You cannot do much better than being crowned best loft in The Netherlands. This title is without doubt a crowning achievement for Henk and Jan Van Toor, as well as Dennis, Henk’s son, who have been all working hard over the years to achieve this. The fanciers themselves are not too excited about this: their main goal is to achieve great results. They will only focus on the championships if they are on top of the results after three to four races. “That does not mean we would want to miss an opportunity of winning such a title of course”, Henk explains.
Some of the best results of 2013
Nanteuil Union 246 p: 1–4–5–9–14–18-etc. (12/7) Rijnmond2000 1,543 p: 1–10–11–16–29-37-etc. (12/10) Rijnmond2000/Goeree 3,185 p: 1–13-14–20–43–57-etc. (12/10) Moeskroen Union 365 p: 1–4–5–9–12–15-etc. (20/14) Rijnmond2000 2,335 p: 7–15–17–34-41-etc. (20/18) Peronne Union 437 p: 1–3–12–14–15-etc. (20/16) Rijnmond2000 3,046 p: 1–6–29–31–32-etc. (20/18) Rijnmond2000/Goeree 6,308 p: 1–6–46–48-etc. (20/18) Dist. 5 South Holland West 16,920 p: 2e Teletekst etc. (20/16) Dist. 5 South Holland 36,198 p: 2e Teletekst etc. (20/16) Meaux Union 310 p: 1–2–8–10–14–etc. (20/11) Rijnmond2000 1,931 p: 1–4–29–36–44-66-etc. (20/11) Rijnmond2000/Goeree 4,206 p: 1–8–53–65–81-etc. (20/11) Dist.5 South Holland West 12,026 p: 2e Teletekst etc. (20/11) Peronne Union 288 p: 4–5–8–9–10–11–12–13-etc. (16/12) Rijnmond2000 2,166 p: 14–19–27–28–30–31–32–33-etc. (16/15) Rijnmond2000/Goeree 4,479 p: 28–36–50–52–56–57–59–60-etc. (16/15) Peronne Union 259 p: 1–3–4–14–15-etc. (18/11) Rijnmond2000 1,627 p: 1–6–7-etc. (18/16) Rijnmond2000/Goeree 3,192 p: 1–14–15-etc. (18/15) Dist. 5 South Holland 8,762 p: 1–48–49-etc. (18/15) Morlincourt Union 268 p: 1–2-4-6-7-12-13-etc. (15/9) (both with a 7 min. lead) Rijnmond2000 712 p: 1-2-4-6-7-12-13-etc. (15/11) Rijnmond2000/Goeree 2,104 p: 1–2-16-22-24-41-43-etc. (15/10) Distr. 5 South Holland 6,149 p: 14-16-etc. (15/10)
All pigeons are raced on widowhood from a 6.5 metre wide racing loft. The season is started with 20 hens but usually only 12 or 13 of them are actually basketed a few weeks later. These hens are taken great care of: “if bad weather is predicted we prefer to keep them inside.” The two brothers are fond of the hens’ game and it has become their best discipline too. “They are easier to train, easier to motivate and they recover quicker. Two hens usually get the same cock and they are highly motivated as soon as they get jealous. The character of a hen differs a lot from that of a cock. Hens get their motivation from their habitat and their (breeding) loft and this is something you have to make use of.”
Introducing Heremans pigeons
As in many other lofts the introduction of top quality pigeons was the key to success. They are both biotech lab technicians and experts in genetics, which is why we assume that the Van Toor brothers add great value to breeding a homogenous group of pigeons in their loft. “It all starts with a stock pair that allows for inbreeding, which is often a matter of luck. Our Heremans pigeons Churchill and Las Vegas appeared to combine very well with our old bloodline of stock cock Goliath (Houben). The youngsters from this golden combination are in turn paired to direct Heremans pigeons, resulting in the so called 75/25 ratio, which we consider to be the most appropriate ratio for racing pigeons.”
They decided to use pigeons of Heremans in 2007 when they purchased Las Vegas, a daughter of Olympiad, at the public auction of the Heremans-Ceusters partnership. She won a first prize from Noyon against 1,145 pigeons in her first young bird race before laying her first eggs in the breeding loft in 2008. Few months later two of her sons won a first prize and achieved a high prize percentage. The Van Toors brothers soon paid another visit to Leo Heremans, who has become a good friend. At the moment no less than five youngsters of Olympiade are housed in the Van Toor breeding lofts.
Stars in the loft
Olympic Las Vegas
One of the most talented pigeons in today’s family is NL09-1172702 Olympic Las Vegas, a daughter of the invaluable breeding pair Goliath (10th NPO Morlincourt 14,794 p.) x Las Vegas (1st Noyon 1,145 p.), which proved excellent breeders after their successful careers as racing pigeons. Their best youngster is this Olympic Las Vegas, a pigeon with a long list of achievements:
6th Olympiad Pigeon cat. Yearlings Poznan 2011 Winner of 12 first prizes And winner of: 1st Creil 5,872 p. a north-north east wind and heavy fog 15th Distr. 5 14,429 p. 1st St. Quentin 4,673 p. 5th Dist.5 10,969 p. teletext 1st Creil 3,017 p. an 8 minute lead in hard north west wind 2nd Distr. 5 West 8,354 p. teletext 3rd Distr. 5 18,725 p. teletext
These are a few other great champions in this loft:
Winner of 6 first prizes 5th Nat. Ablis Dist. 5 8,305 p. 7th NPO Creil Dist. 5 8,154 p.
Sire: NL04-2035110 David (Houben bloodline)
Dam: BE09-6358176 Serena (Grandchild of Olympiade & Nieuwe Rossi)
1st Meaux approx. 350 km; a 24 minute lead in the union 2nd Meaux Distr. 5 west 12,026 p. Teletext 1st Nanteuil 3,185 p.
Sire: NL09-1172757 Mr Fazier (a son of their best breeding pair)
Dam: BE09-6358176 Serena (a grandchild of Olympiade & Nieuwe Rossi)
6th Nat. Ablis Distr. 5 8,305 p. 6th NPO Creil Distr. 5 West 8,154 p.
Sire: BE08-6050130 Messi (Leo Heremans)
Dam: BE06-6148120 Las Vegas (a daughter of Olympiade)
NL09-1172708 Miss Ablis
1st Duffel 1,037 p. 1st Mantes La Jolie 2,575 p. 1st NPO Ablis West 6,179 p. teletext
Winner of three prizes 2nd Moeskroen 18,134 p. 2nd Pommereoul 2,540 p. 3rd Creil 2,742 p. 4th Strombeek 1,965 p. 5th St.-Quentin 2,074 p. 8th Morlincourt 700 p. 9th Duffel 1,037 p. 10th Peronne 4,637 p. 17th Pommereoul 3,716 p. 17th Oudenaarde 1,014 p. 23rd Strombeek 2,292 p.
Sire: NL08-1053098 (Houben bloodline)
Dam: NL08-1513659 (Houben bloodline)
8th Nat. Ablis R5 8,305 p. 1st Peronne 1,069 p. 1st Duffel 1,037 p. 1st Moeskroen 365 p. 3rd Strombeek 1,965 p. 4th Ablis 770 p. 7th Moeskroen 2,335 p. 10th Nanteuil 1,543 p. 12th Pommerouel 1,651 p.
Sire: NL00-1957240 Goliath (sire of their best pair)
Dam: BE09-6269366 Venus (a grandchild of Olympiade & Nieuwe Rossi)