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Borgmans Brothers...the life's work of "De Klak"/Janssen

18 Sep 2022

Reusel: Rotingstraat no. 5 in Reusel...there we have an appointment with Janus and Herman Borgmans. Janus and Herman have been racing in combination all their lives and over the years they have "flown" a unique list of honour together. A list of honour which they especially thank to the birds of the famous "De Klak" pigeons. "De Klak" (Jos Van Limpt) lived in the same village and was married to Janus' and Herman's aunt. Herman tells: "Our first pigeons actually came from Fons Hulsenmans (Arendonk) but since 1956 they only invested in the "Klak" pigeons. The life of Jos de Klak was completely devoted to racing pigeons. The well-being of the pigeons was secured first with anything that passed in the home of Van Limpt. Because, according to Jos’ philosophy: no matter in what sport, if you don’t give it your all you will never reach the top.
Jos van Limpt-de Klak was born and raised with pigeon racing. Besides his love for the sport, he also received his nickname ‘De Klak’ from his father. When Van Limpt senior was spotted during a mild rain shower with a large ‘klak’ (Belgian expression for hat), his nickname was born. After Van Limpt senior passed away in 1943, Jos automatically inherited his father’s nickname.
Before the Second World War, Van Limpt senior was already spoken about with much awe. In this time he was one of the first who raced with pigeons of the sort the Janssen brothers from the nearby town of Arendonk used. Jos’ father worked at sigar factory beside Arjaan Janssen and was able to get the best of the best this way.

Because keeping pigeons was outlawed during the Second World War, Jos had to start from scratch afterwards. His mother insisted he approached the famous brothers from Arendonk. After all, his father was always treated correctly there and he achieved great successes with their pigeons. Jos never wanted any other pigeons afterwards than those of the Janssen brothers. Not because all the other pigeons were bad, but they certainly weren’t better.The medium distance flights were Jos’ greatest passion in all his life, he was less interested in other races. He created a type of pigeons that was inimitable for medium distances and which were fast enough for the short jobs and tough enough for the single-day races. The watchword of Jos was: work with a good pedigree, eliminate inbreeding, race a lot and select strictly. Because of that it might happen when you study a family tree of a random recent Klak pigeon, you can encounter cracks of old times like the ‘881 van ‘47’, the ’43-duif uit het Jong Koppel’, ‘Vechter x Witpenneke’ or the ‘613’!

“Dikke duif” NL64-1205046

The strain created by the Borgmans brothers started with a pigeon they bred from two pigeons gifted by their uncle Jos van Limpt-de Klak. This H64-1205046 was soon named ‘DIKKE DUIF’. This mother was, when breeding, untouchable and won a second place prize in a race from Chateauroux (565 km) at the racing club Zuiderkempen. In this race she also won the auto prize. Her son, ‘DE BALLON’ (H69-243347), flew vitesse races as well as the race head prizes. In 1975 he flew the 8th Moulins, 2nd Chateau­roux and the 17th Ruffec at the age of six. From the ‘Ballon’ the Borgmans brothers bred pigeons like ‘DE HARDE’ (NL78-0715320), ‘HET PARELTJE’ (NL81-2157336 ) and last but not least, ‘JONGE BALLON’ (NL81-2157309). 

The descendents of these ‘Balloonchilds’ were raised to a species of pigeons from which pretty much all single-day race winners were born.
One of these winners, the legendary ‘25’ (NL92-0049525), unfolded itself together with the best pigeon Jos van Limpt-de Klak owned, the ‘613’ (NL89-1775613), to fathers with an excellent strain. The achievements the descendants of these unequalled pigeons, who can be found at the Borgmans’ own pen as well as Jos de Klak’s, achieve all over the world is truly unbelievable!

The ‘Klak’ pigeons are renowned for over sixty years for their silky soft plume, fantastic orientation and impeccable speed. Many years of careful and dedicated breeding have made “the ‘Klak’ pigeon easy to cross with other pigeons. The Borgmans brothers too, have used this special property the past few years. With care they selected top pigeons from renowned champions Willem de Bruijn (Reeuwijk – NL) and Leo Heremans (Vorselaar – BE) to crossbreed with their own. Once more, award-winning pigeons were born such as the ’51-Doffer’ with no less than three first place prizes!




At the Borgmans' house Herman will keep some "older" pigeons (pigeons that do not fertilise anymore or only sporadically). Janus and Herman have been working with pigeons all their lives and it would not be good for their general health if there would be no more feathers on the loft. That little bit of luck in these difficult times may not be taken away from a pigeon fancier. Thank you for understanding.