Hok Jos Vercammen (Vremde, BE): 1st National Champion Heavy Middle Distance Old birds & Yearlings 2022

It's no surprise that Jos & Lars Vercammen are amongst the best fanciers every season, they consistently perform at the highest level. Nonetheless, 2022 is a year they will remember for some time. Mainly due to winning the National Champion Heavy Middle Distance title...

Jos and Lars could rely on several fantastic racing hens to secure the title: 

  • Paulina - BE21-6138106
  • Super 100 - BE20-6166065
  • Blanca - BE21-6138132
  • Cuba - BE20-6166065
  • Mustang Disney - BE19-6016042

That they were amongst the candidates to take the title, is something Lars realized only before basketing Bourges II when he came across the preliminary results on the KBDB website. "We haven't focused on winning championship titles for some years now", Jos adds. "We often race the heavy middle distance alternating between two places." In both the Zuid Antwerps Verbond (ZAV) and Union Antwerpen, father and son Vercammen often dominate the top of the results list with many pigeons. Realizing fantastic series...

Elektro, stock cock of the Vercammen colony

The two men don't plan ahead and feel no obligation to race certain (national) races. They aren't afraid to skip races in favor of their pigeons, depending on the current form and weather conditions. The hens therefore only raced 4 national heavy middle distance races this year. "The upside of this strategy is that we lose fewer pigeons, have less stress as fanciers, we chose the program of our pigeons one week at a time," says Lars. This national championship title (literally) came out of the blue for the Vercammen family this season. 

It shows that winning a national title is mainly about the quality and form that resides on the lofts. Many fanciers set winning a title as a goal at before te season start, but in the end, there are only a handful of fanciers that can battle for the win. 

Jos admits, that the past super season, was partly so successful due to favorable weather conditions. "Our pigeons are at their best with warm weather and headwinds or even more so with no wind at all. Several races were flown under these conditions. If a Westerly wind would have prevailed for weeks, these results wouldn't have been possible. In this case, the changing climate is in our favor", he laughs. 

One of the pigeons that was unbeatable on the heavy middle distance under similar conditions in the past is Iron Man. This top racer was capable of flying minutes ahead during warm weather and headwinds. These days Iron Man is invaluable on the breeding lofts. He is father of several very talented racers and has taken is place in line of many other icons from this colony: Mustang and Elektro. Iron Man was bred from Bruce Lee, a Gerard & Bas Verkerk cock and a sister of Aladdin, the fastest pigeon of the whole national race from Bourges against 64,621 pigeons. 

Iron Man

The list of pigeons which contributed to the super season of 2022 is simply too long. We will try to pick out the most noteworthy star racers from this phenomenal colony. 

Cuba: 12th Nat. Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance KBDB 2022

With Cuba (BE20-6166065), Jos and Lars had a very reliable racer amongst their old birds. This hen had a beautiful season and was crowned 12th National Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance KBDB 2022. Cuba has flown amongst others the following top results during her racing career: 

15th Nat. Argenton 9,851 p. - 2nd Nat. Zone Argenton 1,615 p. (behind loft mate!)
15th Nat. Gueret 8,375 p.
1st Sermaises 1,929 p.
50th Nat. Chateauroux 4,003 p.
56th Nat. Bourges 7,606 p.
69th Nat. Zone Bourges 5,148 p.

Cuba is a daughter of London (BE16-6032120) and Iron Love (BE19-6016360). London is also father of Madrid, winner of 1st Nat. Zone Limoges against 2,875 p. Iron Love is, as her name suggests, a daughter of Iron man, but also a granddaughter of the other stock pigeon Elektro. 

Super 100

Super 100 (BE20-6166100) is another hen which ensured several top results for Vercammen. This daughter of Iron Man is a typical allround Vercammen pigeon. She won top results from Quiévrain to Chateauroux: 

6th Nat. Chateauroux 4,003 p.
21st Nat. Zone Argenton 1,615 p.
1st Prov. Fay aux Loges 601 p. – 6th Prov. 1,709 p.
1st Quiévrain 413 p. – 5th Fastest Prov. 14,060 p.
1st Melun 227 p.
3rd Melun 1,806 p.
3rd Melun 889 .
4th Sermaises 1,226 p.
...

