Piet (izquierda) y Robin (derecha) en su palomar.

Robin Smeets & Piet Penris, passionate long-distance racers

Two pigeon lovers who began their journey in different years but united since 1999. We located the loft of Robin Smeets and Piet Penris in the small town of Urmond, on the border between Belgium and the Netherlands.

A beginning in this hopeful passion marked by good results in short distance races has led them to take an interest in long distance races, becoming fully specialized in these pigeons with the only real objective of ZLU races.

And it is that the results will not take long to arrive, since in their first years they have achieved a 2nd International Marseille or score 3/3 pigeons in the Barcelona 2020 race (26th, 52nd and 79th at the national level)

En esta entrevista nos dan algunas pinceladas del interés por las palomas y algunos detalles de cómo consiguen que sus palomas rindan a un alto nivel.


1.- When and why did you choose RACING PIGEONS as your hobby?

We had always animals around the house, a dog, birds and also pigeons. At first it where Birmingham Rollers, but after a while there came more and more racing pigeons. And in 1999 the love for racing pigeons became real and we started racing with them.


2.- Can you give us some details about your lofts.

We play since 2019 from 2 places, 1 place in Stein where the loft is 14 meter. And in Urmond there are 2 lofts from both 9 meter. Both are wooden lofts.


3.- Which strains or blood are in your pigeons?

We play since 2018 only marathon races. But our bloodline which is in every bird is the world famous Kuypers brothers from Neer. When I was 16 years old in 2004 we became 4 youngsters from them, they are all 4 our heading bloodlines. One of them is still alive and we call him “ “Gouden Kuijpers 25”  (Golden 25 Kuypers) He is very near related to the world famous BEATRIX and the PAU-duivin. Also he is already father to our new stock Breeder Avatar (2nd Best Barcelona pigeon the Netherlands 2016-2018)


4.- When do you couple your breeders and what method is used for make the couples?

We couple most of the time half or end December, depends on the weather. When there is day in and day out rain, the conditions are in our opinion not good enough to couple.

We make couples only on 1 way, good X good, therefor we take also best x best, also we take brother top pigeon x sister toppigeon. Our first success therewith was in 2020 with Gregorius, he became 1st Ace Pigeon Limburg total, 12th Ace Pigeon ZLU and has a great chance to end up in the top 10 International. And that as a Year bird. His Father is from brother Avatar x Sister Benny Batman (2nd International Marseille)


5.- How do you feed your racing team?

We feed our racing team on the easiest way there is, only sports food in the season and before hard marathon races a bit peanuts.


6.- What do you look for when you introduce new blood?

We only look for children from the best or good bloodlines, we don’t buy paper pigeons because papers don’t fly. Pigeons do, we don’t buy names we buy pigeons to get better.


7.- What do you think about “the eyesign theory” as breeders selection?

Our opinion is that there is only one thing that counts and that is early at home. The risk with looking to eyes is the next: almost every good pigeon has good eyes, but not every pigeon with good eyes is a good pigeon.

“Gregorius”, 5º ACE International 2020

Main loft, with the characteristic aviary in front of it


8.- What do you think it is the most important to have continue success with pigeons?

Dedication! When here the season starts in early April we are sharp on our pigeons till the end of the Marathon season!! When you want to have success its like sport on high level, a full mindset to the pigeons means every day full dedication also on weekends. To keep it in the season, is when you basket the first marathon flight, you have to be already busy with the next and so on…


9.- What is the training programme for the international racing team?

As I said, they fly from the early April almost every week till 3 weeks before their first international. Then the season starts and they only train at home or we put them away for 70 km.


10.- If I am a beginner what are your suggestions to have a good start with pigeons?

We only can suggest that don’t put money on medicine and lot of products!!, a good pigeon is never sick. Also, we suggest that when you start with pigeons you put a program together how you act for the pigeons during the season. That program you follow!! After a year you can change little things to that program, but the headlines are the same. So, the pigeon you have go fit in your own way.

We wish all our Spanish friends good luck!

Robin and Piet (Smeets-Penris, Urmond)