Alfons Klaas (Rietberg, DE): the world's most successful fancier in One Loft Races

Whichever way you look at it, Alfons Klaas (or the Alfons & Helmut Klaas racing loft until 2017) is impossible to ignore. He is incredibly strong across the globe, and he is truly outstanding in one loft races. It raises the question of how this pigeon family become such a powerful breed, capable of excelling in the most demanding races.

A fancier only has a limited impact on his pigeons' level of motivation, because they are out on their own as soon as they are basketed. Still, the fancier might have an impact after all, with his breeding strategy. He is the one responsible for breeding pigeons that have a proven ability to excel in one loft races in every part of the world. Are the Klaas pigeons better at adapting to a new environment compared to their adversaries? It is no secret that the Klaas pigeons can quickly acclimatise, which allows them to take the upper hand.

Alfons Klaas and his partner Maike Dedek

The pigeons

It has not been that long ago that we published another article about the Klaas pigeon breed on PIPA. This is what we wrote in our previous report:

"Make of it what you want but there is no denying that the pigeons of Alfons and Helmut are not quite like most other pigeon breeds. These are genuine winners, and pigeons that adapt to a new environment really fast. We are convinced that the ability of the Klaas pigeons to very quickly adapt to a new situation has become an inherent part of this breed. They do not need a long transition time to get accustomed to a new loft. On the other hand, you have pigeons that really struggle to adapt, and these birds are of course not at all suited for one loft races; they risk getting lost in their very first training flight. On top of that, the Klaas pigeons are able to get a sense of direction very quickly, and they are of course really fast as well, judging from their results at club level. These are no doubt truly special pigeons, that stand apart from the rest in many ways.

Each of these Klaas pigeons stems from some excellent bloodlines. Breeding pairs are often very closely related, and the different youngsters are then crossbred. As a result, the pigeon collection of Alfons & Helmut Klaas has really become a breed of its own. This breed has been in development since 1987/1988, and it is based on a very clever breeding strategy, involving nothing but top class birds. This is a breed that is unparalleled at international level."

This is what I wrote about the Klaas pigeons about a year ago, and I think I have nothing to add to that in 2019.

The pigeons that were successful in one loft races

We take a closer look at a few of the team's most successful birds.

We begin with Miss Sofia, with ring number DV 507-19-348. This racing hen was a 1st Ace Hen of 2,740 pigeons in the Sofia One Loft Race in Bulgaria. This 348 originates from NL-12-3225052 of Rinus van Gastel, which was obtained through PIPA. And he is in turn a son of Super 554, which was himself an excellent racing bird as well. His palmares includes a first prize from Orléans of 6,796 pigeons, and several other top results. The dam of the 348 is B-10-3000035 of De Ceuninck, which stems from an original Günter Prange, related to Prange's very best breeders.

Miss Sofia, 1st Ace Hen in the Sofia OLR (Bulgaria)

Next up is racing hen DV 507-19-762, which competed in the Europa Master Pigeons One Loft Race in Romania. This Europa Master Pigeons OLR ended with a spectacular and very demanding final. The pigeons were trained for this closing race through 23 training flights, 3 hot spots and a semi-final, making for a total of 2,411 km. A high percentage of pigeons made it through to the final race. They had to fly from south to north, in an area that has a strong northerly wind most of the time. The pigeons had to cover around 447km in the final, and this Europa Master Pigeons OLR offers the highest prize money for the first prize winner of any OLR in Europe: 150,000 euro. Unfortunately, only 87,000 euro could be awarded due to the lower number of pigeons in the race. Renowned fanciers from across the globe sent in their best young birds for this competition, and it was a Klaas pigeon that took a first place in this spectacular Europa Master Pigeons OLR.

We reckon many fanciers would be interested in the pedigree of such a pigeon, and here we have it: the sire is Blue Pantani 0507-16-845. He comes from a combination of a brother of Mr. Bolt and Celine 0507-15-7, a sister of Victor, winner in South Africa in 2011. The dam of the 762 is 0507-15-936, a full sister of the pigeons that finished in 13th, 86th and 193rd place in the 2011 final in South Africa. Full sister 197 has bred racing bird  0507-10-768, which is the winner of the Carnival City Winter Race. And this racing hen also finished in second place in the semi-final. That pretty much sums it up.

