Peter de Haan (left), Sylvia and Michel Verweij (right)
The Verweij-De Haan combination has become a household name in the long distance in The Netherlands in recent years. In fact, the two fanciers Michel and Piet have each had a successful long distance career well before founding their combination in 2013. Peter had a team of pigeons that originated from all of the best racing birds of Nico Volkens, and he was particularly successful in the ZLU competition. Michel on the other hand was racing together with Jan Castricum, and they had a collection of pigeons of Toon van Beek (a renowned player and winner of the Fondspiegel competition). His best results were won in races with an afternoon release. About eight years ago Michel and Peter decided to breed pigeons together, and their combination officially launched in 2013, when Jan decided to no longer race. The two fanciers started racing as the Verweij-De Haan combination. Michel, with the help of his wife Sylvia, is mainly responsible for the racing team. They have been basketing pigeons from the nest (au naturel) in a loft of no more than nine metres wide. Peter is a highly proficient breeder, and so the breeding loft is his number one priority.
The breed itself
The team’s number one stock sire is De Toon, a super class racing bird and an even better breeder. And his brothers and sisters have bred numerous talented racing birds as well. Many fanciers consider Toon as the best long distance pigeon ever to have existed in races of over 1,000km. Toon originates from the line of 131 of De Weert, and he passed away at the age of twelve. A genuine Toon legacy has developed over the years, with his descendants achieving great results in their home loft as well as for many other long distance fanciers. It would be impossible to include all the national top results in this article - her is an overview of the national top 10 prizes won by his descendants in the past five years. Toon is accompanied by Olympic Heintje, who plays an equally crucial role in this pigeon family. This hen comes from the Theelen loft, originating from the line of Vale Marathon, and won the title of 4th Marathon Pigeon worldwide in the 2007 Olympiad in Ostend. Another proven breeder in this breeding loft is Superkweker Stet, from the renowned Betuwe pair Bolletje x Sjarapova. These pigeons come from the pigeon breed of Fred Stet (Monnickendam, NL) and have developed into renowned breeders in a short period of time (in collaboration with Fred).
The team’s most recent reinforcements in the breeding loft come from the following bloodlines: Miss Gijsje, Snelle Jelle, Marianne and Rood Meisje of Arjan Beens (Genemuiden, NL). Descendants of the best of the Hagens brothers (Achthuizen, NL) have joined the breeding loft as well. Still, the Toon bloodline continues to be the most fundamental part of both the racing and the breeding loft. Just look at the pedigrees of some of the champions that will be discussed below; you will notice that each one of them is at least to some extent related to the Toon bloodline. The Verweij-De Haan combination has really developed a breed on its own, which has excelled not just in their own loft but for many other fanciers as well. What makes this breed particularly special is that they can win prizes both in the morning and afternoon releases. And on top of that, they can take a top result in a long distance race in the evening as well as in the early morning.
Their best results in recent years
It goes without saying that such a collection of top class pigeons will inevitably lead to great results. As we said, the combination has been performing at a high level for several years now. Michel and Peter switched over to the morning release in 2015, competing in the international ZLU races. Here is a look at some of their best results in the last three years:
Bordeaux-Agen ZLU 946 km 6,638 p.: 1-8-379-384-530-etc. (9/12 and 1st and 10th Int.) St. Vincent ZLU 1054 km 3,037 p.: 15-63-120-181-185-213-214-etc. (11/20) Marseille ZLU 1016 km 2,528 p.: 10-188-211-245-etc. (8/10) Perpignan ZLU 1054 km 4,789 p.: 9-23-82-137-345-359-371-etc. (13/28) Agen SNZH 947 km 2,474 p.: 15-22-27-etc. (6/9) St. Vincent Nat. 1054 km 3,227 p.: 8-32-78-99-etc. (6/10) Barcelona ZLU 1218 km 5,183 p.: 10-145-etc. (3/4)
It would be nearly impossible to talk you through each and every prize winner in recent years, so instead we take a closer look at just a few of the most important breeders of this team.
