The team was forced to move in October 2019, and Andre & Bert Leideman agreed to auction their entire racing team in October 2019 through PIPA. Their auction was a major success, which was not surprising. They decided not to sell their breeding team though, which is the backbone of one of the best all-round lofts in The Netherlands. As soon as they had finished building their new lofts, they had a new team of young birds trained and ready to go, even though the house was yet to be completed. On 21st of December their entire pigeon collection was moved over to their new accommodation, where they made a fresh start with their yearlings in 2020. About half of their yearlings were only basketed for the natour competition in the new loft, the other half were pigeons that had been raised in the old lofts, so they had to get accustomed to a new setting. Understandably, they copied quite a few things from their previous loft, since they had been really successful there. They continued to make small adjustments and the brothers have been very happy with the results so far. You can easily tell that the team of yearlings has been feeling very at home in their new surroundings in recent weeks, having already claimed three first places:
All race winners are closely related to the Goed Grijs bloodline. We will be taking a closer look at the different race winners but first of all let's put the Goed Grijs strain in the spotlight once again.
Goed Grijs was obtained in the spring of 2015 from two renowned sprint fanciers: the Van De Brande brothers (Berlaar, BE). They race in Quievrain and Noyon (100-200km) exclusively but Andre and Bert have shown that this breed can cover longer distances as well. Goed Grijs is a beautiful hen and a very strong finisher. The two brothers put it like this: "We have never had a pigeon with such a powerful finish. She almost looks like she is about to attack the loft, and not only after a race but after every weekly training flight. she always comes in with tremendous speed. She sort of reminds us of such iconic birds as Kleine Dirk, Geeloger or Kannibaal. They were renowned finishers as well!" This fantastic hen was raced for just two seasons, in which she won an impressive seven first prizes as a yearling and a two year old against 2,527 pigeons on average (check her picture for her palmares).
Right after she won a 1st NPO Laon (387km) with a five minute lead (not taking into account her teammates) in her second season of racing, Andre and Bert agreed to no longer race her. The two brothers had already talked about her talents as a racing bird but she would soon prove to be an invaluable breeder as well. And the longer she spends in the breeding loft, the more that they are getting to know her character. Andre told us an interesting story about this hen: "In 2018 Goed Grijs was paired to Patrick, and she was clearly keeping an eye on him. Patrick would often behave like a macho, chasing after the other hens and being very present at times. Sometimes he would stop brooding the eggs, to the annoyance of his female partner, which would then no longer want to be paired to him. Goed Grijs had a solution to this: she would give him a slap whenever he wanted to leave the eggs too soon. So he kept to his eggs. This pairing eventually bred Eva, the dam of the 619 (1st Blankenheim of 1,698 pigeons).
The three race winners
The team was victorious in Telgte (734 pigeons) on 23rd of May with NL19-1248792. This hen is a daughter of Son Crack 19 x Sister Goed Grijs.
On 30th of May a group of 17,538 pigeons were basketed for a race from Soest. The fastest pigeon on the so-called list of arrivals was NL19-1248793. This hen is a full sister of the aforementioned 792, which makes her a daughter of Son Crack 19 x Sister Goed Grijs.
Last weekend, the Netherlands were allowed to host pigeon races again, and province 10 released their pigeons from Blankenheim. The two brothers took the win in Rayon 7 over 239km, racing against 1,798 pigeons. Their winning bird was NL19-1248619. The dam of this 619 is Eva, and she is a daughter of Goed Grijs x Patrick, which we already talked about.
A breeding loft packed with talent
Over the past several years Bart and Andre relied on a group of breeders that are easily among the very best birds of their generation. And one of the leading names of this breeding loft is Goed Grijs. She, along with a handful of other very talented birds, is likely to help this team produce many more spectacular results in their new home. The three victories that we just mentioned are likely to be just a first taste of what we can expect over the course of this season.