Ad Schaerlaeckens wrote about Ludo Claessens: “Ludo Claessens needs little comment.

As for Middle Distance, he simply is Holland’s best.  People talk about other fanciers when they win;

they talk about the Magician from Putte if he does not win!  What Claessens distinguishes from

others is that his birds not only win against huge amounts of birds, the prize percentage is also amazing. 

Ten birds in a race that win ten prizes?  For Ludo that is kind of normal.  If Claessens auctions birds they are

mostly sold for crazy prices.  There is only one explanation for that: They win everywhere! 

The secret of magic Ludo is his selection.  Birds that would be considered as supers in other lofts

he gets rid of since they are not good enough for him.  In this sport there is a saying ‘everybody occasionally has a bad year’. 

Claessens never had a bad year ever since he raced birds.  For him even a bad race is real exceptional,

and… what he may call a poor result is considered a good result by many others.”


News from Belgium and Europe


Ludo Claessens:

Alone at the Top (Part I)

by Stefan Mertens



            Putte: You can group pigeon fanciers into different categories. From "no-prize-winners" to "good fanciers." From "good fanciers" to "champions." From "champions" to "World champions." And when you have done that, you still have one fancier left, a wonder child, a talent on a matchless high level, namely the one and only Ludo Claessens from Putte (Netherlands). A Picasso, if you want to call him that, or a Mozart in the pigeon sport. His career as a fancier seems like a fairy tale in which a prince sees everything he touches change to gold.

This is a story which we want to tell you in two parts. The first part will be about the history (until 1995) of the Claessens pigeons. This we will base on a very good article from Sportblad De Duif (the best-selling pigeon newspaper in Belgium, owned by Jan Hermans - Waalre, Netherlands). The second part will be about the period from 1995 until 2001.


Ludo Claessens


The Garden and Lofts           PART I: THE HISTORY OF THE CLAESSENS LOFT UNTIL 1995




Putte is a little village just over the border between Belgium and the Netherlands, on the Dutch side. And Ludo Claessens was born in that border village. His father was Belgian and his mother Dutch. So Ludo was born into an international family, which was not so unusual in that environment. Ludo received his father's nationality and will keep it, although he has lived his entire life in the Netherlands. A Dutch Belgian, he even joined the Belgian army.


Ludo grew up in the Antwerpsestraat in Putte near his grandparents. His grandfather from his mother's side was Louis Sebrechts, a fancier with nice results. Young Ludo was his grandfather's best friend, and as a little child was already in his grandfather's lofts. There, he became infected with the famous virus we all know-namely the pigeon virus. When Ludo got older, he partnered with his grandfather, and they raced together until Ludo was 23. After that, grandfather raced on his own until the age of 85, with a lot of success.


"Grandfather Sebrechts taught me how to handle a pigeon," says Ludo. "He was a real pigeon psychologist. The most important lesson I got from Granddad was that I must feel like a pigeon. Knowing what makes a pigeon happy or sad." Ludo will never forget his grandfather's lessons.

From his grandfather he also learned that you always have to look out for that superb pigeon. Good pigeons come out of good pigeons. Super pigeons come out of super pigeons.


From the period that he raced in parthership with his grandfather, Ludo can name all the best pigeons. "If you want, I can also mention the ring numbers!" he says. There was "De Rappe," an unbelievably good widower, and don't forget the "Schouwveger" (strain Van Gils and Son - Merksem) through Gaston Cruysweegs. The favorite was the "Hugo," a widower with Huyskens-Van Riel blood through Hugo Kuilen. In 1972, they bought a young pigeon which had flown extremely well by Thijssen. It was loft broken and won the 38th prize against 1050 pigeons on a very hard Ruffec race. This position says more when you know that there were only 53 birds home on the same day.



Widowhood loft




Kids become big, and just like pigeons, one day they fly out of the nest. In 1974, Ludo married Marja and they bought their own house, with a pigeon loft. Ludo started with five pigeons which were from his grandfather. Among those five pigeons was "Het Donker Thijssen." And the new member of pigeon club "De Grensduif" won in his first year four first prizes: 1st Orleans, 1st Moulins, 1st Ruffec, and 1st St. Vincent.




In the period that Ludo was in partnership with his grandfather, there was a certain fancier named Gaston Cruysweegs, who was nearly unbeatable. Winning the first five prizes against thousands of birds was nothing unusual. Ludo says that he looked up to that man, considering him an idol and wanting to race like him. For years, he was the best fancier in the area, so it is logical that Ludo went there to invest in some pigeons. Pigeons like "De Rappe" and "De Schouwveger" came from Cruysweegs. Gaston Cruysweegs had pigeons from Louis Vermeyer, Brothers Van Gils and Stan Raeymaeckers.


"Cruysweegs knew something more about pigeons," says Ludo. "I must admit that all the pigeons we bought from him were top birds. We raced them on the nest until about 350 km, but now and then I basketed a pigeon for the long distance."


In 1974, Ludo went to Gaston for more birds. Now, he bought an egg from his best breeding couple. With the eye of a champion, Gaston looked at both eggs and asked Ludo if he wanted a cock or a hen. Ludo couldn't believe his ears and answered, "Give me the cock." And indeed, a cock came out of that egg. That cock received ring number NL 238915/74 and would change Ludo's life, because he was a real top breeder. He quickly received the name "Fokstier," because with a lot of hens, he produced super birds. Altogether, he gave 17 or 18 1st prize winners. We think about the "08" (2599108/77) who won four first prizes and second prize six times.

"De Fokstier" was first paired up with the best breeding hen in the loft, "Donkere Thijssen." From that couple came the "Groten Bonte," who won the 28th national Orleans. "The Fokstier's" best breeding results were with a hen bought from Smijers. It was at a local celebration of a championship, and Smijers had two birds for auction. There was a hen with nice racing results and a blue hen which had not flown so well. Ludo chose the blue hen. Nobody understood, but the future proved Ludo right. That hen, "Oud Blauw Smijers," became a real top breeding bird. With the "Fokstier" she became the mother of the "Witpen Orleans" (81/8191863), who won the 5th national Orleans and became grandfather of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd national Orleans.


And what do you think about the nestmate of the "Witpen Orleans," who won a 1st Chateauroux by more than 15 minutes against 2557 pigeons? Good enough for the 2nd national prize. And since that moment, every year Ludo is the man to beat on the national Orleans race.




In 1978 Cruysweegs bought a late bred (6115575/78) from a Belgian fancier. The cock came out of a cock of Michielsen (Brasschaat) and a hen from Van Alfen (Merksem). In other words, a very good bloodline. Cruysweegs tried to break this cock to his loft, but he didn't succeed, and one day the cock stayed away. But a day later, that cock entered the loft of Ludo Claessens. Ludo took the cock back to Cruysweegs, and Ludo was so impressed with the qualities of that cock that he asked Cruysweegs to let him know if he wanted to sell that cock. In 1982, Cruysweegs phoned Ludo to say if he was interested in the "Valen" he could buy him together with his hen (a half sister of the famous "Fokstier"). And what had never succeeded with Cruysweegs was "Bingo" with Ludo from the first time.


