3rd national Barcelona 2007 and nationally a marvellous 8/8
Dieter Ballmann in the middle; left Yvon Deneufbourg and right Joseph Schmitz
Amel. Where is that? I had to look it up because I didn't know where it was. Amel lies in the province of Luik, in the German speaking part of Belgium, the Oostkantons. A beautiful area surrounded by trees. In the Dutch speaking pigeon press there is never much written about the fanciers from this area, or from Wallonië in general. We usually only know these fanciers by name. The still young fancier Dieter Ballmann is a phenomenon here in the Grand Distance races. From Barcelona 2007 he won 3rd place Nationally (18th international), a magnificent total result, with 8 prizes from the 8 basketted pigeons. It was not the only top 10 place in a national race in 2007 because he also raced the 10th national Montauban 2007. If I may open the Fondkrant (Dutch Long Distance pigeon magazine) from September 2006, I see that on page 59 there has been an article written by me. I wrote a piece about fanciers that had achieved as many top 50 places as possible over the last 6 years. This classification was invoked by Mrs. Deweerdt and sons from Kortemark, but at 13th place was Dieter Ballmann. I wrote the following about him:
8 national Barcelona 2003
1 national Perpignan 2004
4 national Perpignan 2005
15 national Perpignan 2006
4 times in the top 50 and only 28 points "I don't know much about this fancier. His national victor in 2004 was bought by Emiel Denys. He shined this year from Perpignan national 6765p: 15-53-64-67-227 and he had only entered 12 pigeons.
He must have fantastic pigeons and if I have time this winter, I will go and visit him." That winter visit in 2006 never happened, but in the spring of 2008 I made an appointment with Dieter.
I asked around about what people knew about Dieter Ballmann, but the majority of people couldn't tell me anything. They only knew him by name. When I asked Emiel Denys I received more information. 'He is really one of the best fanciers in Belgium with a good future in front of him', said Emiel. I had to learn more and so left for Amel. Luckily Dieter spoke perfect Dutch and the welcome was extremely warm. When I left I was convinced that Dieter Ballmann was a real top fancier in the Long Distance and you can be sure you will hear more about him. Here are a few examples to prove his class. The last 5 years he has raced 6 x in the top 10 in a large national Long Distance race:
1st national Perpignan 2004 - 6.489p
3rde national Barcelona 2007 - 12.612p
4th national Perpignan 2005 - 7.611p
6th national Beziers 2003 - 6.336p
8th national Barcelona 2003 - 11.785p
10th national Montauban 2007 - 6.187p
Barcelona is Dieter's favourite race. From 1994-2007 he basketted 114 pigeons for this race and won national 78 prizes. This is 68%. The last few years it has been a rising line. In 2003 8th national Barcelona, in 2004 6/8, in 2005 5/8, in 2006 5/7 and this year then 8/8. Perpignan is just as impressive: in 2004 1st national Perpignan, in 2005 4th national Perpignan and 6/9, in 2006 15-53-64-67 national Perpignan and 9/12, in 2007 8/13. When I thought back to this list, I had the idea to look at who had flown REAL top prizes from Barcelona over the past 15 years. I wanted to know who was able to race in the national top ten in this race during the period 1993-2007. This is very difficult. Think about your own results and how often you were able to achieve this! I went to my cellar to look it up.
The results didn't really surprise me:
Nr of prizes in the top 10
Prizes added up
|1. N. Peiren||
|4. Gyselbrecht R||
|5. R. Schauwers||
|6. Fauches gebr||
|- Van Gils F & P||
|9. D. Ballmann||
|- E. Denys||
|11. J. Vaneenoo||
|- Depasse- Lardenoye||
|13 - Beullens & zn||
My friend Noël Peiren stands at the top of this category. If I add up his prizes in the top 10 (2-6-7) I count 15. Three times in the top 10 national is a lot.
Desmet-Matthys and wonder boy Jos Thoné manage this as well.
By Jos Thoné I only counted the prizes under the name of the loft J. Thoné in As. In 1996 Jos also raced 1st national in combination with Willems Albert from Eisden. Albert Willems stands at a shared 5th place with this national victory and another top ten prize in combination with Peter Wijnants from Oostende. Nine other fanciers classified themselves twice in the top 10. Another 138 fanciers classified 1 x in the top 10. At a shared 8th place in this classification is my host Dieter Ballmann. You always come across the name Dieter Ballmann. He belongs to the top in the pigeon world.
The man and the pedigrees behind these prizes
Dieter Ballmann is 38 years young and works as a clerk for a building company. He began when he was 12 years old with pigeons from a neighbour. He couldn't ask his father or any other members of his family for advice because the pigeon world was unknown to them. When Dieter went into the army his father looked after the pigeons. He is only 38 years old, but has been racing pigeons for 26 years. We aren't talking about a beginner here. Dieter is still single and lives for his pigeons. From the beginning he races and selects for the Grand Distance. Because of where he lives he can enter the Luxembourg's races. They are difficult races but that is a benefit to the selection of this pedigree and the pedigrees that he has bought. His breeding loft only holds 15 couples. As basis he began with pigeons out the area .
