Barcelona … the marathon on the pigeon races… the story of eternal fame when you can add this race onto your palmaris. I think that this race is the only race where the entire international pigeon world is looking at.
The last editions were very hard for the Barcelona birds and also this year it was a very hard race. When you see that the international winner made only a velocity of 943 m/m and is 1.5 hours in front of number 2 … then you know enough. This edition was only for the real marathon birds!

In total 16.051 old birds participated at the Barcelona 2019 edition and this is the Top-10 of the international result:

                             Name                                            Distance                               Velocity

  1. Rans Stijn en Jeroen – Wijgmaal (B)                    1083km                               943 m/m
  2. Stijnen Raf – Geel (B)                                           1106km                               869 m/m
  3. Vitel Eric – Grugies (FR)                                       942km                                 859 m/m
  4. Martin Serge – Missy-Lès-Pierrepont (FR)           928km                                 857 m/m
  5. Anthoons Stefaan – Kortenaken (B)                     1086km                               854 m/m
  6. Wim Muller – Wilhelminadorp (Netherlands)         1139km                              850 m/m
  7. Thomann-Spitzbarth – Saar (Germany)                962km                                847 m/m
  8. L. de Bruine – Nieuwerkerk (Netherlands)            1151km                              839 m/m
  9. Jelle Jellema – Nijverdal (Netherlands)                 1268km                             824 m/m
  10. Cuesters Gustaaf – Westerlo (B) 1105km             823 m/m


We visited especially for the Siegel website the 1st and 2nd International Barcelona:



Not a coincidence at all when you know that they already won in 2017 the 1st National Pau and 1st National Perpignan in very hard circumstances and dominated Perpignan TOP 100 national. In 2018 they just continued at this speed and won 2nd national Valence with a ½ sister of the Barcelona winner. And now we get to the real topper of this colony namely “Jef” 2051063/2016. His name used to be ‘Ace 63’ but is being baptized ‘Jef’ now. As a 2-year old cock he showed what he had to offer and this was racing twice Top 100 National on an overnight long distance. He became due to this achievement 1st Ace bird in their club Sans Peur Herent and the 3rd Provincial Ace bird on the Extreme Long Distance. This was their best old pigeon in 2018 as he could take on anything in very hard circumstances. That’s also why they decided to go to Barcelona only with their best once to be able to celebrate. And this is something you can’t get around as ‘Jef’ was clocked at 11:06:59 and at that time the world stood still in Wijgmaal. As there were only a few pigeons clocked in France at that moment. In Belgium he also had 1h30 lead against the 2nd pigeon in Belgium and these two pigeons would also become the 2 first International pigeons, Belgium on top Internationally as no less than 3 Belgium pigeons made it within the TOP 5 International and above you could see ‘Jef’ shining after his amazing achievement.

The entire family Rans supports this pigeon happening, father Rudi together with his 2 sons and as extra motivation also the grandchildren.

Nest game is the red wire

They race both cocks as hens but only on nest. They are being separated after the season around half of September and will only see each other again around the 20th of April. Train them slowly in spring is the message here with as goal to be able to shine from end of June until beginning of August on the Long Distance. Only ‘Jef’ could come onto eggs after the season as he did have a wonderful season. Also during training they don’t see each other as they are being trained separately. As from the 20th of April they get to know each other and do everything to be able to give them to the important race when they are breeding 10 to 12 days.

What did this Barcelona racer do towards this race? 

The pigeons have a Momignies and 2x Soissons, then mostly middle distance and Vierzon. He also races Valence, another Soissons and Nanteuil. The goal is that all pigeons have a race every week, only when it was extremely hot they skipped one. They tossed them twice after each other at 40 km which we also did twice again with our Barcelona team the week before basketing…

So especially training is very important for the successes up here?

Yes, indeed, our pigeons have to train long and hard despite the nest game, but once they get the habit of it they do it without a problem. They have to train twice a day for 1h15 but they do this entirely freely.

The pigeons also are being enlightened after the longest day on the 21st of June to keep this up until Perpignan.

What about the motivation?

