Rik Hermans, Pulle wins 1° National Bourges 24,651 o.b. with his Olympiad pigeon ‘Cow Girl’!

With the favourable SW-wind, Bourges was an especially ‘fast race’ for the pigeons… not only qua speed, but also qua duration… and with a generally known winner by the old birds, namely Rik Hermans… son of Jan, the publisher of sport magazine ‘De Duif’!

The Hermans family… with father Jan and son Rik… have already written quite some history in the pigeon sport, at all levels.  Last year national champion KBDB youngsters together with their good friend Dirk Leekens, under the name Leekens-Hermans… and with son Rik they proudly stood at the Olympiad in Poznan with the ‘Olympiad pigeon’ Cat G (yearlings) with ‘Cow Girl’! And it is now this wonder hen which brought the ‘national victory’ from Bourges to Pulle last Saturday, in the lofts from Rik! 

From Holland to Belgium 

But we have in fact started here with the apotheosis of the story without mentioning the history. As son of a pigeon celebrity so as Jan Hermans, it seems nothing but logical that Rik Hermans would also become passionate about the pigeon sport… because as a youngster he often lent a helping hand by the many auctions which father Jan organised… and so Rik not only came into contact with pigeon fanciers, but he was also infected with the pigeon virus! It must have been around 1995 when he took his first steps as an ‘independent pigeon fancier’!

He didn’t have to wait long for success as his ‘Fenomeentje’ was flagged in 1997 as 1° Nat. Ace pigeon youngsters from the Netherlands, which opened the series of successes which were to follow. After Rik had bred a few youngsters from this hen, she moved to China. A pity really when you see the magnificent descendants that this ‘classy lady’ has produced! The ‘Fenomeentje’, coupled with the ‘Dure’ (Andre Roodhooft) produced ‘Laat Fenomeentje’ which coupled with the ’03 Claessens’ became mother of the 2° + 6° National Ace pigeon Youngsters ‘99.

On Dutch soil the Rik Hermans-successes just kept rolling out of the closet. In the meantime Rik had met his wife Cindy and a house was bought on Belgian soil, namely in Pulle, the region of Zandhoven-Grobbendonk, made world famous at pigeon level by clappers so as Gebr Van Laer, Dirk Van Dyck, Johan Donckers etc … where Rik and his family took root in 2005, and where Rik started in 2006 with a 2° round of youngsters originating from Miel Van den Branden, where the majority of the breeding pigeons are housed. Over just a handful of years (2006-2011) Rik Hermans grew from being the ‘coming man’ to the absolute ‘trendsetter’, in other words ‘top star’ up to the national ‘grand middle distance’… with, after the ‘Olympiad’ in Poznan 2011, the brand new ‘national victory’ from Bourges as absolute icing on the cake!

The first season with the youngsters in 2006 was already a first indicator with pigeons in the national ‘top 100’ in 3 of the 4 national races. But Rik wanted more… he also wanted to measure himself with the old birds against the national tenors of our sport… so more lofts had to be built. The loft for the old birds was a kind of replica of the loft from grandmaster Kees Bosua from Dordrecht, and the same loft builders (Jan & Leen Bravenboer) who erected the lofts in Dordrecht, also finished the job in Pulle. Rik had the enough room for 20 racing couples which were raced with the principles of ‘total widowhood’. There were further 80 youngsters bred, the majority originating from Miel Van den Branden, the rest from father Jan .

Rik, a real ‘player’ 

Rik’s great passion is racing with the pigeons, and Miel is more of a passionate ‘breeder’… the 2 pass together perfectly! The loft where the pigeons are raced in ‘total widowhood’ has 2 compartments… 1 for the cocks and a resting loft for the hens (with triangles and sloping ‘springing’ lattice on the walls of the loft… with the ‘magic balls’ from Rik in the centre). In the Hermans household the sport season for the old birds begins in April and ends with the Argenton in the middle of August. The racing pigeons then normally breed a round of ‘lates’, and once they move out of the loft the old pigeons are moved to the loft for the youngsters, which also has an aviary at the front. They are no longer let out, and can peacefully change their feathers whilst enjoying the autumn sun, oxygen and rest in the open aviary! They are not let out again until the end of February for the daily training and so do not take part in winter breeding. At the end of March they are coupled again and directly start training (it is sometimes even earlier, if the weather is ‘good’). After brooding for 5 days the widowhood begins. Up until the middle of April they only train once a day, from then on they train twice a day until the national Bourges at the end of May. Then normally it is once again once a day, as they are basketted almost weekly for a 400-500 Km race so this is more than sufficient. For the shorter races they don’t get together with their partners before being basketted… this ritual changes with the middle distance in sight, from the non he means business! They remain together for a few hours by the homecoming… for the middle distance until the evening, and after quite a tough extreme middle distance it can even be until the Sunday morning!

