One of the leaders of the 2007 season was without doubt Pieter Veenstra from Drachtstercompagnie. This Fries superstar stood in the limelight every week from April till September. Magnificent results with plenty of top prizes and high prize percentages seemed to have become his trademark. And when the balance was made up at the end of the season it turned out that Peter had a number of pigeons in his loft that had performed superbly, that they are at the front in all the national and international classifications and had earned a number of national and international titles. On a cold morning in January we visited the Fries Drachtstercompagnie, where Pieter and Gea Veenstra live in a stunning house on the Skieding, together with their children Gerrit, Arjen and Hilde and their beautiful loft accommodation. The interview this morning is mainly about good pigeons and how to obtain them!
Basis forming of the loft Pieter Veenstra
After moving from Surhuizum to Drachtstercompagnie, pigeons were bought from C. & G. Koopman from Ermerveen in 1997. Children from the best pigeons from father and son Koopman, such as 'Kleine Dirk', 'Noble Blue' etc. went to Drachtstercompagnie to lay the basis for the current successful colony.
Another important addition was without doubt the Van Loon pigeons via Anton van der Veen from Drachten, especially the 'Superkweekster' (Super breeder). Further, two children out 'De Kannibaal' from Dirk van Dijck have also made their mark on the Veenstra colony. In particular the 'Diamond Lady', a full sister of the 'Golden Lady', ensured inspirational descendants. Other members of these pigeon's family were raced well, but according to Pieter it could be better. In order to achieve this he looked to the Long Distance from the national competition WHZB, wherefrom over the years a few came to Drachtstercompagnie and were inbred against the earlier mentioned basis pigeons. The most important examples of national Ace pigeons that were inbred with great success are the 'Terminator' 1st Ace pigeon Middle Distance WHZB from the Vijzelaar family from Lutjebroek and the 'Gladiator' 1st Ace pigeon Long Distance WHZB from the comb. Geerlings-van Duijn from Noordwijkerhout.
In 2007 Olympiad pigeon 'Brittney' from Gerard en Remco Schuiling came to Friesland, and the last surprising transfer is the wonder pigeon 'Onne' from Chr. Bouhuijzen Jr. from Harmelen.
One of the new stock cocks of the loft is 'Mr Blue', a son of 'Mister Surhuizum' ( son 'Noble Blue') x 'Superkweekster' Anton van der Veen. This extra top racer, wins including 1st and 3rd Ace pigeon WHZB, guaranteed excellent offspring, including the best racing cock in 2007!
NL 06-1953380 'Onne' from Chr. Bouhuijzen Jr. from Harmelen. This wizard has now been bought by Pieter Veenstra. Super yearling 'Onne' raced as yearling in 2007 4:4 in the Grand Distance, including three pure top prizes. Never shown before by a yearling in this distance. This made 'Onne' 1st Long Distance West European Nations Cup 2007 - 1st Ace pigeon Grand Distance 'The Best of The Best' 2007. 'Onne' has as father 'Olaf', who comes out 2nd Ace pigeon overnight from Jan Hage, Woerden ( pedigree P. van den Boogaard and Jan Theelen) x 'Femmie' ( pedigree Lazeroms/van Zelderen x Hardeman/Braakhuis).
The mother of 'Onne' is 'Maud' from Hans Ekeleschot. She comes out the 'Ruilduif' x 'Dolly', who has already raced Teletext twice in the overnight races.
NL 06-5624020 'Turbo Magic'
Won in 2007 the 1st National NPO Strombeek against 22.152 pigeons.
In 2007 this wonder on wings raced 1st Duffel against 15.489 pigeons and 3rd Pommeroeul against 24.949 pigeons!
The father of 'Turbo Magic' is 'Zoon Terminator'. He comes out stock cock 'Terminator', 1st Ace pigeon Long Distance
WHZB 1998 x the 'Superkweekster' from Anton van der Veen.
The mother of 'Turbo Magic' is 'Princess'', a direct C. & G. Koopman and a formidable breeding hen. She comes out the legendary super breeder 'Kleine Dirk' x BE 98-6411726, top breeding hen in the Koopman loft and a direct Louis van Loon. Here then an example of the successful crossing old basis Koopman and van der Veen x new addition 'Terminator'.
Input other top pigeons
According to Pieter, the finding and breeding of Middle Distance pigeons who can easily manage distances from 500 to more than 700 kilometres is extremely difficult. In his opinion there are only a very few pigeons who can handle these distances well under any circumstances. Firstly, the build of these pigeons has to be perfect. So a good body, but also the wing and the eye have to speak. Through the input of pigeons such as the 'Terminator', 'Gladiator' and hopefully now also 'Onne', the necessary hardness has been added in order to be able to race the tough Middle Distance races. There is namely overnight blood in all these three pigeons.