As we mentioned earlier, Super 100 is a daughter of Iron Man. Her mother is Cobra (BE14-6175418), a full sister of Mustang, the crack that won 1st Nat. Chateauroux for Vercammen and later became one of the stock breeders. Cobra is, just like Mustang, a granddaughter of both Barco and Elektro. 

Paulina: 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance KBDB 2022

Paulina (BE21-6138106) was one of the leading figures amongst the yearlings. Like many other hens, she only flew 4 National races in 2022. That she won the title of 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon Heavy Middle Distance KBDB 2022 nonetheless is a fantastic performance. It means that she had 4 chances, and performed phenomenally 4 times. These are the prizes with which she took the ace pigeon title and contributed to the national championship title: 

7th Nat. Chateauroux 5,720 p.
48th Nat. Gueret 12,208 p.
53rd Nat. Bourges 10,366 p.
145th Nat. Issoudun 12,349 p.

Paulina is another exemplary Vercammen pigeon. Not only in terms of results, but also physical characteristics. The stock of Jos and Lars is built up from a few distinct bloodlines, which is reflected in the pigeons' build. They are all similar, not too large, yet always very powerful with closed ventbones. Paulina is no exception, and just like her physical characteristics her pedigree demonstrates the best Vercammen quality. Father is Olympic Elektro, 1st Olympiad pigeon Brussel 2017. Mother is Shaki (BE17-6025048), daughter of Shakira and thereby a granddaughter of Elektro. 

Blanca

Jos and Lars housed a fantastic yearling hen on their lofts with Paulina. "But", Jos adds, "the best yearling was actually Blanca! Although she was slightly too late on the last race from Chateauroux, when she 'only' took the 247th Nat." A bit too late to accompany Paulina in the Top 10 National Ace Pigeon competition, although she did rank 36th in the end. That Blanca (BE21-6138132) still ranks relatively high is due to her other results, and we can imagine that Jos is very keen on this beautifully built hen. These were her other 3 prizes on the 3 national races of 2022: 

3rd Nat. Zone Bourges 1,798 p.
16th Nat. Zone Issoudun 2,286 p.
87th Nat. Gueret 12,208 p.

That Blanca is a granddaughter of Elektro, will not be much of a surprise. This star breeder can be found in most Vercammen pigeons. Father is Ito (BE17-6025336), a top racer himself on the (heavy) middle distance. Mother is Elektro Princess (BE17-6025201), daughter of Elektro and Dolly (a.o. 10th Nat. La Souterraine).

El Muro & Palomo

El Muro (BE21-6138214) is the first cock we will introduce amongst the best racers of the past season. The cocks of Hok Jos Vercammen were almost exclusively raced on middle distance races, risks were avoided even more so than with the hens. 

El Muro is a strong cock that performed exceptionally well against the masses in Antwerp: 

1st fastest provincial Melun against 7,006 p.
2nd fastest provincial Melun against 7,238 p. (behind loft mate)
4th fastest provincial Noyon against 9,176 p.

El Muro is a grandson to Spartacus of Staf Mertens, a top racer with which Jos was keen on co-breeding with by pairing him to La Strada (BE11-6282176), 2nd Interprov. Vierzon 3,585 p., 5th Nat. Gueret 2,656 p.,...

Mother of El Muro is Young Lily (BE18-6015798) a granddaughter of both Elektro and Mustang. 

Furthermore, a full brother of El Muro, Palomo (BE21-6138052), also performed fantastically. He too was unstoppable on middle distance races. 

Donald Duck

Another cock which showed himself was Donald Duck (BE21-6138064). He is a son of White Elektro (BE14-6175573), bred from the pair Elektro x daughter Elektro (Shakira). This inbred White Elektro was paired to One Plus (BE15-6300351) in 2021, a proven breeding hen from Vremde. 

References

The Vercammen strain is perfectly suited to cross with other bloodlines, something that was already proven in the past. Lars explained that the best results in Vremde are booked by pigeons with 75% of their own strain, and 25% of other bloodlines. It does good to introduce a new bloodline to such a tight strain. 

El Muro, Palomo, Donald Duck and pigeons from Iron Man such as Super 100 are examples hereof. 

