Batenburg-van de Merwe “ Touchdown ! ” at the highest level.

The Netherlands is well-known for: clogs, windmills, tulips and…. Batenburg van de Merwe. The Batenburg van de Merwe pedigree is known far beyond the borders of the Netherlands

The source of this pedigree is hidden away in a beautiful landscape next to a dike in the south of the Hoekse Waard. Unique, and, unlike clogs and tulips, not available as souvenirs. The Batenburg van de Merwe has evolved into a type of pigeon which can predominate the long distance races. Pigeons which are liberated in the morning in the warm south and can fly for the entire day. Separating themselves from the main group, and after racing for more than a thousand kilometres they enter the flat Dutch country first to land in the back garden of Hugo Batenburg and Anita van de Merwe .

Batenburg van de Merwe

123 times prize by the first hundred National, in the long distance races 2000 up to and including  2010

In 2010  sixteen prizes by the first hundred National 

They won the Double in 2010.  Both the National Marathon as the West European Super Marathon was achieved. If the long distance races were to be compared to football then we would be talking about the winning finalist of the Champions League, and if the pigeon sport was like rugby then Batenburg van de Merwe would be the number one of the Rugby World Cup Finals with    “Touchdown!! ”

Batenburg van de Merwe has not been defeated for decades; once the battle has been fought then the combination proudly remains standing after beating the opposition.  That they are known as the great champions of the long distance races is beyond dispute. But the great number of prizes achieved is almost too many to mention. The prizes by the first hundred national 1999 up to and including 2010 alone fills six pages of A4 paper, letter type 12. For this reason we will just give you the victories by the first hundred national year 2010 .

Best performances Batenburg-v.d. Merwe 2010 in the National races from 800 km to 1165  km

 9th  National  Perpignan   	5.409 pigeons 2010
11th National  Cahors   	10.325 pigeons 2010
12th National  Perpignan   	5.409 pigeons  2010
14th National  Cahors   	10.325 pigeons 2010
14th National  Bordeaux   	5.660 pigeons 2010
21st National  Perpignan   	5.409 pigeons 2010
23rd National  Pau    		2.657 pigeons 2010
24th National  Narbonne   	3.850 pigeons 2010
30th National  Tarbes   	2.950 pigeons 2010
40th National  St.Vincent   	5.336 pigeons 2010
56th National  Perpignan   	5.409 pigeons 2010
66th National  Cahors   	6.397 pigeons 2010
74th National  St.Vincent   	5.336 pigeons 2010
79th National  Bordeaux   	5.660 pigeons 2010
83rd National  Perpignan   	5.409 pigeons 2010
93rd National  Cahors    	10.325 pigeons 2010 

Championships won  2010

 1st West European Super Marathon
1st West European Super Marathon 10 nominated
1st Europe Marathon
1st National Marathon ZLU
1st National Marathon 10 nominated ZLU
1st Pyrenees Cup ZLU
1st Supercup Top pigeons
1st Keizer champion Club der Azen
2nd Europabeker
2nd Keizer Grand Distance ZLU
2nd Champion International Long Distance  N.P.O. Province 5 South-Holland
3rd International Pigeon Competition Extreme Long Distance  

What has made this combination top for years 

Hugo doesn’t do anything special with the care. The pigeons are simply well looked after. They are raced in the long distance races from the nest. There is no special method to motivate the pigeons in the nest. This combination uses the solid nest game. What is it then that enables this Batenburg van de Merwe combination to race at the top for years? The secret was leaked out years ago and is then no longer a secret. It is their now famous ‘Witbuik’-strain which lies behind the success. These pigeons have specific characteristics which the most homing pigeons don’t possess.

The first characteristic of the strain is that they are exceptionally good breeders. Now, twenty years after “The Witbuik” was born, his inheritance is still alive and kicking. The proverbial baton has been passed on for generations. This marvellous breeding has been proven time and again in the races.
Another characteristic of the “Batenburg-pigeon” is a more than well-developed ‘navigation system’. The Batenburg van de Merwe barely knows what being lost is, and that is a significant difference to the average fancier. There are remarkably few pigeons lost. The youngsters are not even trained. They go directly to the late races.

The last characteristic of the Batenburg van de Merwe pigeons is that they have the character to tolerate all weathers. They are not just good-weather-racers. These pigeons are also all-rounders in the tough races .

A different approach 

Hugo Batenburg has a very clear vision regarding the building up of his “Witbuik-strain”. The name that this strain has been given would make you assume that Hugo has concentrated on the colour by the breeding. This has never been an option. It does not fit into the vision that he has. Hugo is not a treasurer in the historical highlights of the pigeon sport history with the birth of ‘the Witbuik’ in 1981. For him it’s not about keeping the pedigree pure. Every year the breeding is dedicated to improving the pedigree, by crossing with other pedigrees. The crossed “Witbuiks” are coupled with excellent and proven racing pigeons. With this, the combination has achieved various winners of a first national, so as:  St. Vincent 2010 sector 2, Tarbes 2010 sector 1 and 2, Narbonne 2009, Bergerac 2008 sector 1 and 2. By crossing this calibre of pigeons with the inbred “Witbuiks”, the Batenburg van de Merwe pedigree remains under development.  Super pigeons are not made by racing form or extra training. The basis of quality starts with a systematic approach to the breeding. When this is applied in balance, then it is possible to breed something unique.  And the Batenburg van de Merwe pigeons are unique!  The real performance pigeons move to the breeding loft after 4 or 5 years. Hugo only breeds from the real toppers and pigeons are only sold from these toppers. Hugo is proud of his pedigree! He only wants to deliver good pigeons when breeding. When the yearlings return home form their first overnight race then it is not very important to Hugo what prize they have achieved. But what is interesting is from which couplet hey come. His thoughts are as to which couple will be of value to the ‘source Batenburg’ in the future  

The Batenburg van de Merwe combination is then firstly a combination which concentrates on the breeding. That is their power. They have turned the breeding into an art and they  have mastered it so well that it has given them the following top racers .

 - Sisi out grandson Witbuik x daughter Godfather : a.o. 6th national Montauban 

- Dianne out grandson Witbuik x Kweekmoedertje : a.o. 21st  national Perpignan 

- Bonte Narbonne out grandson Witbuik x Kweekmoedertje : a.o. 24th national Narbonne 

- St.Vincent-cock out the 500 x daughter Witbuik : a.o. 11 national St.Vincent 

- Maja out as 155 punctuated from the Witbuik x Marie : a.o. 19th national Perpignan 

- Lady Tarbes out grandson Witbuik x Kweekmoedertje : a.o. 29th national Tarbes  

Hugo Batenburg is one of the most successful and influential pigeon fanciers in the history of the pigeon sport. The Jansen brothers were famous for their pigeons and the well in the back garden. Batenburg van de Merwe are also famous for their pigeons and also for the proverbial well which they have managed to keep in their back garden. The concept around the breeding has served them well. They are innovative and, given the results, they have been very successful.

Keeping the pedigree pure is totally useless. The Batenburg van de Merwe pedigree is just like bulbs which have been planted. From that moment on the pedigree develops just like a tulip bulb. Now anno 2011 the Batenburg van de Merwe pedigree is in full bloom. The Netherlands has more than just windmills, tulips and clogs .