Milos is one of the number one stock breeders in the loft of Michel and Peter. He is a son of a brother of Toon, which won a 6th NPO Mont de Marsan. The dam of Milos is Leontien; she won a 6th National Bergerac and she is the grandmother of a 1st National Barcelona (hens) in 2008 and a 1st Prov. Dax ZLU 2006. Click here for the pedigree of Milos. Milos won a 1st NPO from Montauban against 1,862 pigeons before developing into one of the best breeders in the ZLU in The Netherlands. Other fanciers have been more than successful with descendants of Milos as well:
2nd Int Pau 2017 (Gebr. Tilburg) from a grandchild of Milos. 1st Nat St. Vincent 2016 (Tim Hage) from a grandchild of Milos. 9th Nat. Marseille 2015 (H. Hendriks) from a grandchild of Milos. (purchased from Michel and Peter after a first prize) 3rd Nat. and 5th Int. Barcelona 2017 (Tony Berlijn) from 2 grandchildren of Milos. (now in the hands of the Pipa Elite Center)
NL13-1091197 Chanel Messi
Chanel Messi is another top class breeding hen. She is still fairly young and yet she is already the dam of Miss Milos and Red Messi, which we will discuss below. The pedigree of Chanel Messi features the renowned breeders Kopie Toon and Olympic Heintje, which she is related to through both her parents. The sire of Chanel Messie is Messi, a great racing bird and winner of a 1st NPO Cahors (3,151 p.) and a 1st NPO Bergerac (2,366 p.). He is a grandson of Kopie Toon x Olympic Heintje. The dam of Chanel Messi is a daughter of Kopie Toon x Olympic Heintje. Click here for the full pedigree of Chanel Messi.
NL15-1552827 Miss Milos
Miss Milos is one of the big stars of the 2017 racing season. She is a daughter of the aforementioned Milos and Chanel Messi. Click here for her full pedigree. She won the following prizes in 2017:
9th Nat. ZLU Perpignan 4,789 pigeons 15th Nat. ZLU St. Vincent 3,037 pigeons
This resulted in the title of 3rd Ace Pigeon ZLU WHZB 2017.
NL15-1552762 Red Messi
Another renowned descendant of Chanel Messi is Red Messi. He won three prizes in the ZLU competition, and this resulted in the title of 6th Ace Pigeon North Holland:
23rd Nat. ZLU Perpignan 4,789 pigeons 211th Nat. ZLU Marseille 2,528 pigeons Click here for the pedigree of Red Messi.
NL12-1465677 Red Rose
Another very special pigeon in the lofts in Mijdrecht is Red Rose. She is a granddaughter of Milos and of Olympic Heintje. The pedigree of Red Rose can be found here. She wins a 12th National Pau (3,788 p.) and a 19th National Perpignan (4,027 p). She also won the title of 1st Ace Pigeon Perpignan 2014-2016 and a 2nd Internat. Ace Pigeon Pau 2015-2016.
Batman claims a 10th National of 2,528 pigeons from Marseille. Batman is a half brother of Balotelli, winner of a 1st International ZLU Bordeaux-Agen of 11,693 pigeons in 2015. Batman and Balotelli have the same sire: Barry, winner of 5 national top 100 prizes and of 14 prizes in 14 races. The dam of Batman is yet another daughter of Toon. Click here for the full pedigree of Batman.
Balotelli was the first pigeon to claim an international victory for Michel and Peter. Their first prize winner had the highest speed overall of 23,325 pigeons, making him the strongest bird in the race by a long stretch. This was a great performance from a pigeon that had already won a 5th National Cahors (5,571 p.) in 2013 and a 6th National Cahors (5,339 p.) before claiming a national first prize from Bordeaux/Agen. The sire of Balotelli is again Barry, which is also the sire of Batman. The dam is another daughter of the number one stock breeder Toon. Click here for the pedigree of the outstanding Balotelli.
Renowned breeders lead to enduring results
Michel and Peter are both long distance fanciers. They both have a demanding job in a leading position and a loving family to look after. Their pigeon loft offers them some relief and it is first of all a hobby that they really enjoy. On top of that Michel makes the time to write about their pigeon racing adventures in a column called “Vrienden van de verre”. Michel and Peter really enjoy winning an early prize, but they get just as much pleasure from their pigeons achieving great results in the lofts of fellow fanciers. Click here for a number of references from the past five years. Michel and Peter have been one of the leading names at national level for several years now, despite racing a fairly small team of racing birds. We reckon their pigeon racing expertise combined with their top class pigeon collection will continue to lead to great results in future seasons as well.