|The Frank Aarts
He Put All of His Eggs in One Basket!!
By Tony Rossi
Tilburg, Holland is a small
city located in north Brabant. It lies approx. eight miles from
the Belgium border, very close to such notable lofts as Louis
Van Loon, the Janssen brothers, De Klak, Meulemans, etc. By car,
from Tilburg to the Belgium border is no more the ten minutes.
So you see, these lofts can easily exchange the best birds
between them in order to improve. Frank Aarts grew up in the
city of Tilburg. He attended school there, played soccer there,
and attended the university there.
As a boy, he was aware of
pigeon racing but his parents never participated. It was hard
for him not to notice, because on his neighborhood block, there
were twenty active lofts. Just imagine growing up in an area
where everyone had pigeons except you!! Well, as destiny would
have it, a friend named Eric Rynen coaxed Frank in to the sport.
The year was 1981, Frank started a loft in a very small yard. In
fact he had to place his breeders in the neighbor's yard. This
limited space taught Frank that only the very best must be kept.
In fact, the best is not good enough; they must be excellent!
Frank Aarts is an educated man and he knew from the beginning
that in order to win at any sport, you must first learn the
rules. He read every book and all the magazines that he could.
In 1982, he already became champion old birds and young birds
against 180 lofts! Well, his career was ended abruptly in 1983.
He served his country in the military for a fourteen month duty.
Upon returning to Tilburg, the young Aarts decided to attack the
pigeon sport once again.
Frank determined that, in order
to win at the National levels, a list of events must occur. He
calls it a circle and when the circle is completed, success will
be yours. Frank charted all the best lofts in Holland and
Belgium for about three years. He wanted to know where the
national winning pigeons were coming from. He didn’t care
about what the magazines said. He used the race results by
scanning over 150,000 lofts and entering his findings into a
computer. Frank knew there were thousands of good lofts in his
area, but he was looking for the golden lofts that would found
him a family that could not be beaten. After the data was
entered, Frank was looking at several lofts that met his
criteria before l tell you who was selected, I will tell you
just how smart Frank Aarts is. He decided that to purchase young
from their number one stock pairs was not enough. Winners
weren’t enough, even the original stock pairs weren’t
enough. What’s left, you ask??
Well, the young man from
Tilburg bought eggs from the number one pair of Each loft!! How
smart!! He said if an outstanding youngster is hatched, do you
think for one minute these lofts would part with it?? Well,
anyway, Frank went to his picks, not with a crate, but with a
bowl. He went to the "miracle man from Poppel -- the great
Louis Van Loon". He went to Mr. P. Van Gompel of Arendonk
in addition to these great names, he cherry picked the most
outstanding lofts of which carried the Janssen, Van Loon,
Meuleman base pigeons. So there, you have the real foundation
lofts for the present day Frank Aarts family.
Now the year is 1986. The
methods were studied, the birds were bred from the best lofts in
the Belgium-Holland area, and no stone was left unturned. Now
what could be expected in the first series of his starting year?
Sensational, stupendous!! Frank Aarts shot to the limelight of
the Dutch racing scene like a nuclear explosion!!!
Of course the old timers were
heard to say: "he won’t last", "just one lucky
season", and "the kid will fall". Well, sorry,
Frank Aarts got better, and better. In 1987, 88, 89 the circle
was round! I won’t bore you but I have to list just a few
results from the first few seasons, so you can judge yourself.
Orleans National Section 3: 1, 2, 3, 46, 12, against 8109
pigeons; entire Holland 93,000 pigeons, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8;
Provincial St. Quentin 1, 4, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, 1483 birds; Pont
St. Max. 2, 5, 7, 14, 16, 18, 24, 28, 31, 32, 35, 39, 40, 4,331
birds; Prov. Melun 2, 5, 6, 10, t1, 20, 2t, 22, 23,24, 25, 27,
29 against 5,803 birds. He was provincial "Union Kring
Tilburg" Champion 1987, 1988 and 1989 against 750 members.
