Batenburg van de Merwe (Klaaswaal, NL) achieve impressive result in the international race from Narbonne 2015

The southern French city of Narbonne opened its baskets on 25 July 2015 at 8 o’clock in the morning, with a one day delay. A total of 19,912 pigeons took off for the international classic. By the end of the day, the first pigeons were clocked in Germany and the east of France, due to the north-westerly wind. However, a few more pigeons arrived home later in the evening, and over much longer distances. There was only pigeon that managed to get home before the end of the day after covering more than 950km, and it was a pigeon of Hugo and Anita Batenburg-Van De Merwe. They clocked their Carlo BE14-4216131 at 23h21’09”. This was an impressive performance and it would prove quite a successful race from Narbonne for them this season.

The friends of Hugo Batenburg and Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht

Narbonne 2015

Hugo, the grandmaster from Klaaswaal, had basketed about 75 yearlings for this tough but fair race; their task was to uphold this top loft’s reputation. Carlo BE14-4216131 arrived home on the day of the release after flying no less than 15 hours and 21 minutes straight, and quite a few other loft mates were back home early in the morning as well. The remarkably young team of racing birds found its way back home very quickly:


It resulted in the following prizes:

National ZLU against 5,338 pigeons (33 of 75 p. per four)
22 x 1:10
International yearlings against 8,447 pigeons (39 prizes with 75 p. per four)
29 x 1:10

This is quite an impressive overall result and we wanted to know the story behind it. We paid a visit to the kind fancier Hugo, and we let him talk us through the race.


The team of promising new pigeons that put in such a great performance was trained in the late season flights, which they ended with the national classic from Sens (404km). It was a difficult race but the young birds already showed to be quite talented. Hugo and Anita understood that this group of pigeons had great potential as yearlings in 2015. As a result, the one year olds were basketed for every race, up until 14 days before their first important long distance race from Cahors (873km). Cahors proved quite a difficult race, with the first pigeons achieving a velocity of just 1,000 m/min. The yearlings of Batenburg-Van de Merwe proved to be highly talented indeed; the following prizes were won in province 5 (Southern Holland) against 3,544 pigeons: 2-6-8-14-19-26-35-91-104-... 23x 1:10 (42/114).

After this first important race, they were no longer taken away with the container. Anita basketed them once for a training flight, just to keep them fit. They were then prepared for the international classic from Narbonne, which proved a highly successful race for them.

Hugo told us he does not mind to really put his pigeons to the test. He is convinced that his investments in top quality bloodlines and his joint breedings in recent years has allowed him to create a high quality pigeon family that can easily cope with the most demanding training schemes. Based on their impressive results, we tend to agree with the top class fancier from Klaaswaal.

Which pigeons have managed to achieve such great results? It would be impossible to discuss every single prize winner, so we will be focusing on the one year olds that finished in the national and international top 250 yearlings in Narbonne.

The team for Narbonne:


The pigeon that managed to get clocked on the day of the release after a 15 hour flight, winning a 10th National against 5,338 p. and a 25th international yearlings against 8,447 p. was Carlo BE BE14-4216131. His name says it all. This exceptional racing bird had already won a 278th national Cahors S2 against 5,279 p. earlier this season. He was bred by Carlo Gyselbrecht and put to the test by Hugo. This has turned out to be quite a successful pairing, since Carlo 2 (the nest brother of Carlo) was bred from the very same parents, and has won a 3rd National Cahors S2 against 5,279 p. earlier in 2015. The sire of these two super class birds is Vale Maximus BE11-4100689, the dam is Hilary BE04-4297692. In other words, he is a grandson of two outstanding racing birds: Schumacher, 2nd International Ace Pigeon Barcelona 1997-2001 and Maximus, 15th International Ace Pigeon Barcelona 2007-2009 of Frederik Leliaert. This is another example of a top quality bird bred from top quality bloodlines. Click here for the full pedigree.