The first youngster which Ludo bred out of the "Valen" was the "Rooie Zot" (8215829/82). That cock won 12th La Souterraine out of 1523 birds and 12th Orleans out of 3060 birds. He flew super until Bergerac, a very long-distance race. But that was not all. The "Rooie Zot" was also talented in the breeding loft. His first youngster was the "Witpen Zot" (8364098/83), good for the 2nd national Orleans, 1st from 4998 birds with five minutes in front. The mother of the "Witpen Zot" was a daughter of the "Fokstier." So we had a son of a half sister of the "Fokstier" with a daughter of the "Fokstier." And you are wrong if you think that "Witpen Zot" was the only super bird that came out of that couple. What do you think about his sister "Rooie Zottin" (8664554/86): 1sst Criel 2304, 2nd Compeigne 1348, and 1st Etampes 400-this as a yearling hen against widowers.


Ludo doesn't slack on winter care!





The success of the "Zotten" line and the "Fokstier" line was a motivation to do more and more inbreeding. The "Witpen Zot" became the partner of a granddaughter from the "08," a brother from his mother. That granddaughter was "Donker 40" (8414940/84), which won 1st against 4061 birds. That inbred couple-"Witpen Zot" and "Donker 40" would make Ludo world famous, because their daughter (8722902/87)won the 1st national Orleans with seven minutes in front, and in rayon 1 b (only bird entered) against more than 9000 birds. The hen that won the 1st national disappeared off the stage but made way for her nest sister "Donker 03" to become a top breeding hen. Top birds like "Voske 54," "The Dream," "Red Arrow," "Silver Boy," "Voske 88," "Voske 91," and "Donker 92"all have "Donker 03" in their pedigree.


The mother of the national winner was also mother of the "Donkere 65," this in combination with the "Witpen Orleans" (brother of her grandfather). "Donkere 65" won 5th Melun 1815, 12th Orleans 6217, and 2nd national Chateauroux 11,692 birds. "Donker 65" was again a breeder of pure gold because pigeons like "Gouden Crack 89," "De Katoog," "De Donkere Witpen," "Het Nationaaltje" and "The Dream" all have the "Donker 65" in their pedigree.




Ludo began to get a feeling that breeding top birds with this bloodline was a piece of cake. And when he bought a bird to cross in, it was always "Bingo." Even more national and/or provincial top prizes were close at hand. A little detail: in the winter he had only 24 birds in his loft. Ludo explains, "I don't know how I do it, but I think that I have something in me that says these are top birds, and these are second class." Take as an example the story of Lier-Market.

In 1982 Toine Musters, a good friend of Ludo's, was visiting. Toine asked if Ludo had something to sell. Ludo, who had only 20 birds, couldn't spare a single feather but invited Toine to go to Lier Market. (For our American friends, Lier is a town in Belgium where in February, March and April thousands of young birds are sold. That pigeon market has fanciers from Belgium, the Netherlands, England, France, Germany, etc.)


"There are good pigeons everywhere," said Ludo, and together they went to Lier. Ludo didn't quickly find what he was looking for, but after a few hours of searching they had bought five youngsters.

When Ludo and Toine came home, they had a second look at the youngsters, and Ludo said that a certain little blue hen was really a top bird. Toine, who was so happy that Ludo went with him to Lier wanted Ludo to keep that blue hen for himself. And again Ludo was right, because that little blue hen put the following top results on paper: 1st St. Quentin 801, 1st St. Quentin 2221, and 1st Orleans 7100. That little blue hen got the name "Knap Blauwke" and had ring number 6322858/82. The breeder of "Knap Blauwke" was Eddy Meyen from Geel (Belgium). Afterwards, Ludo visited that fancier, where he could even have bought the parents of "Knap Blauwke." But Ludo didn't buy a single bird. They didn't have the qualities of "Knap Blauwke."


To see a family tree of Ludo Claessens' pigeons, click here for a PDF file or click here for a GIFimage. Note that either is a large file, so kindly be patient as you wait for it to load.





"Knap Blauwke" was a welcome addition to a strongly inbred family. But the first youngsters didn't fulfill the needs of Ludo Claessens. That changed when he coupled her in 1987 to the "Witpen Orleans" (son of the "Fokstier" and 5th national Orleans). The couple stayed two years together and produced four top cocks, namely the "Blauwe 58," "Blauwe 59," "Bonte Ekster," and "911."

Of these four top breeders, "Bonte Ekster" produced two birds that flew extremely well. "175/89" won 1st Creil 1061 pigeons, 5th national Chateauroux 9183, and 15th national Orleans 8090 birds. "De Witneus 53" won 1st Creil 1323 birds, 1st St. Quentin 427, 2nd Creil 1412, 3rd Creil 1606, and 3rd Creil 2046. Afterwards, he moved to America.


"911" won two first prizes and became father of "Platkop," 1st Creil 1331, 3rd national Orleans 8210, and 5th national Montargis 2147 birds. From a sister of the "Platkop" came the 5th national Orleans and the 5th and 7th national Chateauroux.

"De Blauwe 59" (8885159/88) - His children won 2nd national Orleans, 1st Creil 1045 birds, 1st Orleans 4947 birds (3rd national), 2nd Chateauroux 2989 birds, and 1st Chateauroux 2930 birds. His most famous son is the "Supercrack 69" with 1st Etampes (quickest against more than 70,000 birds), 1st provins 2231 (quickest against 25,000 birds), 2nd Reims 2763 (after loftmate): 3rd Montargis 692 birds (after 2 loftmates) and 5th Creil 2735 birds.

"De Blauwe 58": -- Nest brother of the "Blauwe 59." He is father of a 1st, 3rd, 4th, 8th, and 9th national Orleans. A daughter of his won the 1st national from Orleans in rayon 1 b and got the name "Het Nationaaltje." After that she was sold to Taiwan. And what do you think about the "Favoriet" who is a son of the "Blauwe 58"? 1st Provin 1974 birds (quickest among 25,000 birds), 3rd Orleans 4481 birds, 8th Compeigne 4196 birds, and 9th Creill 3334 birds?


Just to remember, we are talking here about four sons of "Knap Blauwke," who was bought for a few Belgian francs at the Lier Market.




In 1981, Ludo got a pigeon from "De Klak" at his loft. "De Klak" is a top fancier in the Netherlands with a lot of Janssen pigeons. It went like this. Chris Adams (Bergen-Op-Zoom), a good friend of Ludo Claessens, was a very good friend of Jan Hermans (the owner of Sportblad De Duif - Belgium). Ludo went once to Jan Hermans to select the birds, and one week later Jan wrote in his magazine, "I've got already a lot of so-called 'selectors' but how Ludo selected in my loft is really unbelievable."

