Gea and Pieter Veenstra - Drachtstercompagnie (NL)

It must feel good as a fancier when you are the owner of a pigeon that has literally raised the roof in 2009. A pigeon that you can blindly trust when basketting. Always looking good, never sick and which often flies out first for her training.

1st Ace pigeon National 1-day Long Distance 2009
 A pigeon that stands out? No. But one with power, perseverance and a great deal of character! Not big, but an athletic body, when you hold her you feel a bundle of life and muscle. When you look at her head the bright colourful eyes appeal to the knower. This short description was made as a result of visiting Gea and Pieter Veenstra. The direct reason is of course the special performance of their super hen ,,Sissy” the NL- 08-5818418. In 2009 she raced as a Queen in a majestic manner through the skies of France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and was the best of the Netherlands in the grand middle distance races and that at the highest level. It was no surprise to Gea and Pieter. They had a great deal of Faith in Sissy from the start. As a youngster she showed what she was capable of, not only by winning nine prizes in her birth year in the races for the youngsters and in the late races, but these included a few real top results. And that is now precisely the characteristics of quality. As a yearling, Sissy was given a place in the racing loft and was allowed to show her qualities as a widow hen. She was basketted nineteen times, and she then raced nineteen prizes, including many top prizes against thousands of pigeons. The pigeons by Gea and Pieter have a good life, are given plenty to eat and train twice a day for one and a half hours. They are not darkened, lighting is however used. They have everything they need in the lofts and the pigeons pick at what they need. A compulsive supplement is the animal protein in powder form. Available everywhere in pet stores. Yes, a good boarding house there in Drachtstercompagnie we noticed. Perfectly clean, dry, dust and draught free lofts are a must for Gea and Pieter. And for everybody is it not? The ancient widowhood game is raced here. The hens are always shown for about an hour. At the last minute, just before they are basketted, the brooding lofts are opened up. When the majority of pigeons are lying together in the dish then they go to the club with confidence. Every week about ten pigeons remain home. The rest is basketted weekly for the sprint, middle distance, grand middle distance and the late races. If the pigeons do well and are of the right quality then they can rely on a permanent place in the super colony of the Veenstra’s. Sissy, our main character, breeds excellently and only once had a problem, from which she had a wound to her flight. Sissy was also bred from pigeons of various origin. On father’s side the old basis lines so as Darryl and the super breeding hen 643 also mother Mr. Blue from Gea and Pieter, on mother’s side  the successful input of the Champ 49 (inbreed) via M.A. van der Wal.

A tough lesson.
The pigeons reside in beautiful lofts, in which everything has been done to ensure an optimal climate. The care is perfect in every way. The pigeons need for nothing. For this, something is expected of them, namely achievements. Just like the old birds, they have to train twice a day for one and a half hours. In the beginning it is sometimes difficult and they have to be chased into the air. Sometimes Gea and Pieter are assisted by the hawk and quite often the brooding swallows chase the pigeons into the air. The youngsters are trained early. Only a few kilometres to start with, and this is slowly increased. After being taken away a few times the stress for the basket has vanished. They are basketted from the first programme race, and this weekly. Then the whole bunch is entered for the late races. The old birds also race the sprint, middle distance, grand middle distance and the late races. Except a few exceptions they are also basketted every week. Pigeons with 16 or more prizes are more the rule than the exception.
It is clear that the pigeons who achieve this use up a lot of energy. That’s why there is always food available for them, food of good quality with a lot of variation. As an extra supplement they are given a powder high in animal protein. This enables the pigeons to be able to perform well. The achievement of the 9th place in the long distance was achieved by:
2007   2nd Grand middle distance   Cat 8.
2008 16th Grand middle distance   Cat. 8
2009    1st Grand middle distance   cat. 8.

