Wiel, in his hands “Blauwe Marathon”, 52nd Nat. Barcelona and 252nd Nat. Narbonne 2022.

High performance with small basket

Wiel Schaefer is the Dutch pigeon fancier who has reached the Podium of the National Marathon 2022. This 72-year-old retiree man and 30 years of pigeon career is the brilliant winner of the most prestigious national championship of the Netherlands in the long-distance races of the European circuit. “I usually basket between 2 and 5 pigeons in each of the 7 international flights of the annual calendar”, he tells us.


This year the National Marathon was played with the first two nominated pigeons in the international flights of Agen, Barcelona, ​​St Vincent and Narbonne. These were the prices achieved:

  • 238th national Agen of 2 pigeons shipped – 894 km
  • 52nd and 657th national Barcelona of 4 pigeons sent – 1109 km
  • 159th and 337th national St Vincent of 5 shipped – 994 km
  • 31st, 157th and 273rd national Marseille out of 5 sent – 883 km
  • 252nd and 949th national Narbonne of 2 sent – 924 km
  • 652nd national Perpignan of 5 sent – 982 km

Wiel’s lofts are very simple. It consists of a flight loft with five compartments for widowers where it houses between 6 and 8 males in each of them. An open aviary at the end of the garden where the 50 youngsters that are raised annually are housed. Another small aviary for the females of the widowers; and finally, a narrow breeding loft where the 6 pairs that it currently has reside. Although, the base male of the loft is separated from the rest of the pairs to guarantee an abundant offspring throughout the year.


In the month of November 2014, Wiel acquired at the annual bond auction of the Midden Limburg club, a pigeon of the late Jan Tunnesen from the town of Lomm for 50 Euros with ring NL14-1255596, which has ultimately become his top breeding basic male. Through its blood runs top origins from Limburg province as Theelen/Kuypers/Van Wanroy/Tournier. He is the father, among others, of the NL19-1088431 “Blauwe Marathon” winner of the 52nd national Barcelona and 252nd national Narbonne in 2022, two tough flights in which the winners did not exceed 930 m/m.


The mother of the “Blauwe Marathon” is the female “BEL18-6162350”, a gift from the octogenarian fancier Jean Stevens of Ruisbroek, Belgium, in gratitude to Wiel for the recovery of a lost pigeon that was of great value to him. In fact, the hen “350” of the year 2018 is daughter of the “lost female” BEL15-2059156 (a consanguineous of the “Roger Barcelona”, 1st National and 2nd international Barcelona 2006 of the Desbuquois Brothers), paired with the “524” from 2007, 2nd AS National Barcelona during for years 2012-2015 in Belgium for Mr. Stevens. Wiel is touched by Jean’s gesture of pigeon friendship.


Wiel confesses that this year he has seen the males in very good health. He checks the health of the loft in February with the veterinarian Dr. Boskamp from Beek; and he did himself weekly controls from his pigeons health with a microscope that he acquired three years ago.


As an anecdote, he tells us that on Sunday, July 31st, the evening prior to basket for Perpignan, he released his 30 widowers to train at 7:00 p.m. and at 12:00 p.m. none had returned to the loft. He went to sleep with the idea that he would not be able to attend the last event of the year, the international Perpignan. However, when he got up, at 6 a.m. on Monday, all the males had returned. He took a deep breath.


The widowhood method used consists of two consecutive lays of 10 days of incubation each, without raising chicks. Once the females have been separated, the males are gradually trained up to a distance of 450 km 4 weeks before the first international appointment. The males basketed for Barcelona have a minimum age of 3 years, while the yearlings usually do an international flight, either Agen, Marseille or Narbonne. In the 2022 season, he used 40 males for competition between adults and yearlings; and he only lost 7 of them.


The youngsters are trained in his particular way in their vehicle up to a distance of 150 km. They never go to club races.


Life continues smoothly and quietly for Corry and Wiel in the garden of the house in the town of Roermond, out of the media spotlight as if nothing had happened. Although in reality it is a pigeon feat, for this fan of small basket.

His little loft with the little miser for the pigeons.

Wiel’s base pigeon, father of”Blauwe Marathon”.

Article written by team members colombofilia.com

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