Chris Adams got from Jan Hermans two original pigeons of the "Klak" which were close family to the "Oude Merckx" van Janssen. It was a hen which Chris Adams coupled to a son of his best breeding pair. And Chris gave Ludo a youngster out of that couple which was banded with a special ring series, F194/81. Believe it or not, but Ludo had won the lottery again. The "F194" won as a two-year-old bird three weeks after each other 1st Corbeil, 1st Melun, and 1st Corbeil provincial against 2200 birds. The "F194" produced three super breeding hens, namely "Dik Licht 56," "Klein 54," "and Klein 53." "Dik Licht" is grandmother of three national winners from Orleans. Her son "Late Donkere" is father of "Red Arrow," while her daughter "Donkere Witpen 72" with two different cocks produced two different national winners, namely "Het Nationaaltje" and "Dream."




Ludo Claessens has no fixed breeding couples. He likes to change. A big advantage is that all stockbirds are flying out, so it is no problem to couple a breeding hen to a yearling bird. But one couple stayed together for three years, namely "Dik Licht" (inbred F194 with his granddaughter) with "Donkere 65" (inbred "Fokstier").


In 1990 that couple launched the "Donkere Witpen 72" into the world. She became mother of two national winners. Her nest brother won 2nd provincial Bourges 2952 and 4th provincial Etampes 1029 birds. Children and grandchildren of the "Donkere Witpen" put the following results on paper: 1st Chateauroux 2898 birds, 1st Nivel 2355 birds, 2nd Chateauroux 2069 birds, 3rd Orleans 3919 birds, 1st St. Ghislain 2626 birds, and of course the already mentioned 1st national Orleans 7406 birds, and 1st national Orleans 8210 birds.


In 1991 they delivered the 4th national Orleans against 8210 birds. That was in fact equal with the 1st national because there were three loftmates who were ahead of them.


In 1992 the "Katoog" came from this couple. He has unbelievable race results with the following toppers: 1st Etampes 1073 birds, 1st Etampes 1963 birds (quickest against 25,000 birds) and 1st Orleans 4947 birds (4th national).


A brother of the "Katoog" produced the 1st St. Ghislain against 4368 birds and a sister of the "Katoog" produced the 1st Creil against 2321 birds. What a family!


That "Donker 65" can breed super birds is a common fact. Coupled with a half sister of "Dik Licht," namely "Klein 54" (also a daughter of F194) came the "1st Gouden Crack van 89" (hen 8926177/89, 5th national Orleans 8210 birds and 7th national Chateauroux 9108 birds) and the "Gouden Crack 1992" (2nd Etampes 1873 birds and 3rd Chateauroux 2989 birds). We repeat, what a family!



And then we come to what Ludo calls his best pigeon line-"De Voskes," the red pigeons. That color goes back to an old red Horemans pigeon (B69-6582499). That pigeon was bought in 1975 through Gaston Cruysweegs. Gaston paid 1000 Belgian francs for that cock which was sitting among 400 other pigeons. "The old red cock was a very nice bird," remembered Ludo. "It took a long time before I could buy that pigeon from Gaston Cruysweegs. Ludo put the red cock in the breeding loft and another miracle occurred. The famous red family was born.


"Red Arrow" -- 1st national Orleans 5445 pigeons, 3rd Reims 2774 pigeons, 6th Nijvel 3363 pigeons, and 9th Chateauroux 1777 pigeons - is the 9th generation of red pigeons coming from the old Horemans.


In that chain of nine generations, we want to spotlight some birds. "Rooie Orleans" (1st Orleans 2610, 1st St. Quentin 384 (fastest pigeon of 20,000 birds). A son of the "Rooie Orleans" was paired up with one of the daughters of the "F194," namely "Klein 54." Then here came "Vos 28" (8664528/86) who won 3rd Limoges 1640 and 4th Compeigne 1209. What is more important is that Ludo paired him up to a nest sister of the 1st national Orleans 1987, which was inbred to the "Fokstier." In "Vox 28" there was also a little blood of the "Fokstier." So a new top pair was born. In 1990, they launched "Voske 54" into the world.


"VOSKE 54"


That red cock was not a big pigeon. But when you look at what he flew and what his breeding results are, then you won't believe your eyes. "Voske 54" is father of four provincial winners. He is also grandfather of "Red Arrow" (1st national Orleans 1995). "Voske 54" produced good pigeons with a lot of hens. With a granddaughter of the "Witpen Orleans" (you remember, father of the twins "Blauwe 58" and "59") he produced "Voske 88": 1st Chateauroux 3069 pigeons and 4th national. Later she became the mother of "Red Arrow."

In 1992 with a daughter of the same "Witpen Orleans," "Voske 54" produced a beautiful nest pair, namely "Vos 91" and "Donker 92." "Vos 91" won 1st Chateaurous 4506 pigeons and 1st Creil 1968 pigeons. His nest sister won 4th Chateauroux 2898 pigeons (after three nestmates) and his son won 1st Chateauroux 2069 pigeons.


After the national victory with Orleans, Ludo did something he will never regret in his whole life. He coupled the "Donkere Witpen 72" (mother of "Het Nationaaltje") with "Voske 54." The miracle happened and a new national winner came from this couple, namely "The Dream": 1st national Orleans 7406 pigeons and 2nd quickest against 193,500 pigeons.


"ROOD 93"


99/99 64 493 "Granddaughter Katoog"

La Souterraine 1st out of 155 birds, 2nd out of 2507 birds, and 8th out of 7525 National; 10th Chantilly out of 1296 birds, 33rd Creil out of 7332 birds, and 104th Bourges out of 2476 birds.

"Rood 83" is already mother of "Rode 70" (NL 00/00 77 670), 1st Nijvel out of 2348 birds (equal first), and 15th Heverlee out of 3242 birds.


"YETI" (NL 99/99 64 498) 1st Morlincourt out of 3669 birds, 1st Orleans out of 193 birds (2nd prov. out of 3574), 1st Creil out of 374 (5th prov. out of 7332), 2nd Creil out of 227 (25th prov. out of 4867) (equals first), 5th Provincial Etampes out of 5494, and 12th Provincial St. Quentin out of 2008 birds.


Ludo Claessens remains the Picasso of the racing pigeon sport.


Ludo Claessens:

Alone at the Top (PART II)

by Stefan Mertens



In this second installment about the top loft of Ludo Claessens, we will talk with Ludo about his methods. What does he do to succeed in the racing pigeon sport? When, with what, and how long does he treat his pigeons against diseases? How does he motivate his birds? How does he feed? All these questions I had in mind, but when I asked Ludo my first question, I was very surprised by his answer. "Listen, Stefan, I don't have a system. Every year I do something else. I never do the same thing two years in a row. Every season is different, so every season I handle it differently. No, I don't have a fixed coupling date for my widowers. No, I don't feed my widowers always in the same way."


Now, I was standing there with all my questions. What could I do? I didn't have any information for my second segment about this loft.

"No problem, said Ludo. "Talk about the results of the last years. The only thing that counts is results. It's so simple. For the rest, I can only mention what I did in the last season, season 2000."



