In our program, the only visit scheduled for Holland was at the famous Hugo Batenburg, maybe the best Dutch marathon competitioner from the lat 10 years, both due to his results and due to the referrences. On my way to Hugo, I visited the spring fair from Houten and I also visited Yong Lin, the best champion of one day flight from Holland in 2013: the latter is bidding his doves at the auction on PIPA at the time being.
Before describing our visit , I would like to draw a short summary of the Batenburg doves, especially for the Romanian pigeon lovers who are not familiar with this great marathon line.
Regarding the marathon flights the Batenburg name is the guarrantee of success. The starts with Hugo’s father, Bas Batenburg who, with his famous Jan Aarden dove line, entered the field of global pigeonsport. These were extremely tough doves, and “Witbuick” and “Bonte Kweker” are remarkable examples of this line, ….very tough doves with unbeatable green eyes; this colour reminds us the old Aarden line. At only 12 years old, Hugo joined his father with a great ambition, so that, after a few years, the son became the leader of the team. Bas has always had good results, but never had top national results.Hugo’s talent for doves was going to change this situation for good. In the Van de Merwe family (Anita, Hugo’s wife is the daughter of the famous Piet van de Merwe), things were different, as Piet was a champion all his life. Unfortunately, the chidren were not interested in doves. Yet, the daughter Anita has always helped him in the logistic domain of pigeonsport. In 1990, Piet visited Hugo and Bas Batenburg to buy some marathon squabs….Then, Hugo visited Piet , too and he didn’t like only his doves, but he fell in love with Anita. The two stayed in touch and in 1996 they got married. In 1997 they bought an old farm, they renovated it, they built the house and the lofts and thus, the Batenburg-van de Merwe story started. In the same year, in 1997 they won the 8th place for Offsprings Race, Holland. The future was going to be great.
The Batenburg doves are well known for their extraordinary ambition, and they are excellent on a dogs-day weather , with the wind blowing in front of them; they reach home from distances of over 900 kilometers and the can fly at night with no difficulty.Hugo is not a champion who desires just a few results. He is always looking for better doves, new methods, new information. At the beginning of the 90’s he noticed that the marathon stages are more and more rapid and that the old de Aarden doves needed some sprint. He did not need to look too far, as his father-in-law Piet van de Merwe had the best doves at Middle Distance Races from Holland. Yet, he was very careful when he chose the doves
In 1981 Hugo’s father reproduced an exceptional male: “The Wittbuick” NL 81- 1533120. This one was reproduced from 2 doves that were 100% Aarden, from Piet Lazeroms and Barendrecht. At present “Wittbuick” is not alive any more, but 80% from Hugo’s doves have this great reproducer in the pedigree. As we were curious, Hugo and I have counted them together, and we found pedifrees where “Wittbuick” appears 13 times!!! Despite this, his line does not show any sign of degeneration, on the contrary….Thus, he got many referrences….having a highly consanguineous line, this one is quite fit for any crossing, with rapid, spectacular results.
*A short summary of these referrences:
1. National Barcelona 2013 6.903 p. – Trio Vollebregt, The Netherlands
2. National Barcelona 2013 10.685 p.
2. Int. Barcelona 2013 25.382 p. – L&R Buyl, Belgium
1. National Mont de Marsan 2012 3.934 p. – Hugo de Jong, The Netherlands
1. National Marseille 2012 3.248 p. – Wilfried van Vossole, Belgium
1. National Acepigeon Yearlings Romania 2011 – Dario Luco & Claudiu, Romania
1. National St. Vincent 5.481 p. 2011 – W. van Nederpelt, The Netherlands
1. International Ace Perpignan 2007-2011 – J. van der Velden, The Netherlands
1. International Ace Perpignan 2010-2011 – Ad Fortuin, The Netherlands
1. & 2. National Marseille Hens 2011 – Comb. Janssen-Hausoul, The Netherlands
1. National Bordeaux 1.455 p. 2009 – Freialdenhofen & Sons, Germany
1. National Montelimar 8.193 p. 2009 – Erik Peeters, Belgium
1. National Narbonne (2. Int) 3.771 p. 2009 – Hans Knetsch, The Netherlands
1. International Bordeaux Yearlings 2009 17.642 p. – Sjaak vd Velde & Zn, The Netherlands
1. National Bergerac Sector 1+2 2008 23.512 p. – Pleun Sluimer, The Netherlands
1. International Perpignan 17.643 p. 2008 – Comb. I.J.J. Roobol, The Netherlands
1. National Bergerac Sector 3 15.490 p. 2007 – Arjan Beens, The Netherlands
1. National St .Vincent Sector 2 2005 – Fastest 32.149 p. – Jan Polder, The Netherlands
1. National St. Vincent Sector 1 2005 – Louis Boden, The Netherlands
1. National Barcelona 7.875 p. 2004 – Vrosch-Meijers, The Netherlands
1. National Barcelona 1.933 p. 2004 – Robert Ben, France
1. International Pau Hens 1.544 p. 2004 – Delrue P&F, France
1. National St. Vincent 6.385 p. 2004 – W. Schouten, The Netherlands
1. National Mont de Marsan 7.245 p. 2003 – Ad Fortuin, The Netherlands
1. National Bergerac 28.402 p. 2003 – J. van ’t Land, The Netherlands
1. National Bergerac 9.354 p. 2003 – A. van Berkel, The Netherlands
1. National Ace Extreme Long Distance 2003 – A. van Berkel, The Netherlands
1. International Pau 7.867 p. 2002 – Pierre Verove, France
1. International Ace Pau 1998-2002 – Jan Polder, The Netherlands
1. International Perpignan 20.859 p. 2001 – Menne & Tochter, Germany
1. National Ace Extreme Long Distance 2001 – G.J. van Kooten, The Netherlands
1. National Montauban 7.281 p. 2000 – G.J. van Kooten, The Netherlands
1. International Barcelona Hens 1996 – Felix Roosendaal, The Netherlands
1. National Bergerac 16.828 p. 1996 – C.vd Linden, The Netherlands
1. National Dax 3.662 p. 1996 – J.H. den Haan, The Netherlands
1. National Dax 12.797 p. 1991 – Felix Roosendaal, The Netherlands
Born in a family of dove specialists from Barcelona, Nikolaas Gyselbrecht always wanted to buy an international winner. A night before the Barcelona Race of last year, he spoke to Hugo , and Hugo told him:”This is the year when you have to buy the winner….by all means!” The Master was right….The Barcelona Race from 2013 proved to be one of the toughest race in history, at the same level with the race of 1987 and that of 1993. The destiny made the race, as the winner of 2013 is the result of the same line with “Laureaat Barcelona”, the winner of the Gyselbrecht family from 1995. Dr. Carlo Gyselbrecht wanted to buy this dove a lot, so they were fast at deciding: Nikolaas Gyselbrecht and Hugo Batenburg were going to buy “New Laureat” together, and at the time being, this is the most expensive dove that lives and breeds in Europe. This was a wise decision for Nikolaas, as at present, Hugo has the best birds for marathon from Europe; this is the fastest way to highlight “New Laureat”.
