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Jos Joosen (Brecht) wins glorious national ace pigeon KBDB Rhone Valley races 2022 !

03 Jan 2023

"Falling down and getting up again". That's pretty much the summary of the past year for world-famous long-distance crack from Brecht Jos Joosen. At 78 years old, Jos is still full of positivity and vigour. He still hops, as it were, through his house and his yard to his lofts. Blessed with an incredibly good mood and robust health, it is truly infectious to see someone at that age at work. I suspect Gerda secretly drops a little Duracell powder in Jos' coffee daily......
Flanked by his equally spry wife Gerda, they are a splendid duo who amuse themselves daily with the pigeons, bicycles, children, grandchildren, friends and much more. Jos' eyes shine when he tells about his pigeon exploits.....and they are many and magnificent.
But the "falling down and getting up again" was the unfortunate incident of a cowardly pigeon theft.

A cowardly pigeon theft threatened to destroy a top colony

As many as 115 pigeons were stolen from Jos on the night of 6 October 2021. It was mostly racers and hens that were stolen. There are images of the theft, but so far no pigeons have been recovered or culprits apprehended. It took some swallowing and was a firm chop in the morale of Jos and Gerda. One stroke of luck was the fact that Jos' pigeons were fairly widely dispersed in various lofts (garden lofts and lofts above the outbuildings at the back). This way, a small racing team of pigeons was still safeguarded and the breeding pigeons were also spared. Jos is convinced that the culprits visited several weeks before to see and possibly buy pigeons. But no positive investigation results have been obtained so far. Among the stolen pigeons, there were certainly a handful of top 50 national pigeons that were stolen. The statement Jos now uses to illustrate it is "all my best were gone".... and this says a lot on a top loft like this one in Brecht on which everything that can be won has been won. However, Jos is not the person to sit in a corner and mope. It certainly affected morale in the first few days, but backing up and moving forward was pretty soon the order of the day again. There were some very good pigeons that by a happy coincidence had not been stolen (hidden on a door, hidden behind a shelf or cupboard in the corner, and which in the havoc of the night's theft were not noticed by the thieves. And let it be these that ensured back to back firm results in season 2022 with an ace pigeon on the Rhône Valley flights as the dessert and reward.

1st Ace pigeon KBDB Rhône 2022, a sweet revenge for the theft

It is a very beautiful blue three-year old cock that won this wonderful ace title. The Valence, Montélimar and Marseille flights are known to be rock hard and reserved for the strong among the strong. 
Traditionally, Jos' pigeons score well to very well on these flights. Once they won the 1st international Marseille (one of the founders of this colony) on a rock-hard flight and also the 1st national Montélimar. These conditions are tailor-made for Jos' pigeons.
The Valence and Marseille races were also very tough this year. Valence because of the very sultry weather conditions and Marseille because of the strong Mistral wind that hit the pigeons on the beak until central France.
BE19-6016639 is a medium-sized pigeon, but very strongly made, with a very soft plume (typical of Jos' pigeons) and a very strong and expressive eye.
It is a 2019 summer youngster who was raised to a maximum of 250km in his birth year. As a yearling, he flew two day long distance races and already stuck his nose to the window as "promising".
His sweet revenge for the theft from which he was indemnified was to fly this prestigious title of national ace pigeon to Brecht. He did so with the following results 
Valence (713 km) 
o 1st club 
o 10th provincial
o 35th national zone
o 122nd national (6,056 pigeons) minute speed 1,036 m/minute
Montélimar (770 km)
o 1st club
o 5th provincial
o 17th national zone
o 37th national (3,387 pigeons) minute speed 1,240m/minute
Marseille (902 km)
o 1st club
o 1st provincial
o 13th national (2,326 pigeons) minute speed 1,075m/min)


A wonderful performance from this clapper and winner of a very strong stage with the common thread surely being that the more kilometres and the tougher the conditions, the closer he flies to the top.
His origins go back to the real old strain of Jos namely along fathers' side he is the son of the ace pigeon long distance in A'pen (Bonga line) and along mothers' side it is a daughter of the 1st international Marseille coupled with a sister of the 1st international Perpignan (the best of the best).
It was not specially or "differently" motivated. The racers never get a nesting dish at Jos. In the first flights, they also never get to see a partner before basketing. In the last flights, a hen is sometimes shown before basketing, which was also the case with the ace pigeon.

