Title of 1st National Loft Champion Sprint 2013 is a crowning achievement for the Van Toor brothers (Vlaardingen, NL)

The Van Toor brothers really know how to be successful with a large group of pigeons. Their career in pigeon racing is like a masterpiece and their title of First National Loft Champion Sprint 2013 was the grand finale.

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

  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)
  Union                          365 p: 1–4–5–9–12–15-etc. (20/14)
  Rijnmond2000                 2,335 p: 7–15–17–34-41-etc. (20/18)
  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)
  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)
  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)
  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)
  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)

The hens

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     

Click here for the pedigree of Olympic Las Vegas.

These are a few other great champions in this loft:

NL10-1669271 Platina

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)

NL11-1724021 Sundance

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)

NL10-1669265 Kate

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

NL09-1172746 Daphne

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)

NL10-1669231 Esmee

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)