In the Veenstra loft the later successful Middle Distance pigeons nearly always excel in the tougher sprint- Short Middle Distance and youngster's races. In principle he always crosses with the 25 available breeding couples. Pieter wants to see direct results and doesn't have enough patience to wait for the breeding results of the second generation. This doesn't mean that he won't partake in inbreed coupling in the future.
The selecting in this top loft is of course very difficult. Youngsters that are allowed to remain have to feel good, come from a good background and have to have won a few good prizes. Old pigeons that perform really well are quickly transferred to the breeding loft. The ones that haven't won enough prizes are unrelentingly removed. For Pieter Veenstra the first spear point in the pigeon game are the NPO Middle Distance and youngster races. These are the races in which he would really like to excel. He doesn't look at the General Championship, but at winning large races and racing top prizes and large series. Pieter Veenstra is a real winner, he always aims for the highest. He can really enjoy a victory from 100 kilometres.
NL 05-5535809 'Prima Donna'
Was in 2007 Best National Ace pigeon Middle Distance NPO. Also 3rd Ace pigeon Long Distance West European Nations Cup the Netherlands - 4th Ace pigeon Long Distance West European Nations Cup Complete - 5th Ace pigeon One-day Long Distance Fond 'The Best of The Best' and has a chance in the WHZB. Last season she raced 16 prizes in the 17 times she was entered.
Her father is the NL 00-1090367 from Anton van der Veen, pedigree Louis van Loon. Out son 'Superkweker' Louis van Loon x NL 92-4233040, 75% Louis van Loon, 25% Delbar.
The mother of 'Prima Donna' is 'Shyni'. She comes out the 'Terminator' x 'Diamond Lady', a full sister of the 'Golden Lady'. 'Prima Donna' is an example of the successful crossing old basis x 'Terminator'.
NL 06-5624061 'Evita'. Was in 2007 1st Ace pigeon All-round West European Nations Cup the Netherlands - 1st Ace pigeon All-round West European Nations Cup Complete - 3rd Ace pigeon Yearling 'The Best of The Best' - 4th Ace pigeon Sprint/Short Middle Distance 'The Best of The Best' and has a chance in the W.H.Z.B. Last season she raced 16 prizes from the 16 times entered.
Her father is a grandson of 'Branco' and 'Kleine Dirk', so pure C. & G. Koopman.
The mother is a granddaughter of 'Superkweker' Anton van der Veen and again 'Kleine Dirk'.
A few super results in 2007
Duffel 255 km. 2.380 p. 2,5,6,7,8,9 etc.
Duffel 255 km. 28.726 p. 5,20,29,30,53 etc. 50/32
Menen 333 km. 2.261 p. 1,2,4,6,10,14,18 etc.
Menen 333 km. 26.380 p. 4,5,9,12,20 etc. 49/35
Pommeroeul 343 km. 2.213 p. 2,3,5,15,17,19,23 etc.
Pommeroeul 343 km. 24.949 p. 3,4,12,45,48,53 etc. 47/37
Offenburg 536 km. 9.371 p. 13,19,22,40,57 etc. 37/25
Meer 208 km. 2.497 p. 1,2,9,16,17,18,19,20 etc.
Meer 208 km 21.526 p. 8,11,28,41,42,45,46,47etc.132/105
Duffel 255 km. 1.977 p. 1,2,3,6,7,8,11,15,19 etc.
Duffel 255 km. 15.489 p. 1,2,14,24,25,26,31,37 etc. 97/68 NB.
This and that Pieter Veenstra, enormously supported by his wife Gea, who also takes care of all the pigeon administration, started the 2007 season with 30 racing couples old pigeons. This soon became 25, which were raced every week. The pigeons were given plenty of good food, which was also necessary for the rigorous daily training that they had to go through. He mainly trained the youngsters himself. They had to really be in shape otherwise the training was counter-productive. Tricho is the biggest enemy of the racing pigeon where health matters are concerned. The pigeons are therefore controlled nearly every week. The beautiful new loft has two floors. The top floor renders the best. The game from the ground floor is still too changeable because it is influenced by the weather. He is working on this.
The 2007 season was a very good year for Pieter and Gea Veenstra. The high ambition is to make 2008 a top year. We will know if they have succeeded in about six month's time!