The protagonists of this report are Gerard and his son Harold Calis, who have been racing as a combination for almost 40 years now. In fact, Gerard has spent the last 60 years of his life in pigeon lofts. He is pretty much the driving force behind the racing lofts: he is responsible for the caretaking in the mornings and evenings. Harold assists him in the evenings and during the weekends. In addition, the now 46 old fancier is always looking around for possible introductions, while also looking after the administrative side of things.
A brilliant 2019 season
It looked like everything was working out for this team last season. This inevitably led to a long list of championship titles, some of which were impossible to ignore:
- 1st not nominated general sprint province 7 Central Holland
- 1st nominated sprint province 7 Central Holland
- 1st not nominated YBs province 7 Central Holland
- 1st general ace pigeon province 7 Central Holland
- 1st ace pigeon general sprint province 7 Central Holland
- 3rd national ace pigeon olds De Allerbeste competition
- 6th national ace pigeon allround De Allerbeste competition
- 6th National ace pigeon allround WHZB competition
- 6th National ace pigeon olds De Allerbeste competition
A solid start in 2020
The combination knew it would be almost impossible to match their results from 2019. And yet, the father-son combination has had a particularly promising start to the official 2020 racing season. A race from Niergnies was scheduled to take place in province 7 Central Holland, good for a 272km trip back to Bussum. As many as 16,870 pigeons had been basketed for this event, and racing bird NL19-1519931 Strong Baron proved the strongest overall, claiming a coveted provincial win for Gerard and Harold.
Strong Baron is a son of NL12-1431848 Red Baron, the stock sire of the renowned red bloodline that can be found in the lofts of Gerard and Harold. Red Baron became 9th National Ace Pigeon allround in the national WHZB-TBOTB 2014 competition. His (grand)children have won an impressive 67 top tens against an average of 1650 pigeons, including at least 21 victories. Red Baron himself comes from a super class breeding pair: NL09-1676310 New Branco (J & K Lotterman) x NL10-13339825 Fantastic Red (Marcel Sangers). Besides Red Baron, this pair also bred two racing birds with a top ten in a national ace pigeon championship on their palmares: his sister Iris was 4th national ace pigeon one day long distance WHZB-TBOTB 2016, having won a 1st NPO Chateauroux, and another sister, Necky, was 6th national ace pigeon old birds in 2017, in the national competition De Allerbeste.
The dam of Strong Baron is the red coloured hen NL18-1631765 Vale Bulck. She comes from Marcel Sangers, from which the combination obtained an invaluable collection of Dirk Van den Bulck birds. Vale Bulck is a daughter of Marcel's stock hen BE15-4100451 Angelina. As such, Vale Bulck is a half sister of Kira (3rd national ace pigeon middle distance De Allerbeste 2017).
Preparing for an unusual 2020 season
Some fanciers were really struggling to come up with a plan for the 2020 season but Gerard and Harold stuck with their traditional approach.The light mixture that the pigeons eat before the start of the season was used until the last week before their first training flights. They then switched to the all-in-one mixture of Beyers, combined with supplements of Sangers Pro.
Going into battle with a group of top class birds
The pigeon family of the G & H Calis combination was developed around pigeons of Marcel Sangers (his old strains and his Van den Bulck birds), the Verbree Combination, Gerard Koopman, and youngsters of national ace pigeons, Olympiad pigeons and pigeons with several victories to their name. Gerard and Harold's outstanding opening weekend to the 2020 season goes to show that investing in top quality birds is still a guaranteed route to success. Would you like to learn more about their best birds? Head over to their website www.calisracingpigeons.com