Jos and Jules Engels, Putte World fame for an extra ordinary pigeon strain Part 2: The phenomenon "178"

In part 1 we described the base of the pigeon colony of Flor Engels, since 1980 ‘Flor Engels & Sons’. We learned from part 1 that you have to have the luck in getting the good base pigeons. Although this isn’t a matter of luck alone: you can also force having that luck a bit. At Engels it weren’t ‘good’ base pigeons, but ‘damn good’ base pigeons, with as leading lady: the ‘Witte duivin’, were everything probably came from through her sons ‘De Oude Zwarte’ and ‘De Zot’. They are at the base of two exceptional breeding lines with the pioneers ‘De Witpender’ and ‘De Oude Lichte’.

But the second lesson is that you have to try to hold on to this quality: via removed inbred – let’s say bring strains back together – and by the input of superior, strange or semi-strange blood. And that’s where you can’t aim high enough according the late Flor Engels.

We ended part one with a hymn to the breeding qualities of the base breeding father in Putte, namely ‘Den 231’. In part 2 you will discover that his son ‘Den 178’ might earn the same, not to say even more, the title of base breeding father.

Jan Grondelaers

In the seventies and eighties, the pigeons from Jan Grondelaers were hot. He had built up a strain, with mostly pigeons from Jansens Arendonk and Gust Hofkens. Every pigeon fancier who is around for some years knows the phenomena as the ‘Chateauroux’, the ‘Orleans I’, the ‘Orleans II’, the ‘Goede Jaarling’, the ‘National Bourges’. Not only did Jan Grondelaers race very well with the pigeons, they were also at the base of the successes of late Pros Roosen, Jos and Filip Herbots, Roger Persoons and so on. Especially in Germany, the ‘Grondelaers-pigeons’ were very wanted. Who was also a big fan was of these Grondelaers pigeons was Henri (Rik) Custers from Meeuwen. Rik had them directly from Jan but also through his good friend Pros Roosen. Via Pros, there were also at a later stage other top pigeons out of the lines of ‘Supercrack 327’, ‘Computer 1’ and ‘Computer 2’ ‘Magic Star’ and so on. Rikske Custers is until now still the to beat champion on the short distance and middle distance.

When Henri Custers won the 5th national Ace bird Middle distance KBDB in 1993, Flor, Jos and Jules Engels saw possible material to keep up the strength of their own strain. You remember: only the best is good enough for Engels. And this is how a daughter of the ace bird from Custers moved to Putte. It seemed a divine thinking, as out of this daughter coupled to the famous ‘231’, the best breeder they’ve ever had in Putte popped out in ’94 :  ‘Den 178’.

That daughter ‘Dochter As’ , 51188111-93, was a 100% Grondelaers, with all the toppers in her pedigree:: ‘Orléans 2’, ‘Goede Jaarling’, ‘Broer Goede Jaarling’, ‘Broer 1 nat. Bourges’, ‘Driebander Hofkens’ and so on…. Rik Custers got, by the way, only the best of the best in Opglabbeek.  

Superb strain

They started breeding a lot from the hen from Custers and mostly coupled against de ‘231’.

A son out of that couple, so a full brother ‘Den 178’, namely 6495219-94 seemed to be an excellent racer with a.o.

5 nat. Bourges 12,529 b.

7 Interprov. Argenton 690 b.

1 Noyon 275 b.

8 prov. Argenton 304 b.

45 prov. Bourges 3,403 b.

At Engels they know when they got the ‘bonanza’ and this seemed the case with the coupling ‘231’ x ‘111’. ‘Den 178’ himself wasn’t a true racer, but he had so much qualities and appearance that the threesome Engels decided to keep him on the breeding loft. That was already in 1995! The eye of the master, let’s say. In a minute we will have a look at what this decision meant in Putte and far beyond.  We can state without exaggerating that ‘Den 178’ placed more than his stamp on the development of the modern racing pigeon of the 21st century.