Rik is a real Versele-Laga fan, especially the ‘Plus’ mixture… his pigeons are given hardly anything else than the mixtures from this firm. By the homecoming it is plenty of ‘Champion Plus’ with ‘electrolytes’ (Recuplex) in the drinking water. On Sunday they receive a rationed lighter mixture ‘Gerry Plus’ supplemented with vitamins, brewer’s yeast and sheep fat. On Monday and Tuesday ‘Gerry Plus’ is on the menu, but now as much as they want… after 15 minutes any remains are removed.  On Tuesday evening (by basketting on Thursday) half ‘Champion Plus’ is added, just as on Wednesday morning. From Wednesday evening on it is 50% Champion Plus + 50% Energy Plus. The last 2 days for a grand middle distance race there is extra Dextrotonic in the water. Some nibbling seeds, fresh grit and vitermineral every day… and with this they have to be ready for the following mission!

After the provincial Orleans (at the middle of July… 2 weeks before Bourges) the couples stay together. After 2 to 3 days a first egg is placed under the pigeons (which 90% of the couples accept), although the majority of the ladies lay their eggs themselves! These remain home during the weekend, whilst the cocks complete a sprint or small middle distance race. A weekend later they all race Bourges National II. Another week later they once again have a sprint or small middle distance race, then when they return home they are given a grain youngster…  which is then a great motivation for their last race of the season from Argenton (at the middle of August). During this nest period the pigeons are taken by car to train (40 to even 80 Km) to sharpen the motivation for the nest!

The youngsters are divided between 2 lofts and are darkened from the 1st of April until the longest day on the 21st of June (from 17h30 to 8h30)… extra light is no longer necessary says Rik, because by Gueret they have hardly let go of 2 to 3 feathers. If they are healthy then they start training at the end of May….and that is quite intense, up to 10 times with his own car (up to the region around Vilvoorde). This is followed by Quiévrain twice and 2 x Noyon, then middle distance, the following week Noyon or Orleans (depending on the weather), once again middle distance… and then the 4 nationals for the youngsters! 3 weeks before Bourges they are separated and race with the sliding door. They are not brought together before being basketted for an extra (midweek) race. For a national race they stay together after a ‘training race’ from Wednesday to Thursday afternoon, then they are separated and after they have rested they can eat and drink as much as they like before being basketted! The diet is almost identical to that of the old birds! But their lofts… I hardly ever clean them, says Rik! There is plenty of straw on the floor, the droppings are removed from their sitting planks once in a while.

Rik adds that the medical picture is in the hands of Rob Hoekstra. During the season there is a check-up every two weeks… something is only given on the advice of Rob, this is usually restricted to 2 cures for ‘tricho’ and the ‘heads’ yearly! This is usually in the form of a ‘pill’, as this contains the right dose per pigeon! The only preventive cure is that against paratyphoid every two years in October, but he doesn’t vaccinate! 


‘Cow Girl’ now also wins 1° Nat Bourges 

Last year Rik Hermans won the ‘Olympiad pigeon’ Cat. G (yearlings) for our country in Poznan with his ‘Cow Girl’. Now… most of us wouldn’t even dare to basket such a pigeon again, but keep it home to breed… or even sell it for a heap of euros to the Far East. It typifies and illustrates the philosophy of Rik Hermans as a real ‘pigeon racer’… that he kept his ‘Cow Girl’ in the racing team, which has now given him national victory from Bourges. This ‘Cow Girl’ was the fastest by the old birds against 24.651 pigeons, clocked at 12h55’ 43” from a distance of 487,486 Km, which gave 1568,91 m/min… with a very short lead (read: 5 or 6 seconds) on the 2° prize national which went to the ‘King of Antwerp Union’ Andre Roodhooft in Pulderbos (1568,48 m/min)! In places 3 and 4 we find Johan Bleyen from Lommel, and Bart Van Oeckel from Oud-Turnhout completes the  national ‘top 5’!

All attention is paid then to the ‘Cow Girl’ from Rik Hermans, which has already put together the following honours list: 

-‘Cow Girl’ B09-6323201


1° Olympiad pigeon Belgium Cat. G Poznan 2011
2° Belgian Ace pigeon middle distance Europa cup  2010
 1. Prov Argenton          990 p.
 2. Nat Zone B Argenton  2.567 p.
 8. Nat Argenton         7.358 p.
68. Nat Bourges         17.138 p.
 4. Melun                2.265 p.
 4. Dourdan-Angerville   2.369 p.
 7. Dourdan-Angerville   2.356 p.
 9. Argenton               289 p.
65. Prov Argenton        2.118 p.
19. Chateauroux            512 p.
28. Bourges                319 p.
33. Intprov Bourges      1.143 p.
486 Nat Bourges         37.357 p
 In 2011 :
 1. Nat. Bourges        24.651 p.
391 Dourdan              1.258 p.
78. Dourdan              2.231 p.
24. Melun                2.402 p.
383 Noyon                1.170 p.
46. Noyon                1.250 p.  

