In Drachtstercompagnie (Fries: Drachtster Kompenije), a village in the municipality Smallingerland, live the general champions 2008 of the province Friesland: Gea and Pieter Veenstra. Drachtstercompagnie lies in the east of the Dutch province Friesland, roughly 5 kilometres north of Drachten.
The village has in the region of 1200 inhabitants. Pieter (41) has owned pigeons since he was 10 years old. At first he had show pigeons, but his father managed to convince him that racing pigeons were far more interesting. Father Veenstra built a loft for the first racing pigeons from old materials: for example, the floor was an old door. After about six months Pieter built a loft all by himself that measured approximately four by two metres.
Gea trains the pigeons (she takes the pigeons away for the training races), catches the youngsters for basketting for the (trainings) races and takes care of the entire pigeon administration. Last year Gea regularly took her three young children, Gerrit, Arjen and Hilde, with her to the youngster’s lofts and sometimes the dog was also allowed in the lofts. Pieter was furious, but the fact was that the youngsters became very tame and they had a super season with the youngsters.
In total they have forty meters of loft. The roofing consists of glazed slates. These slates retain - in contrast to the often used concrete slates – the warmth longer, as a result of which the difference in temperature between day and night is reduced.
The racing pigeons live on the first floor/attic and their brooding lofts have conveyer belts for the droppings. The compartment of the old racing pigeons doesn’t have gratings.
The brooding lofts are at the rear of the loft and there are three boxes at a right angle to the back wall. The compartments on the ground floor do have gratings and under these gratings there is a two metre wide automatic conveyer belt.
The youngsters live in the garden loft. At the front of this loft there is an aviary, of which Pieter can bring the upper part down towards the front of the loft by means of a rotary mechanism. This means that the trap is free. When the youngsters land on the aviary after a race they are as it were piloted to the entrance because the upper side slants to the trap/antenna.
On the side of the aviary there is a drinking trough, which imitates the drinking possisituation in the pigeon container. Pieter has thought of everything. Because it is quite dark in the pigeon container, there is a cover made from aluminium on the inside of the aviary, which means that it is darker when they drink out of the trough. The lofts face south-southeast. Once per year all the ceilings and also the insides are vacuumed and cleaned thoroughly.
The lofts are then scrubbed with water containing bleach.
The basis of their pigeon stock is formed by the Koopman-pigeons: "Dirky", a son of the world famous "Kleine Dirk", and "Mr. Surhuizum", a son of "Noble Blue x Lioba". "Mr. Surhuizum" is amongst other things the father of "Mr. Blue", who in 2003 was the 3rd best cock of WHZB and in 2004 1st best cock WHZB!
In addition Pieter has always bought top pigeons to strengthen his own stock. He twice bought the best 1-day long distance pigeon WHZB.
He bought an Ace pigeon eleven times. By the building up of his own stock, their preference lies with the 1-day long distance races. New purchases are always pigeons that have won multiple prizes in big races (against a few thousand pigeons) and preferably with a head wind. Pieter and Gea prefer to race the NPO-races. They acquired the taste in 1999 when they raced national Orleans youngsters, a race with a north easterly wind, and in the evening 10 of the 17 pigeons had returned home and the other fanciers in their club hadn’t anything. They raced nationally the 1, 4, 5, 7, 11 etc.
Pieter and Gea have about 25 breeding couples. Real stock pigeons, pigeons that have put their mark on the stock building are "Dirky", Mr. Surhuizum", the “Superkweekster" from A. van de Veen from Drachten and "Diamond Lady", a sister of "Golden Lady".
The "superkweekster" and "Diamond Lady" are no longer alive and "Dirky" isn’t fertile. Normally Pieter uses the crossing method by the breeding, but he doesn’t exclude the fact that in the future he may use inbreeding to anchor the qualities of the top pigeons. If possible, the breeders are coupled at the beginning of December. If the pigeons aren’t ready then they may be coupled at the end of December. They also breed from the racing pigeons, because these pigeons have earned their trust and have survived the selection, so they can be used for breeding.
Between 100 and 120 youngsters are bred for their own use. Last season Gea and Pieter began the first race for the youngsters with 109 pigeons and after the last race 94 remained.