But ‘Den 178’ wasn’t the only good pigeon out of this couple. We already spoke about his brother who won the 5th National Bourges.

Cock 6362248-97, a younger brother of ‘Den 178’ also became a phenomenon on the breeding loft, he became father of a.o.

1 nat z. Bourges 10,401b

5 I prov. Vierzon 1,681b

3 nat z. Limoges 3,748b.

Grandfather to a.o.. 2 Toury 1,863 d. and great grandfather of ‘Lady Kim’ – 1 NPO Tours 5,334b

Next to these, several children out of this superb couple went to others, where they, on their turn took care of amazing after breed.

When ‘Den 231’ didn’t fertilize anymore, the hen of Custers was coupled against ‘Dikke 90’, a top son out of the ‘231’. And again the breeding was superb with a.o. the 6396537-98 who raced 3rd national Guéret.

But all of this was being placed in the shadow by the breeding results of ‘Den 178’ himself.

Predominant breeder

It would seem very quickly what kind of predominant breeder ‘Den 178’ would become. He was being coupled against every top hen on the breeding loft and it was almost always bingo.

In 1995 ‘Den 178’ was being coupled against a sister of ‘De Dikke Duivin’, remember? The hen who won twice in two weeks on La Souterraine:  

1 nat. La Souterraine 2,053 b.

3 nat. La Souterraine 1,927 b. (= 1 nat. La Souterraine 847 hens)

3 prov. Vierzon 900 b.

Out of this coupling a crack was born immediately, the 6508036-95, simply named "Den 036" . He raced a.o.

1 prov. Châteauroux 1,275 b.

36 prov. Châteauroux 5,951 b.

1 Toury 716 b.

4 iprov. Limoges 3,343 b.

6 iprov. Argenton 690 b.

8 Sens 662 b.

It was immediately clear that ‘Den 178’ had inherited the good genes of his parents. This ‘036’ would become on his own a more than descant breeder as well, we can find underneath off spring of the ‘036’:

1 nat z. Limoges 3,764 b.

1 nat z. Argenton 2,583 b.

4 prov Bourges II 4,293 b. 

1 nat z La Souterraine 1,629 b.

2 I prov Argenton 2,168 b.

 1 nat z. Argenton 2,106 b. 

1 NPO Ablis 8,451 b.

And so on….

In 1997, out of the same couple came the 6569501-97, called "Broer 036", which also was a marvellous breeder, father of top breeding hen ‘719’, grandfather of the mother of ‘Den Argenton’, grandfather ‘Den 576’ who won the 29th National Bourges against 12,278b, grandfather of ‘Het 135’ with a more than respectable palmaris:

15 i prov Châteauroux 6,494 b.

6 i prov. Châteauroux 4,619 b.

25 nat. Bourges 16,119 b.

18 prov. Châteauroux 2,027 b.

339 nat. Bourges 36,506 b.

40 nat z. Bourges 10,401 b.

41 i prov. Vierzon 5,047 b.

Also in 1998 a top pigeon came out of the coupling ‘Den 178’ x ‘Sister Dikke Duivin’ namely 6396417-98 who won:

1 prov. Bourges 1,249 b.

The ‘Blauwe Bliksem’

That ‘Den 178’ was on his way to become a world breeder was something also the grandmaster, Gaby Vandenabeele, figured out. Already in 1998 Gaby went to get a daughter out of the same coupling and she was ‘Julia’ (honouring Jules Engels we assume) with ring 6396501-98.

The know-how that you must a couple a new top pigeon against your own best pigeons, made that Gaby coupled his ‘Julia’ against the ‘Bliksem’. And as it goes more than once at Vandenabeele, the breeding products went to others. Hardy Krüger got a daughter out of this couple and was left with an amazing breeding hen. Norbert Ally got a son out of this coupling and also he was blessed with an amazing breeder..

