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  News > Rainer Puttmann
  Rainer Puttmann--
1st Champion of Germany
Long Distance

by Stefan Mertens


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  for larger version

Rainer Puttmann

Puttmann's racing and breeding facilities

Puttmann in his widowhood loft




Detailed view of widowhood fronts





A view of Puttmann's racing lofts






Inside the racing
section, showing
good ventilation





Inside the racing cock section, showing dark boxes for the hens

Lohne: Germany-just like Belgium and the Netherlands-is a very important pigeon country. It's a country with a lot of fanciers who are very motivated and who invest a lot of time and money in their favorite hobby. As you can imagine, it is not a piece of cake to become national champion, because those on the
"pigeon-battlefield" know no mercy. To visit the national champion Long Distance, we had to go to the city of Lohne, more specifically to the Landwehrstraße, to the home of Rainer Püttmann.

Rainer is a well-known person in Germany. Not only is he a superb fancier, but he's also the owner of the best pigeon magazine in Germany, named Brieftaubensport International. It's a very nice full-color magazine with reports about fanciers from throughout Germany, the Netherlands, and of course Belgium. No wonder that he has a lot of subscribers.


To give you an idea of how difficult it is to become national champion in Germany, we'll outline the criteria.

First, you have to know that there are only two official championships in Germany. There is the General Championship (Verbandsmeisterschaft) and the Long Distance Championship (nationale Weitstreckenmeisterschaft). We'll start by explaining the latter, the one that our friend Püttmann won.

To win this championship, you have to score on three races-one race further than 500 km with a minimum of 1,000 participating birds, one provincial-race further than 600 km with a minimum of 3,500 participating birds or 150 participating fanciers, and finally one race further than 600 km with a minimum of 1,000 participating birds.

To score points you have to nominate four birds, and the fastest two of those four in the race count. They calculate the points this way: (number of participating birds/ 3) + 1 - place on the pricelist X 100 and then divide by the (number of participating birds/3). For example: there are 1,500 birds basketted and your second nominated bird wins the third prize-(500 +1 -3) X 100 : 500 makes 99.600 points.

So, a fancier can score a maximum of 600 points. Well, Rainer scored 590.72 points, earned by the following results:
June 23, 2002: Sezanne against 2,198 birds: 7 and 26 (195.77 points)
July 7, 2002: Lorris (670 km) against 7,177 birds: 34 and 40 (196.99 points)
July 22, 2002: Lorris against 1,463 birds: 2 and 10 (197.96 points)

It's very important to know is that every club sends the results every week to the national organization. The results are then entered into a computer so that every fancier is automatically subscribed for the national championships. Nobody can say, "Oh, I didn't send in my results, otherwise I would have been the national champion."

The top three positions for the national Long Distance Championship Germany are:
1. Rainer Püttmann ----- 590.72 points
2. Ludwig and Stefan Kircher ----- 583.82 points
3. Theo and Markus Lecke ----- 578.48 points

For the General Championship there are also eight pigeons nominated, whereby four count in the following races: 2 x 200km - 2 x 300km - 2 x 400 km - 1 x 500km and one provincial race further than 600 km. So, the maximum score is 6,400 points, and Andreas and Walter Drapa became champions with 6268.54 points.

The top three look as follows:
1. Andreas and Walter Drapa ----- 6268.54 points
2. Bernhard Beumer und Theodor Santhbothe ----- 6265.80 points
3. Uwe Berg ----- 6259.14 points


Rainer explains, "My father, Clemens Püttmann, was a very successful breeder of show pigeons, so as a young boy I was quickly infected with the "pigeon bacteria." Unluckily for my Dad, I didn't like to breed those show pigeons, but I was in love with racing pigeons. My father tried to change my ideas, but after some time he let me enjoy my hobby. 'You can breed racing pigeons,' my Dad told me, 'but keep in mind one very important rule. THE QUALITY OF THE BIRDS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Never buy second quality. It is already hard enough with top quality.' I will never forget his words. Beginning in the '70s, I bought pigeons from Belgian masters like Emiel Matterne, Pol Tossens, Pol Bostijn, Michel Descamps-Van Hasten and Marcel Desmet. Top results didn't stay away…."

Rainer continues, "That was early, but now I have totally different pigeons in my loft-pigeons from top birds or pigeons that earned top results and come from a winning family. Here are my 'jewels.'"

"Thanks to the contacts and information of Stefan Mertens I could buy some extremely superb pigeons," Rainer says. "What do you think of these?"


Another view of Puttmann's breeding


Puttmann's breeding sections

A breeding section
housing six pairs

The interior of Puttmann's young
bird section

Interior views of
the loft, showing
excellent hygiene


"Vaal Raketje" (4062708/01) is an unbelievable good-looking hen who won as a youngster (always Quievrain) 34 prizes in 35 races. Maybe you say, can a youngster be basketted 35 times in one season? Yes, because it was basketted two, sometimes three times a week, and because Quievrain is pure sprint. The top results against young birds are: 1st against 128 b. - 1st against 140 b. - 1st against 159 b. - 1st against 393 b. - 1st against 152 b. - 1st against 136 b. - 1st against 125 b. - 1st against 97 b. - 1st against 91 b. - 2nd against 108 b. - 2nd against 346 b. - 3rd against 144 b. - 5th against 118 b. - 5th against 132 b.

Again, this is a champion on the short distance with 22 times 1st prize. His family are all winners. His brother "De Provinciaal" (4552701/93) became the 1st provincial ace-pigeon East-Flanders and won 12 times 1st prize. Another brother "Vale Witpen" (48911002/92) won five first prizes. Another brother "Schone Rode" (4891786/92) won 7 x 1st prize, and what do you think about the other brothers "Rode 54" (4552754/93 - 5 x 1st prize) - "Rappe Rode" (4003202/94 - 12 x 1st prize) - "Bleke Vale" (4319366/95 - 6 times 1st prize)? Unbelievable but true.

