The Frank Aarts Story:
He Put All of His Eggs in One Basket!!

By Tony Rossi

Tilburg, Holland is a small city located in north Brabant. It lies approx. eight miles from the Belgium border, very close to such notable lofts as Louis Van Loon, the Janssen brothers, De Klak, Meulemans, etc. By car, from Tilburg to the Belgium border is no more the ten minutes. So you see, these lofts can easily exchange the best birds between them in order to improve. Frank Aarts grew up in the city of Tilburg. He attended school there, played soccer there, and attended the university there.

As a boy, he was aware of pigeon racing but his parents never participated. It was hard for him not to notice, because on his neighborhood block, there were twenty active lofts. Just imagine growing up in an area where everyone had pigeons except you!! Well, as destiny would have it, a friend named Eric Rynen coaxed Frank in to the sport. The year was 1981, Frank started a loft in a very small yard. In fact he had to place his breeders in the neighbor's yard. This limited space taught Frank that only the very best must be kept. In fact, the best is not good enough; they must be excellent! Frank Aarts is an educated man and he knew from the beginning that in order to win at any sport, you must first learn the rules. He read every book and all the magazines that he could. In 1982, he already became champion old birds and young birds against 180 lofts! Well, his career was ended abruptly in 1983. He served his country in the military for a fourteen month duty. Upon returning to Tilburg, the young Aarts decided to attack the pigeon sport once again.

Frank determined that, in order to win at the National levels, a list of events must occur. He calls it a circle and when the circle is completed, success will be yours. Frank charted all the best lofts in Holland and Belgium for about three years. He wanted to know where the national winning pigeons were coming from. He didn’t care about what the magazines said. He used the race results by scanning over 150,000 lofts and entering his findings into a computer. Frank knew there were thousands of good lofts in his area, but he was looking for the golden lofts that would found him a family that could not be beaten. After the data was entered, Frank was looking at several lofts that met his criteria before l tell you who was selected, I will tell you just how smart Frank Aarts is. He decided that to purchase young from their number one stock pairs was not enough. Winners weren’t enough, even the original stock pairs weren’t enough. What’s left, you ask??

Well, the young man from Tilburg bought eggs from the number one pair of Each loft!! How smart!! He said if an outstanding youngster is hatched, do you think for one minute these lofts would part with it?? Well, anyway, Frank went to his picks, not with a crate, but with a bowl. He went to the "miracle man from Poppel -- the great Louis Van Loon". He went to Mr. P. Van Gompel of Arendonk in addition to these great names, he cherry picked the most outstanding lofts of which carried the Janssen, Van Loon, Meuleman base pigeons. So there, you have the real foundation lofts for the present day Frank Aarts family.

Now the year is 1986. The methods were studied, the birds were bred from the best lofts in the Belgium-Holland area, and no stone was left unturned. Now what could be expected in the first series of his starting year? Sensational, stupendous!! Frank Aarts shot to the limelight of the Dutch racing scene like a nuclear explosion!!!

Of course the old timers were heard to say: "he won’t last", "just one lucky season", and "the kid will fall". Well, sorry, Frank Aarts got better, and better. In 1987, 88, 89 the circle was round! I won’t bore you but I have to list just a few results from the first few seasons, so you can judge yourself. Orleans National Section 3: 1, 2, 3, 46, 12, against 8109 pigeons; entire Holland 93,000 pigeons, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8; Provincial St. Quentin 1, 4, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, 1483 birds; Pont St. Max. 2, 5, 7, 14, 16, 18, 24, 28, 31, 32, 35, 39, 40, 4,331 birds; Prov. Melun 2, 5, 6, 10, t1, 20, 2t, 22, 23,24, 25, 27, 29 against 5,803 birds. He was provincial "Union Kring Tilburg" Champion 1987, 1988 and 1989 against 750 members.

Unfortunately for the members in the North Brabant centers, the Frank Aarts story gets worse! Let’s briefly touch on the 1990 season. National Chateauroux Section 3: 1, 2, 3, 5, 14, 15, 19, 23, 26 against 8,996 pigeons 380 miles, Bourges Semi National 6, 8, 10, 13, 14, 16, 18, 21 against 6772 pigeons 350 miles; Creil 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 37, 38. Against 2,101 pigeons; Provincial Midden Brabant 2,350 member first Champion young birds; 2nd, 3rd, 4th Ace Pigeons against 5000 pigeons.

The year 1991 is most likely the point in his career that most lofts realized Frank Aarts was here to stay. Two first nationals in one season! Most men never achieve one national victory in a lifetime! Just feast your eyes on these results for 1991l Orleans national Section IC: 1, 3, 4, 21, 22, 31 vs. 7,209 pigeons and Section IA-IBIC, combined 1, 3, 4, vs. 20,845 pigeons. His competitors were awed. You can imagine the stir in Tilburg. They must have said he can never keep this up. Well, weeks later, you can bet a crowd of people lined the street around Frank Aarts’ loft for the national Chateauroux race. They said, "We have to see with our own eyes!" Well, it’s history now but the Hero of Tilburg won first national Chateauroux Section 3: 1, 2, 19 vs. 9,108 pigeons! The year 1991 was terrific; Etampes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, vs. 1,100 pigeons, Meaux 1, 3, 6 vs. 983 pigeons, Roye 1, 6, 10,17, 18, vs. 1,506 pigeons, etc. etc. His 1992 results were equally spectacular. Week after week the Aarts birds flocked in to win in the strongest competition. The young down from those few eggs he carried home in a bowl, changed the face of racing in Holland as never Before. But a tragic event happened to Frank Aarts.

