Van Tuyl Gerard wins International PAU (2007) with 'Foppe'

Gerard van TUYL, Hellouw (NL)

Gerard took along six pigeons on this race (distance 1.031 km). The pigeons were released in Pau with a one day delay due to the weather conditions. Gerard expected the pigeons home very early. He and his wife Hannie were rubber necking from the kitchen. Hannie saw the pigeon return home first. The electronic clocking system recorded the 05-NL-1396901 at 04.41.38 hours. Then Gerard clocked the rubber countermark at 04.42 hours and wrote down the wing marker. However, when he went to report the pigeon after the neutralisation time, it seemed that also the second rubber countermark should have been clocked immediately. Eventually, Gerard did this at 05.19 hours. According to Dutch rules he should have clocked the rubber countermark immediately and now the time of the second countermark is considered the arrival time for the national ranking.
Because of this situation, Gerard wins 2nd national in The Netherlands and internationally he wins 1st prize. Since Belgium organizes (La Colombe Joyeuse) the international bet race, Gerard met with all requirements when clocking the first rubber countermark and therefore he is righteous winner of the international bet race at Pau.
The entire regulation in relation to the clocking of rubber bands – if they are clocked electronically – is ridiculous and sad at the same time. At national Dutch races, pigeons with a chip ring are no longer countermarked with a rubber band and now all of a sudden they should be for an international race in the Netherlands. It is about time that the different directors of the participating countries gather around the table this winter and decide on uniform regulations, equal for all contestants. There are other differences:
• Different neutralisation times, causing the pigeon’s speed in the Dutch results to differ from the speed in the international results.
• In the Netherlands a pigeon can be clocked up to 30 cm outside the loft. In Belgium the pigeon has to be clocked inside the loft.

The winning pigeon: Foppe

Due to his great performance, the 05-NL-1396901 was named after Foppe de Haan, the successful trainer/coach of the Dutch under 21 soccer team.
Foppe’s performances at overnight races:
• 2006 Periqueux 773rd out of 4,345 pigeons
• 2006 Bergerac 267th out of 17,483 pigeons
• 2007 Brive 97th out of 6,029 pigeons
• 2007 Pau 1st international out of 7,311 pigeons


Foppe was bred by Gerard from a son of Rosa (1st national St. Vincent) and a pigeon from the Theo Ernest stock.
To view pedigree click here.
Foppe’s line is famous for night flying. Gerard only tries to reach his peak at the Z.L.U. races.

Pedigree "Foppe" : Click here

The fancier
For Gerard (41) it all started in 1983 with carrier pigeons, which he kept together with his brother Frank near their parental home. In 1990 Gerard started with late youngsters at his present day address. He is a member of the carrier pigeons association P.V. De Maasbode – also known as P.V. De Krabbers - from Velddriel. Father-in-law Cor helps Gerard taking care of the pigeons by cleaning out the breeding lofts in the morning and taking away droppings from under the grids. Moreover, he gives them water and food and sees to it that the pigeons are in the right division. He also takes care of the breeders and yearlings, after consulting Gerard of course.

Gerard’s pigeon lofts are all together about 30 metres long. Behind his beautiful house you can see a brick loft at the left side of the garden, with lofts on top and a huge aviary in front. The ground cover for the young consists of straw and beech chips, the pigeons in the brick loft have beech chips as ground cover and the breeders in the runs sit on grids. The front of the racing loft is directed to the east.

Loft content
In Gerard’s lofts you can find pigeons of the Van Zantvoort brothers, St. Michielsgestel (species Theo Ernest, Van der Wegen and Lazeroms), Hagens brothers, Achthuizen and the late Theo Ernest. About 75 % has the blood of the Theo Ernest species running in their veins. Gerard has already been buying his pigeons from Ernest ever since 1993 and he also took over Ernest’s last ten pigeons.
Characteristics of Gerard’s pigeons:
* pear shaped
* small feathers (swallow type)
*fly in any kind of weather
* night flyers

Taking on new pigeons is hard, but since his pigeons were stolen in 2002 (In total the thieves took 80 pigeons!) he has been in contact with Lei Kurvers from Hulsberg. They now do the breeding together. After the robbery, Lei Kurvers spontaneously offered him some pigeons and that was the beginning of a beautiful ‘pigeon friendship‘ between the two. Harrie and Roger Wijnands also lent him five hens after the theft. Gerard’s favorite races are Barcelona and internationally Dax and Perpignan.

