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T. Koele & Zoon (Wezep): 1st, 2nd and 3rd International Barcelona

06 Jul 2024

International Barcelona 2024

In competition 17,109 pigeons, of which 5,323 from the Netherlands

1st, 2nd, 3rd International  T. Koele & Zoon, Wezep

Barcelona 2024: 'The Miracle of Wezep'

The annual flight from Barcelona has been the big eye-catcher on the international pigeon racing calendar since time immemorial. This year, 17,109 pigeons were basketed for this King's Classic (more than 500 more than in 2023) from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom. And this year too, the battle was exceptionally exciting: who would win this ultimate classic? The surprising winners are the father-son combination Tijmen (68) and Willem (39) Koele from the Gelderland pigeon village of Wezep. And to make the story complete: they not only won first place, but also settled for second and third place! To my knowledge, the entire podium of the international result of Barcelona has never been won by the same fancier(s). Father and son Koele wrote history with this magnificent performance last weekend!

Willem says: 'I saw the reports on Friday evening and thought that if we want to win the flight we have to turn very early tomorrow. At midnight I checked the lofts but there was nothing. At 03:00 I got up and went to my post in the kitchen, where I have a good view of the lofts. It became light and I saw the reports of Bressols in the early morning hours. We also had pigeons on that flight. At 04:51 I saw a pigeon drop like a stone through the kitchen window. It landed on the wrong trap. At first I thought it was a pigeon from Bressols but when I got closer I saw that it was the NL 20-1239585, a pigeon from Barcelona, ​​which still made a fit impression. I was shocked. The clock showed 04:51.36. The winner, a blue cock, had already flown a 47th Bergerac from 4,153 p. with a clock time of 02.58 hours! He was played on a youngster of 7 days. Father is 'the 004' a great flyer and breeder of the crossing Henri Hoeks x Gerrit Jan van Vilsteren. Mother the 17-738, an exchange pigeon from Jan Ouwerkerk line Super 88 x Dirk van Hofwegen.

Then I quickly woke my father. Barely ten minutes later two more pigeons fell, both again from Barcelona. These did not want to enter the loft. The first of the two to enter was the NL21-1659731, a scratch hen played on 14 days of brooding, who had really given herself completely. She is now also 1st Int. Hens. She previously flew a 46th Bergerac from 2,898 pigeons and is now clocked at 05.10.45 hours. Father is 'Kweek 187' from the very best of Arjan Beens and Gerrit Jan van Vilsteren. Mother is 15-268 1st NPO Limoges 2019 from Henri Hoeks. The second, the NL 20-1102457. a scratch hen finally walks over the antenna at 05.23.15 hours. This one showed few signs of fatigue. She is coupled to the first pigeon from Barcelona and is 100% Arjan Beens. Father is 'Jelle Goud' a grandson of Zwart Goud and Snelle Jelle. Mother is a granddaughter of Snelle Jelle and Olympic Miss Gijsje. 'De 457' flew in 2023, among other things, a 119th National Barcelona. My father and I had had enough. Three pigeons from Barcelona in such a short time and the three earliest reports on'. A few more exciting hours followed before there was certainty about the final rankings. In the meantime, the reactions and congratulations flowed in. Potential buyers also came forward, but father and son Koele made it clear that they wanted to take stock of things before making a decision.

Tijmen and Willem Koele started seriously participating in the marathon in 2005, before that the traditional program was also successfully played. During their debut in the overnight, they immediately clocked three pigeons in the night. Their basic pigeons come from Arjan Beens – Gerrit Jan van Vilsteren and Henri Hoeks. In addition, pigeons came from Rik Ros and Jan Ouwerkerk. Pigeons were specially purchased for Barcelona from Coen van Haarlem, Kees Niesten and Heikamp-van Doorn. The last purchase are pigeons from C. & G. Koopman. The racing team for the marathon consists of 60 pigeons, which are raced on the nest. The feed comes from Beyers, Koopman All in One and Energy. To keep them at the right weight, paddy and barley are added in the pre-season. They train once a day. In recent years, fantastic results have been achieved. For example, in 2018 they were already National Champion in the marathon and regularly achieved chain results.

A day after the flight, Tijmen and Willem are still full of adrenaline. Moved by the many reactions within their own club, the wide region and actually the entire country. And not to forget the wonderful tributes in their own club 'De Duivenvriend' Wezep and in the NIC Borne, where the basketing took place. I see and feel the emotion of both men at my farewell. It is quite something to experience this almost unthinkable success. Once again, congratulations guys and enjoy it above all!

Gerrit van Eikenhorst

International Barcelona winner T. Koele with the trophy in the middle of the picture



1st International Barcelona 

Clocked at: 04u51min 36 sec

Velocity: 1,321.17 m/m

Distance: 1,244km


2nd International Barcelona 

Clocked at: 05u10min 45 sec

Velocity: 1,317.32 m/m

Distance: 1,244km


3rd International Barcelona 

Clocked at: 05u23min 15 sec

Velocity: 1,300.12 m/m

Distance: 1,244km