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Mark van den Berg - IJsselmuiden (NL) in no time from Grand National overnight class.

If fairy tales exist, then Mark vd Berg is living in one … this can be said when, in 2007 you start from your own address with overnight ambitions … and in the meantime have two National victories, many top prizes and an Olympiad participation.

To an absolute domination in just four years in the toughest discipline of the pigeon sport. Then you can still be very big when you are only thirty years old! 

For nearly twelve years, Mark learned the business in the relative shelter of father Gerard, as part of the combination Gerard van den Berg and Sons (together with brother Henri). Indeed, the winners of the 1. National Le Mans East with their ‘Rappe Henkie’… a love for the tougher work had been itching at Mark for quite a long time – the overnight long distance. A passion that came true in 2007, when Mark moved to his current address… 17 couples extreme middle distance and overnight long distance pigeons were tested over to their new lofts and Mark was ready to start. He wanted to hold his own in the overnight races within five years. What’s good soon comes … but that soon; that even surpassed Mark’s expectations.”

 Because between 2007 and 2010 the racing team of Mark vd Berg raced the following top prizes :

 1.  Nat. Bergerac Sector 3 2009           13.218 p.
1.  Nat. Montauban Sector 3 2009           5.413 p.
2.  NPO  Brive Prov. 8 G.O.U 2010          5.319 p.
3.  NPO  Orleans Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2009       8.500 p.
3.  NPO  Perigueux Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2009     6.330 p.
5.  NPO  Perigueux Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2009     6.330 p.
6.  NPO Chateauroux Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2008    5.496 p.
12. Nat. Bergerac Sector 3 2007           15.490 p.
14. Nat. Cahors Sector 3 2010             11.054 p.
15. NPO  Perigueux Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2008     5.801 p.
16. Nat. Limoges Sector 3 2009            13.195 p.
24. Nat. Perigueux Sector 3 2010          11.316 p.
24. Nat. Bordeaux Sector 3 2010            6.449 p.
25. NPO  Orleans Prov. 8 G.O.U 2007        5.165 p.
29. NPO  Brive Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2007         6.857 p.
30. NPO  Bourges Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2009       4.128 p.
32. NPO  Perigueux Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2008     5.801 p.
37. Nat. Bordeaux Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2009      3.431 p.
45. NPO  Chateauroux Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2008   5.496 p.
47. NPO  Chateaudun Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2009    5.300 p.
49. Nat. Bergerac Sector 3 2009           13.218 p.
51. NPO  Brive Prov. 8 G.O.U.  2007        6.857 p.
55. N.U. Bergerac 2008                     7.304 p.
58. Nat. Bergerac Sector 3 2007           15.490 p.
60. NPO  Perigueux Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2009     6.330 p.
70. NPO  Perigueux Prov. 8 G.O.U. 2007     6.843 p . 

Exceptional basis
The basis in Mark’s breeding lofts is formed by four basis pedigrees, being Koop and Gerda Kiekebelt, First Prize Pigeons/Raymond Moleveld, Comb. Van Kooten-Van Bemmel and Gebroeders Limburg. All pigeons which breed well, especially in crossing with each other. Arjan Beens, the super champion from Genemuiden acts as sounding board and sparring partner. Both men work together training the pigeons and philosophise about care and breeding methods. “That makes you stronger” claims Mark. “Two know more than one and we see each other more as friends than opponents – then you can be honest with each other .”

A product of Mark’s golden basis is his NL06-1632188 ‘Olympic Zara’, a magnificent topper!! This hen was saved from death by Nanne Wolf, when she had trouble laying at the beginning of 2010 and only an operation under narcosis could save her. At that moment ‘Zara’ had already a.o. the 1. Nat. Narbonne on her honours list and if she hadn’t have had medical problems, then she would have spent 2010 as a breeding hen. However, she was put to race and that diamond was so determined that at the beginning of  2011 she was flagged as 2. Marathon pigeon for the Olympiad in Poznan … her honours list was crowned with :

     2.  Olympiad pigeon Marathon Poznan 2011
    3.  European Cup winner Marathon 2010
    1.  Nat./1. Internat. Montauban 2009  8.005 pigeons
    2.  NPO Brive 2010                    5.097 pigeons
    14. Nat. Cahors 2010                 11.054 pigeons
    20. NU Perigueux 2008                 6.493 pigeons
    94. Nat. Limoges 2009                13.196 pigeons
    114. NPO Perigeux 2008                6.843 pigeons  

Super Couple ‘Brive 2’ x ‘Wonder from Drijber



‘Olympic Zara’ comes out the best breeding couple from Mark; ‘Brive 2’ x ‘Wonder from Drijber’ …cock comes directly out the famous top breeder ‘Brive’ (1. NPO Brive 7.707 pigeons) from First Prize Pigeons/Raymond Moleveld and is mother of Koop Kiekebelt from his super couple ‘80’ x ‘Goosie’. Out ‘Brive 2’ x ‘Wonder from Drijber’ there is also  ‘Anna’ and ‘Tevez’. ‘Anna’ won a.o .

    3.   NPO  Perigueux 2009  6.336.330 pigeons
   49.  Nat. Bergerac 2009      13.051 pigeons
   81.  Nat. Cahors 2010        11.054 pigeons
   102. NU   Perigueux 2009      4.789 pigeons
   148. NU   Brive               6.148 pigeons
‘Tevez’    achieved
    37. NU Bordeaux 2009         2.843 pigeons
    55. NU Bergerac 2008         8.304 pigeons
    163. NU Montauban 2008       1.778 pigeons
    179. NU Bordeaux 2009        1.928 pigeons
    199. NU Limoges 2008         6.041 pigeons
    304. NU Perigueux 2007       6.843 pigeons  


‘Wonder van Drijber’ in in crossing with a son ‘Super Van Geel’ from the Limburg brothers, bred ‘Aida’, in 2009 winner of
5. NPO Perigueux 2009              6.330 pigeons

 ‘Brive 1’ once again proves superior breeding potential 


Another top couple from Mark is ‘Brive 1’ (half-brother ‘Brive 2’, also via First Prize Pigeons) x ‘Inbred Klamper’ (Cor de Heijde top lines via Jan Duijn) … because this couple produced wonder hen ‘Sanne’. ‘Sanne’ conquered the long distance world in 2009 with the 

 1. Nat.      Bergerac 2009     13.218 pigeons
1. Internat. Bergerac 2009     17.238 pigeons 

Her half-brother ‘Flecha’ (out ‘Brive 1’) had already shown the class of this line … he turned out to be a constant clapper and won a.o .

 1.   Ace pigeon overnight in district 2008
8.   World champion overnight Winning Magazine 2007
12.  Nat. Bergerac 2007        15.490 pigeons
126. NU Bergerac 2008           7.304 pigeons
147. NU Limoges 2007            6.041 pigeons
217. NPO Brive 2007             6.857 pigeons
476. NPO Perigueux 2008         5.801 pigeons
574. Nat. Limoges 2009         12.195 pigeons 


Not yet five years in the current location and already so many highlights … a rapid saturation looms you could say. “Definitely not,” says Mark. “Because you never get used to winning, especially in the overnight. I think it is a beautiful category, where the intrinsic qualities of the pigeons particularly comes to the front and it can be hellish, but you are so proud when your favourite pigeon returns home … let alone win an early prize. I know what each line is capable of and am still searching to shine above the 1.000 km; that’s another story. As a pigeon fancier you never stop learning and you never stop having ambitions. For now I am of course very happy with the marvellous start I was allowed to make over the last four years .