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Batenburg-Van De Merwe (Klaaswaal, NL) has a fantastic start to the international season: 4 pigeons in the top 19 in demanding Nat. Pau!

The highly praised pigeon family of Batenburg-Van de Merwe has lived up to its reputation in the first major race of 2018. Hugo had no less than four pigeons in the national top 19 in a very demanding race from Pau. Meanwhile fellow fancier Ad Fortuin had three direct Batenburg pigeons finish in the top 50, which shows that the modern day marathon pigeon in Klaaswaal is growing to become a reality!

"I am usually a slow starter", says Hugo Batenburg, in an attempt to lower the expectations on the eve of the race from Pau. Although the fantastic result for his team of two year olds did not come out of the blue. "The yearlings had already been in great form, and the 2018 season had been going great so far. We had some tough weather a few weeks in a row, and I was able to win some early prizes and a few top results in these conditions. It was a good omen; I am really pleased with this result!" It was a hard but fair race from Pau, with a north-easterly wind along the entire flight route. This explains the lower speeds at which at which the strongest birds were able to stand out. "I am fond of these more demanding races", Hugo says. "Although a modern-day long distance pigeon should also have the speed to excel in easier conditions. This is a wonderful journey, and the race from Pau shows that I am close to finding the type of pigeon that I am looking for." Here are the results in numbers:

I.provincial    1,305 p.: 4th-5th-7th-8th-52nd-113th-123rd (20/49)
National        3,551 p.: 9th-11th-18th-19th-134th-299th-320th-358th-
                          383rd-418th-441st-etc. (20/49)

The modern-day long distance pigeon

Hugo decided a few years ago, in close collaboration with Nikolaas Gyselbrecht, to make it his goal to develop the ultimate long distance pigeon, capable of taking the lead both in demanding conditions and in easy weather. Hugo's renowned Witbuik dynasty was of course destined to play a pivotal role in this, but they also invested heavily in true race winners: champions in Barcelona that are particularly successful in demanding weather conditions. After all, these are the type of pigeons that are likely to develop into genuine stock breeders.

The leader of the breeding team today is without doubt New Laureaat, winner of a 1st Int. Barcelona 2013, an 8th Nat. Barcelona 2011 and a 323rd Nat. Barcelona 2012. Many of today's prize winners originate from this fantastic pigeon. Other pigeons such as The Special One (1st Int. Barcelona 2015), New Witbuik (1st Nat. Barcelona NL 2012), New Ace (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2012), Rosanna (1st Nat. Barcelona NL 2015) and more recently Sumerian Fighter and Luna May (1st and 5th Int. Barcelona 2017) have also given some highly talented descendants in Klaaswaal. The team got another boost in quality thanks to a joint breeding with 1st Int. Barcelona Kleine Jade & Olympiad Pigeon Romee of Jelle Jellema, with Laureaat Barcelona pigeons of Carlo Gyselbrecht, with the top class bloodlines of Harry of Jan Hooymans, and with the best lines of Etienne Meirlaen.

9th Nat. Pau 2018 - NL16-1509101

The hen that arrived home at 6:05 am did not really surprise Hugo, even though she failed to win a single prize as a one year old. "She came in first in the last training flight before Pau, a 400km race in tough conditions. She had been brooding for a few days, and she had a youngster of 3 to 4 days old when she was basketed, just like the rest of the team. She did a race from Agen and Narbonne in 2017, just like every yearling in my team, although some are basketed for Perpignan instead of Narbonne." The 101 was in fact a full sister of the pigeon that claimed a 46th Nat. Pau for Ad Fortuin in that same race.

The sire of the 101 has already bred the winners of 7 national top 100 prizes, and he comes from a 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB New Ace x top class hen Daniek, 6th and 9th Nat. and 9th Int. Perpignan hens for Batenburg-Van De Merwe in 2010. The 101 is a grandchild of New Witbuik from his mother's side (1st Nat. Barcelona NL 2012), and he was paired to a daughter of none other than Gilbert (1st Int. Bordeaux) of Erik Limbourg.


Click here for the pedigree of NL16-1509101, winner of a 9th Nat. Pau 2018

11th Nat. Pau 2018 - NL16-1509045

The second Batenburg-Van De Merwe pigeon won two prizes 1:10 as a yearling: a 273rd Nat. Agen 5,930 pigeons and a 344th Nat. Narbonne 4,566 pigeons. Her sire is a son of top pair New Laureaat x Kleine Jade, two international winners from Barcelona. This pairing has bred quite a few nationally renowned racing birds. The dam of the 045 comes from Jonge Witbuik, the old Batenburg star which Hugo is still very fond of.


Click here for the pedigree of NL16-1509045; 11th Nat. Pau 2018
 

18th Nat. Pau 2018 - NL16-1508987

The third pigeon to arrive home for the prestigious team from South Holland is an upcoming star for sure. Racing bird NL16-1508987 won the title of 3rd best yearling in the Int. races PIPA Ranking 2017 already as a yearling, and she has now claimed her third national top result in her third international races!

      18th Nat. Pau        3,551 p. 2018
      50th Nat. Agen       5,930 p. 2017
      83rd Nat. Narbonne   4,566 p. 2017

The sire has bred 7 national top 100 winners, and he is a direct son of the iconic Jonge Witbuik, which plays an important role yet again. The dam is another descendant of the new stock breeder New Laureaat (1st Int. Barcelona 2013), now paired to 5th Int. Ace Pigeon Perpignan 2010-2011 Dianne.


Click here for the pedigree of NL16-1508987; 18th Nat. Pau 2018
 

19th Nat. Pau 2018 - NL16-1509147

And then we have the winner of a 19th National Pau. She also won two prizes in 2017, and this top result makes for a 3 out of 3. Her sire comes from a joint breeding with the iconic Harry of Hooymans, whose bloodlines were particularly successful in tema Batenburg in 2017. Harry was paired to Miss Narbonne, 11th Nat. Narbonne for Batenburg-Van De Merwe. The dam has already bred three national top 50 winners, and she is a daughter of New Witbuik (1st Nat. Barcelona NL 2012) paired to Cora, 5th Interprov. Bordeaux.

Click here for the pedigree of NL16-1509147; 19th Nat. Pau 2018
 

Hugo's good friend Ad Fortuin claimed three pigeons in the national results as well, with a 20th, 39th and 45th. All three pigeons were bred by Hugo, and that means we have seen an impressive 7 Batenburg-Van de Merwe pigeons finish in the national top 50. What does that mean for the rest of the season? Hugo cannot wait to test his yearlings in Agen this weekend. This is promising to be a race in hard conditions, where nothing will be handed to you. But Hugo does not need that; he knows how to take the race into his own hands!