Hans en Evert-Jan Eijerkamp (Brummen, NL) are having an outstandingly successful season

The 67th season of one of the most well known pigeon families seems to be one of their best ever. Many of their competitors think the Eijerkamp family is impossible to beat in 2012. In 17 big races they took no less than twelve first prizes, including two x first in teletext races!

For many years now the Eijerkamp loft has stood out as top of the league pigeon racing. As in every season, they aim for the first place in every race, but in 2012 they seem to have been winning races without any effort and they have achieved an exceptional number of prizes. This team always baskets a large number of pigeons, but to silence the critics, they also seem to win a lot of first prizes with a very high success rate of over 50% (or 51.71% to be more precise), except for the race from Brumen II, where the electronic timing system failed after having registered the first two pigeons. The most successful races of 2012 by the lofts of Brummen are:

      Peronne - 3,582 p.
            3rd-9th-etc. (47/31 = 65.96%)
      Peronne – 687 p.
            1st-2nd-3rd-4th-6th-7th-etc. (49/32 = 65.31%)
      NPO Peronne - 14,252 p.
            1st-3rd-8th-9th-10th-etc. (184/113 = 61.41%)
      Grimbergen - 5,880 p.
            2nd-11th-etc. (73/42 = 57.53%)
      Blois (NPO race) - 1,608 p.
            1st-2nd-3rd-4th-6th-7th-9th-10th-etc. (108/62 = 57.41%)
      Pommeroeul – 961 p.
            1st-5th-7th-8th-etc. (59/33 = 55.93%)
      Breuil le Vert – 733 p.
            3rd-4th-7th-8th-9th-etc. (47/23 = 48.90%)
      Nanteuil la H. (NPO race) - 3,605 p.
            1st-4th-9th-etc. (53/25 = 47.17%)
      Salbris (NPO race) - 1,611 p.
            1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th-etc. (104/49 = 47.12%)
      Orleans (NPO race) - 2,052 p.
            1st-3rd-7th-12th-etc. (115/52 = 45.22%)
      Pommeroeul - 1,523 p.
            1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th-7th-etc. (173/73 = 42.20%)
      Geel - 5,835 p.
            2nd-5th-etc. (76/32 = 42.11%)
      Mantes la Jolie – 669 p.
            4th-5th-10th-etc. (46/19 = 41.30%)
      Duffel 1 - 1,291 p.
            1st-2nd-3rd-9th-10th-etc. (175/63 = 36.00%)
      Duffel 2 - 1,368 p.
            1st-3rd- system malfunction (72/2 = 2.78%)

Hans and Evert-Jan have quite a few teams of pigeons that all have to be trained, so you can imagine that the training tosses have to be very well organised. The hens and the cocks each fly twice a day for an hour. In the meantime the different rounds of youngsters and the new middle distance team (created especially for Barcelona 2013) have a few training tosses as well. A team of 54 cocks and hens is raced weekly in sprint and middle distance races. The one day middle distance team consists of 134 cocks and hens at the beginning of the season. These cocks are raced every week after their first race. At this stage in the season though they are raced every fourteen days in one day middle distance races. The hens are raced every week after their fourth training toss only; they too now race a one day middle distance race every fourteen days as well.

It is the main caretaker Gerard Boesveld who makes the plans for the new season, together with Evert-Jan and general manager Henk Jurriëns. They are assisted by several colleagues. The man behind the success of the team explains: “We never show the partner when a pigeon is basketed but it is waiting for them in the loft when they return. Depending on the race they can stay together for a few hours or even an entire night after the race.” The hens are raced only after their fourth flight for practical purposes: “We have a lot of problems with birds of prey in the neighbourhood. That explains why we release several pigeons in the late spring only. The yearlings have to get used to their new lofts so they are released for the first time in April only. During their training tosses I could see how they were making progress; that is why we decided to race some pigeons after their fourth toss only.”