The youngsters are darkened. Before the start of the season the youngsters are taken away by Gea about ten times, with the distance varying from 5 to 70 km. At the start of the season the youngsters are also taken away for an extra trainings race of 70 or 100 km. They try to get the youngsters to have a nest. When the majority of pigeons have a nest then the sexes are separated and they are raced in widowhood. On the day of basketting, the loft is prepared between 12h00 and 13h00: breeding dishes are placed everywhere. The pigeons are then allowed to stay together until 17h00.
The pigeons train separately during the week.
When the youngsters return from a race they are allowed to stay together for a long time. After a couple of races they are allowed to stay together until Monday morning.
Racing system old pigeons
Before the start of the races the pigeons are taken away about 6 times as far as Zwolle. They began the 2008 season with 55 pigeons. The pigeons are raced in total widowhood. Once it is clear after a few weeks which pigeons come well and which don’t, then the partner of the better pigeons remains home. For the first few weeks the hens are not shown, but later on towards the NPO-races progressively well. The old pigeons are not darkened, but it is possible that Pieter will darken them in the future. The pigeons will not be darkened long, because in May the first NPO-races are on the calendar and the condition has to be there or at least on the way.
The order of nomination is also a difficult aspect of the sport. Pieter looks again to the candidates in the club and then chooses three. It often happens that he has nominated the wrong pigeons. The pigeons are usually given a bath on Sunday or Monday. If, for example, after about ten races the pigeons can´t be bothered having a bath, then Pieter will give them a bath on the day of basketting. The pigeons train twice a day for one and a half to two hours. During the season the pigeons are not taken away for an extra trainings race during the week.
Feeding system old pigeons
During the racing season the racing pigeons have a full trough of food for the whole day. The pigeons receive the mixture from Mariman and Versele Laga. It is only at the beginning of the season (the first four races) that depurative is added. The pigeons are given fresh feed in the trough every evening. Every morning and also in the evening (about 20h30) the pigeons are given nibbling seeds, hemp, peanuts and cheese. Per 30 pigeons a ½ litre tin of nibbling seeds and a ½ litre tin of hemp is given both times.
Every four weeks the veterinary surgeon visits to check out the pigeons. In between the vet is visited as soon as possible after a race. During the season the pigeons are given a capsule for Tricho every three or four weeks. The pigeons are only given something for ornithosis if it is absolutely necessary and this medicine is put over the feed. After a race the pigeons are always given electrolytes in the drinking water and starting Saturday evening up to and including Sunday then SA-powder is added to the drinking water the one week and FC-mix the other.
Performances 2008 in ACG 10
19-04 Boxtel 180 km. against 2.571 pigeons: 2,3,6,7,12,15 etc. 53 entered 31 prize
03-05 Lessines 317 km. against 2.372 pigeons: 1,5,6,9,10,11,13 etc. 52 entered 40 prize
10-05 Chantilly 509 km. NPO-race against 1.048 pigeons: 1,4,18, 29,33 etc. 35 entered 21 prize in province Friesland against 13.247 pigeons: 3rd nat. NPO
18-05 Duffel 255 km. against 1.872 d. 2,3,10,21,22,24 etc. 42 entered 32 prize in province Friesland against 19.262 pigeons: 2, 11, etc.
24-05 Maaseik 229 km. against 1.185 pigeons: 3,4,10,11, etc… 12 entered 8 prize
24-05 Ablis 597 km. NPO-race against 776 pigeons: 1,2,3,5,9 etc. 36 entered 23 prize nat. NPO in the province Friesland against 9.293 pigeons: 6, 9, 30, etc.
31-05 Pommeroeul 343 km. against 1.553 pigeons: 1,14,15,22,25, etc. 42 entered 26 prize in the province Friesland against 17.596 pigeons: 1st 07-06 Boxtel 180 km. against 1.339 pigeons:1,2,6,9,14,15,etc. 13 entered 10 prize
08-06 Orleans Saran 653 km. NPO-race against 580 pigeons: 1,8,18,35,41, etc. 31 entered 14 prize in the province Friesland against 6.469 pigeons: 8th nat. NPO
21-06 Blois 707 km. NPO-race against 427 pigeons: 1,5,6,9,10, etc. 23 entered 12 prize in the province Friesland against 5.237 pigeons 110th nat. NPO
02-08 Pommeroeul 343 km. NPO-race against 2.304 pigeons: 2,4,5,6,8,9, etc. 99 entered 46 prize in the province Friesland 20.672 d. 12, 37 44, 84, etc. nat. NPO
09-08 Pommeroeul 343 km. NPO-race against 2.123 pigeons: 1,2,3,5,18,20,21,23,24,25, etc. 100 entered 64 prize in the province Friesland against 18.952 pigeons: 14,15,16,32, etc. nat. NPO
16-08 St. Quentin 418 km. NPO-race against 1.896 pigeons: 3,4,5,10,1,12,13,18,20,21,23, etc. 98 entered 64 prize in the province Friesland against 16.871 pigeons: 13,20,22,37,46,47,48, etc. nat. NPO
23-08 Heteren 135 km. against 2.492 pigeons: 3,6,7,8,9,10, etc. 49 entered 28 prize in the province Friesland against 26.020 pigeons: 7,10,11,16,37 etc.
