Dik van de Berg and Son in Tuk
Thé race of the year –St. Vincent– took place last weekend and it turned out to be a race with an exceptional degree of difficulty. To speak in cyclist terms: it was an off category race. The pigeons were released on Friday at 1:00 PM, the weather was warm and there was an east wind. The weather would slightly change along the way but when the first pigeons kept everyone waiting on Saturday, the fanciers in the north of the country knew enough. It would be an extremely tough race for those who had to cover distances of 1.150 kilometres and more. And it was indeed a heavy race although it was already clear on Sunday evening who’d win the national prizes. The palm was carried off by a very well-known man in long distance racing: the 63-year-old Dik van de Berg who lives in the charming village Tuk that is located a stone’s throw from the town of Steenwijk. Dik van de Berg is playing in the name of Dik van de Berg and Son. He clocked his multicoloured hen NL 00-4207849 called ‘Lady Bergerac’ that covered a distance of 1.155,064 metres at 2:34:11 PM.
She is one of the fastest pigeons of the competition in sectors 2, 3 and 4 with a speed of over 997 metres per minute. This super crack put up a tremendous performance. She also won the 6th National Bergerac in Sector IV in 2003 and she’s the mother of the 1st National Dax in Sector 3 in 2005 as well. You really have to turn every stone to find pigeons like that! On Monday afternoon, when the hectic time has passed, we talk about yet another big success this expert has achieved. Dik also managed to record an exceptionally good series in this difficult classic. A new jewel in his crown!
Impressive performances in extreme long distance racing
With respect to programme racing, Dik was one of the best of The Netherlands until 1998. Then, he decided to sell everything and started over with new pigeons that were suitable for tougher work. He purchased 47 young pigeons at Jan Theelen’s in 1997 and obtained about 60 eggs, that were hatched by Dik’s pigeons, from the Frenken Bros. in Weert. This is the foundation that provided all the successes up until now. Dik’s pigeons not only perform excellently in overnight-races but he has also achieved brilliant successes at the ‘Fondunie 2000’ (Long Distance Club 2000) in the ZLU races (a ZLU race is organised by the South Limburg Union). To avoid having too many pigeons in his loft, Dik said an early goodbye to part of his new acquisitions. Looking back he admits that he might have taken this decision too quickly. Already in 2000, Dik obtained his first big success in extreme long distance racing –his new passion– in sector IV of Bergerac. Afterwards, he put up excellent performances every year, got a lot of teletext mentions and nice placings in a list of rankings (drafted by a Dutch magazine) called ‘Fondspiegel’. This year, he is racing 21 old racing couples on total widowhood.
Apart from them, he’s also racing 29 yearlings that were trained very strictly in 2005. These yearlings are racing speed and middle distance races every week. Their final race in September is Limoges. The pigeons that come home can stay. A pretty remarkable fact is that the young pigeons and the yearlings never receive any medication apart from a paramyxo vaccination. If they don’t learn how to survive in such an environment, they’re history! When the two-year-old pigeons are on eggs for the first time, they receive a cure against canker. This cure is repeated once more in autumn. Dik uses yellow and red cards.
A pigeon that looks fat and has bad droppings gets a plastic ring: a first yellow card. If the bird has misfortune for a second time it gets a red card or in other words: its career in over! As far as strain building is concerned Dik only applies distant family breeding. That’s how Dik succeeded in building up a strong strain of pigeons, capable of covering enormous distances (900 + 1.300 kilometres). The birds get a filled feed box winter and summer. Dik is particularly pleased with the Wielink IJsselmuiden feed. He gives his pigeons Power Mix formulas 1, 2 and 3 during racing season. Furthermore, Dik likes simplicity, also with respect to accommodation and care. He doesn’t spend much time on his pigeons because he likes to do other things as well. Total widowhood therefore suits him best although he has also achieved excellent results by racing them on the nest.
