Frank and Andre Spekking in front of a section of their lofts
The race from Limoges was postponed twice due to bad weather, and the pigeons were eventually released on Sunday 5th of June at 1:30pm. It was a tough race as expected, and in some areas the race closed only on Tuesday morning. Fortunately enough several pigeons eventually got back home on Tuesday, which means there were not too many losses. The first prize went to a three year old blue-band hen from the Spekking Brothers (Terborg, NL). The NL13-1913239 had a considerable lead over the second (100 mpm) and third (260 in the race), which makes it obvious that she covered quite a few kilometres at night time. This is rather unusual in these weather conditions (warm weather and a north-northeasterly wind). The Spekking brothers consist of the 48 year old Andre and the 49 year old Frank, and they got involved in the sport through a few colleagues of their father. Andre works for a concrete company, Frank works as a confectioner. The two brothers have a team of about 60 racing birds, and about one half of them are basketed for the marathon races. The other half focuses on the one day long distance. Their current generation of overnight racing birds are based on the bloodlines of Jelle Jellema (Nijverdal, NL), the Saya Brothers (Maastricht, NL), and Frank Zwiers (Breda, NL).
The winning hen competed in the one day long distance in 2014, including the closing race from Bergerac. She was a two years old hen back then, and she competed in the long distance races from Limoges (10th against 52 pigeons) and Bergerac (17th against 135 pigeons). Her nest pigeon, The 238, was also a hen and in 2015 she finished in 16th place in the national WHZB/TBOTB competition long distance.
Misty was basketed for the opening classic of the 2016 long distance season with a youngster of five days old, and she claimed victory in Province 9, as the fastest overall against 3,849 pigeons. She was clocked at 6:14am in a misty morning after covering 770km. It explains why Frank and Andre gave her the name Misty. The sire of Misty is a son of Stefanie (Saya x Jellema), and she in turn won a 1st National Cahors Sector 3 against 11,000 pigeons in 2010. The dam of Misty is a 100% Jellema pigeon originating from Lorenzo x Silvana. Click here for the full pedigree of Misty. Both Lorenzo and Silvana have won quite a number of top prizes both at national and NPO level. We take a look at their top 50 prizes at national level:
5th Nat. St.-Vincent '05 28th Nat. Bergerac '06 51st NPO Brive '04 26th Nat. Bergerac '06 26th NPO Ruffec '04 27th Nat. St.-Vincent '06
The race was won by two brothers who are very fond of pigeon racing. We let Frank and Andre talk about their favourite hobby: "We really enjoy being involved in the sport, it is a joint project for us. We are currently proud members of the CPL Sivolde Union. Our father is also closely involved in our pigeon family, as he takes care of the young birds during the day, when we are at work. What we like most about our sport is being able to spend time together basketing pigeons, and the excitement we feel when our pigeons are about to return home. We learned over the years that you have to obtain pigeons from hard working fanciers if you want to improve your game. You should also basket them as often as possible to gain experience. Many fanciers tend to get rid of their pigeons at the age of two but we think they will only start to reach peak fitness at that age." This was clearly illustrated by their racing hen Misty, which claimed an impressive victory in the opening race of 2016.
Remarkable results with Jellema pigeons
As you can tell from her pedigree, Misty originates mostly from Jellema bloodlines. She was not the only racing bird with Jellema origins in this race; in fact quite a few pigeons with similar origins have won a top prize: no less than 9 Jellema based pigeons finished in the op 20 in Province 9 (1,544 pigeons). We take a look at their results:
1st Spekking Brothers, Terborg (62% Jellema) 4th H. Leeftink, Nijverdal (100% Jellema) 6th W. Weerink, Wierden (25% Jellema) 7th B. Kastelein, Hengelo (75% Jellema) 9th B. Kastelein, Hengelo (25% Jellema) 10th J. Jellema, Nijverdal 11th J. Jellema, Nijverdal 15th J. Jellema, Nijverdal 17th W. Weerink, Wierden (50% Jellema)
In addition, the first prize in Province 10 (against 922 pigeons) was won by H. Jansen (Beerta) with a 50% Jellema pigeon.