Noortje NL14-1040418 was the first pigeon to arrive home the next morning. Her control ring was removed at 06:12am, resulting in a 54th National Narbonne 5,338 p., as well as a 20th national hens and a 72nd International yearlings. She feels really at home in this loft, and she showed her potential earlier this season, with a 432nd National Cahors S2 5,279 pigeons. Her pedigree reveals that she is an inbred hen to the famous Witbuik from her father’s side. Her sire is a son of Jonge Witbuik NL91-2129010, and the dam is a daughter of Etterbak (1st International Ace Pigeon Barcelona 2005-2007). Etterbak was paired to a daughter of Bonte Narbonne NL07-1765748, which has left a lasting impression in Klaaswaal, both as a racer and a breeder. Click here for the impressive pedigree of Noortje


The promising newcomer Naline BE14-4261247 was the third fastest pigeon in this team of champions. She is a perfect example of how friendships within our sport can lead to the creation of successful racing pigeons. She was clocked at 06:20 am in the race from Narbonne, resulting in a 60th National against 5,338 p., as well as a 25th National hens and an 85th International yearlings against 8,447 p. She had also won a 24th National Cahors S2 against 5,279 p. earlier this season. As we said, Naline comes from a joint breeding, and she was born in the loft of Etienne Meirlaen. Hugo and Etienne had created a number of breeding pairs, including BE11-4312932 Son Montauban (Meirlaen) x NL12-15398520 Daughter Narbonne. The later was bred from De Narbonne (1st National Narbonne 3,773 p./ 2nd International Narbonne 14,457 p.) X a daughter of Jonge Witbuik (NL91-2129010). Click here for the pedigree of Naline.


Nora was back at the loft at 6:30am, winning a 65th National Narbonne against 5,338 p., as well as a 28th National hens and a 108th International yearlings against 8,447 p. She too had managed to win an early prizes in Cahors as well, finishing in 44th place national S2 Cahors against 5,279 p. The sire of this one year old hen is none other than New Witbuik NL09-1244606 (1st National Barcelona 6,392 in 2012); the dam was purchased by Hugo at a PIPA auction, and comes from Hans-Peter Brockamp. She is a daughter of Marseille King (1st International Marseille 13,930 p.) paired to a daughter of the internationally renowned Euro Diamand (1st Olympiad Pigeon and 1st National Carcassone 2,717 p.). Click here for the pedigree of the promising Nora


Nox was 14 minutes slower than his predecessor, arriving home at 06:44am. Nonetheless, he won an 88th National against 5,338 p. /138th International yearlings against 8,447 p. Nox was bred from a joint breeding with Etienne Meirlaen, just like Nora. The difference is that Nox was born in the loft of Batenburg-Van de Merwe. The sire of Nox, the BE07-4278472 and winner of 5 consecutive top prizes from Barcelona, including a 6th National Barcelona against 12,170 p., was loaned to Hugo, and he paired him to super class hen Paula NL09-1169506 (15th National Pau against 2,707 p.) from the loft of his good friend Ad Fortuin (Strijen). Click here for the full pedigree of Nox.


Nana NL14-1040330 is a hen with a remarkably soft plumage. She arrived home just one mintue after Nox, being clocked at 6:45am. She wins a 90th National against 5,338 p. / 40th National hens and a 139th International yearlings against 8,447 p. Nanawas also basketed for Cahors, her first important classic, and she did great, winning a 387th National Cahors S2 against 5,279 p.
Nana is a granddaughter of New Ace BE10-4030190 (1st National Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB 2012) of Wilson Dekens. Hugo Batenburg and Nikolaas Gyselbrecht have made use of New Ace's breeding value just before he was transferred to the Far East. The sire of Nana NL13-1219250 is a son of this renowned New ace, paired to a daughter of the equally renowned St. Vincent Cock.

Click here for the pedigree of Nana.


The strong cock Nirvana NL14-1040476 was back at the loft of Hugo and Anita just before 7am. He was clocked at 06:57am, resulting in a 117th National against 5,338 p., as well as a 167th International yearlings 8,447 p. This was not the first important race for Nirvana, since he had already been basketed for Cahors, where he won a prize per 10: 444th National Cahors S2 against 5,279 p. Nirvanna is the only grandchild of New Lareaat (1st International Barcelona 25,382 p.) that was basketed for Narbonne. It goes without saying that this pigeon has a promising future. Click here for the pedigree of New Laureaat's grandson Nirvana.