Unfortunately for the members
in the North Brabant centers, the Frank Aarts story gets worse!
Let’s briefly touch on the 1990 season. National Chateauroux
Section 3: 1, 2, 3, 5, 14, 15, 19, 23, 26 against 8,996 pigeons
380 miles, Bourges Semi National 6, 8, 10, 13, 14, 16, 18, 21
against 6772 pigeons 350 miles; Creil 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28,
29, 30, 31, 34, 37, 38. Against 2,101 pigeons; Provincial Midden
Brabant 2,350 member first Champion young birds; 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Ace Pigeons against 5000 pigeons.
The year 1991 is most likely
the point in his career that most lofts realized Frank Aarts was
here to stay. Two first nationals in one season! Most men never
achieve one national victory in a lifetime! Just feast your eyes
on these results for 1991l Orleans national Section IC: 1, 3, 4,
21, 22, 31 vs. 7,209 pigeons and Section IA-IBIC, combined 1, 3,
4, vs. 20,845 pigeons. His competitors were awed. You can
imagine the stir in Tilburg. They must have said he can never
keep this up. Well, weeks later, you can bet a crowd of people
lined the street around Frank Aarts’ loft for the national
Chateauroux race. They said, "We have to see with our own
eyes!" Well, it’s history now but the Hero of Tilburg won
first national Chateauroux Section 3: 1, 2, 19 vs. 9,108
pigeons! The year 1991 was terrific; Etampes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
7, vs. 1,100 pigeons, Meaux 1, 3, 6 vs. 983 pigeons, Roye 1, 6,
10,17, 18, vs. 1,506 pigeons, etc. etc. His 1992 results were
equally spectacular. Week after week the Aarts birds flocked in
to win in the strongest competition. The young down from those
few eggs he carried home in a bowl, changed the face of racing
in Holland as never Before. But a tragic event happened to Frank
In 1993 that stopped the Aarts
machine. Something so terrible that Frank could not even begin
to correct. Frank’s father died suddenly. The man that he so
respected was suddenly gone from his life. The sport that was so
important, suddenly became insignificant. For the first time in
many years, Frank Aarts was down.
year 1994 arrived and Frank decided to step back and build a new
home. He also decided to build a spacious loft in order to
expand his breeding and racing. This was always his dream, a
dream that he wished his father could share. The new house was
built by Frank Aarts himself and took better than one year to
complete. Day and night he worked, and he could not race the
birds at all. The 1994 young were only trained. The best racers
from his former loft were all stocked and mated to the basic
breeders. In 1995, Frank Aarts made his new start from his new
loft. Yes, he missed a year and the members from the Brabant
union were quick to attack. Yes, you know what they said: "
has been". ’The birds are no good anymore, and "he
is finished". The rumors spread like fire through out
Europe as well as the United States. Everyone was unsure of the
pause! You see, Frank Aarts is a quiet man; he keeps to himself.
He told me,"1 let my results do the talking".
Yes, even in the United States,
the best lofts thought the results of Frank Aarts were much too
good, to continue. Proof of this surfaced when I was at the
Snowbird race in California. A well-known loft spoke about Frank
Aarts in front of about twenty people. He said: "Frank
Aarts is a has been and, he can even win a prize now." I
then commented that l purchased some birds off his foundation
breeders. He publicly laughed and said: "You’re crazy,
Aarts gets birds from different lofts every year; and his birds
are from everyone." With a display like that, I just sat
and laughed to myself, unbelievable! Another well-known man from
Holland was there that same night and was saying to a large
group that the reason Mr. Frank Aarts has so dominated was that
he was on the "dark system". To say the least, after
leaving the Snowbird, I was sure I selected the right man and
birds. Any person that could create such a stir 8,000 miles away
must be fantastic.