In 1993 that stopped the Aarts machine. Something so terrible that Frank could not even begin to correct. Frank’s father died suddenly. The man that he so respected was suddenly gone from his life. The sport that was so important, suddenly became insignificant. For the first time in many years, Frank Aarts was down.

The Frank Aarts LoftThe year 1994 arrived and Frank decided to step back and build a new home. He also decided to build a spacious loft in order to expand his breeding and racing. This was always his dream, a dream that he wished his father could share. The new house was built by Frank Aarts himself and took better than one year to complete. Day and night he worked, and he could not race the birds at all. The 1994 young were only trained. The best racers from his former loft were all stocked and mated to the basic breeders. In 1995, Frank Aarts made his new start from his new loft. Yes, he missed a year and the members from the Brabant union were quick to attack. Yes, you know what they said: " has been". ’The birds are no good anymore, and "he is finished". The rumors spread like fire through out Europe as well as the United States. Everyone was unsure of the pause! You see, Frank Aarts is a quiet man; he keeps to himself. He told me,"1 let my results do the talking".

Yes, even in the United States, the best lofts thought the results of Frank Aarts were much too good, to continue. Proof of this surfaced when I was at the Snowbird race in California. A well-known loft spoke about Frank Aarts in front of about twenty people. He said: "Frank Aarts is a has been and, he can even win a prize now." I then commented that l purchased some birds off his foundation breeders. He publicly laughed and said: "You’re crazy, Aarts gets birds from different lofts every year; and his birds are from everyone." With a display like that, I just sat and laughed to myself, unbelievable! Another well-known man from Holland was there that same night and was saying to a large group that the reason Mr. Frank Aarts has so dominated was that he was on the "dark system". To say the least, after leaving the Snowbird, I was sure I selected the right man and birds. Any person that could create such a stir 8,000 miles away must be fantastic.

Well, the 1995 season was here and Frank Aarts started with a team of 75% yearlings and the rest were from his 1993 young bird team. Remember, he started with a new loft, and for the most part an entire team of un-proven, un-tested pigeons. His new location was also a big factor. But, the one common denominator he did have was the same family of birds that originated from those eggs in the bowl. Yes, Frank Aarts had all the confidence in the world; he had the best pigeons, and they were still in his loft.

As the 1995 season started, could the young man from Tilburg continue? "Impossible they said" and "surely not in old birds," they cried. They continued, old birds is the true test, all his better results were in young birds. Well, Frank Aarts was quite hurt; you see he was a terrific old bird flyer also, but yes, his national wins were all in young birds. Yes, Frank had Samething to prove. But how in the world could Frank ever overcome all the handicaps of his new residence? The name Frank Aarts was never before so dominant. 1995 old birds was fantastic. The highlight was first National Chateauraux Section 1 (380 miles) 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 12, 14, 19, 23, 32, 33, 35, 38, 40, against 15,456 pigeons! This performance was said to be the most devastating old bird performances in the history of National racing in Holland he backed this up with three first Federations: Chateauroux 1, 2, 3, 4 T, 8, 9, 11, 15,18, 19, 20 vs. 1,472 birds; Creil Federation 1st vs. 2.987 pigeons; Peronne Federation 1st, 5th vs. 3,384 Pigeons. Plus firsts at Etampes, Houdeng Ghislain Cambrai, Strombeek, and Roye. All in one season flying against 150 lofts in his club and 550 lofts in his Federation! After this performance, the flyers from Tilburg spoke no more, the Europeans spoke no more. The Americans spoke no more. What could they say, "dark system" what a joke!

The old bird races were finished and Frank was gearing up for young birds. We all know how hot it was in the United States this year. Well, in Holland, it was the same! Heavy losses were experienced by many and the bird counts were down from prior years. Would the Aarts birds hold up in this heat? The people that once accused him were now crowding around the streets on race day to once again catch an exciting moment of possibly watching the next national winner arrive. Well, the 1995 Y.B. Season had a fantastic start. Many wins at the club level, but to Frank Aarts, this means nothing. He carefully brought those eggs home in a bowl for one reason: to win at the national level, against all the best lofts. In the first National of three starts with Orleans Section 1 Frank Aarts placed 4th against 4,657 pigeons. It was stated by the large gathering of spectators that if Aarts would have had a good trap, he could have won. At the second National race from Chateauroux section 1 he placed 15, 17, 29. 33, 34, 47, 65, 80, 83, 9B, 104, 108, 115, 117, 118, 127, vs. 8,031 pigeons. He entered 54 birds and 37 birds placed in the top ten percent! The crowd outside his loft continued to grow now and the results on the final leg of the series National Bourges Section 1 8, 14 vs. 5,639 pigeons. These high placements won Frank first champion semi national (2 N.B. Section 1) young birds against 8,000 to 10,000 lofts. Plus winning first championship young birds provincial long distance 2,100 members (distance 300 to 350 miles).