30-08Heteren 135 km. against 2.789 pigeons: 3,4,5,7,8,9,10, etc. 81 entered 48 prize
31-08 Berlijn 524 km. Racing line east Nat. NPO against 1.308 pigeons: 3,4,10,14, etc. 54 entered 22 prize
13-09 Gennep 163 km. against 2.138 pigeons: 1,2,3,4,5,16,18, etc. 97 entered 58 prize
The top pigeons of recent years "Mr. Blue"
Mr. Blue is a son of "Mister Surhuizum" (G. en C. Koopman) X "Superkweekster" A. van der Veen, Drachten).
He raced amongst other things:
2nd Maaseik against 2.305 pigeons
2nd St. Ghislain against 1.465 pigeons
4th Duffel against 1.191 pigeons
5th Maaseik against 2.590 pigeons
6th Orleans against 936 pigeons
8th Houdeng against 2.103 pigeons
8th St. Ghislain against 1.834 pigeons
3rd Nat. cock WHZB 4th ace pigeon province 11 2004
1st Nat. cock WHZB 1st ace pigeon province Friesland
He is amongst other things, father of
* 4th national NPO Strombeek against 22.152 pigeons
* 06-038 raced amongst other things:
1st Menen against 2.261 pigeons
5th Menen against 26.380 pigeons
A full sister of his, the 05-827 raced amongst other things
* 33rd national NPO Orleans against 8.991 pigeons
* 58th national NPO Offenburg against 9.371 pigeons
* 7th Pommeroeul against 19.682 pigeons
On father’s side she comes from a pigeon of the sort A. van der Veen, Drachten and on mother’s side out the line Terminator (P. Veenstra) X the line Kannibaal x Rambo (D. nd L. van Dijck).
She was 1st national ace pigeon 1=day long distance NPO 2007 and raced amongst other things:
4th national NPO Orleans against 8.991 pigeons
6th national NPO Chantilly against 13.160 pigeons
410th national NPO Offenburg against 9.371 pigeons
5th Duffel against 28.726 pigeons
9th Boxtel against 25.331 pigeons
1st national ace pigeon grand distance WHZB 2007
1st national ace pigeon grand distance The Best of the Best 2007
1st West European counties cup 2008 3rd Montauban NPO against 3.667 pigeons
4th national Steyregg against 6.115 pigeons
2nd Bergerac province against 6.070 pigeons
31st national Bergerac against 10.903 pigeons
In the ancestry of this cock we come across well known names such as: the "Superkweker" from Koers en zoon from Hardegarijp, the "Ooievaar" from Arie van de Hoek and the Prins/Kadett-line of Karel Meulemans.
Golden Wing won amongst other things:
1st Wijchen against 2.505 pigeons
1st Gennep against 2.026 pigeons
1st Duffel against 1.742 pigeons
1st Boxtel against 1.656 pigeons
1st Enteredr against 1.549 pigeons
1st St. Ghislain against 357 pigeons and further numerous top prizes in big races.
His father comes out the line "Terminator" (P. Veenstra) x "Superkweekster" (A. v.d. Veen, Drachten).
The mother is "Princess" out "Kleine Dirk" (G. and C. Koopman) x the "Superkweekster" (A. v.d. Veen, Drachten). Turbo Magic raced amongst other things:
1st national NPO Strombeek 2006 against 22.152 pigeons
1st Duffel 2007 against 15.489 pigeons
3rd Pommeroeul 2007 against 24.949 pigeons
Three sisters of Turbo Magic have all won a 1st prize in a big race and the 04-130 also raced a 16th against 26.000 pigeons from Strepy Thieu.
His father is "Dirky" out "Kleine Dirk" X a hen out the "Beatrixcock x daughter "Eric" (G. and C. Koopman).