This is a very beautiful cock that won in five years 23 times the 1st prize, and won around 10.000 euro in prize money. The first son that Rainer bred out of this cock won right away the 1st prize against more than 2,000 youngsters.

Original Karel Schellens (Kessel-Belgium). "Schellens 9655" flown by Wolfgang Roeper and won in three years' time 34 prizes and is father of "Olympia Roeper". The father of "Schellens 9655" is the "6260380/86" (son "Lichte As 180"-6054180/84 X "Donker Lesage"6114098/83). The mother is "6260386/86" (sister of "Bibberke" - mother of "National I")
As we've already said, "Schellens 9655" is father of "Olympia Roeper" (01274-92-321). This bird was also bought by Rainer and won the following top prizes: 1/4272 - 1/2692 - 2/2047 - 3/1518 - 3/4073 - 5/3817 - 5/5854 - 5/1868 - 5/4093 - 8/11221 - 9/3074 - 9/1786.
The mother of "Olympia Roeper" is the original Vandenabeele - hen "3119107/90" (from 3206176/88 [son "Rambo"] X "3122097/85" (daughter "Fideel").

Won by Wolfgang Roeper in four years' time 45 prizes. His father is the "6397685/89" (son from "De Kentucky" - son top pair "Chanel" X "José" from Stan Raeymaeckers). His mother is "Daughter Kletskop" (2563607/88) - "De Kletskop" (Verbruggen) X "Balloneke" - daughter "As" Vandevelde).

Comes from Gummarus Leysen and won 17 first prizes. It is a son "Jonge 03" (two times first prize) and grandson "Oude 03" (9 times first prize).

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The loft floor with an
air space beneath

Puttmann's 10th concourse winner, at 670 km against
1,463 birds

Puttmann's number 37

Puttmann's number 39

Puttmann's B2653

Puttmann's number 137


These are well-known Belgian fanciers from Zandhoven. Their "Kannibaal" made them world famous by being 1st national ace-pigeon KBDB middle distance. The "Kannibaal" is a son of "Rambo" and grandson of the earlier mentioned "Oude 03" (Leysen).
Now from Dirk and Louis Van Dijck, Rainer has seven children from "Kannibaal", three children of "Rambo" and three children of "Bourgesman".

Flor, who died at the end of November,2002, was for many years the man to beat in the province of Antwerp. When his pigeons were sold in a complete auction in mid-March, 2003, a lot of money was paid for the Vervoort pigeons (a total of 800,000 euro for 385 pigeons). "Fieneke 5000" was the hen that everybody was looking at and for an amount of 90,000 euro she was sold to Japan. "Fieneke 5000" has the following results on her prize list: 1st Bourges 7,765 pigeons (2nd national against 38,152 pigeons) - 1st Orleans against 10,194 pigeons - 1st semi-national Vierzon against 13,700 pigeons - 1st Toury 410 pigeons - 6th semi-national Argenton against 3,359 pigeons.

From "Fieneke 5000" Rainer bought, for a lot of money, four children and two brothers.

Another famous Vervoorthen is "Aske". In the complete auction she was sold for 40,000 euro to America. "Aske" was the Olympiad pigeon France 2003 and from her Rainer has a daughter and a sister.

Also in Püttmann's breeding loft there are pigeons from Samson and son, Kris Van Massenhoven, Rik Vloemans, De Smale, Grundel Werner, Rausch Hans and Harry Tamsen.


MEDICATION: Eight weeks before the racing season starts, the widowers are treated for five days with an antibiotic (paratyphus). Four weeks later, the pigeons are treated against trichomoniasis.
And now an interesting story from Rainer: "After the fifth race, the widowers were examined by a specialized vet. 'Trichomoniasis,' said the vet, 'except in your best pigeons.'" Trying to be thorough, Rainer treated his whole team, and in the following race he got very bad results. Rainer reflects, "Next time, as long as the results are good, I will not treat any bird if it specifically is not infected. I can easily do that because my birds have individual drinking bowls."

FEEDING: Good training is the result of good eating, and good eating is the result of good training. The widowers train twice a day, and after every training, they're fed. I feed as much as they want and after one hour, I take everything away. By doing this, I don't have any problems in keeping the widowers eating until the last days before basketting. In the beginning of the week, I feed a mixture without maïs and peas. To build them up, I mix some maïs and hempseed in the mixture.

TOSSES: Once a week I train my widowers at 35 km. When they come home, they find only some feed in the box, no hen. I only show the hens when they come home from a race.

TO FEEL GOOD: It is very important that pigeons like to be in their loft. To give them a "good feeling" the widowers always have their whole box. One part is open and free, and the other part is made dark.

DRINKING WATER: The medication as well as other products (such as vitamins) are given in the feed mixture. Every fancier knows that as soon that there is something in the water, pigeons don't like to drink anymore. And pigeons that don't drink enough can never achieve top condition.

SPECIAL BREEDING BOXES: The most important stockbirds are housed in special boxes. The cock always gets, during the breeding season, more than one hen so the "better couples" can be discovered. The youngsters are always raised by other couples.

So, here we end our interview with this super-motivated and successful fancier. After our talk with Rainer Püttmann, we're convinced that the year 2002 was the best year, up to this point, in the life of this fancier. In the month of May he turned 50 years old, in June he had been happily married for 25 years, and in July he became national Champion of Germany-against 70,000 fanciers. What more could a person want? Thanks for the nice talk, Rainer.

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