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Vogels-Kellens ~ 1st Provincial Nanteuil 6,528 youngsters, fastest of 10,177 pigeons

Genk – For the second week in a row we can visit a Provincial winner in this Limburg municipality. Events such as these had become very rare in this area, and the local pigeon fanciers have long become accustomed to it.

But the reality of the past few weeks now allows them to believe that it is ‘still possible’. The victorious tandem have been one of the better local fanciers and therefore they are no strangers to Genk pigeon fanciers.

The duo is formed on the one hand by Ludo Vogels, originally from the neighbouring municipality of Houthalen and after a detour via Wellen, twenty-eight years ago ended up in the Genk Waterschei. His partner, Nico Kellens is the son of the late Clement Kellens, better known as ‘the White’, who has been for almost his whole life one of the better fanciers of Genk.

Nico never actually raced himself with the pigeons, but when he got Ludo as a neighbour, he quickly realised he had found a suitable partner. They joined forces and in the meantime shared a lot of small and large successes in the speed races.

Speed Races

From 2012 they were for three years in a row in the Nijverheidsduif club in Winterslag 1st General Champion and they also managed to become crowned Emperor. A year later, in 2015, they took the decision to make a change of direction and the distance races was resolutely chosen. It was obvious that this was not a direct success and in 2017 the long distance racers were sold.

Ludo couldn’t help but admit that by his impatient character traits, the distance races were not suitable for him. There would be again sprint pigeons in the lofts, but that’s easier said than done.

The name Jules Vannes is a true household name in Genk pigeon circles. During his 58-year pigeon career Jules succeeded in winning no less than 600 pure first prizes and he was 22 times Champion of the speed races and 11 times General Champion in the Winterslag club .

In 2019 Jules was forced to quit his favourite hobby for health reasons. When he heard Ludo would have gladly bought some of his prize birds. But he came too late as they were all killed except for the one pigeon Jules had left over, as a donation for the sale during the Champions celebration of the pigeon federation in Waterschei. Ludo made this purchase and this was the father of the victorious pigeon from Nanteuil.


That same year (2019) pigeon racing at Vogels-Kellens started to return into the old winning ways. There were also some pigeons from Roger Bielen (Winterslag) added who has the bloodline of Paul Huls (Zonhoven) in the lofts. A hen of his was coupled to ‘the cock’ of Jules Vannes, from which the ‘Primus van Nanteuil’, a blue, B21- 5059688 was born. Ludo: “He went into the basket on five days eggs, which is not really a good position. He had also done a lap or six before he came in. Until Orléans I raced the birds on the sliding door and then I let them make a nest.”


Ludo and Nico can rightly be proud of the last season. Especially with the youngsters they are the men to beat. This year after all, not only 1st General Champion in their local club in Waterschei , but also in the large Federation of Mijn Stille Kempen (the eastern half of Central Limburg) they hold their own every week. Of these, they are in the speed races with the youngsters 1st champion and also by the Ace pigeons youngsters they have many at the top including the 1st place.This is the B21-5059661, again a pure descendant of the kind of Jules Vannes.

Ludo: “Every season that passes the youngsters condition is not really good; this is maybe due to our chilly lofts that often feel damp. Once the outside temperature is higher, and it becomes more pleasant everything goes much better.”

Heartfelt congratulations are certainly offered. We can only hope that we don’t have to wait this long again,before there is someone in Genk wins another Provincial.

Congratulations Ludo and Nico on this beautiful victory, keep up the good work and enjoy your fine hobby.


Translation by Witpen.