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The Great Theft Of Toon Schouternen
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In an article on the Jan Aarden strain and dynasty I made reference to the outstanding racer and breeder Zilvervosje and its descent from two outstanding breeders namely Moses and Saar.Roughly translated into English 'the silver fox' was one of the best racers and breeders that the sport of pigeon racing ever witnessed.

As I have stated elsewhere the contribution of this light blue chequer hen with a touch of silver in her wings to the development of long distance and marathon racing throughout the world is incalculable. But when we think, talk and write about the great strains and dynasties we tend to overlook aspects of their beginnings. Within this context I cannot ignore the contribution of others to the formation of the Aarden strain and dynasty for many strains and hands contributed to it but the over all pivotal influence of Aarden is evident. Now inspite of this conviction I believe that the contribution of the Schouteren strain to the Aarden strain and dynasty has been overlooked. Therefore it is my hope to redress the matter with an insight into the Toon Schouteren strain from Steenbergen, in the Netherlands.

By all accounts Toon Schouteren was a larger than life and very colourful person who was a born pigeoner. Thus the German occupation of Holland would not deter Toon from his beloved hobby inspite of the fact that the Dutch like many occupied nations, at the time, were restricted in the keeping of racing pigeons. Thus on what another writer referred too as a 'mad tuesday night', during the month of September in 1944, Toon Schouteren broke into a loft owned by the invading army and stole three pigeons. Yes, he was as resourceful as the biblical figure he was nicknamed after- namely Moses.

Schouteren in turn named his capture Moses, Saar and The Slet. Little did he realize then the bounty which he had stolen and the consequences of it in the sport of pigeon racing especially from the genes of Moses, a blue cock bird born in 1944 and Saar, a blue cheq hen bred in 1943. From their offspring Schouteren within a few years became well known as a great pigeoner and by 1949 after the apparent easing of restrictions he had won the National from St.Vincent. As his successes became widely known other fanciers sought his bloodlines and as such people like Baaker Meester's of De Heen with the Schouteren strain reaped pure gold in the years of 1950 to 1952. The latter's fame arising from De 86 and Zilvervosje which were from Moses and Saar stock. The son of Moses and Saar named De Slaper produced Zilverfosje and when she was mated with De 86, a 1947 son of the golden couple (Moses & Saar) the outcome at Meester's was the birth of Twippen Doffertje Van 49. The latter amongst others was purchased by Jan Aarden who paired it with his Dusuffoy Duivin Van 48, which in turn produced Aarden's three best pigeons 37, 38 and 49. Thus a major contribution of the Schouteren strain via Meester to the Aarden enterprise. And may I add that another fancier at the time, namely Ko Nipius, sought from Schouteren some of the above desirable bloodlines but failing in his endeavours went and got the same bloodlines from Jan Aarden. Thus leading to the development of the great Ko Nipius family of distance racers.

Even without any successes while racing, if that had been the case, Toon Schouteren deserves his place in pigeon racing history because of what some have said was a matter of madness and its outcome. In truth a very productive outcome. And in conclusion I'll leave you with the question- would the task of Jan Aarden in strain building have been made more difficult if Toon Schouteren had not stolen a few pigeons from the occupying German Army in 1944?

Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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