Who doesn't know him, a more than sympathetic fifty-plusser, Jan Polder from Middelharnis? A town that is steeped in pigeon history, Ko Nipius had enormous success, Piet v/d Silk won a 1st national Barcelona but Joep van Dongen, the brothers Vroegindwei and Wim Peeman also engraved their names indefinitely in racing pigeon history. These legends have found a more than worthy successor to the throne by the main person in this article. His name too will be recorded in the history books after what he has achieved in the sport. Alongside his yearly performances with the birds I am amazed with his ability to continually reproduce international Acepigeons of a higher level. After winning yet another International Acepigeon title it was time to contact this 'master' again.
Is it necessary to introduce him? He was born in Dirksland and rolled into the pigeon sport through his father. In the early years racing with his father they entered birds into races every week but after his marriage he decided to concentrate on the long distance racing. Around that time, the 70's and 80's he was greatly impressed by the likes of Sjef den Ouden from Halsteren but also the national victory of van Buuron of Breda from a very tough St. Vincent. These achievements made a deep impression on Jan and were the main reason to change course. After his marriage he bought fifteen birds off Jac. Steketee from Bruinisse in 1985. Without exception each of these birds were bred from his top pigeons at that time, based on the Aarden and van Wanrooy strains. These pigeons were kept for stock only by Jan and as it turned out were the best investment he ever made. Within five years Jan Polder became a well known figure in the West European pigeon sport by winning numerous top prizes like a 3rd nat. Barcelona, 5th and 9th nat. Marseille, 8th nat. Perpignan, 9th nat. San Sebastian etc.
The last years
Through the eighties and the early nineties he was almost unbeatable in the tough national races. In 1991 he moved home and all of the racing birds were sold but he kept the stock birds. Just as he left off at his old address he continued to excel at his new home. I want to dedicate this article solely to Polder and his Acepigeons.
The first Acepigeon title
The first real acepigeon title dates from 1988. That year 't Kampioentje' became 1st Provincial acepigeon long distance. This hen won the title while paired up with another hen. The two hens were busy all day trying to nudge each other off the nest. Besides being a formidable racer she was also an excellent breeder. Her most famous son the '057', alias "de mooie Polder" is the main stock bird in Piet de Vogel's loft. This cock is sire and grandsire to many of Piet's top pigeons, including 'Ullrich', 'Vale Beer', 'Monty Boy' etc. The 't Kampioentje' was bred from two Steketee birds and she is a half sister of his 'Marseille' who won 9th and 18th National Marseille.
Then we have the 'Witstaart'. She was born in 1992 and won a late prize from Barcelona as two year old. The following three years she won the 28th, 67th and 215th national prizes from Barcelona. These were very tough races with the birds arriving after noon on the second day. Witstaart was a small hen with an unbelievable quality of pluimage and muscles. She too was bred from two Steketee birds and she also turned out to be an excellent breeder. She bred 'Aida', the dam of 'Rainbow Warrior', he won a 3rd, 7th and 8th National, also the 'de 076', who sired 'Big Brother' winner of many good prizes including a 20th national from Perpignan. Paired to a son of 'Orhan' and 'Myra' owned by the Bruggeman brothers the 'Witstaart' gave the 'Delta King' and 'Delta Queen', birds that were never raced and kept purely for stock. Delta King's best son is 'Marathon Man' who in 2007 was basketed five times on the long distance and won four prizes. This year he had a 100% score from the three races entered, Pau, Tarbes and Perpignan. From Tarbes he was the first bird home in the area and became 1st Acepigeon Super Long Distance in the region. Delta Queen has earned a place in the gallery of best breeding hens ever. To date she has bred at least ten good racing birds including three different trophy winners on the long distance ZLU races. One of her best is 'Dolores', she won three prizes from Barcelona and three from Perpignan, including a 16th national Barcelona. Another supreme son is 'Nadal', who to date has won several good prizes including a 20th national Barcelona this year. By the way 'Nadal' is a full brother of 'Dolores'. The third winner is 'Go-Getter' with a 25th national from Bordeaux.
This year Jan's birds excelled from Barcelona. Entering six birds he won 20th, 333rd, 470th and 540th national against 7042 rival birds. All of these prizes are in the first 10% of the result and three of them were Delta Queen's children. Mijnis Gijzen won 1st national Bergerac this year with his 'Passion'. She is a daughter of 'Mister Balans', straight from the Jan Polder loft and with 'Witstaart' appearing several times in its pedigree.
Another of Jan's top racers the 'Husky' twice won a title 1st international Acepigeon between 1998 and 2002. Husky is a crossbreed between the Steketee and Batenburg strains. He acquired his name as young bird, he had a cold killer look that reminded Jan of the husky dogs on the poles and is a well built and brilliant bird to handle. Dam to 'Husky' is the 'Batenburgduivin' a granddaughter of the famous 'Witbuik' of Bas and Hugo Batenburg. The 'Batenburgduivin' is dam and grand dam to many toppers. As well as breeding the Husky she is also gave the 'Victoria', winner of 1st and 7th national St. Vincent. In 2005 Victoria beat the whole Dutch convoy of 32,140 birds in a very tough race. Only two birds had a velocity of more than 900 meters (984,25 yards) and Victoria was clocked in almost an hour ahead of the second bird. Piet de Vogel's new top stock bird is the 'Victor', a full brother of Victoria and also a son of the Batenburgduivin. The same can be said of the '05-168' of Arjan Beens from Genemuiden, another brother of Victoria. He is sire to '06-704' that won the 2nd national Limoges, 10th national Bordeaux and 160th national Bergerac. Another trophy winner from the Batenburgduivin is 'Big Brother' and he also scored a 20th national.
Last but not least of the national and international Acepigeons is 'Black Magic Woman'. She is 1st international Acepigeon Pau 2004-2008, a five year competition. She also won the 3 year equivalent competition in 2006 as 1st national Acepigeon Pau 2004-2006. She has won thirteen prizes from long distance international races including five from Pau. She arrived home in all sorts of weather. She raced Pau in one day arriving in the evening but also arrived on time with velocity a lot less than 1000 meters. Early one morning she came home in de streaming rain and was the first bird clocked in the club. It was hours before another bird arrived in the region. Worth mentioning is that four fanciers from the Philippines visited Jan's loft about four years ago and were convinced that the best pigeon in the loft was Black Magic Woman. In spite of their very good offer she stayed in Middelharnis. Black Magic Woman is a crossbreed of the Steketee strain and a bird from Jac. Wolters.
Jan attended the international Barcelona award ceremony in 2005 and 2006 at the Cureghem Centre to receive prizes won by the Witstaart and was seated at the same table as the late Jac. Wolters and his wife from Haler Hunsel. Jac. Wolters was a quiet, friendly man who in those succeeding years the 1st and 2nd prize international won in the category for the first fancier to clock his top five nominated birds. If you can accomplish that then you can say that you have good Barcelona birds in your loft. Jan paid him a visit and bought several birds from the best racers Jac. had at the time. One of those was 'het bontje 312', grandfather of the renowned Rainbow Warrior and another was the 'Zwarte Wolters'. The latter was a half brother of the 4th national Barcelona and became a top breeder in Jan's loft. He is the father of Black Magic Woman and 'Whispering Wing' winner of a 5th national St. Vincent. Regarding this recent history the proposition that Acepigeons produce Acepigeons seems to be true.