But one who succeeded the most with the coupling ‘Bliksem’ x ‘Julia’ was Jos Deno-Herbots who got a nest pair out of them: the ‘Geschelpte Bliksem’ 3003885-02 and his nest brother, the meanwhile world famous ‘Blauwe Bliksem’ 3003886-02.

Out of ‘Geschelpte Bliksem’ Jos bred his ‘Gulliver’:

6 nat. Ace bird Middle distance KBDB with a.o.

1 prov. Argenton 3,101 b.

3 I prov. Toury 1,889 b.

14 Toury 2,013 b.

3 I prov. Montluçon 3,814 b.

18 nat. Argenton 6,177 b.

Deno-Herbots sold the ‘Geschelpte Bliksem’ to the far East, but regretted it right away, as his nest brother became the best breeder that ever resided on the lofts in Leefdaal.

It is hard to compare pigeons for real, but we think that the ‘Blauwe Bliksem’, in a matter of inheriting, can be placed at least at the same level as ‘Rudy’ or ‘Jonge Bliksem’ from Jan Hooijmans. But we don’t want to trigger a discussion with this. Let us rather have a look to what the ‘Blauwe Bliksem’ has placed on this world…

First of all, the ‘Blauwe Bliksem’ was coupled to ‘Violetta’, a direct hen from friend Jef Houben. Everything that came out of this coupling races or breeds and not only at Deno-Herbots..

* In 2003, 2251135-03, ‘Blauwe Prinses’ was born

2 I prov. Orléans 2,310 b.

4 I prov. Orléans 2,235 b.

21  I prov. Toury 1,671 b.

40 I prov. Toury 1,877 b.

7 Sens 603 b.

* Her nest mate, the 2251134-03, would become even more famous, and then we’re talking about base breeder ‘Beckham’, later on more.

* 2103036-07 ‘Geisha’, a full sister of Beckham became 4 nat. Ace bird MD KBDB in 2009 and 3 prov. Ace bird MD KBDB 2008 with a.o.

2 semi-nat. Argenton 2,099 b.

4 I prov. Orléans 1,197 b.

5 I prov. Toury 3,043 b.

8 prov. Châteauroux 1,467 b.

9 prov. Argenton 2,288 b.

11 I prov. Bourges 5,547 b.

13 s-nat. Châteauroux 10,198b.

* Her nest brother, 2103035-07 ‘Graffiti’, will also become ace bird twice in a row with an even impressive palmaris:

1 prov ace bird MD BU 2009

4 prov ace bird MD KBDB 2008

8 prov. Argenton 2,288 b.

9 prov. Guéret 1,612 b.

10 prov. Montluçon 3,814 b.

11 I prov. Toury 3,043 b.

18 prov. Blois 1,728 b.

21 prov. Bourges 3,031 b.

32 prov. Bourges 5,547 b.

5 Salbris 722 b. and so on…

And now we’re only talking about direct children of the ‘Blauwe Bliksem’. As soon it shows which breeding potential this ‘Blauwe Bliksem’ has, almost all children are being kept at Deno-Herbots but also and especially at others. Everybody wants to have brothers and sisters from ‘Beckham’, ‘Graffiti’, Geisha’…

In second generation

If we talk a bit longer about ‘Blauwe Bliksem’, we just want to emphasize on the fact that this famous breeding cock from Deno-Herbots is 50% Engels !

But let’s keep it as brief as possible….

* Thibaut-Boons gets a sister from ‘Beckham’, who will become a top breeding hen as ‘Shakira’ and is mother of a.o.

1 prov. Montlucon 3,304 b.

1 prov. Montlucon 1,105 b.

1 prov. Nevers 383 b.

2 prov. Gien 1,159 b.

2 prov. La Sout 1,022 b.

2 prov. Lorris 825 b.

2 prov. Gueret 680 b.

3 iprov. Chateaurx 2,822 b.

6 prov. Argenton 454 b.

9 iprov. Argenton 1,970 b.

11 iprov. Never 2,182 b.