The next pigeon that deserves an introduction is DV 0507-18-294 Maxi. He did really well in the South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race, finishing in 55th place of 2,531 pigeons in the final. And he had already demonstrated his potential in earlier races as well: he was 4th in the 164km Hot Spot Car Race against 3,170 pigeons, and he won a fifth prize of 3,669 pigeons in the German Country Challenge Averages race, in the Grand Averages competition.

His sire is the 0507-12-974, a brother of Mr. Bolt 0507-07-558, a 1st Ace Pigeon of 35,196 pigeons. The dam of the 294 is a sister of Purdey 0507-13-1312, which has some exceptional descendants as well.

We decided to only include these three champions in our report. There are of course plenty more highly successful racing birds in Alfons and Helmut Klaas's pigeon collection.

BG 19-75735 wins a first prize in the final (520km) of the Balkanic Fair Play OLR in Romania. She stems from two original Alfons Klaas birds.

The success story of the Klaas pigeons began with a victory in the Sun City Million Dollar Race 2007, and this breed has never failed to deliver since. Which is the strongest OLR team today?

We have repeatedly talked about their major achievements in recent years; we let you be the judge!

Achievements in the 2019 season


Thailand Grand Pigeon Race Bangkok

Final (500 km, 1,031 pigeons) 28th place, Odinchen

South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race

Finale (521 km, 2.531 Tauben) 29th place, The Best of South Africa
                              55th place, Maxi
                             112th place, Sellaomi (Krüger-Klaas)
Hot Spot Car Race 2 (164 km, 3,170 pigeons) 4th place, Maxi
                                           41st place, Blue Ace (Krüger-Klaas)
                                           50th place, Alfonso
                                           74th place, Wonderlady
Hot Spot Car Race 4 (212 km, 2,589 pigeons) 19th place, Klamper Klaas
                                            24th place, Treasure
                                            78th place, Kerrie
                                            84th place, Sellaomi (Krüger-Klaas)
Hot Spot Car Race 5 (264 km, 2,458 pigeons) 33th place, Treasure
German Country Challenge Averages 1st place, Maxi
                                  2nd place, Sellaomi (Krüger-Klaas)
Hot Spot Averages 21st place, Blue Ace (Krüger-Klaas)
                  42nd place, Alfonso
                  66th place, Treasure
                 119th place, Sellaomi (Krüger-Klaas)
Grand Averages 5th place, Maxi
              18th place, Sellaomi (Krüger-Klaas)

Derby Arona

Finale (280 km over sea) 18th place, Dutchess DV 0507-18-458 (in the first group of 23 birds)
                         + 3rd place Grand Average Germany
                        + 37th place Grand Average International Of Sprint (of 3,594 p.)
                        + 61st place Grand Average International King Of The Atlantic (1,120 p.)

Victoria Falls World Challenge Pigeon Race

Finale (619 km, 1.482 Tauben) 37th place, Odin
                             105th place, Klein Treasure
                             113th place, Golden Pearly
                             129th place, Celine
Hot Spot 1 (192 km, 2,681 pigeons) 17th place, Little Purdey
Hot Spot 2 (235 km, 2,637 pigeons) 19th place, Hanni
                                   29th place, Odin
Hot Spot 3 (235 km, 2,542 pigeons)  1st place, Lucie
                                   17th place, Emil
Hot Spot 4 (318 km, 2,334 pigeons) 28th place, Bambi
                                   69th place, Lucie
                                   94th place, Big Treasure
Hot Spot 5 (450 km, 2,049 pigeons) 10th place, Major
                                   63rd place, Odin
                                   93rd place, Celine

