Frans Bungeneers (Ranst, BE): the king of Barcelona

Anyone who takes a closer look at Frans Bungeneers's list of achievements in Barcelona will be rubbing his eyes in disbelief. His palmares speaks for itself, and Frans can be rightfully considered the one and only king of Barcelona.

Frans Bungeneers showing his impressive collection of golden, silver and bronze wings

Unique palmares

Frans has excelled in the classic from Barcelona pretty much on a yearly basis since 2005; his palmares is nothing short of unique, and it all started in 2005 with a 1st National Barcelona of 13,066 pigeons. He has won 6 top 7 prizes at national level since winning that first prize:

2005: 1st National of 13,066 pigeons
2009: 2nd National of 13,503 pigeons
2017: 2nd National of  7,874 pigeons
2009: 4th National of 13,503 pigeons
2016: 6th National of  7,693 pigeons
2015: 7th National of  7,791 pigeons

This also resulted in 4 international top 10 prizes (4th, 5th, 9th and 9th) and 3 x international top 10 with the hens.

Frans has won the first prize in the Gouden Vleugel competition twice: once with Queen Tony in 2005 and once with Icarus in 2009. Elena won the Silver Wing title in 2007. Racing hen Iron Lady Ellie did something quite unique, winning a Bronze Wing title both in 2015 and 2016.

Click here for the full palmares.

Cowardly theft

Bad luck struck in 2016, when Frans saw his life's work destroyed by theft. No less than 57 old birds, including almost his entire team from Barcelona, was stolen from him. One of the pigeons that was still there was Elena, which had already won a 78th and 64th National in 2015 and 2016. As a result, she was the only pigeon with a proven record to be basketed in 2017. She put in a brilliant performance with a youngster of 6 days old: she claimed a 1st Provincial (with a lead of 1h50min), a 2nd National and a 9th International. This victory was dedicated to the entire team from Barcelona that had excelled both in 2015 and 2016, but was forced to miss the 2017 season. Click here to reread our report about these two races from Barcelona.

BE11-6047958 - Elena

This is the hen that saved Frans Bungeneers's reputation and that of his racing team in 2017 in great fashion: she won a 1st Provincial, a 2nd National, a 5th International hens and a 9th International. She also claimed a Zilveren Vleugel title and she was 1st Ace Pigeon Barcelona PIPA ranking across 2 seasons (2016-2017) and 3 seasons (2015-2016-2017). She also wins the title of 1st International Ace Pigeon Euro Diamond Club across two seasons (2016-2017) and 3 seasons (2015-2016-2017).

Elena, 2nd National Barcelona 2017

It is fairly obvious where Elena's top results from Barcelona come from. She has been inbred to the line of Queen Tony, the hen with which it all started back in 2005 with a 1st National Barcelona (4th International). Queen Tony (a daughter of stock sire De Witpen - C.J. De Heijde x Sioentje, Luc Sioen) is in fact Elena's grandmother from her mother's side. The sire is a full brother of that same Queen Tony. The sire of Queen Tony, Witpen, is also the grandfather of two other iconic Barcelona racing birds: Penelope and Icarus (2nd and 4th National Barcelona respectively). This explains why Elena has been so successful in the classic from Spain.

Her pedigree, which is nothing short of impressive, can be found here.

Queen Tony, 1st National Barcelona 2005 and grandmother of Elena, 2nd National Barcelona 2017

An extensive list of references in other lofts

The number of fanciers both at home and abroad that have excelled with the Frans Bungeneers breed is quite staggering. New references from fanciers that are very happy with the descendants of Frans's racing birds from Barcelona are coming in on a daily basis. Today more than 30 youngsters and grandchildren have won a national top 100 prize in Belgium or The Netherlands, which is quite amzing!

The 2017 PIPA ranking for international ace pigeons hens (two prizes) was won by Lady in the Dark (Gerard Schalwijk). The sire of this winner is none other than Laika Jr., a half brother of Elena, 2nd National Barcelona 2017, and winner of the Silver Wing 2017 and 1st Ace Pigeon National Barcelona (2015-2016-2017) and (2016-2017).

Click here for the pedigree of Lady in the Dark

And to add to that, the 4th International Ace Pigeon PIPA ranking hens with 2 prizes, racing bird NL14-3447448 of Van Schijndel en Zonen, happens to be a 50% Bungeneers. The dam of the 448 is a daughter of Penelope x Icarus (2nd and 4th National Barcelona 2009 respectively).

Other top results for Van Schijndel and sons:

  • 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon ZLU 2017 ( 27th Nat. Pau, 334th Nat. St Vincent and 12th Nat. Perpignan). The dam is a daughter of Icarus X Penelope of a 2nd X 4th nat. Barcelona'09.
  • 10th Nat. Ace Pigeon ZLU 2017 (205th Nat. Pau, 193rd Nat. Marseille and 259th Nat. Perpignan). The dam is a half sister of ELENA.
  • 4th Ace Pigeon ZLU Narbonne 3 seasons 2015-2016-2017. The dam is a daughter of Icarus X Penelope or a 2nd X 4th nat. Barcelona'09.
  • National ZLU Perpignan 2017: 12th -28th -46th -51st - 83rd -119th -165th -222nd -259th ... (7 of the 9 first pigeons are at least 50% Bungeneers!)

Some more top references:

Hagens-Achthuizen Brothers NL

  • 44th Nat. Agen-yearlings Z.L.U. 2017 - 5,930 p.
  • 50th Nat. Bergerac S2  2017 - 3,699 p.
  • 917th Nat. Agen-Yearlings Z.L.U. 2017 - 5,930 p.

  (The dam is a daughter of 979/11 son Queen Tonny X  933/11 (Icarus X Penelope))

  • 155th Nat. Agen S2  2017 -  2,652 p.
  • 744th Cahors S2  2017 - 3,922 p.

  (The sire is a son of Saartje (nest sister Laika Queen))

  • 178th Cahors S2   2017 - 3,922 p.
  • 388th Cahors S2   2017 - 3,922 p.
  • 544th Nat. Cahors S2  2015 - 5,279 p.
  • 671st Nat. Agen-oude Z.L.U. 2017 - 6,211 p.
  • 757th Nat. Bergerac S2  2016 - 3,744 p.
  • 850th Nat. Cahors S2 2016 - 3,653 p.

  (The dam is a daughter of Penelope)

  • 67th Nat. Barcelona  2017 - 4,504 p.
  • 134th Nat. St. Vincent  2015 - 3,714 p.
  • 428th Nat. Cahors S2  2015 - 5,279 p.
  • 488th Nat. Barcelona  2017 - 4,504 p.
  • 522nd Nat. Bergerac S2  2016 - 3,744 p.
  • 619th Nat. St. Vincent  2016 - 3,386 p.

  (The sire is a son of Icarus)

The "Thailand Grand Pigeon Race 2017" was won by the  Veulemans - Techavichian combination with a 50% Frans Bungeneers.

José Poteaux France

4th National Narbonne 2017 (F)

(The sire is a son of Icarus X Penelope)

All the references listed above and several others have been summarised here.

The future

There is no denying it: the cowardly theft in the end of 2016 has clearly left its mark; it had quite an impact, leaving the Barcelona racing team severly disrupted. Fortunately Elena was able to turn the tide, defending the honour of team Bungeneers with a brilliant performance. But she was not the only pigeon to deliver that season; numerous pigeons have been very successful in the extreme long distance, which underlines the potential of the Frans Bungeneers breeding loft. We think it will be a matter of time before Frans Bungeneers will appear at the start of the Barcelona classic with a fully fledged racing team, ready to outperform the rest of the pack just like before.