Machiel Buijk is internationally recognized as the breeder of purebred marathoners Jan Arden pigeons. With 51 years of experience in the field of pigeon fanciers, the breeding of pigeons of exceptional quality, but what makes them special is the fact that Machiel Buijk has managed over the years to keep the old lines of Jan Arden through Marijn van Geel.
Machiel Buijk was born and lived for a while in Steenbergen, the small village where the famous Jan Aarden and many of his descendants lived. Today Machiel Buijk lives in Hoogerheide. He entered the pigeon fancier world in 1970, enjoying marathon pigeons from the beginning. When he was 18, Machiel met and fell in love with his wife Mimi. At the same time he fell in love with the powerful line of Jan Aarden pigeons and began to want to have in his loft only the best Jan Aarden pigeons he could find.After 10 years of beeing a pigeon fancier, Machiel began working for pigeon magazines in Belgium and the Netherlands. Then he had the opportunity to visit many breeders in Europe. He bought many excellent pigeons from the champions, he bought from several breeders: Antoon Aarden, Lazeroms, Sprenkels, Vroegindeweij, Van der Wegen and Marijn van Geel from Nieuw Vossemeer. Machiel Buijk was from a younger generation than the famous champions, this did not stop him from visiting them. Over the years, Machiel studied the Jan Aarden pigeons and realized that Marijn van Geel's pigeons were the best and purest Jan Aarden pigeons of all. Not only did Marijn van Geel have the best results in the 1000 km race,
but his pigeons also won prizes for other breeders. For long distance races there were no pigeons better than Marijn van Geel's, and Machiel decided that in order to keep the Jan Aarden strain pure in the future,he has to fill his loft with pigeons straight from Van Geel. It was very difficult to buy those pigeons at that time, because everyone wanted them. Having known Machiel since he was young and watching him mature as a passionate and competent pigeon fancier, Van Geel not only sold him pigeons, but also taught him over the years about the Jan Aarden strain.
Machiel Buijk's favorite pigeon from Van Gee was always been "Dolle" not only for his perfect results in marathon races but also for the unique breeding genes of this bird. "Dolle" has proven to be one of the best breeding birds in the Jan Aarden strain.
"Dolle" is without a doubt the best marathon pigeon that has ever existed. He participated in 17 marathon races and won 17 prizes.
Its most important results are:
1st Provincial St. Vincent out of 1,684 pigeons
3rd National St. Vincent out of 6,844 pigeons
1st Provincial Dax out of 1,032 pigeons
3rd National Dax out of 3,649 pigeons
9th Provincial Limoges out of 1,610 pigeons
12nd National St. Vincent out of 6,917 pigeons
20th Provincial Chateauroux out of 2,176 pigeons
22nd Provincial Chateauroux out of 2,425 pigeons
39th Provincial Moulins out of 5,146 pigeons
59th Provincial Moulins out of 4,612 pigeons
66th National Dax out of 3,561 pigeons
"Dolle" died in 1985 at the age of eighteen. The number of pigeons with exceptional results that have "Dolle's" blood is huge. At that time, Machiel Buijk had 13 sons of "Dolle" in his own loft, more than anyone had ever seen. Also in his loft were 14 sons of the famous "Vlekje", the winner of a car at Dax. "Vlekje" was a grandson of "Dolle".
Unfortunately, in 1983, Marijn van Geel died and requests for the purchase of Marijn's entire colony came from all over the world. However,his wife Martha van Geel, decided to continue the races and raise the pigeons alone. In the following years, Machiel became Martha's right hand man because she knew that her husband had taught this young man and constantly sought Machiel's advicer. Machiel became her breeding manager and, as such, advised, mated, and selected racing and breeding pigeons to continue Marijn's work. His payment was not money, but pigeons from the best breeders and ranks of the Van Geel loft.
In February 1989, Martha van Geel decided to sell all her old pigeons. Machiel complited the sales catalog because there is no one better informed about the Van Geel family to prepare this catalog. Machiel was also the bidder, and the sale of 168 pigeons achieved a world record.The pigeons were sold for 770,000 Dutch guilders, in appreciation of Marijn van Geel's lifelong work.
At that time, there were already 140 original Van Geel pigeons at Machiel Buijk's loft, raised only from the best pigeons, so the Van Geel strain was saved for the future. Over the years, Machiel Buijk has had over 300 original Van Geel pigeons in his loft and has cherished them as if they were gold, but at the same time he has not hesitated to eliminate any pigeons that do not live up to his high standards. In the past, even the sons of "Dolle", "Lange" and Vlekje ended their careers in a garbage bin, only because they did not meet the high standards set by Machiel and eliminated more than 50% of the 300 of pigeons directly Van Geel. Only the pigeons, bred from the best Van Geel lines and with the thoroughbred characteristics of this Jan Aarden strain, were left to remain. By applying these standards, Machiel Buijk saved the Van Geel strain from a total collapse.
Machiel Buijk was very successful with the Van Geel pigeons and proved how valuable the Van Geel strain was and still is.
In his career, Machiel has won many important provincial races, such as St. Vincent, Chateauroux, Tours, La Souterainne and Limoges. All these races have distances from 600 to 1000 kilometers and each time the victory was won against thousands of pigeons of the best marathon breeders in the Netherlands. Machiel Buijk was also crowned the first champion of the famous "Zuidwesthoek", the most prestigious marathon province in the Netherlands.
Many breeders have had great success with pigeons purchased from Machiel Buijk's loft. Because of his business commitments, Machiel doesn't have much time for other things, because he works with pigeons every day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year, pigeons are his life. In his aviary in Hoogerheide, raising Jan Aarden pigeons is the most important goal. Machiel knows that it is not at all easy to raise Jan Aarden pigeons and keep them as they were in 1960.
Rich pigeon fanciers have often wealths to Machiel Buijk for his Jan Aarden pigeons, but Machiel knows that his Van Geel pigeon colony is the last and most unique Jan Aarden bastion in the world, so he decided to keep this strain for the future. And in doing so, Marijn van Geel's lifelong work is preserved.
Owning this valuable thoroughbred line is very important to Machiel. Many visitors from all over the world also visited the Hoogerheide loft and were impressed by the unique beauty of the pigeons.
Of course, there are breeders who have some typical Jan Aarden pigeons, but they cannot be compared to the pigeons from Machiel Buijk's loft, where dozens of pigeons are the guarantee of the future of the Jan Aarden strain. These pigeons have perfect bodies, velvety feathers, long and flexible muscles and the most fantastic eyes, colorful inimaginable, ranging from green to gold and from purple to brown.
The Jan Aarden strain still lives in all its glory thanks to the passion of Machiel Buijk, a perfectionist who always tries to raise marathon pigeons of an ever better quality, an exceptional quality