Sofia Bulgaria OLR

Finale (420 km, 1,421 pigeons)      36th place, DV 0507-19-348
                                    60th place, DV 0507-19-799
Hot Spot 1 (130 km, 2,352 pigeons)  36th place, DV 0507-19-348
                                    61st place, DV 0507-19-799
Hot Spot 2 (150 km, 2,204 pigeons)  65th place, DV 0507-19-348
                                    91st place, DV 0507-19-799
Hot Spot 3 (200 km, 2,047 pigeons) 241st place, DV 0507-19-348
                                   125th place, DV 0507-19-799
Hot Spot 5 (270 km, 1,857 pigeons)  65th place, DV 0507-19-348
                                   403rd place, DV 0507-19-799
Ass-Tauben (of 2,740 pigeons)        1st place, DV 0507-19-348
                                     6th place, DV 0507-19-799

Europa Master Pigeons

Finale (447 km, 664 Tauben) 1st prize, DV 0507-19-762
                           36th prize, DV 0507-19-795
                           40th prize, DV 0507-19-816
The fastest two pigeons from two different teams, 2nd place


Achievements in 2018


South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race

Hot Spot Car Race 3 (212 km, 3,196 pigeons) 5th place, Helle, DV 0507-17-641
Hot Spot Car Race 4 (212 km, 2,874 pigeons) 8th place, Power Bolt, DV 0507-17-636
Hot Spot Car Race 4 (212 km, 2,874 pigeons) 9th place, Treasure, DV 0507-17-571
Hot Spot Car Race 5 (268 km, 2,807 pigeons) 5th place, Bamberg, DV 0507-17-280
Hot Spot Car Race 5 (268 km, 2,807 pigeons) 10th place, Treasure, DV 0507-17-571

Derby Carpat

Final (1,400 pigeons) 1st place and 1st Ace Pigeon, Milla, DV 0507-18-283 
                      4th Ace Pigeon, Mrs. Kunis (0507-18-284) and 5th place in the semi-final
                        (nest sister of Milla).

Derby Arona

Final                 11th place, 1st German pigeon

Victoria Falls World Challenge Pigeon Race:

Yearlings' race

Finale (602 km)    2nd place, Maxi DV 0507-17-669, (Miss Spain, 2017 and Maxi are sisters)
                  18th place, Hanni DV 0507-17-678

Major results in one loft races from 2007 onwards

In order to answer the question as to who would be the number one in one loft races, we have collected the most spectacular results of Alfons & Helmut Klaas. It goes without saying that many fanciers will be impressed with the achievements of this father-son combination in OLR competitions. This is their palmares:

Sun City Million Dollar Race 2007: 1st place for Alfons & Helmut Klaas; 
Sun City Million Dollar Race 2011: 1st place for Kitchenbrand Lofts 
with a pigeon that was bred by A. & H. Klaas!
1st place Silver Race & car winner 2015 
1st place Final Carnaval City OLR 2014 (Winter Race) 
1st place Final Derby Arona Teneriffa 2013 
1st place Final Million Dollar Race 2,402 p. 
1st place World Ace Challenge in USA 2007 
1st place Hot Spot 1 Teneriffa 2008 
1st place Hot Spot China 1,432 p. 300 km 2009 
2 x 1st place OLR Germany 2010 
1st place Final Million Dollar Race (Kitchenbrand Loft) 2011 
3rd place Final Million Dollar Race (Team Esser-Klaas) 2012 
1st place Grand Average Million Dollar Race (Team Esser-Klaas) 2012 
1st place Final Race Allflight South Africa 521 km 2012(Sommer Race) 
1st place Grand Average Victoria Falls 2017 
2nd place Final Victoris Falls Yearlings' Race 2017 
1st Ace Pigeon Hot Spot Allflight South Africa 2012 
3rd, 5th, 7th place 2 Hot Spot Teneriffa 2008 
7th and 11th place semi-final Teneriffa 2009 
5th place Hot Spot 2 Teneriffa 2009

And you have to add their best achievements of 2018 and 2019 to this list as well. Can you think of a pigeon loft that has been more successful in one loft races than team Klaas?

Alfons Klaas is not the only fancier to excel in one loft races across the globe; numerous other players have had their share of success too, thanks to their Klaas descendants. His pigeons' achievements in other lofts has led to many friends and friendships, and this in turn shows that he is on the right track with his breeding strategy.