Frans Looyschelder… the racer of ‘Marianne 144’… Elden’s Miracle!


Elden, the Netherlands – a small village situated in the natural area ‘the Betuwe’ that in 1966 was incorporated into the city of Arnhem. Until recently it was best known for the endurance walk the ‘Arnhemse Vierdaagse’ and for its own plum variety, the ‘Eldense Blauwe’.

However, in the last few weeks something else quite spectacular happened there. The hen ‘Marianne 144’ of Frans Looyschelder, that in 2012 had been crowned 1st National Ace Pigeon Speed NPO and WHZB, was in 2013 again basketed twice and won 1st against 2,341 birds and 1st against 2,173 birds!

Frans Looyschelder, now 66 years old and a retired contractor, has ‘it’ clearly in the fingers.

For decades he has performed at a very high level. But work-pressure and a dust allergy were the reasons that he stopped with the pigeon sport in 1996. In 2009, when the business had been handed over to his son and after he had moved to Elden, he started racing with pigeons once more.

And perfectionist that Frans is, a modest but highly efficient loft installation was built and pigeons were acquired from his old friend Jan Ouwerkerk, and also from Wouters-Coremans, Karel Boeckx and Leo Heremans. Also, pigeons to strengthen the breed were bought from Willem de Bruijn and the Scheele Bros.

With 14 breeding pairs, 10 racing couples on total widowhood and 8 cocks on ‘traditional widowhood’, plus some 60 young pigeons, Frans evidently doesn’t seek success in numbers.

Which doesn’t prevent this fancier from racing with extremely strong results.

Foremost there was of course the ‘Marianne 144’, that flew in the lead almost weekly. But also the ‘475-10’ (a direct Willem de Bruijn out of a crossing Nauwelaerts x Albert Derwa) excelled with among others 1st NPO Zuid Orleans against 5,086 pigeons, 7th Tours against 2,886 pigeons and 7th National Ace Pigeon Long-distance TBOTB.

Meanwhile the ‘Marianne 144’, a fantastic blue hen, of athletic build with a fine muscle structure (out of the cross Boeckx x Wouters-Coremans) wrote history with her stunning series of victories.

After her National Ace titles, Frans considered moving her to the breeding loft, but after he got an offer for her that he found almost offensive, he decided to keep racing with her, secretly hoping that she would again compete for the National Ace title. With 2 first prizes from 2 races this season, she certainly seemed to be heading in that direction again.

All the same, she will not renew her title again, because last week, Rik Hermans made an offer for her which was acceptable, and the ‘Marianne’ moved to her new owner.

With this sale there came an end to what can certainly be called a fairytale. But undoubtedly, other fairytale’s will be written at the Willem Roodbeenhof in Elden.


‘Marianne 144’…the Miracle of Elden…