I discovered that Hugo is a very modest man and this is a quality that only real champions have. It is a real pleasure to listen to him as he speaks about doves and to see how he checks them “at hand”. He has such fluid gestures when he checks the doves, like I never saw at anyone. As I watched him check the doves, it is like watching a Samurai training himself with his sword on a summer morning. The doves feel that and they love Hugo. I spent a whole afternoon with Hugo, and he shared with us all he knows about doves, regarding the checking “at hand”, and the motivation and the doves’ food.
A family of pigeon lovers: Martin Kwakernaat, one of the best pigeonsport photographers; he is a cousin of Anita, Hugo’s wife, and a cousin of Peter van de Merwe:
There were two very pleasant situations that belong to the category “Events with very good friends”, that others only dream about and will keep dreaming! Checking all the top doves “at hand” we found “Matador”- who won the 2nd place at the International Race Barcelona 2013, at only 9 seconds after “New Laureat”.
These 9 seconds were about over 150,000 Euros, as “Matador” was bought by the famous Zhan Zhi Li for 80,000 Euros. Zhan Zhi Li knew that Hugo has the best females for marathon in the world and he decided to leave it for one season in Holland to be mated with the best females of Hugo, so as to share the offsprings. Hugo will keep the squabs with odd numbers and Zhan Zhi Li will keep the offsprings with even numbers. The first female that “Matador” received was a daughter of “Bonte Narbone and Maya” and Hugo presented us the very first squabs he obtained, ofr us to check “at hand”. The odd number was taken by the male, so this one will soon be brought to China, and the female had already gotten out, at Hugo. It was a female who has still some yellow plumage on the head, but it was perfect when checked “at hand”. Nikolaas and Hugo allowed Mr. Sorin to check her “at hand” then they offred her to the latter as a present. Thus, the first female that “Matador” bred will soon be brought in Bucharest , while its nest brother will be taken by the famous Zhan Zhi Li , in China.
As we were in the breedingplace, Mr. Sorin sees a dark female and tells me :” Look, this female reminds me about father’s hunchback dove, it reminds me my childhood.” Seeing his nostalgic smile, Hugo asked me what it was about. I explained to him and he tells us:”This is a daughter from De Bonte Narbone with Maya, and I have only two of them from this couple at the matca. It is her and her sister which is mated with “Matador”. I bring it right now for you to see it. We checked them at hand together with Hugo and Mr. Sorin, then the latter asked Mr. Sorin whom he liked the most. Mr. Sorin answered : “I like this one , because it reminds me my youth when I formed a great pair with my father.” …and Hugo answered :”I’m glad, it’s yours, my friend.” Is this a real brotherhood or no? Certainly YES!!!
In our talks , on the way to Yong Lin (because Hugo insisted on acompanying us), Hugo found out that Mr. Sorin was the one who bought “Copy Gilbert” on PIPA. “Copy Gilbert” is a brother of “Gilbert Jr” and, implicitly , the son of the famous “Gilbert”. “Copy Gilbert” was also a top bird for Eric Limbourg, and it won the 58th place at The International Race Bordeaux from 900 kilometers, among more than 10,000 doves. “Copy Gilbert” is a dove that Hugo wanted very much to get, but it was bought by Mr. Sorin on PIPA for a big sum of money. The idea of a common mating appeared simultaneously to the twofriends and pigeon fanciers. Thus “Copy Gilbert” will be mated with the female from “De Bonte Narbonne and Maya” in the Team Florea aviaries, and the first pair of squabs, with Romanian rings will be brought in Hugo’s breeding lofts.
Mr. Sorin had already noted some preparations for the squabs from “New Laureat” , ever since this one was bought by Nikolaas and Hugo. Thus, this summer, two squabs will be brought to Bucharest, a male and a female, from “New Laureat” with different females. Also, 2 offsprings from “New Wittbuick” – who won the 1st National place in Holland , 2012- will be brought to Bucharest this summer
Beginning with this year, Team Florea with Nikolaas Gyselbrecht and Hugo Batenburg will buy together top doves and will constantly make common matings, and in September , after the end of the season, Hugo will visit us in Bucharest.
As usual, Team Florea promotes the Romanian pigeonsport at the highest level
We thank you for everything Hugo , you are a real champion and friend , you are a peacefull warrior