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Jan Dams (Geel, BE): a successful transition to longer distance racing after many successes in the longer middle distance

Fanciers from around the region, and his colleagues from the Molse Fondvrienden club in particular, will all agree that Ludo Dams (69) from the St. Corneliusstraat in Larum (Geel, BE) has always been a top class player.

Ludo has always been the main man in this loft, even when his son Jan took over his pigeon breed and the team name. But the Dams dynasty, better known as Dams Jan, will now come to an end due to lack of time: Ludo will be helping his son Tom, who is starting up a business as independent contractor.


Ludo continued to race under the name of his son Jan Dams, but the Dams era is now officially over.


Ludo raced under his own name initially, as Ludo Dams-Verwimp, before taking the name of his son Jan.

Years ago, Ludo announced that he would stop working in the building and transport industry by the age of 50 but his friends knew better: Ludo is a tireless worker, and he would not want to use his hands just to keep pigeons. Ludo continued to work hard, and he is now involved in his son Tom's new job as a building contractor. For several years, Ludo continued to race under the name of his son Jan, since Jan does not have enough spare time to keep pigeons: he has a demanding job at an international company called Procter & Gamble. The 'Jan Dams' pigeon racing era has now come to an end, and the lofts have been torn down.

Dams had been a household name in pigeon racing in and around Geel and Mol for many seasons, and that was not only thanks to their achievements. For decades, team Dams has been racing with a group of birds that were almost invincible in the long distance. Keep in mind that Ludo did not spend a lot of time in his pigeon lofts. Still, he was able to excel in the Molse Fondclub and the De Zuiderkempen competitions. The family has been keeping many newspaper articles about their successes, and these speak for themselves. In 2001 for instance, no less than 164 fanciers were racing in the Fondclub, and yet Jan Dams managed to become 1st General Champion. He also claimed provincial first prizes from Vierzon, Chateauroux, Argenton, Narbonne, Marseille, Gueret, Bourges, besides numerous ace pigeon titles.


One of the many ace pigeons of Jan Dams.

Ludo: "We have been racing hard in those years, and we have been highly successful with pigeons that stem from one and the same breed. My best pigeons have never failed to deliver. For instance, I was 1st Champion long distance old birds in my "De Vlugge Vlieger" union in Mol this season, and I claimed two 1st ace pigeon titles long distance old birds this year as well. Racing bird Ace 093 (BE16-6161093) claimed an ace pigeon title in the long distance in Mol, both in 2018 and 2019.”


Ace 093 (BE16-6161093)

Click here for the pedigree of 093-16

"And I'd like to give special mention to Super 666 (BE14-6036666), which finished in 40th place in the 2017 national ace pigeon ranking long distance. This pigeon had some excellent results in 2016 in the long distance as well, including a 1st ace pigeon title long distance in my union. Sadly enough I was forced to get rid of my pigeon collection, due to lack of time and because of my involvement in my son's professional activities."


Super 666 (BE14-6036666)

Click here for the pedigree of Super 666 (BE14-6036666)

Achievements

4th Champion olds extreme long distance 2018
1st Ace Pigeon extreme long distance MFC 2018 with 6161093/2016
7th National Champion long distance old birds 2019
2nd Provincial Champion olds & yearlings 2019
1st Champion extreme long distance old birds MFC 2019
1st Ace Pieon old birds extreme long distance MFC 2019 with 6161093/16
1st All – Round Pigeon MFC 2019 with 6156332/15
2nd National Zone Limoges 2019

PIPA ranking best old bird across all Belgian one day long distance races: 5 prizes in 2019:
6156332/15:  place 26
6161093/16:  place 33

A few of the titles in recent years:

2° PROVINCIAL CHAMPION OLD BIRDS LONG DISTANCE 2017
4° ACE PIGEON PROVINCIAL LONG DISTANCE OLDS 2017
1° PROVINCIAL JARNAC YLS 2017
2° GENERAL CHAMPION EXTREME LONG DISTANCE + MARATHON 2017
2° CHAMPION EXTREME LONG DISTANCE OLD BIRDS 2017
2° CHAMPION OLDS EXTREME LONG DISTANCE 2016
1° ACE PIGEON OLD BIRDS EXTREME LONG DISTANCE 2016
2° PROVINCIAL MONTELIMAR 2016
2° PROVINCIAL LIBOURNE 2016

Mario Vansaet

Ludo: “Mario Vansaet from Mol claimed a first prize in zone B in Argenton on 22th of June 2019, with a pigeon of which one of the parents comes directly from my breed: the dam is a direct Dams bird. The grandmother of this pigeon was BE13-6157085, the grandfather is 6252808."


Miss Montelimar (BE13-6157085), grandmother of the winner from Argenton of Mario Vansaet.

Click here for the pedigree of Miss Montelimar (BE13-6157085)

"I claimed a provincial first prize from Jarnac with BE16-6121021 on 15/07/2017, and this bird is a youngster of a 2nd Prov. Montellimar. You can tell that most of our successful birds are closely related."


Mr. Jarnac (BE16-6161021)

Click here for the pedigree of the provincial winner from Jarnac: BE16-6121021.

Opting for the long distance

The story behind pigeon fancier Ludo actually began in 1978, when he started keeping pigeons together with his father Fons and his father-in-law Verwimp. They did their first races with the pigeon breed of his father Fons, as well as with pigeons of Fons Helsen from Larum. Their start was not a success across the board but they really began to deliver with pigeons of Jan 't Seyen, which in turn had received a number of pigeons from Ludo as well.


Ludo Dams has always been the mastermind behind this pigeon family.

For Jan Dams's pigeon breed (Ludo) the sprint races from Quiévrain and Noyon are considered training flights. The pigeons are basketed in the Ten Aard union. Ludo had been the man to beat in the longer middle distance (see earlier for his many provincial wins), and yet the long distance was his competition of choice. Why is that? "I actually got inspired by Benny Hannes, a fancier from St.-Dympna, who now lives in Larum as well."

To conclude this report, we take a closer look at a few long distance stars:


Ace 332 (BE15-6156332)

Click here for the palmares of Ace 332.


De 781 (BE14-6228781)


The 067 (BE16-6161067)