Well, the 1995 season was here
and Frank Aarts started with a team of 75% yearlings and the
rest were from his 1993 young bird team. Remember, he started
with a new loft, and for the most part an entire team of
un-proven, un-tested pigeons. His new location was also a big
factor. But, the one common denominator he did have was the same
family of birds that originated from those eggs in the bowl.
Yes, Frank Aarts had all the confidence in the world; he had the
best pigeons, and they were still in his loft.
As the 1995 season started,
could the young man from Tilburg continue? "Impossible they
said" and "surely not in old birds," they cried.
They continued, old birds is the true test, all his better
results were in young birds. Well, Frank Aarts was quite hurt;
you see he was a terrific old bird flyer also, but yes, his
national wins were all in young birds. Yes, Frank had Samething
to prove. But how in the world could Frank ever overcome all the
handicaps of his new residence? The name Frank Aarts was never
before so dominant. 1995 old birds was fantastic. The highlight
was first National Chateauraux Section 1 (380 miles) 1, 2, 4, 5,
10, 12, 14, 19, 23, 32, 33, 35, 38, 40, against 15,456 pigeons!
This performance was said to be the most devastating old bird
performances in the history of National racing in Holland he
backed this up with three first Federations: Chateauroux 1, 2,
3, 4 T, 8, 9, 11, 15,18, 19, 20 vs. 1,472 birds; Creil
Federation 1st vs. 2.987 pigeons; Peronne Federation 1st, 5th
vs. 3,384 Pigeons. Plus firsts at Etampes, Houdeng Ghislain
Cambrai, Strombeek, and Roye. All in one season flying against
150 lofts in his club and 550 lofts in his Federation! After
this performance, the flyers from Tilburg spoke no more, the
Europeans spoke no more. The Americans spoke no more. What could
they say, "dark system" what a joke!
The old bird races were
finished and Frank was gearing up for young birds. We all know
how hot it was in the United States this year. Well, in Holland,
it was the same! Heavy losses were experienced by many and the
bird counts were down from prior years. Would the Aarts birds
hold up in this heat? The people that once accused him were now
crowding around the streets on race day to once again catch an
exciting moment of possibly watching the next national winner
arrive. Well, the 1995 Y.B. Season had a fantastic start. Many
wins at the club level, but to Frank Aarts, this means nothing.
He carefully brought those eggs home in a bowl for one reason:
to win at the national level, against all the best lofts. In the
first National of three starts with Orleans Section 1 Frank
Aarts placed 4th against 4,657 pigeons. It was stated by the
large gathering of spectators that if Aarts would have had a
good trap, he could have won. At the second National race from
Chateauroux section 1 he placed 15, 17, 29. 33, 34, 47, 65, 80,
83, 9B, 104, 108, 115, 117, 118, 127, vs. 8,031 pigeons. He
entered 54 birds and 37 birds placed in the top ten percent! The
crowd outside his loft continued to grow now and the results on
the final leg of the series National Bourges Section 1 8, 14 vs.
5,639 pigeons. These high placements won Frank first champion
semi national (2 N.B. Section 1) young birds against 8,000 to
10,000 lofts. Plus winning first championship young birds
provincial long distance 2,100 members (distance 300 to 350
Now that I have your interest,
you ask, Tony, come on let us in on what the is doing. The fact
is, he does nothing different then we all do. Old birds, widow
cocks of course, but his secret weapon is Hens on eggs!! Yes,
yes, Hens, the natural system won him first and second national
His young bird methods before
the 1993 season were early youngsters, separated sexes beginning
of season and paired at the end of season. He never darkened the
loft before 1993 season. The 1995 season was the first year he
darkened the loft, but he feels that if you raise early
youngsters, the birds are on a natural dark system. This has
been practiced in Europe for decades, nothing new. His feeding
system is basic; beginning of week, a light mix, the last few
days before race regular mix. Medication system: Vaccinate
against Paramixo and Pox. Before breeding and racing season
treat for Canker, once a week (Wed) vitamins in water. And never
over crowd your loft.