We moved ‘Jef’ past winter to another loft, we took the decision to move him to the Barcelona team and here he looked for a new box to make his own. But 4 weeks prior to basketing something had changed, the kids hammered two boxes who were on top of each other and ‘Jef’ made them immediately his own. Territory and motivation was top and they started to build a nest into it and were basketed while breeding.

Not as 1st signed, which initially was the plan but on a training race the week before he came home much later as the other and decided to give confidence to their best Barcelona pigeon to get home first.

You see that real extra ordinary pigeons to something special or show on the loft to rise above the others.

2051063/2016 Jef Blue cock
1 Ace bird Extreme Long Distance Sans Peur Herent 2018
3 Prov Ace bird Extreme Long Distance old KBDB Vlaams-Brabant 2018

1              I.NAT     Barcelona ’19     16,051b
35           NAT       Perpignan ’18      3,966b
81           NAT       St.Vincent ’18      2,758b
287         NAT       Jarnac ’17                              5,117b
391         NAT       Cahors ’18                             6,356b

Father: 2324365/2014 ‘Eddy’ – Direct Eddy Fabre

Gr.F. 2307472/2003 Chequered Barcelona
                Won 57 Nat Barcelona ’07 12,612b
                Son to “Apollo” Gaston Devooght who won ao. 12 Nat Pau ’06
                41 Nat Castres and 96 Nat Marseille x “614/97”
Gr.M. 2072731/2011
                Daughter to “291/08” Desbuquois x “674/04” Barc 1

Mother 2022116/2010 ‘De 116 Duivin’
Super breeding hen
Mother to “Chanti” 2 Nat Valence 7,682b ‘17
Mother to “Jacques” 25 Nat Narbonne ’15

Gr.F. 2018115/2008 Last Son Montauban
                Son to “380/92” De Montauban Base breeder x “666/05”
                 De Barcelona Hen 1 Int. Nat Ace bird Barcelona 2007-2012
Gr.M. 2207025/2009
                Daughter to “477/01” Blauwe fondvlieger x “053/08” Blauw Cooper x
                Collier – Swinnen


The entire colony gets the mixtures from Paloma. The racing pigeons get a good solid moulting mixture when they are moulting. Once the moulting is over they go a bit deeper and work on the natural strength of the pigeons. They only get barley and not even that much per pigeon. What is wrong in Winter can’t be good in Summer. They keep on this schedule until February and change onto Black Relax from Paloma until the further races are coming. From the moment they are on nest, the food is even more important, they get to eat 3x a day because the hens that come onto the nest in the afternoon also need food. The mixtures they get now exist out of 50% D100 – 25% Marathon Booster and 25% Black Relax or Super Diet. As extra’s they get a lot of mixed peanuts mixed under the food.

The last 3 days, the pigeons that go onto a race, get an extra pot in their box this with Marathon Booster, peanuts, corn and hemp.

As last they get alternating one day red stone and grit or Multi Power Mix from Paloma and the other day egg food.


In a medical way all relays on Stijn Rans, as a veterinary he takes care of all the medication, food and side products. The racing pigeons were being cured against trichomoniases and ornithoses the end of April / beginning of May. Afterwards they get every fortnight yellow drop in their drinking water and get all the pigeons before basketing for an extreme long distance race 2 cocci tricho pills. At home coming recuperation is the most important issue and gets immediately a protein pill from Beute or K&K Protein. During the week they get 3x Vita Gold together with Recovery from Giantel over their food.



Raf Stynen (Geel), doesn’t only win 1st International Barcelona Hens (2nd National Barcelona), but also the ‘Gouden Vleugel’ (‘Golden Wing’) and the 10th National Barcelona and this with 10 basketed pigeons !

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 noise, 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 germ…you 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 kilometers 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, they are only allowed to go to Barcelona at age 3, 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 candy seed, 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 Sedochol, 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 diseases, … only the obliged vaccination against paramyxo and he treats against small pocks. He hardly suffers from the young bird’s disease either and if there is one that suffers a bit, he just let it be and has to cure naturally. He believes in the strength 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 beautiful small chequered hen built in right proportions. Very soft feathers and a strong back, really well closed vent bones 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 – super breeder 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.