Mr Handerek with Thomas Gyselbrecht
It was in 1973 that the Handerek family of pigeons first had success with a classification into the Polish Olympiad team. In 1999, three birds were selected for the team to travel to England but due to travel difficulties the Polish birds did not arrive in time to be classified. The beginning of the twenty-first century saw further success with the following classifications:
2003 1st international Olympiad pigeon category C 2005 3rd international Olympiad pigeon category B and 5th category D 2007 2nd international Olympiad pigeon category B 2009 2nd international Olympiad pigeon category B
During this period the Handerek pigeons also won the national general championship title twice.
The Handerek Lofts
After 2009, there came a difficult period for the loft and from then onwards a number of new introductions were made to the family in order to strengthen their performance. The cream of the top European lofts were introduced to the breeding loft, mainly through purchases on PIPA. These included original pigeons from L Claessens, H-P Brockamp, André Verbesselt, Nico Van Noordenne, Dirk and Louis Van Dyck, Hok Vercammen and G and S Verkerk. This investment was designed to pay dividends and indeed, from 2013 onwards the results of the Handerek colony went from strength to strength. Recent titles include:
2013 3rd national champion middle distance 2015 8th national general champion 2015 6th national champion short distance 2015 7th and 13th national champion marathon
Finally, in 2016, the Handerek family of pigeons is truly back at the top of the pigeon sport with 2nd and 5th national championship long distance and 1st and 2nd national Olympiad pigeons in category E, with Dakar and Karin.
Dakar's list of performances during the two seasons qualifying for the Olympiad is as follows:
1st Minden (771km) 4,929 p. 1st Minden (771km) 1,989 p. 2nd Minden (771km) 2,005 p. (beaten by a loft mate) 3rd Minden (771km) 1,932 p. 12th Minden (771km) 2,103 p. 17th Neuruppin (568km) 9,028 p. 38th Neuruppin (568km) 5,840 p. 55th Wolin (553km) 8,439 p. 60th Neuruppin (568km) 7,280 p. 66th Wolin (553km) 6,023 p. 93rd Glogow (305km) 2,331 p. 99th Opole (131km) 3,466 p. 123rd Boleslawiec (306km) 6,880 p. 180th Minden (771km) 1,865 p. 192nd Boleslawiec (306km) 3,937 p. 328th Proszkow (245km) 3,724 p. 329th Boleslawiec (306km) 3,590 p. 359th Glogow (305km) 5,435 p.
Karin's list of qualifying performances is no less impressive:
2nd Minden (771km) 2,103 p. (1st in club, 611 p.) 2nd Minden (771km) 1,989 p. (beaten by a loft mate) 3rd Minden (771km) 2,005 p. (beaten by two loft mates) 6th Neuruppin (568km) 9,028 p. 9th Wolin (553km) 5,112 p. 11th Glogow (305km) 13,521 p. 16th Glogow (305km) 2,109 p. 17th Minden (771km) 4,929 p. 39th Boleslawiec (306km) 6,880 p. 42nd Glogow (305km) 5,435 p. 77th Boleslawiec (306km) 3,937 p. 89th Minden (771km) 1,932 p. 101st Glogow (305km) 2,331 p. 178th Krzepice (141km) 3,929 p. 254th Neuruppin (568km) 5,840 p. 360th Neuruppin (568km) 7,280 p. 364th Boleslawiec (306km) 7,203 p.
Usually when your top birds perform well it means the entire racing team is in good shape and this was also the case for the Handerek family. You can find an overview of their 2016 racing season here.
So, there you have it, the story of one of the top families of pigeons in Poland and the man behind the performances, Wojciech Handerek! With two pigeons representing Poland at the upcoming Olympiad, we wish him the very best of luck.