Kuypers Hendry, "Red-White-Blue wins national Marseille Belgium"

Hendry with wife and one of the four children: son Sander – pigeon fancier with future

Introduction 7 years ago there was a young man that moved from the Netherlands Someren-Eind with his family to the Limburg provincial town Maasmechelen.
Hendry Kuypers knows the region very well. Since years he goes from Someren-Eind to Maasmechelen to do his job in the slaughter. It started as a company, but it grow out to a multinational. Working long hours makes practicing pigeon sports more difficult. Maasmechelen, a city near the Maas, is a place where pigeon sports has been active for quite a few decades. It’s the place where Hendry decided to go and live with his family, and off course with the pigeons! ‘Not without the pigeons’ ‘I grew up with pigeon sports…’ In Someren-Eind we lived in a street with 4 pigeon fanciers. On one side the family Van Doorn’s and Martien van den Eijnde, better known as the combination van de Eijnde-Bernards and on the other side Lei van den Eijnde. They were omni-present.

Parents ‘Sander’ special together

In 1998 the pigeons moved from Someren-Eind to new pigeon holes in Maasmechelen. The pigeons had to get used to their new home, the fear of every pigeon fancier! Hendry wanted to make sure he didn’t miss any flights, so he started to learn the pigeons to get used to their new home immediately.
‘ I wanted to participate to the flights as soon as possible!’
Immediately after we moved I started! It was easier then expected! Only a few times I had to go back and collect some pigeons.

Henry is sitting in his chair and continues his story: ‘you can imagine I wanted to participate to the long distance races as fast as I could.’
It was already April and 3 months later Barcelona was on the program. My colleagues were thinking: ‘Playing Barcelona with pigeons who still need to get used to their new home is impossible!’
The impossible happened! ‘4 out of 9 basket pigeons won a prize, to begin with the 306th National!’
Not bad, and the competition was warned, because of that moment the people of Limburg had to consider a strong Dutch contender!
The years that followed would show that his pigeons know what it is to achieve. Prizes on the nationals followed very quickly.
In 2002, they won the 2nd prize of the yearlings on the International Perpignan. The success story of Hendry was and is not over yet!
Again early national classifications in the seasons that followed and that was not differently in the season of 2005. On Montelimar 11 out of 22 pigeons won the 78th National against 10195 pigeons and 9 hens won, to start with the 8th, 18th and 21st National. Orange 9 out of 11, Barcelona 10th Provincial and 60th National…

Marseille: 1st National!
The dream of every pigeon fancier is to win a National, which will only become true for a few. There are only a few national competitions a year so your pigeons need to be in top condition to win one of them.
The flight contest on Marseille was Hendry’s turn to win!
Everybody was already wondering when it would happen, because of his good results of the last years.
It all happens, when you least expect it!
Realising you’ve won a national is a memorable moment.
“ Only a week after the achievement, I realised what ‘Sander’ achieved.
The winner of the National game Marseille is named to Hendry’s sun Sander, who started to get interest in pigeon sports and got his own cage to participate the pigeon flights. The blue pigeon that won has a lot of muscles, a beautiful eye and is little.
A wrestles pigeon that notices everything, a real wringer!
A lot was told already about this special pigeon, so I tried to get some other information in my conversation with Hendry. I asked him the following questions:

What are the strengths of your pigeons?
Hendry: ‘Actually it is very difficult to put that in one word: character, together with very soft feathers and strong muscles. That strong character is shown by their performance. Not only Marseille, but already from the start in 1998 and before in Someren-Eind. They don’t give up, but continue. A fact that is not in my dictionary and the pigeons learnt it from me. However they always come home from every flight! Trough the years I selected less on the constitution of the pigeon. It is not always the most important. I prefer a good blood line, with different good generations of pigeons, soft feathers and good muscles. The rest is no priority. I always say: ‘a beauty takes place on an exhibition, here they need to fly!’ Exhibition pigeons don’t perform and that’s what it’s all about!

Training a lot is that important during preparation?
The youngsters not always get a training, sometimes once, in there birth year. I don’t always have the time for it and don’t attach to much value to it. But 1 year old pigeons get a totally other training plan. Every week in the basket! Getting rhythm, 2 weeks before Barcelona or another long distance flight is very important. The yearlings need to do at least one long distance flight, Bordeaux, Perpignan, Marseille or Narbonne. This counts especially for my own strain, which I can assess better than other pigeons. These last ones sometimes go once more on a National. Before the pigeons start to the real work, they already flew Chateauroux (520 km) and Argenton (550 km). It is not important if they win. It is just a matter of training and coming home well.

There is a lot of inbreeding in the pedigree of ‘Sander’ what do you think about that?
Hendry: “Inbreeding is important. I attach a lot of value to it. If you want to keep a strong line, you will have to inbreed. I also crossbreed off course, but I always want to keep the basic line. The basic line consists of Kuijpers and Theelen-pigeons trough the brothers van Doorn of Someren but also directly form the men of Neer and Buggenum. In fact the pigeons of Kuijpers and Theelen are already inbreeded lines and those lines I bring back together. Everything is focused on Barcelona and this is how there are also other pigeons of other cages, but with winner’s blood of Barcelona. ‘Sander’ is related to the 2nd International Perpignan 2002. Also directly from the brothers van Doorn with Kuijpers-and Theelen lines. The mother of the strain couple of the brother van Doorn is the daughter of the 1st national Barcelona of Staf Dusarduijn.

Can you keep this up without penalty? Everything is related too narrow.
Hendry: ‘I don’t think so. I can still go trough with it a long time. It are in fact 3 different narrow related lines I couple twice with one generation in between. Then you create a lot of difference and possibilities to couple again later.’

Hendry: ‘I take pigeons from the same lines. Lines that also performed well. Often half of well-known lines and half of another line. I try to keep the same pigeon. You have to consider this during breeding. If you use other pigeons to much, you need to be careful. And important! You need to be sure of the new pigeons you get and use to couple. It has to be good from the start!

Important features
Hendry: ‘Pigeons tell a lot of there selves. A good pigeon takes care of itself. A good one is always ok. The basic health is primordial. The pigeon needs to be healthy by nature. From November till March, the pigeons get only food and water, are never liberated and are always very healthy! During the sports season I follow the system of the vets Norbert Peeters and Vincent Schroeder. I feel good with it, the same with tea the day before we basket the pigeons. The tea is in my opinion good for the mind of the pigeon fancier. Maybe it is supervision.

Hendry: ‘End of April, beginning of May, widow ship starts. This is normally 6 weeks before the long distance flight. The form comes usually between the 6th and 8th week. The basis has been formed in the first 6 weeks.
You need to avoid something is wrong with the pigeons, when they’re healthy, don’t give them anything!
During preparation the pigeons get Tspecial from the company Kreutzer. I use this already for years. It is biological and contains 72 herbs. So this should be good!

This 2 year old widower has written history for Hendry Kuypers!

A Dutch man who rules the Belgium long distance world with Dutch long distance blood!
This is not an easy task, but that this national victory didn’t come out of the blue, they proved already from the start of 1998. Achievements that every pigeon fancier dreams of, but which contains a lot of work, time and good pigeons!