It is evident that others are also successful when crossing their stock with that other Vercammen. References are plentiful and regularly find their way to Lars his mailbox. 

Jelle Roziers shines on long distance races with Pullman and El Paso

Something that didn't go unnoticed past season, were the results of Jelle Roziers which were realized partly with help of Vercammen bloodlines. Jelle won the title of 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance Old birds KBDB with his de 1. Nat. Asduif Fond oude KBDB 2022.

Father of Pullman is Brazil Junior (BE15-6154847) a direct pigeon from Hok Jos Vercammen. In the pedigree of Brazil Junior we find a.o. Beckham (2x), Elektro and Brazil (3rd Prov. Limoges and 24th Nat. Tulle). This Vercammen pigeon was paired to Illinois, a Roziers hen from the lines of stock hen Queen L. 

Besides Pullman, the yearling El Paso (BE21-6013067) also managed several exceptional results in 2021 and 2022:

  • 1st Nat. Zone Tulle 1,214 Yearlings - 9th Nat. 4,993 p.
  • 4th Nat. Zone Souillac 672 p.-  14th Nat. 4,637 p.
  • 32nd Nat. Zone Argenton 2,898 Young birds - 76th Nat. 23,124 p.
  • 46th Nat. Zone La Souterraine 1,634 Young birds - 271th Nat. 14,315 p. 

The father of El Paso is Texas Ranger (BE11-6140054) a grandson of Queen L. Further on in his pedigree we also find Tiffany of Hok Jos Vercammen. 

Mother is Vince’s Girl (BE17-6025394), another Vercammen pigeon, who was obtained by Jelle via Vince Pedavoli. Vince's Girl is a daughter of Elektro and Delphine and thus a full sister of Elektro Junior, 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon Middle Distance KBDB.

Besides the absolute top references from Roziers, there were many references from One Loft Races as well. The name Vercammen could be found in the pedigree of the last winner South African Million Dollar Race (SAMDPR). Also at the OLR in Thailand the Vercammen pigeon have performed well in the past years. In 2014, it was Simply The Best (BE14-6175432) who became 1st Ace Pigeon Thailand One Loft Race, the best pigeon ever at that particular OLR:

  • 1st Hotspot (435km) 953 pigeons
  • 11th Final (530km)

A limited overview of the results on OLR:

  • 2nd Ace Pigeon Great Algarve Derby 2022 with “Ms. Algarve”(BE22-6020369) – grandchild Mustang
     
  • 24th and 35th Final Derby Moledo 2022 (Portugal). A tough race during which the first pigeon reached 932 m/min (435km). Two early pigeons in the final race are two nest mates, grandchildren of “Mustang” and Iron Man”.
     
  • 4th Ace Pigeon Great Algarve Derby 2021 with “Kodak 2”(BE21-6138173) – descendant Elektro and Mustang
  • 1st Hotspot 1 2,798 pigeons Great Algarve Derby 2021 with “Flash 5”(BE21-6138269) a brother of “Kodak 2” (mentioend above)

Self-willed 

Despite the fact that Jos and Lars don't race in line with championships of racing schedules, they can nearly be found at the top of national and/or the Antwerp federations Union or ZAV middle distance race results on a weekly basis. They make their own decisions regarding when and where they basket their strong team of racers. In 2022, this meant that the widowhood cocks only raced the national races Chateauroux and Argenton in August. The first part of the season they were only raced on middle distance races, much to the dismay of other middle distance fanciers in Antwerp. 

The hens were basketed weekly, either on the middle distance or heavy middle distance. There were hardly any problem with hens pairing amongst each other because of it. All pigeons, whether they are young birds or old, they demand "flying top results in pigeon weather" to obtain a spot on the lofts of Hok Jos Vercammen. Physical characteristics also count in that sense. On the breeding loft the only rule is that pairs must be 'good x good'. The pigeons have to show themselves, only then can they show their breeding value. Always with a worthy partner. Often the pigeons are from the same family, which makes this stock so distinct. 

A pigeon stock with national class, a strong selection and a clear breeding strategy. This is the only way father and son Vercammen can reach the national top. It resulted in a wonderful season in 2022 and the title 1st National Champion Heavy Middle Distance Old birds & Yearlings. The ultimate reward for many seasons full of top performances!