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Hok Jos Vercammen (Vremde, BE) was unparalleled in 2018

Hok Jos Vercammen has been a household name in pigeon racing for quite a number of years now; they have a national and international reputation thanks to their many great results. But their results of 2018 are really something else, even for team Vercammen.

Few lofts have managed to deliver in both the shorter middle distance, the longer middle distance and the long distance, since combining speed and stamina is really not that easy. Hok Jos Vercammen is one of just a few teams that has been able to create a pigeon breed that can deliver in races from 200km all the way up to 750km, no matter the conditions. Anyone familiar with the Vercammen pigeon or any fanciers lucky enough to have seen one, will probably agree that this has become a highly successful and instantly recognizable pigeon breed, which is the result of Jos and Lars's many years of hard work and selection. They occasionally have a slightly larger or smaller bird in this team but other than that, both the breeding and racing team from Vremde is very recognisable indeed.

And that is not really a surprise, if you look at the sheer talent that stock breeder Elektro has bred over the years. It is no coincidence that many of Jos and Lars's best racing and breeding birds are related to this top class breeder; think of his youngsters Elektro Lady 67, Samsung, Armani Elektro and Elektro Junior, or his grandsons Mustang and Olympic Elektro, just to name a few.

Elektro was still fertile at the start of the 2018 breeding season but he failed to fertilize eggs towards the end of the year. "We are afraid that his breeding career will be pretty much over. We will no longer be selling direct youngsters of Elektro", Lars explains. But there are plenty of highly talented youngsters of Elektro ready to follow in his footsteps!

A well defined strategy

Jos and Lars Vercammen have a well defined strategy for their breeding loft, and the same goes for their racing loft as well. The young birds and yearlings are put to the test from day one, starting with the race from Noyon, 208km away. And Jos and Lars have come across some talented newcomers on a regular basis, think for instance of Iron Man, who would became Jos's new favourite very early on - click here to read all about him.

The young birds and yearlings for the middle distance have to work hard as well. Their origins do not matter all that much, they simply have to prove themselves. All they have to do is get results in the races, after which there is a tough but fair selection round. The fanciers from Vremde surprised us by saying: "We rarely ever basket our best young birds for the national races. Our strongest birds continue racing in the middle distance", the fanciers agree. Iron Man, the team's latest sensation which we will talk about later on, is a clear example of this strategy. He had to work hard as a young bird but he was never basketed for a national race. "But who knows what the future holds. If races from La souterraine or Guéret would be added to the young birds' competition again, we might change our minds. These races are better suited to gauge your birds than the national races that are 100-120km shorter. The field is much more spread out", Lars adds.

Elektro (BE08-6174630): a top breeder that lights up the entire breed

The number of youngsters and grandchildren of Elekto that have delivered great results in Vremde and in other lofts across the globe, are hard to keep track of. We have tried anyway, and we selected a few pigeons that have really left their mark on both the racing and breeding lofts of Vercammen. 

Elektro Junior (BE16-6032012)

One of Elektor's most successful sons is Elektro Junior: 5th Nat. Ace Pigeon middle distance KBDB and 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon middle distance yearlings! What makes this pigeon so special, is that he was victorious in a variety of conditions: fast races, slow-paced flights, great weather, adverse conditions. It did not really matter to him. He went on to win the following prizes:

1st Chevrainvilliers 480 p.
1st Chevrainvilliers 418 p.
1st Noyon 278 p.
2nd Quiévrain 534 p.
3rd Chevrainvilliers 736 p.

Elektro Junior had everything he needed to become an Olympiad pigeon but Jos and Lars decided to transfer him to the breeding loft instead. This was undeniably a great move, if you look at the achievements of his youngsters this season::

213-18

1st fastest Melun 2,855 p.
1st Melun 439 p.
8th Chevrain 454 p.
14th Melun 540 p.

089-18:

2nd fastest Melun 1,100 p.

330-18:

3rd Melun 434 p. (behind 2 loft mates)

088-18:

5th Melun 650 p.
6th Melun 540 p.

279-18:

7th Chevrain 848 p.

126-18:

245th National Chateauroux 12,855 p.

125-18:

8th Melun 540 p.

013-18:

14th Pont 957 p.
21st Melun 650 p.

Click here for the pedigree of Elektro Junior.

Samsung (BE15-6026082)

This fantastic cock won several top prizes over the course of his racing career, and he proved just as valuable in the breeding loft.

