Pigeon racing has produced many champions in a span of just half a century. Wegge, Bricoux, Huiskens-Van Riel, Stichelbaut, Havenith, Gebroeders Janssen, Delbar and Cattrijsse are, to name a few, all well-renowned names. They were for various periods of time great champions. Even today their roles haven’t ended yet, in many a family tree you will find the names of the base pigeons of these pigeon fanciers.A man who belongs without a doubt in this illustrious list is Jos van Limpt-de Klak from the small village of Reusel. This man has always performed in great style until his dying day.
The life of Jos de Klak was completely devoted to racing pigeons. The well-being of the pigeons was secured first with anything that passed in the home of Van Limpt. Because, according to Jos’ philosophy: no matter in what sport, if you don’t give it your all you will never reach the top.
Jos van Limpt-de Klak was born and raised with pigeon racing. Besides his love for the sport, he also received his nickname ‘De Klak’ from his father. When Van Limpt senior was spotted during a mild rain shower with a large ‘klak’ (Belgian expression for hat), his nickname was born. After Van Limpt senior passed away in 1943, Jos automatically inherited his father’s nickname.
Before the Second World War, Van Limpt senior was already spoken about with much awe. In this time he was one of the first who raced with pigeons of the sort the Janssen brothers from the nearby town of Arendonk used. Jos’ father worked at sigar factory beside Arjaan Janssen and was able to get the best of the best this way.
Because keeping pigeons was outlawed during the Second World War, Jos had to start from scratch afterwards. His mother insisted he approached the famous brothers from Arendonk. After all, his father was always treated correctly there and he achieved great successes with their pigeons. Jos never wanted any other pigeons afterwards than those of the Janssen brothers. Not because all the other pigeons were bad, but they certainly weren’t better.The medium distance flights were Jos’ greatest passion in all his life, he was less interested in other races. He created a type of pigeons that was inimitable for medium distances and which were fast enough for the short jobs and tough enough for the single-day races. The watchword of Jos was: work with a good pedigree, eliminate inbreeding, race a lot and select strictly. Because of that it might happen when you study a family tree of a random recent Klak pigeon, you can encounter cracks of old times like the ‘881 van ‘47’, the ’43-duif uit het Jong Koppel’, ‘Vechter x Witpenneke’ or the ‘613’!