The Garden and Lofts           AFTER 1995


After the auction in 1995, a lot of fanciers thought that Ludo would be finished as a top fancier. A lot of top birds were sold. So it would be impossible to come back at the same level as before-namely, alone at the top.

But that view did not take into account Ludo's motivation. Until 1995, Ludo focused on the young bird races, but after his auction, this "superman" concentrated also on the old bird races. The "Claessens-pigeon" became an all-round bird.




Ludo cannot believe his ears when fanciers say that the pigeon sport has become impossible without a refrigerator full of medications. Winter, summer, they are always treating against diseases. "But it can also go in another way," says Ludo. "I assure you that you can be successful with a minimum of medication, but then you have to go back to the 'natural way' of the earlier days. You know what the problem is of the modern pigeon sport? Everything goes too quickly. Most of the fanciers are racing their birds until September. The moult starts, and when the moulting has just finished, they must be ready for the winter breeding. With all kinds of medication, they make the pigeons (also the widowers) ready for each season. But those fanciers forget one important thing-namely, nature needs to sleep. Take as an example the winter breeding. When you look outside, everything is 'dead' and we keep nature awake in our pigeons with all kinds of artificial tricks. We feed heavier, and we give extra light. Do we think that we will keep doing this without any punishment?"


"In my loft, I couple on the 26th of January, and so I give my birds a longer resting period to prepare them for the winter breeding. I'm not stimulating the moulting, and from September until the end of January, I'm not giving any medication. I'm not even treating against tricho, because after the racing season I make my birds tricho-free. Since in the winter they are not coming in contact with other birds, they cannot become infected and so you don't have to treat. Pigeons who don't have a normal 'health level' in the winter period are selected out. Even a superb pigeon with first prizes (1st St. Quentin/633 pigeons; 1st Nijvel/2281 pigeons), but with constantly bad droppings had to leave. I'm not prepared to treat with medication during this period. I don't sell a pigeon like that because a pigeon which is not good for me is not going to be good for anybody else."


Widowhood loft




"I let my pigeons train the whole year through, even in the winter period. Healthy pigeons train as well in the winter as in the summer, and when you feed them a little bit heavier, you develop a natural condition to start the breeding.

When the widow team is breeding, they are vaccinated against paramyxo. At the same time, the veterinarian Marien makes a visit to do a complete check-up, and, believe it or not, only after looking at 20 of my pigeons did the vet find one bird with a minor tricho infection. And, by the way, it was one of my top birds.


So in 2001 I bred without a treatment against tricho. Together with the 20 widowers I coupled 20 other couples. Just to make myself clear, when I talk about breeding couples, then I'm talking about couples that give on four youngsters, one very good one and a 'useful' one. I can assure you those couples are not so common.

From the 40 couples' eggs, I only kept 20. After 10 days brooding, there were five couples' eggs going to Kerstens-Claessens. The other eggs were thrown away. The 10 'better' cocks can, eventually, with another hen start a second nest.


The widowers have to breed two youngsters. They come again with eggs, but now they cannot have youngsters. The widowers brood until they leave their nest. Cock and hen must breed a nest together without any problems. A cock who cannot make a very good season after breeding a nest will be selected out. When the hen, together with a youngster from 14 days old, goes to the young bird loft, the cock has to raise the second youngster alone. In this situation, the cock gets into top condition, and this is ideal to start the racing season.


When the last youngster is 22 days old, it is also put in the young bird loft. All the youngsters were monitored, and one that was looking very nice had a little bit of 'yellow' in the throat. Normally, in the summer, I don't treat, but because it was so early in the year, I decided to give him Spartrix. All the other youngsters got a half dose of Spartrix."




Ludo says that there are also two other very important factors for successful racing, namely the loft and the fancier. From a top fancier, there is a lot of "matter of factness" expected. This concerning the results of his own pigeons and the results of the concurrents. Learn to read a result. The top five are situated in the west. The 6th prize winner is in the east. " Well, if I have to choose," Ludo says, "I'll take the pigeon who won the 6th prize, the moral winner. He was, without any discussion, that day the strongest bird."


"Of course, the loft is very important. The possibility to change your loft when the weather conditions change is very important. How often do you notice that pigeons in one loft are all home before the pigeons from the other loft. It is not always the quality of the birds. A new loft, the same fancier and no top results anymore-that is also the pigeon sport."




"SUPERCRACK 69" 94/9410369

Superbreeder -racer

Raced only as youngster and yearling

Etampes fastest ca. 70,000 birds






Provins fastest provincial ca. 25,000 birds




Reims equal first 2763 birds

Montargis equal first 692 birds

Creil equal first 414 birds

"Supercrack 69" is sire of (results mentioned are through the end of the 2000 season):

NL95-9545111 1st St. Ghislain 416 birds

NL96-9619355 1st St. Ghislain 4032 birds

NL96-9692808 1st St. Ghislain 1580 birds

NL97-9779784 "Blauwe 84" 1st Peronne 2878 birds

1st Orleans 681 birds

1st Creil 198 birds

equal first Chantilly I 344 birds

NL99-9964515 1st Nijvel 2281 birds

1st Quentin 633 birds

NL99-9964498 "Yeti" 1st Morlincourt 3669 birds

1st Creil 374 birds

1st Orleans 193 birds

equal first Creil 227 birds

NL00-0077737 1st Chantilly 204 birds


"Supercrack 69" is grandsire of:

NL96-9619348 1st Chateaurous 1876 birds

1st Etampes 1781 birds

NL98-9878777 1st Peronne 4191 birds



"RED VENUS" NL97-9779759

(see picture) Results mentioned are through the end of the 2000 season.

"Red Venus" is the example of an all-round pigeon, bred out of a very close family. As a yearling hen (against the old widowers) she won prizes (1 on 100) on all distances. She won 2963 prize kilometers on four races within 20 days. In one year, she won 6200 prize kilometers in 11 weeks' time.


Etampes 2000 363 km 5/6492

Creil 1998 273 km 5/2731 (1st/393)

Chateauroux 1999 543 km 5/2102

Limoges 1998 657 km 5/1981

La Souterraine 1999 608 km 8/3408

Peronne 1999 190 km 8/2878

Dax 1998 944 km 8/1295

Chantilly 2000 277 km 11/8526 (1st/344)

Etampes 1998 363 km 11/1709

Bordeaux 1998 817 km 15/1584


"ROOD 71" NL99-9915271

(see picture)

Father is "Grote Vos 35" NL96-9692835

This is a late bred from 96, out of "Silverboy" and "Donker Witpen 72" (mother of two national winners).

In 1997 Ludo had only one youngster out of this cock, namely NL97-9737630 (2nd provincial Chateauroux 2031 birds; 9th St. Quentin 2018 birds; 12th St. Quentin 2434 birds).

In 1998 "Grote Vos 35" produced the NL98-9878812 (1st Orleans 360 birds; 11th provincial 5801 birds).