Samsung won:

- 1st fastest Souppes 9294 p.
- 1st Souppes 1595 p.
- 1st Souppes 133 p.
- 20th Nat. Argenton 4582 p.
- 70th Nat. zone Bourges 3024 p.

Despite his young age, he is already the sire of the following prize winners:

124-18:

2nd Melun 650 p. (after a loft mate)
3rd fastest Melun 2855 p.
3rd Melun 439 p. (after 2 loft mates)

160-17:

1st Ecouen 851 p.

194-18:

2nd fastest Melun 2855 p.

Click here for Samsung's pedigree.

Armani Elektro (BE17-6025202)

And Armani Elektro is yet another son of Elektro that has made a name for himself. His dam is Dolly, winner of a 10th Nat. La Souterraine of 2939 p. Here is Armani Elektro's palmares:

1st fastest Melun 1274 p.
1st Melun 301 p. (9 minute lead)
1st Melun 710 p.
2nd Melun 616 p. (after a loft mate)

Armani Elektro's pedigree can be found here.

Elektro Lady 67 and Elektro Lady 68

Delphine, the dam of Elektro Junior, has also bred these two sisters. Delphine is clearly a great partner for Elektro!

Elektro Lady 67 wins:

- 1st Noyon 524 p.
- 2nd Blois 269 p. (after a loft mate)
- 3rd Gien 596 p.
- 47th Nat. zone Argenton 7332 p.

Click here for her pedigree

Elektro Lady 68 wins:

- 8th Nat. zone Chateauroux 606 p. and 20th Nat. Chateauroux 1712 p.
- 2nd Noyon 692 p.
- 2nd Pont 165 p.
- 4th Souppes 642 p.

Click here for the pedigree of Elektro Lady 68.

We have only talked about the youngsters of Elektro that are part of the 'younger generation', so we did not include the stars of the older generation, such as Shakira”(BE10-6052293), “Latina”(BE10-6052292), “Paulo”(BE09-6248171), “Casino”(B11-6282003), “Letra”(BE12-6196107) and “Ruxi”(BE13-6026112). It goes to show that this is indeed a fantastic breeder!

And the grandchildren of Elektro are proving to be invaluable as well, both in the racing and breeding lofts. The Elektro bloodline is guaranteed to give great descendants!

Mustang (BE14-6175237)

Elektro's most famous grandson is arguably Mustang (BE14-6175237), winner of a 1st Nat. Chateauroux of 22,818 pigeons, and the fastest of 33,018 birds that day. Mustang is now doing really well in the breeding loft:

- Lilly (BE14-6026002): 3rd Nat. Argenton 13,730 p. & 1st Nat. zone 3961 p.
- Miss Mustang (BE17-6025108): 3rd Nat. Chateauroux 4631 YLs & 2nd Nat. zone 1563 YLs (daughter Mustang)
- BE18-6020078: 3rd Nat. Chateauroux 17,269 p. (grandchild Mustang)
- ‘Ilke’ (BE17-6025255): 2nd Nat. Chateauroux 4631 YLs & 1st Nat. zone 1563 p. (grandchild Mustang)

Click here for the pedigree of Mustang, one of the leading names of the Jos Vercammen pigeon loft

Fewer fanciers might be familiar with the fact that team Vercammen has been quite successful in the long distance as well. However, a quick look at the 2018 palmares of top class hen ‘Stella’ (BE16-6032172), another granddaughter of Mustang leads, us to conclude that Hok Jos Vercammen is a main contender in the long distance as well:

1st Prov. Brive 1166 p.
2nd Prov. Jarnac 386 p.

These were two particularly demanding races due to the very high temperatures and a strong headwind, similar to many other races in 2018. A nest sister of Stella is Sherry, and she is a great racing hen as well, with an ace pigeon title long distance in her club in St. Job to her name. She won for instance a 2nd Prov. Tulle 1058 p. The sire of these two sisters is Black panter (BE15-6026420), a son of the aforementioned Mustang.

Olympic Elektro (PL0264-13-400)

Olympic Elektro is a pigeon with a special history, to say the least. He was probably the best pigeon ever to have raced in Poland. He is a grandchild of Elektro, which explains why Jos and Lars were always keeping an eye on him. This champion became 1st ace pigeon in the Brussels Olympiad for Marek Trzaska, and that was reason enough for them to try and get this grandson of Elektro to Vremde. They did manage to obtain him, and Olympic Elektro is now one of the driving forces behind the top quality breeding loft of Jos and Lars. Olympic Elektro is now the sire of several first prize winners:

335-18:

1st Melun 762 p.

