Dutch fancier Jan Aarden created an impressive strain of marathon racing pigeons.
Jan was born in Oosterhout in 1893 and as a kid he was fascinated by animals and racing pigeons in particular. Since Jan Aarden started to love the racing pigeons, he asked his father and mother dailly to build a pigeon loft at home. When they finally agreed, he was very happy even if the loft was small.
His first pair of pigeons has a nice story. Father Paulus raised the children with a system of green and red cards. For getting a red card, the children had to get six green cards. A green card was given for the hard work. Jan Aarden was a very good student, he earned six red cards very fast. Six red cards meant that he could get a book from father Paulus but he wanted a couple of pigeons instead.
Jan learned the basics of the racing pigeon sport with the brothers Oomens. Jan Aarden was more passionate about breeding super racers than racing them. Breeding very good racing pigeons was his passion and inbreeding was a good part of his recipe.
Few fanciers know that Jan’s son Anton influenced him to go from shorter to the longer races and although the results were not outstanding Jan Aarden, through his skills and patience, began to build the future marathon famous strain. Again, few fanciers know that reds were at the basis of the strain.
“Zilvervosje”, a light check hen with a reflection of silver in her wings was a wonderful breeder AND a racer and she had a major influence in the development of the Aarden strain. Her contribution to the development of the marathon pigeon in Europe is very important. Her bloodline can be found in the pedigrees of the great Aarden fanciers like Muller, van den Burgh, van der Wegen, van Roy, and Kuypers.
It is good to know that Delbar’s birds played an important role in the Aarden’s strain beginning.
Some of the most famous early birds of the strain:
– “Number 10” of Ligtenberg – the father of the famous Dolle of Marijn van Geel – the origin of the van Geels
– “Oud Doffertje” of van der Wegen, the foundation of the van der Wegen strain