Batenburg-Van de Merwe (Klaaswaal, NL) shows that the Witbuik breed has great potential in the hands of a skilled fancier

The pigeon loft of Batenburg-Van de Merwe needs no introduction of course. Hugo and Anito have managed to achieve phenomenal results in the most demanding races season after season. They have been winning an impressive number of top prizes while breeding a long list of top prize winners. Their pigeon collection is the result of a carefully planned and organised breeding plan.

Hugo & Anita are proud of their 23 year old (!) Jonge Witbuik, which
returned to Klaaswaal one more time in 2014 to have this picture taken

The aviaries in front of the loft can be seen from the kitchen window and we immediately noticed that the pigeons were in great health. We also noticed their remarkable colours. When asked about his pigeons Hugo started telling the story of his pigeon breed, in which both NL81-1533120 Witbuik and NL91-2129010 Jonge Witbuik play a key role.


Back in 1981, Hugo was racing in partnership with his father Bas and they had bred a round of young birds as they always did. That year, one of these young birds would dramatically change the careers of father and son Batenburg in a positive way. This young bird was the NL81-1533120, which was soon called Witbuik.

This outstanding racing pigeon managed to win a 14th national St. Vincent against 16,629 pigeons and an 85th national St. Vincent. In addition, he managed to win seven prizes in seven marathon races he was basketed for.

This was an impressive achievement and Bas and Hugo did not want to take any risk. Their strong racing cock with soft feathers born in 1987 was given a brooding box in the breeding loft and they have never regretted this decision. “It was a great move and it still is 30 years later”, says Hugo. Today, Witbuik is the sire and grandfather of several national winners.

Jonge Witbuik

One of his descendants was NL91-2129010 Jonge Witbuik, which is one of the most celebrated and most talented descendants of Witbuik. This Jonge Witbuik was sold in the total auction of Bas and Hugo in 1995 and he found a place in the lofts of Guus van Aken (Wijk bij Duurstede, NL) in 1997. Jonge Witbuik is now 23 years old.

Jonge Witbuik did not breed any pigeons during his first seasons in Guus’ loft. It was only in 2005, at the age of 14, that he started breeding descendants. His first few youngsters were ringed by Guus, who then brought the pigeons to Klaaswaal, where grandmaster Batenburg gave them a warm welcome. Nearly all young birds that Guus bred between 2005 and 2010 were transferred to the lofts in Klaaswaal. 2010 was actually the last season in which Jonge Witbuik bred youngsters.

Jonge Witbuik has boosted the number of top prizes and championship titles in an exceptional way.

Hugo Batenburg and Guus van Aken

Breeding super class pigeons

How does Hugo manage to breed such excellent pigeons every season? He admits this is not the result of an approach he came up with. “All the credit goes to the pigeon fanciers who have used our Wittenbuik in their own breeding loft”, he says with a smile. “They paired Wittenbuik to their own pigeons and it was then that he started breeding these successful descendants.” In 1990 the fanciers from Klaaswaal realised the potential of this pigeon and they changed their racing team around. Their proper Witbuik breed, comprising Witbuik and his son Jonge Witbuik, was paired to some of the best pigeons they could find and they were soon just as successful as the fanciers that had already bred pigeons from Witbuik. Their racing team started to become increasingly successful and it became a lot easier for them to win first prizes and championship titles. Their new breeding plan proved a great success.

Jonge Witbuik at the age of 15

In 2014

The fanciers from Batenburg have continued to apply this idea in their impressive breeding loft and they have been working to safeguard their remarkably strong and proven Witbuik bloodline. As for the racing team, they have been pairing their strongest pigeons to the best pigeons they could find in their own collection and in other lofts!

This pigeon breed should allow them to excel in the most prestigious and most demanding races for many years to come. The Batenburg pigeon family has really outclassed their opponents in recent seasons and the achievements of their outstanding pigeons over the past few years would be hard to match. Click here for an overview of all national top 10 prizes that were won by the successful Batenburg-Van de Merwe pigeon loft.


As we said, the Witbuik pigeons have been doing really well for Hugo & Anita but quite a few other fanciers have been highly successful as well thanks to the invaluable bloodline from Klaaswaal.

Anita showed us an impressive list of references. Click here for an overview of the countless Batenburg-Van de Merwe references, only including the national winners that originate from the Batenburg-Van de Merwe bloodline.


Hugo wanted to give other fanciers the chance to adopt his successful breeding approach as well, so he decided to breed a limited number of young birds strongly inbred to their stars Jonge Witbuik and Witbuik 153. Hugo has picked out the 10 most promising youngsters and they will soon be offered for sale in a special Witbuik auction on PIPA.

We took this picture of Jonge Witbuik at the age of 23 (!)