Jos Joosen (Brecht, BE) glorious winner of 1st National Montélimar against 6,713 pigeons

Jos Joosen, a big name in international pigeon racing, is the winner of the first classic from the Rhône valley in 2012: the national from Montélimar. Walloon fanciers often describe this race as 'the little Barcelona’, referring to the demanding circumstances during the race.

Given the predicted wind direction and the location of the release site in Montélimar in the East of France, many of us predicted a national victory for fanciers from Limburg and Luik.  At first it seemed that this prediction would be correct, but suddenly two Antwerp pigeons came to the fore and turned the race upside down. Eventually it was Jos Joosen from Brecht who took the national win, finishing just before Matthieu Jacobs from Essen. The winning pigeon of Jos Joosen finished in 17 hrs 4 mins 44 secs in a race of 757.634km. This resulted in the highest speed at national level : 1252.83 m/min. What a difference to the middle and grand middle distance races earlier that day where the pigeons reached a speed of about 1700 m/min. These pigeons had to watch out not to fly past their own lofts. But it illustrates the difficulty of the national race from Montélimar, with a strong headwind in the Rhône valley for the first half of the race. These pigeons only had a tail wind in the final kilometres of the race, after they had left the valley. That also explains why the fastest speeds were registered on the shorter distances.

Jos Joosen turning into a great champion

Indeed, the list of achievements of Jos Joosen was already quite impressive and now he adds another national victory from Montélimar. Let’s have a look at his results:

1° national Montélimar 6,713 p. ’12
1° international Marseille 10,333 p. ’10
1° international Perpignan 14,812 p. ’06
1° national Perpignan
1° national Bordeaux yearlings ’09
2° national Perpignan
2° national Dax
2° national Orange
3° national Marseille
3° national Pau
3° national Bordeaux
3° international Perpignan
3° international Marseille
4° international Bordeaux
5° international Bordeaux
6° national Bordeaux
7° national Dax
7° national Limoges
7° national La Souterrain

Impressive stuff! With these results Jos Joosen is definitely one of the best middle distance fanciers in our country, and he can be ranked among the greatest. He has also had countless provincial wins including Argenton, Cahors, Marseille, Pau, Perpignan, Dax, Beziers, Bordeaux, Orange, Gueret (with the youngsters in 2011!). An ever-growing list of achievements, there seems to be no end. Besides, the 1st national ace pigeon middle distance KBDB Magic Ike from Chris Hebberecht stems from a direct Jos Joosen hen as well (a sister of 1st national Perpignan). Jos Joosen is one of a kind.

In 2008 Jos (68) retired after a twofold career in which he combined a job as a legal expert and a job as car inspector. From then on he dedicated his life to his passion: the national middle distance races and especially the long distance. The numerous achievements of Jos and Gerda in the last few seasons made their racing and breeding methods the subject of several reports.  If you would like to re-read one of our reports on the methods of Jos and Gerda click here.

As you can read in our report if you did not know already: Jos Joosen is a no-nonsense fancier. The phenomenal Bonga line plays an important part in this success story, as it forms the basis of the loft buildup. That is why we will discuss this in further detail.

He came into contact with pigeon racing when his mother died in 1976. His father was alone and he asked Jos to get him some pigeons to ease his mind a little. But after a while his father did not care for his pigeons anymore: he had found a new love, which rsulted in him moving to The Netherlands, so Jos decided to take over the pigeons.  Shortly after Jos bought some pigeons from Albert Frencken (including the lines of Huyskens-Van Riel, Van Rhijn-Kloeck and Roest). With the help of these lines he soon became a champion in the sprint races, but he had even greater ambitions. With these pigeons he soon had his first top-class breeding couple, which would play a key role in his loft for many years to come and even today. The cock was Oude Bonga  BE75-6166530 (a descendant of Huyskens-Van Riel  x Van Rhijn-Kloeck) x Hen from the lines of Huyskens-Van Riel! First of all, this couple bred an exceptional racer for the middle distance, Jonge Bonga. This pigeon was later to become one of the stock breeders of his loft and was renamed Bonga (ring BE85-6392475). He appears in the pedigrees of the winner of 1st international Marseille 2010 and of the winner of Montélimar 2012 (see below). He was coupled to the Sproet-hen (which he got from a round of eggs he bought from the legendary Sproet of Van Oirschot in Putte-Kapellen) and that was the start of an amazing career which continues today!

At a certain point in time Jos had about 50 direct descendants of these pigeons in his loft. This gives you an idea of how important these pigeons have been for the family of pigeons of Jos Joosen and will be in the future. About 80 to 85% of his pigeons today are descendants of these lines! We are talking about pigeons that were very good in the sprint and middle distance and that are now excelling in the national middle distance and international long distance competitions. They are very all-round racers! From time to time he added some other pigeons. Throughout the years the loft welcomed pigeons of Gaby Vandenabeele, Jac van der Wegen, L. Van Mengsel, Luc Van Coppenolle, Roger Desmet-Matthijs, Stefaan Meremans, Jan Theelen, Hubert De Baene, Marcel Aelbrecht, Van Ouwerkerk-Dekkers, Roger Vereecke and Chris Hebberecht!

The winner of 1st national Montélimar

The winner is a two-year-old cock with ring number BE10-6217260, which was basketed as sixth nominated for Montélimar. As a youngster it had already won several prizes including the national from Argenton. As a yearling he was already successful from Bourges, but his best achievement was a 1st prize from Montélimar.

Sire: BE07-6140215 Brother 1° Intnat Perpignan…a brother of the 1st international Perpignan 2006 and a grandchild of stock breeder Bonga (which stems from Son Bonga BE97-6101055 x Moeder 1st International Perpignan  BE02-6051523). So this Son Bonga stems from stock father Bonga 475/85 x Daughter 1st Prov Bourges 716/89. Each of these pigeons has plenty of talent. 

Dame: BE09-6240841 Daughter 161… She is a daughter of the champion Orange 161 BE04-6208161, winner of 28th National Orange against 4,587 pigeons, 26th Nat Orange against 6,035 pigeons and 96th Nat Narbonne against 6,033 pigeons (Orange 161 is a son of Limoges 121/95, winner of the 7th Nat  Limoges and a grandchild of Bonga x Sproet-hen) x The 618-hen BE02-6051618 (a daughter of the Superduif 191/95).

Jos Joosen had entered a total of ten pigeons for Montélimar and they performed as follows:

Local  144 old birds: 1-3-4-10-14-20… (8/10)
Prov.  699 old birds: 1-38-48-72-101-125-157-231 (8/10)
Nat. 6,713 old birds: 1… enz.

Earlier that day his team of yearlings from Chateauroux had proved that the Jos Joosen pigeons are as strong as today’s best grand middle distance racers:

Chateauroux 426 yearlings: 8-14-18-22-23-24-26-39-42… (and 20/39 up to provincial level). 

Jos Joosen does not really care for pedigrees of a pigeon or how a pigeon looks. “In our loft we always select on results”, says Jos. “I would even say that my pigeons were always free to breed whenever I put them together.  But I have to admit I have been very lucky with the exceptional qualities, the strength and the performances of the Bonga family.” This is his obviously his first-class line and forms the basis of his entire family of pigeons. They have lead to international successes and have allowed him to become one of the leading lofts in Belgium! Congratulations!