The team for the one day middle distance is almost three times as big as the sprint/middle distance team. This clearly shows the focus of Team Eijerkamp: the middle distance teletext races and especially the one day middle distance NPO races. In 2012 they have already won several top 10 places in this discipline:

       1st NPO Peronne (335 km)              - 14,252 pigeons
       1st NPO Nanteuil le Haudouin (408 km) -  8,663 pigeons
       3rd NPO Orleans (556 km)              -  5,783 pigeons
       3rd NPO Peronne (335 km)              - 14,252 pigeons
       5th NPO Salbris (598 km)              -  4,095 pigeons
       7th NPO Nanteuil le Haudouin (408 km) -  8,663 pigeons
       8th NPO Peronne (335 km)              - 14,252 pigeons
      10th NPO/Nat Blois(611 km)             - 17,591 pigeons
      11th NPO/Nat Blois(611 km)             - 17,591 pigeons

With such great results this season it is clear that the Eijerkamp lofts have plenty of talent, but they also have a few really exceptional pigeons, pigeons with outstanding performances. They have for instance NL08-1100068 Vivian, a 100% Heremans-Ceusters bred from Jackpot (the super breeding son of Olympiade) x Artemis (a sister of  Olympiade pigeon Finette). Vivian has already won a 1st NPO Nanteuil against 8,663 pigeons, 2nd NPO Breuil against 5,848 pigeons and also first prizes from Meer (against 7,001 pigeons) and Pommeroeul (968 pigeons).

2012 has been another great season for NL08-1100200 Lisa, a top class hen! At the Europe Cup in Dortmund 2012 she was first middle distance pigeon from The Netherlands. She is a grandchild of Rossi x Spinneke (Heremans-Ceusters) and Flits (Janssen x Van Loon) and was the first pigeon in the last middle distance race of the district of Zutphen. In 2012 she was the winner of:

      1st  Peronne      –   548 p.
      2nd  Peronne      –   687 p.
      9th  Nanteuil     – 3,604 p.
      12th Peronne      – 4,904 p.

Another first class pigeon of 2012 is NL10-1274037 Celena. She did very well in the NPO races with three teletext notations in 2012:

      1st  NPO Peronne 2012  – 14,253 p.
      3rd  NPO Orleans 2012  –  5,783 p.
      11th Nat. Blois 2012   – 17,591 p.
      38th Nat. Blois 2011   – 24,774 p.

Her father is a son of Don Leo (x super hen Joke Kaman), a top class pigeon of which the descendants of the second generation are dominating the one day middle distance competition in the Eijerkamp lofts. The mother of Celena is Kentucky, a super breeding hen of Van Loon origins which stems from Atilla x Miss Antonia, winner of 1st NPO Bourges.

Some other top class pigeons of this season:
- NL10-1271607 Elles
A form cake racer from 2010 and winner of 1st Salbris against 1,611 pigeons (5th NPO 4,095 pigeons) in 2012, winner of 8th Bourges against 1,347 pigeons in 2012. 36th NPO Chateauroux against 2,397 pigeons in 2011 etc.
Sire: Donkere Van Loon (breeder of 3rd National ace pigeon middle distance with 10 x 1st)
Dam: NL09-1836978 Rebel, from Fabio x Dimple

- NL09-1833298 Nani
Winner  of 1st Duffel 1,261 pigeons, 5th Pommeroeul 1,523 pigeons, 5th Pommeroeul 908 pigeons, 7th Strombeek 5,312 pigeon, 7th Nanteuil 760 pigeons
Sire: Abel, 3rd National ace pigeon Best of the Best 2004 and a new top class breeder from Chicago x Miss Saigon
Dam: Super Blue 155, super racer Meulemans x Janssen

- NL11-1341752 Leanne
As a yearling she has won 1st Duffel against 1,368 pigeons, 2nd Geel 5,835 pigeon, 7th NPO Nanteuil 8,663 pigeons.
Sire: Heracles, a direct Heremans-Ceusters and grandson of Olympiade and Blauwe As
Dam: Hera, bred from the super couple Olympiade x Wonderaske (Heremans-Ceusters)

We have mentioned the so called cake races (taartvluchten, flown in Holland, these races have cakes as prizes) with some of the best pigeons competing. Just like many other fanciers the Eijerkamp family uses the cake races to train groups of youngsters. These races take place from the third week of September. Hans Eijerkamp says, “The massive losses in races for youngsters has become a major problem; this is due to the fact that we train them in an unfavourable climate (mid July). Mid June is actually more condusive to training That is why we have decided not to take part in the races for youngsters in 2012, also because the races for all ages of pigeons are scheduled for three weeks later. In order to reduce the risk of losses we have decided to wean two groups of youngsters. At the beginning of the season we have youngsters for the races for all ages of pigeons and then we have the youngsters for the cake races. In these cake races we do not pay attention to moulting; we just want the youngsters to gain some experience. We basket them close to the loft the first time. After that we basket the pigeons for Oldebroek (Veluwe). This is a trip of only 60km but there are about 6,000 pigeons that are basketed for this race over distances of 80-120-140-160- km. In these first races our pigeons follow the big group that flies along the Veluwe lake. Almost all of our pigeons find their way home in that first round, but in the last races we can see that some of our pigeons come from the right direction, often in small groups”.

