From L. to the R. : Frans Hermans, Freddy Dejaeger & his wife Christine,
sponsers of the IATP trophy, Toon Janssen & mevr. Janssen
Helenaveen – Toon Janssen, who is an expert in ZLU races (races organised by the Union of South Limburg), has won one of the most prestigious prizes in modern pigeon sport this season: the PIPA IATP-ranking. This ranking is perhaps unfamiliar to many but it is rated at its true value by international long distance racing specialists. This table is quite something: it considers the first nominated pigeons of five international races: Pau, Barcelona, Dax, Carcasonne and Perpignan. You really need to have what it takes to end in the top, let alone win and carry off the matching trophy.
How and what
The PIPA IATP ranking is a ranking that is established by PIPA, the biggest pigeon fancier website of the world. The table considers the five most important international races with a morning release. The person who thought up this ranking is Frans Hermans and he has been drafting the table every year since its start in 2003.
Toon is proudly showing his trophy
The purpose of this ranking is:
1. To stimulate and to attract attention to the West European long distance events.
2. To draw up a credible and fair ranking.
3. To draft a ranking which contains as much fanciers as possible who participate in these races.
4. To value real top performances so that 4 top performances result in a better ranking compared to 5 average results.
5. Everyone participates which makes entering or sending in results unnecessary. The organization calculates the ranking for everyone.
6. The ranking attempts to offer equal opportunities for everyone: the so-called large lofts as well as small fanciers whose number of participating pigeons is limited.
7. The entire ranking is being published completely and worldwide on the Internet, on www.pipa.be.
A magnificent and unique trophy is linked with this ranking: the “NV Jaegerson trophy”, sponsored by Freddy Dejaeger.
Every fancier whose first nominated pigeon obtains a full prize per four in the international results of a qualified race is granted a number of points according to the following formula:
25 – ((obtained prize * 100) / number of participating pigeons).
The final yearly ranking is created by adding up all the points a fancier has obtained. The winner of the ranking is the fancier with the highest points. The ranking includes all the fanciers who have achieved points in one or several races and there is no need to enter or send in results because everyone who participates in pigeon races is automatically included in the list.
Toon Janssen has some illustrious predecessors who won the IATP-ranking. The first two years the ranking existed the winners were Belgian fanciers. Robert Buysse carried off the trophy in 2003. One year later: Luc van Coppenolle followed in his footsteps. In 2005, Mr de Groot from Goes in Holland was the lucky winner. By the way, the top three of 2005 as well as 2006 is dominated by the Dutch. In 2005, De Groot was followed by Cas van de Graaf and Harrie and Roger Wijnands: not just anyone.
2006 was the glory year of Toon Janssen. Piet de Vogel and Rik Stevens are following in his track. No less than 2545 fanciers managed to rank their first nominated pigeon once or several times in the qualified races.
Toon achieved the title with his first nominated in the following international classifications:
Pau 375, Barcelona 34, Dax 798, Carcasonne 705 and Perpignan 1368.
These results yielded 96,216588 points and he was one point ahead of Piet de Vogel and five points ahead of Rik Stevens.
What did I win?
Toon had never heard of the IATP-ranking. He received a call from his friend Willem Vermulst from Stiphout while he was at work. Willem, who is sufficiently well known as half of the father-son duo Ad and Willem Vermulst, had read on the PIPA website that Toon was the winner. “I didn’t know that the IATP ranking existed but I was very pleased to hear that I had won”, says Toon Janssen.
The trophy was presented to Toon by Frans Hermans and Freddy de Jaeger on the 3rd of November 2006 in Tielt, during a big show. It was a pretty impressive event because all the other big prizes are presented to the Belgian long distance fanciers during this happening.
It did not come out of the blue
The fact that exactly a man like Toon Janssen can put this achievement down on his list is not just a coincidence. Toon is an expert in ZLU races and has been performing excellently during the past few years. Below you will find some results Toon has achieved over the past years.
2004: Department 3 Zuiderkempen ZLU races: 2nd indicated 2 ZLU races 5th loft champion. 9th in the overall placing Cup of Europe - Barcelona 5 pigeons were entered, 4 prizes were achieved.
2005: Department 3 Zuiderkempen ZLU races: 1st indicated 2 - 1st not indicated 3 - 1st loft champion
4th five first nominated Cup of Europe, 4th overall placing Cup of Europe, 1st champion morning release FNL, 4th category 5 ‘fondspiegel’* ZLU races.
Pau-Barcelona-Marseille-Int. Dax-Perpignan earliest National prizes:
41 pigeons were entered, 27 prizes were obtained of which 15x 1:120.
2006: ‘Zuiderkempen’ ZLU 1st not indicated 2
2nd not indicated 3 - 1st loft champion
1st PIPA IATP-ranking
1st first nominated Cup of Europe, 2nd two first nominated Cup of Europe, 4th overall placing Cup of Europe, 1st champion morning release FNL, 1st category 4 ‘Fondspiegel’ ZLU races.
Pau-Barcelona-Int. Dax-Carcasonnne-Perpignan earliest National prizes 22-40-78-125-134-179.
32 pigeons were entered, 22 prizes were obtained of which 15x 1:10.
These are figures that speak for themselves and they perfectly reflect the high level Toon managed to achieve with few pigeons.