Winner Category 8 1-day Long Distance 2009
Today, visiting Drachtstercompagnie, a small place along the Drachtster Compagnons in the borough Grandingerland. A place that made a lot of money with peat extraction in the 16th and 17th century. Later the extended plains were used as pastures by cattle breeders. This was also a visit to Pieter and Gea Veenstra. And once again because of excellent performances achieved with their pigeons in 2009. On the border between Groningen and Friesland, at the location of the old Grenshoeve, Pieter and Gea have built up an imperia of the modern pigeon sport, the like of which has never been known before. The 42 year old entrepreneur Pieter has been sold on the pigeon sport since he was 10 years old. Perfectionist as he is, the pigeon sport was also a challenge for him to shine in this hobby. An unbridled commitment and the willingness to put in long days were certainly facets that helped him in realising his hunger for success en achievements. His business instinct was also helpful to him in the pigeon sport. Everything hinges on quality. That is essential.  Large sacrifices were made at the beginning, yet despite this he was convinced that his investments would pay off and everything would come up to his expectations. The biggest investment was made ten years ago by C. and G. Koopman. Pieter is very successful with the direct descendants of Kleine Dirk, his Dirky and Darryl turned out to be invaluable in their breeding loft. Many national top pigeons carry the blood of these basis pigeons. These basis pigeons are often crossed with totally different top pigeons including ace pigeons from the W.H.Z.B competition and national ace pigeons that Pieter has bought. If he knows that there is a real topper somewhere then his interest is awoken and he wants to breed from it. Very high expectations are placed in the pigeons that he introduces into his sock. Before a purchase takes place the conditions, the opponents, the area and such things are taken into account. The pigeon also has to have achieved several good performances in distances that are similar to his. Don’t forget, he says, that here in Friesland grand middle distance races are held which are similar in distance to the short overnight long distance races in the provinces in the south.

Strong together
It is not at all easy for Pieter and Gea to keep their sport on track. Think of all the work that being an entrepreneur brings, so as administration and such like. The three small Veenstraatjes: Gerrit, Aant-Arjen and Hilde also demand attention. And quite a bit as well! Pieter has someone to help him with cleaning out the pigeons every morning. A couple of youthful fanciers also help where and when they can. It is further left to Gea, who intervenes first when a race hasn’t gone so well. She has the droppings and the pigeons examined by veterinary surgeon Nanne Wolff. He is sometimes busy until deep in the night. If, once in a while, there is a light tricho infection then in the evening, or if necessary,  during the night the pigeons are given a tablet. You could say that they are busy with their pigeons day and night. They are then rewarded for it!

With these fabulous results in the grand middle distance 2009 they won the first championship in category 8.

Ablis 23/05/09 597 km  53 pigeons, 35 prizes

District 1042 pigeons
1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,13,16,17  8 pigeons top ten
N.P.O. Nat.  11945 pigeons 37 prizes
1,2,6,7,8,9,11,13,19,23,45  6 pigeons top ten.
Châteaudun  08/06/09  658 km  55 pigeons, 27 prizes

District 760 pigeons
N.P.O Nat. 8875 pigeons 32,47,98
Blois  20/06/09  707 km  42 pigeons, 22 prizes

District 614 pigeons
N.P.O. Nat. 6926 pigeons  5,10,11,19  ..
Pithiviers 04/07/09 619  km  44 pigeons, 28 prizes

District 757 pigeons
N.P.O. Nat.  8510 pigeons 2,3,11,12,41,69,72   33 prizes, 2 pigeons top ten.

