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Jos Martens (Stein, NL) celebrates his third international victory in 2018 with Der Sjef as the common denominator

Jos Martens did it again in 2018: he claimed another international victory, after having been victorious in Marseille (2015) and Tarbes (2010).

Jos and Jacqueline Martens have three international first prizes to their name

Jos Martens writes history

Jos Martens is one of those long distance stars from South Limburg that has clearly earned his stripes as a fancier. Jos is very fond of the more demanding competitions, and he is not the kind of fancier who likes to boast about his own achievements. Having said that, we do want to talk you through some of his most remarkable feats in recent years. To begin with, he was Emperor in his Club Der Azen both in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He has been the General Champion Morning Release in the Central Limburg long distance club since 2015, and he won the ZLU's Pyrenees Cup in 2016. He was particularly proud of the title of Emperor Long Distance that he won in the same season, with such big names as Jelle Jellema and Hugo Batenburg completing the top-three. 
Jos has had numerous early arrivals in the long distance. Think for instance of the 2016 race from Marseille, where he claimed a 3rd and 5th national of 3320 pigeons, with just five pigeons in the basket. The 2011 race from Bordeaux ZLU (national yearlings) saw him win 3 top 20 pigeons national, with 13 out of 20 pigeons winning a prize. And in 2018 he got himself in the spotlight by adding a third international victory to his palmares.

Der Sjef makes the impossible possible

NL04-1249458 Der Sjef - (grand)father of three international winners

There is a different story to each of the three international victories but it always boils down to one pigeon: NL04-1249458 Der Sjef still lives in the lofts of Jos Martens, and he still in excellent health. Der Sjef is a blend of the bloodlines of the Kuijpers Brothers (Neer, NL) and pigeons that come from a joint breeding with the Busscher-Albertz combination (Elsloo, NL). The dam of Der Sjef is NL99-2514295 Kweekmoedertje, and she is a daughter of De Nachtvlieger of the Kuijpers Brothers. Kweekmoedertje also features in the pedigree of an 18th National Barcelona 2018. Dr Sjef is named after Jos's deceased father.
Der Sjef is a wonderful looking blue coloured cock, the type of bird that his father Sjef was very fond of. Der Sjef was a promising yearling, winning top prizes from Bergerac (14th of 3462 p.) and Cahors (39th of 2863 p.). Jos qcuikly decided to give him a spot in the breeding loft, and that was probably the best decision of his pigeon racing career: this bird became the sire or grandfather of as many as three international first prize winners. We take a closer look at each one of them:

2018 Helios 1e Internationaal Perpignan

NL16-1795328 Helios, 1st International Perpignan 2018

The 2018 race from Perpignan will go down in history as being extremely demanding. The pigeons were faced with high temperatures and a slight headwind on their way home. The pigeons were released on Friday 3rd of August at 7am, and not a single pigeon had made it back home by the end of the day. Jos Martens clocked his first pigeon on Saturday morning, with NL16-1795328 Helios arriving home at 9:45am. He had to wait until the afternoon to be sure about his third international victory, which he won with a fantastic pigeon: Helios is the revelation of 2018 in the extreme long distance. Have a look at his pedigree:

 1st   International Perpignan 12,349 p.
21st   National St. Vincent 2570 p.
38th   National Pau  3551 p.
 1st   PIPA ranking Best extreme long distance pigeon in The Netherlands 2018 - 3 prizes
 5st   European Champion Extreme Long Distance La Colombe Joyeuse
 7st   PIPA ranking Best European old bird in all international races - 3 prizes

Helios is a son of NL13-1539566 Hyperion, which is in turn a son of Der Sjef. Click here for Helios's full pedigree.

2015 André 1st International Marseille

Nl13-1540537 André, 1e internationaal Marseille 2015

Unlike the race from Perpignan, the 2015 international classic from Marseille was a high speed race. The pigeons took off on 17th of July at 6:40 am. André basketed his first pigeon before five o'clock in the afternoon (4:59pm): NL13-1540537 André. He was the fastest of the pack, with a velocity of over 1400 m/min. André had already won a 31st national from Agen of 6638 p. earlier that year. The dam of André is a daughter of Der Sjef x NL04-1249441 Moeder Tarbes, which makes her a full sister of the international winner from Tarbes in 2010. Click here for André's full pedigree.

2010 1st International Tarbes

NL08-1913977 Nestbrother 1st International Tarbes 2010

The first of three international victories came on 11th of July 2010. The international race from Tarbes took off at 6:40 in the morning. Jos waited until the early evening to clock his first bird (at 6:56pm), and it turned out to be the international winner. This bird completed the 963km from Tarbes to its home base in Stein with a velocity of 1300 m/min. You can tell from the pedigree of the winner's nest brother that Der Sjef (the sire) has played a key role. Since there is no pedigree of the international winner himself, we included a picture of his nest brother, which wins a 40th National Perpignan of 4509 pigeons. This illustrates the breeding potential of Der Sjef, and it shows that the Martens pigeon family is a very streamlined breed. You can hardly tell the stars of this team apart.

Other top birds

NL13-1540525 Dark Night, 18e Nationaal Barcelona 2018

Jos demonstrated his pigeon breed's strength in numbers in the 2018 classic from Barcelona. His NL13-1540525 Dark Night arrived home at 13:39, taking an 18th national of 3912 pigeons. Dark Night finished in the top 100 in 2017 as well, winning a 75th of 4504 p. in the 2017 classic from Barcelona. This makes him the 8th best pigeon in the PIPA ranking for best international pigeon from Barcelona across two seasons (2017-2018). Jos had an excellent prize percentage in the 2018 classic, with 7 out of 12 pigeons taking a top result, many of which arrived home at around 5 in the afternoon, which is remarkable: 17.09, 17.10, 17.19 and 17.24. You would almost forget that this is one of the most demanding races on the calendar.

Some other numbers

The top podium of the ZLU, to honour the 1st Perpignan (picture: Z.L.U.)

His achievements of 2018 have resulted in quite a few titles in the ZLU competition as well. Here is an overview of the most important championships of 2018:

1st W.E. Super marathon  
1st ranking all 8 nominated W.E.S.M. 
5th Emperor Extreme Long Distance
1st Ace Pigeon champion all ZLU races (Helios)
Zonal prizes Barcelona Cureghem Centre zone 1 1075 km-1110 km
Euregion Belgian limburg (LFC) Dutch Limburg (ZLU) and Arbeidsgemeinschaft 
Euskirchen (Germany);
*  1st Euregio kampioenschap 1e and 2nd nominated
*  1st Euregion Award 1st nominated
*  Euregion series prizes 1st and 2nd nominated; Pau 8th and 19th
                                             Agen Yearlings 10th and 27th
                                             Perpignan 1st and 23rd 
*  Euregion race winners; Perpignan
*  ZLU Honrary awards; Barcelona (18) St. Vincent (21) and Perpignan (1)
*  Fastest three first nominated Perpignan
2nd final ranking Europe Cup La Colombe Joyeuse 

A top class fancier with top class pigeons

Jos Martens is a top class fancier. This report gave you a glimpse of what a talented fancier can do with a group of top quality pigeons. Still, he could not have dreamt of winning three international first prizes. Jos did it, with the help of Der Sjef, one of his father's favourite pigeons.