In 1999 "Rood 71" and her nest brother "Donkere 70" were born. "Donkere 70" won first prizes. Mother is "Licht 117" NL93-9385117. "Licht 117" is a half sister of "Voske 54" and grandmother of "Red Venus."


Results of "Rood 71" (through the end of the 2000 season)

1st Orleans 272 birds

2nd Orleans provincial 3723 birds

9th Orleans national 14,037 birds

9th Orleans ZNB 17,642 birds

4th Morlincourt 472 birds

3rd Morlincourt 528 birds (after 2 loftmates)

10th Morlincourt 3669 birds

4th Bourges 155 birds

40th Bourges provincial 2476 birds

34th St. Quentin 4201 birds

32nd Chantilly 1296 birds


"DE GROTEN" NL95-9590389

Best Dutch short- and middle-distance bird in 1998. It looks as if winning top prizes is his hobby!


Orleans 1st 156 birds

1st 3277 birds

Reims 1st 215 birds

1st 652 birds

1st 1792 birds

Creil 1st 226 birds

1st 535 birds

1st 1472 birds

Chantilly 1st 305 birds

2nd 978 birds

Creil 3rd 2068 birds

St. Ghislain 1st 160 birds

3rd 1069 birds

Etampes 6th 1377 birds

Etampes 7th 1919 birds

Nijvel 11th 2477 birds

Orleans 14th 3268 birds

Chateauroux 14th 1777 birds

Creil 14th 1717 birds

Roye 14th 3209 birds

Reims 15th 3354 birds


"De Grote" is father of:

"Jonge Grote" NL99-9964491

Through the end of the 2000 season, 19 prizes out of 22 races entered; 12 prizes in the first 10 percent; equal first Nijvel 2281 birds; 5th Orleans 3574 birds.

"Blue Moon" NL99-9915283

Through the end of the 2000 season, records as a latebred against the old widowers, nine top results of which five are in the best one percent.

Creil 1st 227 birds

2nd 4867 birds

Creil equal first 325 birds

58th 6454 birds

Chateauroux 2nd 1772 birds

St. Ghislain 3rd 478 birds

Orleans 6th 3574 birds


"Spierke" NL00-0077729

Daughter of "De Grote." Through the end of the 2000 season, seven top results out of eight times entered.

Peronne 1st 451 birds

8th 3386 birds

Peronne 4th 2013 birds

St. Ghislain 7th 603 birds

Etampes 8th 3991 birds

Claessens Ludo, "The 'miracle man' from the border region"

We went to Putte (Holland) somewhere halfway October. Putte is located about 1 km passed the border where Putte-Kapellen borders on Holland. Putte-Kapellen is well enough known in the cycling world because every year, the professional cycling season is concluded here on Belgian soil. We were two days early to see the race but, in the end, we hadn't come to Putte to see the race. We crossed the border and visited the Dutch ‘pigeon expert' and the ‘wonder loft' of Ludo Claessens, who is maybe the ‘best middle distance racer in the world' at present.
2006 was one of his best, if not thé best season of his entire pigeon career... about time we went and checked how things in this ‘wonder colony' are at the moment. We were also eager to get to know the man who is behind all these top successes. People say he is ‘not just anyone' in pigeon sport. Ludo immediately made clear that he's indeed not just anyone: he wasn't interested in a commercial report. He cares a great deal about his privacy... pigeon gazettes, pigeon books or websites can publish reports about him but solely if they are related to his performances in pigeon sport. He is not interested at all in commercial publications. He doesn't care about luring customers (i.e. buyers) with a facsimile, a website (both of which he doesn't have) or any other way of publicity... he is solely interested in telling the world about his pigeons and their performances... Only ‘real pigeon sport' counts... which is exactly the reason why we went to Putte, Holland.
We had a 3-hour chat and Ludo (who is by the way a Dutch Belgian) did not mince his words. He gave us an honest explanation to everything and was able to confirm every quote with results which he promptly ‘put on the table'. No nonsense, no beating around the bush, but straightforward... and that's exactly how we like it. 

I can do everything with 60 pigeons...
Ludo Claessens's motto is quite right indeed. And he's been proving that fact for many years in a row. Ludo simply wants to enjoy the ‘game' pigeon sport. But keeping pigeons implies a certain daily grind and work and he isn't prepared to deal with that...! He likes to control things closely. Ludo forms a team with his best friend Rik Kerstens who lives about 100 metres away from Ludo and they only participate in speed races as the team ‘Kerstens-Claessens'. Rik and Ludo have one thing in common... they prefer to keep pigeons in small numbers... and they both like winners! Rik keeps about 9 speed racing pigeons while Ludo focuses on middle distance races. He specialises in distances of 100-400 km and enters for one long distance race at the end of the season. He races 20 widowers at most and has about 10 breeding couples but considers the latter to be a bit of a burden lately, because they simply sit around and do nothing. He gives an example: this spring (i.e. 2006), they only raised one round of youngsters... Ludo wonders why he is providing them with board and lodging all year through? As we mentioned above: raising youngsters in order to sell them doesn't interest Ludo at all... hence the magical number ‘60': 60 pigeons get the opportunity to winter in his loft! Who dares to argue with a ‘phenomenon' such as Ludo Claessens? The incredible results he achieves year after year prove that he's right. Are we exaggerating? Not at all... in our opinion, we're expressing it mildly: let's take a look at the list of achievements of the past season of 2006, which was maybe even the ‘best season' ever in Ludo Claessens's 30-year career. He's rarely missed a 1st prize on local level... so he sure is entitled to speak. 

(by way of illustration: the number of prizes won / number of basketed pigeons are mentioned between brackets, then there's the number of prizes won per 10. As far as speed races are concerned: prizes of the loft of Ludo Claessens and the team of Kerstens-Claessens are joined together)


 Ludo Claessens in 2006

Are you convinced? You're probably wondering whether top quality, or rather: the top quality of the loft of Ludo Claessens is natural? Probably not when you consider the common pigeon fancier... but this top quality is apparently self-evident at Ludo Claessens's loft. Ludo has been handling ‘top pigeons' for over 30 years now. After all this time, top quality has become common practice. Ludo's pigeons have to pass a severe selection procedure every year and thanks to that, his colony has become a true pigeon family!
Does he ever reinforce his colony by crossbreeding other pigeons with his
‘main breed'? Ludo says: ‘During the last 10 years, only an extra ten pigeons were acquired. The latest acquisition is ‘Mr. TOURS', winner of 1st National Tours NPO.' In a report that had been published about this pigeon, Ludo read about 2 different fanciers: each of them had obtained an egg from ‘Mr Tours'. Both of these young pigeons became top racers... He concluded that ‘Mr Tours' had to be a real ‘top breeder'. ‘Mr Tours' immediately appealed to Ludo so he went to take a look at this pigeon and as you might have guessed: he took ‘Mr Tours' along with him to Putte! But we slightly deviated from the posing. In our opinion however, the answer is pretty easy.


