Marijke Vink (Mookhoek, NL) still one of the leading names in The Netherlands with the help of the Koopman breed

Pigeon fancier Marijke Vink has been a household name in The Netherlands for several decades now. This pigeon family was founded already in 1988, with the help of Gerard Koopman. We are now 30 years later and the Koopman bloodlines, along with recent introductions of H. & E. Eijerkamp and L. Heremans, can still be found in the pedigrees of her current prize winners Second Aladin, Sanne, Gerard and others.

It was in 1989 when Marijke Vink decided to return to pigeon racing after a short break. Marijke and Henk had always been fond of the one day long distance, and this discipline was her main objective for her comeback. She met with Cornelis and Gerard Koopman a few times, and they gave her 22 eggs from their team of widowers. This investment enabled Marijke to become a nationally renowned player in no time, and today her pigeon loft is still home to numerous high quality pigeons. We will take you through Marijke's pigeon racing career, and we will be talking about the most important pigeons in her collection.

The start in 1989

The 22 eggs eventually hatched, and 20 excellent youngsters were born. Many fanciers would soon opt to breed new youngsters from them but Marijke decided not to. Instead she raced them in their year of birth, and they took some promising results:

St. Quentin    7,133 p.: 8, 14, 38, 47, 54 etc.
Etampes        3,332 p.: 8, 23, 38 etc.
Chantilly      4,197 p.: 3, 8, 9, 36, 40, 50 etc.

The team achieved better and better results in the following years, winning an increasing number of first prizes, including a 1st Pt. St. Maxence (1,883 p.), a 1st Peronne (5,939 p.) and a 1st Orleans (7,243 p.). Among her best racing birds at the time was Broekie, from the line of the world famous Beatrixdoffer. This pigeon won a 1st Nat. Orleans (17,335 p.), a 1st Roye (10,286 p.) and a 3rd Etampes (5,053 p.). The family moved to a different location in 1999, forcing them to get rid of their entire racing team. Their remaining breeding birds moved along with them to their new home in Klaaswaal, and they were quite valuable: the team made a remarkably successful new start in 1995 with a new team of youngsters, and they managed to win first prizes against thousands of pigeons in the following years. But the team moved a second time in 1999, now to their current location in Mookhoek. They made another fresh start in 2000 with just 16 remaining pigeons. They were again successful from day one, and Marijke continued to achieve great results in the following years, with the help of such renowned pigeons as Farah Diba, Tips, Aladin and Reza. Aladain (a son of Kleine Dirk NL98-5821416) proved particularly talented. Her success story was put to a sudden stop in late 2005, when she sold her entire pigeon collection except for 18 late youngsters.

Starting over in 2007

Marijke and Henk decided in 2007 to try and make a comeback. They had kept 18 youngsters for themselves, and so they still had a lot of potential in their collection. They strengthened their loft with a new bloodline, in the form of Louis, which they obtained in Gerard Koopman's auction. They also obtained a daughter of Ché through H & E Eijerkamp, as well as a few pigeons of Frans Lemmers (including several first prize winners), and most importantly a group of Heremans-Ceusters birds. These bloodlines were merged into a world class team of breeders, which was soon to breed its first top class descendants.

The team had a very successful couple of years right after their new start; here is a look at their best results of 2009 and 2010:

 1st Champion One Day Long Distance Province 5 South Holland 2009
 1st Champion One Day Long Distance Province 5 South Holland 2010
 1st NPO Peronne 2010       38,775 p.
 1st NPO Bourges 2009        8,579 p.
 3rd NPO Blois S2 2009      15,172 p.
 4th NPO Orleans 2010       10,660 p.
 4th NPO Creil 2010         29,208 p.
 4th NPO Orleans 2009       12,047 p.
 7th NPO St. Quentin 2010   22,459 p.
10th NPO Bourges 2010        8,597 p.

And here are some remarkable results in the one day long distance of recent years:

Blois       2,310 p.: 3-12-23-114-225-etc. (17/7) 
Vierzon     1,640 p.: 4-5-13-39-85-148-etc. (12/9)
Bourges     1,358 p.: 10-15-82-133-etc. (10/8)
Chateauroux   922 p.: 4-9-18-33-40-86-etc. (17/9)
Ruffec        777 p.: 3-5-8-10-14-15-16-20 (10/8)
Roye        1,904 p.: 7-28-29-43-69-101-etc. (10/14)
Bourges     1,395 p.: 19-26-50-53-103-125-etc. (9/16)
Argenton      799 p.: 6-11-15-50-72-etc. (6/8)

The champions of today

The pigeons of Gerard Koopman, obtained in 1988, form the backbone of this pigeon family. Team Vink did obtain just a handful of birds, but they were all highly talented. Think of such renowned birds as Aladin, Reza, Farah Diba and Tips, which have played a defining role in pigeon racing internationally for decades. We are now 30 years later, and these very bloodlines continue to deliver in Mookhoek. The current champions of this loft are Demelza, Louis, Second Aladin, Sanne, Verdi and last but not least Gerard. They all originate mainly from renowned Koopman bloodlines, combined with later introductions such as Heremans and Hans & Evert-Jan Eijerkamp. We take a closer look at the most important pigeons of team Vink today.

