Van Wanroy Jef, "The Jef van Wanroy Strain"

I wonder did the late Jef van Wanroy before his death ever envisage the impact that the strain which he founded would ultimately make upon the long distant scene. For amongst the national and international winners throughout the world today the blood of the van Wanroy's mingle in quite a lot of their veins. Not alone the winners but the runner ups and other positions. At a personal level within a period of fifteen years Jef van Wanroy won "182" very good prizes out of about 242 nationals in Holland. Some of the latter included 1st and 7th St. Vincent; 3rd and 4th Pau; 2nd and 9th Dax; 1st, 4th, 21st, 24th Marseille and of course 1st and 3rd Barcelona. There were also many minor prizes and this was from a loft of no more than sixty pigeons.

Jef van Wanroy was involved with pigeons during his teen years but after leaving for a period he returned with a serious intent in 1946 at the age of 42. And to the village of Broekhuizenvorst he brought the best that he could purchase. From a local butcher name Steegs he bought pure Bricouxs and from his friend Dusarduyn he obtained some of the latter's best. He also bought birds from Fabry Sr. (of Liege) which included the latter's 'Hansenne stock'. In fact the traditional bronze of the van Wanroy's famous blacks derives from Fabry's famous 'Bronze'. Also another important addition to his stock was the famous '11' or the Hornstra hen which has definitely left its mark. Interestingly like other great strains their survival depended upon the the work of other fanciers who fell in love with the strain for after the death of van Wanroy which shocked the worlds racing pigeon fraternity there were a number of the latter which included Jan Hendrix, Anton Van Haaren and the father and son combination of Jo and Ben Hendrix. The latter combination won the international Barcelona classic with a van Wanroy strain bird. As for Jan Hendrix he was van Wanroy's fellow villager and friend and after the latter's death his sister in law offered Hendrix the whole colony of pigeons but due to limited space he refused. However he had earlier had obtained some of the van Wanroy strain and it has left its mark especially 'Westerhuis' and the 'Famous 90'. One of the most famous was the 'Kleine Donkere' who won the title of the best bird in Holland. This great specimen was sent to Barcelona (about 800 miles) 48 hours after flying from Orleans 350 miles and won 70th position in the national. Now owned by the Ponderosa Stud. Van Haaren purchased the best of the van Wanroy's including the famous '11' and this was a stroke of some magnitude for the new owner bred the best from them which included finishing fifteen times within the top twenty of national races. Van Haaren also crossed his van Wanroy's with Aarden and Van der Wegen bloodlines and this contributed to the belief that the van Wanroy's were purely of Aarden origins. When the latter fancier sold out the Jo and Ben Hendrix lofts obtained his stock and racers in 1974. Also Jo Hendrix was a very close friend of van Wanroy and knew his pigeons inside and out so to speak. Back in 1970 the father and son bought some outstanding representatives of the strain as squeakers, one of which was to be the grand dam of '271' which won the Barcelona International in 1980. There are many of the opinion that Ben Hendrix was the worthy successor of van Wanroy and the custodian of one of the best modern strains of the last and present century. The latter fancier has successfully crossed the van Wanroy's with the Janssen's and the Gommaar Verbruggen families and the offspring are excellent for races between three hundred and five hundred miles. That is one day races but of course the van Wanroy's are for the marathon races.

Yes he may not have envisaged it but the strain which Jef van Wanroy founded is world famous and all for the right reasons.