The passing of Wim van Tuil marks the end of 60 years of top level pigeon racing

The pigeon racing community lost a colourful character with the passing of Wim. He was the man to beat in Province 7 for years, and he claimed quite a few national titles as well. His pigeons showed their strengths again last year, winning a 1st, 1st, 2nd and 3rd NPO.

Wim (l) and Jan (r) van Tuil

Wim van Tuil developed a passion for pigeon racing at a very young age. He became fond of racing pigeons shortly after the second world war, and he quickly started to win first prizes. The W.D. van Tuil combination was founded a few years later (around 1965), when Wim, a passionate pigeon fancier, was joined by his brother Jan. It was the start of a successful combination that claimed hundreds of national and provincial championship titles, as well as over 400 first prizes.

Past successes

Such champions as De Atleet, De Beer and De Sproet produced many great results in the 1970s and '80s. 1988 was a new turning point in their career, when they competed in the '600 at the Amsterdam Olympiad. And they continued to achieve great results in the following years. Racing bird De Ozon won for instance a 1st prize of 8,641 pigeons in a demanding young birds' race from Roye, in 32 degrees and a strong headwind. He was also the car winner that day.

This victory from De Ozon was the first of an impressive four car winners. The next car was won in 1991, with racing bird Cindy claiming a first prize of 9,820 pigeons from Roye. The team excelled again in 1998, claiming a first national in two consecutive weeks - a rare achievement. De Prinses won a national first prize from Orleans of 13,431 pigeons, and racing bird Blue Sky was victorious in the national race from Creil against 29,296 pigeons.

The team claimed a 5th National St. Vincent in 2002 with Vincent, and another highlight would follow soon, with Ron winning a 1st NPO Chateauroux in 2005. These two top class pigeons were named after Wim's grandchildren Ron and Vincent.

The stars of today

The combination has won several provincial first prizes and championship titles in recent years as well. They did every race on the calendar, and they were competitive in almost every discipline. They have been in contention for the general title in the region and the province every single season, and the combination from Tiel claimed quite a few top three prizes or championship titles along the way. Last year they won a 1st NPO Nanteuil of 5,104 pigeons with Blue Prince. On top of that, they won a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 8th NPO the following week, in demanding weather.

Many of their best results in recent years are based on the pairing of two fantastic racing birds in 2008: The 045 x Super Lady. In their first few years as a pair, they bred some very gifted racing birds, such as Swen, Super 896, Blue Boy, De Jan and Beauty. The last round of youngsters of this terrific breeding pair was raised in the spring of 2013, and Wim quickly grew fond of one of these youngsters: a young cock called Tornado was transferred to the breeding loft immediately, to be paired to Lady Marian, a pigeon that they obtained from Leo Heremans. This hen stems from the lines of Olympiade 003, Andreas, Den As, De Crack of Camiel Nulens and Moluca (1st Nat. Limoges) of Erik Limbourg. It proved an instant success: Tornado bred three super class hens in his first season in the breeding loft (Anouk, Mariska and Safira). Besides these three stars, he also bred De Beer, Belofte, Sagan, Mr. 8000 and The New Star (the sire of a 1st NPO Niergnies).

The Leo Heremans breed turns out to combine really well with the line of he team's super class pair 045 x Super Lady: Tornado was paired to Midia (Leo Heremans, from the lines of Di Caprio, Olympiade 003, Den As and De Euro), and together they bred a 3rd NPO Niergnies of 4,849 pigeons (behind two loft mates). Besides their own pigeons and a number of pigeons of Leo Heremans, the team also successfully invested in the bloodlines of Maurice v.d. Kruk and Danny van Dyck. Tornado and the super class pair 045 x Super Lady can still be found in the pedigrees of many of today's stars; they are now the parents and grandparents of more than 20 first prize winners.

Click here for the pedigree of Tornado

BE12-6327751 Spartacus

Like we said earlier, their current results came with the help of their own (Janssen) breed, and thanks to the pigeons of Leo Heremans, Maurice v.d. Kruk and Danny van Dyck. A good example would be Spartacus, a direct son of the legendary Di Capro of Dirk van Dyck. Click here for the impressive pedigree of Spartacus.