BE17-6022327 flew top on Barcelona and Perpignan

This 5-year-old cock was one that had been hiding behind a shelf on the loft when the pigeons were stolen and he escaped. He had already shown his prowess last year with 

552nd national Barcelona
128th national Perpignan

In the 2022 season he was back on top with a cracking performance at Barcelona and a strong result at Perpignan


o 1st Club

o 7th provincial

o 29th national (6,560 pigeons)


o 5th club

o 17th provincial

o 107th national (3,766 pigeons)

28th ace KBDB national long-distance pigeon

It is not given to many pigeons to complete the double Barcelona-Perpignan, but this powerhouse has done it 2 years in a row.

His father flew the 1st provincial and 3rd national Pau and descends from the Perpignan line (Bonga). His mother is daughter of the 50th national Perpignan and 7th national Dax but can also be traced back to the basic strain. A removed inbreeding is not shunned here.

A golden record
You might ask what's left to win ? A lot apparently. When we see and hear Jos' drive during the visit, the competition has been warned. He is anything but satisfied, however impressive the record is. 
With several international and national victories in long-distance and very long-distance, a laundry list of honorary prizes and ace pigeons, a paternoster of championships, Jos is still fervent during his plea about the fact that he would like to play himself another champion in his local club in Sint Job. He might have long since had a certain complacency, but that now typifies the true fancier, the winner in him, that he can still charge for this. Such motivation coupled with a very strong strain that has already proved so much is a dangerous combination !
1. international Perpignan
1. international Marseille
International Perpignan
3. international Marseille
2. international Bordeaux vintage
4. international Bordeaux
5. international Bordeaux
4. national Barcelona
5. National Barcelona
1. national Perpignan
1. national Marseille
1. Bordeaux national
1. national Montelimar
2. national Perpignan
2. national Dax
2. national Orange
3. national Marseille
3. national Pau
4. national Bordeaux
6. national La Souterraine
7. national Limoges
8. national Narbonne
9. national Chateauroux
7. national Pau


The KIS principle in care taking
Jos is an avid follower of the KIS principle, i.e. Keep It Simple. Keep it logical, thoughtful and simple. The lofts are cleaned but not polished, the difference is obvious to everyone. The pigeons have been kept as close to nature as possible for years. Drinking pots are sometimes washed out...if Gerda can't stand it any more Jos says with a quip.
Is Jos naive in his care ? Anything but. Here lies one of the strengths of his approach. He has a very good view on the health of his pigeons but they must be able to withstand a push. This is how he has selected and combed them for years. Every week, pigeons that cannot cope with this regime die. To our question about the reason behind this, Jos says "pigeons that go into the basket on Monday until Friday or Saturday eat maize on the bottom of the baskets, between the manure, etc... When they don't have a strong basic resistance, they don't keep this up. And they get this basic resistance in Jos' lofts at home. The pigeons look very healthy, they have a velvety plume, they are well fed.
Jos never visits a vet. Apart from the necessary vaccinations, Jos checks for tricho himself. A drop against pests on the breast should suffice to keep them resilient. Jos has carried out various tests in the past. Two lofts next to each other where both lofts had pigeons infected with tricho. One loft treated, the other not, no differences noticeable in the results. That's how he handles it.
The feed is "good feed" namely cull mix and breeding mix by Van Tilburgh. Never supplements over the feed and always feed in the feeder. The breeding lofts have a large feed container into which a full bag of feed is tipped each time. 
The racers do not breed for the season. On 15 March, the racers come together for a few days for training. Nest dishes are intended for the breeders, not for the racers.... "no unnecessary washing up" according to Jos.
On their return from a race, the pigeons receive Belgasol from his good friend Henk de Weerd, and at basketing some fine seeds as a fatty supplement.
The breeders are paired mid-December - Christmas period and the youngsters are trained to 250 km or a little further if feasible. There is no selection by model (makes no sense either. We got a number of pigeons in hand and they are almost all the same, lots and soft feathers, strongly closed, and very expressive eyes). Here the years of selection have formed a strain in which there are still few abnormalities to be found....and if there are any they go out unceremoniously.
Jos wants to play top from middle-distance to Barcelona. To bask in is to compete for the top is a slogan that gives a lot of pleasure here. 

