G. & S. Verkerk (Reeuwijk, NL) show their class with an exceptional performance

We assume the two perfectionists Gerard and Bas Verkerk (Reeuwijk, NL) do not have many goals left after 30 years of keeping pigeons at the highest level. Bas once told us that winning the first ten prizes in a Teletext race would be the ultimate feat; we assume he had an equally euphoric feeling after winning the first four prizes and having 9 pigeons in the top 15 in the NPO race from Vierzon.

The race on Saturday 6 June gives us a good idea of what pigeon racing looks like in this day and age. Shortly after the four winning Verkerk pigeons were clocked from the NPO Vierzon, the victory images shot by PIPA’s Thomas Gyselbrecht went viral on social media, with many fanciers enjoying the dominance displayed by Verkerk. This kind of result is nothing new for the Verkerk family but it remains a spectacular feat nonetheless. Father and son Verkerk had basketed 115 pigeons to compete against 11,506 others, and they showed once again that this is one of strongest breeds in the history of our sport:


They had 23 pigeons with 1:300, 55 pigeons with 1:10 and a total of 68 prizes, which makes this a breathtaking overall result! Bas really enjoyed the race: “Our first four pigeons made a few rounds before landing with a one minute lead over the rest of the group. But you don’t know that until after the race is over, and this makes the victory movie of Thomas even more enjoyable to watch.”

Those familiar with the philosophy behind the Verkerk breed will not be surprised that the top four NPO originates from a number of illustrious pigeons from the past. A top class Verkerk pigeon will not be sold to a foreign country but gets a place in their own breeding loft. This is an often debated yet very successful approach. The first four arrivals consisted of three widower hens and a widower cock in total widowhood. Meet the Fabulous Four:

1st NPO Vierzon - NL13-1239517 ‘Expectation’

Sire: Bulldozer, 3rd Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance WENC 2006, 4th Nat. Ace Pigeon One Day Long Distance NPO 2005 and 6th Nat. Cock WHZB 2004. The sire of such champions as Icarus, The Aviator, Bonita, Euphoria, etc.
Dam: Olympic Solange, the most successful pigeon ever in The Netherlands in races between 60 and 700 km, having won six titles of 1st Nat. ace Pigeon. She is Verkerk's new stock breeder.
Click here for the full pedigree of Expectation

2nd NPO Vierzon - NL14-1059326

Sire: Zoon Sita, from super class parents Bvlgari, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon One Day Long Distance x Sita, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon WHZB 2007 and 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Allround Best of the Best 2007.
Dam: Lieke, 5th Prov. Ace Pigeon in NPO races 2013 and 7th Nat. Ace Pigeon Allround Best of the Best 2013.
Click here for the full pedigree

3rd NPO Vierzon - NL14-1059330

Sire: Captain Hook, a talented racer and sire of Tinker Bell, 1st and fastest prov. Meaux of 32,917 p. and second substitute for the yearlings' Olympiad 2015.
Dam: Jessie, NPO top 10 winner and daughter of 7th Nat. Blois winner Federer x top breeder Sieka, winner of four top 14 prizes NPO and the dam of Marilyn Monroe, Flinstone, Mona Lisa, etc.
Click here for the full pedigree

4th NPO Vierzon - NL14-1059439

Sire: Son Bulldozer, who is just as talented as his parents Bulldozer x Magic Winner, 100% Pieter Veenstra and owned by the Chinese Mr. Dong.
Dam: Heidi, a half sister of Olympic Solange, being a daughter of Olympic Survivor x Fergie.
Click here for the full pedigree

Briefly after their Olympiad adventure and the six national first ace pigeon titles of Olympic Solange, Bas said that he expected this super class hen to develop into an invaluable breeding star as well. Well, the now eight year old hen has lived up to the expectations, having bred several highly successful descendants:
      - Utopia: 7th Nat. hen WHZB 2013
      - Replica: in 2011 winner of 45th-49th NPO & 28. prov. west +10,000 p.
      - Euphoria, the dam of Feline: 1st substitute Olympiad Pigeon Middle Distance Nitra 2013
      - Bonita: best young ace pigeon Natour regio 2009 and super class breeder
      - Rembrandt, sire of Anouk and Renate: super class 1st prize winners
Solange had her share in the race from Vierzon as well, as six of the first nine Verkerk pigeons are clearly related to her as well:
      1st NPO Vierzon: Expectation - daughter Solange
      4th NPO Vierzon: from half sister Solange
      6th NPO Vierzon: granddaughter Solange (from Replica)
      9th NPO Vierzon: granddaughter Solange (from Rembrandt)
      13th NPO Vierzon: great-granddaughter Solange (from Bonita, a sister of Expectation)
      14th NPO Vierzon: great-grandchild Solange (grandchild Euphoria, a sister of Expecation) - This cock won a 5th NPO Blois 15,528 p. two weeks ago
      22nd NPO Vierzon: a daughter Solange and a full sister of Expectation

The 2015 season has been underway for about eight weeks now and most insiders know that the Verkerk pigeon breed has usually won several prizes by then. Still, previous successes are not a guarantee. That said, the Verkerk family has lived up to its reputation with five first prizes in important races so far, including:

1st Nanteuil - 12,543 p., and the first four prizes against 4,420 p.
  Complete serie 1st-4th-5th-6th-10th-11th-15th-17th-18th-30th-33rd-35th-37th-38th-39th-54th-56th-57th-
  66th-67th-68th-69th-88th-89th-91st-92nd-93rd-95th-107th-109th-114th-etc. 12,453 p. 
  (111/155 with 82x 1:10)
  1st-5th-6th-7th-11th-12th-17th-19th-21st-fastest in the provincial release 31,438 p. and 
  26 in the fastest 100
1st-2nd-3rd-4th NPO Vierzon - 11,506 p.
1st Quievrain - 5,392 p.
1st-2nd PS Maxence - 2,446 p.
1st Blois - 1,220 p.

Bas receives a steady stream of references on a daily basis, and this is an important indication of the impressive breeding values of his pigeon breed, which are plentiful! Many other fanciers achieved great results with Verkerk pigeons over the Vierzon weekend. An impressive overview:
- Dong: wins 5 million yuan, a Mercedes and 2x an Audi over the past two months in different One Loft Races (see the picture of Bas Verkerk and Dong below)
- Verbree combination wins 1st NPO Bourges against over 5,000 pigeons with a 50% Verkerk pigeon
- Scheele brothers win a 4th NPO Argenton of over 3,000 pigeons. The sire of the Argenton winner is a son of Street Fighter (from Olympic Survivor, and thus a half brother of Solange). This cock has already won:

1st NPO Argenton 3,372 p.
2nd NPO Bourges 4,520 p. behind loft mate
3rd Peronne 7,007 p.
4th NPO Orleans 4,308 p.
4th NPO Argenton 3,181 p.
4th NPO La Souterraine 3,077 p.
4th Niergnies 2,064 p.
11th NPO Ruffec 2,084 p.

Bas and Mr. Dong (China), who was particularly successful with Verkerk pigeons