Menne & Dochters crown a magnificent career with the 1st prize international Barcelona (2007)

A visit to an international Barcelona winner is always something special. Forever the curiosity for the winning pigeon, the people behind the winner…After a French victory in 2005 and a Dutch victory in 2006, it was this year Germany who took the international triumph. And yet again, it was not just any old fancier, for we find Menne and Daughters firmly established at the top of the race results. In the last five years Barcelona has been won on an international level by four different nationalities.

Friedhelm Menne (56) and his wife Ulrike, together with their 3 daughters Simone, Raphaela and Fabienne, tend to their pigeons with a great passion. The daughters are still studying, which leaves father Friedhelm to do most of the work during the week, but the daughters lend a helping hand whenever they can. We have already mentioned that Menne & Daughters are firmly established in the world of pigeon racing, and as confirmation here is a short list of the predominant victories from the last 10 years, very impressive!

1st nationaal & 2nd international Bordeaux 1998 (“Nachtvlieger”)
1st national & 1st international Perpignan 2001 (“Serena”)
1st national Montauban 2002 (“Monti”)
1st national & 1st international Bergerac 2003 (“Carolina”)
1st national Perpignan 2004 (“Black Power”)
1st Int. Pau hens 2006; 2nd nat. & 2nd int. (“Crisitine”)
1st national & 1st international Barcelona 2007 (“Susi”)
Summary: 7 national victories and 4 international victories!!

When the oldest daughter, Simone, was just three years old, she talked her father into keeping a few pigeons in their garden. She was so fascinated by these birds that her father didn’t have the heart to refuse. One thing led to another, they became more professional and started looking for the very best in the world of long distance racing. This is how the foundations were laid with Eijerkamp pigeons. To start with, the pigeons were obtained through the famous furniture formula, which led to a band of friendship, so much so that they now borrow the best breeders. The best example is illustrated in the pedigree of the “Serena”, winner of the 1st prize international Perpignan 2001, from the Menne household, but bred from 2 pure Eijerkamp pigeons.

The international winner from Barcelona is the three year old hen “Susi”. Just like all the other participants for Barcelona, Friedhelm was up early, just before the end of neutralisation time, because you can never be sure…It was misty in Hamminkeln, but the strong south easterly wind led the fanciers to believe that there could be some early arrivals. Simone also rose early, but when she saw how miserable the weather was, she decided she would go back to bed for an hour. She made the wrong decision, because “Susi” arrived home at 05.41. This hen was entered in the race while rearing 3 day old youngsters and was obviously extra motivated to get home as soon as possible. No one saw her land, but suddenly she was there. Friedhelm was busy inside the loft and describes the instant he noticed her as an “indescribable moment”. There were known to be only a few pigeons home from a shorter distance, so………there were telephone calls made, first and foremost to register the pigeon, the first pigeon registered….

Thereafter calculations were made, a distance of 1201 km meant a velocity of 1464 m/m, which was well above 50 m/m faster than the 2nd known registered pigeon, a big difference. And that difference withstood, at 11 o’clock the international victory was official, with a big difference in speed over the second pigeon international from Harrie Tubee (NL) which flew 1411 m/m and the third international pigeon from H. Rous (NL) which reached 1387 m/m.

More than once during my visit I heard the old cliché “The best pigeons come from the best pigeons”, and if we look at the pedigree from the winner we can’t do anything else but agree. Before “Serens” moved to Japan after her international triumph from Perpignan she bred another couple of youngsters. One day the youngsters were let out, but like so many other youngsters, the hen from this couple was killed by a bird of prey. It was then decided to put the brother in the breeding loft. This only son from “Serena”, which you can still find in the loft, is now the father of “Susi”, the 1st prize winner international Barcelona. And as if this isn’t enough, we also find an international winner Perpignan on the mother’s side. The other long distance phenomena from Germany, Dr. Hans Peter and father Peter Brockamp have been exchanging pigeons with Menne & Daughters for years. This is how it came to be that in 2003 a youngster from their “Armstrong”, 1st prize winner international Perpignan, moved to Hamminkeln. This hen became “Susi’s” mother. At that moment “Armstrong” was residing at the Brockamp residence, paired with “Venus”, who is mother from the 1st national and 2nd international winner Perpignan 2006. In other words, a pedigree to be held in reverence.
Friedhelm Menne doesn’t believe in sparing his pigeons. As youngsters they go as far as Orleans, 545km. As yearlings they have to show their worth in at least 1 of the 3 long distance/ tough long distance races. First there is Limoges, 757 km, then Cognac, 842 km, and their last race as yearling is 825 km. All the yearlings have to participate in these three races. The fanciers there in Hamminkeln can look forward to a rose coloured future, because the week before Barcelona the 1st and 2nd regional Cognac yearlings was won, both pigeons being grandchildren from their 1st prize winner national Perpignan 2004, Black Power. The end result from their yearlings is promising, namely 20 from the 26 prizes from Limoges and 17 from the 26 prizes from Cognac.
After the serious tests as yearlings you would expect that they would at least enter a few 2 year old pigeons for Barcelona, but because they are not allowed to race in Germany above 1200 km with two year olds, they cannot enter their two year olds for Barcelona. This because Hamminkeln is, to be exact, 727 meters too far, otherwise there would definitely be a team of two year olds entered for Barcelona.

Friedhelm & Ulrike, together with their daughters, have achieved good results over the last few years, moreover the last few years they have had first-rate results from Barcelona. Two years running, 2004 and 2005, the Primus Inter Pares ( best Barcelona pigeon over 5 years in Germany) was won by ‘Paula’ and ‘Smaragd’ respectively. The latter was even the Ace pigeon international Barcelona over 5 years.

Paula’ won:
1st Primus Inter Pares Barcelona 2000-2004
309th nat. Barcelona 2000
72nd nat. Barcelona 2001
22nd nat. Barcelona 2002
139th nat. Barcelona 2003
35th nat. Barcelona 2004

Smaragd’ won :
1 st Primus Inter Pares Barcelona 2001-2005
1 st international Ace pigeon Barcelona 2001-2005
133rd nat. Barcelona 2001
23rd nat. Barcelona 2002
37th nat. Barcelona 2003
100th nat. Barcelona 2004
7th nat. Barcelona 2005

These 2 super pigeons will, together with the above mentioned national winners undoubtedly ensure that we will hear a lot more from this sympathetic family, because a very strong breeding loft in combination with enormous motivation are two of the most important ingredients for success in the world of pigeon racing. Ingredients we find in abundance by Friedhelm, Ulrijke, Simone, Raphaele and Fabienne.