Wim and Bertrik Murk (IJsselstein, NL) are back at the top of the national competition with a young long distance team

They sold their entire collection of old birds except for the pigeons from 2011 and 2012, and this means 2013 was to be the year of a quiet comeback. But that could not be further from the truth: their team of young new pigeons did not hesitate to force their way to the very top of the sport.


Wim (L) and Bertrik (R) with their (grand)children Fenna and Thijs

A great career

It is no secret that the pigeons of Wim (76) and his son Bertrik (37) have excellent long distance racing abilities and they manage to win quite a few top prizes both at national and international level every season. They have been the men to beat in Central Netherlands in the overnight long distance for several years now and they have won quite a number of championship titles, as well as countless national and international top results. We give an overview of all national, international and NPO top 50 prizes between 2009 and 2013, just to give you an idea:

2011  1st Int St.-Vincent 3,490 p. 1045 km.
2009  1st Int Bergerac    6,931 p.  865 km.
2009  1st NPO Perigueux   4,348 p.  826 km.
2013  1st NPO Orange        879 p.  878 km.
2010  2nd NPO Bordeaux    2,465 p.  895 km.
2013  8th NPO Orange        879 p.  878 km.
2013 12th NPO Orange        879 p.  878 km.
2013 16th NPO Orange        879 p.  878 km.
2010 18th Nat St.-Vincent 5,698 p. 1045 km.
2009 24th Int St.-Vincent 4,487 p. 1045 km.
2013 24th NPO Agen          637 p.  936 km.
2013 27th NPO Orange        879 p.  878 km.
2013 28th NPO Orange        879 p.  878 km.
2013 31st Int Perigueux   4,762 p.  826 km.
2012 32nd NPO Perigueux   2,912 p.  826 km.
2012 34th NPO Perigueux   2,912 p.  826 km.
2013 34th NPO Orange        879 p.  878 km.
2013 35th Int Perigueux   4,762 p.  826 km.
2010 36th Int Brive       7,213 p.  808 km.
2010 38th NPO Perigueux   3,425 p.  826 km.
2012 41st NPO Perigueux   2912 p.  826 km.
2013 42nd NPO Bergerac    1,158 p.  865 km.
2011 43rd Int Montpellier 4,043 p.  939 km.
2011 43rd NPO Brive       4,564 p.  808 km.
2011 45th NPO Bergerac    3,297 p.  865 km.
2013 46th NPO Agen          637 p.  936 km.
2011 47th NPO Bergerac    3,297 p.  865 km.
2009 49th NPO Perigueux   4,348 p.  826 km.
2012 50th Int Cahors      5,003 p.  913 km.

It takes a team of excellent pigeons to win so many prizes and Wim and Bertrik have plenty of such pigeons in their loft. The introduction of pigeons of Koop and Gerda Kiekebelt (Drijber, NL), 2nd national champion overnight long distance 2006, served them really well. The first pigeons from this bloodline were introduced in 1998. Not only did Wim and Bertrik obtain pigeons from them, they received valuable advice as well. Today, about 70% of their pigeon family are descendants of the Kiekebelt breed. The outstanding breeding bird Jantje of Jan van Straten (Utrecht, NL) has played an important role in this breed as well: many pigeons are related to Jantje, 15 descendants of which have already won a top 100 prize at national level or in the NPO competition.


The full accommodation

A slow return

They planned to make a slow return to the sport with a new team in 2013 after auctioning their entire collection of old birds. However, they quickly managed to regain their position at the top of the national overnight long distance competition in what was a demanding extreme long distance season. They claimed an impressive number of top results this season with a team that consisted only of yearlings and a few pigeons from 2011. The only exception is Missing Girl; this hen had been lost for half a year before suddenly returning to the loft in the winter of 2012/2013. She proved a truly outstanding racing hen in the 2013 season. Given the limited experience of their new team, the pigeons were basketed for no more than four races, which were all morning releases:

Orange    NPO 878 km.   879 p. 1-8-12-27-28-34 etc. (8/18)
Perigueux NU  826 km. 4,762 p. 31-35-60-135-181-185 etc. (11/30)
Bergerac  NPO 866 km. 1,158 p. 16-42-89 etc. (6/10)
Agen      NPO 936 km.   637 p. 24-46 etc. (4/7)

This resulted in the following championship titles in 2013:

1st Loft Champion Marathon morning release NPO/AFD7
1st Loft Champion Marathon morning release Regio 3
2nd Loft Champion Marathon morning release Long distance club Utrecht
2nd Ace Pigeon Marathon morning release NPO/AFD7
1st Ace Pigeon Marathon morning release Long distance club Utrecht
1st Ace Pigeon Marathon morning release Regio 3

We take a look at some of the most successful prize winners in their team:

NL12-1387457 Johan

 1st NPO Orange      879 p. He arrived home on the day of release at 22h33, after having flown for 15.5 hours
31st NU  Perigueux 4,762 p.


Click here for the pedigree of Johan NL12-1387457

NL10-1438254 Missing Girl

12e NPO Orange      879 p.
35e NU  Perigueux 4,762 p.
69e NPO Bergerac  1,158 p.

Keep in mind that Missing Girl had been lost for almost an entire year in 2012.


Click here for the pedigree of Missing Girl NL10-1438254

NL11-1503225 New Fairy

  2nd Ace Pigeon Marathon morning release NPO/AFD7
 27th NPO Orange      879 p.
 42nd NPO Bergerac  1,158 p.
153rd NPO Perigueux 2,912 p.


Click here for the pedigree of New Fairy NL11-1503225

It's all about the results

There is plenty of quality in the loft of Wim and Bertrik, which you can tell from their quick return to the highest level after they auctioned their old bird collection. It is also remarkable that they achieved this with quite a small team of pigeons, which consists of no more than 23 racing pairs and 6 breeding pairs. Both fanciers can really enjoy winning a top prize but they get great pleasure from breeding new champions as well. They do not aim to breed good looking pigeons; they just want to breed strong prize winners. Only the pigeons with a strong character will make it to the team. We are confident that this partnership will continue to see great results in the years to come.