The mother comes out the line "Phoenix" (J. Houtkamp, Halfweg) x Bulls Eye from Barney (G. and C. Koopman) x "Gizmo" ( A. v.d. Veen, Drachten).
Davinci raced amongst other things:
1st national NPO against 7.946 pigeons
2nd Menen against 16.753 pigeons
4th Strepy Thieu against 874 pigeons
16th Meer against 1.658 pigeons
22nd Duffel against 2.204 pigeons
24th Orleans against 615 pigeons
58th Gennep against 2.085 pigeons and many more beautiful top prizes.
1st Allround pigeon West European counties cup Dortmund 2008
A hen with a formidable ancestry. On father’s side we see pure top pigeons: Branco, Showpiece, Kleine Dirk, Miss Ermerveen (G. and C. Koopman).
On mother’s side we once again come accross Kleine Dirk and the Superkweker (sort van Loon and obtained via A. van der Veen, Drachten).
Evita raced amongst other things the following prizes:
3rd Boxtel against 2.507 pigeons
7th Duffel against 11.692 pigeons
9th Menen against 26.380 pigeons
11st Pommeroeul against 19.682 pigeons
12nd Pommeroeul against 24.949 pigeons
25th Boxtel against 25.331 pigeons
310th Duffel against 28.726 pigeons
31st Duffel against 15.489 pigeons
34th Meer against 21.526 pigeons
"07-NL-5719725" best yearling 2008
This blueband hen has as father "Viking" and in his ancestry we come accross pigeons from Louis van Loon ( Superkweker and 005), G. and C. Koopman (sister Ons Louis, Favoriet, Branco, Showpiece, Blauwe Bergerac) and from A. van der Veen (Juweeltje)
The mother of the "725" is "Special Blue" and in her ancestry we see pigeons from D. and L. van Dijck, so as the "Kannibaal" and pigeons from G. Leysen, Pulderbosch (B.).
Performances of the "725" in 2008:
8th NPO Orleans against 6.469 pigeons
110th NPO Blois against 5.237 pigeons
11st Duffel against 19.262 pigeons
3rd St. Quentin against 1.193 pigeons
3rd Duffel against 572 pigeons
1st Generaalkampioen onaangewezen van the province Friesland
De overige kampioenschappen zijn nog niet bekend.
Teletekstvermeldingen NPO Raceen van de laatste jaren 2005
" Strombeek jonge pigeons 7th against 11.954 pigeons 2006
" Ablis 1st, 4th,12nd,14thagainst 7.946 pigeons
" Blois 6th against 5.805 pigeons
" Orleans 4th against 7.199 pigeons
" Strombeek jonge pigeons 1st, 3rd, 4th against 22.152 pigeons 2007
" Orleans 4th against 8.991pigeons
" Chantilly 6th against 13.160 pigeons
" Offenburg 13rd, 19th,22nd against 9.371 pigeons 2008
" Chantilly 3rd,17th against 13.247 pigeons
" Orleans 8th against 6.469 pigeons
" Berlijn 3rd, 4th, 110th against 1.308 pigeons
" Ablis 6th en 9th against 9.293 pigeons
" Comb. Van der Stouwe-Douna from Donkerbroek.
" Comb. Seelen from Borne
" Richard Faber from Westzaan.
" Bert Berends from Nieuw Weerdinge.
" Diego Wouters from Spaubeek.
" J.Huybregts from Zundert.
" Jan Bos from Vollenhove.
" Marco Reedijk from Oud Beijerland.
" Sjaak van der Wal from Opende.
" Wim en Willem Faasen from Waalre.
" Gebr. Atema from Noordbergum.
" Esser & Zoon and Alina from Dormagen (G).
" Stefan Breuer from Vreden (G).
" Horst Felske from Nastätten (G).
" Geert Munnik from Noordbroek.
" Johan Troost.
" Doeke Dam from Workum.
" Patrick en Ingrid de Lang from Soest.
" Comb. Berkhey-Boon from Katwijk.
Goals for the future
Obtaining great results in the NPO-races.
Gea and Pieter are two enthusiastic people, who are passionately busy with their hobby. The successes don’t just blow in by themselves: they work very hard and are still trying to improve their magnificent accommodation.
In addition Pieter is constantly searching for real top pigeons, which have raced a top prize more than once against thousands of pigeons. Here everything revolves around pigeons of superior quality. Gea and Pieter, congratulations with your magnificent results and success for the future.