I visited the Duif offices recently in Zandhoven,Belgium to visit Jan and Rik Hermans, who together with Kenichi Yoshihara of the Japan Trade Company were preparing for their annual Royal Auction in Japan.


The archives in De Duif’s offices are fantastical with bound copies of De Duif stretching back over a hundred years.  It is quite something to flick through the pages and find auction lists for every famous name in the sport, and race reports documenting legendary pigeons such as  Jonge Merckx , Olieman,’019′, in fact every race, every national winner and every Ace Pigeon that Belgium has ever produced. Its all in the archives. It is any lover of the pigeon sports dream.

It goes without saying that it is a privilege to be allowed access to these archives and I must thank Jan for his kindness shown to me over the years. His generosity really knows no bounds.

It was also quite something to have them hand pick a son of Rik’s  ‘Cow Girl’ for our breeding lofts. This hen was selected as the Belgian entry as a yearling in the Poznan Olympiade . Despite offers of   ‘epic’ proportions , Rik decided he did not want to sell her and continued to race her the very next season. His faith was rewarded with her winning 1st National in the famous Bourges race against 24.676 entries. Now that’s what I call ‘priceless’!  Now she is considered the best racing hen in Belgium and who could argue?

The young son ‘Bronco’ is the very image of his mother as the photo shows and his pedigree has everything I could hope for…his sire is a son of ‘Witneus’, Jan and Riks base breeder that is a son of Kannibal of Van Dyck (full brother Golden Lady , Koopman) when paired to ‘Joelija’ the great racing and breeding hen bred direct from their number one couple ‘Jaarling Dondersteen’ x ‘Janssen-Duivin’.