We were told that he needed a wheelchair to move around but we can assure you that this is not quite the case. We couldn't be happier when we saw that it was Dirk himself who opened the door for us. As you can tell from the pictures, he can wander around the garden without a problem, and just as importantly, he can still get his work done in the pigeon loft.
From left to right: Heiko, Dirk and Heinz-Josef Freialdenhofen
A visit to the Freialdenhofen family at the end of the racing season: it has become an annual tradition for us. As always, we were curious about the achievements of super class breeder Forrest Gump and his sons and daughters. As you know, the 2016 racing season has been quite a difficult one, with difficult weather conditions and hard winds. Some races had an entirely unpredictable outcome, and many flights were postponed due to the weather. The 2016 season has now come to an end, and preparations are under way for 2017. The Freialdenhofen family celebrated a national first prize from Perpignan this year.
International Gouden Duif long distance competition
But first we would like to talk about one particular achievement at international level in 2015:
Freialdenhofen & Sons won the international competition for the title of Golden Pigeon extreme long distance 2015.
The international long distance competition of the Belgian "De Duif" magazine takes place over races of 700km and longer, with at least 500 pigeons competing. Your three best results are taken into account, and your first nominated and first clocked pigeon of the first six nominated are taken into account. It was the team of Freialdenhofen & Son that claimed victory in this competition with an overall coefficient of 3.45, finishing ahead of Cees Nijdeken from Rijssen (NL) with a 3.73 coefficient and the Belgian combination of Marc Pollin & Geert Jabbeke (a 4.83 coefficient).
Freialdenhoven & Sons won the competition with the following prizes: 26.06.2015 Agen 1,177 p. 1st and 2nd prize Coefficient 0.25 24.07.2015 Narbonne 8,447 p. 74th and 49th prize Coefficient 1.46 31.07.2015 Perpignan 977 p. 4th and 13th prize Coefficient 1.74 Overall coefficient 3.45
This was another great achievement of 2015!
Some of their best results of 2016
Pau National 1,175 p.: 110th, 144th, 230th and 234th (4/9) Agen National 1,761 p.: 56th, 59th, 93rd, 105th etc. (16/56) Barcelona National 1,278 p.: 11th, 52nd, 96th, 116th etc. (8/19) Carcassonne National 1,413 p.: 14th, 44th, 57th, 67th, 91st, 108th etc. (12/29) Perpignan National 791 p.: 1st, 9th, 21st, 37th, 42nd, 64th, 66th, 71st etc. (10/11)
The national winner from Perpignan
The 12,689 pigeons in the international race from Perpignan were released at 7:15 am on Friday the 29th of September. Dutch fancier Tekin Mevlut clocked his first two pigeons on the second day, at 5:30'58" and at 20:39'30", covering a distance of 1,139.995km, and winning a 1st and 2nd international. Racing bird Perpignan King (06348-14-949) of Freialdenhofen & Sons arrived home already on the first day at 20:39'30", after covering 957.841km. It resulted in a national first prize in Germany and a 20th international against 12,689 pigeons. Perpignan King had won a 47th national from Marseille against 1,290 pigeons earlier on as well.
The sire of Perpignan King is Barcelona King 06348-05-600, an outstanding racing bird and winner of many top results from Barcelona. He was 1st National Primus Inter Pares from 2007 to 2011, and 5th international Primus Inter Pares from 2007 tot 2011. And he won the title of 1st national Ace Pigeon Barcelona from 2007 to 2011 as well. He originates from a son of the famous Marseille Star 06348-02-432 paired to First Lady 06348-02-400, winner of a 1st international Bordeaux 2003 against 1,785 pigeons.
The dam of Barcelona King is a grandchild of Joop of the Saya brothers. The sire of this grandchild of Joop is in fact a half brother of the outstanding breeder Forrest Gump.
