Jel van HEUGTEN - Nieuwstadt (NL) National winner Marseille 2009 against 3.999 pigeons - 2009

The sixty-nine year old Jel lives in Nieuwstadt, a place in the middle of Dutch-Limburg (very close to Sittard) with approximately 3500 inhabitants. The place was given town rights in the 13th century and can then historically be seen as a city, but qua size and character it is a church village.

Since being registered in Montfort in the 16th century, it is now included in the borough Echt-Susteren.
Jel is a member of P.V. De Liefde in Echt.
He had entered 16 pigeons for this race.
The pigeons couldn’t be liberated on Saturday due to a hard northerly wind measuring 60 kilometres per hour north of the place of liberation.
The weather conditions were not good enough to liberate the pigeons on Sunday either, but on Monday morning the starting shot was finally sounded at 6.30am for the 11.837 pigeons in this international race. 3.999 Dutch pigeons took part in this race.
Jel stood waiting for his pigeons, together with André Wauben from Nieuwstadt. André is a very faithful watcher, because he watches for the pigeons with Jel by every long distance race. Jel is very grateful to him for this, because he has usually entered pigeons from three different lofts and because of the lay-out of the lofts, it is difficult for one person to keep an eye on all the traps.
Around 18h45 a pigeon stormed home. Jel described it like this: “he came out of the sky like a bullet.” He landed at the trap and went directly inside.
This pigeon, the NL06-5629373, was clocked at 18h42.00.
With a distance of 881,897 kilometres, the “373” made a velocity of almost 1205 metres per minute. Jel doubted if this was the right distance because the pigeons were to be liberated from a new coordinate. Whatever the distance, Jel had a national victory against 3.999 pigeons.

The winner
The “373” has an old ring. He was born in 2007.
The father of the “373” is from the sort Schellekens.
The mother is from Wiel Smeets from Banholt, but, adds Jel, there is also a great deal of his own sort in this pigeon.
Jel raced the “373” in widowhood. He only races traditional widowhood with cocks.
This season this cock was raced for the first time in the overnight races, the first being from Bordeaux. He didn’t manage to classify himself in the prizes in this overnight race.
In this second race he has more than made up for his first misser.
Jel takes care of the pigeons all by himself. His wife Miet makes sure that Jel and his watchers are not hungry or thirsty whilst they are waiting for the pigeons!

In preparation for the overnight races the cocks were given four or five training races. Sens twice and 250 and 150 kilometre races. Jel has the advantage of being able to basket his pigeons for the races from Sens in both his own club as well as in the Belgian Maaseik.
The pigeons are given plenty to eat. For the long distance races Jel always buys a bag of very rich mixture and extra nibbling seeds. He doesn’t make any more of a fuss, so as he says himself.
The pigeons always train for an hour in the morning and if possible, also in the evening, but this is not always possible because the youngsters also have to train.
Well before the start of the season he visits the veterinary surgeon Vincent Schroeder in Bilzen (Belgium). Before the season the pigeons are given a cure against tricho and a light cure for the airways. During the season he visits the veterinary surgeon to check that everything is in order with his feathered friends. In the winter period he gives all the pigeons a good para cure for ten to twelve days.
After a race the pigeons are given something from doctor Vincent Schroeder in the drinking water for disinfection.

Jel and Miet, the people from PiPa and the visitors to our site would like to congratulate you on this national victory!
I would like to thank Mr. Ad van Gils, who took the pictures for this article.

The parents of the Marseille winner.