Batenburg-van de Merwe (Klaaswaal, NL) goes for gold in the Barcelona race

Hugo Batenburg has one big dream: winning a first national from Barcelona. He leaves nothing to chance in realising this dream and his wife Anita gives her full support.

Many fanciers would love to have been just as successful as Hugo was in the most appealing marathon race of the season: Barcelona. The distance from the liberation site to his loft in Klaaswaal measures 1163 km. We take you through his results in the past few years:

6th  National Barcelona  6903 p. - 18th  International  25382 p.   2013
6th  National Barcelona  7520 p. - 13th  International  25820 p.   2007
9th  National Barcelona  7046 p. - 9th   International  26044 p.   2011
13th National Barcelona  6392 p. - 39th  International  25320 p.   2012
21st National Barcelona  6903 p. - 52nd  International  25382 p.   2013

Click here for an overview of his results from 1999 to 2013.


Road to Barcelona

This is what the Batenburg system looks like: in their year of birth the pigeons are only basketed for approximately five races at the end of the season. Youngsters from all ages are placed in a single loft and they are not darkened. The remaining young birds are all allowed to stay until next season.

As yearlings the pigeons are basketed for the national race from Bergerac with midday liberation; no pigeons are removed from the team at this point either. The two-year-old pigeons are then raced from Bordeaux and Perpignan with a morning release and from now on the fancier expects them to do well. In the third year, the team is split up for the races from Pau, Marseille and Narbonne. At the age of four they are ready for the two important classic races from Barcelona and Perpignan. They are always basketed with pigeons in the nest. The preferred nest position varies from ten days of breeding to a four-day-old youngster in the nest. The pairs are basketed for the same race.

Further improvements

The success story of Hugo begins in his breeding loft, where the descendants of the legendary NL81-1533120 Witbuik are housed. This fabulous breeding pigeon has bred an outstanding group of descendants that has made Hugo very successful, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Hugo has looked to improve the Witbuik bloodline by visiting today’s most successful pigeon families. He took the bull by the horns and purchased the Dutch national winner of Barcelona 2012 and the Belgian (and international) winner of 2013 together with PIPA Elite Center.

New Witbuik

In 2012 he got his hands on the 1st National Barcelona in the Netherlands, which was won by Antoon Schults from Bruinisse. This NL09-1244606 was renamed New Witbuik, given the striking resemblance to Witbuik. Click here for the full pedigree of New Witbuik.

NL09-1244606 New witbuik, 1st National Barcelona 2012

New Laureaat

The first international prize in the very trying 2013 edition was won by Luc Wiels (Roosdaal, BE) and his BE08-2222675. This strong blue pigeon had already won an 8th national in 2011 and is winner of the Gouden Vleugel 2013. This winner was purchased by Hugo and PIPA Elite Center as well to further strengthen the Witbuik bloodline. Click here for the pedigree of New Laureaat.

BE08-2222675 New Laureaat, 1st International Barcelona 2013

Impressive list

Thanks to the purchases of these national winners Hugo currently has the following Barcelona stars in his loft in Klaaswaal:

BE08-2222675 New Laureaat  1st  National Barcelona 2013 10,685 p.
                           1st  International Barcelona 2013 25,382 p. 
                           8th  National Barcelona 2011 12,281 p.
NL09-1244606 New Witbuik   1st  National Barcelona 2012 6392 p.
                           6th  International Barcelona 2012 25,320 p.
NL02-2049323 Etterbak      1st  International Asduif Barcelona 05/06/07
                           20th National Barcelona 2006 6777 p.
                           22nd National Barcelona 2005 7491 p.
NL04-1993069 Miquel        6th  National Barcelona 2007 7525 p.
NL08-1487533 Wessel        13th National Barcelona 2012 6392 p.
NL09-1138066 Libelle       21st National Barcelona 2013 6903 p.

In addition, the NL07-1765748 Bonte Narbonne and the NL07-1765799 Maja have won the Barcelona Masters 2011 together (as 1st and 2nd nominated):

Bonte Narbonne and Maja, joint winners of the Barcelona Masters 2011

Joint breeding

The winner of the 2nd National Barcelona 2013 in Belgium and the 2nd International against 25,382 pigeons is BE11-4161717 Matador. This chequered cock was basketed by Rufin and Luc Buyl (Nieuwenhove, BE). His grandfather is NL94-1340153 Witbuik 153. Hugo has no doubt that this cock could be a great addition to his breeding loft as well. That is why it was agreed with his current owner Mr. Lin Zhan Zhi to have Matador breed a round of youngsters in Klaaswaal as well. Click here for the pedigree of Matador.

BE11-4161717 Matador 2nd International Barcelona 25,382 p.

He had already bred youngsters from New Ace, the 1st National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2012 of Wilson Dekens (Zingem, BE), in the same way.

Hugo Batenburg has the determination to win but it takes luck to beat everyone in the national from Barcelona as well. Hugo has added ten youngsters from his New Witbuik to his racing loft this season, which could significantly increase his chances of winning.