‘ Lady Bergerac’, proud winner of St Vincent
Pigeon NL 00-42078849 or ‘Lady Bergerac’ was coupled on the 1st of April 2006. She raised a couple of youngsters and was separated just before she had to lay. She was raced as from the very first race in May. In her year of birth, ‘Lady Bergerac’ already obtained the 8th prize in the Boxtel race against more than 2.100 pigeons. Then, she obtained nice prizes in Ruffec, Limoges, Bergerac and the 6th National prize Bergerac in Sector IV as a highlight. ‘Lady Bergerac’ was raced only once in 2005: she flew an overnight race and achieved a regular prize.
In 2005, she proved that she had the capacity to transmit her excellent qualities to her offspring. The team of Haarlem-Freriks in Terborg achieved a 1st National Dax Sector 3 with a direct daughter of hers. Two weeks ago, ‘Lady Bergerac’ started as 25th of 491 pigeons at the basketing centre ‘Steenwijkerwold’ in the Limoges race (844 kilometres). Only two weeks later she achieves the 1st National St Vincent! Her descent looks like this:
Father: NL 99-4296402, ‘De Barcelona’. Achieved the 553rd International prize in the Barcelona race out of 26.928 pigeons and the 482nd International Prize in the Barcelona race out of 20.204 pigeons in 2003. He covered a distance of 1.312 kilometres.
Grandfather: NL 97-1928839, direct Jan Theelen. Descends from 92-977 of Hermans-Hoekstra (M. Biemans x P. van den Eijnden) x 93-052 of J. Hooymans, 100% Jan Theelen.
Grandmother: NL 97-1928844, direct Jan Theelen. Descends from 93-475, from the son of the famous ‘10’ x ‘125’ Kuypers Bros. and 93-455 from ‘het Laat Talent’ of J. Hooymans x ‘Het Koopje’ of Hermans Hoekstra.
Mother: NL 99-4296422, she participated in a race as a two-year-old and never returned.
Grandfather: NL 98-1994047, ‘De Havik’, an exceptionally gifted cock who –unfortunately- did not survive an attack by a hawk. He descended from to direct pigeons of Jan Theelen, a.o. from the strain of ‘Rode Renee’ x daughter of the famous ‘10’.
Grandmother: NL 98-1994031 was a direct of the Frenken Bros. in Weert. She never returned from the International Dax in 2002. This hen descended from the strain of ‘Turbo 106’ x ‘Nestzus ‘61’.
In the racing season, ‘Lady Bergerac’ trains twice a day with the flag. Whenever she isn’t training, she sits day and night in an aviary which is located at the back on top of the racing loft. She sits there whatever the weather. A flock of sheep is grazing in front of the run and they give off a pungent odour when it’s warm but the hens don’t seem to mind. In between two overnight-races, the pigeons are not taking part in other races but Dik does take them to Zwolle (approximately 30 kilometres) once a week. He didn’t notice anything special about her when he put her into the basket. When she returned, she weighed less but she wasn’t completely worn-out. The winner of St Vincent will not be raced again after her first-rate performance. Dik is going to try to have her raise some more good youngsters.
Limoges and St Vincent
Dik entered 39 pigeons for the tough Limoges race two weeks ago and obtained 20 prizes! This proves that the birds were in good shape. Five pigeons that had also raced Limoges were entered for St Vincent. He achieved four nice prizes and the fifth pigeon returned on Sunday morning.
9-6 Limoges, 844 km. 23-6 St. Vincent, 1.155 km.
NL 00-4207849 25th 491 p. (NIC) 1st 132 p. (NIC)
1st National Sector IV 1.308 p.
NL 04-4254286 11th 491 p. (NIC) 2nd 132 p. (NIC)
10th National Sector IV 1.308 d.
NL 04-4254273 3rd 491 p. (NIC) 11th 132 p. (NIC)
NL 02-4230915 67th 491 p. (NIC) 21st 132 p. (NIC)
NL 03-4244259 16th 491 p. (NIC) Sunday morning at 07:00 AM
Pigeon NL 04-4254286 obtained a 1st prize in the Limoges race against 109 p. and a 6th prize against 1.947 pigeons at the Long Distance Club 2000 (‘Fondunie 2000’) as a yearling. NL 04-4254273 obtained, also as a yearling, a 2nd in Limoges against 102 pigeons. Both of these pigeons achieved three nice prizes each in three consecutive nights. Real super talents!