We will discuss a few of their best racing birds from recent seasons, but we start with an overview of their best results in recent years (first prizes):

1st Duffel      9,628 p.
1st Nanteuil    5,104 p.
1st Niergnies   4,849 p.
1st Asse Zellik 3,879 p.
1st Duffel      3,093 p.
1st Pont St.Max 2,268 p.
1st Asse Zellik 1,788 p.
1st Nanteuil    1,567 p.
1st Orleans     1,472 p.
1st Duffel      1,340 p.
1st Pommereoul  1,226 p.
1st Grimbergen  1,209 p.
1st Lessines    1,152 p.
1st Pommereoul  1,015 p.

NL14-1758109 Anouk

The absolute star in recent years is Anouk. She is a daughter of Tornado x Lady Marian (Heremans), as you can see here. She was regional champion middle distance in 2015. And she did even better in 2016, as 3rd National Ace Pigeon in The Netherlands, as well as regional champion sprint. Her descendants turn out to be great racing birds as well: her granddaughter Carlijn for instance wins a 2nd NPO Niergnies of 4,849 pigeons. This is Anouk's palmares:

1st Quievrain     556 p. (and  5th  3,730 p.)
1st Melun         531 p. (and  8th  1,345 p.)
1st Melun         396 p. (and 10th  1,046 p.)
1st St. Quentin   252 p. (and  3rd  1,809 p.)
2nd Pont St.Max   625 p. (and 20th 15,083 p.)
2nd Asse Zellik    592p.
3rd Pont St.Max 1.375 p.
3rd Pont St.Max   509 p.
3rd Duffel        187 p. (and  7th  3,093 p.)
4th Niergnies     547 p. (and  4th  1,622 p.)
4th Peronne       318 p.
7th Laon          598 p.

NL14-1758110 Mariska

Mariska stems from super class pair Tornado x Lady Marian as well, which makes her a full sister (from the same nest) as the aforementioned Anouk, and of a few other top class birds: New Star, De Belofte and Sagan. Click here for her pedigree. Mariska wins an impressive 12 top ten prizes over the course of her racing career.

NL16-1348041 The New Star

This New Star is a full brother of the aforementioned Anouk and Mariska, which means he also comes from the successful pairing of Tornado x Lady Marian of Leo Heremans. New Star was an excellent racing bird, and he is showing to be a talented breeder as well: he is now the sire of Evita, winner of a 1st NPO Niergnies of 4,849 pigeons as a youngster. The dam of Evita is another 100% Heremans bird.

NL18-1715432 Evita (1st NPO Niergnies, 4,849 pigeons)

Click here for Evita's pedigree

NL14-1758074 Dafne

The last pigeon that we will talk about today is Dafne. This super class hen wins three regional first prizes in just five weeks' time. She managed to claim a 1st, 1st, 1st and 4th against an average of 4,500 pigeons. Both the sire and dam of Dafne have done really well for Wim and Jan for a number of seasons. Click here for Dafne's pedigree. We take a look at some of her most prominent achievements:

 1st Duffel    4,194 p. (and fastest of 9,628 p.)
 1st Feluy       769 p.
 1st Duffel      502 p. (and fastest of 3,093 p.)
 2nd Lessines  1,410 p. (and   4th   of 7,972 p.)
 6th Feluy     1,802 p.
11th Quievrain   529 p.
14th Troyes      393 p.

An iconic name, a champion with a capital C is no longer with us

On 2nd of January 2019 Wim passed away at the age of 87. Wim got involved in pigeon racing already at the age of 14, along with his younger brothers. He soon went on to compete in his first races. His combination with his brother Jan was a major success: they have won hundreds of first championship titles, general championship titles, and ace pigeon titles. And their palmares includes more than 400 clear first prizes as well. Wim was a fancier with a great feel for pigeons. His passing earlier this year marks the end of 60 years of top level pigeon racing.