Günter Prange, Meppen.
Gouden Duif Winner Germany
Superstar of The Year Speed, Germany
Superstar of The Year Middle Distance, Germany
The crowning glory
Finally he achieved his ultimate goal! What goal is that? the reader could ask himself, while insiders will already know the answer. Günter Prange wanted to win the Gouden Duif 6 times, and now he has achieved that goal. Our warmest congratulations on this superb achievement. Six nominations and 33 points were his winning score. In fact, in 2013 Günter only raced for the ‘Gouden Duif’. And how he managed to achieve this feat is what we will inform you about next.
Worth the journey
Consequently, we went once again to Meppen in Germany, and I have to say… with pleasure. Because talking about pigeons with Günter Prange is always very special. Do you know Günter Prange? Do you know his skills and his knowledge as a breeder and racer? Do you know his excellent tea? And I don’t mean tea for the pigeons, but the tea that he presents to his guests. Actually, there is not all that much known about Günter Prange, and why is that? Well, because Günter Prange is a very reserved person and doesn’t want to be the centre of attention. He doesn’t have a Website and is hard to get hold of. Just try to reach him by telephone, little chance that you will succeed. Günter Prange does not produce pigeons in quantity and isn’t much interested in selling pigeons. He really keeps pigeons for his own pleasure, his passion even. He isn’t interested in the German championships, and therefore he doesn’t have to participate in every race. He goes on holiday when it suits him, even during the racing season, and it has also happened that he slept late and that the pigeons were already home.
If Günter Prange would be an easy person to reach, Meppen would without doubt be the Mecca for pigeon fanciers and be overrun by fans, but that is not the case. To this day, Günter has remained the modest fancier that he has always been. A very sympathetic man whom I very much like to visit.
Something about last season
Last season Günter didn’t participate in every race either. Why not?
As already mentioned, he isn’t interested in national championships and Ace pigeon titles. He just wants to enjoy racing with pigeons, and he can do that without having to take part in every race. I believe that he only entered in eight races for old pigeons. But when he did take part, his achievements were just astonishing. You will notice that when you see his results. When Günter seriously enters into a race, he does so at the very highest level.
There have been years in which he didn’t give his full attention to the races, or even didn’t take part at all. There was one year I remember, I think it was 2002, that he went on holiday to Sweden after a couple of races. When he came back, he just took up where he left of. He only entered his pigeons into 9 of the 13 races, and even so, his score was fantastic.
How is it possible to achieve at such a high level in the pigeon sport? Is it luck? Is it the quality of the pigeons? Is it the intuition or talent of a very special fancier?
Or is it something completely different that results in the success of Prange?
Back in time
During our visit to Günter we talked about old pigeons. Günter allows old pigeons that are performing well to stay in his loft until the end of their days. He told us for instance about this 20 year old cock that is still very active. He doesn’t fertilize eggs any more of course, but he is still perfectly healthy. The cock he is referring to is his old breeder, the ‘959’ from 1994, and when we took him in our hands, we marvelled about his weight, his plumage, the colour of his eyes, in short, about his overall-condition.
For many years this ‘959’ (NL94-2227959) was the absolute top breeder for Günter. He bought him from Cornelis and Gerard Koopman and he is the son of the ‘Beatrix-doffer’ with the ‘Sultana’ (out of ‘Eric’ x ‘Wonderduifje ‘065’). The ‘959’ is the father, grandfather and great-grandfather of a whole series of Ace pigeons. He did especially well coupled to the ‘Bellens-duivin 736’. The 02098-97-330, a son out of this couple, flew eight first prizes and also belonged to the top breeders of the colony in Meppen. In the season of 2001, the ‘330’ flew 10 prizes and with this he won 968.01 of the available 1000 Ace pigeon points.
Another son of the ‘959’ was the so-called ‘Ringlose’, who has now reached legendary status. He became the father of many exceptional breeders and racing pigeons. His mother was from the old ‘Delbar’ line of Günter’s.
A son of the ‘Ringlose’, the 02098-99-802, became 1st Ace cock of Germany in 2001. And out of a daughter of the ‘Ringlose’, the 02098-99-704 the well known combination Bernhard Beumer-Theo Sandbothe bred the cock 05991-01-1011, who became 1st Ace cock of Germany in 2002.
In 2003 it almost happened again that a son of the ‘Ringlose’ won the Ace pigeon title. This time again with Günter himself. It was the 02098-01-1009 out of the ‘Ringlose’ x NL94-2783577 (out of ‘Ons Louis’ x ‘Zuster Eric’) from Cornelis and Gerard Koopman. In the end he finished in the 2nd place though, with 598.43 of the available 600 points, and thus became 2nd Ace cock of Germany.
So the results of the children of the ‘Ringlose’ speak for themselves. Until this very day, and we are now talking about 2014, the unparalleled quality of the ‘Ringlose’ shines through in many places and on all levels.
Now, that was a look back in time. Fact is, that the influence of the ‘Ringlose’ is immense everywhere. Many German top pigeons descend from him. In his own loft, Günter used the descendants for (quite severe) inbreeding. And these inbred pigeons were then regularly coupled with fresh blood. Using this method, he achieves great results. Simply put it means that all his racing pigeons are related to each other by way of the father or the mother. About this Günter himself says: ‘Breeding is a question of having patience.’
Secrets of this success
Many readers might now think that having success is child’s play when you have such excellent breeding pigeons. But breeding is one thing, racing at a high level is something else altogether. For that you have to know your job in all its aspects. And that is precisely what makes Günter Prange so successful. So successful, that some people attribute him with an almost mythical status. How can that be?
Actually, it is very simple. You should closely watch the actions of Günter, listen to him and subsequently analyse all that you have observed. Only in that way you can discover his ‘secrets’, which actually are not secrets at all. It is Günter Prange himself who makes his success happen, with his fantastic pigeons and his functional lofts.
Günter spends a lot of time in his lofts, he practically lives with and for his pigeons. He closely observes the behaviour of his widowers and knows their strong points and their weaknesses. He recognizes changes in the form in every individual and attends to them separately. The pigeons mean a lot to him, he lives for them and fights for them. And because of this, Günter notices more than the average fancier.
And the fancier who really understands the art of observation, is more than one step ahead of the competition. To be able to achieve this goal, you need time, a lot of time. Günter has this time and he uses it. In addition, he has relatively few pigeons which enables him to attend each pigeon individually. Think about it: do you know all your pigeons intimately? Günter Prange does.
It is a sad fact that retired, pensioned and unemployed fanciers are able to spend more time with their pigeons than people who still have a job to go to during the day. These working fanciers should do well to keep not so many pigeons, which will almost certainly increase the level of performance.
Günter Prange will not enter his widowers in any official races in 2014. He wants to ease off a little and take it easy for a while. We’ll have to wait and see how long he can keep that up…
Günter is a man who analyses everything about pigeons and the pigeon sport in minute detail. He studies his pigeons, draws his conclusions and takes action accordingly. All that and his vast professional knowledge is what makes him so exceptionally successful.
We have once more been visiting Günter Prange, one of the best fanciers of Germany. And again it was fascinating.