Châteauroux 18/07/09  772 km  31 pigeons, 28 prizes
N.P.O. Nat.  1418 pigeons  1,4,5,7,8,9,19,20   6  pigeons top ten 

Historiy winner category 85 and >
1- 1000.0    4- 991.3    5- 988.3    7- 982.5    8- 979.6    9- 976.7    19- 947.5    20- 944.6    30- 915.5    31- 912.5    42- 880.5    55- 842.6    57- 836.7    82- 763.8    83- 760.9    88- 746.4     96- 723.0    97- 720.1    100- 711.4    118- 658.9    136- 606.4    183- 469.4    199- 422.7    244- 291.5
264- 233.2    313- 90.4    330- 40.8
La Ferté
28- 991.9    59- 982.6    68- 979.9    100- 970.3    108- 967.9    133- 960.5    155- 953.9    162- 951.8    188- 944.0    228- 932.0    242- 927.8    243- 927.5    244- 927.2    309- 907.7    426- 872.7    438- 869.1    470- 859.5    478- 857.1    502- 849.9    635- 810.1    883- 735.8    887- 734.6    1204- 639.6    1289- 614.1    1493- 553.0    1552- 535.4    1586- 525.2    1873- 439.2    1899- 431.4    1903- 430.2    1927- 423.0    2135- 360.7    2910- 128.5    2927- 123.4    3169- 50.9
1- 1000.0    2- 999.7    6- 998.3    7- 998.0    8- 997.7    9- 997.3    11- 996.7    13- 996.0     19- 994.0    23- 992.6    34- 989.0    41- 986.6    95- 968.5    118- 960.8    140- 953.5    153- 949.1     194- 935.4    207- 931.0    217- 927.7    367- 877.5    369- 876.8    411- 862.7    488- 837.0    629- 789.8
929- 689.3    943- 684.6    1218- 592.6    1225- 590.2    1313- 560.8    1426- 522.9    1824- 389.7    1920- 357.6     1956- 345.5    2176- 271.9    2449- 180.5    2783- 68.6    2922- 22.1
5- 997.7    10- 994.8    11- 994.2    19- 989.6    42- 976.3    61- 965.4    62- 964.8    141- 919.2     347- 800.2    366- 789.3    378- 782.3    540- 688.8    616- 644.9    617- 644.3    695- 599.3    707- 592.4    774- 553.7    823- 525.4    873- 496.5    962- 445.1    1003- 421.5    1098- 366.6    1515- 125.9    1614- 68.7

9th Intermediate position/Total classification 2007-2009

To end as 9th in the National Long Distance over three years, you have to know what you are doing. Many of us can shine for one year, but it is very difficult to keep up the performances. To achieve top performances every year is only reserved for a few fanciers. One of these top fanciers is Pieter Veenstra, and not forgetting Gea Veenstra. A duo that has had an authorative role at the top of the Dutch pigeon sport for years. Without any fear, you could call them the sensation of the 21st century. They have scored excellently in nearly all the facets of our sport. The grand distance is the only facet in which they haven’t excelled. They only participated once with one pigeon which arrived home a few hours too late. It is doubtful as to whether there will be any change here in the future. Although it has to be said that Gea sometimes fantasises about a great performance in a grand distance overnight race. At present the grand middle distance is their show piece. In the province Friesland grand middle distance races were organised from say 500 to 750 km. It is clear that only the strongest pigeons can take part. If there is a head wind then it is especially difficult. Pieter and Gea’s preference is for the races where the velocity of the pigeons lies between the 1000 and 1200 mtr. p.m. For the last four years they have concentrated on breeding pigeons that can take on the grand middle distance. For this, reinforcements were bought in the form of national ace pigeons and pigeons that showed their authority in the W.H.Z.B competition. Toppers so as: Terminator from the Fam Vijselaar,  Spartacus son Gladiator from Geerlings v. Duin, Golden Wing from Klaas de Boer, and a few late pigeons from M.A. v.d. Wal out his Champ 49. These super pigeons were coupled with the basis pigeons of Gea and Pieter. A few of these toppers have turned out to be super breeding pigeons, so as: Mr. Blue, Special Blue, Davinci, Turbo Magic, Dirky, Darryl and others. The results give hope for the future. Toppers have also been produced from these crossings. “Sissy’’, the Queen of the grand middle distance is a perfect example. With great skill, knowledge and devotion, a stock of pigeons was formed here on the Grenshoeve that was unprecedented.