The super breed ‘Ludo Claessens'
For many years now, Ludo Claessens has been racing pigeons on a very high level. If you'd check the individual lists of achievements of the Claessens pigeons, you'd have to conclude that they are way ahead of the competition. Ludo simply gets a
‘kick' out of 1st prizes: a weekend without winning a 1st prize is a ‘lost weekend' to him and he considers it to be a failure! He is not interested in ace pigeons and so on, only the individual achievements of a pigeon matter. Ludo explains why... A pigeon of Ludo's friend and fellow villager became 6th National Ace Pigeon Middle Distance this season. Ludo confronts us with the results of this pigeon in the races of 2006 without spoiling the effect of these achievements of fancier and pigeon (who is by the way a real crack)... To ‘all' results that were taken into account to win this title of 6th National Ace Pigeon, Ludo Claessens simply had at least 5 pigeons ahead! Quite a feat!
Ludo Claessens is selecting very severely which is pretty obvious, otherwise, he wouldn't have gotten this far and maintain that position. However, Ludo isn't really looking for real
‘breeding couples'? He prefers to put his faith in ‘dominant pigeons that succeed in transmitting their excellent qualities to their offspring'! Pigeons that have only produced 1 crack soon disappear from the loft. After a 1st crack pigeon a 2nd crack has to follow... Such pigeons get you somewhere: you can built up a breed, conquer the world! Ludo states: ‘pigeon sport hasn't got that much to do with coincidence you know!' Real super breeders from the past, pigeons that created the Claessens colony, the ‘dominant pigeons that passed on their qualities', were: ‘Fokstier'… ‘Blauw Witpen Orleans'… ‘Donker 03'… ‘Voske 54'… ‘Dik Licht 56'... ‘Late Donkere'... and I should also add ‘Supercrack 69', although -on second thought- this pigeon is a pure inbreeding product of the main pigeons mentioned above. Other pigeons that have successfully contributed were ‘Oud Blauw Slaets'... ‘Blauw Verheyen'... ‘Blauwe 01' and ‘Bliksem' ... ‘Lange Nek Zav' and finally ‘Mr. Tours', who is trying to prove what he's worth at the moment. 

How does he do it?
We tried to figure out the whys and the wherefores. Ludo does not have a fixed system for taking care of the pigeons. He states that every season is different so you have to go along with those changes every year. Changes sometimes imply some adjustments as to feed and support of the pigeons, hence the lack of an established pattern or ritual. The pigeons normally fly 7 or 8 provincial middle distance races per year.
We asked him right away whether the birds sometimes get a week of rest? Normally they don't but Ludo immediately adds that a week of rest can sometimes be an enormous
‘boost', a real ‘explosion of shape'! So maybe he will be considering this in the future. Remark noted!
Early breeding is lost on Ludo Claessens. In 2006, the pi
geons (racers as well as breeders) were coupled mid February... and they raised a round of youngsters. The breeders were coupled one more time. These youngsters are considered as a reserve for the future and they aren't usually trained. The very best pigeons in Ludo's loft (‘Favoriet 65', ‘Blauwe 84', ‘Vale 22', ‘Yeti' and ‘Grote Blauwe 96') produced some real nice summer youngsters. We were eager to know Ludo's answer to the question how he's keeping his pigeons healthy? During the season, the vet (Mr Mariën) pays a visit every 4 weeks to examine the pigeons. His advice is followed very accurately but the man rarely finds something. Ludo tries to keep his pigeons healthy in a natural way. He doesn't like medication at all and sees them as a necessary evil. Ludo confirms his answer with a striking example from 2006. His young pigeons returned from Chantilly (a race in which -by the way- he scored 1,4,6,7,8… etc) and they were tired and thirsty. Ludo immediately thought of an infection that was coming on and he contacted the vet, Mr Mariën, who advised him not to do anything. However, Ludo decided to give his young birds a 3-day-treatment with Ridsol, because it had been a while... According to Ludo, he obtained the ‘worst' result of 2006 in the following race (Pithiviers).
Well, bad? I don't know many who would say
‘no' to such a result: local 1,2,7,10,11… but on a provincial level tough, he just (!?) obtained 7,17,28,53,58,79,167… against 3.402 young birds (and yet he had 15 out of 20)! If you go by the name of Ludo Claessens this might be called a somewhat less good performance because there's only 1 real ‘top 10' pigeon... However, the moral of this story is: Ludo realised that a simple, apparently harmless cure, can influence the shape of his pigeons for a couple of days... and a top champion like Ludo is clearly annoyed about something like that. By the way, when the pigeons were basketed for this race (Pithiviers) nearly all the fanciers were complaining about the fact that their pigeons returned home from Chantilly very thirsty and completely exhausted. Ludo realised that there was probably nothing wrong with his pigeons but that this fault was caused by the fact that the pigeons were treated less good while they were in the basket... so he worried over nothing! But this is without any doubt a typical feature of ‘very great champions' such as Ludo Claessens: a sharp eye for every detail... They immediately spot the smallest defect or difference and act on it. Maybe that's the big difference between a ‘super champion' and an ‘average fancier'? We'll have to think about that one!

Who does better?
The trademark of Ludo Claessens is of course his colony of phenomenal
‘super pigeons'. The results are the best proof. Ludo gives an appropriate remark on the many reports that appear in newspapers and magazines. Pretty much all of the fanciers talk about their best results per year, so they only mention ‘some results' and not ‘all results'! If you want to be worthy of the name of ‘great champion', you should have the nerve to mention ‘ALL' results of an entire season and above all: have the nerve to ‘publish' good as well as bad results! If you do that as a fancier, the reader will be able to rate the colony at its true value. Ludo suits the action to the word and gives us an overview of ALL THE MATCHES THAT WERE RACED (the good ones as well as the less good) + the RESULTS of the past 3 seasons. As far as 2006 is concerned, the final conclusion is: 132 nominated pigeons with 109 prizes (per 4), 94 per 10, 38 per 100 and at least the 1st prize on local level every week. Ludo Claessens is most certainly part of the ‘very greatest' of our sport!
What's more, please take a look at the final result of the last 3 seasons (period 2004-2006): a total of
 356 nominated pigeons, of which 285 prizes per 4 (or 80% of the prizes), 232 per 10 (or 65%) and no less than 92 per 100 (or almost 26%). So I'm asking myself the question: has anyone on this planet ever performed better than Ludo Claessens? I'll give you the answer... NO-ONE has!!! No-one can present results similar to the results Ludo Claessens has achieved during the latest seasons. The calculation was made considering ALL the results he achieved in middle distance races on provincial level! Simply phenomenal... We can state without blushing that we paid a visit to the ‘best middle distance racer in the world' at the moment! Or to repeat the words of the introduction: Ludo Claessens is not just anyone... 