This was Havet (Stavelot), Bodson (Wavreumont) with pedigree Van Spitael.
Later the red pigeons from Bertus Wijnacker (Hengstdijk NL) were added. Here Dieter chose out the lines of the 'Allicante II' and the 'Goudplevier'. This was the old pedigree of M. Vandevelde from Oostende.
They never give up. An important addition in Dieter's pigeon stock came via the pigeons of Nouwen-Paesen from Grote Brogel. Dieter crossed these pigeons with great success. The stock was fortified further with pigeons from Kaelen-Broers and J. Flagothier.
For the last few years also from Emiel Denys. Pigeons were exchanged with J. Schmitz from Baelen and since 2004 with Yvon Deneufbourg.
The swapping of pigeons suits both these fanciers. J. Schmitz won in 2001 1st national Brive 22.026p with a cock 100% Dieter Ballmann. Yvon Deneufbourg (Estinne) is also a fancier that I don't know much about, but who has excellent Long Distance pigeons in his loft. In the 'top' 50 classification he raced from Barca and Perpignan from 2001-2006, stood in 7th place and this year I see him by Perpignan national in place 40-41-79-98-133-157-172-173-192-197-284 (16 basketted).
From Barcelona national 151st with his 1st nominated of the 10. There are toppers in this area!
The widowers are housed in the attic of the house. It is very dry with and excellent ventilation which has been thoroughly thought through. This ventilation system ensures an ideal climate, resulting in the widowers staying very healthy. When he was living with his parents he also had an attic loft and this was also a good loft. The youngsters and a few yearlings live in the garden loft. This gives more health problems than the attic loft. Transport bands take care of the hygiene and means less cleaning.
Dieter thinks that the cleaning is not very important for his pigeons, but for himself. It is more pleasurable to walk through a clean loft. The team of widowers consists of 35 old and 22 yearling cocks. They brood twice for 10 days before the season: the first time in January (the eggs from the best widowers are placed under other pigeons) and for a second time in April. When the cocks return from their first training race their hens are gone but the nests with eggs are still there. When the cocks leave the nests a few days later, the widowhood begins.
This preparation means that the cocks are not really in form and the first races are nothing to write home about. The benefit is that the form comes later. Then it is the turn of the Grand Distance pigeons and the Ballmann-pigeons are at their best. After the season the cocks are allowed a nest and the yearlings are placed in their new box. The youngsters (80) are trained up to 250-350 km. Yearlings are raced to a distance of 650 km with Luxemburg or in the inter provincial races. The distance doesn't have to be far, but the number of pigeons is important. The cocks have to learn to leave in a large group and then tear loose in order to race further alone. Dieter is not a supporter of Grand Distance for yearlings. "You have to teach pigeons Long Distance racing". Over the last few years it has become more fashionable to let the yearlings race one or even two overnight races. I prefer to race in the traditional manner. My two-year olds go to Montelimar and Orange. They are allowed to race one international race, for example Marseille.
This wasn't possible for the last few years (liberating problems in 2007!) and that is why the training for my three-year olds is not yet complete. I didn't take part in the races from Irun. This year they will definitely have to race one or two international races before they are basketted for Barcelona. There is a big difference between an international and a national race. The pigeons have to learn to race and gain experience. You have to teach a pigeon how to race Grand Distance! " Starting in May, the widowers train twice a day, early in the morning from 6am to 7am and in the evening after Dieter has finished work. They are fed separately in their box but drink collectively. Dieter has tried different methods, but has come to the conclusion that the simplest method is the best. Good pigeons remain good pigeons and a lesser pigeon won't improve with a different system. Dieter visits the vet Vincent Schroeder now and again. His advice is followed. Other products that he uses are Belgica-De Weerd and Probac from Brockamp. You can see in the results that he doesn't use much medicine. A 5-8 year old pigeon also wins good prizes here in the Grand Distance and this IS NOT POSSIBLE if you have a medicine cabinet that is longer than your pigeon loft.
These are REAL top pigeons
D' Artagnan 1027363/02
112th nat. Marseille 2004
690th national Montelimar 2004
809th national Orange 2004
4th national Perpignan 2005
64th national Perpignan 2006
399th national Perpignan 2007
This is a real top cock. You can see that Dieter doesn't automatically put them in the breeding loft. As a 3-year old winning 4th national Perpignan and then racing it further! I'm sure not many fanciers would do this.
The father of this crack is '954/99'. He is also father of the 1st provincial St-Vincent yearlings in 2003. He was bred from '482/95' (a good racer in the Middle Distance out NL775/93 Bertus Wijnacker) x '435/95' (daughter of the '1006707/94' x hen from Bertus Wijnacker). The '1006707/94' is the nest-brother of '1006820/94' which I will tell you more about later because this is definitely one of the best breeding cocks in Belgium.