The dam of Perpignan King is a relatively young breeder but she does have quite an impressive pedigree. Her ring number is 06348-12-669, and she is a daughter of the famous Marseille Star 06348-02-432. Marseille Star was paired to Birthday Lady of the Saya Brothers.
As you can tell from the pedigree of Perpignan King, the pigeons of the Freialdenhofen loft are well suited for inbreeding as well.
The legendary Forrest Gump
Inevitably we also spent some time talking about Forrest Gump. The Freialdenhofen family currently keeps 17 sons and 29 daughters of Forrest Gump in their loft. This is a remarkable number of pigeons, and it gives us an idea of the breeding value of Forrest Gump. Unfortunately he was no longer fertile this season, which is not uncommon at his age: this breeding bird was born in 2000. Even the best breeding birds cannot continue to breed youngsters for decades. We take a look back at his impressive career as a breeder.
Forrest Gump has ring number 06348-00-789, and he won a 3rd International Ace Pigeon in 2002. He has a fairly modest racing palmares compared to some of his sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, which have managed to achieve excellent results in international races across the globe.
The Freialdenhofen family was offered a lot of money to sell this invaluable breeding bird but that was never an option for them. This pigeon has developed into an exceptional breeding cock here in Aldenhoven. We picked two of his most successful descendants to discuss in detail.
One of his direct sons, the 06348-12-668, is the national winner from Perpignan in 2014. A son of Forrest Gump called Son Forrest Gump (06348-05-420) is the sire of Forrest Junior (06348-10-196), winner of a 1st International Pau 2012. Forrest Gump stems from the old Freialdenhofen basis, which comes from the Saya Brothers in The Netherlands combined with pigeons of Yves Van de Poel/Buckley (Geetbets, BE). Needless to say, the fanciers of the Freialdenhofen family know how to breed talented pigeons, and this plays an important role in their success story in the extreme long distance. If you have a pigeon with the potential of Forrest Gump or his youngsters and grandchildren in your collection, you have a promising future ahead.
Their international top results
Let's take a look at some of their most impressive results over the past 10 years:
1st International Dax Euregio 1,132 p. 1999 1st International Montelimar 979 p. 2000 1st International Bordeaux 1,785 p. 2003 1st International Marseille Euregio 1,180 p. 2004 1st International Barcelona Euregio 1,280 p. 2009 1st International Perpignan Euregio 700 p. 2010 1st International Tarbes Euregio 438 p. 2010 1st International Pau 8,399 p. 2012 1st + 2nd International Bordeaux-Agen hens 2,517 p. 2014 2nd International Bordeaux hens 1.202 p. 2008 2nd + 3rd International Bordeaux Agen YLs 8,845 p. 2014 3rd International Bordeaux 9,686 p. 2002
One section of the pigeon loft
Successes in other lofts with pigeons of Freialdenhofen & Sons 2016
Mircea Bejenaru aus Rumänien wins a 1st National from Birzai (1,041km) against 4,069 pigeons with a pigeon of Freialdenhofen.
G. Holker & Sons (Manchester, UK) wins a 1st Central Lancashire Combine from Bath (232km) against 3,326 pigeons with a 50% Freiandenhofen pigeon. The sire of this pigeon is an inbred bird to Forrest Gump.
Hitchcock Racing Pigeons (UK) wins a 1st national prize as well as a 2nd International Ace Pigeon title in the European Championship Mirca FCI 2016 with a 50% Freialdenhofen pigeon.
Remy Richard (Belgien) wins a 1st semi-national from Chalon-s-Saone against 2,490 pigeons with a 50% Freialdenhofen pigeon. This pigeon also won a 1st Interprovincial Bourges (360 km) against 870 pigeons;
Geoff and Catherine Cooper (Peasedown St. John, UK) win a 1st Open and a 1st Section NW against 2,937 pigeons from Coutances (262km) with a 50% Freialdenhofen pigeon. This pigeon is a grandchild of a 1st International Bordeaux 2011 and a 1st International Pau 2012.