That she was especially motivated through her cock… and vice versa, was more than clear from the performance that this couple laid down, as the 2° pigeon from Bourges was the cock from ‘Cow Girl’, namely 

- "Giovanni"  B09-6323310

  9. Nat. Bourges       24.651 p.
148. Nat. Chateauroux   22.718 p.
221. Nat. Argenton      19.816 p.
176. Prov. Bourges       1.822 p.
388. Prov. Bourges       3.193 p.
12.  Quievrain           1.918 p. (1° club)
23.  Melun               2.265 p.
62.  Melun               2.402 p.
63.  Dourdan             1.258 p.
107. Noyon               1.170 p.
195. Dourdan             2.231 p.
244. Dourdan             2.369 p.
272. Dourdan             2.356 p 


Won 3 prizes in 3 national races as a youngster! He is a son of the stock couple “Jaarling” x “Janssen”! The 3rd pigeon (12e Nat.) is also a granddaughter  "Jaarling" x "Janssen".

In addition to his national victory, Rik Hermans also achieved a banging performance from this Bourges :

Bourges Prov  3.761 p. 1-7-9-129-251-380-516-979 (8/10)
        Nat  24.651 p. 1-9-12... (preliminary prognosis 

With this Rik is the first fancier with 3 pigeons in the national result !

Bourges YL Prov 4.216 YL 131-140-168-198-258-279-288-365-373-576-
606-625-814-979-308-367 (16/24)

With Rik Hermans, someone from the ‘younger generation’ in our pigeon guild achieved this national victory from Bourges. Call it a ‘youthful vision’ or ‘youthful enthusiasm’ coupled with ‘good pigeons’… which has led to national success! For which a big fat ‘congratulations’ !


Performances 2011 from the Rik Hermans colony 

Preparatory SPRINT RACES :

Old birds :
24/4 Noyon (218 km.)1250 p.:13-29-46-97-116-166 etc.(8/11)
01/5 Noyon          1170 p.: 37-107 etc.(8/11)
Yearlings :
24/4 Noyon (218 km.)1839 p.: 7-22-24-26-55-104-105-108-114-145-
   166-181 etc.(19/27)
01/5 Noyon          1841 p.: 17-31-72-108-112-117-134 etc.(14/27) 


Old birds :
07/5 Melun (318 km.)  2402 p.:24-29-73-62-78 etc.(10/10)
14/5 Dourdan (376 km.)2231 p.: 10-17-74-78-168-195 etc.(9/10)
21/5 Dourdan (376 km.)1258 p.: 28-43-63-70 etc.    (8/10)
28/5 Bourges  KFc      619 p.: 1-3-4-21-35-52 etc. (8/10)
      (487 Km)Prov.   3761 p.: 1-7-9-129-251 etc. (8/10) )

Prize percentage :

1 :  3  : 35/40 = 87,50 % 
1 : 10  : 22/40 = 55,00 % 
yearlings :
07/5 Melun (318 km.)   3004 p.: 18-19-55-67-108-165-190-193-253-260 etc.   (19/26)
14/5 Dourdan (376 km.) 2974 p.: 1-29-36-61-108-166-207-213-271(16/25)
(fastest Union-ZAV 5205 p.)
21/5 Dourdan (376 km.) 2216 p.: 43-45-54-77-81-180 etc.(17/24)
28/5 Bourges KFC        669 p.: 14-16-18-22-33-35-37-41-48…(17/24)
             Prov.     4216 p.: 131-140-168-198-258-279-288-332-373 etc. (16/24) 4)

Prize percentage 

1 :  3  : 69/99 = 69,69 % 
1 : 10  : 35/99 = 35,35 % 



Proficiat Rik!

Subliem goeie duiven dito liefhebber!



Nogmaals van harte met deze overwinning !! Op naar de volgende zullen we maar zeggen Laughing Wink

Gr. Frederik


Voor zo een duif kan men alleen maar bewondering hebben.

Vriendelijke groeten,



Geweldige prestatie op je toch al super palmares!!!

Groeten Johan Huybregts Hoogstraten

Wij sluiten ons volledig bij de felicitaties aan en we denken op de juiste plaats dit jaar versterking te hebben gehaald uit die toppers daar!

Nogmaals een dikke proficiat Rik!

proficiat rik

congradulations Rik, nice way to start the season with a national win..cowgirl is an outstanding hen. good luck for the rest of the year,hope u keep winning'' cheers''

Hallo Rik,

van harte gefeliciteerd met je nationale overwinning met deze wonderfee,


Huub Hermans, Born

Proficiat met de Nationale overwinning Very Happy