From left to right: Wim (78), Thijs (6), Fenna (8) and Bertrik (39)
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The 78 year old Wim Murk and his 39 year old son Bertrik can look back on an impressive career in the extreme long distance, with most notably two international victories from St. Vincent and Bergerac, and two first prizes NPO (from Orange and Perigueux). They accepted the challenge of getting rid of their old birds' collection at the height of their career. The goal was to make a fresh start in 2013 with their remaining pigeons of 2011 and 2012, and to try and reclaim their place among the country's strongest long distance lofts. Two years later the combination managed to get their (breeding) loft at full strength, ready to win top results in the national and international classics of the NPO and ZLU. Their solid pigeon breed was mainly based on pigeons of their colleagues Koop & Gerda Kiekebelt (Drijber, NL). The NL04-1780335 Jantje of Jan van Straten (Utrecht, NL) has played a defining role in this loft as well.
NL12-1387457 Johan, 1st NPO Orange 2013
Johan and the fresh start in 2013
The fanciers had planned to make a quiet comeback in 2013, with a team of mostly yearlings. However, the combination was happy to discover a few talented pigeons that showed their potential straight away, with one of them winning a prestigious first prize in the NPO race from Orange. Their NL12-1387457 Johan was released in Orange at 7am to arrive back home in IJsselstein at 10:30pm, after a trip of 15 hours and 33 minutes. Only five pigeons managed to make it back home on the day of the release. Johan claimed victory in Province 7 as the fastest yearling across all districts. The sire of Johan is NL03-2124613 Superbird 613, which won an impressive 20 prizes in 23 marathon races. Click here for the full pedigree of Johan.
NL10-1438254 Missing Girl, winner of a 12th NPO Orange in 2013
The second surprise of 2013 was NL10-1438254 Missing Girl. After the old birds were sold in auction, this pigeon suddenly returned home in the winter of 2012-'13 after having been away for nearly nine months. She was promptly reintroduced in the racing team, as the oldest of the lot. She had already won a 69th prize NPO from Begerac in 2011, and she went on to win a 12th NPO Orange (879 p.) and a 35th international Perigueux (4,773 p.) in 2013. Missing Girl is a granddaughter of Jan Van Straten's Jantje, which we mentioned earlier on. Different youngsters of Jantje have won 15 top 100 prizes in national races, including a 1st international Bergerac (6,919 p.). The dam of Missing Girl is NL00-1222433 van Kootenduifje, a super class breeder and the grandmother of for instance a 1st international St. Vincent 3,490 p. Click here for the pedigree of Missing Girl. The excellent results of Johan and Missing Girl enabled this loft to win the title of Loft Champion Marathon morning release in Province 7 of Central Holland.
NL13-1017493 Helen, 52nd International (hens) Narbonne 4,679 p.
In their own loft in 2015
Wim and Bertrik have let their young team of long distance pigeons mature in 2015: they managed to battle for victory in the long distance races with a small team, achieving promising results in the ZLU races from Narbonne and Pau and in the NPO race from Narbonne. The star of 2015 is NL13-1017493 Helen, which won a 53rd international Pau (hens) in June over a distance of 1,049km. She did equally well in the race from Narbonne one month later, adding a 52nd place against 4,679 hens to her palmares, which also includes a 58th NPO Bergerac (1,673 p.) from 2014. The sire of Helen is NL11-1504089 Half brother Silvia. His name says it all: he is a half brother of NL07-1553937 Silvia of the Van Houten family (IJsselstein, NL). Silvia won top prizes from Barcelona in 2010, 2011 and 2012, including most notably a 15th international Barcelona 2011 (26,044 p.). Click here for the full pedigree of Helen.
NL05-1946642 Rosy's Son, super class breeder for the W.H. Murk & Son combination
In other lofts
The breeding pigeons once again showed their potential in 2015 with an impressive list of references. NL05-1946642 Rosy’s Son has played an important role here. The Zwiers & V.D. Goorbergh combination from Breda won several top prizes in the NPO marathon races from St. Vincent and Bordeaux with no less than four direct Rossy's Son youngsters. This adds to a total of six Rosy's Son youngsters that have finished in the top 32 of an NPO race! One of them is NL11-3038070 Constance, which won a 5th NPO St. Vincent 2128 p. ( 17th national 7830 p.).
Rosy's Son is a grandson of NL01-4744859 The Eagel (1st International Brive 2003 3,520 p.) and NL01-4744846 Blue Fairy (1st National Bergerac 2003 2,903 p.) from his father's side. The dam of Rosy's Son is NL01-4744824 Rosy, winner of a 2nd NPO Brive (2,129 p.). She is also a sister of Wonder van Drijber of Mark van den Berg (IJsselmuiden, NL). Click here for the pedigree of Rosy's Son.
NL10-1120987 Blue 9-8-7, sire of 9th National Barcelona (hens) 2015
We reckon Peter Ruyten (IJsselstein, NL) will be very satisfied with his pigeons of the Murk combination as well. He won a 9th national (1,742 p.) and a 13th international hens (5,244 p.) in the prestigious classic from Barcelona over a distance of 1,200 km. He eventually finished in 22nd national against 5,183 pigeons overall. The sire of his prize winner is NL10-1120987 Blue 9-8-7 of Wim & Bertrik. Blue 9-8-7 is also the sire of an 8th NPO Orange. The pedigree of Blue 9-8-7 includes top quality pigeons of Koop & Gerda Kiekebelt, and of Theo Ernest (Steenbergen, NL). You can find the pedigree of Blue 9-8-7 here.
1st National Agen
The best reference of 2015 comes from the German combination of Freialdenhofen & Söhne (Aldenhoven, DE), which have won a 1st National Agen (1,177 p.) with a granddaughter of Jantje. In addition, another grandchild of Jantje has won a 26th prize in that same race. Click here for an overview of the best references of 2013-2015.
A promising future
The excellent results in their own loft and the many references in other lofts show that this breed has a bright future. Could Wim and Bertrik add another great win to their palmares next season already? We will let you know.