Figures that are really something!




























































































TOT 2006



































































































TOT 2005












































































































Unit 2004



























The ‘Stunt team' of Putte in the year 2006 
The results Ludo Claessens obtains each year with just 20 widowers and 40 bred young pigeons, are pretty much unbelievable to many pigeon fans. Nearly every old pigeon in the racing loft is a superior 1st prize racer or an exceptional
‘crack pigeon' and that is -by the way- an essential condition to overwinter in Putte. Making a very severe selection every year must be a ‘dream' to many fellow fanciers... yet, in Putte, that's just the way things are. And Ludo does not budge an inch from his philosophy... 60 pigeons get to overwinter in his lofts. The better they are, the more severe you have to be... and putting together new lofts is not an option! Let's illustrate this by taking a look at the present generation of ‘super pigeons' that populate the racing and breeding lofts. (By way of illustration: 1st prizes marked with a ‘*' are ‘equal first' which means that only a loft mate preceded the pigeon; which is the same as winning a 1st prize against the competition!).

 ‘Blauw Witpen Bliksem' NL01-0132519: a half brother of YETI and a late youngster of 2001 which was naturally not raced in his year of birth. He was trained well as a yearling in 2002 and developed incredible racing capacities in the season of 2003. As from that year, he obtained a position in the ‘Top-8' of the provincial races at least twice a year! Some wonderful results to illustrate:

- As an opener of this magnificent list of super pigeons, let's start with the actual progenitor of the colony, the meanwhile world famous
 ‘SUPERCRACK 69' ring NL94-9410369. A real dominant pigeon who manages to pass on its qualities. This pigeon has really left its mark on the current generation of super pigeons that is flying around in Putte. Take a look at his powerful list of achievements, it speaks volumes:
Many would jump at the chance to breed with such pigeons like
‘SUPERCRACK 69', yet... there are only few of this calibre. Ludo had the chance to have such a ‘wonder pigeon' in his lofts and he has naturally fully used its enormous breeding capacities and raised a generation of ‘real super pigeons' yet unequalled! 

‘Blauwe Witpen Bliksem' is the grandfather of the superior pigeon ‘MAXX' or the 1st Nat Ace Pigeon ‘Navluchten'* in 2004! The miraculous ‘Bliksem breed' produced a youngster which won the 1st Nat. Orleans NPO against 8.322 pigeons in 2006 at the loft of A.Clarijs & Son. He preceded Ludo Claessens himself who won a 2nd+3rd+4th national. So this means that Ludo was knocked out only by his own kind or maybe we should state that the Claessens pigeons won no less than the first 4 National prizes! 

‘Kleintje 22' NL02-0271822: a phenomenal super crack which is also worth his weight in gold as far as his breeding capacities are concerned. The enormous perseverance of the pigeons of Ludo Claessens is perfectly illustrated by this bird. We made a selection of some of the high points of his immense list of achievements:

In 2003,
 Ludo had no way of knowing what ‘Kleintje 22' was really worth because his parents didn't have to face him in 2003 and the spring of 2004. In the fall of 2004, Ludo decided to put this couple together again. The first youngsters of 2005 were the first to participate in races. These 2 were by the way super hens: 006/05' and ‘007/05' (see below). In 2006, another first brother of ‘Kleintje 22' proved to know what top racing is: pigeon NL06-0725164 won the 1st St.Quentin 980 p (and was also the fastest pigeon against approx. 9.000 pigeons), 12th Prov RI Chantilly 4.148 p, 17th Prov RI Pithiviers 3.042 p
Neither should we have doubts about the breeding value of ‘Kleintje 22'. Some excellent youngsters descended from this pigeon in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, howev
er, he was coupled with ‘Nestzus Kirsty' NL02-0271839 and they produced the following 2 top pigeons:
‘Klein Bont 94' NL05-0566494
 who became 11th Prov RI Orleans 2.935 p and who became the mother of NL06-0751103 in 2006. The latter performed excellently: it won the 2nd Nat NPO Orleans 8.322 p and obtained an excellent 8 out of 9.
NL05-0566495 or the nest sister of the previous who is the mother of pigeon NL06-0751109. This one won the 3rd Nat NPO Orleans 8.322 p and obtained an excellent 9 out of 9.
In 2005, a summer youngster -pigeon
 NL05-0526015- that descended from ‘Kleintje 22' was transferred to the racing team right away and it didn't disappoint his boss at all. He performed magnificently in the last 2 races of the season and obtained 7th Prov RI Montlucon 1.154 p, 34th Nat NPO Montlucon 5.084 p and 25th Prov RI Sens 1.890 p.

Finally, in 2006,
‘Kleintje 22' was coupled with the best young pigeon of 2005, namely: ‘Dochter Jonge Supercrack' NL05-0566492… A real dream pigeon, a favourite and preferred pigeon of the future of Ludo Claessens descends from this couple: NL06-0751110 and he immediately showed his cards: 1st Morlincourt 1.682 p (also the fastest out of 26.801 p), 1st Hensies 124 p (equal first), 19th Prov RI Chantilly 4.148 p and 28th Prov RI Pithiviers 3.042 p. This is clearly one of the success breeds of the Claessens' lofts and he's only just begun. 

- ‘Blauw 006' ring NL05-0526006, or a first sister of ‘Kleintje 22'.
Ludo wasn't normally planning on racing hens on widowhood in 2006 but because of the bird flu some of them were dug out and Ludo had its reasons. He did not want his team of widowers to fly the eastern racing route of the programme (which was set up as an alternative because of the bird flu). Wisely, he let his cocks fly Quiévrain each week as a training race. To enjoy participating in the ‘game', he called in the hens and they performed absolutely ‘brilliantly' as you might gather from the list of achievements of ‘Blauw 006' which, later-on that season, proved to be not inferior to her male colleagues at all, on the contrary:

- And what about her nest sister
 ‘Blauw 007' NL05-0526007. She was accidentally put in the basket without being trained ... yet, one day later, she won the 3rd prize! True super pigeons

The parents of
“Kleintje 22” had another
extremely talented bird in 2006: NL06-0725164

1* St. Quentin 980 p
 fastest prov. RI + RII appr. 9000 p
12th Chantilly Prov. RI 4148 p
17th Pithiviers Prov. RI 3042 p
A true miraculous breeding line in the lofts of Ludo Claessens:
‘Kleintje 22'!

