Mario Doornenbal’s dream - Didam (NL) ‘Chain results and winning first prizes’

A noticeable appearance in the pigeon sport over the last few years is without doubt the 44 year old Mario Doornenbal from Didam. He first appeared in the pigeon sport in 2000.

He formed a combination with Henk Kobesen, who has unfortunately died since then. Following his death everything was sold in 2008, with the exception of the youngsters. In 2005 Henk got together with pigeon friend Chris Peters. Since then they have raced with great success under the name Comb. Doornenbal & Peters.

Mario Doornenbal is a man, who when he starts something, wants to get the maximum out of it. It was the same in the pigeon sport circles and the now well-known company HABRU, which he has now sold. It is also the same with his current company Flux, a company for industrial pumps. And this applies in the same level to his manner of approaching the pigeon sport. Mario obtained the first pigeons from no-one less than Gerard Koopman. And once he had these pigeons in his loft he dreamt of chain results and winning first prizes. ‘How can I become as good as Gerard Koopman?’ flashed through his mind many times. In 2001 Mario did everything in his own way, but it was a shambles. Mario called in the help of Gerard Koopman who gave him all sorts of useful advice. And that worked, because in 2002  Mario became 6th General Champion from province 9 with the same pigeons. The best of the best from Gerard Koopman ( ca. 35 direct) and G. & S. Verkerk ( 10 direct) have moved to Didam over the last few years and Mario succeeded wonderfully with these pigeons, also in crossing. In addition pigeons came  from Alwin Petrie, Hans Eijerkamp and Sons and P. & G. Claes (B). It was quite remarkable that after the sale of the old pigeons in 2008 they raced superbly with the yearlings, with no less than five teletext publications in the extreme long distance. And this year, it is even better. What about these performances in the extreme middle distance:

3rd Championship 2009 extreme middle distance province 9
Up to date 9 teletext publications in 2009 and often marvellous series.

11th Pithiviers 9.012p. 504km
19th Orleans 8.813p. 540km
3rd Chateaudun 6.978p. 549km
5th, 8th, 10th Blois 3.107p. 595km
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th Bourges 6.545p. 603km

A few top pigeons:
NL 07-5706865 ‘Noah’. Granddaughter ‘Noble Blue’ from C. & G. Koopman. Was in 2008 3rd Ace pigeon Long Distance club East Netherlands. Raced in 2009 a.o. 5th NPO Blois against 3.107 p.  and 3rd NPO Bourges against 6.545 pigeons.

NL 07-1463706 ‘Sarai’. Raced in 2009 a.o. 2nd NPO Bourges against 6.545 p. and 19th NPO Orleans. Daughter of ‘Trudy’ raced in 2006 1st from Creil against 20.795 pigeons.

NL 07-1463704 ‘Chique’. Raced in 2009 a.o. 5th NPO Bourges against 6.545 pigeons. C. & G. Koopman x Alwin Petrie.

Course ‘Pigeon Academy’.
Booking such good results so quickly! How is it possible we hear you thinking. The answer is: practising the pigeon sport with a scientific approach.  To do this Mario, together with the German doctor Arnold , set up the ‘Pigeon Academy’. Together they developed a courses for pigeon fanciers, which they first gave in 2008. The first results are amazing. Not every student wants this known. An example why. Berth Knaven from Didam also followed this course. This year he has won a NPO race, had several teletext publications and is 1st Champion extreme middle distance province 9. And this student was so motivated that he also became a course leader in 2009.
Mario gave us a sneak preview of what the course involves: ‘In order to get the maximum out of a pigeon there are 40 action points that every pigeon fancier has to pay attention to. There are a lot of good lofts with great pigeons that don’t get the maximum out of their pigeons. The have completed 15 – 20 action points and that is not nearly enough. In the course of the ‘Pigeon Academy’ all 40 action points are dealt with. For example: in order to produce good youngsters a breeder has to be in top form.  Young pigeons need an enormous amount of energy to grow feathers, to grow in general and to perform. To deprive these youngsters of food would be fatal. A youngster thinks about food all day that’s why there has to be food available all day. You will see that the youngsters that are given more than enough to eat generally do better in difficult races and return home better. This is just a small example. Nobody is a graduate in practising the pigeon sport. Believe me, you have a lot to gain by following this course.
For more information about the course:

The care in Didam
‘In my opinion there are 4 very important items: training –feeding – learning to read the loft –quality of the pigeons. The feeding of the pigeons is very important. Feed is just like a pyramid. A lot of food – training a lot – more food – more training. We have developed a special mixture. It is called ‘P(igeon) A(cademy) Total’, which is put on the market by GPS. It is a real quality mixture, containing everything necessary, but in the right proportions. We feed them more than enough. Fresh food every morning and every evening. Whatever is left over is given to the other pigeons. During the racing season the pigeons are given a mixture of cheese and peanuts every evening. This also applies to the youngsters. We begin with the latter four weeks before the races. Further feeding supplements ( always naturally based) are given. Just like medicine.We try to limit medicine to a minimum.  Good and lengthy training plays an essential part in this system. The normal training is an hour twice. Towards an extreme middle distance race the training is extended to one and a half hours twice. For this they use the Pigeon Flyer, a tool which has been vey helpful to many fanciers. If there is a week’s rest between the races then we take the pigeons away ourselves. We race total widowhood with cocks and hens. Everything is basketted and the partners never remain at home. You have to keep them going. I hate it when the hens start pairing with each other. Our cocks win more prizes on average, but it is the hens that win the real top prizes. Double widowhood is an easy system. In my opinion it is a myth that the pigeons comes home quickly for theirs partners. I think that the pigeons comes home for the home comforts. I take care of the pigeons by myself during the season. Chris takes over when required and helps further where and when necessary. The health of the pigeons is very important. Paratyphoid is a disease that I think loiters in many lofts and seriously affects the performances. We were a victim of this in 2003. In the end doctor Gunther Arnold managed to solve the problem. That’s why the pigeons here are given a separate vaccination against paramixo and paratyphoid every year. The vaccination is followed by a week’s cure with Baytrill. After this treatment we have never had such a problem again. To prevent tricho we treat the pigeons two weeks before the start of the season with a tricho capsule from Belgica-de Weerd. During the season they are given B.S. from Belgica-de Weerd in the water for two days every fortnight. The indicator for the form here is: training well and a bath of the Sunday after each race’.

Mario Doornenbal is full of ideas regarding the organisation of the pigeon sport. In his opinion, a lot of things could be better and more importantlt, different. He hopes to make them public at a later stage. Just like numerous others, Mario is also very worried about the development of the pigeon sport over the last few years in our country. Our sport badly needs more people like Mario Doornenbal . Give this thinker and doer a stage. He has turned a dream into reality. Congratulations!