Pieter owns a building company and is also a passionate pigeon fancier, in which he is assisted by his charming wife Gea. In addition to pigeons, horses also play a very important role in her life. The oldest son, Gerrit, seems to be following in his mother’s footsteps. As debutant he achieved no less than 13 first prizes this year with his pony. His dream is to become a: ‘professional rider’!
The purpose of our visit is of course, the pigeons. Gea and Pieter Veenstra have belonged to the best fanciers in our country for years. In the difficult 2009 season, where others sometimes had to take a step back, the pigeons, namely the old birds, from Gea and Pieter performed sublimely. ‘The best season from the past few years’ says Gea and that is no lie when you see the following list:
Top 20 Nat.NPO Races 2009:
• 1st NPO Ablis 11.945 p. 597 Km
• 1st NPO Chateauroux 1.418 p. 772 Km
• 2nd NPO Pithiviers 8.510 p. 619 Km
• 3rd NPO Pithiviers 8.510 p. 619 Km
• 4th NPO Chateauroux 1.418 p. 772 Km
• 5th NPO Chateauroux 1.418 p. 772 Km
• 5th NPO Blois 6.926 p. 707 Km
• 6th NPO Ablis 11.945 p. 597 Km
• 7th NPO Ablis 11.945 p. 597 Km
• 7th NPO Chateauroux 1.418 p. 772 Km
• 8th NPO Ablis 11.945 p. 597 Km
• 8th NPO Chateauroux 1.418 p. 772 Km
• 9th NPO Ablis 11.945 p. 597 Km
• 9th NPO Chateauroux 1.418 p. 772 Km
• 10th NPO Blois 6.926 p. 707 Km
• 11th NPO Blois 6.926 p. 707 Km
• 11th NPO Pithiviers 8.510 p. 619 Km
• 12th NPO Pithiviers 8.510 p. 619 Km
• 13th NPO Ablis 11.945 p. 597 Km
• 19th NPO Blois 6.926 p. 707 Km
• 19th NPO Chateauroux 1.418 p. 772 Km
• 20th NPO Chateauroux 1.418 p. 772 Km
Importance of good pigeons
Here in Drachtstercompagnie they like extreme middle distance and 1-day long distance races. In Pieter’s opinion, races where the wind has the least effect. The basis pigeons for these races come mainly from C. & G. Koopman, Ermerveen and Anton van der Veen, Drachten. Pieter, who is always on the look out for better pigeons, nearly always buys a few proven top pigeons every year, which are coupled with the best basis pigeons. Examples of these include the phenomenal ‘Golden Wing’ from Klaas de Boer out Rijpekerk (could have done well in the Olympiad in Ostende but unfortunately was not entered by the owner) – ‘Champ ‘49’ from M.A. van der Wal, Best Long Distance pigeon WHZB 2005 – Super pigeon ‘Onne’ 1st National Ace pigeon Grand Distance. The last purchases come from H. Stout, wherefrom the 1st (also 1st National Ace pigeon youngsters) and 2nd Ace pigeon youngsters and 1st Ace pigeon Sprint/Middle Distance National Competition ‘The Best of The Best’ 2008. This approach pays off because Gea and Pieter bred several top pigeons out the crossing old basis x bought topper.
Rolex: in 2009 the best cock in the loft of Gea and Pieter Veenstra. His best prizes are: 1st Isnes against 1.318 p. – 2nd Vilvoorde against 1.125 p. – 2nd Osnes against 1.958 p. – 2nd Hasselt against 1.386 p. – 4th Maaseik against 1.185 p. – 5th Achene against 1.630 p. – 6th Boxtel against 2.741 pigeons etc. Was in 2009 2nd National Ace pigeon Middle Distance and is one of the favourites in the various competitions so as Best Ace pigeon of the Netherlands 2009. ‘Rolex’ is a son of ‘Golden Wing’, the fantastic pointer that was bought by Pieter from Klaas de Boer in Rijpekerk. The mother of ‘Rolex’ is ‘Special Blue’, the best breeding hen of the loft Veenstra. She in turn is a daughter of the legendary ‘Mr. Blue’ x ‘Yzra’, a daughter of the ‘Kannibaal’ from Dirk van Dijck (B).
They are preferably coupled as late as possible. The season is long. That’s why it is important that the pigeons are given time to moult and rest after a long and often tough racing season. This year the coupling took place at the end of January 2009. A disadvantage is that the youngsters are on the late side, which influences the performances in this discipline. This year a start was made with 75 old racing pigeons. After a few weeks a few remain home for various reasons. The old birds are generally housed in the lofts in the top corner of the pigeon palace. There is a small hallway between two compartments for cocks and hens. A few racing pigeons were also raced from the garden loft. In the few weeks there is no showing. Both the cocks and the hens train twice per day. Training usually lasts for one to one and a half hours, but can also be two hours. The pigeons are always given plenty to eat, also in the moulting period. During this period they are only fed once a day. Pieter is very alert where the health of the pigeons is concerned. As far as he is concerned you can’t be careful enough. In addition to his own observations there is always a regular check up by the veterinary surgeon.
