Comb. Aarts (Baarle-Nassau, NL) win the title 1st National Ace bird Marathon 2011

Even though John and his wife Anja lead a busy life they already have a prominent record. With their (inter)national Ace bird 'Olympic Aurea' and super pigeon 'Smart Lady' they can be called a very successful marathon loft. Time to meet these 'Champions in the order of Baarle-Nassau'.

The Aarts family have a busy life with their same-named video and audio business. Luckily their house and of course corresponding beautiful loft is situated next to the business. The 11 metre loft faces south east and is already housing Olympiad pigeons and National Ace birds (Marathon), coached by the Comb. Aarts. We don’t want to spare you the details of these champions and their training. What were the achievements over the last few years and how did they achieve them? 

John and his wife Anja live in Baarle-Nassau and have 20 breeding couples and 75 racing pigeons. All these racing pigeons, which are made up for 75% from yearlings, are raced with a nest. There is no breeding done from the racers. The breeders breed around 75 youngsters (minus annual purchases from Gebr. Simons from Ransdaal, NL) are coupled according to 'good x good'. Hereby they like to see a clear balance between the partners (have to compensate/improve each other). They are first put together at the end of November. Notable is that Comb.Aarts are busy creating a modern 'Marathon-pigeon', and not inadvertently. They occasionally cross the better extreme middle distance with the real overnighters. Although there is much speculation over such 'breeding methods', they have produced a few really good birds from this compensation breeding. Now behind many a 'Aarts-pigeon' there is a subtle touch of extreme middle distance.

The Combination keeps to a nice and successful system, they separate the racing pigeons in February. They do this relatively later with the idea that they (the pigeons from John and Anja self) are then less stressed, and peace is created in the loft. From the first race all the pigoens are basketted in double widowhood. The pigeons are coupled in such a way that they are brooding on 10 day eggs around the 1st overnight race.

What is remarkable is that the Comb. Aarts profile themselves very well in not only the  Marathon, but also the races for youngsters. Remarkable in that Marathon pigeons are often late developers and you don’t expect such results from an ‘overnight loft’. In order to train the youngsters well they race all the races ( up to 2x Orleans =450km ). Partly because John knows better than anybody that overnight pigeons are late developers, he also buys 10 youngsters from Gebr. Simons from Ransdaal (NL) every year. In this way he hopes to manoeuvre himself between the champions, and he is doing well! One of the youngsters he bought raced a 2nd NPO Orleans against 10.617p ( = 1st S-NPO against 2.530 pigeons) and goes through life as 'Blue Rain'. 

All the youngsters which remain have earned a chance and are then kept so that they can shine as yearlings. This system has many advantages, and one of them is (according to John) that the youngsters are tested thoroughly. This means that the toppers are separated from the toilers at an early stage by their quality and this produces good breeding couples sooner. This in contrast to many overnight fanciers who introduce their pigeons to the real races in steps of 2 or 3 years.

As yearlings, the pigeons are raced twice in an overnight race and must win a minimum of 1 prize. The following year they are given 3 shorter overnight races (!). Shorter overnight races means up to 850 kilometer and the combination once again like to see that they race a minimum prize. 3 year old pigeons and older are given 2 0r 3 marathon races every year. 

Comb. Aarts from Baarle- Nassau have been particularly successful with the above system. Within 2 years of the successes of 'Olympic Area' they have another real international classy bird in the lofts with 'Smart Lady'. 'Smart Lady' won 2x gold in the two most important  National Ace bird competitions Wie Heeft Ze Beter (WHZB)  and The Best of the Best (TBOTB). 'Smart Lady' is then rightly a real standard bearer for the Dutch pigeon sport. 

'Smart Lady' NL09-3931389

1st National Ace bird Marathon   (>750Km) W.H.Z.B. 2011
1st National Ace bird Marathon   (>750Km) The Best of the Best 2011
1st Provincial Ace bird Marathon (>750Km) 2011
2nd National Ace bird Extreme Middle Distance    (>500Km) West Europeand Counties Cup (W.E.N.C.) 2011
Bordeaux   1/ 92  = NPO  7/3855
Cahors     1/155  = NPO 14/4939
Bergerac   1/ 85  = NPO 14/4133 

With this she is also a magnificent result of the fine breeding work of Comb. Aarts as she is also 12,5% extreme middle distance blood. 

 'Olympic Aurea' NL05-0566121  

3rd National      Olympiad bird Cat. Marathon Dortmund '09
9th International Olympiad bird Cat. Marathon Dortmund '09
Tarbes      NAT    8/10.606 pigeons
St. Vincent NPO   25/ 5.201 pigeons
Tarbes      NPO   43/ 4.895 pigeons
Pommeroeul        51/ 7.635 pigeons 

This super pigeon also reflects the top quality which can be found in Baarle-Nassau by John and Anja Aarts. Not only in the overnight but also in the Sprint race Pommeroeul. Also remarkable is the fact that in 2009 this pigeon classified for the Olympiad Dortmund, 2 years later they once again have a top pigeon in 'Smart Lady', not of course forgetting 'Blue Rain'. Our compliments to this very attentive and sporting combination, which classes itself between the champions every year. It seems this year not to be a question of 'if' but 'when' they mercilessly strike again in the Marathon or races for youngsters. We which them a successful and nice racing season.