Gerard disposes of 20 to 25 breeding couples, though he still lacks a real main couple. The loft’s main breeding hen is the “Perpignan 27 hen”. From this pigeon Gerard bred amongst others a hen, that was the 1st international ace pigeon of IFC 4000. In 2006 four of the “Perpignan 27 hen’s” children and eight of her grandchildren won prizes at Barcelona!
The main breeding cock is “Jonge Dax”.
Inbreeding is not out of the ordinary here, and thus present winner Foppe is also an inbred product.
Generally, the pigeons are paired off at the end of January, depending on the weather. The better class of flying pigeons (minimum tree year olds) are being used for breeding as well.
Gerard breeds about 120 young pigeons.


For this race, Foppe was being basketted while sitting on eggs for about 6 days and unfortunately the young of the previous round had flown already, but for Foppe it didn’t make much of a difference since he obtained the national victory even on this nest.
Gerard did give Foppe an extra motivation by putting a wooden wedge (a piece of wood with one side smaller than the other) in his and his neighbours breeding loft (see picture). The closer the day of basketting came, the closer the two pieces of wood were brought together. At basketting day itself, the wedge was taken away from Foppe’s loft and his neighbours wedge was put at the boundary of the two lofts. They also put some seed treats in the neighbours breeding loft, so Foppe would find his way into that loft as well.
Gerard finds the rhythm of participating in races important for the pigeons. Therefore, he’d rather basket his pigeons ten times for a 200 kilometres race than twice Orleans. At the end of April, the flying pigeons came along on a race for the first time. Foppe was not raced more than every week Pommeroeul (190 km) and after that, he went along at Brive, where he won the 97th prize out of 6,029 pigeons. A week before Pau, Foppe was released again in Hulsberg (near Lei Kurvers). Gerard won’t be a party to lighting and darkening the pigeons. He merely relies on his instincts when deciding which pigeons should be nominated.

Feeding system
In theory, the pigeons get a full feeder with mixtures Koopman, Olympic and Zoontjes by Beyers. Also in between overnight races, the pigeons get a full feeder of the same mixture. Only in the last week before basketting, the pigeons are being fed three to four times a day. The last few days, they get some seed treats as well, next to the feed. The pigeons are fed a bit before training, so they do their training much better. After that, they are fed again.

Training the pigeons
Only during the evenings the pigeons do the compulsory training with the flag. If Gerard doesn’t like the look of his pigeons, he takes them to Limburg before dawn to release them there. He chooses Limburg because they don’t know the eastern line.

Medical support
The medical support is very simple: the last two to three years Gerard didn’t give his pigeons anything against yellow fever, but he does go and see dr. Mariën from Tielt (Belgium) every month during the season. Dr. Mariën gives them red mineral powder. They only act when something is definitely wrong with the pigeons. After a race, the pigeons are given dextrose and honey or Belgasol.

Performance list

Asking Gerard about his achievements, would be stating the obvious, since this man has actually won everything there is to win. That’s why we narrow down the list of his accomplishments to seasons 2006 and 2007.

2006 1st international Barcelona
24th international Dax
9th national Dax
76th international Perpignan
14th national Perpignan

2007 1st international Pau
2nd national Pau
The last four years, Gerard has been champion of the Fondunie (Long Distance Club) three times. For Gerard, the most valuable international victory is Barcelona, every pigeon fancier’s dream. He achieved incredible results at Barcelona 2006: 4 pigeons with the first 100 national, 1st prize with the two fastest pigeons international, 8 pigeons with the first 500 international.

Gerard’s favourite pigeon is Floyd, a 2003 pigeon, that obtained 40th prize international at Barcelona 2006.

It also needs to be said that Gerard sent his yearlings team to Angoulème in 2004 and already at night he clocked 22 of them! The best pigeons came from this team of yearlings, responsible for a great performance at Barcelona 2006.

Lots of people perform well with Gerard’s pigeons, but in particular.
Bennie Van Holland from Ede
Comb. Kooten and Van Bemmel from Lunteren

Goal for the future
Gerard would like to obtain an international victory once again, at Barcelona, Dax or Perpignan.

To conclude
This time I was invited by a man, who has in fact already won everything, but who can still fully enjoy a great victory such as International Pau 2007. He disposes of beautiful facilities with a magnificent pigeons collection. I am convinced that we will keep on seeing more of Gerard in the future. Gerard, PIPA congratulates you on your international victory at Pau!