Kees Droog (Andijk, NL) wins opening classic of international long distance competition with Queen of the Night

Kees Droog was getting a lot of attention after his national victory from Barcelona. He has now gained international prominence as well, as the winner of the first major international race of 2016 from Pau.

Kees Droog (Andijk, NL), winner of the 1st national and 1st international Pau 2016


A record number of 9932 pigeons (compared to 9062 in 2015) was released in Pau for the first international race of the 2016 season. The release was postponed for two days due to the weather conditions, and would eventually take place on Sunday 19th of June. The pigeons were released at 08:20am in a south-easterly wind. The first arrival appeared on the PIPA website shortly before 7pm, at the loft of Gerard Ledoux & Son (Rollot, FR). Their pigeon was the first to be clocked after completing 734km. As was expected, the fastest pigeons arrived home towards to westernmost part of France, Belgium, and eventually The Netherlands as well. This year's international race from Pau has a prestigious winner with Kees Doog from the Dutch town of Andijk (1127km).

A rising star

Kees Droog made history in 2015 with his national victory from Barcelona with NL07-1674252 Rosanna. Kees has been competing in the ZLU competition since 2014, and he managed to achieve some excellent results in the long distance with morning release in a very short period of time. These are his impressive national results in the ZLU:

St. Vincent  2014   1118 km     3824 p.     41-63-70-76
Marseille    2014   1072 km     4899 p.     22-57
St. Vincent  2015   1118 km     3714 p.     8-20
Perpignan    2015   1139 km     5589 p.     9-18-35-40
Pau          2015   1127 km     3433 p.     6
Barcelona    2015   1281 km     5183 p.     1-89
Pau          2016   1127 km     3784 p.     1

NL13-1112226 Queen of the Night, 1st national/1st international Pau 2016

The wing of the winning hen

Queen of the Night

Racing hen NL13-1112226, which is now called Queen of the Night, claimed the international first prize during the night, arriving home at 04:24 am. The three year old hen was raced from the nest, and she was basketed after 12 days of brooding. She had a difficult lead up to the race due to the bad weather conditions, and Kees failed to reach his objective of 1000 training kilometres. But that did not prevent her to achieve another brilliant result in Northern Holland. Kees woke up at 4 o'clock that Sunday morning, he walked outside and he was surprised when he saw one of his pigeons from Pau. He had a hard time getting his pigeon to go insde the loft but Queen of the Night was eventually clocked at 04:24'19".

Her best result so far had been a 1179th Perpignan ZLU against 5589 pigeons, and yet her victory did not really come as a surprise. Her sire NL11-1606308 Ad Rem is also the sire of NL12-1127502 Paco, which won a 6th national prize from Pau 2015 and a 47th Narbonne 2014. Ad Rem is a son of NL08-1396710 'Gouden 10' of Fre de Boer (Bovenkarspel, NL), a cock that won a 1st National Cahors and 7th National Bordeaux back in 2010. The dam of Queen of the Night is NL11-1292909, and she was bred from two pigeons of Jelle Jellema (Nijverdal, NL). She is also a granddaughter of his undisputed number one stock sire NL98-1364798 Zwart Goud. Click here for the pedigree of the winner of the race from Pau.

NL11-1606308 Ad Rem, sire of the 1st national/1st international Pau 2016

A solid breed

Kees Droog created an exceptionally strong pigeon family that is largely based on pigeons of Jan Roelofs (Alkmaar, NL), Bennie Homma (Balk, NL), Cees van der Laan (Castricum, NL) and the aforementioned Fre de Boer and Jelle Jellema. Kees has a strong racing team overall, as you can tell from his results from Pau, where eight pigeons arrived home between 07:16 and 10:47am. Several of his pigeon suppliers have been successful in the race from Pau ZLU as well. Still, Jelle was the most successful overall, winning a 5th, 6th, 87th, 112th, 116th and 200th prize. Jan Roelofs finished in 10th place, while Fre De Boer claims a 26th and 245th prize.


Kees adopts his very own training methods. He competes in the Natour races only with the first round of young birds; the second and third round are not raced or trained in their year of birth. At the age of one they compete in all races, including the first one day long distance, to prepare for Agen (ZLU).

To conclude

The ZLU long distance competition has seen an increasing number of participants, and the marathon races with a morning release are more and more popular in North Holland as well. We think is partly thanks to Kees Droog's excellent results. As you know, many fanciers dream of claiming a national first prize in one of these classics, and Kees achieved that dream in Barcelona in 2015. He did equally well in 2016 with an impressive win from Pau, and it is safe to say he will continue to surprise us this season.