In fact these cake race pigeons only start to really race as yearlings; they follow the same program as their lofts companions. Gerard Boesveld says, “In the first weeks or even months we notice that they really need some more training, as a result of which the prize percentage is rather low, but in the second half of the season these pigeons really come forward and are actually capable of winning first prizes.” In 2007 Eijerkamp started this new training method (initially for the middle distance pigeons only, now he uses it for all distances). Some examples of successful cake race pigeons are Michelle (1st NPO Bourges) and Blue Wijnands (12th Nat. Cahors 2010 and 95th National Bergerac 2009.) In the race from Salbris 2012 the first two pigeons were cake race youngsters from 2010 and the 1st Grimbergen in the district of Zutphen was also won by a cake race youngster from 2010.

The number of prizes they win at the Greenfield Stud have have always been a clear indication of the quality in their breeding lofts. This season Hans and Evert-Jan have been receiving numerous faxes, telephone calls and emails. This clearly indicates that their pigeons are performing at a very high level. These are the best performances for 2012:

      1st NPO Laon against 27,258 pigeons (Comb. Doornenbal-Jonker-Peters, Didam)
      1st prov. Sezanne against 21,881 pigeons (Comb. VD Wiel-Schreuder, Luyckgestel)
      1st Nijvel against 19,482 pigeons (Piet Theunis, Volendam)
      1st Grimbergen against 12,106 pigeons (Jan Westen, Ter Apel)
      1st NPO Mantes la Jolie against 7,911 pigeons (Wim vd Kooy, Voorhout)
      1st NPO Salbris against 7,180 pigeons (Gebr. Niks & Zonen, Westerhaar)
      1st Sens Northern Union against 6,450 pigeons (Gert-Jan Beute, Wilhelminaoord)
      1st Geel against 5,965 pigeons (Erik Plant, Leuvenheim)
      1st NPO Orleans against 5,835 pigeons (Gert-Jan Beute, Wilhelminaoord)
      1st Hasselt against 3,572 pigeons (H. Doldersum en Zoon, Westerhaar
      1st Nat. Limoges Sector IV against 2,942 pigeons (Sjaak Buwalda, Nijemirdum)
      1st Pommeroeul against 2,329 pigeons (Gert-Jan Beute, Wilhelminaoord)
      1st Duffel against 1,691 pigeons (Jan van Minkelen, Dieren)
      1st Reims against 1,646 pigeons (H. Doldersum en Zoon, Westerhaar)
      1st Epehy against 1,015 pigeons (A.Welgraven, Spankeren)
      1st Sprint champion Limburg Totaal Noord (H.&J. Herman, Broekhuizenvorst)
      1st Not nominated champion Sprint Prov. Friesland (Gebr. Homma, Steggerda)
      2nd NPO Pithiviers against 7,110 pigeons (B. Bomers en Zoon, Eibergen)
      2nd NPO Sezanne against 6.928 pigeons (A. Vermulst, en zn., Stipthout)
      2nd NPO St. Quentin against 4,097 pigeons (Hennie van Berkel, De Bilt)
      2nd Nanteuil Le Haudouin against 3,569 pigeons (Jos de Ridder, Asperen)
      2nd Nat. Limoges Sector IV against 2,942 pigeons (Sjoerd Grouwstra, Stavoren)
      2nd Ravenstein against 2,024 pigeons (J. Buter, Bedum)
      2nd Pommeroeul against 1,158 pigeons (Gebr. Jager, Blijham)
      3rd NPO Orleans against 5,835 pigeons (Bert Albers, Landgraaf)
      3rd St. Quentin against 5,072 pigeons (Jos de Ridder, Asperen)
      3rd Duiven against 2,760 pigeons (Roelof Staal, Pesse)
      3rd Lille against 2,377 pigeons (J. van Reeven, Rozenburg)
      3rd Grimbergen against 1,873 pigeons (Bram Scherpenzeel, Twello)