* Guido Loockx breeds out of a brother ‘Beckham’ his 5060663-12, ‘Olympic Violetta’

3 Olympiade bird Budapest

1 prov. Ace bird GMD with a.o.

3 La Souterraine 1,179 b.

4 Châteauroux 4,316 b.

7 Gien 4,588 b.

31 Bourges 4,902 b.

* At Deno-Herbots a brother ‘Beckham’ is father to ‘Iris’:

1 prov. Ace bird GMD KBDB with

1 prov. Châteauroux 3,311 b.

2 prov. Châteauroux 2,411 b.

5 prov. Moulins 1,356 b.

7 prov. Bourges 2,501 b.

7 La Ferte 799 b.

10 prov. Blois 1,164 b.

And ‘Iris’ is on her turn mother of:

1 nat. Limoges 14,263 b.

* Pierre Roger & David get a son out of ‘Beckham’  2094440-06 and call him ‘Beckham Junior’

‘Junior’ becomes a top breeder, father of at least 20x 1st prize racers with a.o.

- He is father of ‘Ashley’ 1 Olympiad bird Cat. D & H Budapest 2015 (with 1, 1, 4, 9 prov. )

- father of ‘Elektra’, 1 prov Nevers

- father of ‘Sire Messi’, with 5 x 1st and  1 prov Ace bird KBDB GMD '09

- father of ‘Themiss’ 1 prov. La Souterr 1,020 b.

- father of ‘Big Mama’, 5 x 1st and 1 prov ace bird KBDB MD 2011

- father of ‘Villa’, 6 x 1st

- father of ‘Virginie’, 4 x 1st  

And so on….

And we can continue like this for a while. But let’s get back to ‘Den 178’, or one more thing:

At Deno-Herbots is that same ‘Beckham’ also father of ‘Gina’ 1 nat Ace KBDB MD

1 nat. Ace bird MD KBDB '08 with a.o.

1 I prov. Montlucon 3,814 b

1 I prov. Toury 1,889 b.

1 prov. Le Mans 990 b

7 nat. Argenton II 6,177 b.

9 i prov. Argenton I 3,101 b.

Just to say that the blood of ‘Den 178’ worked really with combined with the strain of ‘Bliksem’.

‘Den 55’

"Never change a winning team", that’s what Jules and Jos must have thought, as ‘Den 178’ was coupled against his fixed partner ‘Sister Dikke Duivin’ for years. And they were rewarded for their confidence.  

* In 2001 they bred out of this proven couple another breeding phenomenon, namely  6153843-01. This daughter of ‘Den 178’ became mother of a.o. the famous  "055"

This 6226055-03, again simply called 'Den 55', races a.o.

3 nat. Argenton 3,735 b.

4 nat. Argenton 3,942 b.

5 nat. Gueret 2,410 b.

5 semi-nat Montlucon 7,459 b.

5 prov. Limoges 833 b.

8 prov. Melun 4,318 b.

His father was a Louis Deleus out of the strains of the ‘Vooruit’ and Maes I. That helps as well off course.

* Out of another daughter of this couple, Hubert Schroyens, gets his ‘Donkere Witpender’ and breeds ‘Miss Lizzie’ out of him:

1 nat z. La Souterr. 6,332 b.

8 Melun 2,939 b.

11 prov. Bourges 4,364 b.

Or do you prefer her daughter ‘Queen of Belgium’, 1 nat. ace bird BDS with

9 nat. Argenton 20,844 b.

9 nat. La Souterraine 19,058 b.

13 nat. Gueret 12,558 b.

An endless success story

It might occur to you by now that the after breed of ‘Den 178’ is an endless success story.

* Out of the nest brother from the above mentioned mother of ‘055’, Jos and Jules breed ‘Het 91’, 6226091-03, and she is mother of a.o. ‘Den Bourges’:

1 nat z. Bourges 4,938 b.

These were in fact the last youngsters out of coupling ‘Den 178’ x ‘Sister Dikke Duivin’. Afterwards the brothers Engels went out looking for a new breeding formula with ‘Den 178’.  