3168-15

1st 3,982 p.

3167-15

1st 3,822 p.

474-17:

1st Chevrain 278 p.

131-18:

3rd Melun 540 p. (after 2 loft mates)
5th Chevrain 494 p. (after 4 loft mates)

011-18:

5th Melun 439 p. (after 4 loft mates)

092-18:

6th Melun 439 p. (after 5 loft mates)

361-17:

3rd Melun 710 p. (after 2 loft mates)
3rd Melun 495 p.

360-17:

42nd National z. Bourges 2,836 p.
2nd Chevrain 396 p.
3rd Chevrain 379 p.
3rd Chevrain 232 p.
5th Chevrain 536 p.

Click here for the pedigree of Olympic Elektro

Iron Man: a spearhead in the middle distance

Jos and Lars Vercammen are competing in different races every weekend, and that includes racing in the middle distance. The 2018 season will be remembered especially for the high temperatures, the drought, and for the northerly or easterly winds. With so many consecutive races in difficult conditions, also in the middle distance, it soon became clear that only the strongest birds would be able to reach their home base at a fast pace. It was in these conditions that a new top class bird came to the fore in Vremde: Iron Man.

“Iron Man”(B17-6025089) won the following prizes in 2018:

05/05/2018 Ecouen (283km): 28 - 2,072
12/05/2018 Melun (310km): 269 - 2,364
19/05/2018 Chevrainvilliers (354km): 38 - 1,071
26/05/2018 Chevrainvilliers (354km): 1 - 654
02/06/2018 Chevrainvilliers (354km): 13 - 447
09/06/2018 Vlucht cancelled - pigeons were sent back
16/06/2018 Ecouen (283km) : 80 - 851
23/06/2018 Melun (310km): 2 - 710 (after a loft mate)
30/06/2018 Melun (310km): 12 - 425
07/07/2018 Melun (310km): 1 -616
15/07/2018 Chevrainvilliers (354km): 7 - 396
21/07/2018 Chevrainvilliers (354km): 1 – 379
28/07/2018 Melun (310km): 4 - 301

Iron Man comes from ‘Bruce Lee’, a cock of Gerard and Bas Verkerk (Reeuwijk, NL). The dam is Mulan, a full sister of Aladdin, 1st fastest Nat. Bourges 64,621 p.

Click here for his pedigree.

References

There are just too many references for this team, so we only selected the most remarkable results at national and international level:

1st Nat. Chateauroux 17,269 p. 2018 of Rene Coenen (from an inbred Elektro bird)

1st Nat. Bourges 38,455 p. and fastest of 59,253 p. 2017 for Jelle Roziers (from a daughter of Milos x Miss Universe). Click here to reread our report on their national win.

Marek Trzaska from Poland also invested in several pigeons of jos and Lars Vercammen through PIPA. These investments really paid off, not only in the form of Olympic Elektro but through many other top prizes. Click here for a list of references.

And there is a good chance that Marek will be attending the Poznan Olympiad with a grandchild of Elektro. This means that there have been three different grandchildren of Elektro (Olympic Elektro, Olympic Eva and now this hen) attending an Olympiad, either the 2019 Olympiad in Poznan or the 2017 Brussels Olympiad. Great!

A phenomenal 2018 season

We said earlier in this article that the Vercammen bird is a highly recognisable pigeon, which is the result of years of selection in races of 200 to 300km, as well as races of up to 700km. This inevitably leads to the development of a specific type of bird, in this case in the form of Elektro and his many successful youngsters and grandchildren. It is no surprise that the international references were soon starting to come in one after another. After all, history has shown that a homogeneous breed is often particularly suited to be crossed with your own pigeon family.

The 2018 season was outstanding. Jos and Lars are aware that their achievements with the young birds are no mean feat. "This has been an exceptional year for our young birds", Jos agrees. "Things went really well in the first few weeks from Noyon but the young birds pretty much continued to deliver on a weekly basis." Lars knows that it would be quite a challenge to try and match this year's results in 2019. "You quickly get used to this type of results but looking back we do realise that this was something unique. We reckon it will be difficult to get our young birds to perform at the same level next year", says Lars.

Nonetheless, we are confident that Jos and Lars will soon be delivering another world class result, given the number of top quality birds in their racing and breeding lofts.

Click here for the results of 2018.