Hugo, Anita, Robin and Jort
How it all started...
In 1981 a dark coloured white flight cock was born in the breeding loft of the then father and son partnership of Batenburg (Klaaswaal). After a few days the cock was ringed with the now famous number 81-1533120. At that time Bas and his son Hugo had no clue as to the impact of this pigeon on their loft: that the amazing quality of this pigeon would drastically change their careers. This powerful pigeon – which was bed from the outstanding breeding pigeons Stamvader (78-322953) x the Barcelonaduivin (72-2231371) – was soon called Witbuik and this pigeon had a major influence and it significantly changed the family of pigeons in Klaaswaal.
When the Witbuik was walking around the loft Bas & Hugo used to think that he was probably too good looking to be a useful pigeon. “He won’t be a good racing pigeon”, said Bas Batenburg. It was quite the opposite. He was very successful as a racer, as winner of a 14th national St. Vincent against 16,629 pigeons, an 85th national St. Vincent and seven other top prizes in important long distance races. It appeared that Witbuik was a very talented racing bird. Later on he proved that he had some outstanding breeding qualities as well. This top class pigeon was moved to the breeding loft in 1987 and he is now father and grandfather of numerous national winners.
One of the most talented youngsters of this world famous Witbuik is the 91-2129010. He had a good plumage just like has father and he was well balanced. At the total auction of father and son Bas & Hugo by Jan Hermans (De Duif magazine) in 1995 the pigeon was sold to Co Veenendaal. When Co saw this pigeon at the total auction of Batenburg & Son he absolutely wanted to have him. So he decided to purchase him and placed the bird in his loft in Veenendaal. The 91- 2129010 was called Jonge Witbuik. Later that year Co was having a meal in the snack bar of Guus van Aken (from Wijk Bij Duurstede), who had just sold his collection of pigeons. They were talking about pigeons, as they always do. Guus had always wanted a son of Witbuik and this was a good opportunity, especially because he was impressed by the Jonge Witbuik of Co. Even though Guus no longer had pigeons he still wanted to take Jonge Witbuik to his loft in Wijk Bij Duurstede: so he decided to buy the pigeon. In the first years after the purchase he did not breed from him, simply because he was all alone in the loft. Eventually he did use Jonge Witbuik in the breeding loft and the results were amazing: it is hard to imagine the number of top class pigeons that were bred by this amazing pigeon!
Hugo Batenburg and Guus met each other after one of them had won a voucher and they decided to do a joint breeding with the Jonge Witbuik. Now a few years later Guus has become a close friend of Hugo and Anita: he joins Hugo when he has to go to an award ceremony (Hugo has to attend quite a lot of these ceremonies) and other events that are related to pigeon racing. Since 2005 all youngsters that were bred from Jonge Witbuik are moved to the fully equipped loft of Hugo and Anita. Unfortunately the Jonge Witbuik no longer breeds youngsters; the last youngster was born in 2010, when Jonge Witbuik had reached the age of 19. Hugo and Anita have hardly ever sold a youngster from this amazing bird. “It’s not easy to breed youngsters from such pigeons, so we would rather keep them to ourselves”, said Hugo, a passionate natural racer.
The last youngster of ''Jonge Witbuik'
With a well thought out system, Hugo and Anita have managed to retain the breeding qualities of these pigeons and they try to further strengthen their already excellent pigeon breed with the addition of some of the very best pigeons available. “Keeping your breed pure is easy. It is much more difficult to improve your breed”, said a motivated Hugo.
Their superior and well thought out breeding method and the way they carefully introduce new bloodlines into the superb breed of Batenburg - Van De Merwe was perfectly illustrated on 30 June 2012. That was the day when 47 talented racing birds of Hugo and Anita were released in Bordeaux at 7 o’clock in the morning. In the evening the fanciers in Boomdijk witnessed something that has possibly never happened before: one after the other, pigeons arrived at the loft. The successful fanciers from Klaaswaal have seen quite a lot of great achievements but this was a never seen before success! Their pigeons demonstrated in one of the fairest competitions in the season: no less than 19 racers arrived home on the day of the release. They arrived at 18:29, 18:31, 18:34, 18:37, 18:39, 18:48, 19:14, 19:22, 19:37, 19:45, 19:48, 19:53 etc. and achieved a result that stunned many long distance fanciers: 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 14th, 60th, 74th etc. national Bordeaux ZLU. The performance of team Batenburg in this race was truly amazing.
The third national was won by superstar Aron. This cock stems from a son of Jonge Witbuik from their close friend Guus van Aken and a hen of Piet Blancke (Ruiselede). Click here for the full pedigree of Aron.
'Aron': tnird national Bordeaux ZLU 2012
“Our pigeons are easily crossed! This is beneficial both for the pigeons in the loft and the fancier himself. It also allows us to get a better insight into our own breed and the descendants of our pigeons. It speaks for itself that we keep a close eye on this; it is beneficial to us”, says Hugo.
The family of Batenburg -Van De Merwe is focused on the long distance competition throughout the year, especially the races with a morning release; which is their favourite. This is the most honest competition with the first pigeons arriving on the day of the release. The pigeons that can excel in such races are the pigeons that you need if you are planning to improve your breed. A pigeon that wins this type of race is simply the strongest of the pack; the first prize is not based on a complicated calculation method.
The pigeons that are housed in the wonderful lofts of the young Batenburg family have been raised to win prizes in the most demanding marathon races and if possible to outclass their opponents. Hugo and Anita have been doing well with their pigeon breed, year in year out. They are very motivated and committed and they are constantly looking to improve their pigeon breed. There is a good chance that they will have to extend their trophy room in the years to come.
We asked Hugo what pigeons you have to look for if you want to match the achievements of Batenburg - van de Merwe and this is what he said: "Top class pigeons stem from top class pigeons!"