NL11-1722096 Second Aladin

Second Aladin is a son of the outstanding Verdi. Verdi won the following prizes in his racing career:

 4th NPO Orleans     10,660 p.
10th NPO Bourges      8,579 p.
29th NPO Chateauroux  7,355 p.
 1st Pommeroeul         783 p. (7 min lead)
 1st Orleans          1,276 p. (4 min lead)
 1st Chalons          1,398 p.
 4th Chalons          2,486 p.
 5th Strombeek        4,036 p.
 8th Strombeek        4,103 p.
 9th Peronne          3,331 p.

He did really well as a racing cock but he was in a league of his own in the breeding loft. He is the sire of top breeder Second Aladin and of many other successful racing birds. His youngsters have won the following prizes:

 1st Prov. Peronne 38,775 p.
 1st Pommeroeul     4,092 p.
 1st Strombeek      3,948 p.
 1st Peronne        1,139 p. 
 3rd Afd. Peronne  38,108 p. 
11th NPO Ruffec     4,133 p. 
24th NPO Argenton  10,432 p. 
32nd NPO Bourges    9,886 p. 
34th NPO Argenton   9,601 p. 

Verdi is a grandson of Aladin x Daughter Ché. The dam of Second Aladin is Gold from Aladin, and she comes from top breeder Aladin x Last Lady. Click here for the full pedigree of Second Aladin. Second Aladin is the sire of Gerard, which has become one of the leading names in the lofts of Marijke and Henk in recent years. Gerard and his dam Sanne will be introduced below.

NL10-1666499 Sanne

As we said, Sanne is the dam of Gerard.The sire of Sanne is another breeder that played an important role for the current generation of racing birds, and his name is Louis. He is the sire of Sanne, and of the following prize winners:

Little Louis    : 1st Bourges       551 p.
                  2nd Pommeroeul  4,092 p.
                  7th Nivelles    4,569 p.
                  9th Chateaudun  1,303 p.
Pim             : 1st Nanteuil    4,373 p.
                  1st Nivelles    1,072 p.
                  2nf Peronne     1,094 p.
Kleine Diba     : 1st Ablis       2,292 p.
Valerie         : 1st Pommeroeul  1,145 p.
                  4th NPO Creil  29,208 p.
Louigie (Moeder): 1st Bourges     1,764 p. (10th NPO 13,490 p.)

The dam of Sanne is Demelza, and she is also a daughter of Louis. Click here for Sanne's pedigree. Demelza won a 3rd NPO Blois (15,172 p.) and a 4th NPO Orleans (12,047 p.). She bred top breeder Sanne, as well as the following prize winners:

 1st Prov. Peronne 38,775 p.
 1st Pommeroeul     4,092 p. 
 1st Strombeek      3,948 p. 
 1st Peronne        1,139 p. 
 3rd Afd. Peronne  38,108 p. 
11th NPO Ruffec     4,133 p. 
24th NPO Argenton  10,432 p. 
32nd NPO Bourges    9,886 p. 
34th NPO Argenton   9,601 p. 

NL12-1597920 Gerard

Gerard, a son of Second Aladin and Sanne, is another example of the exceptional breeding value of the Koopman pigeons over the past few decades. Click here for his impressive pedigree. These are Gerard's most important achievements: 

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

Gerard has quite a palmares; he is clearly one of the new stars of the Aladin bloodline. You can take a closer look at the renowned Aladin bloodline here.

Remarkable number of pigeons with LDHA-AA gentope

Bijzonder hoge score van duiven met het LDHA-AA genotype

Marijke Vink is one of those fanciers who had her pigeons checked for the LDHA gene. Before taking a closer look at the results of this study, we let veterinary surgeon Ruben Lanckriet briefly explain what the LDHA gene is all about: "LDHA is the gene that contains the code for lactate dehydrogenase, an enzyme that produces and recycles lactic acid in the muscles. The gene’s A variant has been found much more often in top class pigeons than in birds of average quality, often in the form of genotype A/B. Most pigeons carry the B/B genotype. Pigeons carrying the A variant are believed to have the ability to maintain a certain speed for much longer without their muscles getting sore (due to less or no lacate buildup). This might explain why this gene is found mainly in pigeons that have achieved outstanding results against thousands of pigeons in races that last at least several hours; e.g. races of 300 to 900 km (or even longer). The LDHA A/A genotype is very rare, and it is said to indicate exceptional breeding potential. The homozygote A/A is very rare even in the world's best pigeons (about 5%)." This sums up this brief summary by vet Ruben Lanckriet. The results of the study in the lofts of Marijke are surprising, or perhaps not that surprising at all: no less than seven pigeons were found carrying the AA gene and an additional 20 pigeons were found to have the AB gene! This is truly exceptional, if you take into account that on average less than 1% of pigeons has the AA gene and about 10% has the BB gene. Second Aladin, Sanne and Gerard all carry the LDHA-AB genotype. We end this article with a son of Gerard, which carries none other than the LDHA-AA genotype.

NL17-1261473 (son Gerard)