Quality, ambition and drive… these three markers distinguish the Van den Berg pigeons from IJsselmuiden … until 2005 eminent as trio G. vd Berg & Sons with of course the National victory from Le Mans as highlight. That victory is just a reflection of the Van den Berg-supremacy over the last decade. But although father Gerard and brother Henri now operate as individual fanciers, setting their sights on the 1-day races, Mark decided to concentrate on the overnight long distance. “But not with any less enthusiasm and drive” says the father of a young family. “And will certainly have contributed to five successful years.”
And with this, Mark has hit the nail on the head. Because with 44 nest bird couples he seemed to chain together the highlights. With as illustrious moments of glory the 2 National victories and the Olympiad delegation of wonder hen ‘Olympic Zara’ to Poznan where she was 2nd Marathon (Cat. E) from the entire Olympiad. ‘As always’ his star team put together a very good honours list in 2011, with the greatest highlight being the
Silver pigeon winner Extreme Long Distance Competition ‘The Golden Dove’ BE/NL/DU 2011;
This competition consists of the best 3 marathon races (above 800 km) with the 1st nominated and 1 of the 2nd to 6th nominated. The three races which contributed to this top title were
08/07/11 Montpellier (1006 km) against 3.158 p.; 12th (2nd nom. 'Lana') and 39th (1st nom. 'Torres') 15/07/11 Bergerac (946 km) against 4.379 p.; 47th (1st nom. 'Anna') and 95th (3rd nom. 'Cho') 29/07/11 Cahors (990 km) against 3.825 p.; 26th (1st nom. 'Lana') and 48th (6th nom. 'Zelda')
Further highlights in 2011
2nd Criterium der Azen Foundation Marathon-North over the races St. Vincent, Montpellier and Cahors 3rd Champion afternoon liberation Northern Union (2000 members) 3rd Champion afternoon liberation Foundation Marathon-North over the races St. Vincent, Montpellier and Cahors 6th Nat. Champion Marathon Afternoon liberation
Stock couple ‘Brive 2’ x ‘Wonder van Drijber’
Hardly surprising that the basis of the successes goes back to the super couple ‘Brive 2’ x ‘Wonder van Drijber’ … all five pigeons responsible for the title of Silver Pigeon winner are all related to each other;
- ‘Anna’, ‘Zelda’ and ‘Cho’ are brother/sisters to each other out the super couple ‘Brive 2’ x ‘Wonder van Drijber'
- ‘Lana’ comes out ‘Inbred Toon’ x ‘Daughter Gert-Jan’
- ‘Torres' is a half-brother of 'Lana' (same mother)
- Father of ‘Torres’ is ‘Ray’ (Brother ‘Blauwe Bertus’ and so cousin of ‘Brive’).
With this the honours list of the direct children of ‘Brive 2’ (First Prize Pigeons/Raymond Moleveld) x ‘Wonder van Drijber’ (Koop Kiekebelt) is very imposing:
1st Int. Montauban 2009 – 8.005 p.(989 km) 2nd NPO Brive 2010 – 5.097 p.(886 km) 3rd NPO Perigueux 2009 – 6.330 p.(905 km) 5th NPO Perigueux 2009 – 6.330 p.(905 km) (out ‘Wonder van Drijber’ x other cock) 14th Nat. Cahors 2010 – 11.054 p.(990 km) 20th NU Perigueux 2008 – 6.493 p.(905 km) 47th NU Bergerac 2011 – 4.379 p.(946 km) 49th Nat. Bergerac 2009 – 13.051 p.(946 km) 55th NU Bergerac 2009 – 7.304 p.(946 km) 81st Nat. Cahors 2010 – 11.054 p.(990 km) 94th Nat. Limoges 2009 – 13.196 p.(815 km) 95th NU Bergerac 2011 – 4.379 p.(946 km) 101st Nat. Bordeaux 2009 – 8.058 p.(977 km)