 ‘JONGE SUPERCRACK' NL03-0375941 or the real successor of the meantime world famous progenitor, ‘Supercrack 69'! He proved what he was worth in the following races:
 Prov RI Orleans 2.672 p (in 2004)
 Prov RI Orleans 1.853 p (in 2003)
This pigeon is not inferior at all to his illustrious father when we consider his breeding qualities and he seems to be invaluable as well. Coupled to
 ‘Kirsty', the winner of 1st Nat NPO Orleans 8.072 p… ‘Jonge Supercrack' is the father of ‘Bont Kirsty' NL04-0452314, a top hen which won the following prizes:

“Bont Kirsty” for her part is the mother
of 3 super pigeons:

NL05-0566497 1* Morlincourt 504 p
 1st Peronne 855 p - Fastest approx. 5000 p
 1* St. Quentin 427 p 

‘Jonge Supercrack' was coupled with ‘Laat Blauw 01' NL01-0132528 and they were the parents of pigeon NL05-0566492, which turned 1st Ace Pigeon FZN Prov RI with a.o. 7th Prov RI Orleans 2.935 p… and as we mentioned above, pigeon NL06-0751110 descends from this coupling as well: he is the absolute favourite of Ludo Claessens for the near future, this bird won 1stMorlincourt 1.682 p (fastest of 26.801 p as well), 1st Hensies 124 p (equal first), 19th Prov RI Chantilly 4.148 p, and 28th Prov RI Pithiviers 3.042 p….
‘Jonge Supercrack' got a new hen in 2006: ‘Klein Bont 94' NL05-0566494 (by the way: she is the daughter of the above mentioned ‘Kleintje 22') and they became
the parents of NL06-0751103 or the winner of 2nd Nat NPO Orleans 8.322 p. In short, this is a family of miraculous top pigeons.

- we should of course also pay some attention to the actual ‘wonder racer', the ‘figure head' of the colony of Ludo Claessens and ‘Number 1' of the racing team: the phenomenal crack pigeon ‘SIMPLY THE BEST' NL04-0452342. His name says it all: this pigeon is very capable of putting up an excellent performance and his stunning list of achievements is the proof thereof, some of his top performances:

He already had a 1st Prov RI Orleans victory on his list as a young pigeon. As a yearling, he ended during the last 2 races with the
 1st Prov RI Orleans 2.153 p, followed by the 1st Nat NPO Argenton 4.318 p which was raced in extremely tough circumstances (this is by the way the only long distance race in which Ludo participates every year, to close off the season). In 2006, he pulled off a similar stunt: once more, he obtained the 1st Prov RI Sens 1.890 p… Naturally, expectations for the long distance classic to close off the season (Montluçon in 2006) ran high. The sun was shining, the sky was steel blue and it was sizzling hot... and ‘Simply the Best' feels on top of the world in such weather conditions. And yes indeed, the first pigeon that checked in was ‘Simply the Best' together with an unfamiliar young pigeon. He flew his lap of honour and dived (in the company of the young pigeon) for a pond which is situated in front of the Claessens's lofts. Ludo thought that they were thirsty and hurried to the pond in order to guide his pigeon to its loft. ‘Simply the Best' caused quite a stir when he suddenly bloated: both of his legs were broken. He flew to the ridge of the roof of a house across the street (the same roof where he sometimes comes across a foreign hen during the week when he trains). So he was on familiar ground... He lied there for 30 minutes before he stumbled in and obtained a pretty early prize. Double bad luck: ‘Simply the best' broke his two legs but afterwards it appeared that he could have won the 1st National NPO Montluçon another time with flying colours and repeat his stunt of 2005. This would have been -without any doubt- a truly unique performance. In the meantime, the ‘wonder pigeon' is back on its feet again but Ludo will have to wait and see whether this incident will be a heavy burden on the future sports career of this pigeon.
- maybe Ludo should focus on
 ‘BLAUWE 506' NL05-0566506 next season, a first brother of ‘Simply the Best'. He is clearly ready to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious brother, let's take a look at some ‘top results' on his list of achievements:

Furthermore, he is the father of one the
‘greatest talents' of the last few seasons, namely NL06-0725143 who has already won:

- Another simply sublime brother of
‘Simply the Best' is ‘SCHONE BROER' NL05-0566473, who is a true topper for both racing and breeding. Take a look at his achievements up until now:

“Schone Broer” is the father of NL06-0725161
1st St. Quentin 1752 p
1st fastest Prov. RI appr. 8000 p
1st Pithiviers 248 p
7th Pithiviers Prov. RI 3042 p
13th St. Quentin 980 p

- Another top racer which descends from a coupling of the basic breeds is ‘Rode 35' NL-0526035, a son of ‘VALE 22' (a half brother of the above mentioned BLAUWE WITPEN BLIKSEM) x ‘SCHOON LAAT LATE DONKERE' (a first sister of Favoriet 65, Kirsty, Nestzus Kirsty etc…). ‘Rode 35' also perfectly understands what is meant by winning 1st prizes and racing top:

- Finally, we would like to introduce to you the descendants of the latest acquisitions, just to prove that Ludo hit the nail on the head once more by buying
 ‘Mr Tours'. ‘Klein Blauw Tours' NL05-0566471, Ludo bred this youngster from ‘Mr Tours' (1st Nat NPO Tours) x ‘Kirsty' (1st Nat NPO Orleans), was remarked with the following first-class achievements and he also displayed his breeding capacities right away:

- top pigeon
‘DONKER TOURS' NL05-0566475, which was bred from ‘Mr Tours' x ‘Donker Favorietje (first sister of ‘Witte Asduif') achieved the following prizes:

His nest brother
“Klein Donker Tours 74” won
a.o. 16th Prov. RI Creil 5084 p and is father of
super promise NL06-0751109 with 9 out of 9
(7 x per 10) with a 3rd Nat NPO Orleans

 is a first sister of pigeon '74 and pigeon '75 is living in the breeding loft of Comb. Roegiest & Visser in Philippine, Zeeland. In 2006, she became the mother of no less than three top pigeons:
1st Morlincourt against over 10.000 p
1st Bapaume against 1865 p
27th Nat. NPO Orleans 4145 p

After reading such wonderful lists of achievements I believe no-one still needs to be convinced of the enormous class, the great ability to perform and excellent breeding value of the pigeons of Ludo Claessens. Only a maximum of 60 pigeons get to opportunity to overwinter at his lofts: selection is very severe, even extremely severe... but fair. The strength of the Claessens colony lies without any doubt in this tough selection procedure and thanks to that, Ludo Claessens has been a tough competitor for over 30 years. Maybe he has developed into
 the best middle distance racer ever! Until others provide evidence to the contrary...

Author : Martin Martens
Edited : Martin Degrave


Sakis Minovgioudis - Alblasserdam (NL) at the top thanks to Ludo Claessens.

Alblasserdam, situated on one of the busiest navigated rivers of West-Europe, is the residence of Sakis Minovgioudis. This, originating from Greece Epicurean, has been noticed over the last few years for his marvellous racing, especially with the widow hens.

The game with the hens totally suits Sakis. The basis of these successes lies in him investing in a marvellous collection of direct and pure Ludo Claessens-pigeons.

Not only the birds from Ludo Claessens have been instrumental here. Also his years of friendship with the grandmaster from Putte was instrumental in his (pigeon) career. Sakis can talk for hours, and with full respect, about the nice moments he has enjoyed together with Ludo Claessens. He’s never come across anyone else in the pigeon sport who is so professional as Ludo. It is therefore very sad that this expert has stopped with the pigeon sport. Sakis is therefore carefully trying to continue the life’s work of Ludo, and for this reason he has hardly crossed any new pigeons with these birds over the last few years.