The LDHA gene - is it the secret behind the success story of Marijke Vink (Mookhoek, NL)?

As most of you know, Marijke Vink has a highly capable pigeon breed. Marijke wanted to know what it was that made her racing team so successful. Maybe it had something to do with the so called LDHA gene? We went out to do a bit of research.

Marijke Vink with a few of her favourites

What is the LDHA gene?

In order to answer that question we would like to quote from an article of pigeon vet Ruben Lankriet: "The LDHA gene is the next step to top performances in pigeon racing". An increasing number of pigeon lofts have been making use of genetic research to learn more about the potential and the breeding value of their pigeons. It has become increasingly evident that the presence of an LDHA gene in a pigeon is a good indicator of how much talent it has. This has been confirmed by different researchers. We could go into further detail about the LDHA or the DRD4 gene but we are not an expert in this field by any stretch. Instead, we would like to refer to the articles on this topic that appeared on PIPA earlier on.

Why this introduction?

Marijke Vink is one of those fanciers that had their pigeons tested for the presence of either of these genotypes. And you will not be surprised to hear that the LDHA gene and the DRD4 gene has been found in many of her pigeons. Marijke has a highly homogeneous pigeon breed that appears to share many of the same genotypes. A pigeon that was bred from top breeder Gerard featured the rare LDHA AA gene, and two pigeons that were bred from Marijke's breeding pair Aladin x Sanne had an LDHA gene as well; one had the rare LDHA-AA gene and the other had the LDHA-AB gene. Several descendants of Marijke's racing birds Verdi, Louis, and Demalza were found to have the LDHA-AB gene too. Pigen, the company of Ruben Lanckriet, has provided a DNA certificate for each of these pigeons. 

A group of talented pigeons

The pigeon family of Marijke Vink appears to confirm the gene theory. We take a closer look at a few of her pigeons, starting with NL99-2308215 Aladin. Below is an overview of some of the descendants of Aladin. They are almost in a league of their own.

Marijke thinks Aladin is the best breeding bird worldwide. His bloodlines have given so many talented racing birds; she cannot think of another breeder that comes close. The most famous son of Aladin is probably Tips, and a full brother of Tips became the sire of NL07-1802146 Domela:

1st NPO Bourges 2009 8,579 p.
1st Mariembourg 2007 4,332 p.
3rd Moeskroen        2,620 p.
4th NPO Chateauroux  8,201 p.

Verdi, the current-best breeder

Verdi, a top breeder of Marijke Vink (Mookhoek,NL)

Verdi is probably the most important pigeon in Marijke's breeding loft. Verdi originates from the line of Aladin as well; his sire is a direct son of Aladin, and his dam is a daughter of Che (Hans & Evert-Jan Eijerkamp (Brummen, NL)). Click here for the full pedigree of Verdi. This is his impressive palmares:

 1st Orleans          1,276 pigeons
​ 1st Pommeroeul         783 pigeons
 1st Orleans          1,276 pigeons (and 4th NPO 10,660 pigeons)
 4th Chalons          2,486 pigeons
​ 5th Strombeek        4,036 pigeons
 8th Strombeek        4,103 pigeons
 9th Peronnne         3,331 pigeons
10th NPO Bourges      8,579 pigeons
29th NPO Chateauroux  7,355 pigeons

Gerard, top class racing bird

Gerard, a talented racing bird of Marijke Vink (Mookhoek, NL)

The current star of Marijke's racing team is another exponent of the amazing Aladin. This racing cock has been on a winning streak in recent years. The sire of Gerard is NL11-1722096 Second Aladin, which is a son of NL08-1522926 Verdi x NL05-1375996, and she is a daughter van Aladin. This makes Verdi a grandson of Aladin. The dam of Gerard is NL10-1666499 Sanne, and she is a daughter of Louis x Demelza (daughter Louis). Demelza was a great racing bird as well, having won a 3rd NPO Blois against 15,172 pigeons and a 4th NPO Orleans against 12,047 pigeons. Gerard has won the following prizes: 

 2nd Peronne 18,538 pigeons
 2nd Sens    14,517 pigeons
 5th Peronne  2,741 pigeons
 5th Bourges  2,329 pigeons
 9th Peronne  9,929 pigeons
10th Bourges  1,316 pigeons
17th Ruffec   4,133 pigeons

I think we can agree that Gerdard is quite an exceptional racing bird, and he has shown to be quite a talented breeder as well. Click here for the pedigree of Gerard.

Ready for the future

It is clear that a pigeon breed like that of Marijke will continue to breed talented racing birds. We are confident that another great champion will be born in this loft in the very near future. Good luck Marijke!