Alfond and Helmut Klaas
The Klaas family
We will briefly discuss the history behind the pigeon loft of Helmut & Alfons Klaas, for those that have never heard of them. This combination consists of Helmut Klaas (76) and his son Alfons (49). The two fanciers have competed in the races of their club RV Rietberg and the region for years, and you can tell from their palmares that they have been quite successful. Helmut has been a fancier for quite some time now. It was in 1972 when the then seven year old Alfons started keeping pigeons as well, and this was the starting point of the Helmut & Alfons Klaas pigeon loft. Over the years Helmut’s son Alfons has become the decision maker in this loft. They continue to compete in the races of the club, where they have been winning top prizes regularly. In 2014 they were first champion in the union and first champion in RV Rietberg, while winning a 1st, 5th, 7th, 9th and 10th best hen in the union as well. In addition, they were 1st champion young birds in the union, as well as 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th best young bird. They manage to add several first prizes to their palmares every season; they have won no less than 27 first prizes in the club over the past four years. It appears that these races at club level offer perfect preparation for the One Loft Races.
An international reputation
Helmut & Alfons Klaas became world famous with their results in the One Loft Races or the Tribünenflügen, as they call them in Germany. They achieved this with a limited number of pigeons, especially compared to pigeon fanciers that would sometimes basket 100 or more pigeons simply to gain a reputation. The pigeons of Klaas have won the South African Million Dollar Race, the world’s biggest One Loft Race, two times already, which is quite spectacular. We wanted to know why the Klaas pigeon breed has been so successful in these races. Are these pigeons so much stronger compared to their opponents? How can we explain the superiority of this pigeon family? They obviously have what it takes to win prizes, and they can quickly adapt to a new environment as well. We are convinced that the Klaas pigeons have the potential to take another win in the South African Million Dollar Race. The reason is that we think their ability to adapt to a different environment is an innate quality; they do not need a lot of time to adapt. Many pigeon breeds find it particularly difficult to adapt if they adapt at all, and these pigeons are obviously not suited for One Loft Races, as they are likely to get lost in their very first training flights. An additional quality of the Klaas pigeons is the ability to quickly find their way home and to fly at high speeds, which they have demonstrated repeatedly in their club. These pigeons are true prize winners.
From past to present
We take a look back in time, back to their first important victory, which was a springboard for a highly successful career for Helmut and Alfons Klaas.
1. They take the first prize in the 11th South African Million Dollar Race 2007 with Konstantin 0507-06-860, which was bred from the breeding pair 0507-03-994 and 0507-96-660. His sire 994 is a son of this loft’s ace pigeon 0507-97-180 x 0507-01-123, originating from Steenbergen-Kösters. The 180 won 12 prizes in 13 races or 1,070 ace points in 1999, and several of his grandchildren have achieved great results. The dam of the 660 originates from stock breeder Tim x breeding dam Konstance. This was the team’s first major victory. They won an impressive 200,000 US$ worth of prize money.
2. The next important victory came in 2011 at the 15th South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race, where the Kitchenbrand lofts claimed victory with Viktor, a pigeon bred by Helmut & Alfons Klaas. The pigeons were released on 22 January 2011 at 7:35 am in Hopetown, for a race over 526km with a slight headwind and a temperature of 22°C. The first pigeon arrived back in the loft after nine hours: Viktor was clocked at 16:37’03”, taking home the win. Helmut and Alfons Klaas were the breeders of this pigeon, which was now raced by Kitchenbrand loft. The 200,000 US$ was shared between the two lofts. An additional three pigeons of Helmut and Alfons Klaas have been able to win a prize in this race.
The sire of Viktor is Contador 0507-03-577, the dam is Naomie 0507-08-980. Contador originates from Pantani 0507-95-511, which was bred from stock breeders Tim x Konstance. Naomie, the dam of Viktor, originates from a half brother of Konstantin, paired to Juwelchen 01769-07-100, a hen of Andreas and Walter Drapa from Carl x Daughter Maya. This is quite an impressive pedigree.
These victories illustrate the quality of the Klaas pigeon breed. It is worth noting that all pigeons originate from excellent bloodlines, and are often bred from closely related parents. Helmut and Alfons have always been working with their own pigeon breed, which they created in 1987/1988, and which they further developed with great care and consideration, introducting top quality pigeons regularly. This pigeon breed is quite unparalleled in our sport, and they are exceptionally successful in One Loft Races worldwide.
What are today’s ambitions? Quite a few important races have already been won but there are still several international races that they would like to add to their palmares. Still, fanciers continue to win prizes with descendants of Helmut and Alfons Klaas. We give you an overview of their most important achievements:
Alfons Klaas heads the list of „FCI Racing Pigeons Grandprix“ after 19 races in 2014.
A pigeon bred from 715 x 730, which were both sold in a Klaas auction on PIPA, managed to win a first prize in the 1st Hot Spot in Worlace (America) on 11 November 2014.
The Sandstorm Brothers from Minnesota have won a total of 21,000$ worth of prize money in different One Loft Races in 2013 alone, all with pigeons of Klaas.
Elton Dinga Wonderlofts from the USA have won the following results with pigeons of Klaas:
1./403 p. World Ace Challenge 2013, 350 miles - 100% Alfons Klaas 2./600 p. World Ace Challenge 2013, 250 miles - 50% Alfons Klaas 1./539 p. Sierra Ranch Classic 2013, 195 miles - 100% Alfons Klaas 1./573 p. Sierra Ranch Classic 2013, 170 miles - 100% Alfons Klaas
Ken Easley from New Mexico is the owner of Konbird DV 0507-10-949, which is also an original Alfons Klaas. This Konbird was paired to different hens and has bred several first prize winners and ace pigeons.
You can say that the list of successful Klaas based pigeons goes on and on. If you would like to know more about this breed, it is perhaps a good idea to contact Alfons Klaas directly.
This is an overview of the best results of Helmut and Alfons Klaas in the One Loft Races:
1st prize Final CARNIVAL CITY OLR 2014 1st prize Final DERBY ARONA Teneriffa 2013 1st prize Final SUN CITY 2,402 pigeons 1st prize WORLD ACE CHALLENGE in den USA 2007 1st prize Hot Spot 1 Teneriffa 2008 1st prize Hot Spot China 1,432 pigeons 300 km 2009 2 x 1st prize One Loft Race Tribünenflüge Germany 2010 1st prize Final SUN CITY (Kitchenbrand Loft) 2011 3rd prize Final SUN CITY (Team Esser-Klaas) 2012 1st prize Grand Average (Team Esser-Klaas) 2012 1st prize Final ALLFLIGHT 521 km 2012 1st Ace Pigeon Hot Spot ALLFLIGHT 2012 3rd, 5th, 7th prize 2nd Hot Spot Teneriffa 2008 7th, 11th prize Semi Final Teneriffa 2009 5th Prize 2nd Hot Spot Teneriffa 2009