And, such as befits a true winner … Mark has, in the meantime, a growing list of references. Remarkable, seeing as how Mark has only been fighting on the front for five years, and his descendants haven’t had much time to transform their genes into top performances. “It doesn’t surprise me, because in my own loft I already had 2 National victories and 7x Teletext in the four years since I started with this stock of pigeons. That’s only possible when the quality is good. In the marathon races especially it is the intrinsic class of the pigeons which is the determining factor, I’m convinced of that. It is up to the fancier to bring them to the start well-trained and healthy. Naturally that demands quality, but in my opinion it is the pigeon which is the determining factor.” The top 100 National references from Mark’s pigeons in other lofts;
8th Nat. Cahors against 9.369 p. 2011 by A.J. Kok, IJsselmuiden (50% Mark van den Berg) 10th Nat. Montpellier against 7.864 2011 by A.J. Kok, IJsselmuiden (50% Mark van den Berg) 14th Nat. Bergerac against 15.490 p. 2007 by R. van Rees, IJsselmuiden (50% Mark van den Berg) 21st Nat. Tarbes against 4.102 p. 2009 by Verweij-Castricum, Mijdrecht (direct Mark van den Berg) 49th N.U. Orange Morning liberation against 4.022 p. 2010 by Arjan Beens, Genemuiden (direct Mark van den Berg) 64th Nat. Cahors against 10.325 p. 2010 by Verweij-Castricum, Mijdrecht (direct Mark van den Berg) 67th Nat. Bordeaux against 6.299 p. 2009 by Verweij-Castricum, Mijdrecht (direct Mark van den Berg) 74th Nat. Bergerac against 13.051 p. 2009 by the late Dirk Vierhuizen, Wilsum (direct Mark van den Berg) 76th Nat. Montpellier against 7.864 2011 by Gerard Kok, IJsselmuiden (direct Mark van den Berg) 77th Nat. St. Vincent against 5.336 p. 2009 by Verweij-Castricum, Mijdrecht (direct Mark van den Berg) 81st Nat. Bordeaux against 6.101 p. 2010 by Verweij-Castricum, Mijdrecht (direct Mark van den Berg)
With an eye on 2012 Mark coupled his birds around Valentines day … and not so that Cupid could do his work, says Mark: “a nest racer has to be able to calculate,” he says. “By certain pigeons you know that they are at their best in a certain position, then you have to make sure you make use of this and not leave anything to chance. Because the fable that long distance fanciers are lazy, is no longer applicable nowadays. You have to be sharp, give everything and not be weak … just like our pigeons really.”
National top 70 prizes Mark van den Berg 2007-2011
1st Nat. Bergerac Sector III 2009 - 13.218 p. Also 1st International - 17.238 p. 1st Nat. Montauban Sector III 2009 - 5.413 p. Also 1st International - 8.005 p. 2nd NPO Brive prov. 8 GOU 2010 - 5.319 p. 3rd NPO Orleans prov. 8 GOU 2009 - 8.500 p. 3rd NPO Perigueux prov. 8 GOU 2009 - 6.330 p. 5th NPO Perigueux prov. 8 GOU 2009 - 6.330 p. 6th NPO Chateauroux prov. 8 GOU 2008 - 5.496 p. 12th Nat. Bergerac Sector III 2007 - 15.490 p. 14th Nat. Cahors Sector III 2010 - 11.054 p. 15th NPO Perigueux prov. 8 GOU 2008 - 5.801 p. 16th Nat. Limoges Sector III 2009 - 13.195 p. 24th Nat. Perigueux Sector III 2010 - 11.316 p. 24th Nat. Montpellier Sector III 2011 - 7.856 p. 24th Nat. Bordeaux Sector III 2010 - 6.449 p. 25th NPO Orleans prov. 8 GOU 2007 - 5.165 p. 26th Nat. Orange Sector III 2011 - 6.374 p. 29th NPO Brive prov. 8 GOU 2007 - 6.857 p. 30th Nat. Montpellier Sector III 2011 - 7.856 p. 30th NPO Bourges prov. 8 GOU 2009 - 4.128 p. 32nd NPO Perigueux prov. 8 GOU 2008 - 5.801 p. 37th Nat. Bordeaux prov. 8 GOU 2009 - 3.431 p. 45th NPO Chateauroux prov. 8 GOU 2008 - 5.496 p. 47th NPO Chateaudun prov. 8 GOU 2009 - 5.300 p. 49th Nat. Bergerac Sector 3 2009 - 13.218 p. 51st NPO Brive prov. 8 GOU 2007 - 6.857 p. 55th N.U. Bergerac 2008 - 7.304 p. 58th Nat. Bergerac Sector III 2007 - 15.490 p. 60th NPO Perigueux prov. 8 GOU 2009 - 6.330 p. 66th Nat. Cahors Sector III 2011 - 9.344 p. 70th NPO Perigueux prov. 8 GOU 2007 - 6.843 p.