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Stynen Raf (Geel), wins 1st International Barcelona Hens 2019

07 Nov 2019

Raf Stynen (39y) did this weekend what every Barcelona racer dreams about. With 10 basketed pigeons he wins 2nd National and 10th National Barcelona. The 2nd National Barcelona is also good for the 1st International Barcelona Hens as the winning pigeon from Stijn & Jeroen Rans is a cock and on top of this also the winner of the 'Gouden Vleugel' competition from the Bruges Barcelona Club, meaning that his first given pigeon was his first to get home.

Short intro

Raf isn't a name that sounds many bells within pigeon sport and this is the way he likes it. Not too much fuzz, not too much noice, just racing pigeons. He started off racing pigeons when he was about 12 years old at his parents' place, no-one in his family raced pigeons aside a nephew from his mother, Jos Geens, who could help him out a bit. A friends' father was at that time the chairman of the pigeon club in his town and he thinks that's the reason why he was bitten by the pigeon germ. He raced on the short distance and middle distance races until he was about 18 years old and stopped due to other interests.
But as you all know, once bitten by the pigeon can never get rid of it neither Raf could, so he started racing again in 2006 with as main goal the extreme long distance racers. He started to watch movies about it and started to read a lot. This is how he got to know the famous Dutch long distance racers A.P. Overwater and this strain was also the first long distance strain you could find on Raf's loft. In 2010 he moved to his current house with 4 breeding couples and 12 racing couples. He had had reinforced his loft with pigeons from Frans van Peperstraete (NL), Henk Biemans (NL) out of the strain of 'De Joop' and later also Piet de Vogel, Cor de Heijde, van der Wegen and Gebr. Hagens all via vouchers bought in clubs. When asking why pigeons from Dutch fanciers, Raf replied :' I just reasoned very simple, the Dutch pigeons have to take on more kilometres then the Belgian pigeons on these extreme long distance racers, so if they can race all the way to Holland, the would surely make it to my loft. And also, the Dutch fanciers have a longer history and so also more experience on those extreme long distance races.'


At the moment he has about 10 breeding couples and about 40 racing pigeons where off he always selects about 10 pigeons to go to Barcelona. He always races couples, so both cock as hen will go on a race together. Normally he doesn't train the youngsters so they won't see a basket in their birth year but now he is thinking of starting to do that as he suffers quiet some losses with the yearling pigeons. At the moment the yearling pigeons only raced some short distance races but they will have to go to at least to one long distance race this season. The two-year old pigeons will also have to do the long distance races with as final race Perpignan. All this in function to go to Barcelona as a 3-year old pigeon, so only as from the age of 3 they may go to Barcelona, not sooner.
He races all his pigeons as couples and always on small youngsters, this also for the yearling and two-year olds. They also train all together one time a day in the late evening, so all hens and cocks for one hour at about 8 o'clock in the evening. He admitted that the past few weeks his pigeons trained really well, they took off in group, stayed in the air for about 1,5 hour, rushed over the loft...all signs of being in great shape.


The pigeons get the Varia-mix from Mariman mixed with Gerry-plus from Versele-Laga. During the winter time he adds barley and paddy, he does this as well in Summer time but not as much as in Winter. He also adds candyseed, B40 and wild seeds. After training in the evening they also get some more candy seed but different from the once he adds to the food, these are a mixture of about 7 different seeds and is more heavy then the other once. Once a week he gives Sedechol, brewers' yeast and conditional powder from vet Mariën. Before and after the race of Barcelona they also get the conditional syrup from Mariën. What medication is concerned, he doesn't almost dare to say it as no-one hardly believes him...since he started over again in 2006 he has never given anything against trichomoniases, head disseases, ... only the obliged vaccination against paramyxo and he treats against small pocks. He hardly suffers from the young birds dissease either and if their is one that suffers a bit, he just let it be and has to cure naturally. He believes in the strenght of a natural pigeon!

1st International Hens Barcelona 2019 (2nd Intern. against 16,051b)
Winner 'Gouden Vleugel' 2019
2nd National Barcelona 7,325b

The winning hen is a beautifull small chequered hen built in right proportions. Very soft feathers and a strong back, really well closed ventbones and a nice eye.
Father : NL12-1714177 Direct Cor de Heijde (NL)
Grandson 'De Perpignan Doffer' super racer and breeder
Inbred to 'Klamper' P. Lazeroms - superbreeder and father to ao. 1-7-7-15-...Nat. Perpignan
Son to 1/2 brother 1 National Barcelona Cor de Heijde
Son to 1/2 brother 1 National Barcelona 'Queen Tonny' Frans Bungeneers

Mother : NL14-1025095 Direct Gebr. Hagens (NL)
Direct daughter 'Angelo' Or. Gebr. Bruggeman
'Anglo' is winner of 17 Nat. Barc. - 92 Nat. St.Vincent - ...
'Angelo' is (gr)father of ao. 7 Nat. Barca '13 - 7 Nat. Barca '09 - 17 Nat. Barca '03 - ...
At mothers' side she is also a granddaughter 'Angelo' , so inbred.

10 National Barcelona 7,325b
40 International Barcelona 16,051b

This chequered, white flight hen is also a small hen. Again very soft feathers, well closed ventbones and a very beautiful eye but a bit deeper in the back.

She is a 100% Gebr. Patrick (St.Truiden) pigeon

Father :BE11-5160386 Direct Gebr. Patrick
Direct son of top breeder 'De Jonge Vanoppen' (H&R Wijnands, NL)
Direct son of 'Invincible Girl', daughter to 'Invincible Leader' who is brother to 1 Intern. Barcelona 27,068b
Grandson to 'Daughter Barcelona' (Stefan Meremans) - 'Barcelona' 2 Nat.Barcelona - 4 Intern. against 24,139b

Mother : BE12-5164567 'Classy Lady' Direct Gebr. Patrick
Daughter 'Mystical Lady' Inbred to 'De Donkere Barcelona' 1 National Ace bird Barcelona 96-98
Granddaughter 'De Narbonne' (Luc Herbots, Zepperen) winner of 1 Prov. Narbonne 1,000b
Also strain 'De Klamper' (Cor de Heijde - see above 1st. Intern.Hens) and strain 1 National Dax (Thei Hermans)

Raf, again a big congratulation on this amazing achievement from the entire Herbots team! Enjoy all the festivities that are coming to celebrate your winning pigeon now and during the coming Winter and good luck for the future !