Naomi NL14-1040349 was clocked at 07:10am. This finely plumed hen won a 117th National Narbonne 5,338 p., as well as a 63rd National hens and a 187th International yearlings. She showed to be well suited for the extreme long distance, since she did great in the race from Cahors as well: she won a 138th National Cahors S2 against 5,279 p. Unsurprisingly, this top quality hen has excellent origins. She is in fact a granddaughter of none other than Jonge Witbuik. Click here for the full pedigree of Naomi.


The strong Nero NL14-1040390 was the next pigeon to be clocked. He is a grandson of the world renowned Euro Diamond, and a half brother of top quality bird NL09-1137480 Little Diamond (1st National Ace Pigeon Perpignan 2011-2012-2013-2014-2015). Nero is likely to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors, having already won a 162nd National Narbonne 5,338 p. and a 202nd International yearlings 8,447 p. Click here for the pedigree of Nero.


Carla BE14-4216114 was born in Knesselare in the loft of Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht, just like Carlo. Carla is a granddaughter of Etterbak NL02-2049323, which won the title of 1st International Ace Pigeon Barcelona in the seasons 2005-2006-2007. Carla landed on the board at 07:20am, winning a 171st National Narbonne 5,338 p. (71st National hens), and finishing in 212th International Narbonne against 8,447 yearlings. Just like many other pigeons in the team for Narbonne, she did great in the race from Cahors as well, winning a 587th National Cahors S2 5,279 p. Click here for the pedigree of Carla.


The smart looking hen Noenke NL14-1040421 was the next in line, being clocked at 07:28am. Noenke is a full sister of Nana which we talked about earlier on. Noenke is another granddaughter of New Ace BE10-4030190 (1st National Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2012) of Wilson Dekens. The sire of Noenke is NL13-1219250 paired to a daughter of the renowned St. Vincent cock. Noenke took the following prizes in Narbonne: 206th National 5,338 p. / 84th National Hens and a 232nd International Yearlings 8,447 pClick here for the pedigree of Noenke.


Yvette NL14-1040492 is quite a talented racing bird. Yvette was born in Hugo's loft, and she is another top class bird bred from top class bloodlines. The exchange program between the renowned racing team from Klaaswaal and the top breeder from Deurle (Etienne Meirlaen) has proved a major success; Yvette is a perfect example. She won a 9th national Cahors S2 against 5,729 p. earlier this season and she played a leading role in this year's race from Narbonne as well. She has won a 233rd National Narbonne 5,338 p.a 98th National hens, and a 167th International yearlings 8,447 p. The sire of Yvette is a son of Bonte Narbonne (winner of Barcelona Masters 2011) and the dam originates from a daughter of Montali. This is quite a pedigree. Click here for the pedigree of the talented Yvette.


Nova NL14-1040397 arrived back at the loft at 7:35am, with some energy left in the tank. Nova managed to win a 238th National Narbonne 5,338 p. / 101st National Narbonne / 253rd International yearlings 8,447 p. Nova has an impressive pedigree, just like the other pigeons in this team. Her grandparents are none other than New Ace (1st National Ace Pigeon KBDB 2012) and New Witbuik (1st National Barcelona 2012). Click here for the full pedigree of Nova.


Nona BE14-4261250 was born in the loft of Etienne Meirlaen, and she is the last pigeon from the team for Narbonne 2015 worth taking a closer look at. Nona was the 14th pigeon to arrive back in Hugo's loft, which shows that team Batenburg-Van De Merwe has put in an exceptional performance indeed. Nona managed to finish in the national top 250: she won a 249th national Narbonne 5,338 p., a 106th national Hens and a 257th International yearlings 8,447 pigeons. Hugo has always set a high bar, as you can tell from the pedigree of this prize winner: her grandparents are none other than Jonge Witbuik and Monar (1st International Narbonne 12,605 p.). Click here for the pedigree of Nona.

To conclude

We hope our overview of this team of champions has given you an idea of what one of the best extreme long distance pigeon families in recent years looks like. We have briefly discussed the strongest one year olds of Hugo and Anita Van Batenburg-Van de Merwe, which are likely to play a key role in the most important national and international races in the next few seasons.

Hugo and Anita Batenburg Van De Merwe

This formation was created by the grandmaster himself, who leaves nothing to chance. The fancier from Klaaswaal will have a number of great seasons thanks to this generation of pigeons.