Seeing that these pigeons have to race a great number of kilometres every year (around 7.000 km. per year), they are generally only raced for two years. A few are allowed to race for three years. According to Pieter only a few old birds improve with age.
The NL 08-5818418 ‘Sissy’, the best hen from the last season with 19 prizes from the 19 baskettings, with app. 7.000 prize kilometres! The further away the distance the better she performed. She flew a.o. 1st NPO Ablis against 11.945 p. – 2nd NPO Pithiviers against 8.510 p. – 9th National NPO Chateauroux against 1.418 pigeons. ‘Sissy’ is a daughter of ‘Son Darryl’. This is a son of ‘Darryl’ (son of ‘Kleine Dirk’) x ‘Super Breeding Hen’ Anton van der Veen. The mother is ‘Daughter Champ 49’. A daughter of ‘The Champ 49’ from M.A. van der Wal ( Best Long Distance pigeon 2005 WHZB) x ‘Goed Laatje’ also from M.A. van der Wal.
First prizes in 2009:
- • 1st 11.945 p.
• 1st 7.890 p.
• 1st 6.506 p.
• 1st 2.740 p.
• 1st 2.261 p.
• 1st 2.604 p.
• 1st 2.386 p.
• 1st 2.103 p.
• 1st 1.630 p.
• 1st 1.418 p.
• 1st 1.318 p.
• 1st 1.125 p.
• 1st 614 p.
• 1st 518 p.
• 1st 302 p.
• 1st 272 p.
• 1st 206 p.
• 1st 103 p.
So 18 various first prizes against an average of 2.552 pigeons in 2009!
NL 08-2020821 ‘Dolce Vita’. A summer youngster from 2008, who performed magnificently in 2009 with 16 prizes from the 19 baskettings, including 3 first prizes. She won a.o. 1st National NPO Chateauroux against 1.418 p. (distance 772 km!) – 8th NPO Ablis against 11.945 p. – 1st Gennep against 7.890 p. – 1st Vilvoorde against 1.125 pigeons. Father is ‘Davinci’, a son of stock couple ‘Dirky’ x ‘Daughter Phoenix’. ‘Davinci’ self also raced a 1st NPO Ablis against 7.946 pigeons. Mother of ‘Dolce Vita’ is once again ‘Special Blue’, the best breeding hen of the Veenstra loft. She is a daughter of ‘Mr. Blue’ x ‘Yzra’, a daughter of ‘The Kannibaal’ from Dirk van Dijck (B).
Nice results in 2009:
• Heteren 11/04/09 135 km 75 entered 52 prizes
District 2.661 pigeons
1,2,6,7 4 pigeons in the top ten
• Boxtel 18/04/09 180 km 72 entered 61 prizes
District 2.741 pigeons
2,3,5,6,7,8,10,11,12 7 pigeons in the top ten
• Wavre 02/05/09 291 km 71 pigeons 47 prizes
District 2.604 pigeons
1,3,4,5,6 ,7 6 pigeons in the top ten.
• Ablis 23/05/09 597 km 53 entered 35 prizes
District 1.042 pigeons
1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,13,16,17 8 pigeons in the top ten
• Province Friesland’96 11.945 pigeons
NPO 1,2,6,7,8,9,11,13,19,23,45 6 pigeons in the top ten.
• Isnes 30/05/09 310 km 71 entered 59 prizes
District 1.958 pigeons
2,3,5,7,8,9,11,12,13,15,17,18,19,20,21 6 pigeons in the top ten.
• Achene 13/06/09 329 km 67 pigeons 51 prizes
District 1.630 pigeons
1,2,5,6,8,11 4 pigeons in the top ten
• Blois 20/06/09 707 km 42 pigeons 22 prizes
District 614 pigeons
NPO 6926 pigeons 5,10,11,19,
• Pithiviers 04/07/09 619 km 44 pigeons 28 prizes
District 757 Pigeons
1,2,4,5,7,10,11 6 prizes in the top ten
NPO 8510 pigeons 2,3,11,12,41,69,72 33 prizes
• Chateauroux 18/07/09 772 km 31 entered 28 prizes
National NPO 1418 pigeons 1,4,5,7,8,9,19,20 ..
• Boxtel 05/09/09 180 km 114 entered 88 prizes
District 6.506 pigeons
1,2,3,4,6,10,12,13,14,17,22,23 6 prizes in the top ten
However, there are still one or two things to be improved. Normally the youngsters also race extremely well. It wasn’t the case this year. Pieter states: ‘Partly through work pressures, I wasn’t able to do two things at once this season. It was just too much. Also, some of the youngsters resided in a newly built extension to the garden loft, which they didn’t want to live in because of the smell of the new wood. Good lofts are very important. We experimented for a long time with the big new loft upstairs, before the pigeons started performing well from there’.
There are trying times ahead for Pieter and his family. He has had back problems for years. He will soon be operated on in Nijmegen. We wish you good luck and a speedy recovery!