And finally the pigeons. Those
eggs he so carefully brought home. Yes, he placed all his eggs
in one basket and it worked! The birds that bred all the winners
are 85-2188369 "Bange", 85-2188368 Janssen
"Brother Bange", 84-2013825 Janssen "De Louis Van
Loon cock", of course Van Loon, 85-1651688 "De Rode
Van Gompel", Janssen, 85Z188354 "Dikke Blauwe"
Janssen, Bonte Witneus, "018" son of the Van Gompel,
Mightyman, Superman, "Jan" 80-847802 Janssen a line
"019", the "40". “Blauwe Pieterse",
Janssen Arendonk, etc. This is the Aarts foundation: no secrets,
no drugs. No magic tricks. Just the fastestpigeons hecouid lay
his hands on. I will give you just two examples of how effective
this breeding team is. "De Louie Van Loon" sire first
national Chateauroux, Grand Sire Second National Chateauroux,
Grand Sire 3rd National Orleans, Grandsire fourth National
Orleans, Grandsire 5th and 10th National Chateauroux 1995 vs.
15,456 birds, Great Gr. Sire to his 1995 O.B. National winner
from Chateauroux Grandsire "Blue Miracle", won first
Provincial Chantilly vs. 5,000 pigeons plus 6th Semi National
Bourges vs. 6,772 pigeons, Sire "Louis Best" first
Provincial Pont. St. Max, father Vice-President first Meaux 1957
pigeons, etc. Etc. Another example "De Rode Van Gompiel"
100/o Janssen sire first National Chateauroux 1990 vs. 8,996
pigeons, Grand Sire first National Orleans 1991 vs. 20,845
pigeons, sire first Etampes vs. 1,778 pigeons, Grand Sire first
prize St. Dizier 3,225 pigeons, sire first prize Creil, etc.,
etc. Now you know why Frank Aarts’ pigeons are so good. The
base birds are prolific breeders.
1995, I first met Mr. Frank Aarts and Brenda at the Amsterdam
airport. He came to pick up the Rossi family and transport us
back to Tilburg. Frank is a gentleman in every way. I was very
impressed with the fact that with all his wins and successes, he
never once bragged about himself. As a matter of fact, he made
his performances sound very insignificant. Frank Aarts never
looks for publicity. Unlike many Europeans, his pigeons are more
important than money. An example of this is the fact that he
turned down five different offers for his 1995 Chateauroux
winner, these bids were all five digits. He asked me what I
thought. You all know what I told him! But to Frank Aarts, money
is not important, his self respect is much more.
Frank Aarts has been called by
many titles over the last few years: to quote a few: Jan Hermans,
owner Belgium Pigeon Magazine "De Duif", said
"Frank Aarts, the Dutch wonder boy"; Tim Atkin (author
book, Winning With Young Birds), "Some people are born to
be artists, some people are born to teach, Frank Aarts was born
to fly pigeons."; Campbell Strange (Catalogue), "The
results from Frank Aarts are nothing less than
sensational."; Ad Schaerlaeckens (writer in the Vredesduif),
"Frank Aarts turns the pigeon scene in Tilburg upside
down."; Keith Gault (writer in Homing World England) Frank
Aarts, Champion of Champions; Ad Schaerlaekens; 1989 Orleans is
rightly called the greatest race on earth. In any case the 1989
race was a spectacular one, made spectacular by a guy from
Tilburg Frank Aarts". The list goes on and on.
To end this great story, Frank
Aarts confessed one thing to me and my wife Denise, after
spending three days in Tilburg, Holland with our four children
(Marie, Ernie, Nick, and Valerie). Frank said "I have lost
my title of "The Terror Of Tilburg to your four children.
Please get them out of Holland and back to the States!"
- - Racing Pigeon Bulletin,
October 23, 1995