The small fancier is right
You will not find any luxurious lofts along the old canal in Helenaveen but just plain and simple pigeon accommodation. Toon has the same simple approach when it comes to pigeon sport. He participates in races with 24 old pigeons and 30 yearlings. The yearlings are not subjected to a morning release by the way, more about that later. Toon also possesses about eight breeding couples. When we consider long distance racers in general, he is part of the ‘small’ fanciers. But he proves that the small fancier is right: you won’t find any shiny pigeons with large pedigrees in his loft or merely one single top bird. There is only room for the really good pigeons in Toon’s loft!!
Simplicity is the order of the day
Toon applies the nest game in its purest form. He couples all his pigeons at the beginning of March and all the couples raise a youngster. The next brooding period is interrupted so that the pigeons have an ideal position to start racing. The most ideal situation according to Toon is when the pigeons have been brooding for 14 days or when the birds have youngsters of three to four days. This goes for cocks as well as hens. The youngsters or the eggs are put underneath a breeding couple and are given back to the racers as soon as they return from a race. They complete the entire cycle and are then crammed for their second assignment. This is important for the pigeons’ motivation and their peace and quiet. Not one pigeon is played three times.
Things are just as simple as far as training is concerned. Toon leaves the house early in the morning because of his work and he returns home around 4:00 PM. That’s when the nest pigeons are released and have to train. They train once a day: 1 hour in May and 2 hours in June. The idea is that the pigeons train intensively and at the start, they are chased away with pebbles when they have the intention to return to the loft. Toon says that there is not much fun about a nest pigeon once it really trains well. When the pigeons are in shape, they are flying around like madmen. They skim over the loft occasionally and move away again at full speed. Some people may consider this training schedule to be rather limited but results have proven that Toon’s method is successful.
The 70 young pigeons that Toon keeps for his own use are not trained in their year of birth unless Toon has some time to take them away. However, they are seriously trained as yearlings: they are taken away as from the beginning until the first one day long distance race. Then, they receive a cure against canker and participate in the first release at noon of East Brabant, which takes place early June. Toon selects the young pigeons on the basis of health. Furthermore, some of them fall victim to the inevitable birds of prey that really thrive in this old peat cutters region.
Toon is hard on his yearlings, that’s a fact, but a thorough selection is interwoven with the way he handles his birds. He has lost a lot of birds in the early years by applying this method but as years went by, losses were reduced.
Main pigeon A "Barca" of Noud Janssen.
Father is “donker 25” who descends from “zoon 10” of the 55 x 232 of the 55 of P. van den Eijnden x daughter “Rhone Vally Lady”
Mother is “Scherp”, she descends from a son of “Lamme” x “Zitterke”.
As a yearling, “Scherp” has raced Barcelona 1108/ 10.574 pgs. as a 2-year-old 32/7767 pgs. after which she was used for breeding purposes.
Main pigeon B: “Oud Kuyperke” of Noud Janssen. A direct Hermans-Hoekstra.
Father: son of “Rik” x “de 10” (Jan Theelen).
Mother: “Inteelt Smaragd 585” Kuypers breed “57” x “Smaragd 1”.
Main pigeon C: “Marseille” Marseille 41/4449 - Barcelona 65/8140 - Perpignan 113/5479
Perpignan 414/6857 – Barcelona 1360/6290.
Father: “Vale Jo” grandson “de 10” Theelen through Johan van Meerwijk, Heeze.
Mother: “Oud Kuyperke” cfr. main pigeon B.
Main pigeon D: “Dochter Marseille” (daughter of “Marseille”) flew Barcelona 401/8140 Perpignan 274/6857
Father: cfr. main pigeon C.
Mother: daughter of “Barca” x “zuster Pico 148” (sister of “Pico 148”) of Johan van Meerwijk Heeze.
She is the mother of a.o. “Luïs” who flew the Pau race 63/3077;179/2413; Marseille 80/3679; Carcassonne 267/3167, “Lara” raced Int.Dax 42/3105 – Barcelona 259/6777 - Perpignan 405/4719.
“ Mabelia” did Carcassonne 78/3167; Pau 517/2413.
Toon is breeding together with Hans van de Eynden from Neerkant since 1999 with the strain of “Henk” who has acquired 14 prizes of which 10 x 1:10 and many top prizes. He is a grandson of “Sterke Barcelona” x “77-145”, Aarden 1 x “het Spinneke”.
In addition, he also has pigeons that descend from the breed of “Schift” of Peter van de Eynden in Deurne and finally there are the Kuypers pigeons (old main pigeon breed). They are directs or acquired through Wim Bax in Budel and Johan van Meerwijk in Heeze.
This truly is a powerful base, a very solid foundation, which comprehends illustrious names of the past and the breeding quality of these pigeons has already been proven in many other lofts. Toon cherishes this foundation: he will always couple his best racers with his ‘purest’ pigeons (i.e.: pigeons that only have blood of Toon’s main pigeons) in order to guarantee quality within his colony.
Sitting down at the table with Toon Janssen has been very enjoyable and instructive. No boasting at all: Toon put pure facts on the table and spoke in all candour about the way he practises pigeon sport. One cannot but admire his style because of its simplicity. Many others put out all the stops to achieve nice results but Toon proves that a natural way, simple care and an uncomplicated racing method can result in exceptional performances as well.
Class pigeons, passion and clear insight of a fancier who has his feet firmly on the ground.