ORIGINS OF OUR STRAINS

The origin of the Planet Brothers family has been the result of a tried and tested Racing Loft. From the very beginning, Planet Brothers set their loft up to produce a pigeon that would compete at National and Combine level from 50 miles to 500 miles. Our aim was to produce an outstanding one day pigeon, that was irrespective of the conditions. In the United Kingdom we raced North Road which meant all our distance races were from Scotland, and the pigeons had to encounter some tough race points. The 300 mile race from Berwick was always one we strived to excel in. It was the race with the biggest entry and we have always said that most pigeons are capable of competing at this level. For us, this was the hardest race to win. Beyond Berwick, we had Stonehaven 382 miles, Fraserburgh and Thurso 504 miles.

There was a 600 mile Lerwick race but we never had any wish to compete in this type of race, the reasoning behind this, is that any two day race, is in our opinion, a lottery and the best bird does not always win. Once a bird has to roost up overnight so many elements come into play, the safety of the bird, how quickly it is disturbed the next day, and the possibility that the real quality pigeons perish, trying to get home on the day.For us as pigeon lovers, extreme distance racing, borders on cruelty and should not be practiced as a sport. Most of the fanciers who entertain such races, cannot win anything else and these lottery type competitions provide them with some hope of a very shallow victory.

Creating a super one day pigeon, is dealt with in The Planet Brothers book


In trying to produce the ultimate one day pigeon, you have to set yourself certain goals and one of those goals was that every race bird on the loft, must compete in all races through to 504 miles, unless they were sick or carrying an injury. True to our goals, all of our champions were sent to, and competed at these races. Scrumpy, One Four, Sure Return, Exterminator, Pied Cock, Dictator, TV Man, Hitman etc etc all flew the programme every year and in most instances flew the 500 mile race 4 or 5 times in their careers. Many Champions were lost on some horrendous races, due mainly to bad race controlling and weather conditions, but we are proud to say that we got the best from the birds and were never wondering, 'what could have been'?.

Although we firmly believe that Champions have to come from good stock, they have to be worked, cultivated and tested if they are ever to realise their full potential.

Louis Van Loon outside his Lofts
Louis Van Loon outside his Lofts

As previously mentioned in the Brief History , we began with many different strains and the real turning point was upon our return to the Sport after going to Australia. It was the Belgium and Dutch influence that changed our racing, and this originated from the early success achieved with the Busschaerts, Fabrys and Janssen pigeon.

To this end we went to a loft that had a mixture of Janssen, De Smet-Mathijs, Cattryse and Van Rhijn Kloeck pigeons. The loft was Louis Van Loon.

The success of the Van Loon pigeon led us to Leen Boers who also had very similar bloodlines and was a sensation in the early 80’s with his 'fastest pigeons in the world'.

Then it was to Janssen Brothers and Karl Meulemans, who need no introduction, and the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle was the loft of Herman Beverdam in Holland. The only other introductions were 'the Aliens', which will be discussed and explained in The Planet Brothers Book.

Janssen Brothers of Arendnk
Janssen Brothers of Arendnk
Leen Boers with his famous Car winner, Mirage NL. 76. 1837108
Leen Boers with his famous Car winner, Mirage NL. 76. 1837108
Karl Meulemans of Arendonk
Karl Meulemans of Arendonk

 

John Planet, local fancier John Brebner and Herman Beverdam
From left to right, John Planet, local fancier John Brebner and Herman Beverdam on a trip to Arendonk in 1981, loading up the Rolls with our Stud List.

All of the above were instrumental in providing quality pigeons to our lofts. Some were limited in numbers and it must be said that for the amount of birds purchased, some of them were a little disappointing, but among the many were a number of 'Jewels'.

As time has progressed the blending of the above families has produced our own unique type of pigeon, The Planet Brothers pigeon. Many of the original family names are now often referred to as Planet Janssens, Planet Van Loons or Planet Aliens, either way fanciers are now realising that it is in their interest to refer to the birds in this way.

Its a situation that we have never been comfortable with and one that we have campaigned for years to change. However, the British pigeon flier and indeed the rest of the world, seem adamant that all strains should be referred back to the Belgium or Dutch origin. For us, this is pointless because it was Planet Brothers that created the Champions, not the Belgium or the Dutch. It was Planet Brothers that made these people famous and put them on the map. Before our intervention and purchases many were relatively unknown. More importantly, after our purchases, none of the Lofts achieved what Planet Brothers did with them. Proving that some of the best ended up at Noak Hill, and that was no accident !!

Gary Planet with Louis Janssen
Gary Planet with Louis Janssen

The purpose of this web site is to provide an insight into Planet Brothers, their pigeons and their methods. It will take around two years before the whole story unfolds and piece by piece the jigsaw puzzle will be completed.

Upon starting with The History of our birds , we quickly realised that the task is immense, because there is 40 years of paperwork and photographs to go through. Much of the work that we put into the birds all those years ago, had a tremendous bearing on how our loft developed and we hope that the mistakes made and the knowledge gained will be beneficial to all who read it. Rare photos that have never been published will be used to illustrate the changes that we made and in time we hope the Forum Area provides fanciers with the answers they are looking for.

Be sure to Subscribe early, because as the content changes, some of the material will not be repeated on the web site again.