition. His father had always been very supportive. Remarkably enough, Jos won an international first prize on the birthday of his passed father. Today Jos enjoys the support of his wife Jacqueline, which shows that this is a successful man-husband combination. The international first prize from Marseille has been won by a fancier with a solid reputation, since Jos has been a very successful long distance fancier in the province of Limburg for many years, and has been a familiar name among long distance fanciers across The Netherlands. In 2015, he was particularly successful in the morning releases of the ZLU. We take a look at some of his best results this season:

Limoges     Provincial 3,884 pigeons: 5-6-29-113-166-183-197-252-256-258-etc. (14/22)
Pau         National   3,433 pigeons: 28-152-230 (3/3)
Agen jl.    National   5,063 pigeons: 9-345-403-435 (4/6)
Agen o.d.   National   6,643 pigeons: 28-30-418-425-574 (5/6)
Bergerac    Provincial 3,252 pigeons: 15-29-242-etc. (5/12)
St. Vincent National   3,714 pigeons: 164-247-280-etc. (6/6)
Cahors      Provincial 2,173 pigeons: 9-223-etc. (4/5)
Jos has won many top prizes (including a first international Marseille 2015) but he is particularly known for his high prize percentages. Jos and Jacqueline are only racing with a team of widowers. They started the season with 25 one year olds and about 40 old cocks. The yearlings had raced the one day long distance flight from Montluçon, followed by Agen and Bergerac, before being basketed for Marseille. The old birds had completed Limoges (including their international winner André). The pigeon lofts of Jos have a total length of 25 metres, 12 of which is designated for the old and one year old birds. The remaining lofts are used to keep young birds, breeders and widower hens.

The breed

Jos obtained a round of young birds from the Kuipers brothers (Neer, NL) in 1999, and these pigeons continue to play a central role in today's success story. Other important bloodlines include Wanrooy via Matjeu Cox (Stein, NL), pigeons of Theo Daalmans (Elsloo, NL) and last but not least the Busscher-Albers combination from Elsloo. You can tell from the pedigrees of some of Jos's strongest pigeons in recent years that the pigeons from the aforementioned fanciers have been invaluable to this breed. For instance, his international first prize winner from Tarbes 2010 was a son of "der Sjef", which was named after the father of Jos. This Der Sjef was a great long distance racer himself, and was bred from a grandson of the renowned "711" of the Busscher-Albers combination. The dam of Der Sjef was a direct Kuijpers hen. 
Another star in his team is "Asduif Bordeaux", which is heavily based on the bloodline of Kuijpers as well. He originates from Irunha of Theo Daalmans from his father's side, which in turn originates from two national winners. The winner from Marseille of Matjeu Cox can be found in his pedigree as well. Besides, international winner André originates from many of these bloodlines as well.

NL13-1540537 André

NL13-1540537 1st International Marseille

The international winner from Marseille is quite a champion, and he has a proven record. He won a 301st from 12,152 pigeons in an afternoon release from Bordeaux as a yearling, as well as a 34th against 3,107 pigeons in the same season. He also won a 33rd Agen against 3,107 pigeons in 2015, before claiming an international victory against 10,238 pigeons from Marseille in his fourth long distance race so far. The pigeons were released in Marseille at 6:40am in high temperatures and a south-southwesterly wind. André was clocked at 16:59, having covered 874km with a velocity of 1411 m/min. Jos has named his international winner after André Kuijpers of the Kuijpers brothers, the legendary long distance combination from Neer (NL). There was a funeral service for André Kuijpers on the day of the victory, and André's brother Piet Kuijpers agreed to give the winning pigeon from Marseille the name of his passed brother.
The sire of André is a cock from 2006 which Jos obtained from Busscher-Albertz (Elsoo, NL). He is a son of their top racing bird "711", which was already ten years old when giving birth to this son. Jos had been quite successful with the 711 bloodline, which is why he decided to obtain this son as well. The dam of André is a full sister of the 1st international Tarbes 2010.
Click here for the full pedigree.

1st International Marseille in his breeding box

The head of the winner

Closing words

The second national prize was won by a hen of Leo Martens (Meers, NL). Jos and Lei used to exchange pigeons on a regular basis, and it is remarkable that this hen was actually bred from a cock of Jos. This proves once again that Jos has a collection of top quality birds, which have proved their value both at home and in other lofts. They have been very successful in the past (including a 1st international from Tarbes) but they achieved great results in 2015 as well, with a 1st international from Marseille as the crowning achievement.