Most fanciers will be familiar with the impressive palmares of Theo Lehnen in the past 20 years. The name of the grandmaster from Nettetal has appeared in numerous editions of the “Die Brieftaube” magazine, especially in the championship results of the past 20 to 25 years. We can say that the Lehnen pigeons have been achieving impressive results for several decades.
Theo Lehnen, a doer
He has been a doer for more than 25 years, and he is quite an exceptional fancier in the German competition. He developed a fascination with pigeons at a very early age. When a new warehouse was constructed in the 1970s, he started to make plans for an impressive new pigeon loft, which he installed in the top floor of this warehouse. He obtained his first real top class pigeons in the 1970s and they came from the loft of the world famous Jos van Limpt from Reusel (BE), also known as De Klak. He also purchased pigeons from the Janssen brothers.
Theo Lehnen started to become quite successful in his club and in the 10th district of Germany. He paid a visit to Günter Prange from Meppen for the first time in 1997, and this is when the first Prange pigeons were introduced in his loft in Nettetal. Many more Prange pigeons were to be added in the following seasons. Theo is not the only fancier in Germany or abroad who knows about the exceptional qualities of the Prange pigeon breed. He obtained six youngsters from the now legendary Ringlosen, as well as several youngsters of the equally successful 330, which are now the basis of Theo’s breeding loft.
2009 saw the introduction of the first Leo Heremans pigeons, including youngsters of super quality breeders Olympiade 03 and Jan. A daughter of the world famous Kannibaal of Dirk Van Dyck was added to his collection as well, and she has been breeding excellent descendants. In addition, youngsters of Fieneke 5000 of Flor Vervoort were also introduced, and they have both played an important role in Theo's team of breeders. We should not forget the pigeons of Paul Huls either, from whom Theo obtained five pigeons at his total auction.
The best racing birds are generally bred from crossings, and this is also the case for most of Theo Lehnen's racing pigeons. His first rounds are usually bred from crossings; only his later rounds originate directly from his successful bloodlines. Part of his racing team is then transferred to his breeding team later on.
The very best pigeons of his loft are paired, but it is sometimes hard to tell which ones are the best. For one, all Theo Lehnen pigeons can fly really fast, and their excellent orientation skills make them first class racing birds.
Theo Lehnen and his loft caretaker Walter Franke
We illustrate the breeding strategy of Theo Lehnen with one example. The 03902-11-269 is one of the stars of this loft, winning for instance a 5th prize in the ace cock championships 2012 in the union, gaining 982.87 points as a one year old! This was quite an achievement. In addition, he won a first prize against 4,500 pigeons in the final race from Wels over 661km. Nine of his ten results for the ace pigeon championship were won in the union against about 120 fanciers, which is quite a lot.
DV 03902-11-269, the best one year old cock of Germany in 2012
This pigeon has excellent origins which also illustrate the breeding strategy of Theo Lehnen, who breeds the majority of his racing birds by crossing different bloodlines. We take a closer look at the origins of the “269”: his sire is the B 08-6374099, a cock of Leo Heremans bred from Jan B-02-6113220 paired to Golden Teresa B 02-6503556 of Dirk Van Dyck. According to Leo Heremans, his B 08- 6374099 (bred from Jan) is a truly unique pigeon – he has never seen a pigeon like that before.
The dam of Theo Lehnen’s 269 is the 02098-05-849, an original Prange hen and daughter of the legendary Ringlose. We think this tells the whole story of Theo Lehnen’s breeding strategy: he breeds from the very best pigeons, and this pigeon auction includes some of his very best breeders.
Why do fanciers decide to auction part of their collection? For Theo Lehnen, the reason is simple: the successful fancier is approaching the age of 80, and he has been having a few health issues. Besides, his caretaker and loft partner has decided to take a step back as well. The auctioning of his collection of breeding pigeons was a logical decision. A total of 56 breeders will be sold, some of which are quite special. This breed has shown to pass on its qualities to future generations, which you can tell from the descendants themselves. Besides the top quality racing birds that have made it to the breeders’ team, the original top class breeders from Belgium and The Netherlands are worth a closer look as well: this auction includes 13 original Günter Prange pigeons, 8 original Leo Heremans pigeons, 4 original Gaby Vandenabeele pigeons and 3 original De Rauw-Sablon pigeons of Marcel Aelbrecht, as well as a number of original pigeons of the Janssen brothers.
We take a closer look at this impressive collection:
The 13 original Günter Prange pigeons are obviously the highlight of this collection! Günter is without doubt one of the most famous and most successful fanciers in Germany. Every fancier would like to get his hands on a descendant of his Ringlose, his Koopman NL 94-2227959, or his 02098-97-330, winner of no less than eight first prizes. Several more Prange pigeons can be found in this loft, and this auction is a unique opportunity to obtain direct descendants of these super class pigeons. For instance, we have 3 youngsters of the amazing Ringlose for sale!
Also included in this auction are 8 original Leo Heremans pigeons, two of which are youngsters of Olympiade 03. It would be hard to find something better than these super class pigeons.
Then we have the four original Gaby Vandenabeele pigeons, with two youngsters of Rudi and two youngsters of Playboy Wittenbuik. This is quite a sensational offer. In the end of January/early February Bert Vanden Berghe from Wontergem sold his old birds on PIPA. Bert had won the 1st national Agen 2013 against 5,507 old birds with his Fyther B 11-4291405, an original Gaby Vandenabeele that was bred in Dentergem. Shortly before his auction, Bert had published an impressive catalogue, which included all references of Gaby Vandenabeele pigeons. It appeared that no less than 13 national winners of 2013 originated from Vandenabeele. This is quite spectacular.
His auction was a great success. 45 original Vandenabeele pigeons were offered for sale, as well as 157 pigeons that were partly related to this breed. The original Vandenabeele birds raised about 342,000€; the other pigeons were sold for a total of no more than 152,000€. His national winner was sold for about 49,000€.
Gaby Vandenabeele himself won a first national from tulle on 1 August with his New Bliksem, a son of the outstanding breeding pigeon Rudy. Rudy is a new star in the breeding loft, and every fancier would like to have one of his descendants. This new star is related to Kleinen, Wittenbuik and Bliksem.
We also offer you an original Bak 17 De Rauw-Sablon of Marcel Aelbrecht. We think Bak 17 needs no introduction.
An original Janssen pigeon will be offered for sale as well. His ring number is B 08-6336876 and he originates from the best Janssen bloodlines, which are hard to find nowadays.
To conclude, Theo also auctions his 269 (the best one year old of Germany 2012) and the 249 (second best one year old hen of Germany 2012).
DV 03902-11-249, the second best one year old hen of Germany in 2012
It does not happen very often that fanciers have a chance to obtain such impressive bloodlines. This is without doubt a sensational auction!