In 2003 ‘Den 178’ is being coupled, as a trial, against the mother of ‘Den Argenton’ (1 nat. Argenton 3,935 b.) and it was a hit in the rose immediately with , 6226222-03, ‘Den 222’ :

4 nat. Argenton 3,994 b.

9 Toury 1,863 b.

4 Sens 1,073 b.

2 Melun 768 b.

4 Sens 358 b.


Also in 2003 and the years after, ‘Den 178’ will be coupled against the best hen of the loft ‘Marieke’, which we will describe extensively in part III. With these pigeons isn’t being raced any more. ‘Den 178’ is 9 years old by then and the breeding material out of ‘Den 178’ x ‘Marieke’ will be the future of the breeding loft. And if they were right again….

Out of this top coupling comes:

* cock 6226459-03, and becomes father of 6221063-05, ‘Licht Aske’

1 s nat. Argenton 4,704 b.

12 i prov. Vierzon 2,085 b.

65 nat. Bourges 12,898 b.

4 Dourdan 324 b.

* His brother, 6154798-06, is at least as good and father of a.o. 

- 6225010-12, the  ‘010’ hen :

1 nat z. Issoudun 1,182 b. (4 nat. Issoudun 5,670 b.)

8 prov. Châteauroux 809 b.

- 6066477-16 :

1 prov. Bourges 1,092 b.

If it works with ‘Marieke’, it should work out as well with a daughter of ‘Marieke’. And ‘Den 178’ will be coupled in 2006 to a daughter of ‘Marieke’ (out of ‘Marieke’ x a son of ‘Den 178’), so for their way of working a rather deep inbred. They get "Inteelt 178", 6154428-06, and he is father of ‘Limoges’

1 nat z. Limoges 3,764 b.

5 prov. Montluçon 1,630 b.

Not to be mixed up with the recent national winner out of Limoges, as this one is also a deep inbred to ‘Den 178’.

And even more ‘Marieke’

In 2002, ‘Den 178’ was coupled against a sister of the mother of ‘Marieke’. About ‘Marieke’ and her parents, aunts and uncles, we have to discuss extensively in the next part.  

With this 6153803-01, ‘Den 178’ gave a wonderful breeding hen, 6121573-02. She became mother of 2 national ace birds:

* 6154676-06 ‘Den As’ - 5 nat. Ace bird Long Distance KBDB

1 Pithiviers 653 b

3 prov. Brive 1,492 b.

2 I prov. Limoges 2,933 b.

25 nat. Souillac 7,597 b.

And a super breeder himself afterwards, father of a.o.

4 prov. Bourges 4,527 b.

10 prov. Limoges 1,313 b.

14 prov. Vierzon 2,196 b.

2 Souppes 457 b

3 Soissons 1,002 b.

2 prov. Argenton 425 b. and so on….

* 6231730-04 ‘De Witten As’ - 9 nat. Ace bird GMD KBDB

2 prov. Montlucon 2,499 b.

4 I prov. Argenton 1,872 b.

10 prov. Châteauroux 4,249 b.

31 prov Orléans 3,631 b.

A story apart: ‘den Argenton’

If you’re not overwhelmed yet, by the story of ‘Den 178’, you have to continue reading a bit. There is even more and maybe the best is yet to come.

In 1999 – we go back a few years – ‘Den 178’ was coupled to his niece, a granddaughter of his father ‘231’. Out of this temporary couple there came a superior racer and breeder, namely ‘De Genopte’ 6151734-99

He raced himself:

1 prov. Argenton 1,538 b. (2 s-nat Argenton 8,405 b.)

1 Pithiviers 579 b.

And became a super breeder afterwards, father of a.o.

* 6226043-03 Den Argenton, an absolute top pigeon with a.o.

1 nat Argenton 3,935 b.

1 prov. Orléans 2,219 b.