 A laundry list of honorary titles
Championships 2022

o 1st national ace pigeon Rhone KBDB
o 2nd ace pigeon long-distance Fondclub St Job
o 28th national ace pigeon long-distance KBDB
o 1st superprestige Fondclub Antwerpen
o 1st champion 3 first signed middle-distance ZAV
o 2nd champion 2 first signed middle distance old ZAV
o 1st champion 1st signed small middle distance St Job
o 2nd national marathon very long distance
o 2nd champion long-distance club St Job
o 2nd champion Barcelona Masters 1st signed
o 3rd general champion long-distance Union Antwerp
o 5th Barcelona Club 1st signed
o 1st provincial Marseille 12th national
o In the long-distance club St Job this year Jos plays 1st Limoges, 1st Valence,1st Montelimar, 1st Marseille and 1st Barcelona

Prestigious titles from the past

o General champion Belgian Verstandhouding
o Belgian middle distance champion
o 6-day Belgian Conservation
o Price Norman/Vercauteren Belgian Conservation
o General Champion Houtlandse Fondclub
o General Champion IFC Limburg (2x)
o General Champion Lierse Marathon (5x)
o General champion Union Antwerpen Fond (7x)
o Overall champion Antwerp Flying Club (13x)
o Overall champion International Fondclub W.Vl (2x)
o General champion Dog Club St.-Job (10x)
o Overall champion Champions League (4x)
o Winner Super Prestige (3x)
o Winner European Cup
o Winner European Cup
o Winner Euro Diamond Marseille
o Winner National team race Barcelona/Perpignan

Many successfully feasted on this golden breeding vein
When Jos, despite very tempting bids, kept his 1st International Marseille in his breeding loft, a gateway to strong progeny opened up both for himself and others. The 1st international Marseille was himself an extremely talented racing pigeon. As a yearling he flew 20th provincial Chateauroux, 11th provincial Montluçon, 19th provincial Limoges and also....6th out of 187 pigeons on Quiévrain ! On Orange, he flew provincially 15 minutes apart and won a 1st national in the Zone before unleashing his devils on Marseille and winning 1st international. 

His progeny is unseen on Jos' loft. His blood is interwoven in all the top pigeons that followed afterwards. On other lofts (Jos did not keep track of them all...) very strong results were also achieved such as :

1st national Chateauroux with Marc Vlaeminck (co-breeding)
4th national Limoges with BDS 
1st national Narbonne with BDS (Piet Blancke), mother is a Joosen-pigeon
1st national Limoges (Nl) at Laban JM
1st national zone Sint Vincent (Nl) at Ludo Verboven
1st international Marseille 2022 by Olivier Novak (grandmother is a Joosen pigeon)


Simplicity adorns the master

We would like to end this report with this beautiful saying. We could pull many superlatives out of our hat to show what quality of pigeons Jos and Gerda have in Brecht...but we won't tell any real news. The experts in the world of long-distance and very long-distance racing know this all too well. It is remarkable that someone who is 78 years old still practices his hobby with such motivation and drive. It is contagious and inspires commitment and the will to win. Jos has transferred this attitude to his pigeons, fighters, winners in the toughest weather conditions.

After an unfortunate setback due to a hold-up in his racing team, he managed to get his back straight and in season 2022 he proved once again that one of the best international long distance lofts is in Brecht, at the Joosen home.

Jos and Gerda, congratulations from the Herbot team !

Geert Dhaenens