The mother of 'd'Artangan' is '599/99'. She won self 114th national Narbonne as a yearling and has a noble Long Distance pedigree. Her father is '5293307/98', obtained directly from friend Nouwen-Paesen from Grote Brogel. He was bred by Jaak and Dirk out '571/84 Euro-Perpignan' X 156/96 (granddaughter 1st nat. Barca hens). Her mother is '695/97', direct from Jules Flagothiers out a direct Eijerkamp -Muller x direct Walpot (sister Paulien and 2nd nat. Barcelona).
3rd national Barcelona 12.612p in 2007
But prior to this:
In 2008 this cock will strengthen the breeding loft and no longer be raced.
His father '810/94' comes out 'NL092/87' (grandson Arend Cattrysse) X 'NL036/88' (direct Wijnacker). He is also the father of '797/98', 4 x Barca, 4 x Perpignan, Marseille and Perpignan.
The mother of 563/00 is '020/97', direct Kaelen-Broers, pure pedigree Jan Theelen.
Montelimar 909p-61 in '05
Orange 595p-37 in '05
Marseille interprov. 89 in '05
Limoges 3411p-209 in '06
Cahors 561p-25 in '06
Narbonne 9634p-288 in '06
Montauban national 6.187p-10 in '07
He was bred from one of the best breeding cocks in Belgium. It is 'B1006820/94'. Despite his old age he is still very virile and still fertilises all the eggs
. He is direct father of the 10th national Montauban '07 by Dieter Ballmann , 1st national Perpignan 6489p in 2004 by Dieter Ballmann but bought by Emiel Denys AND from the 1st national Brive 22.026p in 2001 by Joseph Smitz! These are only the top prizes but there were many more top racers and top breeding pigeons born via him.
It isn't very often that two national winners are bred from one cock. A brother of his is also a good breeding pigeon but has not produced any national winners, but well many very good Long Distance pigeons.
The father of these exceptional breeding cocks was 'B1023197/88', won by Dieter 1st club Barcelona 1991, 1st club Barcelona 1992 and 9th club Barcelona 1993. (line Witslager Desender and P. Gilmont). The mother was 'B1022909/88'(line Super Crack Crusson and P. Gilmont). A magnificent breeding line and basis line of the loft Ballmann.
The mother of '818/03' is 'B1037689/00', out 'NL775/93' (direct Wijnacker out De Teletekst x line Goudplevier, Allicante II , Vaal Vandevelde) x 'DV03052-94-1391' (strain Imbrecht).
Narbonne nat. 5963p-440 in '05
Bordeaux Euregio 835 in '05
Perpignan nat. 6765p-67 in '06
Pau nat. 2157p-48 in '07
Perpignan 5547p-359 in '07
A few years ago Dieter Ballman discovered that the strain Nouwen-Paesen crossed superbly with other strains.
The mother of this cock is '5261878/01', direct from Nouwen-Paesen. She was bred out '022/01' (571/84 x 156/96) and '593/98' (daughter of the legendary 'Narbonne 399/87', this cock is still in the loft of Nouwen-Paesen but is no longer fertile). The father is 'Le Mistral 493/92'. He won 1st intern. Valence 2534p in 1996 and was bred out a pure Imbrecht x M. Vanderlinden. Jaak
22nd national Marseille 2005
45th national Beziers 2003
70th national Carcassonne 2006
189th national Beziers 2004
Another crossing with Nouwen-Paesen.
The father '486/99' is a son of the 1st international Marseille 2001 Nouwen-Paesen x '849/98' (brother 1st nat. Barca hen x hen Piet and Henk de Weerd).
The mother is '517/00' from Jules Flagothier. He was bred there out '620/97' (very good racing pigeon from his strain Eijerkamp-Muller x Walpot) X '239/99 (crossing Simons x Vandenbroecke).
34th national Marseille
54th national Orange
683rd national Montelimar
820th national Marseille
Father is the direct 'Wijnacker NL775/93' out ' Teletekst NL982/89'(14th nat. St-Vincent, 7th nat. Pau) x 'NL696/85' (granddaughter of Allicante II x Goudplevier and Vaal Vandevelde; the old basis Wijnacker)
Mother is 'DV03052-94-1391' out a pure Imbrecht.
Figure work provincial 2002-2007
1st prov. Barcelona 2007
1st CFW Barcelona 3724p in 2007
9-10 prov. Perpignan 2007
8th prov. Barcelona 2006
5th prov. Dax 2006
8th prov. Carcassonne 2006
3-4-5-6-10 prov. Perpignan 2006
3-6 prov. Barcelona 2005
2-5-7 prov. Marseille 2005
1-10 prov. Perpignan 2005
1st prov. Perpignan 2004
5th prov. Beziers 2004
5th interprov. Limoges 2004
8th interprov. Montelimar 2004
10th prov. Dax 2004
10th prov. Marseille 2004
1st prov. Beziers 2003
2-6 prov. Barcelona 2003
5th prov. Dax 2003
5th prov. Beziers 2003
6th prov. Perpignan 2003
6th prov. Castres 2003
2nd prov. Marseille 2002
3rd prov. Dax 2002
5th prov. Perpignan 2002
8th prov. Barcelona 2002
1st interprov. Montelimar 2002