18 Montluçon 1,800 b.

16 Toury 1,863 b.

7 Pithiviers 1,037 b.

154 nat. Bourges 26,679 b.

What ‘den Argenton’ meant for the current colony of the Engels brothers, will be explained another time.

‘De Genopte’ became also father of:

* 6130618-09 ‘Isolda’, mother of the already mentioned ‘010’-hen,

1 nat z. Issoudun 1,182 b. (4 nat. Issoudun 5,670 b.)

* ‘Joska’, mother of ‘Pablo’ - 3 prov. Limoges 2,594 b. grandmother of 1 NPO Bourges 8,278 b.

* ‘Mariano’ – father of  9 Angerville 1,910 b.

* ‘Limousine’ – mother of 1 nat. Limoges 15,009 b.

* B6231673-04 ‘Salbriske’ - 1 prov. Salbris 443 b. 7 iprov. Argenton 1,872 b.

* 6110370-07 - vader 4 prov. Brive 842 b.

And so on…

Wrap up

Time to wrap up part II.

It has become an extensive story…and then we didn’t even talk about what ‘Den 178’ meant on all the other lofts who have off spring of him. We have for example Koen Minderhout who got in 2006 a son out of ‘Den 178’ and bred his ’45-je’, a real phenomenon that became 7 nat. ace bird year birds TBOTB with a.o.

1 Péronne 11,724 b.

1 Breteuil 7,228 b.

6 NPO Châteauroux 3,777 b.

7 NPO Argenton 4,441 b.

3 Morlincourt 1,205 b.

3 Sézanne 731 b.

7 Pommeroeul 1,400 b.

7 Orléans 854 b.

11 Pommeroeul 3,815 b.

12 Pithiviers 8,461 b.

Also Jos Goessen, got the strain of ‘Den 178’, this via Gaby Vandenabeele, where he got his ‘Lady Bettini’, a 50% Engels. Goessen bred 2 supers out of her:

- ‘Sagan’

1 NPO Bourges 8,278 b

2 NPO Pithiviers 11,422 b.

2 NPO Lorris 20,694 b.

- ‘Froome’

1 NPO Montluçon 3,884 b.

20 Bourges 8,278 b.

Also Gerard Koopman got his ‘Kleine Engels’ out of the strain ‘Den 178’ and bred his NL5343024-03, ‘Deng Lins Favourite’

1 NPO Ablis 10,609 b

8 NPO Sourdun 13,426 b.

30 Houdeng 31,647 b.

18 Morlincourt 2,228 b.

125 St Ghislain 13,574 b.

This 024 became also a super breeder, father of a.o. ‘Zina’, 2 nat. Ace bird NPO LD 2007 with

2 NPO Chantilly 13,008 b.

9 NPO Orleans 9,670 b.

And also Henri Diks had a top breeding hen out of ‘Den 178’ strain and wins a.o. 1 NPO Salbris 8,250 b.

3 NPO Salbris 5,989 b.

3 Nanteuil 14,308 b.

9 NPO Salbris 5,747 b.

But we don’t have to go to Holland to hear success stories out of ‘Den 178’ strain. Marc Van Eynde – Govaerts (Putte) is a child at home at Engels and they, off course, also got out of ‘Den 178’ and bred an entire loft full of champions. Via Marc, the strain of ‘Den 178’ got to the loft of Patrick Vervloesem who bred semi-national and provincial winners out of it on his turn.

Also a Johny Jonckers (Linter, BE) came to get reinforcement in Putte out of the strain ‘Den 178’ and ‘Marieke’. But that’s a success story on its own where you have credit on. And we can continue for a while like this.

In part 3 we will talk about, as promised, of the entire story of the family of ‘Marieke’ and in the 4th and last part about ‘den Argenton’ and ‘Den As’ in the current line. It is clear that the breeding and the racing in Putte has been dominated, the last 10 years, by these three strains: ‘den Argenton’, ‘Den As’ , ‘Marieke’ and off course ‘Den 178’, but you had figured out that one yourself.