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 Herman Van Helmond - A Winner In Two Nations
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To win 3 Nationals in Holland confirms a fancier of greatness but to then domicile in Belgium and win 3 Nationals there confirms the hand of genius. And this genius was Herman Van Helmond, sometimes referred to as 'The Flying Dutchman'.

Van Helmond prior to 1968 won 1st National Orleans, 1st National Ruffec and 1st National Chateauroux against the best of the Netherlands. Then upon moving to the village of Vorselaar in Belgium our subject planted roots in an area were the favoured distances were short and middle. And although not living in an area conducive to long distance fanciers in due course Van Helmond won 1st National St.Vincent (hens), another 1st National St.Vincent (hens), then 1st National Pau including 1st National Pau (hens). Fabulous racing in any language.

This including 14 years at the top of distance racing surely places Van Helmond amongst the elite. Other successes included 1st, 24th, 55th, and 147th Barcelona in 1974. He also won the KBDB National Champion of Long Distance in 1975. Followed in 1977 with the winning of the prestigious King of Belgium Trophy, which is based upon nominating 10 pigeons in the Barcelona National. The winning did not end there for the loft won the Brive National in 1978 plus 6th National Pau and wins from Bordeaux and Orleans. Van Helmond had other successes in his pigeon racing career including 1st National Barcelona (hens) in 1980, 1st National Pau and 2nd National St.Vincent (hens) in 1981.

The base of the Van Helmond's were of Emiel Verhart bloodlines and some direct Van Der Wegen. The number one cock, a Verhart, was known as the '111' and was a great producer.. Further inputs included Delbar, Deny, Bostyn, Norman, Vereecke, Imbrecht, Kempeneers, Van Hee and Jan Cool Aardens. No wonder he was so successful but with this stock alone one had no guarantee of success. That is why Herman Van Helmond had what the Janssen Bros amongst others had - that quality which is difficult to define but like the spirit exists.

Herman Van Helmond was unknown to me but a line in one racing pigeon magazine initiated me on my research. As a result I have encountered one of the greatest of the sport of long distance pigeon racing.


Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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