Now that I have your interest, you ask, Tony, come on let us in on what the is doing. The fact is, he does nothing different then we all do. Old birds, widow cocks of course, but his secret weapon is Hens on eggs!! Yes, yes, Hens, the natural system won him first and second national this year!

His young bird methods before the 1993 season were early youngsters, separated sexes beginning of season and paired at the end of season. He never darkened the loft before 1993 season. The 1995 season was the first year he darkened the loft, but he feels that if you raise early youngsters, the birds are on a natural dark system. This has been practiced in Europe for decades, nothing new. His feeding system is basic; beginning of week, a light mix, the last few days before race regular mix. Medication system: Vaccinate against Paramixo and Pox. Before breeding and racing season treat for Canker, once a week (Wed) vitamins in water. And never over crowd your loft.

And finally the pigeons. Those eggs he so carefully brought home. Yes, he placed all his eggs in one basket and it worked! The birds that bred all the winners are 85-2188369 "Bange", 85-2188368 Janssen "Brother Bange", 84-2013825 Janssen "De Louis Van Loon cock", of course Van Loon, 85-1651688 "De Rode Van Gompel", Janssen, 85Z188354 "Dikke Blauwe" Janssen, Bonte Witneus, "018" son of the Van Gompel, Mightyman, Superman, "Jan" 80-847802 Janssen a line "019", the "40". “Blauwe Pieterse", Janssen Arendonk, etc. This is the Aarts foundation: no secrets, no drugs. No magic tricks. Just the fastestpigeons hecouid lay his hands on. I will give you just two examples of how effective this breeding team is. "De Louie Van Loon" sire first national Chateauroux, Grand Sire Second National Chateauroux, Grand Sire 3rd National Orleans, Grandsire fourth National Orleans, Grandsire 5th and 10th National Chateauroux 1995 vs. 15,456 birds, Great Gr. Sire to his 1995 O.B. National winner from Chateauroux Grandsire "Blue Miracle", won first Provincial Chantilly vs. 5,000 pigeons plus 6th Semi National Bourges vs. 6,772 pigeons, Sire "Louis Best" first Provincial Pont. St. Max, father Vice-President first Meaux 1957 pigeons, etc. Etc. Another example "De Rode Van Gompiel" 100/o Janssen sire first National Chateauroux 1990 vs. 8,996 pigeons, Grand Sire first National Orleans 1991 vs. 20,845 pigeons, sire first Etampes vs. 1,778 pigeons, Grand Sire first prize St. Dizier 3,225 pigeons, sire first prize Creil, etc., etc. Now you know why Frank Aarts’ pigeons are so good. The base birds are prolific breeders.

The Aarts and Rossi FamiliesIn 1995, I first met Mr. Frank Aarts and Brenda at the Amsterdam airport. He came to pick up the Rossi family and transport us back to Tilburg. Frank is a gentleman in every way. I was very impressed with the fact that with all his wins and successes, he never once bragged about himself. As a matter of fact, he made his performances sound very insignificant. Frank Aarts never looks for publicity. Unlike many Europeans, his pigeons are more important than money. An example of this is the fact that he turned down five different offers for his 1995 Chateauroux winner, these bids were all five digits. He asked me what I thought. You all know what I told him! But to Frank Aarts, money is not important, his self respect is much more.

Frank Aarts has been called by many titles over the last few years: to quote a few: Jan Hermans, owner Belgium Pigeon Magazine "De Duif", said "Frank Aarts, the Dutch wonder boy"; Tim Atkin (author book, Winning With Young Birds), "Some people are born to be artists, some people are born to teach, Frank Aarts was born to fly pigeons."; Campbell Strange (Catalogue), "The results from Frank Aarts are nothing less than sensational."; Ad Schaerlaeckens (writer in the Vredesduif), "Frank Aarts turns the pigeon scene in Tilburg upside down."; Keith Gault (writer in Homing World England) Frank Aarts, Champion of Champions; Ad Schaerlaekens; 1989 Orleans is rightly called the greatest race on earth. In any case the 1989 race was a spectacular one, made spectacular by a guy from Tilburg Frank Aarts". The list goes on and on.

To end this great story, Frank Aarts confessed one thing to me and my wife Denise, after spending three days in Tilburg, Holland with our four children (Marie, Ernie, Nick, and Valerie). Frank said "I have lost my title of "The Terror Of Tilburg to your four children. Please get them out of Holland and back to the States!"

- - Racing Pigeon Bulletin, October 23, 1995



The old timers

were heard

to say: "he

won’t last",

"just one lucky

season", and

"the kid will


Frank Aarts

got better,

and better.



 © 2004 ROSSI LOFT

Tony Rossi  5301 Rossi Lane, Racine, WI 53403 Phone 1-262-552-9117 or 1-262-633-7158  email: tprossi@hotmail.com