Many fanciers consider Meppen, the home town of the Prange pieon breed, to be a mecca for pigeon racing. This is the loft where history has been made repeatedly; we are familiar with the renowned breeding birds NL 94-2227959 (a son of Cornelis & Gerard Koopman), Ringlose, the 02098-97-330 (winner of 8 first prizes), the 02098-99-802 (1st Ace Cock of Germany in 2001), the 261 (02098-07-261 - winner of 10 first prizes) and the 520 (02098-08-520 - winner of 7 first prizes), and several other super class birds. Each of these pigeons has made history in pigeon racing in Germany, even though Günter Prange would find that hard to admit. He is a very modest player, even though almost every pigeon in his collection is a highly talented breeder or racing bird. This might lead you to believe that any fancier can breed as many world class pigeons as he wants, but that is not quite the case. Still, there are certain fanciers who do things differently than most of their colleagues. Günter would not just purchase a whole round of youngsters from a successful pigeon loft, like most other players do. Instead, Günter looks for deliberate investements, purchasing only a few pigeons every once in a while. The reason for this approach is that he knows exactly how to breed top quality pigeons. It's as simple as that.
A look back in history
We take a look at the history behind this successful team. During our visit to Günter Prange we started talking about his old birds. He told us that his pigeons will stay in the team throughout their lives. He had a 20 year old cock in his collection that was still full of life. He was obviously no longer fertile but he was still in good health. We were given the opportunity to see this pigeon up close, and we were quite impressed. It was the old breeding cock 959, which has reached the age of 20. We inspected this pigeon with the utmost respect. He was still in good shape, he had a healthy weight, good plumage, vibrant eyes. We could not find any flaws.
This NL 94-2227959 was the undisputed number one stock breeder for Günter Prange for quite some time, and he was obtained from Cornelis & Gerard Koopman. He is a son of Beatrix-Doffer paired to Sultana (from Eric x Wonderduifje 056). The 959 is the sire, grandfather and great-grandfather of quite a number of world class pigeons. He combined particularly well with the Bellens hen 736. The 02098-97-330, a son of this pair, won no less than eight prizes during his racing career, before developing into a renowned breeder here in Meppen. In 2001 the 330 won 10 prizes and an impressive 968,01 ace points of a total of 1000.
Another son of the 959 is the so called Ringlose, which is now quite a legendary pigeon, having bred so many outstanding breeding and racing birds. His dam is in fact a descendant of the old Delbar bloodline of Günter Prange. A son of Ringlose, the 02098-99-802, became 1st Ace Cock of Germany in 2001. A daughter of Ringlose, the 02098-99-704, bred racing bird 05991-01-1011, winner of a title of 1st Ace Cock of Germany in 2011 for the renowned German loft of Bernhard Beumer & Theo Sandbothe.
Another son of Ringlose was very close to winning this very title yet again in 2003, this time in Günter Prange's own loft in Meppen. He has ring number 02098-01-1009 and he comes from a pairing of Ringlose with NL 94-2783577 (from Ons Louis x Zuster Eric) of Cornelis & Gerard Koopman. The 1009 finished in 2nd place in the German Ace Cock championship with a 598.43 on a maximum of 600 points. This shows that the descendants of Ringlose have been quite successful indeed. To this day, and we are almost 2018 now, the Ringlose pigeon breed has shown its potential across all disciplines. However, we have seen so many descendants of alleged sons and daughters of Ringlose being offered for sale by other fanciers, that it raised suspicion. How could Ringlose possibly have had so many youngsters?
This was a brief history of the Ringlose bloodline, which continues to have a very big influence on pigeon racing to this day; numerous renowned pigeons in Germany originate from this Ringlose. Günter has also bred several closely inbred Ringlose descendants in his own loft, which are then paired mostly with unrelated bloodlines. This is what has made him so successful. Long story short, all the pigeons in his collection are related to each other through either their sire or their dam.
"Breeding is a game of patience", as Günter likes to say.
Outstanding results at the highest level
1987: 1st Champion in Bezirk 8 (4,250 members) 1988: 1st Champion in Bezirk 8 1989: 4th German Champion in the union 1990: 1st Champion in Kreisverband 166 (715 members) He did not compete in races in 1991 and 1992 1994: 1st RV Champion in RV Meppen (203 members) 1995: 1st German champion union 1st Ace Cock of Germany 1996: 3rd German champion union 3rd and 9th Ace Cock of Germany 1997: Pigeon theft 1998: He was particularly successful with the yearlings For instance: 732 km: 1st, 5th, 9th etc. of 970 p. (15 prizes with 17 birds) 1999: 1st Champion in Kreisverband 166 1st Champion RV in RV Meppen 2000: 16th German Champion in the Union 1st Champion in District 8 2001: 3rd German Champion Union 1st, 4th and 8th Ace Cock of Germany 2nd Ace hen of Germany 1st Champion in District 8 1st Champion in Kreisverband 166 2002: 23rd Champion Union 2nd Champion Union in District 8 2003: 2nd Allround Champion of the German Union 2nd Ace Cock in the union 1st Regional Union champion in Regionalverband 410 2004: 4 national middle distance championship titles 2005: 3rd National Allround championship 2nd Yearlings - Regional Union championship 3rd and 8th Best Allround Ace Cock of Germany 1st Regional union champion Allround 1st Regional union champion Yearlings 2008: 1st RV champion in the union 2009: 5th Ace Cock in the union 1st RV Champion in the Union
In the following years, Günter Prange became less actively involved in pigeon racing, focusing less on championship or ace pigeon titles. Still, he achieved great results every time he did compete in a race. And there is one race that Günter was particularly interested in: the championship of the Belgian "De Duif" magazine. He has been committed to the "Golden Pigeon" competition for several years now, along with several other renowned players. He managed to claim this highly coveted title in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2010, 2011 and 2013.
And he has won this prestigious title again in 2017, now for the 7th time. This is quite an achievement, especially for a man who claims is not really that invested in the sport anymore. This goes to show his pigeon family is still world class.
Some of his best results of 2017
17.06. Markheidenfeld (356 km) 2,895 p.: 1-2-3-6-7 etc. (11 prizes with 16 birds) 08.07. Ansbach (443 km) 770 p.: 3-4-5-6-10 etc. (7/15) 15.07. Rottenbach (378 km) 695 p.: 4-8-11-21 etc. (12/15) 13.08. Lüdenscheid (165 km) 2,658 p.: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 etc. 27.08.Butzbabach (270 km) 2,544 p.: 1-2-3-4-5-7-11 etc.